Mitt Romney speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition 2012 Presidential… (Alex Wong, Getty Images )
Re "Romney's Mormon faith is absent from campaign," Dec. 8
Mitt Romney, a cautious, experienced campaigner, calculates that it profits him to be virtually silent about what is best about him -- the many kind, generous, admirably humane deeds he selflessly performed as a bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, December 23, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 20 Letters Desk 2 inches; 62 words Type of Material: Correction
Football tickets: Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas' Dec. 11 letter to the editor said The Times submitted the public records request that yielded information on two NFL tickets billed to the L.A. County Memorial Coliseum Commission in August, after a commission staffer discovered the expense in July. The Times made its request on July 19; the records were obtained in August.
But at the same time, he proudly and loudly trumpets his "success" as a businessman, which resulted in putting many of his fellow Americans out of work.
Frederick Douglass said it best: "At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed."
Re "Ridley-Thomas tied to Coliseum expenditure," Dec. 8
The article misleadingly asserts that I used my position on the L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commission to "score" football tickets on the "public dime."
Two tickets to an NFL game were billed to the Coliseum without my knowledge. The purchase -- not a gift -- should not have been expensed to the Coliseum. As the interim chief executive wrote in a Sept. 12 letter, I was never informed that an expense report had been submitted, and I had not received an invoice for the expense.
The story implies that the matter came to light only because of a Times records request in August. The expense was actually found by a financial staffer in July.
There are genuine concerns regarding past management of the Coliseum, but this isn't one of them. The Coliseum found an invoice that wasn't forwarded to me. When it was, I paid it. That's not sensational, but it's the truth.
The writer is Los Angeles County supervisor, 2nd District.
Sounding off about the 1%
Re "What's so awful about the 1%?," Opinion, Dec. 4
Bradley Schiller repeats a tired conservative argument: The rich are deserving because they are creative and work hard, and the real problem is government.
He forgets the war against unions waged by companies like Wal-Mart, which has enriched its billionaire owners but left its employees underpaid; the systematic exportation of good jobs to other countries; and the bankers who have paid themselves billions while forcing millions out of their homes.
What the Occupy people are protesting is this grotesque accumulation of riches in the hands of a few while the situation of the rest of us is getting worse. This is not the America that won World War II.
Occupy Wall Street is not about disliking entrepreneurs. Nor is it about the "futility in grappling with a weak economy."
It's about the clear connection between
economic inequality and social injustice. Our public policies have been engineered to favor the wealthy at the expense of the common good, even though there is no truth to the voodoo economics of the trickle-down theory.
The nation is at its strongest when the middle class is strongest. Now the party of "family values" wants to weaken all of the institutions that made the middle class strong.
With capitalism disengaged from morality, Occupy was inevitable.
Schiller listed a number of billionaires with whom he claims the Occupy crowd would have an affinity. However, his first example is a poor one.
Despite all the positive eulogies for Steve Jobs, and despite his technological innovations, Jobs oversaw Apple as it earned billions partly by outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper foreign labor. Because Apple set high prices for its products despite their low manufacturing cost, the company sits on an ocean of cash.
Had Jobs felt anything but sheer greed, thousands of well-paying U.S. jobs could have been created by a still-profitable Apple.
Why would the 99% care to hang out with this guy?
There's nothing inherently wrong with the 1%. But the elites didn't get to where they are in a vacuum. Jobs didn't invent the computer; what he and Steve Wozniak did was combine available parts into a product for an emerging market. That certainly took creativity and ambition, but they couldn't have done it without all the work, products and infrastructure funded both privately and by the government.
Isaac Newton said he stood on the shoulders of giants. Could Jobs have accomplished the same thing if he had grown up in El Salvador or Kenya? Warren Buffett asked that question with respect to his own success; his answer was, probably not.
Americans, through a unity of purpose that has existed since the founding of this country, have created the cradle in which success can flourish.
Stem cell studies
Re "Stem cell agency needs a self-exam," Column,
Michael Hiltzik draws starkly different conclusions about Geron Corp.'s decision to stop its stem cell research than The Times' Nov. 21 article. That piece noted that Geron also has potential cancer therapies that are further along in development and that the company made a business decision to focus exclusively on those therapies. Geron made clear that the stem cell science was sound.