Joshua Kinch's letter to the Journal (July 30) was very enlightening. I can't believe how misinformed I was! I thought the increase in unwed mothers might have been related to Reagan-era regulations (continued by both Bushes) restricting education about and distribution of birth-control technologies, and limited teaching about human reproduction in public schools. Gee. Thanks for clearing it up: It was the powerful people who run the Welfare System (er, who would that be, exactly?).

I'm also grateful that he's worrying about disenfranchising the minority in the legislature if we should eliminate the 2/3 majority requirement for budget votes. I think we need to be more respectful of our minority communities.

And the initiative process! I thought major organizations and corporations were taking over our democracy with their million-dollar media campaigns directed at the TV-watching public. But you remind me -- and thanks! -- that it's really a grassroots mechanism by which everyday citizens like me make law.

Hey what about those foreigners receiving social services! All those highly paid gardeners and dishwashers and toilet-scrubbers (not to mention the arthritic field workers picking our food) who would be way better off in their tubercular misery incubating disease for the rest of us to succumb to as we come into contact with everything they provide for us. God forbid we should be spending money on keeping working people healthy. Though last time I looked, most of the people I see on the unemployment line and in the child welfare office look like my white, English-speaking family members, so maybe I'm confused about what social services you are referring to.

Thanks too for clearing up that highly paid teacher thing. You know, I thought it was President Bush's ill-advised No Child Left Behind initiative that brought our school performance low by forcing teachers to transmit a very narrow range of information that was geared to raising standardized test scores rather than teaching children how to think and operate competitively in the fast-changing world economy. I had no idea it was those lazy, self-obsessed teachers just sitting around on their cellphones while their students run amok or surf porn sites on their classroom computers. I'm so glad to know who's really responsible for students deciding that school is a complete waste of their lives!

But oh, my! The police department is responsible for the War on Drugs! I have been thinking that this too was a Reagan design, passed down through the Bushes and Clintons. I had no IDEA it was our very own police department! I must get more involved in my local politics. I'm also really glad someone finally identified the Department of Fish and Game as the culprits in the missing fish runs. I've been thinking that decades of rampant logging, irrational damming projects and industrial pesticides were likely responsible for the fish dying off. How could I have been so STUPID? It must have been that liberal arts education that I paid so much for. Thank you for showing me the truth, Josh, I've been in the dark far too long.

Janette Marie Bramlett, Arcata

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