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Letters to the editor

A heaping portion of 2009's biggest turkeys

November 26, 2009

A full plate of turkeys

With apologies to cranberry sauce and corn bread stuffing, there's nothing better than letters to the editor to remind us that there are turkeys -- bad ideas -- in our midst.

This year, readers lambasted pay cuts for government workers and payouts to automakers and banks. They railed against President Obama's choice of dog as passionately as they ridiculed his choice of Cabinet secretaries.

In honor of (and with sincere thanks to) the outraged letter writers who fill this space each day, today's page serves up a heaping portion of some of 2009's biggest turkeys, per our readers, with just the right amount of salt and spice. Bon appetit, and happy holiday.

Eryn Brown
Letters editor

The Nobel Political Prize

Re "The Nobel Peace Prize: Barack Obama," Oct. 10

I support President Obama as much as anyone, but let's face it, what the Nobel committee really did was award the prize to the American people for electing Obama. Obama's great accomplishment in the eyes of the committee? Not being George W. Bush.

Richard Murphy

The cult of celebrity strikes again. I voted for Obama, but for goodness sake, have some propriety and measure of worth, Nobel committee.

America's TV and radio right-wing rent-a-mouths will have a field day with this, and rightly so.

Shannon Joseph Cream
Long Beach

After hearing that Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, I immediately wrote the Nobel committee telling them that although I had not really accomplished anything in the field of science, I am forever talking about how much we need a cure for cancer. Surely, I explained to the committee, that should make me a clear front-runner for next year's Nobel in chemistry.

Steve Kowit
San Diego

GM bailout is a wrong turn

Re "U.S. to ease GM into bankruptcy," June 1

Preserving GM is the worst thing the White House can do for our automotive industry. Bloated, intransigent and in decline for decades, GM appears only now to take its long market slide seriously. Its own attempts at cultural change have been halfhearted.

In rescuing GM, the Obama administration damages its own goal of creating a leaner, greener and better American auto industry by keeping an old-industry dinosaur on life support.

GM has no preordained right to exist in the face of its repeated failures.

Take it apart in bankruptcy and encourage the development of new, innovative auto companies from scratch, corporations without antiquated business practices or fossilized views of the industry and its markets.

That's the road to a rebirth of the American car.

Gregory Dyas
Simi Valley

The burden falls on middle class

Re "Mayor's tightrope: Cut wages of allies," April 14

Although I agree with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's attempt to ask all city employees to contribute so that widespread layoffs won't happen, I can't help but notice that this is essentially a tax on the middle class, while those who caused the economic mess -- the irresponsible rich -- get off scot-free.

Cops, firefighters and teachers didn't cause this meltdown, but they, and the citizens whose services will be cut, are paying the price.

Unless the mayor and other local officials across the state and the country point out that we are placing a disproportionate burden on the middle class, it will continue to happen. Villaraigosa will be blamed by the poor and the middle class for making them clean up a mess they didn't create.

For now, he only has control over and responsibility for Los Angeles, so I agree with his short-term solution. But Villaraigosa must also use his bully pulpit to make Sacramento and Washington recognize that their irresponsible tax cuts are having huge local impacts.

John Gallogly
Los Angeles

The politics of (not) paying taxes

Re "Caught up in a tax revolt," Feb. 4

Regarding the questionable nominations of Tom Daschle, Nancy Killefer, Bill Richardson and Timothy F. Geithner, to name a few: This is the "change" and "more ethical administration" that President Obama promised?

Unfortunately, it's politics as usual. Try vetting your nominees better, Mr. President.

Tommy Cheng

Hard times in black and white

Re "Times to lay off 300, consolidate sections," Business, Jan. 31

As The Times continues its inexorable march to becoming a throwaway, it is good to see that the geniuses who are running this process of degrading a once-great newspaper have not lost their senses of humor.

In today's economic climate, combining obituaries with the Business section is worth a chuckle. At the same time, it makes a modicum of sense, with the two areas having more in common as each day passes.

Gary R. Levine
West Hills

Textbook example of fear-mongering

Re "Bipartisan praise for school speech," Sept. 9

The Hysteria Alert has been raised to Code Silly.

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