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The end of the comic strip Cathy; President Obama talking to voters in Iowa; Meg Whitman's maid

October 03, 2010

Cathy has her fans

Re "Why Cathy didn't cut it," Opinion, Sept. 30

I wonder if Meghan Daum has any idea what it takes to write and draw a comic strip every day or week?

Cathy Guisewite knows. Her "Cathy" maintained its high quality for decades and was never lost for a premise or the essential tag in the final panel.

I've never experienced the challenges of thigh flab and shopping angst, but I've relished those of Cathy.

I don't agree with the politics of Garry Trudeau, but I consider "Doonesbury" a national treasure.

Cathy entertained us. Isn't that enough?

Frank Jacobs

Burbank

Whatever is wrong with your columnist? I have enjoyed "Cathy" for so many years.

When I was working, she made me laugh at all the familiar people I saw in her strips. Not all of us wanted to burn the bra and protest. Some just wanted to have a family, pay the bills, watch the grandparents laugh while they were here.

It's hard to say how Guisewite made all the points that a lot of us were thinking, but she did. The funny co-workers, the always right co-workers, the bosses who were right because they were the boss, the serious co-workers, the sales ladies who said you always looked good, no matter what.

She put a funny spin on so many everyday things. I will miss Cathy.

Carolyn Kay Lopez

North Tustin

The sour indictment of the comic-strip character Cathy as an insufficiently inspiring role model for women — who, of course, base their lives and opinions primarily on those of cartoon characters — reminds me of a classic '70s cartoon: A bookstore clerk says to a blank-faced patron: "This is a feminist bookstore. There is no humor section."

Steve Hoffmann

Redondo Beach

A president who listens

Re "President listens to voters' concerns in Iowa backyard," Sept. 30

It seems President Obama's question/answer sessions are dedicated more to appearances than to the issues.

This is unfortunate, because his willingness to meet with groups of citizens outside of news conferences could engender goodwill. His answers to the questions, though, sound to me more like equivocations than explanations, and make me wonder about his motives in these pointedly informal meetings.

Steve Fox

Ridgewood, N.J.

Back and forth on Whitman

Re "Whitman says she'd submit to polygraph," Oct. 1

I'm puzzled by the Meg Whitman/illegal immigrant flap. The implication is that she knowingly employed one and, consequently, is less qualified to be elected.

Doesn't everyone employ illegal immigrants to tend their yards?

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Michael Baskin

Covina

Even if one accepts the (dubious) premise that Whitman didn't know her housekeeper was undocumented, she still was willfully blind to that fact by apparently failing to make any inquiry after becoming aware there was a problem.

Thus, whether she had actual knowledge of her housekeeper's illegal status or just deliberately ignored the issue, Whitman showed she clearly does not possess sufficient judgment to be governor.

Robert Ouriel

Los Angeles

Let me get this straight: Whitman is a villain for firing her housekeeper, Nicandra Diaz Santillan?

Imagine the suffering. Diaz Santillan was forced to take $23 an hour for her job, an obvious gross underpayment for the tasks that she was expected to perform — looking after the kids, running errands, etc. It is difficult to believe that Whitman had the audacity to dismiss Diaz Santillan after the latter informed Whitman about her immigration status.

I assume Diaz Santillan expected to be treated as a state employee and wanted union representation. Failing having that option, she sought out Gloria Allred, or possibly vice versa.

I do not know whose version of the events is true. I just hope that Allred is paying Diaz Santillan at least $23 an hour. She's worth it, politically.

Simcha Zehav

Granada Hills

The controversy concerning Whitman and her former housekeeper reveals the contradictions between policy and reality in the immigration debate.

Scratch the surface of any immigration controversy and you find the complex lives of people: immigrants who form relationships with their employers, their spouses and children; immigrants who are part of communities and cannot be expunged from our lives with the wave of the Border Patrol's wand.

That is where the true difficulty in enforcing immigration policy lies: How do you separate families and communities in an effort to cleanse the country of illegal immigrants?

It is easy to be anti-immigrant in the abstract. It is much harder when that immigrant is your friend, your spouse, the gardener, the butcher, the housekeeper, the caregiver you rely on. This imbroglio reveals the messiness of human relations that is at the heart of any real discussion on immigration.

Pamela Hartman

Los Angeles

The writer is past chairwoman of the Los Angeles County Bar Assn.'s immigration section.

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