Good letters to start the year

Congratulations on several very meaty letters to start off on the year 2013.

I refer to Berkeley's Teddy Knight and Richmond's Ed Chainey and David Rohrer, whose triple-barrelled challenges to National Rifle Association dogma expose the reality that the NRA's historical inflexibility about all controls is because their so-called constitutional position is as fragile as a house of cards.

The NRA is in terror that any change or close scrutiny of gun controls will collapse that house of cards. Let's start a real grass roots campaign, not the Sen. Dianne Feinstein peacock feather.

I also agree with the letter by Dorothy Kemp of El Cerrito, in which she admonishes Gov. Jerry Brown for signing the texting-while-driving law. Bravo Kemp and shame on Brown.

Mitch Vanbourg

Berkeley

Leave Social Security alone

Inflation isn't the dirty word of the day as it was often in the past. Therefore, is it politically safe for President Obama to propose "adjusting" the index that keeps retirees from slipping downhill as prices creep upward ... as they inevitably do.

Evidently Obama thinks he's safe. Please keep in mind the drought that will make food prices buck and surge like a rodeo horse if it goes on or repeats as predicted by climate-change scientists.


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It may seem safe because the major media will downplay the adjustment, keeping most people in the dark for now. The president can then use this adjustment as a bargaining chip to get a deal going with the House right-wingers.

Well, I object. The inflation index needs adjustment all right, but not in the direction the president proposes. It just isn't effective enough.

Given the opportunity, Speaker of the House John Boehner and his capitalist royalist thieves want only to enrich their class and will steal from the poor, widows, children, the disabled, retirees, the ignorant, and the innocents. And they will continue to destroy the environment until there is not another drop of blood or erg of energy left.

The president is wrong to propose messing around with Social Security.

Terry Cochrell

Berkeley

Condoning violent acts

We live and raise our children in Berkeley under California gun laws.

We have an assault weapons ban. We have in place a law that prohibits the sale of magazines with more than 10-shot capacity.

We should voice our experiences under these laws as part of the national debate on recent insane violence. We should not be condoning or providing forums around the gun control issues for those deranged.

We should all be unwilling to condone the unbalanced mentality of a voice expressed in the Jan. 4 Letters to the Editor calling for anyone to be "shot down" who is a "known possessor of a weapon." That lead letter, with nearly a full column of print, was made available to call for the summary execution of "a known possessor!"

The Voice should not print any opinion that calls for violent acts and arbitrary non-judicial executions.

Vic Kley

Berkeley

Unintended irony, errors

Larry Waldron's recent letter to the editor, "Palestinians in United Nations," is full of unintended irony and errors.

The United Nations did not admit a Palestinian state to its membership. It recognized Palestine as a non-member state. If Palestinians bring Israel before the International Criminal Court, they have to answer for all of Hamas' random, unprovoked attacks on Israeli citizens and cities. Peace remains elusive until the Palestinians negotiate directly with the Israelis.

After years of refusing to condemn Hamas' serial missile attacks targeting Israeli civilians, the U.N. General Assembly mustered the collective will to pass nine resolutions condemning Israel in one day, while refusing to condemn Hamas, bringing the total number of General Assembly anti-Israel resolutions for 2012 to 22, anti-Hamas zero. Really?

For many years, Arab leaders insisted there was no such thing as Palestine or Palestinians, that the concept of Palestine was an illegitimate Jewish creation. Yasser Arafat agreed, when justifying his support for Saddam Hussein's invasion and annexation of Kuwait, declaring the borders between all the nations of the Middle East artificial and illegitimate, imposed on the Arabs by Western imperialists, and that there are no Iraqis, Kuwaitis, Saudis, Syrians or Palestinians. This didn't come from Golda Meir.

The Hamas charter states that "Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious," and calls for the eventual creation of an Islamic state in Palestine, in place of Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and the obliteration or dissolution of Israel. Is this a partner for peace?

There is one point upon which I can agree with Waldron. He feels that "genuine peace requires recognition of realities and justice." Does that include recognizing Israel and not calling it that "Zionist entity," understanding it is not going away, and that Palestinians have so much to gain by partnering with Israel?

Evie Groch

El Cerrito

Comic strip is offensive

I object to the Times' placement of Mallard Fillmore on the comics page. It is a political cartoon that belongs on the editorial or opinion page -- if you must publish it at all.

The Jan. 3 edition, which essentially parroted Tea Party claims that the mainstream media, such as the New York Times, are biased in favor of President Obama, was offensive, no matter where it appeared.

But my real objection is that young and unsophisticated readers are subject to this propaganda on the comics page, where they may be unduly influenced by the message of this right-wing political cartoon by reading it and thinking it is merely attempting to be humorous and entertaining, like all the other comics.

Stephen Whitney

Kensington