I love to walk, I ride a bicycle and a scooter regularly, and have never been harassed in 25 years as referenced in this article about the Vulnerable User Protection Ordinance ("Safe Streets," Nov. 21). Every year, hundreds of good intentions are translated into new codes, rules and regulations. Unfortunately, good intentions also obey the law of unintended consequences.
Let me give you an example. In the '90s, I participated for years in a homeless feeding program in San Francisco at the Civic Center on Sundays. One day (to help), we decided to let all the people with crutches and canes go to the front of the line without having to wait. Well, within three weeks the number of people with canes and crutches more than tripled from before.
When we ask for new laws, we very rarely see how they play themselves out over the years in real life. In many cases they create as many problems as they solve. We need to find wiser and saner ways to deal with our issues rather than wanting to regulate everything.
Has anyone noticed the increasing number of jets going in and out of our Sonoma County airport? Didn't they bar jets because of the noise and wear and tear on the facilities? Oh, that was just for commercial jets. Private jets are still OK.
The bulk of the money for the airport comes from taxpayer pockets. Know that you are welcome to fly your jet in and out of Sonoma County Airport, built and maintained with public money. But God help you if you want to take a bus from one side of town to the other. Subsidizing buses with taxpayer money is just wrong.
Fifty years ago this week, the world woke up to a crisis that brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of a cataclysmic nuclear war. I was only 12 at the time, but I remember it well.
Today, the U.S. continues to maintain over 5,000 nuclear weapons, and five additional countries have become nuclear weapon states since 1962. Our current strategy is not working. We need bold action to move the world towards the elimination of these deadly weapon. Only through mutual, verifiable reductions in nuclear weapons can we begin to reduce the nuclear weapons threat.
Under John F. Kennedy, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara remarked that all that prevented nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis was luck. A National Security policy based on luck alone is not a wise strategy for this country, or the world. This is a ridiculous waste of our money. The world doesn't need nuclear. The world needs common sense.
There are some terrible parallels between what's happening now in Gaza and what happened in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. Then, the Jewish population was penned into a small ghetto, deprived of basic necessities and targeted for extermination. Some Jews fought back, though they had virtually no weapons. They also had nothing to lose. The German military, with overwhelming force, eventually destroyed the ghetto, bombing it into rubble.
I don't believe Israel is trying to exterminate the Palestinians, but I do think they want them to go away and allow Israelis to take possession of land which many Jews see as theirs, basing their claims on Biblical times. Palestinians, having lived there for a very long time, do not agree.
The often tragic history of the Jews leads me to compassion, but it's not justification for their becoming brutal in turn. Palestinians have been backed into a corner and are desperate. Jews, of all people, should understand.
All parties must meet and negotiate a viable peace. It's time to put the weapons down and let this sad land weep.
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