The 'ice bucket challenge' is a waste of water

So the new trend now is to fill a bucket of water and ice, and dump it over your or someone else's head -- it's called the "ice bucket challenge." I understand that this "stunt" can raise money for great causes, but during one of the worst droughts in California history? As we are all being told to conserve water, countless amounts are being wasted on this idiotic idea. I'm not sure which is more stupid, the "ice bucket challenge" or the "fire challenge." Soon the "challenge" will be to find ice and water to put in the bucket in the first place. We're smarter than that, aren't we?

Kevin Moore

Livermore

Boycott of the Israelis is new anti-Semitism

In response to your article headlined, "Protest targets Israeli actions," this is an ongoing attempt to win the hearts and minds of the American public. These protests are a part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) global campaign trying to increase economic and political pressure on Israel. Their stated goal is simple: the destruction of Israel and the Jews. This is the new face of anti-Semitism. These BDS campaigns use heated rhetoric with terms such as apartheid, war crimes, genocide and the like to further promote delegitimization of Israel.


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These same groups that are looking to destroy the Jewish state also hate America and what we stand for. These BDS groups see Israel as the enemy and support Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and Islamic Jihad. I would like to believe that we Americans are not as stupid or naive as these front groups think we are. I would hope that, despite these lies, misrepresentations and protests, that we can still distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys.

Brad Lawrence

Pleasanton

Gaza's human shields going unreported

The infantry is known as the queen of battle, hence the artillery is known as the king of battle. In the combat arms, it is understood that the king puts firepower where the queen wants it. Furthermore, artillery is a high-angle, indirect fire weapon with which the individual gun crews never see the target they are shooting at. And despite modern computer-generated firing solutions one-shot precision hits are still elusive. The target is usually tightly "bracketed," and fire is directed or walked in by a "forward observer."

This phenomenon might be contributing to the civilian casualties in the Gaza urban warfare environment. Consider hostile small-arms fire coming from a building and the queen requests the king to assist in neutralizing the threat. And you have the hostiles sheltering with civilians knowing full well the consequences.

The nightly news shows the carnage and destruction but never a glimpse of the rats who have caused it and slipped away.

Bill Mallery

Pleasanton

Black-on-black crime far more deadly issue

Just exactly what do Ferguson's protesters want us to know? That they don't trust the police? OK. I get it. But if the black community represents 67 percent of Ferguson's population, what prevents this community from electing a black mayor, a black prosecutor, black City Council members, black school board members?

It's easier to embrace apathy and hope that the government and grievance industry will do for you what you're unwilling to do for yourself. Some in the community have suggested they'd be better off policing themselves. OK. Start by addressing the far more egregious epidemic of young black men killing other young black men, for which there have been more than 5,000 murders in the last 10 years in Chicago alone. The shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer was tragic. But by refusing to shine a light on the far more egregious issue of black-on-black crime, protesters' calls for justice fall woefully short.

Craig Peterson

San Ramon

Ferguson came from years of Dems' policies

The recent turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri, brings the Democratic worldview into clear focus. A big part of this "story line" is people are victims, not making bad choices themselves, and can only be "rescued" by the government.

Notice the news media reports the mayor and most City Council members in Ferguson are white, while the population is mainly black -- as if someone OTHER than local voters put these officials into office! We are informed that, for young black men in Ferguson, the "deck is stacked against them" -- exactly who is stacking the deck is, of course, never made clear. We are also told that "development has bypassed Ferguson" -- we all wonder why more people don't open businesses there. Just ask the owner of the QuikTrip convenience store, looted and then burned to the ground.

The media also conveniently fail to mention the high number of single-parent families (usually just a mother) in Ferguson -- where ARE the fathers of these young men out rioting? Oh, Hillary told us fathers aren't important -- only a "village" is needed to raise the children. It's all happening right in front of us, folks -- things aren't getting better because the Democrats keep getting elected.

Mike Heller

Danville

Freedom more for those who can afford it

Proponents of the recent Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College Supreme Court rulings have declared that "this is a victory for religious freedom!" Religious freedom for whom? Clearly, they mean the religious freedom of conservative Christian plutocrats only.

If Hobby Lobby were owned by Muslims, the case would never have made it to the Supreme Court. Individual employees have various religions, and all religions are supposed to be tolerated by our laws under our constitution. However, rich business owners now get to tell their employees, "We want you to help us make money. However, our God is better than your God, so we refuse to subsidize your sacrilegious personal behavior at home. In addition, we refuse to sign a form that will allow somebody else to do so."

Amazingly, this is now legal. Our Supreme Court has ruled that the "religious freedom" of employers trumps the religious freedom of employees. This is wrong on every possible level. We are galloping down the road to total plutocracy. Look for many more future decisions favoring plutocrats over individuals.

Grace Clark

Livermore