Letters from our readers: Newsom unworthy of columnist’s fawning

Thank you, Ken Garcia, for taking my mind off the really important issues of the day. After reading your Nov. 12 column, I can concentrate on wondering why Ken Garcia continues to fawn over Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Garcia’s notion that Gavin is finally now “ready to work” causes one to raise an eyebrow or two. Our mayor has been warming the chair in Room 200 for six years. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if — for once — he admitted his weaknesses and shed his arrogance?

Sherrie Matza
San Francisco

US can afford health care

Some senators worry about the cost of health care reform, but readily voted to spend more than $930 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Why don’t these critics focus on the fact that 35 million uninsured Americans will receive health care under the House legislation?

It is shameful that the United States is the only industrialized country in the world that does not guarantee health care to all its citizens. Americans without health coverage usually must pay upfront for medical care or go untreated. Many end up in the emergency room. The uninsured likely receive less preventive care, may be diagnosed at a later stage of a disease and once diagnosed they receive less therapeutic care and have higher mortality rates.

It is estimated that the United States spends $100 billion per year on the uninsured, often for preventable diseases that physicians could have treated more efficiently at an earlier stage. If we can afford two wars, we can afford health care reform.

Judi Iranyi
San Francisco

Lobbying war on humanity

On Afghanistan, the war lobby is trying to slow-walk us into another Vietnam. On climate change, the Petroleum Institute is working to forestall legislation that might cause “bottom-line discomfort.” On health care, the megawealthy insurance companies are arrayed against John Q. Citizen.

While we are preoccupied with these mundane matters on the planet, our attention is diverted skyward so that we might be informed of the imminent terrorist danger averted when a satellite was fired into the moon, forcing it into submission.

Mike Caggiano
San Mateo

Daly right about freebies

It seems to me that San Francisco politicians are wealthy enough to not need free tickets to sports events or such. And they don’t see that they are given “gifts” for the sole purpose of garnering favors. These politicians won’t police themselves, so we should set the standards for them.

Supervisor Chris Daly seems to be, at least from your Nov. 12 article, the only honest one on the board.

Kirk Ryan
San Leandro

US struggling to spend

That the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are financially unsustainable has been proven by the public hostility to spending enough to finance a respectable investment in our national health care.

Meanwhile, the Bush-Cheney administration’s debt — swollen by tax cuts to favor the upper classes while it started two wars “off the books” — has deflated the U.S. dollar 40 percent since 2003.

Al Ujcic
San Francisco

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