June 16, 2024
Mercury News Letters to the Editor for Oct. 27, 2023

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Homeless plan must
move past tiny homes

Re: “San Jose declares homeless emergency” (Page B1, Oct. 26).

It is relieving to see that the homelessness crisis is finally being treated and recognized as a top priority. Tiny homes are being built at a faster paste, which is incredible news.

Although these tiny homes are a big step toward lowering the number of those unhoused, I believe affordable housing would be a better option. Affordable housing would be more effective as a long-term solution, rather than tiny homes, which only allow individuals to stay for about six months to a year.

I believe that attention should be brought to what is causing such high rates of unhoused people, and address those factors. Although it is great to see that a portion of the 6,266 unhoused will be sheltered within a year, more needs to be done.

Leslie Gonzalez Lemus
San Jose

Democrats were right
to stick to speaker guns

Re: “Democrats are missing a chance to govern” (Page A6, Oct. 25).

When the only candidates for speaker of the House are 2020 election deniers, insurrection-supporting, climate-change-denying, anti-democracy advocates who focus on sowing chaos instead of order in the House, the only course of action by any responsible representative in the House (Republican or Democrat) is to vote “no” on those candidates.

Part of the reason the United States is in this mess is because the members of the Democratic Party too often held their noses and voted for the least bad alternative to “No” and kept the ball rolling. It’s time to take a stand.

And we may have made the point. It’s too bad we ended up with Mike Johnson. He exemplifies all the worst characteristics of the MAGA bomb-throwers but was the least distasteful candidate for the rest of the spineless Republicans to vote for him. But 100% of the Democrats did the responsible thing.

David Burwell
Morgan Hill

Far-right speaker
threatens climate fight

Re: “GOP goes off script to tab speaker” (Page A1, Oct. 26).

The election of Mike Johnson will result in the potential negative impact on climate policies. Conservative lawmakers often prioritize limited government regulation, economic growth and the interests of fossil fuel industries.

This can result in a reluctance to support comprehensive climate policies, such as emissions reduction targets and incentives for renewable energy. The rejection of international climate agreements can further isolate the United States from global efforts to combat climate change. The influence of these representatives can impede the development of a comprehensive and coordinated national strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to cleaner energy sources. As a result, the United States may fall behind in the global race to combat climate change, with potential consequences for future generations and the environment.

It is crucial to foster bipartisan cooperation and engage in evidence-based policymaking to address climate change effectively, ensuring a sustainable and secure future for all.

Arav Mestry

Hospital ship would best
reflect U.S. interests

The United States has sent two aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean to support Israel.

I think sending the hospital ship, Hope, to south Gaza to help care for the thousands of wounded would demonstrate our compassion and put us in a better position to argue for a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.

Judith Borlase
San Jose

Language of war
muddies the waters

There are two aspects of the language of war that really trouble me. The first is how we speak about missions, engagements, sorties, actions and other euphemisms for killing other humans. When I listen to news reports about the wars I can easily stay distanced from what is actually happening. The language is simply describing people killing other people in words that we don’t use at any other time.

The second is when I hear a description that emphasizes the killing of women, children and seniors with no mention of men. Do their lives matter less? What message does that send to boys and men? Today both men and women are soldiers, and many men are also civilians. We ask men to be sensitive and to be more involved with our children and households. So why isn’t it equally devastating to hear when they too are killed during war?

Danielle Mewes
Palo Alto

Israel-Hamas conflict
doesn’t argue for fence

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Re: “Border walls have limits, in Israel and U.S.” (Page A6, Oct. 12).

While reading Rubin Navarrette’s article I found he had a refreshing take on the border issue.

These days the topic is so bogged down with partisanship that it seems neither side can agree on whether the concept of borders are even something needed in our society, or are they something that must be patrolled with an iron fist? The border is going to be a major issue in the upcoming year whether we like it or not, and I agree that a wall won’t be a perfect antidote for our ailing border. But I have to wonder if Navarrette failed to connect the fact that the atrocities inflicted in Israel being done over a chain-link fence does not, in fact, make a strong case for a very thick and tall wall.

Matt Gnier
San Jose