Lawmakers taking more freedoms

The ongoing path taken by many of our lawmakers is not about making things better for Americans; it is about control. They pass thousands and thousands of laws and regulations that do not improve our lives, but, instead, continually steal more and more of our freedom and, in turn, our ability to prosper.

They probably have good intentions, but in their quest to make things better they fail to see that they are doing more damage than good to America.

One cannot legislate people to be moral or ethical. For our system to survive, our citizens need to instill these qualities in their children.

Our lawmakers are destroying all that America is by curtailing more and more of our freedom. Freedom is not free; it comes with a cost, which means that there will be sacrifices. One cannot protect everyone and everything.

This was obvious to one of our founders, Benjamin Franklin, when he said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Our freedom has allowed us to have the confidence to build a great, strong nation, but with the constant attack by our lawmakers, our way of life as Americans is melting away. May God help us, because the lawmakers will not.

Loren Long

Hayward

BART workers need more than money

Regarding the recent guest commentary by Tom Terrill, CEO of the East Bay Leadership Council, "Bay Area needs BART to be a 100 percent reliable, world-class agency."

The council's concern for the welfare of the region is commendable. However, as a UC Berkeley graduate student in public health, I was disheartened that Terrill neglected to consider the health of BART employees.

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index -- which measures overall well-being across 14 job categories -- transportation workers rank last. They also have the highest obesity rate of any group.

While thrivable wages are a must, the issue goes beyond pay. Farmers, fishermen and forestry workers earn less than transportation workers but rank seventh in wellbeing. In addition to ensuring its employees are competitively compensated, BART management should support its workforce with wellness programs and work schedules that foster physical activity and healthy eating.

Employing healthy, satisfied workers is the only way BART can become the "100 percent reliable, world-class transit agency" the council requests.

Sophie Egan

Palo Alto

Negotiations have gone far too long

I agree with Tom Terrill's comprehensive guest commentary regarding the BART strike situation.

Numerous studies have shown that the collective BART union workers are adequately compensated and, indeed, contributing less than most comparable business employees to their own retirements, health care, etc.

I'm disappointed at the militant attitude displayed by union spokespeople. It seems evident their intention is to strike.

I wonder if each time BART makes an offer if it truly is presented to the rank and file. I can't help but think there are union-represented people who would be damaged by not having a paycheck for an extended period of time.

This has gone on far too long. BART has been more than fair in its offers. The whole system needs attention -- which has been postponed long enough and will further be postponed if there is a strike.

Of course, the biggest losers are the riders. Higher fares will be needed to pay these striking workers' unreasonable demands.

Barbara Moyles

San Leandro

Give curfew plan a chance to work

To all the critics of Noel Gallo's curfew plan, I say this: Our black and brown young people are an endangered species. To keep sending them out into the same environment is ridiculous.

You say more police officers are needed, but we don't have the money. Why not try something in the meantime?

The only rights we are taking away from the youth is their right to live.

David Gonzales

Oakland