Dog rage case captures headlines
Same day cases of two criminals showed unequal justice and unbalanced news coverage. Sadly, they apparently reflect the fact that in our warped society cute little dogs are more important than vulnerable women and children. Subsequent information indicates that donations in dog cases attract more donors than cases involving children and other innocent crime victims. The rest of the civilized world is aware of our distorted values. I am one of many decent Americans who are offended by these trends.
The road rage dog killer’s conviction made front page headlines in major newspapers. Back pages reported the criminally worse Berkeley landlord who imported teenage girls for sex. Proudly, Berkeley Daily Planet provided more balanced coverage.
A pregnant teenage victim died. The lenient sentence is another affront to the numerous victims and U.S, laws. Lakireddy Bali Reddy committed innumerable crimes in America, for over 20 years, of rape and exploitation of women, children and workers from his native India. He has chronically violated tax, labor, visa and immigration laws plus committed countless sex crimes. He is an habitual, serial rapist and pedofile. His Berkeley rental real estate empire is worth over $50 million. This is only a portion of his vast wealth. The fines and prison time should fit the serious crimes.
Two million dollars and 97 months is not justice. The creepy dog killer deserves 36 months.
Unfortunately, Federal Prosecutor John Kennedy appears to have been influenced by Reddy’s wealth and high-priced attorneys. Conscientiously, Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong addressed the leniency. Her hands were tied by Kennedy’s dubious reluctance to fully prosecute, and rigid sentencing guide lines. She lengthened the sentence because of; (1) terrible harm to some of the younger victims; (2) efforts of Reddy to tamper with witnesses. Reddy’s light sentence probably won’t be fully served. He’ll likely be allowed to serve time at Club Fed, Lompac, the plushest of U.S. prisons. The defense sought and defended leniency because Reddy reluctantly apologized and at 64 and will be over 70 when probationed. This greedy pervert showed no mercy to his frightened, young, vulnerable, defenseless, powerless and impoverished victims. Ironically, the judge took into account Reddy’s philanthropy. He donated schools and other good deeds to the village where the exploited victims, who’s victimhood subsidized his wealth, came from.
This case is another deplorable example of a wealthy criminal influencing the judicial system. Yet another case of under prosecuted abuse and exploitation of women and children by a rich, male criminal in our all too sexist and racist society. But the vile killing of a pet is more news worthy. Double shame.
Carol Gesbeck DeWitt
Sewer spills do real creek damage
Opponents of the Beth-El relocation project declare their concern with the construction on Codornices Creek. They might better concern themselves with the city sewer system, which allows raw sewage to discharge into Codornices Creek and other waterways in the surrounding hill area. Fish cannot spawn in contaminated water.
The city has systematically looted sewer funds over the years, leaving citizens with a poorly functioning, polluting sewer system. Now City Hall suggests that the sewer tax be raised 3 percent to cover the shortfall.
Let’s just say that if the tax money were spent as intended by the voters we would have functioning sewers and cleaner creeks. The argument against the relocation of Beth-El might then be less specious.
Enron fries state
Confused by the good cop act of Pat Wood, new powerhouse on FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)? Look at it this way: the Enron-brokered fix is in.
The Bush gang realized that the generators went too far and a revolution had begun. California has established a statewide public Power Authority, cities are looking into municipal power (even in Republican Orange and San Diego Counties) , State officials are suing and sounding almost serious about seizing plants and jailing executives. Jeffords jumps ship - and everywhere, States put deregulation on hold.
Suddenly, there’s Wood, hand-picked by Enron, announcing something sort of like price controls - and the media declares a Davis victory. But to see who’s really winning, notice how Davis and Enron want so many of the same things:
Preserve deregulation, just “make it more fair.” Enron’s middleman “marketer” business - buy and sell anything, anywhere, to anyone - only works in deregulated markets. Davis pretends deregulation is irreversible.
Enron’s had a field day for the past year, but now it’s time to move on to the next scam. CEO
Ken Lay has engineered a strong-sounding FERC for the same reasons the most powerful electricity company of 1903 invented state Public Utility Commissions (PUCs) and convinced fellow gougers to play along:
• to protect investor-owned companies from public power. Outraged at the high rates and low tricks of profit-mad companies, many cities established non-profit municipal utilities, which provided more reliable power for 50 percent lower rates;
• to protect investor-owned companies from each other, reducing ruinous competition that caused wild price swings, disrupted service and drove some companies into bankruptcy (note: this didn’t work with the weak regulation of 1903 and it won’t work now);
• because regulators would always be just paper tigers, easily manipulated, no match for wealthy energy companies.
Stamp out environmental restrictions. Strip away our power to stop construction of power plants and transmission lines. Force us to accept dirty air.
BUILD MORE GAS-FIRED POWER PLANTS! Davis has signed long-term contracts that lock California into a whole new generation of gas-fired power. Energy gougers will make way more than “market rates” for years to come; Wall Street and Bechtel will get a big cut of this bonanza.
Forget energy efficiency. Davis claims to promote energy efficiency, while eliminating the most effective programs.
Build huge centralized power plants, maintaining firm control of energy in very few corporate hands. Postpone adoption of “distributed generation” (aka “self-generation” - small-scale power sources located at point of use) such as “cogeneration” (using waste heat from factories to generate electricity), fuel cells, rooftop solar panels or microturbines (small, gas-fired generators). Begin a vast expansion of the grid - more high-voltage lines and towers - even though a lot of power is lost in transmission. Excess transmission capacity benefits marketers like Enron.
Co-opt the “renewable energy” crowd. Rooftop solar will not be an option, but Enron’s talking wind farms in California and Duke’s planning high-tech solar installations in the desert. Both fit in with long-distance transmission and centralized control. (Strange as it may seem, Texas now leads the nation in wind energy.) One of the great mysteries of the year is why Davis hardly ever mentions renewable energy. Does he think Duke and Enron are enough?
Davis’ favorite sayings: “Get the State out of the power business” and “Get California utilities back in business” are not the comments of a man committed to making the most of the State Power Authority.
But we have one now. And now, more than ever: we need public power, lower rates, clean air and water, jobs and money stay in the community.
Barbara George, director Women’s Energy Matters
clutches of the energy corporations. Begin a vast expansion of the grid, more high-voltage lines and towers rammed through by sweeping powers of eminent domain. Excess transmission capacity benefits marketeers like Enron.
Coopt the “renewable energy” crowd. Rooftop solar will not be an option, but Enron’s talking wind farms in California and Duke is planning huge high-tech solar installations in the desert. Both fit in with long-distance transmission and centralized control. (Strange as it may seem, Texas now leads the nation in wind energy.)
Davis’ favorite sayings: “Get the State out of the power business” and “Get California utilities back in business” are not the comments of a man committed to a State Power Authority. But we have one now. And that could make all the difference.
By Barbara George, Director of Women’s Energy Matters