Eric Tremont 
Member since Nov 1, 2007

Professional skeptic.

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  • OPD: Worst in the State

    Recent revelations about racism and millions in misspent funds raise questions about whether a federal takeover of Oakland police would be a bad thing.
    • Aug 8, 2012
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Recent Comments

Re: “BART Riders Racially Profile via Smartphone App

I think Darwin Bond Graham should interview some elderly African-Americans or African American adult women who use BART and find out how they feel about (for example) young African American men who play loud music on their portable electronic devices, who stretch their legs out on seats when trains are extremely crowded during peak commute hours, or who use foul language while talking to their friends. Nobody is suggesting that BART police necessarily need to arrest lots of people to maintain civility, but BART needs to have someone admonish people (of any race or social class) when they violate the rules and perhaps issue a citation if they refuse to cease their rude behavior.

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Eric Tremont on 08/08/2015 at 8:36 AM

Re: “Austerity's Champion

This article omits several important facts:

1. Pension plan obligations have played a major role in the recent municipal fiscal crises experienced by Vallejo, Stockton, and San Bernardino, and they pose a serious threat to Los Angeles’ city government finances. Furthermore, most of the additional money that the Governor and state legislature recently agreed to give the University of California will be used to shore up its employee pension plan rather than lower tuition fees or expand enrollment. Also, public teacher pension plans in California have huge unfunded liabilities (much worse than CALPERS). The high cost of retirement benefits for law enforcement personnel is a major reason why the city of Oakland finds it so difficult to hire and deploy more police officers in one of the most violent cities in America.

2. Most local and state retirement programs finance retiree health benefits on a pay-as-you-go basis---those programs are probably in worse financial shape than the pension plans.

3. Even when pension plans are fully funded that does not necessarily imply that they pose no fiscal burden. For example, the city and county of San Francisco has a relatively well funded plan, but for decades the cost of funding its pension and retiree health benefit plan has crowded out badly needed improvements to the city’s infrastructure.

26 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Eric Tremont on 06/18/2015 at 8:00 AM

Re: “NYT’s Maureen Dowd Is Either An Idiot or a Provocateur — Maybe Both

David Downs is the idiot. If somebody wants to purchase pot and put it into a candy bar or home baked brownies for their personal consumption, fine with me. But is reckless to allow pot shops to market candy bars and similar items to unsuspecting recreational drug users. Around 20 years ago the Federal government banned the use of childrens' cartoon characters in the marketing of tobacco products, state authorities should probhit the sale of the candy and baked goods made with pot for the same reason, i.e., it sends the wrong message to children as well as inexperienced adult drug users like Dowd.

7 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Eric Tremont on 06/05/2014 at 12:32 PM

Re: “OPD Still Targeting Black Residents

As usual, total nonsense from Mr. Gammon. This issue was debunked years ago.…

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Eric Tremont on 03/28/2014 at 11:47 AM

Re: “Taggers by Night, Muralists by Day

Only the East Bay Express would have us believe that extortion can be disguised as "restorative justice." I'd be willing to wager $20 that if I vandalize Robert Gammon's automobile, he won't be willing to pay me to repair the damage.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Eric Tremont on 12/22/2013 at 4:22 PM

Re: “The Real Purpose of Oakland's Surveillance Center

Mr. Kurtz is on target---the hypocrisy of the people who are agitated by the proposed DAC is breathtaking. You can be sure that if an extremist anti-abortion group (for example) was threatening to block access to an abortion clinic in Oakland or threatening violent tactics against the clinic's security guards, pro-choice organizations, the East Bay Express, and the insufferable Dan Siegel would all demand that law enforcement authorities monitor the group's use of social media in order to prevent chaos, mayhem, and women's access to abortion services.

13 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Eric Tremont on 12/19/2013 at 2:14 PM

Re: “The Real Purpose of Oakland's Surveillance Center

The extremist elements of Occupy Oakland and other left-wing protest groups typically seek to provoke an extreme reaction from law enforcement in Oakland , and they are gleeful when it happens---lawlessness is their brand. I hope these people are under constant surveillance when they are planning protests that threaten public safety.

15 likes, 32 dislikes
Posted by Eric Tremont on 12/18/2013 at 6:44 PM

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