Once again, a mob drowns out speech

I witnessed a breakdown of city government at the special session of the Oakland City Council that was called on July 25 in response to the Alameda Grand Jury report regarding misgoverning the city of Oakland.

The crowd shouted down those council members they refused to hear, the council president was continuously interrupted and called a liar by Desley Brooks, and inappropriate remarks were made by Larry Reid.

In respond to the Grand Jury report, instead of censuring Brooks, everyone on the previous council was censured. It came close to a macabre scene out of "Alice in Wonderland."

The Grand Jury report faulted the city for not being able to police its own council members, and here it was being acted out. I don't see the Public Ethics Commission being able to do any better. We have open meetings so people can hear each other -- when a mob prevents speech, we have a problem. What happened to the rule of law?

Gen Katz

Oakland

Honoring all that is precious in this life

I love the article on kids. ("Should you have kids? Authors say to think twice," July 28).

The best day of my life has been the one I spent with my Mariah, now 21, driving Monterey way, singing and rocking out to "her" songs.

While teaching is my vocation, motherhood is my joy. And now, that joy is doubled by the fun of my 21-month-old granddaughter, who laughs when she sees a picture of her wrestling with my grandson, 3 years old.

I am certain I could have been and could continue to grow into a better mother and grandmother. I am equally certain that when we search into the core of our hearts, souls and spirits we all know best, upon reflection, whether our children are meant to be our own via our bodies and souls, or whether we are meant to give birth to a new sort of nation, a gorgeous piece of art, or the discovery of a cure for blood cancer.

All of us enjoy this freedom. Let us honor all that is precious in our lives.

Jeanmarie Ann Tarmann-Derry

Gilroy

Population bomb is simply a myth

It is all very well and good to decide carefully on whether to have children, but a few points of consideration were left out of the July 28 article, "Should you have kids? Authors say to think twice."

Who is going to pay the childless generation's Social Security check?

Are we to follow the model of the demographic bomb of Japan, where robots are to do the work of the missing young worker?

Are we to suffer as whole cities in Europe are now with no base to take care of the increasingly aged population? Are we to accept foreign immigration to fill the void the no child movement creates in our labor force creating a sea change in our culture, standard of living and way of life?

Yes, questions abound that the well-meaning Levinson couple did not apparently contemplate.

The population bomb is a myth. Several prominent studies have proved this. A fact to consider is this: The population of the world could fit into the state of Texas and not have the density of Manhattan. Feel free to compute it and see how unrealistic their premise is.

Dan O'Connell

San Jose

BART employee demands are unfair

BART station agents and train operators seem to be good and helpful people, but their current demands for a substantial pay raise, to be paid for by the BART district taxpayers and passenger fare ratepayers, appears to be excessive and unjustified, regardless of their givebacks over the past five years.

With the public paying for their health care, pensions and other unearned income, their current compensation is approximately three times the average salary in the Bay Area. Given the job difficulty and required educational attainment, is that fair?

Even more unjust would be the asked-for increase in compensation that takes them up to four times the average in the Bay Area.

Richard W. Smith

Oakland