Campaign's class warfare distasteful

What is going on in the 2012 presidential election?

Mitt Romney states that 47 percent of the electorate will never vote for him because they don't pay taxes, feel like victims and feel entitled to government services. Barack Obama panders to the middle class and urges them to elect him so that he can punish the bad people that make more than $250,000 per year.

No doubt there are social classes in the United States, but one of the reasons we have become so successful as a nation is that we never adopted the rigid social structure that exists in India, Europe and other parts of the world. We always tended to recognize people for their individual performance and success. It is demoralizing to see our presidential candidates, our leaders, pit one social class against another just to get elected. I think my vote in November might be for "none of the above."

John Hill

Danville

Slain woman was a pillar back east

About the story "East Bay Woman Dies ..." by Erin Ivie on Aug. 30, the death of Doris Penico from a violent neighborhood dispute in Alamo shocked us, as did some negative comments about her in print.

Before moving to California she helped prevent the destruction of the historic 1938 Art Deco Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Md., which is now the proud East Coast wing of the American Film Institute.

We worked closely with Doris in the citizen organizations that saved the theater and encouraged properly-sized commercial development for the town center where it was located. Doris also tirelessly gathered petition signatures for inclusion of sorely needed shops. She joined advocates to gain a coveted Fine Arts District designation, ice rink and civic center building. Our open, walkable town center is now very popular and commercially successful.

Doris was respected for her community spirit, law degree, and public testimony advocating for the public good. When she relocated to Alamo, our town was well on its way to becoming a better place because she worked for worthy goals. Tragically, her valued civic activism could not be practiced safely in Alamo.

Charles Wolff and Alice Gilson

Silver Spring, Md.

Wake up, Dems: Obama no good

Unfortunately this is not the same Democratic Party of former years!

Aren't you a little concerned when Hugo Chavez and Castro call Obama "comrade?"

Economy is the number-one problem, Obama never even ran a lemonade stand. Romney brought the U.S. Olympics out of the red and was governor of Massachusetts for four years, accepting no salary for either position!

Obama recently gave the Chinese a lucrative bridge contract in Texas -- even ABC News reported this. Obama says our Constitution is deeply flawed. He is the first president to refuse to sign an Eagle Scout certificate because homosexuals cannot be Scout leaders.

The 23 presidential czars (advisers) whose salaries we pay are systematically advising leftist ideology, and crass political interests. No president has ever had more than five.

Obama's health care bill mandates medical care of illegal immigrants. Sorry for those of you over 70 -- no major surgery for you. Illegals come first.

The federal government has taken on powers that belong to the states. Of the 69 lies our president has already told -- the count is continuing. Why is Obama paying thousands of dollars to keep his college and thesis concealed? What could he be hiding?

Think again before you vote

Joan Kurtz

Danville

Romney, GOP out of touch, extreme

Romney's recent quote about Obama supporters, "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims" speaks volumes about how out of touch and extreme Romney and the Republicans have become.

The overwhelming majority of Obama supporters do not see themselves as victims. Many are hardworking responsible people who have fallen on tough times. Many depend on Social Security, Medicare and other worthy community services after decades of valued contributions to our country. Many younger citizens depend on quality schools, universities, student loans and other community services to become successful contributing members to our society. Many think our insurance company-run health care system fails a large portion of our citizens. And many are financially successful people who think our society should be more fair, equitable and caring.

Romney's statement provides a clear message of how extreme, cold, uncaring and divisive Republicans have become and how scary it will be if we let Republicans run our country.

Rick Brown

San Ramon

Murder is problem, not death penalty

Our initiative to end the death penalty in California (again) makes this appeal: it could save costs of endless legal reviews.

Unfortunately, there was a real upsurge in murders each year in the United States after the Supreme Court temporarily suspended the penalty in 1972. The homicide rate had been five per 100,000 people, and it jumped to 11 per 100,000 until the penalty was again allowed and 32 of the 42 states previously enforcing it reinstated death sentences (www.gov.judicial/crime statistics).

Do we execute 100 convicted murderers a year or sanction 19,800 annual murders of gang members, innocent convenience store clerks, spouses, elders and the children who get in the way of their bullets?

Food for thought: 70 percent of murders, 62 percent of rapes and 82 percent of physical or sexual child abuse are committed by men who grew up with no father in the household. Meanwhile, 40 percent of Americans are now born out of wedlock.

Diane Carpenter

Danville

Nation at political crossroads in 2012

Democracy was based on the assumption that voters would value their independence, have the desire and ability for rational analysis of the confronting issues and make a judgment for the common good by compromising their personal interests.

Similarly, independence of the media (journalism) was protected to assure the supply of unbiased factual information to the voters to facilitate independent judgment.

However, the reality is different. Most voters have abandoned their responsibility of making rational judgment about the confronting issues. The media has also been abandoning its responsibility. A smooth blend of news and opinions mixed with half-truths and distorted facts are presented to the voters.

The system is malfunctioning. However, the contagion of malfunctioning is not complete yet, and there is hope. There are still thoughtful independent voters and ethically oriented independent journalists who can tip the balance.

Now the growing struggle is not so much between blacks versus whites, whites versus nonwhites, rich versus poor or the wealthy versus the middle class; the struggle seems to be growing between the working classes and the dependent classes.

The November election will be pivotal in American history: if the Democratic president wins with a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress, socialism will be in the wings; if the Republican Party wins with similar results, the nation will start recovery toward capitalism; if the president and the House majority are of opposite parties, the nation will continue to consume itself with Congressional log jams, gridlock and deadlocks.

Thoughtful independent voters can play a significant role in the upcoming election.

T.S. Khanna

Alamo Foundation for Better Government