March 10, 2005
According to "Justice Unit Puts Its Focus on Faith" (March 7), almost in a clandestine fashion the religious rights division of the Justice Department quietly has been promoting special treatment for religious groups that accept government funds. One case cited in which the Justice Department has sided with a religious group involves the Salvation Army's requirement that its employees embrace Jesus Christ to keep their jobs. These special "religious civil rights" are scary stuff. They are a direct affront to our constitutional separation of church and state.
January 30, 2005
There's a fundamental reason why houses of the future usually don't work: The visionaries don't live in the real world ("The House of Today, Tomorrow," by Nancy Rommelmann, Style, Jan. 9). For example, they are imagining a house without keys or knobs. Or they imagine window-less walls that are controlled by computers to become translucent, a giant TV, etc. That's fine, but what happens when El Nino or an earthquake hit in the future and cause a sustained power outage? How would you open cabinets or doors to access your emergency supplies?
January 29, 2005
I read with interest your Jan. 24 story on the effects of gentrification in the Echo Park area. Stephanie Cisneros sees it as a threat to the current lifestyle. My husband's family lived in the Echo Park area until the 1960s. We witnessed change opposite to what is being seen now. What was once a modest middle-class neighborhood slowly disintegrated into a graffiti-filled area. The houses were no longer kept up and, in many cases, old trucks and automobiles were parked on the lawns.
January 20, 2005
Re "Rose, and Thorn, From California," Jan. 19: In the confirmation hearings for Condoleezza Rice as secretary of State, the roses and thorns are in the eyes of the beholder. Sen. Barbara Boxer sent roses to disheartened Democrats everywhere by courageously opposing the policies and exposing the many limitations of the woefully incompetent and dangerously overrated Rice. However, by unequivocally embracing Rice and all she stands for, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has cast thorns at her constituents and has failed to serve the people of California with honor.
January 16, 2005
Eddie KISLINGER's story "While at Graceland, All Shook Up" [Traveler's Journal, Jan. 2], brought back memories of a recent visit. In early December while on a business trip, I spent an afternoon at Graceland. Kislinger describes Graceland to a T, from getting off Interstate 40, boarding the tour bus, Graceland and the audio tape, even the stop at the gift shop, where I wound up with an Elvis coffee mug. Jerry Backstrom Temple City
December 29, 2004
Ronald Brownstein is right that President Bush is passing the buck on the Iraq debacle ("Bush Sending the Wrong Message as Chaos Smolders in Iraq," Dec. 27). But I take exception to his contention that we Americans who do not have someone directly involved in the Iraqi conflict are suffering "no discernible consequences." At the least, those of us with a conscience that embraces all of humanity are suffering with the loss of each soldier and each Iraqi civilian in this immoral war. Americans are paying as steep an emotional and spiritual price for having allowed this illegal action as Saddam Hussein has paid for his hideous actions.
December 7, 2004
Regarding "Forest Fees to Be Extended" [Nov. 30]: Officials calling the fees "popular" when compliance is coerced by threats of fines and jail time is like saying people love paying income taxes because they pay them dutifully. Such a change in public lands policy should be open to public comment, debated in Congress and voted on, not embedded in an appropriations bill. Deborah Y. Nakamoto Temple City
October 30, 2004
In her Oct. 27 column, "We're Taking Way Too Much Initiative," Patt Morrison has it exactly right. Voters are required to do the job of legislators. We elect and pay legislators to make the big decisions on altering the state Constitution, issuing bonds, raising and lowering taxes. But with 16 complicated state propositions on the ballot, I am now forced to do their job. I differ slightly with Morrison on how to correct it: Rather than have the legislators' $140 daily allowance go into opponents' campaign funds for every proposition the Legislature should have decided, I suggest each voter be given the $140 for doing the Legislature's job. If I am going to work as a legislator, I want to be paid.
October 2, 2004
Two letters were printed regarding the possibility that the Dodgers might not re-hire announcer Ross Porter, and unfortunately both were dripping with misplaced sarcasm and absurd negativity. These two guys don't know how fortunate they are. Baseball fans I know have great appreciation for Ross and his considerable knowledge and announcing skills. Have you heard some of the other announcers around Major League Baseball? Ouch! I'd hate to see the Dodgers dump Ross for some way too hip 27-year-old hotshot with too much Physioc and not nearly enough Ross, or another former player with limited broadcasting experience.
September 10, 2004
Re "U.S. Toll in Iraq Reaches 1,000," Sept. 8: It is sad to know the death of even one U.S. serviceman in Iraq. But to those who say we do not belong there, I have this to say: The war in Iraq has nothing to do with spreading democracy. We have troops there to protect our economic interests. If our nation was not addicted to oil, we would not be there. As for the young servicemen who die there, they were not drafted. They voluntarily joined, knowing that they might be killed or wounded in the course of their employment.