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President Obama's hosting of Chinese President Hu Jintao; Steve Lopez on gun control; Michael Kinsley on Pope John Paul II

January 21, 2011

Dinner guest

Re "Hu drives straight for the heartland," Jan. 19, and "Hu treated to American feast," Jan. 20

Is it just me, or is there something decidedly unseemly about President Obama — a Nobel Peace Prize winner — hosting a state dinner (at taxpayer expense, of course) for the president of China, who jailed his country's Nobel Peace Prize winner and strong-armed lesser countries to go along with this travesty or else?

I've been unemployed for seven months and am anxious for the production of jobs, but not at the hands of a leader who acts like a tyrant.

Melanie Savage

Pasadena

I see that, in this new era of bipartisan comity and civility, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to attend the official state dinner for Hu, thus snubbing both Obama and China's president.

Now that's what I call civility.

Gordon Louttit

Manhattan Beach

From sea to rising sea

Re "Letting a rising sea have its way," Jan. 16

Whether we like it or not, sea levels are rising. Ventura is taking action to keep its coastal area safe from the water. Although we don't want to think of it as "sacrificing land but redirecting its use," we should think of it as giving back what was borrowed.

We have torn up nature, and we don't have a bone of guilt in our body. I believe it's necessary to be willing to give up some of the

62 acres of land the Ventura County Fairgrounds occupies, knowing it's for the best.

Putting walls in front of your Malibu beach houses will not keep the ocean from penetrating. Ventura's strategy should act as a model for other cities. It should also make people realize that maybe it's best to work with the change.

Erin Paik

Torrance

As oceans rise and encroach, will our California wetlands need reestablishing once more?

Hopefully, a new generation of advocates will come forward, as dedicated as the previous citizens were, to protect watery places for migrating birds, for fish nurseries and for the filtering of coastal waters.

Maggie Blankley

Los Angeles

Picking on the late pope

Re "On a fast track to sainthood," Opinion, Jan. 19

Rarely have I read such an ugly screed against the Roman Catholic Church as Michael Kinsley's article on the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

The fact that Kinsley is in favor of using human embryos in the hopes of curing Parkinson's and other diseases is a separate argument.

How unfair to use it to write such a sarcastic, scornful diatribe about one of the practices of the Catholic Church.

Can you imagine the same kind of ugly words about Muslims being printed in The Times?

Barbara Roach

San Clemente

After hearing of the late pope's pending beatification, I was waiting for the inevitable attack article vilifying the whole process and the Catholic Church. I didn't have to wait long.

Why didn't God cure Kinsley and many other Parkinson's sufferers, instead focusing on one nun? There are no miracles, and this case is also a fraud. The church proclaims one miracle, but it is against stem cell research. How inconsistent!

All of these standard attacks on the church run through the article.

For those of us who believe, consistency and readily ascertained answers do not constitute the criteria for truth.

I have a close relative who suffers from Parkinson's too, and I am sorry for Kinsley's pain.

Jack Kaczorowski

Los Angeles

Would it not be a miracle worthy of sainthood for Pope John Paul II if, on one morning, all those tortured souls who were raped as children by priests on JP2's watch were to wake up washed clean of their torment, pain and suffering?

Bill Cranham

La Quinta

Crazy about guns in America

Re "Put sanity in the gun debate," Column, Jan. 19

Steve Lopez nailed it: It's insanity. Buying a gun in many states is easier than buying a can of spray paint or nasal decongestant. Locally, Starbucks will be banning cigarette smoking at the tables outside its stores, but it won't ban guns.

There will be hours and hours of discussion about the "cause" of the shootings in Arizona and whether Gardena High School should have metal detectors instead of random wanding. But it's about the guns.

The National Rifle Assn. tells us that there are enough gun laws — just enforce them. Most of that enforcement will occur after a bullet pierces a body. More guns, less crime, they tell us. Why don't I feel safer?

Rhonda Mayer

Chatsworth

I'm appalled at Lopez's column on putting sanity in the gun debate. Lopez does just the opposite with his sarcasm in the analogy of being able to buy a Glock as easily as buying a Coke.

We have many laws on the books regarding the purchase, carry and use of firearms in this country and state. Let me remind Lopez of the criminal background checks in place and the waiting period implemented to buy a firearm.

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