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Letters to the editor

Solar panels in the desert; Jonah Goldberg on Obama's first year; Toyota's safety issues

December 28, 2009

Mel Gibson, arrested by deputies from the same station after drunk driving, spewing profanities, threatening the arresting deputy and attempting to escape, was chauffeured to pick up his car from a county tow yard. After he served probation, the actor's record was expunged. The arresting deputy, who had been threatened by Gibson, was harassed, investigated and reassigned for telling the truth.

According to the Sheriff's Department, deputies followed procedure to the letter with Richardson. What alphabet were they using when they chauffeured Gibson away from the same station?

Ben Eisner

Westlake Village

Full repentance is another matter

Re “Rabbi sentenced to two years in tax fraud,” Dec. 22

Rabbi Naftali Tzi Weisz and his associates' tax fraud was not just illegal. It was fundamentally abhorrent to Judaism, which prioritizes righteous behavior above religious belief.

According to Jewish philosophy, the first question the Heavenly Court asks is "Were you ethical in business?" As for Rabbi Weisz's lawyer's, family's and supporters' leniency requests, Jewish law (as set forth by Maimonides) only permits his victims -- every U.S. taxpayer -- to forgive him, and then only after his complete repentance, including sincere apology and full restitution to all who have been harmed.

Here, as with many unethical actions causing permanent harm and/or harm to unidentifiable victims, full repentance is impossible. Moreover, Jewish law mandates justice, which requires the imposition of punishment even after full restitution and forgiveness.

Art Levine

Fullerton

The writer is a rabbi and an attorney.

No government in the bedroom

Re “Judge rejects petition for condoms in porn,” Dec. 23

Three cheers for the judge in Los Angeles who dismissed the petition to mandate condom use in adult films. While the spread of sexually transmitted diseases is a serious concern, even more serious is the threat of letting the government into our bedrooms -- even if those bedrooms have lights and cameras.

Frankly, I'm surprised this petition came from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which runs the "Out of the Closet" thrift stores and advocates for, among other things, understanding of the gay and lesbian communities.

Such an organization should recognize the danger of allowing the government or anyone to determine how, when or with whom consenting adults may have sex. The motivation for the petition is understandable, but personal liberty should always take precedence.

Michelle Minton

Washington

The writer is director of insurance studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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