Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday September 14, 2010 - 12:16:00 PM

The Bible 

Please understand that any distortion of the Bible where parts of the bible are picked out and place to suit the religion is not biblical. That is exactly what the Koran does. The Bible has specific warnings against the adding, subtracting or changing the Bible which is clearly what the writer of the Koran has done. ( Revelation 22:18,19, Deuteronomy 4:2 ) The Koran specifically denies Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Unlike the Torah which is part of the Christian Bible. 

Please be correct in your article when you try to link the Koran and the Bible. The Koran is clearly using some of the Biblical words but picks and chooses what to put in clearly distorting Bible. Primarily the denial of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and that He is God. 

Where burning the Koran is disrespectful to those who believe in the Koran, however those Muslim believers in Afghanistan cannot make any complaints about Koran burning in The U.S. because they burn Christian Bibles and our American troops cannot have a Bible of their own. Why then can they be intolerant of Christianity and then complain when other people want to do the same thing to their religion. 

Furthermore, if we stop to utilize our freedom because of Islamic radical threats and violent behavior then they have power over us. We need to show then they have no power over us. 

Milagros Perez 

Throwing in the reality towel 


It's been tough giving up my idealism, my underlying hope that the world can be made a better place if we just stay active and convince others to believe in and work for economic, social, and political justice. Even though there appears to be no perfect or near-perfect society on earth, it always seemed rational to believe that there is no reason why there can't be such a place. I was 14 when JFK was elected, and it was easy to believe that the world really could change for the better. How wonderful that feeling of hope was, and going off to the Peace Corps when I graduated from college reinforced my outlook that I could be part of that change. When Reagan was elected and the 1980's turned into a nightmare of wars and social injustice, I worked hard to change our country's policies at home and abroad. As bad as things looked, there still seemed to be a corner our country could turn to get on a better track. I think that may have been the last time I entertained any such optimism. The 8 years of George W. made me realize that there are simply too many Americans who fundamentally do not believe in the same things I do.  

Evolution? Hogwash. God? Everywhere. Climate change? A conspiracy of radical scientists out to dupe us. The scientific method? Out the window. 

The night Barack Obama was elected was a wonderful respite, a breath of fresh air after a near lifetime submerged in the pollution of greed and ignorance. Hope at last? Oh, how we wished it were so. But nearly two years later it is now clear that that hope was tragically transient. In these 20 months the world seems to have been turned back upside down. What has seemed perfectly clear, rational, and just is portrayed as the opposite by a Congress and media that seem absurdly Republican-influenced. The fact that Republican obstructionism in Congress can and might lead to Republicans gaining a majority in the next election is mind boggling. 1 + 1 now equals 3. 

With such denial by so many people that what is right in front of our eyes is not really there, how can my generation of activists hold out hope any longer? 

With fervor I want this not to be true. Please Berkeley Planet readers, lead me back onto the path of hope. There must be a way. 


Mal Singer 


In reading your 8/17 reader commentary by Richard Thompson titled, "The Unreported Consequences of New Trends in Graduate Education," I came across a factual error regarding Applied Materials. The last paragraph references a recent announcement that the headquarters of Applied Materials being moved to China, when in fact, this is not the case. Applied Materials, Inc. remains headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. While we do have an R&D facility in China, in addition to R&D facilities across the globe and here in Silicon Valley, our headquarters has not moved. 

Amaya Wiegert
Media Relations, Corporate Affairs | Applied Materials 

Social Security 

Seventy-five years ago this month, during the depths of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law one of the most significant pieces of legislation in American history: The Social Security Act of 1935. Not only did it create a government insurance program to provide incomes for seniors, it also set up a national unemployment-insurance program and provided aid to the children of widows and single mothers. Social Security was as controversial in its time as health care reform is today. Social Security was strongly opposed by the Republican Party and the mainstream business community who predicted that it would bankrupt the country and condemned it as a "compulsory socialist tax." The GOP candidate for president at that time called Social Security a "fraud on the working man." Some things never change. The GOP and Tea Party Republicans of 2010 are saying the same things, and some of these politicians even want to dismantle this long-standing and successful government program. Today, Social Security is a fundamental component of the nation's social contract. The lesson of Social Security at 75 is clear: Government programs that can rectify the imbalances of unbridled corporate greed are good for all Americans. 

Ron Lowe 


Building a mosque (or Islamic cultural center) near Ground Zero is a brilliant, Gandhian gesture, and one which all people of faith and conscience should embrace. 

Remember Gandhi’s, “I know a way out of hell” speech? A Hindu confronts Gandhi and confesses that after his son was killed in a Hindu-Muslim confrontation he wantonly killed a young Muslim boy. “I’m going to hell for this,” he tells Gandhi. 

“I know a way out of hell,” Gandhi replies. “Find a Muslim orphan, about your son’s age, and raise him as your own….except raise him as a Muslim.” 

In other word, the way “out of hell” is to live your life by God’s principles; dogma is much less important than the actions you take on behalf of humanity. 

Permitting a “mosque” to be built near ground zero signifies that a) Islam did not cause the 9/11 bombings any more than Christianity caused Timothy McVeigh to blow up the Oklahoma federal building; b) religious tolerance is a prerequisite to surviving in our multinational society; and c) that we as a people know how to look towards the future not the past. 

If we care so much about the people whose loved ones perished at ground zero, let’s get them the best medical care in America, let’s compensate them for their losses, and let’s do our best to make sure their children can grow up in a world without oppression or terror. Building the mosque is a gesture in the right direction. 

Larry Hendel 

Tax Cuts The cuts enacted by President Bush are set to expire at the end of this year. Republicans, led by House Minority Leader John Boehner, have called for extending the $700 billion in tax breaks for the rich. Not being discussed in all of this are two crucial issues. One of them is how much those tax cuts cost us. Basically, all the income taxes that everyone in America paid in January and February of this year only went to cover interest on the money borrowed for the Bush tax cuts over the last decade. Just interest on those tax cuts 

The second issue not being discussed is that this top tax rate, the two that President Obama wants to have go back to the Clinton-era level, they cut in at a quarter-million dollars and about $400,000 of taxable income. In fact, we have a large number of people in this country now who are making multimillion-dollar annual incomes, and we’re not talking about a higher tax rate on them. We’re starting actually at a very low level. 

And the very highest-paid workers in the history of the world, hedge fund managers, at least twenty-five of whom made a billion dollars last year, pay a current tax rate of zero. The news media keeps saying 15 percent. They pay the 15 percent, when they cash out, which could be decades from now. None of that is on the table. 

Ted Rudow III,MA