Letters to the Editor

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I was not able to attend the meeting at City Hall about guns in Alameda, but it was on my calendar. I’d be curious to read an article about it if you had a reporter in attendance. It may have been little more than a feel good event, but I want to thank Tom Engh for his letter (“Any talk is good talk,” Oct. 17). 

As a probation officer his experience lends authority and credible testimony about the negative influence of the presence of guns in communities most of us probably didn’t know. 
Thanks again, Mr. Engh.


Mark Irons

In reply to Susan Hauser (“Housing Crisis Relief within Island’s Reach,” Oct. 17), I would say that 1973’s Measure A is a barrier only to corporate greed. Almost immediately after local voters passed Measure A, the state legislature introduced statewide law that provides for developers to ignore local measures like Measure A when building projects that include affordable housing for the most needful of our society.

That law has been on the books for decades, and we see projects in the present day that achieve the intent, allowing corporations to maximize their profit only when providing low-income housing.

Repealing Measure A would be a boon to corporate profiteers, not to those who need affordable housing, as it would remove a restriction that presses developers to find ways to build affordable housing, to get their projects done.

Those calling for the repeal of Measure A are simply doing the bidding of greedy, corporate profiteers.


David Howard

President Donald Trump has stirred up a hornet’s nest by ordering the return of our troops from Syria. In a press conference on Oct. 9, and then at least twice since then, he has referenced the problem of the “military-industrial complex” behind our perpetual war policy of the past decades. 

He is the only president who has identified the military-industrial complex as a major impediment to peace since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us of this in his farewell address (which can be seen at the beginning of the movie JFK.) 

Now, we find the left as well as the neo-conservatives in the Republican Party in an uproar because we have a president with enough courage to fight for peace. It might do us well to remember a few quotes from history. Bertrand Russell said in The Impact of Science on Society (1951) on how the wealthy will create a scientific dictatorship, “The social psychologists of the future ... will have different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black.”

Aldous Huxley, right here in Berkeley, (1961) said, “There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing a dictatorship without tears, so to speak ... so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it ...” 

Hence today’s funding of drug legalization by billionaires. We truly are living in an Orwellian world when the Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy is now in bed with the CIA and FBI. There is a group of retired intelligence operatives, known as VIPS (Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity) who are now fighting for peace. 

I urge people to watch the June 1963 JFK speech at American University, available on YouTube. Truth is our weapon, not Orwellian media! I also pray for our president’s safety. 


Frank De Falco

Editor’s note: “Orwellian” is an adjective describing a situation, idea or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. It denotes an attitude and a brutal policy of draconian control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth (doublethink) and manipulation of the past. Seems to us this might apply to the president as well as it does to the media.