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Marin IJ Readers’ Forum for June 27, 2024

Marin IJ Readers’ Forum for June 27, 2024

Measure A funds should not go to Marin ranchers

I am writing in regard to Lily Verdone’s recently published Marin Voice commentary (“Measure A key to MALT’s agricultural conservation easements,” June 20). As executive director of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Verdone lauded the benefits of the nonprofit. However, I suggest that to make her description more accurate, or transparent, Verdone could have substituted the phrase “cattle ranching and dairy farming” for almost every use of the word “agriculture.”

From my perspective, MALT is, at root, a vehicle for the transfer of millions of dollars of public wealth to private ranchers in return for which the public receives no benefit. Given the pollution of soil, water and air attributed to cows, one has to question why public money is being used to maintain that type of private agriculture.

The use of Measure A funding has been laudable in many ways, but if it continues to be used to funnel wealth to MALT, I will vote no on Measure A each time it’s on the ballot.

— Bill Sutton, Woodacre

Educational opportunities better than reparations

In the last year, the California reparations committee has asked for a large budget to fund its efforts to decide the amount and basis for reparations to African American residents. This comes at a time when the state already has a large budget deficit.

I am against reparations being paid to people because of their ancestry. My Yaqui Indian ancestors were displaced from their lands along what would become the U.S. southern border with Mexico. They went forward with their lives, and I am not entitled to anything due to the injustices that occurred long before I was born.

It has been over 150 years since the Civil War resulted in the end of slavery (my family fought for the North). While slavery was evil, there should be some statute of limitations for the sins of the distant past, and I believe it has passed. Further, as California was a free state, I do not see why Californians should pay for sins that occurred elsewhere long before anyone now in California was born.

As I was able to get a good education and was inculcated with a strong work ethic while growing up, I have no need for reparations, even if I believed they were the right solution to past problems. While I am strongly against reparations, we do need to make a decent education available to those in the inner cities, who are condemned to the bigotry of low expectations in their public schools, and therefore left at a concerted disadvantage.

The keys to success (unless you were born to an extremely wealthy family) are education and hard work.

— Peter H. Behr Jr., San Anselmo

Role of president is to bring functions together

A recent IJ letter to the editor spoke of President Joe Biden as being ineffective, inferring that former President Donald Trump would somehow be more effective because of reasons I found to be unclear.

The role of the president is to be an administrator. Under the Constitution, the president is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the laws created by Congress. To do this, first and foremost, the president must bring the functions together so that they focus on the operations required to execute the desires of Congress and manage the day-to-day operations of the U.S. government.

So please, when promoting a presidential candidate, speak to the qualities and skills that illustrate their judgment and ability to motivate and lead skilled professionals.

On that topic, I’d like to note that the following members of Trump’s former cabinet — National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price — all had among the shortest service tenures in the history of their respective offices.

The people who worked directly for Trump, his “A” team of executive office staff, had a 92% turnover. They left in droves. Many of these people have written books about the atrocities that caused them to resign.

I can’t think of a recent president of this nation who has had such a dismal administrative record. This is why we have a pseudo party in this country who call themselves “Anybody but Trump.”

We must find somebody who can effectively manage and also represent the core values of the GOP, and I think a lot of the “ABT party” would pay attention. But, trust me, it’s never Trump.

— Kirk Hurford, San Rafael

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