Re "French National Assembly approves ban on face veils," July 14
A recent Pew survey reported that more than 60% of Europeans favor the ban on full-face veils and only 28% of Americans do. This indicates to me that Europeans have a better appreciation for the ideal of true liberty for all individuals, an ideal for which our forefathers and mothers fought: the freedom to pursue self-chosen goals in life.
Can a person whose face is always hidden in public realistically run for public office, be hired as a physician or as a schoolteacher, or serve in the military? Can she expect to work for public agencies or businesses that have physical contact with the public?
Let's be honest about this. The purpose of the burka with a full-face covering is to keep the woman tied to the home to serve her master. She is not the autonomous individual that she should have the right to be in a free society. This is a condition generally imposed on her, subtly or not so subtly, by her family or husband. Condoning it is no more a matter of cultural tolerance than condoning slavery because it still exists in some cultures.
Nice work if you can find it
Re "Is a city manager worth $800,000?," July 15
The Times has done a service exposing the excessive salaries of top officials in the city of Bell.
Robert Rizzo, the $800,000 city manager, is in a perverse way correct when he rationalizes that in the private sphere he would be compensated even more generously. The city of Bell appears to be like many companies where the CEO controls the board, and both collude to create self-servicing policies and compensation rules. I wonder what managerial breakthroughs Rizzo's team has implemented to earn his pay? Hopefully someone will work to give him and his staff what they deserve: a walk out the door.
As a postscript, will they ever serve jail time? If the private sphere is the model, justice will not be served.
It must take a unique entrepreneurial spirit for a public servant to grow a $72,000 salary into over 10 times that amount in only 13 years. If Rizzo thinks he can make that kind of money in the private sector, the citizens of Bell should waste no time giving him the opportunity to do so.
You've got to be kidding. Most physicians who deal with life and death every day don't make the kind of money Bell's city manager was earning.
Many can't find work, homes are in foreclosure, the economy is at its worst in years, and tiny Bell pays its manager an outrageous salary. Most would consider this unconscionable.