Offer alternatives, not just criticism

While I know it is necessary to help the poor -- unlike the Republicans who only want to cut indiscriminately -- I would like to see bipartisan cooperation in solving problems with programs some call "entitlements." The first step, however, is to explain to tea party members what "bipartisan" means.

  • Eliminate cheaters from programs; this includes Medicare fraud at all levels.

  • Provide work for any able-bodied worker; if necessary, akin to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps.

  • For anyone unable to perform physical work, train them for stay-at-home jobs. This includes stay-at-home moms.

  • Eliminate corporate welfare.

  • Cut out congressional "perks," including immunity from some legal actions.

    I am sure there are many other ways to cut spending without hurting those most in need. Instead of criticizing, offer viable alternatives

    M.D. Levin

    Benicia

    Obama may go down as a great president


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    I like sparring with my close friend about politics. She is conservative, whereas I am middle of the road (she says I'm flaming liberal). After reading the financial page a few weeks ago, it dawned on my that by the end of Obama's term he may go down as a great president.

    We Americans are rather greedy people; the Dow is more than 16,000 and NASDAQ is above 4,000; these leading indicators suggest an improved economy, maybe even widespread prosperity by the end of his term.

    If in the depths of 2008 anyone had promised to save the banks and automobile companies, end both wars, offer some form of universal health care, and have a good economy, we'd have been elated. Now we're dissatisfied, but that will pass when jobs come back and people are flush with cash.

    Better than Lincoln? Probably not. Better than Reagan, well of course he is.

    Larry Davick

    Fremont

    'Book of Mormon' was an outrage

    Regrettably, I attended "The Book of Mormon" musical in San Francisco, the self-proclaimed capital of inclusion and tolerance.

    The denigration of nearly all tenets of the Mormon faith and the traditions they hold dear should be unacceptable to anyone, and especially people of faith -- any faith.

    Excluding a limited number of good-natured spoofs, it was filled with mean-spirited depictions, some too vile for me to include in this letter. The simulation of intercourse during a Mormon baptism, achieved through missionary deception, was outrageous.

    This musical is no different from entertainment denigrating the Jewish faith in Germany during the 1930s.

    Theologians who proclaim "tolerance" exclude Mormons and their orthodoxy, exposing their hypocrisy.

    I am not a Mormon, but I greatly admire their commitment to family and citizenship. How many prison inmates and welfare recipients would exist if Mormon behavior were the norm?

    Where are the defenders of the Bible, Torah and the Quran in denouncing this musical?

    Don't support this production.

    Ed Miller

    Danville

    Sexting increases chance of STDs

    The recent article, "Do you know if your teen is 'sexting'?" caught us by surprise.

    The article stated, "The study surveyed 498 U.S. adolescents aged between 15 and 18 years, finding that most teens sext for attention, to lower the chances of catching STDs, and to find a romantic partner."

    Although we do believe adolescents sext for attention, we do not feel it is to lower the chances of catching sexually transmitted diseases or to find a romantic lover.

    We disagree that teenagers sext to lower the chance of catching STDs, because teenagers today are not cautious or worried about the consequences. They are more focused with the crowd they are associated with and doing whatever it takes to fit in; that is where the pressure lies to receive attention.

    From what we have been exposed to, sexting leads teenagers to have sexual intercourse, which can expose them to STDs. Females are often pressured to send photos of themselves, believing that they will receive romance in return.

    We feel it is very important for teenagers to stay mindful of what sexting can lead to.

    Sreyneang Lim

    Cristina Gonzalez

    El Cerrito Grace Saelee Richmond

    The authors of this letter are students at Contra Costa College.