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Who’s in charge here?

Is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now in charge of our country (“Shutdown goes on as Trump offer doesn’t budge Democrats,” Web, Jan. 21)? Is she in charge of our government? Can she keep other members of Congress from trying to compromise? Can she alone shut down all negotiations? Finally, what are other members of Congress doing for the American people?

‘Freebies’ don’t grow on trees

The new Marxist arrivals elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 are interpreting the elections as an endorsement of their socialist policies. They have dropped all pretenses. There are no “liberals” or “progressives,” just proud Marxist-Leninists driven by ideology. The driving force of the Democratic Party is economic inequality, the argument socialists have invoked since the birth of capitalism.

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Grains keeping us fat, sick

Low-fat milk vs. refined or "whole" grains ("School lunch rules OK refined grains, low-fat chocolate milk," Web, Dec. 6)? Here we have a distinction without a difference, and that is the point. You just keep the public confused and you can keep the big bucks rolling in. It is laughable that the American Heart Association and the Center for Science in the Public Interest are splitting hairs over whole vs. processed grains. What do they think of the processed (chocolate) milk? Few people know that the USDA food pyramid is nutritionally deficient.

Nimitz's Pearl Harbor victory

For the Pearl Harbor attack, the 77th anniversary of which we marked last week, the Japanese forged a strategic weapon of six heavy carriers for a coordinated attack by 360 planes on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. Never before had any country executed and/or planned a raid by more than two carriers on any naval or land target. No inkling existed within allied operational or intelligence communities of a capability beyond the 21-torpedo bombers a British carrier had used to attack the Italian navy at Taranto. Pearl Harbor presented the opportunity for a strategic victory achieving control over much of the Pacific Ocean.

No tears for Weekly Standard

I applaud the demise of the "conservative" political magazine The Weekly Standard ("Weekly Standard on the brink: 'I don't expect it to exist' in 2019, report says," Web, Dec. 4). The folks who manage the magazine have for years stood in the way of creating better lives and circumstances for all Americans and have been most vocal since President Trump was elected.

Don't allow climate leeches

"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declares climate change 'the civil rights movement of our generation'" (Web, Dec. 3) underscores the planet's urgent need to halt, or at least slow, the dire effects of climate change. The point was similarly laid bare by both the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. National Climate Assessment. Yet the Paris Climate Accord is not off the hook, either.

Solution to Facebook 'monopoly'?

Lots of people do not like Facebook because of privacy concerns or because they think it is a social media monopoly. But there are currently no alternatives out there. The short answer regarding the fix is this: Congress would pass a law stating that everyone owns their own Facebook name and information, and Facebook (or any other new company) has to provide a network connection to allow other companies to import/export that information into the platform of your choice.

Antibiotics in food sickens

Rick Berman, who represents a front group that supports practices that harm animals and the environment, starts off his op-ed about antibiotics with a tale about romaine lettuce and E. coli ("How animal activists threaten animal welfare," Web, Dec. 3). He neglects to mention that leafy greens don't naturally harbor E. coli bacteria. It lives in the intestinal tracts and feces of warm-blooded animals. When cow, pig or chicken manure is used to fertilize crops or leaks into waterways, fruits and vegetables can become contaminated.

Make Congress do real reform

"Reforming our bureaucracy should be on Congress' agenda" (Web, Dec. 3) was a very good political commentary piece by John York on reforming the U.S. government. I would like to add another avenue that such a reformation effort could travel. In the 1980s the Department of Defense initiated the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) effort. The president named a nine-person committee known as the BRAC Committee. These nine people met, held hearings to get outside input and then submitted to the president a list of installations they thought should be closed or realigned.

Even France sees tax flaw

The "yellow jacket" riots in Paris over French President Emmanuel Macron's added gas tax demonstrate that many French who favor socialism, which results in monstrous government debt and high unemployment, are learning that the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's observation about socialism (it is fine until you run out of other people's money), is indeed a truism, not a quip ("'Yellow jackets will triumph': 133 injured, 412 arrested in Paris protest riot," Web, Dec. 2).

Left thrives on disconnecting us

Your editorial "Misery in the midst of plenty" (Web, Dec. 2) thoughtfully juxtaposes the vibrant American economy with our not-so-vibrant "connectedness to community." Is this not the irony of ironies: that what sociologists call the "crisis of connection" grows in tandem with the explosive popularity of online social media?

Founders didn't foresee all

The Founders intended for people to have "the right to keep and bear arms" in order to fend off a tyrannical government. However, they could not have anticipated the advances of technology (i.e., semi- and automatic weapons and beyond). Even if the latter type of weapons falls under Second Amendment rights, I would argue that future weapons of much greater damage potential would need government regulation. For example, a small nuclear or laser device that could destroy a city block (or a whole city) would be too dangerous for purchase by the average citizen.

Left's collusion verifiable

After listening to an interview given by Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia saying that President Trump will be abusing his power if he pardons Michael Cohen, a former business partner, I couldn't help but think there is a double standard regarding violation of our laws.

Treat intruders accordingly

No one has the right to enter your home without an invitation. In most states, a homeowner has the right to kill an intruder. Similarly, no one has a right to simply enter the United States.

Socialism was always unfair

The Mayflower, carrying 102 pilgrims and 30 crew members, landed at Provincetown Harbor off the coast of Massachusetts in November of 1620. Many of the colonists barely survived the harsh winters of 1620 and 1621. Many others died.

Left using 'Rules' against Trump

Has it occurred to anyone but me that for the past two years America's entrenched establishment has been using Saul Alinsky's tactics of radicalism to destroy America's duly elected president? Alinsky was the self-styled Chicago communist, activist and community organizer whose acolytes brought a young Barack Obama into the fold. He is the man who wrote the book "Rules for Radicals," which he dedicated to Lucifer, the devil, for being the first 'radical' by opposing God.

True purpose of amendment

I suspect there are more than a few Americans who do not fully understand why our Founders gave us the Second Amendment. Many seem to think its purpose is to protect our self-defense and hunting rights, but that is not so.

Revisit Trump tax idea

A problem that affects and hurts many American families is the high cost of a college education. I propose a change: Turn college student loans into college student scholarships so that one day, not every college graduate will have to start their working lives deeply in debt.

Time to curb Supreme Court

Although Chief Justice John Roberts may object to President Trump stating the obvious regarding the federal judiciary, it nevertheless exposes a fundamental flaw in our Constitution ("Judges likely to side with party who named them," Web, Nov. 26).

Taiwan wants peace with China

Kudos to the people of Taiwan for once again demonstrating the strength of their vibrant democratic system through a successful round of elections ("Taiwanese voters rebuke Constitutional Court, reject same-sex marriage," Web, Nov. 25). This impressive exercise has clarified the strength of their vibrant democratic system and is an example of democracy in action for the Indo-Pacific region. Equally impressive, however, has been the voters' expressed dissatisfaction with President Tsai Ing-wen and her party, not only for the sluggish economy, continuing low wages and wealth gap, but also the worsening of relations with China since she came into power in 2016.