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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Letters

Re: “Letters for the Week of September 21

All the feel-good talk aside, Bill Bratton, who reduced violent crime by 39% in New York, believes in gang injunctions. He's been called on to advise the UK on their gang problem. Maybe Oakland should give him a jingle.

"As New York's police commissioner in the 1990s, the 'supercop' introduced a ground-breaking policy under which officers cracked down hard on even the smallest infringements to deter people from carrying out bigger crimes.
This led to major crimes falling 39 per cent, with murders down 50 per cent, during his time in charge..."

Read more:…

Posted by yoyo_guru on 09/21/2011 at 9:37 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 24

No, it wasn't and if you read the responses to the Amazon review, not by Amazon itself but by a notorious leftist hatchetman, you would see the nasty review itself was debunked.
But then the intellectually better thing to do would be to read the book itself to see the author's reasoning which led to his conclusions.
The ideological think tank is an academic institution and accredited in the state where it lives. It is no more an ideological institution than Harvard or
Berkeley or Yale or Columbia or you name it.
You have obviously not read the book because your last sentence totally gives you away. You give no examples refuting his copious documentation
and use shabby terms like 'bunk' to describe arguments that you have never read much less refuted.
Gintis is a longtime socialist so why didn't you mention his ideological bias ?
I've read books Gintis has co-authored with Sam Bowles.
If you look at the customer reviews on Amazon you will see where they were refuted as well as the customer refutations of Gintis on Woods.
The publisher is a longtime conservative publisher that has been around since 1945 and their sales show that they are anything but 'fringe.'
And what does one book on the 2004 campaign have to do with Woods's
book ? Every publisher puts out a wide variety of books.
What does that have to do with the price of tea in China ?
Woods is thoroughly educated in economics as well as history and this is not his first economics book.
Did you really think that you were going to impress with what you wrote ?

Posted by mike_hardesty7909a on 08/31/2011 at 6:36 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 24

Thomas Woods's book got pretty thoroughly debunked in the Amazon reviews, in particular a review by professional economist and UMass prof Herbert Gintis. Woods's degrees (both baccalaureate and PhD) are in history, not economics. He works at an ideological think tank rather than an academic institution. His book is published by an ideological fringe publishing house that is known, among other things, for publishing the thoroughly-debunked smear piece Unfit for Command (the **original** Swift Boating) in 2004. Woods's claimed "documentation" documents little, and his arguments are basically bunk.

Posted by Jim1967 on 08/31/2011 at 3:59 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 31

Prop 13 is supposed to handcuff government, that is the whole idea. The alternative is we get handcuffed by government for failure to pay ever higher taxes as was the case before Prop 13 or we just lose our homes.
A close friend in New Jersey just had her property taxes raised from 7K to 9K annually. New Jersey is a very high tax, high regulation state and she gets squat for services. Her power has been out since last Friday night and it may not be restored until next week !
She tells us that that is typical of the way most public services are run there albeit a little more extreme than usual.
I do agree with the letter writer that the public needs to stop looking to government for answers if they want lower taxes.

Posted by mike_hardesty7909a on 08/31/2011 at 9:19 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 24

Mr. Isacoff, we haven't had any anarchism so that is not the culprit in the current scenario. See Meltdown by Thomas Woods, Jr. for a documented
study of how the Feds caused the current depression by easy credit and an inane
Clinton era anti-discrimination law that forced them to give mortgages to unqualified buyers.
Both you, Mr. Zolno and Mr. West would benefit from reading Economic Controversies by Murray Rothbard, avaliable from Amazon and no sales tax !

Posted by mike_hardesty7909a on 08/24/2011 at 10:15 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 20

meant to say:...I don't think anyone would argue that the music is NOT one of the main draws, if not THE main draw, to the event.

Posted by yoyo_guru on 08/17/2011 at 10:18 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 20

Hooray for Debra Sherman. Boycott the Stroll. As for Krebs' statement that the Stroll does not benefit the merchants: the Solano Avenue Association states on its 2010 IRS 990 Form that the purpose of the Stroll is to benefit the "more than 400" merchants of the association, and categorizes the Stroll as "Fundraising." The Stroll generated $105 K in 2010, with expenses of $50 K and only $13 K for "entertainment," according to the association's 990 form. (Cain misstated that amount as $25 K to the EBX reporter. One wonders why.) I don't think anyone would argue that the music is one of the main draws, if not THE main draw, to the event. It figures prominently in all the association's advertising for the Stroll.

Cain was paid $55 K in 2009 and received a raise of $7 K in 2010, about half the grand total of what what the musicians were paid. It is mind-boggling that the association has not seen fit to throw a few crumbs the musicians' way. In fact, it's shameful. Cain and the Solano Avenue Association should hang their heads in shame.

Boycott the Solano Stroll.

Posted by yoyo_guru on 08/17/2011 at 10:06 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 3


Posted by mike_hardesty7909a on 08/03/2011 at 10:40 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 3

"College students should not ever have political say in the city they go to school in, unless they grew up there. You are a "guest" in the city. Get over yourself.

Entitled little sissies ...."

But, who will speak for the entitled little sissies? Should they try to find a wimp to promote their cause?

Posted by Lawngun on 08/03/2011 at 8:18 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of July 27

Way to hide the news of Ms. Swan's award. I think it's safe to come out now. Those creepy bawdy people are all gone.

Posted by Lawngun on 08/02/2011 at 2:18 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 22

There is no such animal as a cost-effective governmental program. If the need for adult education is as great as is claimed here, then let it be privately provided, by either a profit or nonprofit group.
Every time ANY governmental program is facing the axe apologists come out claiming it is indispensable, etc. If the idea has enough merit that a sufficient number of people voluntarily support it it will succeed.
If not, it shouldn't.

Posted by mike_hardesty7909a on 06/22/2011 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 8

pinball wizardry an almost extinct art appreciation gradually diminishing, in a rapidly expanding cyberworld of virtuality made mostly somewhere across the sea, magically appearing on shelves at the shopping mall filling the world with chatter more profuse than solid matter.....pinball machines employed craftmen to design the machine, carpenter the console, engineers hooked up the wire harnesses, made moving mechanical parts,
kept lots of people busy....
Ipods, tablets, Ereaders MP3 players etc, maybe a handful of guys get together in a garage, put together a prototype, grab a bankers attention, fill the garage with money, open up a factory on the other side of the world
keeping tens of thousands busy. The pinball wizards, with the magic gone, cant a find a place for pinball machines to call home. Alameda with its ghost naval base has no vacancies available to furnish the pinball wizard's needed space. the plan instead is to to bare no bones, in spite of todays housing markets Alameda's future holds prospects for stick and mortar homes....

Posted by RailTern on 06/11/2011 at 4:34 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 8

I agree with Lawngun's general philosophical comments about bankruptcy. Probably in a free society these laws would not exist because why is it moral for a third party to void the debt owed by the second party to the first ?
But government is different in that it is coercively supported unlike all other entities in society.
If bankruptcy is allowed for the city or any city it should be so structured that the city never gets credit again and totally lives within its then very constricted budget.
We all know the Federal Debt will eventually to be repudiated because there's no way it can be paid back and morally it shouldn't because some people have benefited from it while many haven't.
That the DC area is the most prosperous in the nation is because they are living off the fat of the land. I grew up back there and they really think that they are special but they are not.
Nor are we in the vastly overrated Bay Area.

Posted by mike_hardesty7909a on 06/08/2011 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 8

"Under bankruptcy, our debt obligations of hundreds of millions of dollars could be restructured."

You need to do a little homework on the City's debt and how it is funded. You will find that such a restructuring would have less impact on the current budget issues than you might imagine. Besides, bankruptcy has become an easy out for individuals, corporations and, increasingly, governmental entities. Who pays, when bankruptcy is declared? The rest of us -- those who believe we should be held accountable for our actions. Bankruptcy is for losers.

Posted by Lawngun on 06/08/2011 at 5:37 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 1

Sorry, I meant homegrown tomatoes. An unfortunate typo but I thought my meaning was otherwise clear.
I eat two small hardboiled eggs every morning as part of an Atkins type protein diet, which seems to be working.
Ok, I'll try one of those extra large eggs, just can't make it a regular habit. Thanks for the suggestion.

Posted by mike_hardesty7909a on 06/03/2011 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 1

What are "long grown tomatoes"? Never heard of them.

Seriously: who said these are mutually exclusive? Grow your own tomatoes (I do) AND get yourself some incredible eggs once in awhile. It's expensive but not a lot of work...

Posted by yoyo_guru on 06/02/2011 at 10:07 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 1

Almost a buck an egg ? 99% of us can't afford those prices. We have long grown tomatoes in our backyard along with corn and many other vegetables.
It's a lot of work but not expensive.

Posted by mike_hardesty7909a on 06/02/2011 at 5:12 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 1

Re organic: I missed the article but note Ken Ott's letter. Coincidentally, I accidentally discovered Alexandre's Kids eggs a couple of weeks ago. O.M.G. It was like the first time I tasted a homegrown tomato! It was like I'd never had a real egg before! The yolks are large and bright orange and thick and the eggs seem heavier than other eggs I've eaten before. These eggs are worth paying double for (which is what they cost). It's still less than a buck an egg. And I'm glad the hens are happy. It had been bothering me not to be totally vegan because I knew that even "free range" hens are hardly that.

Posted by yoyo_guru on 06/01/2011 at 10:41 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 25

University of California (UC) Faculty, UC Academic Senate, UCOP pitch in to curb taxes and increases in tuition. 10 UC campuses, UCOP are not untouchable. Californians face foreclosure, unemployment, depressed wages and higher taxes: it's time the Governor, UC Board of Regents, President Yudof showed leadership by curbing costs, particularly wages, benefits. As a Californian, I don't care what others earn at private, public universities. If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP should apply for the positions. If wages commit employees to UC, leave for better paying position. The sky above UC will not fall.
California suffers from the greatest deficit modern times. UC wages, benefits must reflect California's ability to pay, not what others paid elsewhere. Campus chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured & non-tenured faculty, UCOP are replaceable by the more talented.
UC eases pressure for additional funding:
No furloughs
18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50 million cut.
18 percent prune of campus chancellors', vice chancellors' salaries.
15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increased teaching load
10 percent decrease in non-tenured faculty salaries, as well as increase research, teaching load
100% elimination of all Academic Senate, Academic Council costs, wages.

Rose bushes bloom after pruning.

The Governor, UC Board of Regents, whining President can bridge the trust gap to public by offering reassurances that salaries reflect depressed wages in California. The sky above UC will not fall.

Californians are reasonable people. Levy no new taxes until an approved balanced budget: let the Governor/Legislature lead; make the tough-minded (not cold hearted) decisions of elected leadership. Afterwards come to public for continuing, specified taxes.

Thanking you in advance for advocating for all Californians, University of California

Posted by Moravecglobalebe on 05/25/2011 at 12:08 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 11

David Altschul's tendentious rant ignores all the relevant facts in the Palestine Dispute.
Jews have not been living continuously for '2,900 years' in Palestine.
The ancient Hebrews, who may or may not be descendants of the
Ashkenazim, had two small kingdoms over 2500 years ago and they
were shortlived. Ask yourselves what happened to the Canaanites,
Philistines (where the name Palestine comes from), Phoenicians,
Chaldeans, Babylonians, Assyrians and other tribes whom the Hebrew
tribes were encouraged to wipe out according to the Unholy Book
Of Genocide, aka The 'Holy' Bible of the Old Testament.
Ask any Palestinians living in Israel or the Occupied Territories about
the racist nature of Israeli 'democracy.'
The US has given a quarter of a trillion dollars (250 Billion) to Israel
in US tax dollars, mostly since 1967. The German guilt reparations
have also run in the hundreds of billions.
Whether Israelis invented the cell phone or some chip or the alleged,
undocumented advances in medicine and agriculture is totally irrelevant
to the fact that Israel was created by the expulsion of one million
Palestinians in 1947-48 and another half million from the West Bank after
1967 plus the numerous ongoing expulsions of Arabs from East Jerusalem
Altschul's crude racist invocations of his 'people' and their alleged greatness
is utter nonsense. There are no great peoples, only a very few great individuals in ALL ethnic groups and races. Altschul reminds me of the Nazis trying to claim Beethoven, Copernicus, Shakespeare, etc. Total hogwash.
No the hundreds of thousands of Arabs killed by Israel since 1967 and 1948 are exactly on the hands of the Israelis who killed them.
Altschul conveniently forgets that Israel encouraged Hamas in the 80s as an alternative to the secular PLO.
As the old UAW ditty used to go, you can scrub and scrub but you'll never get clean in a Kohler tub.
This applies in spades to the mindless US supporters of Israel who are willing to die to the last Israeli (and Palestinian) from their Berkeley Hills homes.

Posted by mike_hardesty7909a on 05/11/2011 at 9:10 AM

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