Whites soon to want affirmative action

Ironically, we will see many white and Asian naysayers on affirmative action reverse their opinions as whites and Asians become the minority. We are beginning to see a rise in the middle class of Latinos and blacks in California. Schools that are giving preference (and have given preference in the past) to first-generation talented minority college bound kids are producing some very competent professionals with above-average earnings.

Hopefully, these graduates won't be as myopic as the naysayers on affirmative action today. Whites will be begging to be let in to competitive universities as they become the minority and less qualified because of the denied educational opportunities. As an aunt of highly talented college bound teenage girls, I would like to see gender balancing in predominately male college majors (think STEM).

Likewise, I would like to see more educational reforms address the gender inequalities in education that make our boys appear less intelligent in high school grades, thus giving girls an upper hand in getting admitted to college. Ironically, they prove themselves with higher earnings later. Unless you truly have a level playing field, freedom does not really exist.

Iris Chavarria

Piedmont

Too much already spent on pro sports

I am convinced that the Coliseum City idea is simply a means by which Mayor Jean Quan can divert the public's attention from the ugly realities confronting Oakland.


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Tease the public with visions of sports palaces here in town and make them forget about the fiscal nightmare confronting the taxpayers as huge unfunded obligations come due. Why would anyone invest private funds in any ballpark when they can get gullible, desperate politicians to get the taxpayers to foot the bill for them? The Warriors' assertion that they are not obliged to make payments on the bonded indebtedness on the Oracle Arena remodel is proof positive that sports teams are unreliable, disloyal partners for any municipality.

Quan hopes that these pretty pictures of glistening ballparks will intoxicate the public sufficiently so that we forget about the appalling state of affairs hereabouts. As if keeping the ball teams makes any difference whatsoever in our quality of life. Sure, if millionaires playing games is what people want, then let them pay for it. Rich folks employing rich ballplayers have no business burdening the taxpayers. I don't understand how anybody at City Hall can justify the amount of staff time devoted to the retention of pro sports teams. This is private business, and stop wasting our resources on this foolish, futile exercise. The absurd expense in the not-so-long-ago renovation and expansion of the Coliseum is still on the books, unpaid and repayment will be the taxpayers' responsibility. Enough is enough.

Jonathan C. Breault

Oakland

Ranchers the ones living off system

It's perversely ironic for rancher Cliven Bundy to excoriate poor people for collecting government subsidies, while ripping off the federal government of a million dollars in grazing fees. But even if he were to pay up, Bundy and his fellow ranchers would still be living on government welfare.

Livestock grazing is subsidized by federal agencies on 270 million acres of public land in 11 western states to the tune of nearly $300 million annually.

Monthly grazing fees per cow and calf on private rangeland average $11.90, but corresponding fees on federal lands are set at a paltry $1.35.

Even so, grazing subsidies are dwarfed by other government subsidies and the medical, environmental and other external costs imposed on society by animal agriculture. These extra costs have been estimated at $414 billion annually, or $3,600 per household.

Each of us can make our $3,600 annual contribution to the common good by replacing animal products in our diet with the rich variety of grain, nut, and soy-based meat and dairy alternatives in our neighborhood supermarket.

Milton Connley

Oakland

Phones should be subject to search

I disagree strongly with the recent editorial arguing against police searches of mobile devices found on persons who are arrested. Something carried around, in accessible form, by a person, is not reasonably private.

There is no special status to the information in a phone, tablet, laptop, camera, microcassette recorder, Furby, etc. My carrying it and being able to access it demonstrate that it's related to me and of interest to me. What difference should the law make between a phone full of notes, numbers, photos and browsing history and a piece of paper or a notebook with notes, numbers, sketch drawings and checklists?

A warrant for decrypting data on a device at another location, not on their person, or data in the cloud, is arguable. But what someone carries is clearly subject to search if they are arrested. If you want to keep something private, you shouldn't carry it in public.

Bill Abbott

Oakland