Media keeping quiet on drone strikes
Both print and broadcast media have feted Malala Yousafzai during her visit to the United States; and with good reason: Just a year ago she barely survived a Taliban assassination attempt in her homeland of Pakistan. The Taliban wanted to silence her advocacy on behalf of education for all, especially girls like her.
Mainstream media have carefully suppressed, however, Malala's advocacy here against American drone attacks in her homeland. After her meeting with President Barack Obama, she summarized, "I thanked President Obama for the United States' work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education, it will make a big impact."
The Taliban didn't want Malala to say anything they didn't want to hear. Apparently, we don't either. Our methods may be less vicious, but the effect -- and the insult -- are the same.
BART management to blame for strike
The recent editorial counseling BART to "hold firm on work rules" is way off the mark.
It completely failed to mention that the union was willing to submit the issue of the work rules to binding arbitration. Since all the economic issues (wages, benefits, etc.) were already settled, this was a reasonable position that would have avoided a strike.
BART management's reaction was to reject this proposal, instead demanding that all issues, including what had already been settled, be sent to binding arbitration. This was a completely unreasonable position, forcing the union to strike.
My question, given this: Was BART management really interested in a reasonable settlement or was it more interested in provoking a strike in the hopes of breaking the union? Their actions tell me it is the latter, not the former. Blame BART management for the strike, not the union.
Victor R. Ochoa
Quan has done many things for Oakland
Mayor Jean Quan has done a remarkable job against many odds, and Oakland is a better place as a result of her tireless efforts. Many of her accomplishments have gone unrecognized such as:
Peace in the parks; 1,300 summer jobs for Oakland youth especially in the flatlands part of Oakland, which kept crime down in East and West Oakland; reorganizing the police force into five areas under local command, which is bringing down crime throughout the city; Coliseum City, just approved by the council. The mayor's vision spearheaded this while previous administrations failed.
Also, pushing and fighting for the Brooklyn Basin -- 3,100 homes for Oaklanders, many new jobs, and a beautiful waterfront.
Jean Quan has done many things for this city since becoming the mayor, without notice or appreciation by many. She deserves the opportunity to finish the extraordinary job so far.
AC Transit must be kidding about hike
Oct. 18 was a total disaster for AC Transit. The buses were running on their own schedules with one bus never even showing up at all.
At one point I counted eight 1 and 1R buses drive by one after the other in the same direction at Telegraph and Berkeley Way while I was waiting for my late No. 18 bus.
To add to the confusion, the two buses I took had drivers who were reckless -- rushing to the stops, speeding down the road, braking like banshees.
And they expect us to support their pending strike? Hell no. They should be paying us to ride these buses.
Finally, the new Van Hool buses are not rider-friendly in their new design. There are not enough cross bars above the seats to hold onto (remember the idiotic drivers) and the stop request buttons are not placed for easy reach. In one configuration, you have to lean across the aisle to get to it. Yikes. Modern? Maybe. User-friendly, absolutely not.
And putting television screens in the buses is really an asinine idea. Who thought up this stupid idea? How much does this cost to maintain at the riders' expense? Pure stupidity.
Now they are talking about a fare hike for riding this system? You got to be kidding.