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L.A.'s election results; military tribunals and Guantanamo; turmoil in Wisconsin's government

March 11, 2011

The few, the voters

Re "Incumbents hold edge in L.A. council races," March 9

I would like to thank the 82.41% of registered voters of the great city of Los Angeles for having such trust and confidence in the 11.59% of us who voted in Tuesday's election.

Half of the City Council, half of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and half of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees were picked. Voters also weighed a bunch of ballot measures that will decide where some of our tax money will go.

Yes, less than 12% of us decided how the city will be run for the next few years.

Dorit Dowler-Guerrero

Los Angeles

'Grass-roots' and other roots

Re "Union rights impasse broken," March 10

For all of the people who believed that the "grass-roots" "tea party" would bring them a voice in politics, you've gotten your wish.

This phony group, funded by wealthy special interests, has now in Wisconsin and other states started the systematic dismantling of workers' rights and the middle class.

Congratulations, tea party activists. You've permitted the oligarchy that doesn't give a whit about you and your "cause" to move forward with their agenda to plunder what is left of the middle class.

It never fails to amaze me how some people in this country continuously vote against their own best interests.

By the way, tea partyers, after all your shrill rhetoric, have you gotten your country back yet?

Jack Kenna

Whittier

Wisconsin Democrats are complaining that their Republican colleagues "stole democracy" by voting without the presence of the Democrats.

Didn't the Democrats abandon democracy by leaving the state and refusing to debate the collective bargaining bill in the first place?

Lewis Carroll couldn't make this stuff up.

At least the Wisconsin Democrats had time to read the bill before refusing to vote on it.

Jeffrey C. Briggs

Hollywood

May the battle won by the Wisconsin GOP be a Pyrrhic victory. It is time for the voting public to understand how anti-labor the Republican Party is. If the workers think that things are bad now, wait until there are no unions left.

Minimum wage, here we come.

Larry Severson

Fountain Valley

Justice and terrorism

Re "U.S. to resume terror trials," March 8, and "Mired in Guantanamo," Editorial, March 9

The Obama administration is on solid footing in promoting military tribunals for accused terrorists. The terrorists masquerade as civilians while carrying out espionage and violent acts, yet they desire the distinction of promoting these acts in furtherance of their political or national goals. They must be denied this for good reason.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice emphasizes that I, as a U.S. citizen, can be tried by a military tribunal and be subject to the death penalty if convicted of spying during wartime. Although this represents an unlikely outcome, the relatively mild treatment that Guantanamo inmates are receiving pales by comparison.

Opponents of the Obama administration should look for a different issue.

Henry Oster

Ventura

Up to now, Al Qaeda has been largely absent from the revolutions in the Arab world. President Obama has an opportunity to make the new leaders of the Middle East turn to America as their example of a rule-of-law democracy.

By failing to uphold American legal ideals and resuming George W. Bush's policies, he may push these nascent democracies into the hands of radicals.

John Gallogly

Los Angeles

Guantanamo may well be a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda. However, I think we can be quite certain that if the detainees were housed at the Waldorf Astoria and all their hearings and trials held before the Supreme Court, then those conditions would be the recruiting tools.

Short of releases with apologies and compensation, nothing would satisfy Al Qaeda.

David Ewell

Huntington Beach

As Obama restarts Guantanamo trials, there is no need for the Republicans to field a candidate in 2012. It is quite obvious there is already a Republican occupying the White House.

Republicans, save your election money for 2016. By 2012, we will have had 12 straight years of Republican values in the White House. It's as if George W. Bush never left.

Raymond O'Keefe

Los Angeles

Complicated cardinal

Re "Mahony and his church," Opinion, March 9

I felt like vomiting when I read that Cardinal Roger Mahoney had "incredible sorrow" for the victims of clerical sex abuse. This is a man who hired high-powered lawyers who proceeded over a period of many years to deny, delay, obfuscate and fight tooth and nail every case filed against the Los Angeles archdiocese.

One might expect this sort of reaction from a "heartless corporation." From a leader who represents an institution that holds itself out to be of the highest moral authority, it is inexcusable.

Mark B. David

Newport Beach

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