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Lawry's 'beef bowl' for college football players; Jonah Goldberg on the rise of the gay bourgeoisie; attracting faculty at the UCs

January 03, 2011

Airing some beefs

Re "As the Rose Bowl nears, players dig in — for beef," Column One, Dec. 29

I find the spectacle of numerous athletes involved in an (over-) eating contest somewhat disturbing in these times of economic malaise and high unemployment in California.

Many families today do not have enough to eat. Any way you slice it, this event is very inappropriate in these times of hardship.

I have no beef with anyone enjoying a good cut of prime rib. I simply suggest that this particular New Year's tradition be put out to pasture.

Cliff Nimrod

Long Beach

Next year, instead of Lawry's feeding hundreds of pounds of prime rib to healthy college football players, maybe it could try something that would be beneficial to the community.

With many children in Los Angeles not getting enough nourishment each day, Lawry's could use all that meat to feed the needy. The players of the two Rose Bowl teams could join together to help Lawry's serve meals to some hungry kids at the restaurant.

Dan Rendant


American history and gays

Re "As gay becomes bourgeois," Opinion, Dec. 28

I'm not quite sure how Jonah Goldberg derived the birth of the "gay left" from the "free love" movement of the 1960s, but that is what conservatives do sometimes: take a simple look at history and overgeneralize. So it's hard to determine who Goldberg is taking a swipe at.

It seems he is condoning and accepting monogamous gayness, which is to his credit. But, as sort of a side-slap, he implies that Democrats accept and roll around in the immoral free love that originated in the 1960s antiwar movement. Mr. Goldberg, take a look at Roman history: Your bourgeois sexual mores will most certainly be ruffled.

I, for one, am so glad that we had an antiwar, free-love movement of the 1960s, because it stopped older people from sending younger people, gay or straight, off to a war of national adventure and speculation.

Where are you, flower child? We need you desperately today.

Chet Chebegia

Long Beach

Goldberg hit the nail on the head.

I believe this whole debate would go away with a different name for same-sex marriage.

Give it its own definition: "Parriage," the state of being united to a person of the same sex as wife and wife or husband and husband in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

Catherine O'Brien


Though Goldberg grudgingly acknowledges gay rights to marriage and serving in the military, he can't help himself and then makes snarky and sweeping statements about what gays and Democrats think and want.

According to him, 20 years ago the gay agenda was to smash monogamy, and now Democrats prefer "darker" fare on TV to family shows.

It doesn't seem to occur to him that gays could possibly have embraced the institutions of hard work and monogamy even before the current changes in cultural views allowed them to be visible and more accepted.

Marty Wilson


Progressives and the president

Re "Extreme makeover," Opinion, Dec. 29

As one of those "confused" progressives Richard Wolffe seems to blame for the Democrats' debacle in the November election, I'm angry and saddened at how President Obama pursued a series of corporate-friendly policies — the bailout of Wall Street, the giveaway of healthcare to the insurance companies and a stimulus only half the size it should have been — and still got tagged with the labels "socialist" and "progressive" by the Republican attack machine.

As they have in past elections, the Republicans prospered in 2010 by mobilizing their base and plainly stating their beliefs and goals, while the Democrats waffled and many of their core voters stayed home in disgust.

If Obama follows the advice of Wolffe and other "pragmatists" and continues to alienate the Democrats' progressive base, he will be a one-term president.

Mark Gabrish Conlan

San Diego

Wolffe castigates progressives for preferring a "liberal lion growling at conservatives [to] a leader willing to compromise to get things done" while airily dismissing any questions about the value of what has been done. But these are not the only alternatives.

Lions do not merely growl. They stake out territory and defend it with courage and ferocity. The animal Obama most resembles is a possum playing dead.

Great leaders do not move to the center; they move the center to themselves.

Charles Berezin

Los Angeles

The same-sex marriage issue

Re "Say 'I do,' Mr. President," Editorial, Dec. 30

The Times quotes President Obama as stating, "My baseline is a strong civil union that provides them the same protections and the legal rights that married couples have."

Well, Mr. President, your baseline is a fallacy.

The Defense of Marriage Act specifically legislates that only marriages "between one man and one woman" shall be recognized by the federal government. Thus, more than 1,100 specific rights and privileges afforded to married couples by Social Security, Medicare, the military and myriad other federal agencies are denied to same-gender couples.

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