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Letters to the editor

Banning land mines; opposing views on Glenn Beck; America's haves and have-nots

November 30, 2009

Land mine lunacy

Re "U.S. backtracks on land mine ban," Nov. 26

I am ashamed that the Obama administration may not join more than 150 countries in banning land mines -- a huge atrocity that mankind (an oxymoron in this context) continues to inflict on our mangled planet. How can America condone the continued planting of land mines when we grieve over our young men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan being killed daily by crude versions of the devices? Such hypocrisy!

Land mines kill or maim people every day. There are reportedly more than 110 million mines worldwide, and the cost, beyond lost lives, is staggering: medical costs, land unable to be farmed, removal costs and injuries to animals. Pictures of flag-draped caskets and one-legged children on handmade crutches are too heartbreaking to bear.

President Obama -- not in my name!

Lloyd A. Dent
Studio City


Skeptical of CalPERS

Re “CalPERS probes advisor oversight,” Nov. 25

I want to personally thank The Times for the very disturbing and revealing articles on the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

I have been a member of CalPERS for more than 33 years and expect to retire soon. All these years I believed that CalPERS was a sound, safe, conservative and ethically managed fund.

Now I think my beliefs may be illusionary.

Your articles have shocked and angered me, both as a member and a taxpayer. Now it seems the very people who were allegedly involved in this "pay to play" are the hard-charging reformers.

Somehow I keep thinking of the allegory of cockroaches running when stunned by a bright light. The Times has shined that light, and I am very grateful.

Unfortunately, I don't think I am too cynical in believing that some will resign and few will ever be punished.

Chris Keller
West Covina


Who'd want to work there?

Re “Probation chief’s position a tough sell,” Nov. 26

Having observed the supervisors in action, I can understand why Los Angeles County has trouble filling key positions. The supervisors not only try to micromanage their departments; worse, they publicly excoriate their executives for problems of their own making.

I wouldn't accept an executive position in L.A. County under the current leadership.

Walter L. Johnson
Santa Monica


Prohibition's lessons

Re “A U.S. drug foe who was seen as incorruptible,” Nov. 22

Richard Padilla Cramer's sellout to drug lords in Mexico comes as no surprise. Corruption at every level is the way prohibition works.

During the prohibition of alcohol, Al Capone often boasted that half the cops in Chicago were on his payroll.

That some succumb to the temptation of bribes and the riches to be had dealing drugs should come as no surprise. Dishonesty is just part of the drug war territory.

Floyd Krautner
Bakersfield


Giving voice to Beck

Re “Watching Glenn Beck,” Opinion, Nov. 25

Tim Rutten is convinced Fox News should remove Glenn Beck because Beck "intends to use his TV and radio shows to promote a mass movement that will involve voter registration drives, training in community organizing and a series of regional conventions" to change the current political culture.

Where have I heard those tactics utilized before? Oh, that's right! Barack Obama and ACORN used the same strategy during Obama's presidential campaign.

It's apparent that in Rutten's mind, what's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander, and his comments only reinforce what most conservatives already believe -- that the left hates it when the right has the audacity to use the same methods they do to stir the political pot.

Please forgive us if we conservatives sometimes forget that the left owns the market on civil disobedience as a method to bring about change.

Jim Valencia
Chino Hills

Does Rutten ever consider why Fox News has more viewers than the other cable news channels combined? Does he ever wonder why the majority of us lowly "working class" people are angry at what is being done by Obama and his administration?

Beck speaks for many of us who have no voice in this administration and who want to return to the tenets of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I believe that there are multitudes who are extremely scared -- not of Beck, but of our president. You must refer to us as "tea baggers" and write insulting articles in your newspaper because you are scared of us. We number in the millions.

What we really need is a revolution in this country -- to take it back from legislators who ignore the wishes of the voters and a president who is more concerned with healthcare than creating jobs for millions of suffering Americans.

Anne Grogan
Bakersfield

So Beck finds himself constrained by the outreach of his present pulpit at Fox News and has announced grandiose plans to launch a national movement to promote his crackpot views.

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