Liberal usage of the R-word most unsavory

I am always amazed when I stumble over a liberal who insists on making the world to his liking. So now, Mallard Fillmore is a racist duck!? That sort of "branding" is a standard ploy to shut down the exposition of views unsavory to the liberal pallet. Yell "racism" and some weak-kneed CEO or editor will fold like a tent and replace what is offensive to me with something more to his liking. Most of the rest of the world, that likes what he hates, be damned.

You don't like the comic strip, don't read it. I don't like Bill Maher. To me he's simply an arrogant, mean-spirited and unfunny uber-liberal who really offends my political sensibilities. But, shut him down!? No way. If he thinks he can make a buck continuing to do what he does, fine; I just don't watch him. Why is that choice so hard for nonaficionados of the Mallard Fillmore comic strip?

Bob Lanier

Danville

Westminster Retreat must be preserved

The Westminster Retreat in Alamo -- which includes the manor house, the carriage house and parklike grounds with 100-year-old oak trees -- is headed for destruction. There is a company in the process of purchasing the only historic building in Alamo.

All will be razed to build six to seven luxury homes. The retreat has been used by many groups and provides an excellent venue for gatherings. Westminster would provide Alamo with a community center that would be excellent, with meeting rooms and picnic areas. These historic buildings were built in 1929 and must be preserved.

Alicia Watson

Alamo

New warhead plans just bad idea all around

The U.S. Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration is continuing to expand its warhead Life Extension Programs (LEPs), which is resulting in more extreme modifications to the nuclear weapons' original designs.

One of these proposed LEPs will add a novel military capability to the nuclear arsenal by creating a so-called "interoperable" warhead to be launched interchangeably by nuclear-tipped missiles in land-based silos and submarines.

In designing this new warhead, the Livermore Laboratory is increasingly contradicting the nation's nuclear policy articulated by the president and the Nuclear Posture Review. Further, the warhead will undermine America's nonproliferation objectives globally.

Another danger is to the U.S. economy. The "interoperable" W78/88-1 is likely to cost around $28 billion -- or higher. I ask Congress to constrain the LEPs and save tens of billions over the coming decade. I ask my neighbors to contact Rep. Eric Swalwell and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to let them know you are concerned about the escalating costs associated with designing new nuclear weapons.

Kara Alyssa A. Bautista

San Ramon

Lab's Shaker apparatus has no good use

According to the Nuclear Facilities Safety Board the Livermore Lab's contracted personnel have begun to refurbish the Shaker apparatus.

This equipment tests plutonium bomb pits to be sure they are perfectly safe. This facility was used for years when the lab researched bomb pits. The question is, why is the lab now considering refurbishing it? The lab says it is for "potential future operations." Does this "future" mean the potential shipping of plutonium bomb pits from Los Alamos, more than 1,100 miles of highway from here, for testing here and then returning the bombs the same way to Los Alamos?

This operation is a danger to our highways and the cities and towns along the way, not to mention that the lab no longer has the security nor the authority to receive these bombs. Also the amount of plutonium in these bombs is no longer allowed at the lab. Just the idea of refurbishing the Shaker is dangerous and illegal, an idea that must be dropped immediately.

Beverly King

Livermore

High-speed rail plans to be fiscal disaster

I get a kick reading the gags about the Hyperloop. It's harmless fun because the Hyperloop will move nobody, nowhere, at the cost of nothing. On the other hand, the high speed rail will move nobody, nowhere, at the cost of billions of dollars.

As a traveler from the Bay Area to Southern California at least 20 times a year, I wouldn't take rail even if it was free. Southwest Airlines doesn't go on strike; cost overruns, maintenance and pensions are their problem. It's three hours from my doorstep to any of five destinations from Los Angeles to San Diego and flights come and go every 30 minutes. Southwest pays millions in taxes into the general fund and employs hundreds of Californians.

In the future I'll use Southwest to visit California on vacation. I won't be able to afford to live in a state that heaps irresponsible new debt on top of unfunded liabilities and then turns this high-speed Hyperpoop over to union hostage takers.

David Fore

San Ramon

Pacific trade pact to subvert Constitution

Why is the media not reporting on a trade agreement being negotiated under cover among a dozen Pacific Rim countries called -- TPP--Trans Pacific Partnership?

Public Citizen is today's whistle blower on the potential damage this deal could rain down on our country. Ron Kirk, a former top trade official in the Obama administration, said he opposed making the text of the agreement available to the public because it would raise such opposition the deal would be impossible to sign. Few members of Congress have seen it, but 600 CEOs have. Such treaties supersede our laws and even our Constitution. TPP could be the crown jewel of corporate rule.

House members on both sides of the aisle including our own Eric Swalwell are asking that TPP not be fast-tracked. This deal negotiated in secret needs a good airing and time for We the People to respond.

Eloise Hamann

Dublin

News on war sanitized now for long time

I hope Robert Miller ("News judgment poor ...," Aug. 8) realizes that this lack of reporting on ongoing wars and casualties has been the norm since 9/11.

When the numerous caskets started arriving home in 2002 and 2003, the Bush/Cheney team outlawed cameras and the filming of bodies coming off the planes. Early in the wars they realized they would not be able to continue the lie of success in the Middle East if people were reminded of the truth. Neoconservatives and their lemmings are always eager to send others to sacrifice their lives as long as they (the neocons) don't have to know the truth. They just keep cashing the checks they receive from the profits of war.

This is why they dwell on conspiracies like Benghazi. They try to take your mind off the more than 6,000 dead, brave Americans in the Middle East. They need to justify the worst foreign affairs mistakes they falsely perpetrated (Iraq, etc.). It's the old bait-and-switch. Blame the new guy because he's "different."

Kevin S. Bryant

Dublin