View from the bench
Re "Judge in Prop. 8 case didn't have to recuse himself, decision says," June 15
The question of "can a gay judge rule on same-sex marriage" has been regularly presented by the media without the obvious corollary question of whether a "straight judge" can do the same.
The assumption behind Proposition 8 was that allowing gay marriage would damage the institution of marriage. Wouldn't then a straight, married judge have some investment in the institution of marriage? In fact anyone is likely to have had some personal deliberations about marriage and thus would not be entirely unbiased about the value of the institution.
That the gay-baiting in this case was not more severely challenged in the media suggests that anti-gay bias continues to occur easily and with little question.
The U.N. and a Palestinian state
Re "What is the U.N.'s role? A former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says a vote would only diminish the world body," Opinion, June 12
John R. Bolton's recommendation that the world should view the Palestinians' plan to seek the United Nation's support for statehood as "entertainment" is deeply cynical.
After watching the Israeli prime minister address Congress to repeated standing ovations, it is clear that the Palestinians will have to seek
recourse through the U.N.
It is troubling to see our own Congress so thoroughly influenced by pro-Israel lobbyists, ignoring the plight of the Palestinians. Their treatment by the Israeli government has been harsh and tragic.
Ultimately, the truth will emerge and the U.S. and Israel will be seen as two countries whose purported ideals of peace and freedom are only slogans.
Bolton feigns concern that the U.N.'s reputation will be sullied by a declaration about Palestinian statehood. I imagine that Bolton would be overjoyed by such a result.
Bolton has done more to sully the U.N.'s reputation than any other American diplomat. When President George W. Bush appointed him U.N. ambassador, it was like appointing an atheist to be ambassador to the Vatican.
Robert Von Bargen
Re "What is the U.N.'s role? A Hamas official insists that a vote this fall in the General Assembly cannot be stopped," Opinion, June 12
Mousa Abu Marzook has to get his facts straight. The 1947 U.S. General Assembly Resolution was a recommendation that was accepted by Israel but rejected by the Arabs. Now Marzook wants it to be binding.
Marzook, who represents Hamas, should admit that it is his party that has mismanaged the Gaza Strip economy and has allowed its leadership to divert aid meant for the people. He complains about the Jewish settlements but ignores the fact that Ariel Sharon dismantled all of the Gaza settlements. There aren't any settlements in the Gaza Strip.
Finally, Marzook represents a terrorist government. Now he is hiding behind the cloak of the U.N.
La Habra Heights
After reading Marzook's words, I wonder how much better off the Palestinians and their brethren would have been over these last 63 years if they had put all of their efforts into making a life for themselves, as the Israelis did.
Instead, what they couldn't win in several wars, the Palestinians now presume to win through "peace" negotiations.
The Palestinians are barking up the wrong tree. The U.N. can't give them a state; only the United States can. It won't and Israel can't. So my advice to the Palestinians would be to demand citizenship in the nation that engulfs them: Israel. "No annexation without representation" could be their slogan.
This prospect should motivate friends of Israel to push harder for a two-state solution, but it's too late. It is now, and ever shall be, one state from the river to the sea, inhabited by several tribes.
Re "Obama weighs scale of Afghan pullout," June 13
Here we go again. It was the same in the early 1970s. Hanoi was on the brink of collapse after an intense bombing campaign, and then we pulled back due to the broadcasted unpopular nature of the war, the cost and bickering political parties. All Hanoi had to do was wait it out.
Now, politicians are announcing our flagging will and public opinion, and the enormous cost, of the war in Afghanistan. All the Taliban has to do is bide its time and wait for the inevitable victory.
I lean neither right nor left. I am not for war or for continuing this one. I only care about the brave men and women who have, over the years, given their lives in these kinds of debacles. And for what?
Robert M. Imm
Re "Ministers back up Dodgers owner," June 11
Whatever happened to separation of church and sports? It is silly for Frank McCourt to round up these ecclesiastical cheerleaders to promote his empire. As men of the cloth, perhaps their time would be better spent guiding their flocks instead of promoting the ventures of someone who is completely unable to deal with the truth.