Letters: Militarization of the Police | manufactured crisis


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speak against
police militarization

Re: “Bay Area Police stockpiling military weaponry” (Page A1, March 5).

Katie Lauer illuminates in detail the militarized arsenals from drones to armored vehicles owned by law enforcement agencies, which some officers call “a life insurance policy”.

But most policies that authorize the use of militarized equipment for Bay Area agencies are not restricted to “guaranteeing life.” Unlike state law, AB 481, which requires them, policies proposed by police to elected officials often do not clearly define in what situations weapons are authorized, only designating who in law enforcement can decide to use that weapon. Many policies say that authorized uses “include but are not limited to” a list of situations, or use euphemisms, such as when the Livermore Police Department says tear gas fired at a home is “a de-escalation tactic.”

Community members have a chance to contest these unlimited uses. The agencies will publish annual reports on the use of military equipment this spring and hold community engagement meetings. Residents must show up and ask tough questions.

John Lindsay-Poland

The housing deficit is
a manufactured crisis

Re: “Housing shortage target of new bill” (Page A1, March 2).

The article describes yet another bill that puts increasing pressure on housing density. The truth is, there is no need for more houses. We are told that California has a “housing crisis” and an acute shortage. If one goes to an apartment locator website, one will find hundreds of empty Bay Area apartments everywhere. In a shortage crisis I would only expect long waiting lists.

To further check housing availability, Google: “Average Bay Area Vacancy.” You will find that this is 5.2%; away from an “acute shortage”.

It is claimed that more housing close to jobs will alleviate traffic. However, huge apartments are being forced into suburban communities, like Danville, where there are few or no jobs.

Local control is being stolen through measures like SB9-SB10. Historically, local zoning has allowed communities to control their future. State, central planning, will destroy suburban communities.

Mark Fernwood

Only the GOP can
fix state schools

Democrats can’t help it when it comes to destroying public education and schools in California. More recently, State Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, introduced Senate Bill 274, which would prohibit schools from suspending students who disrupt classes or defy teachers. These are known as intentional challenge suspensions.

Teachers’ unions, which donate millions to Democrats, have long left teachers and administrators powerless. But this bill makes it law. It allows the most disruptive student to do the most disruptive things. All other students and their educations are at the mercy of the class clown or street thug. There is no further instruction. Just indoctrination.

So why have public schools? They have become a disgrace and a waste of money. If we want to save public education, we need to vote Republican and defund destructive teacher unions.

Jay Todesco

Newsom makes a mistake
fight with Walgreens

Most of us are disgusted when a leader picks petty fights to punish companies he disagrees with politically, whether that company is Disney or Walgreens, instead of governing competently.

Gavin Newsom’s desanctification is truly embarrassing.

Marc Ricketts

Social Security has
no role in deficit

Social Security isn’t going to crash any time soon, especially in an era of full employment. And if our government were to move forward with granting work papers to many of our undocumented residents, it would provide additional income for Social Security, which is funded by the payroll tax.

So don’t let the Republicans fool you into thinking that Social Security is causing the annual federal deficits. This is being caused by more federal spending than separate Social Security receipts, which currently have almost as much income as output annually and have a Trust Fund that holds $2.8 trillion.

George Fulmore

Return efforts to fight
food insecurity

Growing up, I never faced food insecurity. I didn’t realize how prevalent it is until I started volunteering at a food pantry. As a volunteer, I was shocked to see how many people trusted the

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