Border security means nothing to overstayers

When discussing immigration reform, a lot of attention is paid to the term "border security." Even though it's well intentioned, much of this concern is misplaced.

The question we should really ask is "do we have measures in place to prevent this problem from recurring if an amnesty is passed?" The answer is clearly "no." About half of the current illegal population came in on valid visas and then simply overstayed. They won't be deterred by any additional border security measures. To thwart them, we'd need to go out into the community to find them and then deport them solely for their illegal presence.

The sight of day laborers at Home Depot tells me this isn't happening even now. The Obama administration brags about its deportation statistics, but almost all the deportees have criminal records. They claim that they don't have the resources to prioritize and deport the "law-abiding" aliens.

What's needed isn't necessarily border security but a track record of credibility in enforcing immigration laws across the board. That's clearly not the case.

Jim Hemenway

San Ramon

Most cuts seem eerily similar to what GOP wants

The story on the automatic budget cuts appearing in the Times Feb. 25, rather than describing an impending catastrophe, could easily be the Republican platform to trim the budget.

While the automatic cuts that were to kick in March 1 were styled as "severe," they closely track the demands made by many Republicans to cut federal programs. Except perhaps for some of the Defense and Homeland Security reductions, not only are these cuts not feared by the right wing, they are likely eagerly anticipated and would allow them to reach their budget reduction goals now, not years from now. These cuts were intended to be so cataclysmic that no one would dare allow them to take effect. It's not working. Why? Because the spending cuts that would automatically result are mostly within the very entitlement and other programs that have been so heavily criticized by supporters of small government. As such it shouldn't be a surprise that the stalemate continues.

Tyler P. Berding

Alamo

GOP dealt fatal blow to nation's Postal Service

Mr. Fine's letter ("Post office ... outrageous," 2/15/13) has got the problem upside-down.

The U.S. Postal Service retirement benefits mandate was not a Democratic boondoggle to help government employees. It was a Republican mandate, callously crafted to kill the postal service. In 2006, the Republicans passed a "postal reform" act requiring the post office to prefund all retirement benefits for the next 75 years in only 10 years. This $5 billion-plus-a-year drain is the cause of 80 percent of the Postal Service deficit and designed to make it fail.

Mr. Fine may also be unaware that the Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. In short, while a government service, its employee benefits are financed privately and are no skin off his (or any taxpayer's) nose.

If Mr. Fine really feels outrage over Postal Service benefits, he should ask his fellow conservatives to repeal the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Lots of luck. This act, sponsored by eight-term U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., has since proved so embarrassing that it goes unmentioned in Davis' Wikipedia biography.

W. Michael Youngblood

Danville

Why are feds arming selves so heavily?

On July 2, 2008, the leader of the Obama Regime said, "we've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as our military."

No one asked him what he was talking about. Fast-forward to the Obama Unaffordable Health Care Act. Google it. Section 5210 is titled "Establishing a Ready Reserve Corps." It says "commissioned officers of the Ready Reserve Corps shall be appointed by the President and subject to call to active duty by the Surgeon General."

The Regime buried this in the Health Care Act. U.S. Rep Nancy Pelosi said, "we have to pass it so we can find out what's in it."

Obama's private army? Far-fetched? The Homeland Security Department has purchased 1.625 billion rounds of ammo, equal to what our military would use if the Iraq War had lasted 30 years. While Obama browbeats us about the evil semi-automatic weapons, in the last 12 months the DHS has purchased 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles, labeling them "personal defense weapons." What are these weapons needed for? Obama said small-town Americans cling to their guns and religion. He's coming after your guns; next he'll come after your Bibles.

Mark Marcotte

Danville

Always leash dogs on trail

On Feb. 25 around 9:30 a.m., a man had his dog off-leash on the Iron Horse Trail in Alamo between Stone Valley and Las Trampas roads when the dog fatally attacked a beautiful tortoiseshell-colored cat.

The man, claiming he was going to put his dog in the car and return, left and never returned. The cat, though its spine was severed, was conscious and obviously in tremendous pain. Several people tried to contact local vets in the area, animal control (which was closed) and the sheriff's office. Thankfully, a local vet, Dr. Sexton, came to the rescue. He should be commended for his assistance and kindness during this traumatic ordeal.

This could have been easily prevented. Dogs should never be off-leash on the trail. There are not only cats but small children who could be seriously injured. If your dog is off-leash on the trail, prepare for opposition from the many people who witnessed this awful spectacle and who WILL call you out.

Wendy Weissman

Danville