I see politicians, mainly from the right, are pressing the president to authorize airstrikes to stop insurgents threatening Baghdad and other cities in Iraq. One question: Who pays for this? Since 2010, when Republicans won the House, any proposals helping the long-term unemployed or underwater homeowners resulting from the 2008 Wall Street implosion and recession have been met with a resounding no! Apparently their sympathies reside more with Iraqi thugs fighting a civil war than with fellow Americans adversely affected by economic events beyond their control.
G.W. Bush and fellow Republicans invaded Iraq and let the genie out of the bottle in the first place, costing nearly 5000 American lives and a trillion borrowed dollars, and now they want to do it again? Iraq is a tribal culture, where sectarian infighting has been going on for generations, and where, regrettably, many Iraqis seem to prefer killing each other over eating. Getting involved in other people’s civil wars is beyond foolish; it didn’t work in Vietnam, either.
The main question is why some politicians prefer getting involved in other countries’ problems while turning their backs on their own society’s problems. Why do voters keep returning these people to office.
Steve Bantly, Merced
Trains great now; forget bullet train
Our family are frequent users of Amtrak. What a great service! For $22 (senior rate) you go from Merced to San Francisco (then $8 for BART to SFO, $30 total; cheaper and in less time than you can drive it). Merced to Las Vegas is $57 in 7 1/2 hours, cheaper than you can drive it and faster! Merced to L.A. in five hours; Merced to San Diego in seven hours. Faster than you can drive it on all routes with a great club car, food, drinks and wi-fi!
As is, the trains travel too fast for me; scary and no seat belts. We hear of occasional accidents, but the train is still the best way to travel in California.
Bullet train? What for? In accidents, passengers will have to be wiped up with a blotter!
If a bullet train is needed, the route should be from L.A. to Las Vegas, and let Vegas pay for it! The bullet train has corruption written all over it. If it will cost $70 billion, how much is the kickback from the contractors to the politicians? Tie it to the 1934 Copeland Anti-Kickback Act, and put jail time with it!
They say the first bullet train leg is Fresno to Bakersfield? How can they beat the present two-hour trip time? Proves they have gone mad and they’re corrupt to the core!
Bill Burke, Atwater