Letters to the Editor

Letters: Ann Coulter, UC audit, Wells Fargo

Daryl Tempesta protests Thursday in Berkeley to support Ann Coulter, who canceled a speech at UC Berkeley.
Daryl Tempesta protests Thursday in Berkeley to support Ann Coulter, who canceled a speech at UC Berkeley. Associated Press

Protect speech

Re “Forget safety: Coulter is exploiting UC Berkeley” (Editorial, April 25): Freedom of speech is part of who we are, but is trampled by intimidation and violence. Instead of supporting free speech, The Bee editorial board chooses to disparage the speaker, labeling Ann Coulter an exploiter and hatemonger. Those characteristics, however, are not particularly relevant to her exercising her rights.

A better use of space would have been to fully hold accountable those government agencies and tyrants who seek to limit those rights. It’s not a matter of supporting the speaker; but the right to speak.

Jonathan J. Schrader,

Elk Grove

Palpable hypocrisy

Re “Ann Coulter” (Editorial cartoon, April 26): While anarchists and fascists start riots in Berkeley, shutting down free speech, Jack Ohman, paid speaker, points to Ann Coulter, paid speaker. The hypocrisy is palpable.

Steven Cline, Orangevale

Not free speech

Re “Coulter’s supporters sue UC Berkeley over speech” (Capitol & California, April 25): This controversy should not be framed as a free speech issue. There is nothing in the First Amendment that says citizens are entitled to a platform from which to speak. If denied, they can speak elsewhere.

Evan Evans, Sacramento

Money well spent

Re “UC raised tuition but kept secret reserve” (Page 1A, April 26): I was a UC employee during the period covered by the audit. It shows that the UC Office of the President devoted $5.9 million to a sexual violence prevention initiative, but the audit is oddly silent about this, though claiming UC’s budget is “wasteful spending.”

The initiative leveraged economies of scale and momentum that smaller UC campuses simply never could have matched and provided seed funding for additional services, including a new advocacy office to support victims. I interacted with many students who benefited immensely, including a sexual assault survivor who walked across the commencement stage last June.

Bill Kidder, Sebastopol

Bill misses mark

Re “Wells Fargo needs to back bill to allow suits” (Editorial, April 24): Senate Bill 33 and the editorial claim to focus on what was discovered at Wells Fargo last year, but the bill’s contents indicate otherwise. Fraudulently creating an account should never be condoned. Several solutions were offered on this more critical issue.

They were rebuffed by the consumer attorneys whose aim is not to prevent the activity, but to profit from the aftermath. This is why the bill focuses on arbitration rather than the harmful conduct. The flawed premise here is that arbitration, which is quicker, cheaper and more effective for the consumer, is inferior to class action litigation that prioritizes compensation to attorneys over damages to the consumer.

Jen Barrera, California Chamber of Commerce, and John Doherty, Civil Justice Association of California

Skip shrimp

Re “Don’t shrink from shrimp: It’s lean protein” (Food & Drink, April 26): Actually, there are many good reasons to skip eating shrimp. During cleaning, as they are decapitated and disemboweled, their poop spills out and gets all over them. Their diet is comprised of parasites and skin from dead animals, along with the unregulated contaminants where most of them are fished. Not to mention that freshwater shrimp species are threatened with extinction.

I have found a few faux seafood choices at my local supermarket that I quite like. If good health is important, it turns out that plant-based, non-animal diets are great for cardio, as well as decreasing the risk of developing cancer, diabetes and obesity. So skip the shrimp and let them participate in the ocean’s natural food chain instead.

Chris Allan, Sacramento

A threat to law

Re “Trump vows to take immigration order to Supreme Court” (Page 8A, April 27): President Donald Trump’s criticism of opponents for “judge shopping” is misleading. Together with White House comments questioning the legitimacy of “unelected” judges, these statements represent a threat to the rule of law and the independence of the federal judiciary.

Both Trump and his attorney general have disparaged federal judges who have ruled against the administration. Both should apologize and stop misleading the public and undermining trust in our judicial system and the rule of law.

Laura W. Brill, Los Angeles

Rogue cops

Re “Black man beaten by officer filing suit alleging abuse by police, jail deputies” (Page 1A, April 24): The police and sheriff’s departments want us to believe they are here to protect and serve. I suspect 99.9 percent of officers meet that high standard.

Yet we see videos of officers beating a man because he jaywalked, and allegations of deputies stripping him once in custody and beating him again. Violence of this sort is never justified, no matter the crime. It’s hard to not fear all officers when a few are allowed to go rogue. The 99.9 percent deserve better.

Chuck Woods, Elk Grove

Support police

Re “Witness says Davis police officers’ behavior on Picnic Day led to beating” (Page 4A, April 27): I was wondering how long it would take for The Bee to publish an article inferring that police caused their own beatings at Davis Picnic Day. Officers were injured by thugs as a large hostile crowd happily took photos and videos.

Shame on you and your encouragement of criminal, violent behavior.

Mary Zimmermann,


BOE a disgrace

Re “Embattled tax board director says his job was threatened” (Page 1A, April 21): Yet another report on the inefficiency and dereliction of duty of a major state agency. The people elected to the Board of Equalization are not accountable to anyone, and, since they are not required to have any kind of education or experience that would make them qualified, it should not be a surprise that that the results of their actions are questionable.

It is an absolute shame and disgrace that the state has accepted the inappropriate, illegal and dysfunctional actions of the Board of Equalization without taking corrective action.

Ronald Avanzino, Lincoln

The real O’Reilly

Re “O’Reilly’s ouster is another good reason to switch off the TV” (Viewpoints, April 21): Anyone who believes that Bill O’Reilly was “Faux News” doesn’t grasp what that means, or why Donald Trump is president. Millions of “Factor” viewers showed up for a heavy dose of bombastic opinion, not for objective reporting, finding this preferable to liberal opinions masquerading as news in the rest of the media. Trump was not elected by racist yahoos, but by citizens long frustrated by a dishonest and elitist government media complex that is failing its constituents.

Joe Chasko, Sacramento

TV news terrible

For the first time ever, I agree wholeheartedly with Ben Boychuk. He said not to watch the mindless “infotainment” that masquerades as television news.

I also quit watching some years ago, and now, if a “news” program is inflicted on me, I am often astounded at the vapidity and the shallowness of the reporting, plus the sheer rudeness and sexism exhibited. I agree: It’s far better to read, think, reflect and live, than to watch TV news.

D.F. Clement, Sacramento

It’s just the law

Re “Trump’s border wall threatens everything that defines us” (Viewpoints, April 26): Are we not a nation of laws? Why is it so difficult to understand the difference between the people who enter our country legally and those who sneak across our borders or overstay their visas? How many of those who think that we should have open borders leave their houses unlocked 24 hours a day? It is time for all elected officials to live up to their oath of office and uphold the law and the Constitution.

Derald Langwell,

Rancho Cordova

March for Science

Re “Scientists will leave their labs and join ‘March for Science’ ” (Insight, April 22): Scientists strengthened our collective voices as we rallied together at Southside Park for climate-related festivities and then marched together to the Capitol, signs and banners in tow. With every step, scientists and people of all walks of life came out to say that climate change is real and getting worse. There is still an opportunity for you to lend your voice and presence at Saturday’s People’s Climate Mobilization March at the Capitol. Mother Earth is telling you to she needs your help.

Valerie Bane, Sacramento

Waters is right

Re “Should Sacramento drop Roger Waters show? ‘Yes’ ” (Another View, April 20): I was in Palestine for the third time just last year and witnessed Israeli apartheid personally. I am in no way anti-Semitic, and am weary of people using that pejorative to silence criticism of Israel. There are loving, generous, heartbroken people in Palestine, with little hope the occupation will end.

Seeing how Palestinians are beaten down by Israelis changed my world view forever. I urge everyone to go see for yourself. Then you might thank those, such as Waters, who speak out for the human rights of those it’s easier to condemn.

Janet Thew, Loomis

No censorship

Years ago, paintings, movies and plays mocking Christianity were all presented in public venues. When Catholics, Christians and conservatives protested, they were roundly rebuffed and told this was art. When they protested the vulgarity, violence and pornography of television, Hollywood and the internet, again it was art. Now it is no longer art and free speech is “hate.” You may not agree with Roger Waters, but no one has the right to deny him his right to state an opinion.

Joe and Judy Schuchmann, Citrus Heights

Stop fracking

Re “California should follow other states and ban fracking” (Viewpoints, April 18): It seems like a no-brainer to ban fracking in California. When I look at how much California’s renewable energy industry is thriving, it’s ludicrous to think we still need to be destroying our groundwater and testing our volatile fault lines, trying to squeeze that last bit of oil out of the ground.

We already have the infrastructure, and our population errs on the side of renewable energy, so let’s put our stamp on it and join the movement.

Alicia Jolly, Santa Cruz


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