The Occupy revolt will not disappear
Is Occupy dead?
In his June 20 column, Dana Milbank shares the mainstream media's view that the fire has died and that the failed recall effort in Wisconsin points to a demoralized, fragmented left. But he may be as out of touch as his fellow media pundits were when Occupy burst on the scene last September.
After Occupy supporters in Wisconsin funneled their money and energies into a signature-gathering effort, in the primary Democrats chose a weak, unreliable candidate who had lost to Gov. Scott Walker two years earlier.
Then, in the general election, corporate billionaires swamped the state with money. The lesson is that Occupy should avoid elections.
There are a number of ongoing actions -- Occupy Our Homes, Occupy Faith, Occupy the Criminal Justice System, Occupy University, the Occupy Caravan -- that protect the embers of revolt.
Don't be misled: The grievances and injustices that drove people into the streets last September are a guarantee that mass movements will not disappear.
Occupy let the genie out of the bottle and there's no chance it will be stuffed back in.
Janet Scoll Johnson
Obama actions should cause challenging time
Isn't it ironic that President Barack Obama would give work permits to 800,000
The overall unemployment rate in the U.S. is 8.2 percent, while in Mexico it is 5.4 percent. For 16- to 24-year-olds, however, the rate in the U.S. is 18.1 percent, while in Mexico the rate is 10 percent.
Once these 800,000 immigrants apply for jobs using their newly granted work permits, what will this do to our unemployment rate? And what of unemployment benefits? Will they be eligible? Janet Napolitano didn't say.
It should be a challenging time -- with many happy, but perhaps frustrated immigrants.
Roy J. Moret
Throws teachers under the bus
How pathetic that Rose Lock, assistant superintendent for student achievement and school support in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, attributes student attacks on teachers at Oak Grove Middle School to "teachers with poor classroom management skills." Lock apparently does not find misbehaving students or their parents culpable for the students' abusive conduct -- she prefers to just blame the teachers.
Cut paramedics from fire crews
Regarding the fire district parcel tax being proposed by Contra Costa Fire District officials, the tax is, supposedly, to offset the loss of funds generated by lower property tax receipts. The need for more funds is understandable, since fire protection is a high priority, but wouldn't it be better to use the available resources more efficiently? More than 70 percent of calls to the fire department are for medical emergencies, not fires. So why use a fire engine and firefighters?
You don't call a plumber for an electrical problem, or a dentist if you need surgery, so why tie up a fire engine and firefighters to stand around waiting for an ambulance? Fire trucks are not equipped to transport patients. Ambulances are better equipped to handle medical emergencies, and the EMTs don't have to be trained to fight fires.
Could it be a question of response times? If so, the proposed reduction in the number of fire stations, if the tax proposal doesn't pass, will probably result in similar results. As a bonus, private sector pension plans are considerably cheaper than public plans.
Fraud and abuse must come to end
After reading the June 19 article in the Times "Republicans want food stamps cut," I just sat in my chair and tried to figure out what is going on in Washington with the so-called elected representatives? Food coupons were meant to assist individuals with their grocery bills over a period of time and, granted, the recession has hurt a lot of individuals.
Like any government program, there is misuse and fraud and some states award benefits to people who really may not qualify. The Agriculture Committee leaders of both parties are requesting a $250 million reduction each year by cracking down on abuses. This makes sense and should have been done many years ago, but Democrats are resisting this proposal stating that it would deprive about half a million households in losing $90 a month in aid. What am I missing? Fraud and abuse must stop and yet we have elected individuals saying fraud and abuse is OK. Only in America.
J. Eric Salmon