Re "Japan crisis may derail 'nuclear renaissance,' " March 14
If anything good can be said to have come from the terrible disaster in Japan, it is the realization that nuclear power plants can, at any time, be subjected to unexpected catastrophes. Nuclear fission is not the way to solve our energy problems.
Aside from the expense and dangers of the plants themselves, there is the completely unsolved problem of what to do with radioactive waste. I defy anyone to find any place on the planet where they think they can safely store this waste and can say with certainty that no natural disasters will occur in the next 250,000 years.
Our species may not last that long, but we have no right to foist deadly radiation upon whatever life forms may encounter our radioactive garbage.
We should take a lesson from this, the fourth-most-severe seismic event recorded by humans, concerning nuclear power.
What killed many more human beings than atomic fallout? Human-constructed edifices that, in spite of our engineering, fell upon and crushed the life out of people.
This tells us, of course, that we should all live under the sky on grassy plains, thus taking rational precaution against the fifth-most-severe seismic event to come sometime in the future.
This is only logical.
President Obama changed his mind about offshore drilling, and the BP oil spill occurred. Obama changed his mind about nuclear power, and now we have the nuclear crisis in Japan. This is not change I can believe in.
I would rather sit in the dark than have us build more nuclear power plants; it's better than having my flesh melt from my body. Nuclear power produces waste we can't get rid of, and the consequences of a meltdown are too deadly and irreversible.
Re "Cops, not immigration agents," Editorial, March 11
The Times bizarrely calls for the successful federal Secure Communities program to be "shelved," despite the fact that about 40% of the nearly 90,000 immigrants deported under the program had major criminal convictions. Most of the rest had at least "minor" criminal convictions.
Moreover, The Times totally ignores the obvious fact that all those who were deported under this federal program were "criminals" in that they had violated U.S. immigration laws. How many more innocent people have to be killed or maimed by "undocumented immigrants" before The Times understands that fact?
Thank you for your principled stand as to what police priorities should be.
I want safe streets. I do not want people being afraid to report crimes because they fear deportation. I do not want children terrorized at school by being singled out as illegal. I do want federal and local law enforcement to stop spending precious dollars on catching those whose only crime is not wanting their families to starve.
California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has introduced a bill, AB 1081, designed to defang Secure Communities. It deserves our support.
No "immigrants" have been deported, only illegal aliens. My issue is that only 87,534 have been deported under Secure Communities, which means that there are roughly 11 million more to go. Now, all of them can't be deported at once, but programs like this, E-Verify and workplace enforcement are steps in the right direction.
Operation Wetback worked in the 1950s, and it would work today, if only agencies such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Los Angeles Police Department would do their jobs.
Randle C. Sink
A 'risk' that's worth taking
Re "Palestinians' risky gambit for statehood," March 8
The notion that a Palestinian move to "go international" in its quest for statehood, forsaking negotiations with the Israelis, is "risky" is almost laughable. What have years of negotiations produced for the Palestinians? There has been a relentless expropriation of Palestinian land and continued dispossession of the Arab population.
Indeed, the only reasonable chance for the Palestinians to achieve independence is to appeal to the world community. The fate of the Gaza Strip too may only be determined with the active involvement of international organizations.
The chance of failure is very high, of course. Without the effort, however, there is no hope for an independent Palestine. This is surely a risk worth taking.
The Times writes of Palestinians' hope for a peace deal that would be "based on borders that existed before Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967."
The 1967 line was an armistice line, the place where fighting stopped along the Jordanian front in 1949. It was never an international border. In fact, on the eve of the Six-Day War in 1967, the Jordanian ambassador told the United Nations Security Council that the armistice line "did not fix boundaries."
The second misleading statement is that Israel "seized" the West Bank. Israel did commence the war by surprise airstrikes — after Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and put 100,000 troops on its border in coordination with Syria, which put 75,000 troops on its border, and Jordan, with 55,000 on its border.
Do these facts make a difference? You bet they do.
Helping NPR pay the bills
Re "A neutral NPR," Editorial, March 11
I agree that National Public Radio needs to remain neutral. I disagree that NPR needs to feed at the public trough.
I live in rural Virginia. We have two NPR stations that broadcast classical and bluegrass music. How can you possibly be more uneconomic than that? Yet their fundraising efforts always get my and others' money. We listeners will never let either station die.
Don't underestimate the power of volunteer donations.
Yes, NPR should avoid partisanship in its broadcasts. However, the video, which was secretly taped, was not program material and therefore should not be given as much importance as, say, the Richard Nixon tapes. This is not a criminal case.
Besides, the remarks that the NPR fundraiser made about the "tea party" have some validity. Has anyone been to a rally? Guns are often not checked at the door.
No new taxes
Re "Brown's prophecy is ugly," Column, March 10
I am a middle-of-the road Republican. There is no question California must find a way out of its financial dilemma, but unless the governor deals with the mushrooming benefits for state and municipal employees in a meaningful way, I don't believe there is one Republican in California who will vote for the "temporary" tax increases.
Re "He's a one-man social agency," March 13
In a society in which the people at the top care only for themselves, it almost makes you cry to read about Ray Polk, one of the many at the bottom who care so much for others. May he be blessed for being so very special.
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