Oakland A's shows it's a special organization

My cousin, who lived in Oakland all of her life, passed away last month of brain cancer. She was an avid A's fan and season ticket holder.

Someone must have contacted the A's to see if it could do something for her when she was ill, because it was just fabulous. Second baseman Jemile Weeks visited her at her home, brought her an A's jersey signed by the team, took photos with her, and visited with her for awhile.

I just think that was outstanding for a ballplayer to take the time to do this. Her family had the signed jersey at her memorial and the photos of her with Weeks.

It was so special. The Oakland A's are a special organization.

Joan Edgar

Santa Rosa

My Word author wrong about pepper spraying

I am deeply disappointed by the shameful ignorance displayed by the author of the recent My Word, "Pepper spraying of UC Davis protesters not wrong," of both the Nov. 18 pepper spray incident and the findings of Reynoso commission.

Contrary to what that author assumes, there were no vagrants or professional organizers at the Nov. 18 demonstration.

The pepper spray was purchased without department authorization and used in contradiction to the warnings on the can.

More importantly, there was no violence or threat of violence displayed against the officers.


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Officer John Pike easily stepped over the line of seated students, to get to their faces so he could use his spray. Nothing was thrown and no officer was impeded from leaving.

Citizens have a right to engage in public protest and civil disobedience. The police have the right to arrest them, but not to brutalize them because they find the time and effort involved in arresting them unduly burdensome.

If officers' legs and backs are too weak to arrest student protesters without excessive force, perhaps they should consider another line of work.

Colin Murphy

Former external chair UC Davis Graduate Student Association Sacramento

Language discredits writer of My Word

The author of "Pepper spraying of UC Davis protesters not wrong" thoroughly discredits himself by the language used in his My Word. He sounds like a talk-radio shock-jock, calling the demonstrators "scruffy hooligans," equating them with hippies, stereotyping the front-liners as looking like "vagrants," and saying police shouldn't "carry your sorry butt."

These words express contempt and condescension. He also writes that "The cop who sprayed the demonstrators ... was doing them a favor" since the only conceivable alternative was to grasp them with holds that have more painful and lasting effects than pepper spray.

Even if that claim were plausible, should we trust the testimony of someone whose comments reveal such disdain?

Amazingly, he says virtually nothing about the Davis demonstration itself. Instead of thoughtfully analyzing what happened, he calls people names. This is schoolyard bully talk. It escalates the level of invective, further polarizing police and protesters.

He wanted to show that police are reasonable and, of course, many are. Instead, he has laid bare the deep hostility that can tempt police to overreact.

Chris Schriner

Fremont

Yes, voters have often proven to be stupid

Recently, an editorial and several letters were printed regarding the shamefully insolent decision of shoplifter Mary Hayashi to run again for public office.

Each writing has indignantly, seemingly rhetorically asked, as one writer put it, "Does she really think they (the voters) are that stupid?"

Yes, she clearly does, as do our presidential candidates and so many of our senators, representatives and the rest of the people on all levels of government who pretend to represent us. The problem is that they are right.

Vast portions of the public and in many cases the majority, are that stupid, that uninformed and that apathetic.

The voters know more about "Idol" and the "Kardashians" and the "Housewives" than about the things that really affect our lives -- like education, the real facts about taxes, who really helps or hurts the 99 percent and every other significant issue.

Ben Franklin said when asked what kind of government the Founding Fathers had given the citizens, "A republic, madame, if you can hold on to it." We haven't. And how many of our adults even know what a "republic" is?

David Horn

Oakland