Hurt vet was rioting, not 'protesting'

This is in regards to your article titled "War vet injured at protest wins $4.5M settlement." I am pretty close to canceling my subscription to your and any other Bay Area newspaper.

How does this "protester," who was lawfully asked and then told to desist his criminal actions, have the guts to use his time in the military as a crutch to exploit his actions and somehow justify his actions that in all probability increased his -- what I consider -- totally-uncalled-for reward?

He was with a large group of Occupy Oakland protesters, breaking windows, blocking streets so people could not drive to or from work and attacking the police and parked vehicles. These protesters were warned many, many times to stop and leave the area. The bean bag that your reporter called a "lead filled bag" is a nonlethal 4-inch cloth bag filled with BBs, not lead. It would appear that he was not a combat veteran; no soldier who has been in combat would march at a line of trained riot police.

Now to your comments about not allowing police to use nonlethal tools to aid them in their job. What is wrong with you? Your paper seems to condone riots and make heroes of these fools who get injured because they are stupid. What ever happened to consequences for your actions? Protesting is an American's right -- and I totally believe it should be -- but rioting in the streets and calling it a protest is wrong, and everybody knows it.


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Now may I suggest a solution? How about letting the rioters wear themselves out turning over cars, smashing windows and stealing electronics, tennis shoes, heck, whatever they want? The loss would probably be below $4.5 million, the rioters will have new TVs and furnishings, the only injuries will be from brother rioters taking the stolen items from other rioters, and they can sue each other.

Now I know that will never happen because that would not be newsworthy. How about you assign a reporter to find out how these mobs magically appear with commercially made protest signs on work days and assigned positions for the riot leader? That is all. I am frustrated and getting really upset by what the media stirs up. Try just reporting the facts.

Richard Barlow

Pleasanton

U.S. elections now openly for sale to bidders

The Supreme Court, in all its infinite wisdom, has ushered in a new era of plutocratic control over America's democratic process. Campaign finance laws enforcing the $123,000 contribution limit to federal candidates, parties and political action committees (PACs) were struck down, permitting any wealthy donor the ability to contribute more than $3,500,000 to a single party's candidates and party committee. McCutcheon v. FEC is another ruling in a series of decisions detrimental to what was once championed by American democracy -- equal opportunity for all to have a say in electoral process. This decision, compounded with the 2010 Citizens United ruling (which allows for unlimited financial support to PACs), has abolished decades-old protection against corruption or the appearance thereof. This decision will further encourage our elected representatives to push policies championed by their big donors rather than the people they represent.

Aurash Gomroki

Pleasanton

Bankhead stage should be supported

There's tremendous synergy between the elements of Livermore's downtown: the Bankhead Theater, Livermore Cinema, Vine Cinema, plus fine restaurants in a beautifully designed area. Livermore has vibrancy enjoyed by people of all ages and cultural interests, including out-of-town visitors.

The Bankhead is a cornerstone of our downtown. Its shows appeal to all tastes, from classical to doo-wop, with wonderful local groups and top-caliber professionals. Going to similar productions elsewhere, expect to spend twice as much for tickets, travel an hour and pay for parking. Unfortunately, the Bankhead is in financial danger of closing.

The Friends of the Bankhead and Bothwell are trying to save the theater and guarantee money raised goes into operating the Bankhead and preserving it as an asset for future generations. We, too, are concerned about the proposed regional theater, which we believe is history.

The Bankhead is a class act that does wonders for property values. If you care about Livermore and the Bankhead, let the City Council know. They can help ensure its survival.

Paul Brown

Livermore

Republicans, religion cause U.S. problems

The United States of America -- united? In what? Nothing. How about the Congress of the United States -- the representatives "of the people, by the people and for the people?" Nope. How about the Supreme Court of the United States? Nope, just a group of religious bigots convinced of superiority or correctness of one's own opinions and prejudiced against those who hold different opinions. And the governors of some states who are waging a war against women dictating what they can and cannot do with their own bodies because of their bigoted religious beliefs and changing voting rights to keep minorities from voting. There are two common denominators in all of the above -- religion and the Republican party.

Myron Perry

Livermore

Social leftist 'tolerance' goes on view again

Why was Michelle Quinn's column criticizing Brendan Eich on page one and not relegated to the opinion page? Quinn showed her bias by calling Proposition 8 the "anti-gay marriage initiative" versus the "pro-traditional marriage" ballot measure.

Eich was forced to quit from Mozilla. Why? Not because he wasn't an effective CEO but because he donated $1,000 to support Prop. 8 eight years ago! Bigots rode him out of town on a rail.

In 2008, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were on record against "gay marriage." But Eich's donation was an unforgivable sin for the online hate mob that demanded the tech company push out Eich as CEO. Make no mistake: anti-marriage activists want to change public opinion so that anyone that disagrees with them are shamed as bigots -- for believing in the simple truth that children deserve a mom and dad. All kinds of research support that premise.

Joan Hamblin

Danville

Take back nation from big money

April 15 should be a day to celebrate. When our elected representatives implement what we want, taxes are the way we pay for government services that are important to us. Unfortunately, our representatives are increasingly listening only to those with the most money. For the rest of us it is taxation without representation.

The political process has been corrupted by big money. But don't despair. All over the country people are embracing the goal of "money out of politics." Here are three nonpartisan organizations to check out: Move to Amend, Represent Us, and Clean Money Campaign. By working together, we can take our country back.

Pat Scofield

Livermore