Oakland must get tougher on violence
I love Oakland. I have lived here all my life, and I'm 68.
What happened in Florida isn't right. As John Burris said: The prosecution blew it.
Violence and vandalism as an aftermath was nothing in most cities. Oakland, yet again, suffered the most damage to innocent citizens. Why not San Francisco or Berkeley? Because they won't put up with unjustified destruction.
Why did our interim police chief not know that the jury was going into deliberation? Why did it take two nights of violence before our mayor reacted? Why was there only one arrest the first two nights? Why weren't the people who beat up an innocent TV cameraman arrested? Why is Oakland allowing degenerate lowlifes, most from out of town, to come in with hammers, etc.?
Peaceful protests are fine. But as soon as someone hurts someone or breaks a window, that's it.
Our mayor needs to get tougher, get Jerry Brown on the phone, call in the National Guard.
City officials must let our wonderful restaurants and businesses downtown know we will protect them and want them to want to stay in our fine city. So far, we kowtow to disruptive scum, most from outside our city, under the guise of free speech.
Much wasted on hall to be demolished
A recent article reported that Warren Hall at the Hayward campus of Cal State East Bay will be demolished.
This is the same Warren Hall whose top two stories were removed a few years ago to make it earthquake safe. How much did that cost?
A few years before the shortening, the building was remodeled and strengthened to make it earthquake safe. How much did that cost?
Now it will be imploded. Who were the administrators responsible for the previous projects? Will they now lose their jobs for wasting tax money? If they don't, I'd have serious reservations about giving them more money to spend.
Work for one-state peace in Israel
The two-state solution for Israel appears dead.
While Secretary of State John Kerry plays peace broker for the camera, more Israeli settlements are built and Palestinian land seized. Any American who has spent time in the occupied territories sees that Israel's demonization of Palestinians is fundamentally flawed.
As a psychiatrist working with Jewish Voice for Peace, I have interviewed Palestinians and learned the three-tiered apartheid system in Israel is even worse than apartheid South Africa or the racist South. Eventually, Israel must learn it cannot have it all. To deny that reality is to prolong the bloodshed.
Increased world pressure from the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement appears to be growing. Declassified documents reveal Israel's founding Zionists saw the "eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands" as unpleasant but necessary.
I believe, however, that someday Palestinians and Jews can face reality and choose to live together peacefully in one egalitarian multiethnic state. Meanwhile, American Jews and non-Jews alike should work to persuade the Israelis to renounce their childish and self-destructive wish to have it all.
State Fair must stop abuse of animals
On July 18, the national Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court against the California Exposition and State Fair and the Regents of the University of California. The charge: animal cruelty.
Despite major public protest, the State Fair continues to display pregnant sows confined in "farrowing crates," unable to turn around, barely able to move at all and forced to give birth on a bare metal grid with no bedding.
The exhibit is overseen by the UC Davis Veterinary School: Taxpayer-funded animal abuse, as it were.
Not only is this practice inhumane, it is illegal. California Penal Code 597t (enacted 1970) states, in part: "Every person who keeps an animal confined in an enclosed area shall provide it with an adequate exercise area." Farm animals are not exempt.
To my knowledge, no county fair features farrowing crates. Our State Fair should follow suit, and it should not require a lawsuit. Humane alternatives exist. The pigs (and the public) deserve better.
The fair runs through July 28. Let them hear from you: email@example.com
Coordinator, Action for Animals Oakland