Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday July 20, 2010 - 01:54:00 PM

Wall Street Crooks;Nuclear Weapons Are History;New Ghandi?; Loss of City Revenue; Deflation;;Down with Voting Machines ;Tea Party is even Worse Than You Think;End Corporate Influence;Reduce Oil Addiction through Livable Communities Act;Cell Phones;




Wall Street Crooks


Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to resolve a civil fraud lawsuit over selling a mortgage investment that was established to fail. It was representative of everything that investment banks, in general, were into for the last twenty years, but also because it was a special case, because Goldman is politically connected in a way that no other company in America really is. The penalty is only one-twentieth of the $10 billion in bonuses the firm handed out last year. 


     "I want to bet against this stuff. Can you make a deal full of, you know, credit default swaps, or a synthetic credit default swap, full of subprime-referenced entities that I can bet against?"  If you defraud somebody, just somebody off the street, if you’re a con man and you defraud somebody out of a thousand dollars, $50,000, you’re going to jail. I mean, it’s not like, you know, you’re going to have to pay the money back and you can walk on your merry way. That’s not the way it works. But on Wall Street, if you commit a massive crime, if you steal not a thousand dollars, but a billion dollars, you get to walk away from it.


      They began stealing from each other the things that belonged to others or tricking them out of some of these things so they themselves could have more. But there will be no escape for them as there'll be no place to go and nowhere to hide, as they can't stop the world and get off as they'll wish they could!


Ted Rudow III,MA




Nuclear Weapons Are History


Nuclear weapons belong to history. Whatever value they once may have;had is long since passed. The various devices are now points of terror;for every thinking person on the planet. They are potential tools for;terrorists and invalid tools for warfare. Our national leaders need to;make every effort possible to reduce and then eliminate the arsenal of;nuclear nightmare devices.;;


David Dresser




New Ghandi?


It may well be more difficult for Israelis to comprehend the idea of Palestinian non-violence than for Palestinians to do so. For many Israelis, the very thought of non-violent Palestinian protest goes so far against the grain as to be incomprehensible, lethally suspicious, a violation of a bedrock narrative. ;


In many cases, Israeli media have actively ignored or obscured non-violent Palestinian protest. Last month, hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians marched together through the streets of Silwan, East Jerusalem, protesting a plan by Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat to evict Arab residents and raze 22 houses for a settler-oriented tourism project.


At a time when use of overwhelming force has cost Israel dearly in its world standing, what will it take for Israelis to rethink the idea that what they have can only be maintained by force? A new kind of leader. A Gandhi, a Dr. King. The only way the Palestinians will ever get their independence is with the help of outsiders.


The U.S. never could have won its independence if it hadn't had the help of several other European nations, particularly France.;


Ted Rudow III,MA




Loss of City Revenue


In these tough economic times I find it strange that the city is so unwilling or unable to enforce simple business codes.


There is currently an empty lot at 1050 Parker street.  It has no permit to be used as a parking lot, in fact it has no current use permits. Cars parked on the lot have notices that state they are from the Zaentz Media Center. So it appears that the lot is being rented out as a private parking lot. Is the loss of the tax money of no concern to the city too?  The city has been informed and seems to not care. I first contacted them in mid June and it is apparent that nothing has been done. Gregory Daniel of code enforcement says that it will take months to look into it.  Local councilman Moore has responded only via his assistant Mr Lau that they will look into it.  


Meanwhile the lot has no drainage for vehicle runoff.  No parking barriers to prevent vehicles from rolling off the lot. It has uneven pavement, a portion is even unpaved.  In fact it violates at least 4 provisions of the Berkeley municipal code for parking lots pertaining to environmental, safety, and aesthetic requirements.


In these times of cuts to services to the citizens of Berkeley shouldn't the city be doing all it can to find ways to generate revenue?


How may of these unlicensed business operate in Berkeley?


Is it fair to those that pay for the business licenses to be out competed by those that flaunt the law?


I think a solution could be as simple as a reward to those that report violations.  A small portion of the fines?


Lets help to save Berkeley's small businesses and generate much needed revenue by just enforcing the rules we currently have.


Dave Juarez






In the great economic depression of the late 20's and 30's , they had no economic guarantees on wages.The auto business was one of the first places where people cut their spending, because it's a luxury to buy a new car. ;       It was a vicious cycle, a downward spiral that just couldn't stop, and industry kept cutting prices to where people could afford to still buy. This was the deflation. Inflation at home mostly hurts the rich, but it mostly helps the poor, except for those who are on set incomes, like pensions. That's why the rich are trying to bring about deflation. The very rich, however, profit from the deflation, because their dollars grow in value even though they're doing nothing with them.    ;        We're on a crash course to bankruptcy again, but they think they're going to patch it all up instead of curing the disease: which is that they're hanging onto their riches instead of putting them into circulation. In the past, deflation and depression have frequently led to a vicious circle of nationalism, xenophobia, the disintegration of states, and even war which is happening today.;Ted Rudow III,MA;Down with Voting Machines


We need to get rid of electronic voting machines   throughout our entire nation.  The recent election   in South Carolina clearly demonstrates how corrupt   electronic voting machines can be.  The Presidential   2004 election also had widespread reports of false   representation of our citizens’ votes.      


Mrs. Nancy Byers




Tea Party is even Worse Than You Think


   Hey Americans, get it right, before you make another George Bush   mistake. The   Tea Party isn't your "mom and pop" grass roots movement  they claim to be. The   Tea Party has racist and extremist undertones. Cases in point: The North Iowa   Tea Party from   Mason City, Iowa, put up a "billboard" that compares President Obama with   fascist and communist leaders Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin. And I am sure   most people have seen the grotesque signs at Tea Party protests depicting   President Obama in a negative light. The Tea Party movement flys in the face of   national unity and true patriotism.


           The Tea Party is not diversified like America, being almost totally a   "whites only" organization, and is composed of many of the same people and   hardcore elements who pushed the anti-abortion, anti-gay and anti-immigration   movements into national prominence. Nonpartisan the Tea Party is not. 73% of its      members claim afilliation with the Republican Party and will most surely cast    their votes for Republan candidates this election.  


         I have to laugh at the doubletalk that comes from the Tea Party: They   stress protecting the Constitution and restoring fiscal responsibility.   Overwhelingly Tea Partiers support Arizona's new unconstitutional immigration   law. And did you hear a peep from any of these Tea Party Republicans during the   Bush "borrow and spend" years of fiscal irresponsibility. The Tea Party wants to      put Bush-Republicans back in charge of the economy come November. We've been   down this road already and are still recovering.  


Ron Lowe   




End Corporate Influence


The DISCLOSE Act which will be voted on soon in Congress is an attempt to try to limit the huge influence of mega-corporations on elections. Now that the Supreme Court says they can spend all the money they want to influence elections and legislators, the only recourse is informed voters paying attention. The DISCLOSE Act requires the corporations to reveal their identities as the funders of specific ads and reveal their campaign contributions. This information is critical for voters to understand who stands to gain and who stands to lose as a result of certain legislators winning office. Please contact your senators and representatives to support this Act so corporations cant pour their money in secret.


Dr. Margaret Copi




Reduce Oil Addiction through Livable Communities Act


The BP Gulf oil disaster is a tragic reminder that America must reduce   our oil addiction. Transportation is the number one consumer of oil in   the United States, in large part due to our sprawling communities and   lack of convenient low-carbon transportation options such as transit,   walking or biking. The Livable Communities Act, introduced by Senator   Dodd (D-CT), would invest in transit in combination to compact local   transit oriented projects which create affordable housing, provide   convenient low-carbon transportation options, and improve public   health.   Our Senators should co-sponsor this bill because it will reduce   our dependence on oil and provide the above mentioned benefits


Roy Nakadegawa P,E.




Cell Phones


Thank you for your continuing vital publications for our education!   


 Concerning "Cell Phone Health Hazards" ( July 6, '10),   There is obviously no hope of separating this miracle-appendage from the human ear,  but I hope the same geniuses can devise a way to make the phone at least as radiation-safe (?) as a microwave oven!  


Gerta Farber




Limbaugh Lies


Rush Limbaugh, as a radio DJ, does a fantastic job of distorting the reality of what is happening in our society. Limbaugh's words and actions betray a malignant philosophy. The viciousness of his anti-liberal and "attack politics" shows the darkness of his character. 


What I can't understand is why educated, informed, responsible and wealthy people support an obvious demagogue like Limbaugh! Can Limbaugh's daily and deliberate distortion of facts, ridicule and name-calling be good for the nation? 


Republicans have put him up on a pedestal so high that none in the party now dare challenge him. This says more about themselves and their values than any spin they may put out. 


What a sad state of affairs when the "talking head" of your party is Rush Limbaugh. The extreme arrogance of this man mirrors the image of the Republican Party. 


Ron Lowe.