Must run away from the violent lifestyle

I wish our young men would memorize this rhyme:

No matter what you have done, don't run from the man with the gun.

They will shoot you whether you feel guilty or innocent. While they think they stand for law and order, when the man with a gun sees someone run, instinct and training (and his own fear of guns) turns him into a hunter or a leopard. To run from the man with the gun excites his killer instincts.

Second, no matter how many songs, videos and movies show you otherwise, it is not beautiful to die in a hail of gunfire. Don't be tricked into thinking such a gunfight makes you a warrior hero. You are just providing entertainment for middle-class couch potatoes who are addicted to cop shows and their own violent urges. It's not even "real life."

A better defense is to carry a book -- preferably one you are reading.

James Eilers

Oakland

Dangerous situation must be changed

I go the farmers market in Centerville by the railroad station in Fremont every Saturday.

The only place to park the car is across the street from the market. That means that to get to the market, I must cross Fremont Boulevard using the one crosswalk available.

It is a horror story. On May 4, I tried to cross the street. I was standing in the crosswalk off the curb. Not one car stopped for more than two minutes. I finally made it over by running once there was a break in the action.

I have seen police stationed at that area and they pick off the violators and write them up. However, lately this is not happening.

I was furious with what was happening. I called Fremont police. The dispatcher said to call the traffic department during working hours -- i.e., the dispatcher could not be bothered with what I said.

If the police do not want to patrol that area between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., then I suggest that they put out portable speed bumps on the road with a sign telling drivers to slow down. An alternate suggestion: How about a camera taking license plate numbers of those cars who zip by while people are trying to cross the street?

The bottom line: Something has to be done before someone gets killed. And all this is for a box of peaches and a bag of kettle corn.

Bill Leake

Fremont

Must do better for returning veterans

I agree with the April 24 letter writer who states that the current administration wants to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but they always find money for illegal immigrants and not our own citizens. This is truly bad news for senior citizens.

But what's even worse is what our government is doing to veterans coming home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These people are American citizens who enlisted in the military to fight for this country.

When they get home, many cannot find jobs (this might be due to 11 million illegal immigrants), many become homeless, their suicide rate is higher than it's ever been, and they cannot get their VA claims processed.

There are 800,000 pending claims, with an average wait of 273 days; if a claim is filed at the Oakland VA office, the wait is 618 days.

Is this the way a government should thank its veterans who put their lives on the line?

What's the matter with our elected officials in Washington, D.C.? American citizens put them in office -- shouldn't their No. 1 priority be American citizens?

Bruce Barry

Hayward

Beautiful boy was invisible

Teresa Moses abused her son to death, but no one -- Raijon's father, Desmond Harris, Moses' friend "Sue," or relatives -- inquired about his whereabouts in all the years he was being tortured by his mother? Why wasn't he checked on?

If this woman was insane during the time she committed this terrible abuse upon her son, do you mean to tell me not one person noticed something was wrong with her? How could that be?

Didn't any of her relatives ever go to Moses' house? Harris said she kept Raijon from him for three years. Why didn't he go to court and fight it?

I read that twice in 2005, an emergency room doctor and Raijon's physician noted symptoms of past abuse. Why didn't Child Protective Services stop the abuse? Where were the social workers?

How, in the face of such overwhelming abuse and immense physical scarring, could a beautiful little boy's life go unnoticed?

We live in a society so concerned about not offending anyone that we don't dare question anything that might be suspect. How horrible that a child had to pay with his life for that silence.

Sylvia Carlson

Benicia