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President Obama's policy in the Islamic world; job creation in the U.S.; a possible grocery strike in L.A.

August 24, 2011
  • Libyan people celebrate near a court house in Benghazi on Aug. 22, as rebels fought their way into Tripoli. (Esam Al-Fetori / Reuters)
Libyan people celebrate near a court house in Benghazi on Aug. 22, as rebels…

Libya, and Obama

Re "Libya rebels pour into capital," Aug. 22

Republicans still worship Ronald Reagan, crediting his politics and rhetoric with bringing down the Soviet Union: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Here's an excerpt from President Obama's remarks to the Islamic world on June 4, 2009: "I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."

Two years later, Tunisia's Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libya's Moammar Kadafi are almost all gone. I wonder how long it will take the Republicans to give Obama's policies equal credit.

David Madsen

Los Angeles

Rewarding the undocumented

Re "Illegal? Yes. Unneeded? No," Opinion, Aug. 19

Based on her experiences with intelligent, talented young "reluctant" immigrants as a college professor, Elena T. Reigadas makes a compelling case for passage of the DREAM Act. We need to control our borders, but it is unconscionable for us to not provide a pathway to citizenship for kids who are not personally responsible for being here and perform so well.

I give piano lessons to elementary school children as a volunteer. Most of my students are children of Latino immigrants and are enrolled in L.A. public schools. They all speak fluent English and are assimilated and enthusiastic about learning.

If any of them are children of undocumented immigrants, that doesn't change the fact that they are essentially American children and deserve a chance to become citizens.

Fred Dean

Los Angeles

One argument for giving "undocumented" students amnesty is that the United States purportedly needs them. But many of America's legal 1.6 million college students graduating each year cannot find jobs. Do we need still more students?

Would it not make more sense to help fund the resettlement of undocumented graduates in home nations that desperately need them? In such nations they can use their U.S. education to advance both themselves and their communities.

Howard Hurlbut


It's not easy to create jobs

Re "A jobs plan that just might work," Opinion, Aug. 21

I'm amazed that so much job creation could be accomplished by Tom Campbell's $175-billion plan to subsidize private sector jobs.

To further stimulate employment, let's eliminate the employer's portions of the Social Security and Medicare taxes and the employer's costs for health insurance. This could be accomplished by expanding on Warren Buffett's idea that interest, dividends and capital gains be taxed at the same rates as wages.

If that revenue were used to finance Social Security and Medicare for all, employers, having been relieved of those expenses, should be more willing to hire.

Maitland Alexander


Businesses do not hire new employees to gain tax breaks. Companies hire new people when their order books are so full they cannot be managed by existing employees working extra hours.

The reason is simple: If you hire a new person and there is a chance your business will decrease in the near future, you may have to lay off that new hire. And that would have a seriously bad effect on everybody's morale. No experienced manager would take that chance.

Campbell is right that we need to put people back to work, but this is not how to do it.

James W. Taylor

San Clemente

Assuming that all the suggested budgeting and financing methods can be worked out by Congress, Campbell's suggestion makes sense, at least in the case of small companies such as mine.

I watched the stimulus packages for small businesses disappear mysteriously and quickly into a "black hole" and wondered how many small companies actually got a portion of these dollars. Campbell's suggestion seems a more direct and certain method to ensure that employers will actually get the benefits of a stimulus package.

Chieu Nguyen

Laguna Hills

L.A. unions, pro and con

Re "Grocery union votes to OK strike," Aug. 22

I am sickened by our local grocery union's disenchantment with employers in an era in which these folks should be thrilled to be so gainfully employed. How long will it take before unions realize they have run their course in American society?

There are many examples of unions that have (recently) learned the hard way that belt-tightening is the new norm and that they should contribute to these cartoonish employment benefits that are almost entirely funded by employers. They need look no farther than Detroit to better understand where the union model will ultimately take them.

Jeff Smart

Newport Beach

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