Officials owe voters clean government

The Alameda County Grand Jury's report regarding the Oakland City Council is a real embarrassment to our city.

After interviewing numerous witnesses and reviewing hundreds of documents relating to the teen center fiasco, it found that city contracting, purchasing and hiring rules were evaded and that one council member "inappropriately made administrative decisions throughout the process, often with the full knowledge and complicity of some city staff."

That council member is Desley Brooks. Brooks flagrantly violated the City Charter's command not to interfere with the operations of city staff. When the full council's attention learned about it, it refused to support a thorough investigation.

The grand jury properly determined that the council is unable to police itself. It urged the council to provide the Oakland Public Ethics Commission with the financial resources to fully investigate such violations and impose fines and penalties.

We agree. If there is one thing the council owes Oakland's citizens, it is clean government. Making sure the Public Ethics Commission can effectively carry out its duties is a critical starting point.

Gretchen White

President Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club.

Difference between abuse and neglect

I appreciate the outpouring of concern for the hurt dog left outside the Oakland animal shelter.


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One article said the dog was abused. I'd like to differentiate abuse, which is active and intentional, from neglect, which is passive and often unintentional. To me, this dog sounds like a victim of severe neglect.

When I worked as an animal control officer, I saw just a few cases of abuse, and several hundred of neglect. Often, the neglectful owner or a family member would finally realize their pet was suffering and bring it to our municipal shelter. But they didn't want to bring the pet during open hours, when they would be subject to an interrogation. So they'd wait until we closed and anonymously leave the animal in our "drop box," which was safe and secure.

The important point is that, despite the condition of the animal, the person who drops it off is ultimately doing the right thing, and that should be encouraged. Unfortunately, the trend has been to permanently close the drop boxes, so that today not one East Bay shelter offers them to the public.

If you want a wretched animal to have a safe place to go, or somewhere for a good Samaritan to drop off a lost dog or orphaned ducklings or what have you when the shelter is closed, please ask your city to reopen the drop boxes.

Perhaps "Marlo" would have been brought sooner if they didn't have to purchase a brand new dog crate to leave her in.

Karen McNeil

Oakland

Knuckleheads are messing up country

These holier-than-thou people crabbing about President Barack Obama spending too much money on trips to other countries make me laugh. It reminds me of when they went after former President Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinsky affair.

While screeching and yelling about what he was doing, they were doing the same or worse -- and got away with it.

It seems some of the nuts in Washington are falling from the same tree, but we are not supposed to notice. I think they get paid too much for being a bunch of knuckleheads and are messing up this country big time.

Dorothy Allen

San Leandro

We are all victims of mass deception

It's been said that if you tell a lie big enough and often enough, people will eventually come to believe it.

Today's commonly-held ideas that homosexuality is normal, physically and psychologically healthy, and unchangeable were considered ridiculous for most of human history, since these ideas are easily disproved for anyone who is willing to be the least bit objective and logical.

Sadly, though, most Americans today lack the ability to see the most obvious evidence or grasp the simplest logic if it doesn't fit the "politically correct" views that they have been taught.

These views, in turn, are based on the God-rejecting secular humanist philosophy. But Secular Humanism was admitted to be a religion by its leading early advocates, as the first Humanist Manifesto declared in the 1930s.

Wake up, people! You have been the victim of a massive deception and unwittingly indoctrinated into today's established (and, thus, unconstitutional) religion, a "faith" that is both self-contradictory and destructive.

Christopher Andrus

Dublin