'Debates' not what they should be

"I am no Bush, and you are no Bill Clinton" -- Anonymous. That is no debate; it is only a drama designed to sway the audience. Debate is not a dispute to be settled by arguments on matters for which there is no trustworthy evidence; such an exercise is intellectual waste. Debate is not a racing match in which the results can be measured objectively and accurately. "Who won the debate?" is a meaningless question. Moreover, debate is not a discussion by the candidates to show how much they agree or differ.

The purpose of presidential debate should be to enlighten the public with the presentation of true facts about national affairs, ideologies and policies of the political parties, lessons learned from noteworthy political experiences, personalities of the candidates, their character, and potential. The voters then may be able to make rational judgment in choosing the most suitable candidate. The debate should be designed to serve that purpose.

The present practice does not serve the purpose. In the absence of any regulations, the candidates use forged/fabricated/fake facts, tinctured with discreetly selected truth blends to present their cases under a cloak of authenticity. Time restricted sound-bite-responses provide candidates easy escapes from full exposure of their thoughts and explanations.

Well rehearsed, forceful presentation of false facts or hypothetical projections with herculean confidence in front of the drama-loving TV audience is required to "win a debate." Here, the age-old weakness of democracy is best exploited; the only qualification needed for the road to power is competitive oratory, not a genuine heart for public service.

T.S. Khanna

Alamo Foundation For Better Government

Prop. 30 just gives junkie another 'fix'

It may be sour grapes talking, but I believe the passage of Proposition 30 will not fix school funding issues like Gov. Moonbeam has promised.

There is a fat new pie of money for the state pols to feast on, and anyone who thinks they will leave it alone should trot on down to the nearest medical marijuana dispensary for a refill, then by the liquor store for a fifth of tequila.

Californians already pay the most taxes (state income and sales taxes combined) of any state in the nation, and we just added to that. We still have a pension crisis that hasn't been fixed, a high-speed train to nowhere wasting billions, proposed water tunnels that will waste more, and you can just bet that the public employee and teacher unions will be lining up for higher salaries and benefits by threatening strikes and sickouts. Please tell me how any of this benefits our educational system. Our state and local representatives will not make the hard decisions. They have demonstrated on too many occasions that they cannot be fiscally responsible. They cannot just say "no" to spending our money. Well, those of you who voted "yes" on 30 have given the junkie a "fix" and allowed him to kick the can down the road for a little while longer.

I predict three things. 1) The state will face another economic shortfall of some kind within two years; 2) there will be another tax proposition on the ballot to fix it; and 3) when the sales and income tax increases term out (in four and seven years, respectively) we will be told that we need to keep them in place or suffer dire consequences.

Tim Tomasello

San Ramon

So much for Obama's pink slip

I haven't driven north on 680 since the election. I wonder if the "Here's Your Pink Slip, Obama" billboard still graces the hill near the Stone Valley Road exit?

John Barry

Danville

Regulating food is a good thing

I happen to appreciate regulation. Rules aren't bad by definition, and civilization needs structure. But who helps to assure compliance with these standards?

When will the shallow thinkers in America realize that laws or regulations are only as good as the government that enforces and monitors for compliance with rules that protect all of us?

Taxpayers should pay for government enforcement of regulatory protections, because anarchy can be self-destructive. It is not a one-way process, and individuals or companies aren't exempt from constraints on their actions when they can affect someone else. There is no common good without "big brother" watching those of us who take free choice too much to heart.

There is a legitimate social bill to pay for safety. Check out the rest of the world where "rules" are not enforced. Try drinking their water, breathing their air, eating their food, taking their drugs, getting their treatments or working and living in environments that remain toxic because "rules" are ignored, unenforced or oversight is underfunded.

Jan Howe

San Ramon

Democrats on staff are posing as journalists

Your front-page story states, "As California goes, so goes the nation."

While there is some truth to be found deeper in the article concerning the need for the Republican Party to be more inclusive, the headline and leading sentences could not be further from the truth. The bias of your staff writers is clear. They wrote what they wish were true.

In fact, the nation could not be more different from California. President Obama won the election with just 52 percent of the popular vote. Governor Romney received 48 percent of the vote despite his losses among minorities and women. The Republicans maintained their majority in the House of Representatives (where their most conservative members serve) in a nationwide vote (with every seat at risk). California is overwhelmingly Democratic while the rest of the nation is evenly split. California is in no way representative of the rest of the nation! You could not have gotten the story more wrong.

James I. Midanek

San Ramon

Spread work ethic first, then spread wealth

Tuesday night our country spoke and re-elected President Obama. What a shame that to do so he destroyed Mitt Romney because he had worked hard and achieved the American dream and the president had a failing record on which to run.

I am afraid President Obama will continue to divide us and go after so many of us "to pay our fair share." My family falls within his definition of those not doing so now. My husband, a teacher, was a widower who needed to work three jobs so his wife could stay home and raise their children. We were both school principals when we met and after a 38-year career, at the age of 60, he retired, went to law school and then began a law practice. I became a school superintendent and rose every morning at 3:45 a.m., worked 16-hour days, most evenings and Saturdays supporting student and parent events. We worked hard, saved all we could and lived modestly so some day we could retire and live in modest comfort without fear of the future. And now all that is in jeopardy.

Our story is like so many others, and my point is that before Mr. Obama comes after us to spread our "wealth" he needs to spread our work ethic.

Carol Dodd

Danville