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UC strike coverage
miscast the TAs
Re: “Vote on contract exposes divisions” (Page B1, Dec. 26): The $36,500 annual minimum established for half-time, nine-month-a-year teaching assistants at UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and UCLA works out to more than $50 per hour, a 50% raise over two years, and about 50% more than the median hourly wage of the California worker who is supposed to finance public education in the state long-run.
TAs, despite the biased coverage of the strike, are not by and large underprivileged people. They are grad students largely preparing, by working in part-time trainee positions, to hopefully fill better-paying positions as tenure-track faculty members.
Coverage often focused on TA problems supporting families in expensive areas on these salaries. We all would have problems supporting families in high-cost areas on part-time trainee salaries alone. That doesn’t mean it makes moral sense for the broad population to further subsidize people in already educationally and occupationally privileged positions, whether or not they appreciate them.
Move to vegan diet
is good for everyone
In Sunday’s newspaper, I read Jessica Yadegaran’s “7 tips for eating and living well in the New Year” (Page F2, Jan. 1). Initially delighted to see the sixth section, “Eat more plants,” I’d like to correct some unfortunate misinformation:
From PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine): “A plant-based diet consists exclusively of plant foods, including fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes, and avoids meat, dairy and eggs.” Not consuming animals and animal secretions is the whole point. Plant-based foods are, by default, vegan foods. Animal flesh and animal products have long been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and many forms of cancer. Suggesting that “about two-thirds of your meal should come from legumes, nuts and nonanimal sources” may be a good start for some, but there’s nothing plant-based about eating animal products a third of the time.
Go vegan in 2023 and take control of your health. You, the animals and the planet will all benefit greatly.
Anna N. Bolla
Biden laptop frenzy
mimics Hillary’s email
It’s almost comical how conservatives have raged about Hunter Biden’s laptop, and before that, Hillary Clinton’s emails and association with the Benghazi debacle. Even though nothing useful to them has been found on the laptop, just as with Clinton’s emails, they are dead certain it contains evidence of high treason. It’s the same certainty they have about election fraud.
Their hero, Donald Trump, has been impeached twice and openly created a violent attempted coup that resulted in the death of police officers and narrowly avoided the mass murder of members of Congress. Yet they blow it all off saying that there’s nothing to see here.
Picture of former
Re. “Congress OKs new election rules in response to Jan. 6,” Page A3, Dec. 24:
To illustrate this great, bipartisan congressional action you chose to include a picture of the person who made its passage so necessary. Donald Trump is the last person I want to look at in relation to this triumph, especially as he is portrayed in the oval office.
It is the kind of gratuitous coverage we are still being bombarded with. Please give us pictures of the hard-working Congress who made it happen.
should run free lottery
On Dec. 27, the East Bay Times posted an article “California boasts most winners of largest U.S. lottery jackpots.”
I suggest a U.S. government program with virtually no administrative cost and with a continuous benefit for almost every American resident: a free lottery. Every three months, the Social Security Administration would randomly choose the Social Security number of one adult. The holder of that number would receive, say, $50 million from the U.S. Treasury free from federal income tax. The lottery’s annual cost of $200 million dollars would be a trivial portion of the multitrillion-dollar federal budget. Yet every adult Social Security cardholder would constantly hold a free lottery ticket with a $50 million potentialprize.
At a low cost, the government would give all Americans constant hope of an immensely better life. Few government programs can duplicate that.
William K.S. Wang
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