Forest fire policy has
left state vulnerable
Given the “Let It Burn” editorial cartoon of Sunday, Aug. 8, (Page A12) the Mercury News seems to be making light of the mismanagement of our environment and forests that has lead to devastating temperatures, droughts and fires. We are now paying for those decades of mismanagement of our environment and forests.
The “put out every fire” mentality has allowed our forests to become overgrown. And the excuse for this is that we have homes to protect, homes that are built in forests and which are poorly protected. We have been warned about these ill-conceived, some say stupid, practices for decades, yet we have procrastinated to the point that we have now endangered our home planet.
Maybe the Bay Area News Group should take a more constructive and proactive role in how we are to dig ourselves out of this mess.
Make allowances for
those already conserving
Re. “Simplify formula for cutting water use,” Letters to the Editor, Page A12, Aug. 8:
We have conserved water for well over a decade, eliminating lawns before the last drought. We grow fruits, herbs and vegetables, with some flowers to support the bees. Cutting 2019 usage by 15% is difficult.
Three of us worked full time outside our home. Two of us now work from home full time; one 2-3 days a week. Hand- and mask-washing and cooking more meals increase usage. In the past, families took vacations in June when schools closed. This may account for slightly less conservation in June.
Please consider these challenges and efforts before implementing fines for minor overages.
By calling out injustice,
athletes were patriots
Marc Thiessen in his Aug. 8 column (“Ignore the malcontent Olympians and just celebrate Team USA,” Page A13) praises several Olympic athletes for their silence on the issues of our day. “They would never turn their backs” on the flag and “the freedom and opportunity it represents,” he says.
Michael Brown, George Floyd and numerous others killed by police lived under that flag. Their killers turned their backs on “the freedom and opportunity it represents.”
Athlete protesters addressing this issue are not turning their backs on the flag. Betterment of the country is high patriotism.
to slow bad policy
In “Eliminate filibuster to build back America,” (Letters to the Editor, Page A12, Aug. 8) John Bingham proposes to do away with the filibuster and build America better.
Better means according to his own progressive principles. The filibuster has been used to delay action on bad economic legislation imposed by compassion and morality considerations of the political majority, such as minimum-wage legislation and the DREAM Act, and more recently, S 1, the For the People Act.
Democrats now wish to inhibit the speech of those who think for themselves rather than blindly follow the majority will. The filibuster rule has a democracy-enhancing role of enabling healthy skepticism to ideology-based, majority legislation. If it’s eliminated by legislation, let’s hope it comes in the form of fundamental reform to our broken electoral system.
Amid mounting crises,
foreign aid imperative
After reading the Aug. 5 article titled “Nearly half the population in Mexico is below poverty line,” I felt compelled to respond.
There are numerous ways in which addressing international poverty is advantageous to the United States. The reasons range from national security concerns to creating U.S. jobs to addressing overpopulation.
I understand the argument that the United States is not in a position financially to increase financial assistance to other nations. But to this, I ask us to look at what can happen if extreme poverty goes unaddressed within the international community. We have seen evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic mercilessly ravaged developing nations and the result impacted the entire international community as variants spread.
We must act as one united international community in the fight against poverty and COVID-19, otherwise, we will get nowhere.
Anger is eating
at nation’s soul
There are so many things wrong with society today that it’s hard to say where to start. To me, the best place to start is with anger, which is rarely if ever helpful and only creates more and deeper divisions.
Talking heads of all stripes rant in order to get their followers angry. Once people are angry, it’s a short move to hating the groups they are angry at, and the logical end to this process is what happened Jan. 6 at the Capitol.
Anger turns gaps into canyons of noncommunication. Eventually, it seems that groups aren’t even speaking the same language. I’ve heard the argument that anger is necessary to get people to act. Perhaps not. If you are being harmed, physically, emotionally or financially, either individually or collectively, you can choose to get angry or you can calmly, thoughtfully organize resistance to whoever is harming you.