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Wednesday's Letters to the Editor

All about oil?

EDITOR: It’s obvious what’s going on in Egypt: The CIA is creating Egypt’s instability upon which rising oil prices can be blamed.

Sound far-fetched? Consider: The Egyptian military is the largest recipient of U.S. aid and isn’t averse to taking part in keeping the world’s economy humming.

It has a good excuse: throwing out a Muslim Brotherhood president. The Brotherhood has been banned from Egyptian politics for decades: It is anti-Israel and anti-West. Like the Taliban, al-Qaida and other Muslim conservatives, the Brotherhood has no place in a region struggling to fit into a singular global society which we are becoming and which is becoming “westernized.”

Since much oil comes through the Suez Canal, what better excuse for rising oil prices than chaos in Egypt?

We don’t have to think about peak oil (why else are we pushing fracking and mining tar sands, pushing electric cars and solar power?) that is already making economic recovery difficult.

Hats off to the CIA. It’s always thinking of our welfare.

STEPHEN BARR

Santa Rosa

Food stamps and poverty

EDITOR: Ron Van De Kraats (“Food stamp statistics,” Letters, Thursday) offered advice to a woman he apparently doesn’t know regarding how she should spend her government-provided food benefits while decrying the “large” percentage of Americans (14.3 percent) receiving food assistance, a percentage actually below the federal poverty rate of 16 percent.

He believes the number who truly need support is lower and that many receiving support are simply choosing to take government handouts, thus cheating the system. Apparently he is unaware of certain facts: 91 percent of the food benefits go to people living below the poverty line. For a family of four, that’s $23,550. Subtract from that number the average monthly rental for a one-bedroom apartment in Sonoma County ($1,000-plus), and that leaves not one heck of a lot for everything else. Consider also that average food benefit per person per meal is less than $1.50.

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