There are answers besides bombs

When the Syrian debate is framed as another Iraq or Afghanistan, the response is no military involvement. When it is framed as another Rwanda or Kosovo, then the idea of intervention is not as repellent.

But is military violence the only choice here? Aren't there any other tools in our toolbox? Have our imaginations gotten so small and constricted that we can think of no other options? And Syria is a lot like Oakland, the answer to violence by thieves and murderers is always only more violence, more police, more guns in the right hands.

I grieve for the thousands killed by gas and the hundreds of thousands killed by guns and bombs and the millions forced from their homes. I grieve for us, as witnesses, unable to think of any way to wage peace, in Syria or at home.

Lorraine Bonner

Oakland

Tolerance seems to be in point of view

I hope the paper keeps the Mallard Fillmore comic. There are some conservatives in the area, and it is nice to get a little cheer for our side.

Funny how some people get so upset with something that does not agree with their point of view. Sounds a little intolerant to me.

Patty Silva

San Lorenzo

Cyclists should have to obtain a sticker

We are none of us perfect. As a pedestrian I sometimes walk on the road instead of the sidewalk -- usually because cars are parked three quarters on the sidewalk, blocking my way, sometimes because the surface is smoother. But I know this is against the law on both counts, and I have already written to the police about blocked sidewalks.

It is also against the law for cyclists to ride on the sidewalk, to ride the wrong way down on one way streets and not to stop at stop signs. There are irresponsible pedestrians, irresponsible drivers and irresponsible cyclists. But many cyclists seem unaware of the law, and I was happy to see a Sept. 3 letter writer commenting on their dangerous habits.

How about if everyone riding a bicycle needed to purchase and display some kind of signed sticker indicating that they understood the rules of the road and agreed to abide by them?

Having to pay for something and affirm full knowledge of the laws they are breaking might remind cyclists to help keep our roads safe.

Mary Rosenberg

El Cerrito

Why don't you live in 'your' country?

In a recent newscast, a young lady expressed her displeasure that the United States is contemplating "attacking my country."

Like so many others who choose to come to the U.S. for various reasons, whether it be to escape political or economic oppression or just to avail themselves of the opportunity for a better life for themselves, she still refers to another country as "my country."

It seems there is no sense of appreciation for what the USA offers people, compared to what was available in the country from which they emigrated. Either she or someone else in her family chose to come here.

I, on the other hand, am here because my forebears survived the slave ships that brought them here. I have undergone indignities that she can never understand.

She was immediately accorded every benefit afforded by our Constitution the moment her feet touched our shores, benefits that took me five or six generations to acquire and which some members of Congress want to take away from people like me, today. But the United States of America is still my country.

I invite all who feel as she does to look closely at a map of the continental United States. There are four very large points of exit: top, bottom, left or right. Pick one.

Clyde E. Albert

Hayward

Must face global warming is real

After reading your article, "Global warming already having dramatic impacts in California, new report says," I'm scared and almost overwhelmed with the evidence that so much harm has already been done right here in our own state.

I think most so-called "climate deniers" are resisting scientific evidence because they are afraid -- afraid that it is too complicated, too big to face, and because they are afraid of change. It can be immobilizing.

I started small: changing to LED bulbs, emphasizing local and sustainably raised foods, and educating myself. It's getting easier to face head-on.

I was stunned when my 92-year-old, religiously Republican father not only watched the DVD "An Inconvenient Truth" that I'd sent him (knowing he'd dig in his heels if I confronted him again about his denial), he actually said, "I guess Al Gore's right."

We learn there are meaningful actions we can take; stubborn people do change their minds; and it's urgent we do something more -- now!

We can pressure Congress to pass a clean renewable energy policy, elect those who will, and help our leaders enact progressive plans locally in the Bay Area.

Carol Weed

Walnut Creek