Page One

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday April 08, 2003


Editors, Daily Planet: 

The following is a copy of a letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle, but not printed: 


Sunday’s (March 30) banner head “War turns to terror” struck me as a surreal joke. I mean, it’s terror all the way down when it’s your country being invaded by bomb-them-into-shock-and-awe techno-heroes. 

But of course, what you were trying to say was that the Iraqi side had started employing terror tactics. A suicide bomber took four U.S. soldiers with him Saturday at a military checkpoint. 

Just days ago terrorism meant the sudden, unpredictable and indiscriminate use of deadly force against civilians. In the interim, the axis of good has started doing just that to the people of Baghdad (as punishment for their inexplicable failure to turn against their government and hand their country over to us). So the old definition had to metamorphose.  

The times are changing to the Pentagon’s drumbeat now, and the words race feverishly to catch up. 

Dave Blake 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

I would describe myself as left wing, but I often find myself at odds with leftist Berkeleyans not because I disagree with their principles but because I abhor their practices. I mean, how can you tout tolerance and equality and not tolerate anyone of lesser zeal? The flag-hiding activity described in your recent article “So That’s What the Flag Pole is For” is an example of that intolerance. 

We should proudly wave the flag in front of our schools because the flag does not mean, “I support the war;” it means, “I’m proud to be an American.” Proud of the rights, opportunities and ideals built into the framework of our nation that I pledge to uphold as an educated and involved civilian. Our nation is not perfect, but to change it for the better, we must claim it as fiercely as any right-winger. 

That does not mean we can stoop to propaganda and one-sided education, like the right-wing government currently in power. The required morning patriotic activities seem like a perfect opportunity to get kids interested each morning and declare why they are proud to be an American and list the top three changes they think would make American a better place. 

Teachers may hear some views they don’t find palatable, but isn’t freedom of speech one of our most cherished rights? 

Jinjer Larsen 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am appalled that Fox News proposes to arrest as terrorists those who protest Fox’s coverage of the invasion of Iraq. 

The real terror in the world is currently coming from the U.S. and British illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, which can only create more misery and violence and hatred toward the United States, and thus more acts of terrorism in all their horror. 

In the name of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, I ask that Fox News cease and desist from painting those who want world peace as terrorists. 

Marianne Robinson 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

I recently attended town hall meetings for Congressmembers Barbara Lee and Pete Stark. The assemblies were mostly seas of older citizens. 

Yet in past weeks, I have seen thousands of young people flock to cities nationwide in protest of the current war and education cuts. Their energy and frustration is evident, but protests only go so far. 

They need to register to vote, research candidates, talk to family and legislators and explain their needs, desires, and fears. Last but not least, they need to vote. 

Two years of damaging cuts, eroding civil liberties, and possible wars led a dozen Bay Area Young Democrat clubs, including the Cal Dems, to decide it was time for students and young professionals to talk to their leaders and learn how they could make grassroots-level changes. 

As a result, the Coalition of Bay Area Young Democrats is hosting a summit where young people can get much-needed education and share ideas with activist groups and elected officials. 

On April 26, hundreds of young people around the Bay Area will converge in San Francisco, learn about the issues and develop an action plan they can carry out over the next year to influence legislation and elections. Members of Congress, the state Legislature and issue-oriented organizations will lead discussion. 

If all of those fervent young people who protest the administration’s policies channeled their energies through constructive means of participation, their voice will be heard and they will inherit a world that they create. 

To find out more about the summit, visit 

Rocky Fernandez 

Castro Valley 



The Berkeley Daily Planet accepts Letters to the Editor at Letters also can be mailed to 3023A Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705. Please include address and phone number for contact purposes.