Keeping workplace safe employers' job

I am writing in regard to the Dec. 8 opinion piece about tainted water that farmworkers drink. The writer calls on the state government to provide clean water for these laborers.

The question is: Why aren't the growers, who apparently make three-quarters of a billion dollars on strawberries, providing the water? A farm is essentially a workplace. And employers are required to provide a safe workplace.

The role of the state is to regulate this workplace to make sure it is safe. For those who complain about how regulations are strangling California's business environment, this is an example of why we have so many regulations -- because so many employers do not do the right thing for their employees.

Clean water also means fewer emergency room visits, which taxpayers subsidize.

Pamela Dernham

Oakland

Investigate other side of gun issue

The Dec. 8 opinion piece authored by Toni Shellen with the Brady (anti-gun) Campaign is a perfect example of the use of misinformation to try to sway uninformed readers.

The author made numerous statements that she did not and cannot substantiate. It is sad that the anti-gun group cannot state facts and must go to the make-believe to try and make their case.

For those who are truly interested in the other side of things, with cited sources, please go to nraila.org and search "private sales restrictions."

Please support the Second Amendment now, because if it is lost along with it will go your freedom.

Loren Long

Hayward

Nothing going to get fixed in budget deal

The headline of the Dec. 8 editorial was not truthful, "At last, deal to fix budget within reach." The front page of the paper on the same day, "Will they kick the can again?" shows we are in big trouble and nothing will really be fixed.

The terrible policy known as sequestration offers the only real cuts that have been done to help stop the red ink and effected the economy in a small way. We are spending $3.5 trillion and only taking in $2.8 trillion a year, so we keep adding to a $17 trillion deficit. This bad spending is not only going to continue, but get even worse.

This is a long-term threat to our economy, country and our children's future. Some people in Congress try to tell the truth, but they are demonized by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and the president. The media help them mislead, just like on health care.

There are 45 million people who are not insured. We were told that if 15 million to 30 million of them signed up for insurance, the results would be lower cost for everyone, no one will be affected, the country will save money, and care will get better.

Let's see -- none of that was true. And the media helped them sell it instead of investigating.

Last of all, rebuild the middle class with what -- jobs at clothing stores, fast food or green jobs that the government is losing money on? How about drill for oil on U.S. land instead of buying it from countries that hate us and our ideals?

The only thing that threatens America is to continue to ignore the truths and to keep embracing the easy lies.

Michael Austin

Castro Valley

Power is driving force in politics

Recent changes of U.S. Senate rules by the Democratic Party majority, allowing a filibuster to be stopped with a 51 percent majority vote, is yet another indication that power is the overriding interest of both major political parties.

I'm not arguing the value of the filibuster here, hypocrisy is the issue

In 2005, when the Republican Party majority Senate talked about doing exactly the same thing, there were impassioned pleas from Democratic Sens. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein about how this was a pure power grab (which it was), and went against the wishes of the Founding Fathers.

Now, miraculously, these same people say this is the right thing to do for the country. But what has changed, except the Senate's controlling political party? Power over principle!

What a shame our elected representatives' main concerns seem to be their positions of power and how to raise enough money to get re-elected. With a historically low job rating by the people, why do we keep sending them back?

Robert Mayne

Walnut Creek