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Letters for the Week of August 24

Readers sound off on teaching yoga, Toby Keith, and food trucks.

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"Earlier that evening, the United States received its worst credit rating ever, and the next day, we would see the biggest single-day death toll in the ten-year history of the war in Afghanistan." And your point here was what, exactly? Blame Bush? We are smart enough to read between the lines.

"The dipping tobacco was fucking disgusting, by the way." We agree here ... but really? So much more in the world going on and there are much more disgusting things in life!

Long story short — another opinionated article from a narrow-minded journalist. The good news? You are free to write what you will. Blessings to you.

Linda Johnson, Campbell


"Precious Food Carts," Editorial Cartoon, 8/10

You're Forgetting Something...

Forgot to draw the mile-long line and the ridiculously high price!

Amy Hu, Berkeley


"A Tale of Two Economies," Raising the Bar, 8/10

Starve the Parasite

I am a late-comer to the discussion. Probably good though, as I have seen why the feral/real economies have co-existed with the feral economy being a parasite. This is not a Republican/Democrat/Libertarian/Tea Party issue. Nor is it a socialism versus capitalism versus communism debate — it's not even democratic versus totalitarian versus whatever.

So long as there is a free-market economy, there will be those who take advantage of that free market. Hedge funds are merely sophisticated bookies, betting on the outcome of economic strategies. Derivatives are the bets. Or it may be the other way around, depending on who is getting gored that day.

No one likes too much government, but the anarchists don't fare well either. Where is the balance? It is constantly shifting to account for human behavior and greed. There is no way to predict the first or stop the second — genetic coding. What we do about all of this will determine whether our western society can continue with the financial models that we've had for several hundred years.

If I had a grand plan that all sides could accept I'd win a Nobel or Pulitzer. The only thing we can do is set boundaries — minimally, your right to swing stops at my nose. Once the feral economy begins to eat the real economy, the brakes must be applied, firmly and quickly. That's when we need regulators to do their jobs — I know, as I had one of those jobs once.

We are now a world economy but we can still stake out our financial territory. We can guard it against excesses; kind of like putting a stop-loss in place for a stock trade. We need only agree that some measure of control has to be available. The easy part at that point is deciding what kind and who. The basic question is whether anyone wants controls. The folks running the feral economy have to be made to realize that when the real economy dies, so goes the feral.

Those in the real economy will suffer, but can survive. The feral economy creatures will die for the lack of a host to live on — after all, it is a parasite. Even they have to agree. They contribute little to the real economy, but live off of its very existence.

Maybe the Moody Blues were right, that it's "A Question of Balance" and we will "never hear an answer."

Richard Isacoff, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

We Should be Questioning Capitalism

The United States hasn't been paying its debt for a while. The debt is growing, mostly because the accumulating interest is not being paid either. The US government of the corporations is an outlaw entity that feels that it can blackmail all the countries of the planet with the threat of bombing them — and it has effectively done that. Besides, it confiscates funds deposited in its banks by other countries by declaring their governments "illegitimate" — Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, etc. — honoring its hereditary legacy from English piracy. This outlaw entity is engaged in invading countries, plundering their resources, and kidnapping, torturing, and assassinating people without resorting to any court of law. This policy will, inevitably, lead the United States into an armed confrontation with China, its bigger lender. China has already warned the United States to live within its means.

However, blackmailing other countries is not enough to maintain the war machine and the billionaire lifestyles of bankers and corporate executives. Therefore, the government of the corporations resorts to blackmailing its own citizens — hence the congressional theatrical drama aimed at attacking "entitlements," i.e., benefits that the workers have paid for during their working years — while at the same time, the president is proposing to make cuts on Social Security taxes to further deplete the Social Security Trust Fund decimated by Obama's bail-outs of banks and corporations.

The illusions created with the election of a mixed-race president are wearing out fast. Capitalism can no longer provide for the needs of the people of the planet: Wars, famine, and misery are increasing — it's just that now they're coming to the United States.

Leo T. West, San Leandro


0x201CCup of Coffee, No Pension,0x201D News, 8/10

A Former Player Weighs in

It boggles the mind to think that baseball is so reluctant to do what is right for our group. While some news reports say payouts are on the way, to date there has been no notification from anyone in baseball to anyone in our group. No letter, e-mail, or phone call. This demonstrates to me that baseball doesn't consider this a very big deal. And they're right! But then, there is nothing to be gained for them — no more than calming down a hungry and angry dog by tossing him a little something. After all, we are not being supported by political correctness, nor do we have a real advocate, like football's Mike Ditka. It cannot possibly be about the money. Even Charlie Pride (yep, the singer) got $10,000 a year for four years. He never played one day in Major League Baseball. Baseball should be ashamed for the treatment of our group!

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