Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda All Faiths Coalition was created in 2015 as a way to foster community building and understanding among our diverse faith communities. We are committed to ensuring that Alameda is a safe, inclusive and just community for all our residents. Across our nation, as well as in our city, Americans are protesting against police brutality and systemic racial injustice. Remaining oblivious to the inequities in our country is no longer an option.

Our Coalition strongly believes that Black Lives Matter. Every human life is precious and worthy of being treated with respect and dignity. Unfortunately people of color are too often denied this, including those who live right here in Alameda.  In the months and years ahead, our Coalition will be looking for ways where we can help bridge some of the divisions that exist in our community. Our interfaith group will continue our work to unify across racial, religious and cultural lines to make Alameda truly a safe, inclusive, and just community for each of us.

— Alameda All Faiths Coalition

Dear Editor:
What follows is a letter I have sent to each Council Member of Alameda, I thought the Alameda Sun would also appreciate it. Thank you for your consideration:  

The other night, I listened to the City Council Meeting and heard something which concerned me. What concerned me was the acronym “ACAB”.  To enlighten you,  I would like to offer the definition of this term. During the meeting I heard this term used multiple times. Once used by a Lincoln Middle School student and another when an adult speaker praised the child for saying it. This phrase, “ACAB”, stands for “All Cops Are Bastards.” This concerns me for several reasons, not only is it derogatory towards our public servants, but also concerns me personally as a parent of a future Alameda student. Is this how we are encouraging our students to behave in Alameda schools? What happened to common decency and respecting public servants? As elected officials, Mayors, and Council Members your duty is to uphold, respect, and protect the citizens of this beautiful island and that includes supporting our police department. 

These men and women have silently saved and protected numerous Alameda lives and in return we reward them by  teaching and encouraging our children to use terms such as “ACAB”. The respectful and wholesome Alameda family community I once knew growing up has been slowly degrading thanks to the attitudes and policies implemented by this council. As a concerned citizen, parent, and spouse I am calling for a return to common decency and to stand up for what’s right, rather than falling to perceived public pressure. 

Sadly your council won’t have to “defund the police”. Our city is already short staffed and in need of more officers. Of the few officers we have, many are retiring and now, with the lack of support of this council, I fear many more will leave. By freezing the hiring and greatly limiting officers ability to do their jobs, you will lose the excellent, hard working police Alameda has enjoyed for many years. Not to mention, the discouraging effect this will have on future officers’ desire to work here due to this council’s lack of support, even with the already substantial hiring bonus. 

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn once said “One man who stopped lying could bring down a tyranny” and in that same vein I hope to bring a small amount of truth to you today. Defunding the police is a farce, a lie propagated by an increasingly progressive agenda and historically the first step towards oppressive tyrannies. We have seen these policies played out countless times throughout the twentieth century. Please learn from your predecessors past mistakes and prevent further tragedy in this city. I realize going against the grain on this issue will be challenging, but if you have any integrity left you will support the Alameda police department in full. Although crime may have not affected you personally, it has affected me and my family and we have chosen to leave Alameda. I fear that the criminals infiltrating and ruining our once beautiful island will be a small problem compared to the ideological policies this council is enacting and I want no part in that future. There is always an opportunity to change, and my family and I hope that one day Alameda City Council will return to the values it was founded on, but until that day goodbye and good luck. 


— Anthony Russell

Since the stay-at home lockdown began, one day is like the next and it has turned into one endless, perpetual, repetitive day. The only good about this situation is that we are finally on track to meet the Paris Accords to keep the global temp from reaching 2 degrees higher, if possible 

Pollution is down, global warming is down.  We can also clean up the economy by having the most-polluting industries open last.  That will not help the meat-cutters who have the highest rate of infection, even more than the elderly (and not because they are Mexican, no matter what your little racist heart might be yelling in your ear). 
Because meat-cutting is an “essential industry,” the hog and beef farmers won’t have to enlist in order to keep employed, and God forbid we go vegan because that is just so unmanly.  

We really like the clean air and the idea that the species whose extinction we fear, like bees, are not really dying off, they are just going to the freezatorium until the air gets cleaner.  That will happen when humans die out, way ahead of the death of the sun by several billion years. So, there is hope for the earth and the beneficent species, which we have trouble understanding, since we are so focused on creating justifications for the endless and ever-increasing pollution.  

Have you noticed a lot more birds and insects in the last nine weeks?  We sure have, so open your eyes and know it’s a fact, not fake news. Bees fear, because they are not sufficiently complex to hate, pesticides. So why don’t we take their side and outlaw those poisons? Because otherwise bees will revive only after we’re gone, and the exit of the bees will also seriously shorten our species’ time on earth. The human race, the planet itself, deserves a natural death, not the one we are making for ourselves and each other.

The environment is another name for, a manifestation of, Mother Nature, disfigured as she has become, and like any woman she responds to kindness and gentleness. Many people have been saying this for more than 50 years, at the least, while the oil company was spending your gas money falsifying the record, defaming environmentalists, bribing government officials and electing stooges to preserve their enormous tax breaks and privileges.  

The spotted owl and the snail darter became jokes ginned out by the hired liars who work for forestry, oil and gas, “defense” industry, gasoline and diesel motor vehicles, and, of course, Lysol (only for COVID-19). The  increase in epidemics — from  SARS, Ebola, Hanta, MARS, Corona, and other variations gone or still waiting for their own turn — have been produced through  enormous population growth, generating a need for products the earth just can’t produce enough of anymore.  

This, in turn, causes the destruction of huge wildlife areas where these diseases have lived peacefully, found non-lethal homes in bats, snakes and the like-- but when they are driven out and look for new homes, they find us such a rich, oily, delicious home that they proliferate enormously. 

Would you trade the idea of having normal grandchildren for the elimination of the gasoline-fired engine and coal-burning power plants? Then put those workers immediately on the job restoring our vanishing infrastructure and reducing the toxic levels of pollution which devastate billions of birds and insects, the principal pollinators of the crops we wolf down every day. Of course you would, and the funniest thing is that’s a real choice, not an alarmist’s contrived estimate. 

Your grandchildren will start to starve and then mutate into beings you wouldn’t recognize even if you already knew the answer. Meanwhile, gas-fired cars use most of that oomph to do 80 miles-per-hour on the freeway.  For what? One of the great things about Alameda is the 25 mile-per-hour speed limit, even if randomly enforced. 

If the entire country lowered the speed limit by 10 miles-per-hour, the health-care cost savings of driving at a rate that does not destroy your sanity and your inner organs would be enormous.  We might then know that we are not rats in tiny cages, striving to destroy ourselves as soon as possible, and eternally wondering why it must be this way. 

Think about it and see what you can find wrong in this suggestion-- but only if your dislike of it does not arise from greed or selfishness.  Why can’t we do it?  First, because someone told us it was American to be as greedy and self-centered as possible, and never to consider the group at all, much less granting in many cases priority over the Almighty Self!

Plus, and most unjust of all, we are constantly slave-driven by the leeches at the top, who slowly take over the economic system, relentlessly perverting the governmental function to their own advantage, and not the advantage of all the citizenry, as if we lived in different countries altogether. 

We think they believe they already do, just not officially. So they gluttonize on their profits, offering the advice that the only way to make it in America is to plug into “gaming of the system” and funneling the profits into their little gullets like geese and ducks, whose livers are fattened to create that high priced delicacy, while 90 percent or more of the rest of us sit quietly, relishing to the max our rice and, if we’re especially blessed, beans.

— Stanley Hallmark and Michael Parish