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Eric Anderson, Albany
"The GOP Is Toxic in California," Seven Days, 12/1
We're Against Immigrants, Not Latinos
I believe the article concerning the GOP's toxic image in California was decent, however its lack of detail concerning IDs in Oakland, and its apparent failure to accurately depict the GOP ultimately watered down the power of the story.
First of all, the article failed to specify how making IDs more readily available was going to increase cooperation of individuals with Oakland police. After all, when crimes are committed, the criminals do not leave behind their IDs at the scene of the crime.
My second problem with the article was that it stated the GOP was anti-Latino. I think that Republicans all over the nation deserve an apology. By saying the GOP is "anti-Latino" one implies that Republicans are "anti-Latino." This is simply not true and gives Republicans the image of being racist. In actuality the Republican Party simply is in favor of stricter imigration laws. Latinos are a majority of immigrants in the US, and for this reason anti-immigration laws seem to target them. One can understand the Latino backlash against the GOP, but to state that the GOP is "anti-Latino" is a misinformation, and should promptly be denounced in the next "Letter to the Editor" section.
Paul Nnaoji, Moraga
Quan's Undocumented Parking
According to the East Bay Express the City of Oakland will soon begin issuing municipal identification cards to "immigrants" (aka, illegal aliens). Also noted was that Mayor Elect Jean Quan's Prius was booted because the car allegedly had more than $1,000 in parking tickets.
Oakland is a Sanctuary City; Quan shouldn't be made to comply with pesky parking laws. Moreover, the new mayor doesn't have a illegal parking problem; she has an undocumented parking problem. She just needs the benefit of the Dream Act and amnesty so she and her Prius can come out of the shadows.
Wanda Gomez-Berger, El Cerrito
Republicans Are Nicer
Has anyone noticed that California, full of Democrats, has been going downhill the last thirty years? Imagine, North Dakota has better education (for less money), more jobs, and nicer people (Republicans). Just an observation.
Gary Baker, San Leandro
Editor's Note, Letters, 12/1
RCV Isn't the Same as a Run-Off
Objections to RCV cannot be dismissed as easily as the editor suggests. RCV differs from a run-off in that only the losers get to vote again. In this case, the preferences of Perata voters as between Quan and Kaplan are never counted. It's quite possible that Perata or indeed Kaplan might have won had the second-choice votes of all three (not just those of Kaplan) been allocated when the field was reduced to the final three. RCV differs from a run-off as well in that RCV allows the third-place finisher to win, as could have occurred in this case.
It's also not obvious that the second choices of fourth-place voters (and beyond) should be allowed to determine the result. Arguably, a system that records only three preferences should preclude the fourth-place candidate from either winning the election (as occurred in the case of Ed Jew in San Francisco) or influencing the outcome. Perverse results are possible in any voting system, but this case illustrates Condorcet's paradox that the result in a three-way race may depend on the order of voting rather than on underlying preferences.
Robert Denham, Berkeley
"A Police State," Letters, 11/10
Burris, the Ambulance Chaser
"Ask John Burris about his experiences suing the city of Oakland et al."Speaking of ambulance chasers, I wouldn't ask Burris a thing. He's the biggest ambulance chaser in the East Bay. He just happens to masquerade as the poor people's savior with promises of a lotto payday. He's gotten very rich in the process.
Judi Sierra, Oakland
"A New Look at Recovered Memories," News, 11/24
Parents Thanks Maran
A first-class summary of the issues and of the book. Her quote from Prof. Gardiner has the ring of truth about it: "The simple solution is very attractive. ... You're thirty-five or forty and your life is all screwed up and someone offers this very simple solution: 'Ah, I never realized that I was sexually abused. That explains it all! It's a simple answer for the therapist as well as the patient."
Accused parents around the world (I write from England) will thank Meredith Maran for her testimony — and hope it will stir a spirit of questioning in their loved ones who have become estranged.
Although the phenomenon of recovered "memory" is linked to the 1980s, its effects continue to reverberate among thousands of families.
Norman Brand, Thame, Oxfordshire, England
Lying About Lies
The My Lie story keeps changing, so it's hard to know what's true and what's false. For example, at the Examiner.com blog on 11/29 (extended interview) she says: "In the writing of the book, for example, I was going back-and-forth between the warring sides. I spoke at length with both Pam and Peter Freyd, who are the founders of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and I also spoke at length with their daughter with whom they are estranged. So I would listen to Jennifer Freyd tell me her version of what had happened in her family, and I would listen to Pam and Peter — Pam, in most cases — tell me what she believed. And they were opposite. It was challenging, but it was the point of the book to sit with the reality that each presented to me, and make peace with that myself."
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