May 28, 2024
Mercury News Letters to the Editor for Aug. 27, 2023

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Better recruits would
improve policing

Re: “Antioch and Pittsburg cops charged in vast conspiracy” (Page A1, Aug. 18).

The recent exposé by the Bay Area News Group of arrests of violent cops in our area raises a bigger question. How are pre-rookies screened for such tendencies?

A former police chief in my town proudly told me they are given an MMPI. I consulted with a psychology professor friend, the test actually measures similarity to others already in the profession, not degree of suitability for the task.

It also seems that recruits are given extra consideration for military experience. In other words, having been trained to respond to potential conflict with violence.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to prefer those trained in sociology and psychology? Favoring nonviolent resolutions would obviously be preferable, if only because of less financial liability for the employers of the police officers.

It’s time to take a new path to select the type of person we want policing our communities.

Fred Geiger
Santa Cruz

Moms need to look
up liberty definition

Re: “‘Fear and hate are the issue’” (Page A1, Aug. 17).

“Moms for Liberty,” huh? Perhaps these moms should spend less time banning books and more time reading books, like the dictionary.

Definition of liberty: “the power to do as one pleases; the power of choice.” Every parent has the right to choose what books their children read, but no one has the right to tell others what books their children cannot read. These groups are in every state and showing up at local schools and libraries to further their cause. Please get involved and find out who is running for your local school board and city council, even if you have no school-age children.

As these groups multiply so does our democracy weaken and our right to choose diminish, be it our books or our bodies or our children’s futures.

Emily Adorable
Santa Clara

Reform permitting for
green infrastructure

Re: “Bay Area youth applaud landmark Montana verdict” (Page B1, Aug. 17).

I was delighted to read your article about the Bay Area youth who have found their climate change activism reinvigorated by the success of Montana youth in a recent landmark case.

It is my hope that all youth climate activists will continue their efforts to fight for our environment, health and future and that more youth and adults alike will be inspired to join them.

An important next step in moving past fossil fuels is to reform permitting, which would accelerate the clean energy infrastructure approval process. Without such reform, the United States will not achieve its emissions reduction potential by 2030.

Erik Medina
San Jose

Democrats need
a new standard bearer

After the deadliest wildfire in more than 100 years, President Biden repeatedly for more than 120 hours declined to comment.

The situation worsened when he visited Lahaina, Maui, and conveyed anxiety about a 2004 small kitchen fire at his Delaware home. This commiseration was matched against hundreds of lives lost, humans and animals, at 1,000 degrees, scared folks jumping into the ocean, more than 2,000 structures destroyed and at least $4 billion in economic damages.

Robert Reich who worked for four presidents, stated from his experience and observation “that the job of the American president is physically and mentally grueling even for people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.” On a number of recent occasions, President Biden’s decline has shown. It is time for a qualified younger person to represent Democrat values in the 2024 election.

David Lane
Los Gatos

Stop subsidizing
climate destroyers

Re: “Those responsible for Maui wildfires won’t pay a cent” (Page A7, Aug. 23).

I agree with Caroline Levine’s opinion that those responsible for the Maui wildfires (the fossil fuel companies) won’t pay a cent.

I also agree with her solution: We must make the polluters pay. The first thing when you are in a hole is to stop digging. We must stop subsidizing the fossil fuel companies that are destroying our planet.

Our tax dollars should not be killing the Earth, and our financial institutions should stop financing the destruction of our home world.

David Coale
Palo Alto

Legal experts poke holes
in Trump reelection

Re: “Unfortunately, Donald Trump is still eligible to run for president” (Page A6, Aug. 24).

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In September 2022, Judge Francis Mathew of the New Mexico District Court took action by disqualifying Couy Griffin, a county commissioner and a co-founder of Cowboys for Trump, from holding public office. This action stemmed from Griffin’s involvement in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Furthermore, notable law scholars such as former judge J. Michael Luttig and constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe have conveyed their opinions to CNN asserting that Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol renders him ineligible to assume the presidency under the 14th Amendment.

These recent events cripple Noah Feldman’s argument regarding Trump’s eligibility for the presidency.

Gorden Gibson