Integrity not among listed qualifications

As was addressed in the May 1 letter, "Disgraced legislator doesn't deserve vote," we also received several political fliers requesting our vote from the woman who, I believe, is now barred from entering a high-end San Francisco retail store. This followed her taking without paying on more than one occasion, several articles of clothing.

In the Alameda County Voter Information Pamphlet for this June primary election, she lists multiple qualifications for the state senatorial district seat. It does not include integrity.

Maren Giannini

Castro Valley

Ignorant claims are easily proved untrue

The slur of calling Israel apartheid-like has an ignorance-requiring life unto its own. The concept is powerful and hateful; verifiable facts show its absurdity. One of myriad possible examples showing it to be a lie: an Arab woman sits on Israel's Supreme Court.

Josef Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, astutely noted: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. Truth is the mortal enemy of the lie."

A member of the Flat Earth Society could write that everybody knows the Earth is flat and those who claim the Earth is spheroid are wrong, "because that is my position." Yet that position requires one to ignore all objective, scientific data to the contrary.

Hate has to be carefully taught; it is not based on any objective analysis. Because Americans rightly treasure a truthful, free press, the repeated lies and slander of hate-Jews/Israel letters printed are always rebutted with objective, verifiable fact, to assure that Goebbels' hate dictum does not succeed.

Fred Korr

Oakland

Keep hands off Proposition 13

California legislators are picking at the lock of Pandora's box: namely, trying to alter or repeal Proposition 13.

Who can blame them? Property taxes are such an expedient and politically opaque way to access other people's money.

The problem is that current real estate prices reflect every financial carrot or stick related to ownership. So watch the market reaction when you start increasing the risk of higher assessments.

Prop. 13's greatest value has been to put a speed bump on the Democratic supermajority's spending proclivities. Until I see higher dams and fewer bullet trains count me among those who question the judgment of giving them unfettered access to new revenue.

David Fore

San Ramon

Shuffling inmates is just not enough

Overpopulation in prisons is a serious problem the United States is facing. It is pertinent that Gov. Jerry Brown changes the way California handles its high volume of inmates.

However, all these recent changes are merely serving as a Band-Aid for overcrowded prisons. Overpopulating county jails is no better than overpopulating state prison facilities.

Is building more prisons really the answer to fixing this inmate problem?

The goal should be to save money -- not spend more tax dollars on building prisons. This state needs to make use of sentence restructuring, reducing prisoners' sentences for good behavior, and releasing elderly inmates.

Amanda Compton

El Cerrito

Corporate owners drive news picks

Why does the mainstream media spend so much time and energy focusing on tragic, yet relatively insignificant stories, such as the missing Malaysian airliner and the South Korean ferry disaster?

There are more tragic and significant events like climate change; the expanding wealth gap between the rich and poor; our continuing war in Afghanistan; our declining education system; the accelerating influence of "big money" in politics; and corporate welfare.

The media should concentrate on our unfair tax system; the dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking); the dangers of transporting toxic crude oil through our cities; the continuing money manipulations on Wall Street; the continued crumbling of our cities and infrastructure; and the covert "free trade" dealings of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Could it be that our mainstream media are owned by large corporations that discourage or censor the reporting of devastating current events, such as the rapid melting of Greenland, to protect their own self-interests as well as those of their corporate buddies?

Michael Sullivan

Lafayette