Letters from our Readers: Money wasted installing new Muni bus shelters 

A new bus shelter is being erected at the cable car stop on California and Sansome streets. Surely Muni funds would be better used by improving bus service and not putting up “hip” new shelters where a shelter was already in place.

The old shelter was perfectly fine, and I’m wondering if more of our tax dollars will be used to put up new Muni shelters to replace existing ones. It’s a waste of money and another bad management decision.

M.B. French, San Francisco

Backward bicycle policy

Caltrain has proclaimed near-bankruptcy, but it continues to drive away customers by denying service to cyclists due to insufficient bicycle capacity. Caltrain chooses to run empty seats up and down the line instead of accommodating its most-loyal customers by adding more space onboard for bikes. It’s hard to sympathize with an agency that declares financial collapse but favors empty seats over paying passengers.

John Murphy, San Francisco

Poor foreign policy

Evidence mounts that President Barack Obama pursues a feckless foreign policy.

Obama’s naive promise of “open discussions” with Iran, North Korea, Burma, Syria and the Taliban yielded no results. Turkey, Brazil, China and Russia each delivered diplomatic snubs to Obama in his efforts at economic sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.

Meanwhile, our friends such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Honduras and Colombia have been squeezed. And our steadfast ally in the Middle East, Israel, had its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, subjected to a two-week public attempt at humiliation by Obama that escalated into a diplomatic crisis.

Now, Obama is in a war of words with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at a time when American troops are risking their lives in a conflict that cannot be won without widespread popular support from  Afghans.

These Obama administration foreign policy failures demonstrate both arrogance and ineptitude.

Jim Hartman, Berkeley

Cartoon gets facts wrong

Nate Beeler’s Sunday cartoon seems to rewrite American history. Originally, the Southern slave states wanted to count each slave as one person so the South would have more seats in the House of Representatives. The North and nonslave states didn’t want to count slaves at all, to prevent Southerners from outvoting the North.

As a compromise, the North and nonslave states suggested that slaves be counted on the census tally as three-fifths of a vote. The Southern slave states eventually were forced to agree. So it was not about anything else but congressional elections.

Robert Clark, San Francisco

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