Letters to the Editor
For the past eight months the Democratic Party has been whining and blaming everything bad on Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Now comes a change.
Nancy Pelosi says Democrats should not fall into the trap of always criticizing the president, and Dianne Feinstein says Trump could even become a good president. As a Democrat who’s been very disillusioned of late, this is a welcome change, a glimmer of sanity. But a glimmer is not enough.
What we need in this country is some poiticians with vision and guts! I mean, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren can sound pretty fiery going after Wall Street, but it really doesn’t add up to much. We need some leaders who are willing to put their careers and yes, even their lives on the line.
Franklin D. Roosevelt seriously took on the Wall Street money changers. So did John F. Kennedy. Lyndon LaRouche took them on, despite slanders and a political frame-up, and has fought to this day for a return to Glass-Steagall and an FDR-type infrastructure program. He’s too old to run for office now, but where are the statesmen of today to carry the banner?
I think some Democrats are beginning to realize the vote last November went to Trump because there just aren’t any statesmen around. I say we need to correct that.
Houston and the Bay Area are shoreline communities; hurricanes don’t hit the Bay Area but sea level rise will. Watching the news about Hurricane Harvey must be akin to reading the news reports and seeing the photos just after the atomic bomb hit Nagasaki — a demonstration of incredible destruction. Both are the result of human actions, most recently in Houston driven by climate change.
So the question is, what is the United States doing to reduce the risk of the disaster known as climate change? The answer is not much.
Contrast this with almost anywhere else in the world. Take even a relatively poor country like Mexico. Mexico is installing solar streetlights in the countryside and giving away solar water heaters.
The United States is not simply the richest country in the world but the richest country in history. Why aren’t we doing more?
On Saturday, Sept. 2, I was walking between Trader Joe’s and Safeway at South Shore Center. A man in a green shirt was sitting at a small folding table gathering signatures on a petition. He was calling out to everyone who walked past him, trying to get them to sign.
I stopped at the table and reviewed the petition. Upon finding that this was the “Keep Measure L1” petition I told him, very simply, “I don’t agree with this petition, I voted for Measure M1.”
Incredibly, he began to yell at me, saying something to the effect of “I don’t care, don’t sign it then!” I was shocked by his out-of-kind response, and asked him, “Are you a paid petition gatherer?”
In response, he raised his voice even louder: “Yeah, what are you going to do about it?”
I was so surprised by his behavior, I told him he should get off our island and walked away from the table to get a cart before walking into Safeway. As I was walking away, he continued to shout at me, “What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do?”
I grabbed a cart and then moved toward the Safeway entrance when he stood up and walked toward me, unprompted. “I hope you get evicted!” he screamed at me repeatedly, as he approached me in a threatening manner. I immediately attempted to capture a video from my phone but wasn’t able to get it to record fast enough. He got very close to me before I was able to walk into Safeway.
I talked to a manager in Safeway and demanded that they do something about this bully on the sidewalk. Someone checking out nearby agreed that these petition gatherers were out of hand and also being very dishonest. The manager at Safeway said they couldn’t do anything about it because they don’t own the property.
I contacted South Shore Shopping Center security who said they’d try to do something about it. When I exited the store, this person was gone.
I’m appalled that fellow Alamedans have hired these mercenaries to bully people into signing this dishonest petition. I simply declined to sign the petition and was screamed at and physically threatened. I’m six feet tall and weigh more than 200 pounds.
I wonder how others who saw this, and are more easily intimidated by someone threatening them and shouting in their face, will respond going forward when asked to sign. I wonder if they’ll assume it’s safer for them to sign the petition than risk that kind of intimidation, or even bodily harm.