God's wrath

Why is God punishing all those "good" Christians in the Bible Belt? To quote from an article on 12/1/16, tornadoes dropped out of the sky "adding to a seemingly biblical onslaught of drought, flood and fire plaguing the South." The author is onto something.

God talks to me, as he does to my hero Pat Robertson. He told me that he is beside Himself with rage at the pompous self-righteous hypocrites who call themselves Christians who helped elect a moral and ethical monster to be president. What were they thinking?

He said, "No self-respecting, devout Christian would support a totally reprehensible, irresponsible, defective human being such as he. He breaks My laws with impunity. He's a serial adulterer and philanderer; he is a serial molester of women; he's been divorced three times; he's a thief (forcing his contractors to accept less than they contracted for); a serial liar with selective amnesia; a braggart; a greedy pig; a sexist; a racist; a xenophobe; and an intolerant enemy of Muslims. Have I left anything out? He is by all accounts an unrepentant scoundrel. How dare they help elect this beast."

Wow, he's really angry. But, of course, he is forgiving, but it may take some time for him to work through his anger issues.

So, you all in the South should be afraid, very afraid. Don't do anything else to tick Him off.

Edward Weinberg


Blame the cows

Re: "California targets dairy cows to combat global warming," Daily Press, 11/29/16 ... 

California is really losing it.

So now, cow farts cause global warming.

California: the land of the fruits and nuts.

Algot Stephenson

Apple Valley

Mental torture

Please don't send any more replies to the author of "Assumptions," (Dec. 1, 2016). Even a two-month long running exchange went nowhere.

Each of his missives gives me a headache. I'm not sure I can take any more of this mental torture.

If you are going to encourage him, maybe you could persuade the editor to post a "trigger alert."

Gabriel Portillo


Big numbers!

We (the United States of America) are fast approaching total debt of $20 trillion. This is over $60,000 for every man, woman and child alive today — and seems to concern Donald Trump, if no one else. Big numbers have always fascinated me — and this one is huge.

Another large number in the headlines recently is: Wow, they found 650,000 e-mails on Weiner’s computer! That’s hard to imagine. I took a two-week sabbatical awhile back and returned to find 80 e-mails in my in-basket that I spent the next three days reading and deleting.

These people were doing over 650 per day. (My math is based on a four-year Secretary of State term, with 2,000 office hours per year, or 250 work days per year, or 1,000 work days total.) Surprising they had time to anything else . . . or maybe they didn’t. Hmm.

Ran across some salary information (more numbers, don’t you know) that I found interesting. It seems that the Reps and Senators (according to Dave Levinthal of the Center for Responsible Politics) are quickly becoming members of their own “millionaire” club. A full one-half of our representatives have a net worth of more than a million dollars — and some are worth a whole lot more.

Compared to we “deplorables” who make up 1 percent of the millionaires in the United States, some 66 percent of senators and 41 percent of House reps are in the elite of that financial status. Everyone there makes a base salary of $174,000 per year, but there are add-ons and perks that go along with particular positions. John Kerry, for example makes $205,700 per year as Secretary of State, and he’s worth over $230 million dollars. Darrell Issa is said to be worth over $300 million. Hmm. Obviously some came into money through other means, as no one can make those huge gains in Washington — can they?

After these moguls retire, or get voted out, they (mostly, according to Dave Levinthal again) join the lobbying pool, which pays them around $2 million per year. Not too bad, huh? For a part-time job after retiring? 

Philip Pederson

Apple Valley


I was an impressionable immigrant from Canada in 1966 when my Florida high school history teacher made what I recall was a simple but profound statement. Compromise, he said, is the essential genius of American democracy. I did not reflect on the irony of that lesson then. The school had only recently been integrated, 98 years after the Fourteenth Amendment had mandated equality and 12 years after Brown v Board of Education had discredited the concept of “separate but equal.” Perhaps to the whites in charge in central Florida, an hour north of Orlando, even this foot-dragging was a generous compromise between never and now.

Irony aside, that teacher’s lesson remains part of my understanding of how a democratic government must operate to be effective. Although I have been reluctant to abandon the concept that American democracy has so long endured because of an essential genius, it may be time to admit there is a different kind of genius at work.

The genius of the Republicans' winning strategy has been to compromise on nothing. No “yes” votes by any Republican on anything that can be associated with the Democrats. Depending on my former faith in compromise, I expected that when the Republicans announced this underhanded scheme eight years ago the inevitable struggles of the federal government would be blamed on the obstructionists who caused it. The Republicans would pay a price at the next election. But no, that is not what happened. Compromise is no longer a shared American value. With increasing consternation and bewilderment, I have watched a seven-year, slow-motion disaster spread its toxic poison across the country.

Compromise is currently the political equivalent of weakness. One cannot negotiate with bullies; one has to fight from a position of strength. An unopposed bully has no reason to compromise. The Democrats have been routed and only have whatever legislative influence the Senate minority gives them. For as long as they can, they must filibuster everything the Republicans try to do. Everything! No silly, weakling, oh-so-clever, let’s-invite-them-over-for-tea compromising. None! The Democratic senators have an awesome responsibility. They represent the last bastion able to defend the wishes of the majority of the electorate.

I am fed up with the genius of going high when the Republicans go low. It’s time the Democrats stop bringing cookies to a gunfight.

W. Peter Vanderlaag