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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 14

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The other Bush Doctrine: Politeness

EDITOR: Your editorial last Friday (“A Letter from George H.W. Bush,” Dec. 7) was yet another reason to celebrate the life of the late President Bush. After a week of wonderful tributes, your story created another memory.

In case you missed it, my favorite column about the former President was from Maureen Dowd. I did not realize she was the New York Times bureau chief during Bush 41’s presidency. In a world where the press and a politician can only hope to be friendly adversaries, he sets a high bar for dealing with the press. The opening quote says it all: “’I like you,’ the first President Bush wrote me once, after he was out of office. ‘Please don’t tell anyone.’”

Joseph M. Aaron

Sonoma

Can Santa wire fiberoptics?

EDITOR: As my youngest child pens her wish list to Santa, I think about my own... The Sonoma Valley Unified School District jumped on the technology bandwagon by providing Sonoma Valley High School students with Chromebooks a few years back. My sophomore son finds his to be a useful tool for school and homework, as I know many students do. That said, there is a sizable number of young people in our community whose Chromebooks become much less useful at the end of the school day because at home they have no access to Wi-Fi. While I recognize there may not be an easy solution, it seems unjust to me that any student should be required to do homework for which Wi-Fi access is necessary, if this access is not something their family can afford. This holiday season I wish Sonoma could solve this equity problem.

Annie Cassidy

Sonoma

Happy New Year! Pass the fruit cake…

EDITOR: I was born in the 1950s, and that makes me a child of the ‘60s. Somewhere between the assassination of JFK, the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King and Kent State, I lost faith. America, my country, something I was indoctrinated into, the best of all governments, and indeed the best of all possible realities. In reflection, I have a problem with my country. A problem with the root of all evil. A problem with gross misrepresentation. The money is funny. Does the end justify the means? Value and its relationship to fairness. The difference between the price and the cost, wealthy corporations and poor people; greed vs. need.

There’s a great deal of unrest in our world. I look at our world, and all the countries that make up the global community. I’m puzzled. The questions I ask myself are these: With all the time and all the money in the world this is the best that you could do? We are so intelligent and so evolved, why are we having so much trouble?

Maybe we have the resources and the technology, but we lack the moral conviction and integrity to do the right thing. Maybe altruism is a myth. Ignorance, arrogance, illiteracy and poverty have always been my pet peeves. How can we create an egalitarian Utopia? Manifest the dream.

2018 another year gone, 2019 about to begin, the holidays, our spiritual rituals, our pagan beliefs, comforting fables. “Glory to God in his highest and, on earth, peace, good will toward men.”

Maybe this year will be different. Maybe this year we will treat each other with kindness and respect. Swapping the same fruit cakes we swapped last year.

Yes, this year we will all do a little extra to make other people’s lives more pleasant. Search for the meaning of life and understand our connection to others. This year will mark the beginning of “the Age of Grace.” I’ve got this on 8-track. My parents had it on vinyl. Their ancestors had it on papyrus, written in charcoal. Download it, click twice. Happy holidays.

Eric Heine

Glen Ellen

Fight climate change; earn cash

EDITOR: In the news we hear often about wildfires, hurricanes and other extreme weather events. Recently we have also heard about demonstrations in France over taxes to mitigate climate change that are meeting resistance from the people. These demonstrations provide yet another iteration of the idea, often voiced by politicians, that we can’t afford to take action on climate change because it would be too expensive.

However, last week a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation to place a fee on carbon and return all revenue to households in the form of a monthly dividend. Under the policy outlined in their bill, known as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 7173), a majority of families, particularly low- and middle-income, will receive more money from the “carbon dividend” than they would pay in increased costs associated with the fee. When they spend this money, more jobs are created to make the products they buy. The plan provides the U.S. with the most cost-effective possible path for investment, economic development, and transition to a future free of carbon pollution.

When I describe this bill to people, they are astonished, think it a wonderful solution and wonder why they’ve never heard of it. Learning that such a solution is possible -- even currently in the works – makes the challenge of climate change less frightening and empowers all of us to focus on it and take action on climate change. We can start by contacting your Member of Congress and urging support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Lin Griffith

Oakland