Garden of Eden diet must've been vegan

TV host Glenn Beck and other stalwarts of the Christian right have attacked the blockbuster film "Noah" as being pro-animal and unfaithful to the Bible. Well, yes and no. The film is pro-animal and faithful to the Bible, at least to the Book of Genesis, our only source for the story of Noah.

After all, Genesis 1:29 admonishes "Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit -- to you it shall be for food." It is only after the flood, with fruits and vegetables no longer abundant, that humans get permission to eat animal flesh.

Even then, the Bible stipulates that lives of only select animals may be taken and always with reverence and minimal cruelty. This is certainly a far cry from today's factory farm and slaughterhouse practices.

Regardless of how we may feel about "Noah's" interpretation of the Bible, each of us can recreate the recommended diet of the Garden of Eden in our home by dropping animal products from our menu.

Samuel Bentino

Oakland

New lights not well designed, too bright

While I concur with a recent writer that streetlights are valuable civic amenities, Oakland's recently installed lamps actually present a public safety hazard. Because they are overly bright and poorly designed, their glare blinds drivers ascending Lyman Street hill and other hilly locations.


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Drivers' impaired vision may well cause accidents and potential liability for the city. And, as noted by another letter writer, the cold, harsh, unpleasant light severely and painfully diminishes the feeling of well-being of residents.

Energy-efficient lighting technology has developed bulbs in more human-friendly colors than these glaring, overly bright fixtures. A better design directing appropriate light onto the street rather than wasteful spillage would offer cost and energy efficiency, a more humane quality of life for residents and would decrease the potential risk to public safety.

Deva Lowenthal

Oakland

City's problem with violence out of hand

Personally, I'm sick and tired of being the victim of random, brazen assaults in Oakland.

Six months ago I was comatose and required a craniectomy, and my life completely changed. A few days ago, I was run over by a bicyclist on a Broadway sidewalk, and then beaten when I approached him in the Rite-Aid down the street.

These people know well that they can easily get away with such brazen assaults and murders. The officers who took my statements smirked throughout their questioning of me. And I still haven't been contacted by the detectives responsible for the assault that should have killed me last August.

I've lived in cities around the world. Something is seriously wrong here -- and it's not funny.

Chad Tooker

Berkeley

Upgrade standards for train tank cars

Enough already with these hysterical stories about fracked oil coming through the Bay Area in rail tanker cars.

Am I the only one who sees trains of tank cars going through Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond every day? The dozens, if not hundreds, of tank cars stored in sidings? What do you think is in these, olive oil? They're full of ethanol, diesel and gasoline, which is far more flammable and explosive than any crude oil.

Let's just be honest here, it's all about fracking and the delusion that if we don't allow fracked oil in California it's going to stop.

Furthermore, shipping oil (or any cargo) by rail is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Railroad Administration and interstate commerce laws, no matter how many self-important local politicians think otherwise, so all the chest thumping and posturing is just a waste of time.

The reasonable thing to do is get our representatives in Washington to upgrade the standards for tank cars to be able to survive a derailment.

Dean Lekas

Oakland

Again, Oakland gets it wrong on security

Once again, the Oakland mayor and City Council have demonstrated the gross incompetence that has made this city a model of dysfunctionality.

They have voted, in the interest of protecting privacy, to dismantle the citywide integrated system of street cameras and gunshot detector microphones that have helped our minimally staffed police department protect public safety.

Apparently, the rights of teenage gang members to shoot their guns in the streets without being detected are more important than the rights of innocent bystanders and children to not be shot.

Stephen Matthews

Oakland

Yee should consider pleading insanity

State Sen. Leland Yee has yet to enter a plea regarding his multiple-count arrest by the FBI. I suggest he plead insanity.

How else could he have been so oblivious to the undercover agent's thinly veiled advances, including the agent's stating that the money the agent would pay to Yee was dirty money from gambling, prostitution and drug running?

Jessea Greenman

Oakland