Readers React
Letters to the editor and readers' opinions.
GOP's moderate women prevent an abortion disaster

To the editor: What sweet irony. The GOP, in an attempt to alter the perception that it's waging a war on women, has symbolically included more women in its ranks. Who knew that these new House members would traitorously revolt and demonstrate respect for women by blocking an abortion bill that would have subjected raped women to particular conditions to qualify for a legal abortion? ("House abortion bill switch reveals emerging clout of moderate Republicans," Jan. 22)

What next? Will these rogue femmes demand a higher minimum wage, equal pay for women, sane gun laws and climate action to protect the planet their children will inherit?

As House Speaker John A. Boehner frantically attempts to appease ultra-conservatives, is it any wonder he has a headache?

Wendy Blais, North Hills


To the editor: Facts, or the lack of them, have never bothered ideologues.

It is a biological fact that an apple seed is not an apple, even though, under favorable conditions, it will develop into a tree...

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China's birthrate during the year of the sheep

To the editor: Why is it a bad sign that China may be about to experience a decline in birth rate due to a superstition about babies being born in the year of the sheep? ("For China's birthrate, this may be a bad sign," Jan. 19)

Humans are driving themselves into oblivion by overpopulation and all the negative consequences it entails. Any trend toward reversing the world's unsustainable population should be heralded as a good sign.

Also troubling is the part of this article that describes a Chinese business practice of helping women to travel here to have their babies and take advantage of our misguided law that says anyone born here is an automatic citizen. I assume this helps the parents get an advantage in their citizenship.

Mark O'Connell, Irvine


To the editor: Pregnant Chinese women fly to the U.S. to give birth here as a way to secure citizenship for their newborns.

Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

I bet the framers of the 14th Amendment never had this...

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Cuba has plenty of reasons to mistrust the U.S.

To the editor: To say that U.S.-Cuba relations went south after the "confiscation of private property" egregiously overlooks the important fact that we sought to overthrow Fidel Castro's regime through a CIA-sponsored military operation in 1961. Remember the Bay of Pigs? ("U.S.-Cuba talks focus on embassies, diplomatic restrictions," Jan. 22)

There were also many attempts to assassinate Castro, including plans for an exploding cigar, one of many dastardly plots hatched by Operation Mongoose.

The Cubans have good reason to mistrust the U.S. government. Reestablishing relations with Cuba requires seeing the history of U.S.-Cuba diplomacy from both sides.

Lauren Derby, Santa Monica

The writer is an associate professor of Latin American history at UCLA.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

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Electoral College widens America's partisan divide

To the editor: Amen to George Skelton's criticisms of the Electoral College. I'll add another: The winner-takes-all aspect of the current system is why there aren't more purple states. ("Winner-take-all electoral system is a loser for democracy," Jan. 21)

Because neither party bothers to mount much of a presidential campaign in the states that are either red or blue, there is little public debate on the issues and the status quo is reinforced in the dominant media that cater to the majority.

That's a big reason Democrats and Republicans don't understand each other, so progress toward a more fully informed electorate everywhere and breaking the partisan deadlock would be greatly enhanced by not automatically disenfranchising the minority.

Scott S. Smith, West Hollywood


To the editor: Has Skelton never heard of diversity or minority rights?

Many of the states with a lot of electoral votes have large, diverse minority populations that now influence the outcome because they have...

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Boko Haram's excuse: God made me do it

To the editor: It seems this God fellow is responsible for a lot of killing around the world. ("Leader of Boko Haram says God told him to carry out massacre," Jan. 21)

Growing up in Belfast, I witnessed Protestant Christians killing innocent Catholic Christians and vice versa. In Iraq, it's Muslims slaughtering Muslims. In the former Yugoslavia, it was Christians killing Muslims.

And now this blood-thirsty thug in Nigeria, the leader of Boko Haram, says God told him to cut the throats of schoolboys, kidnap schoolgirls and massacre whole villages.

Didn't the biblical Abraham take his son Isaac up a mountain to kill him as a sacrifice for God? He should've been arrested right there and the God concept exposed for what it is: nonsense. Instead, more than half of all humans adhere to the Abrahamic religions. And we wonder why people kill each other with a clear conscience.

The sooner people get over the "God madness," the better off the world will be.

Shane Brolly, Sherman Oaks

Follow the...

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College divestment campaigns may alienate alumni

To the editor: One potential impact that I think this article overlooked is the loss of financial support from alumni like myself and scores of other donors. ("More colleges under pressure to divest, though effect is debatable," Jan. 21)

When UCLA's undergraduate student government made headlines two months ago by demanding university divestment from Israel, I heard from many others who had the same reaction I did: If UCLA follows through on this idea, the university will never see another dime from any of us.

In November, my wife wrote a letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block expressing the same sentiment, and fortunately the chancellor's office replied that it does not support such divestment.

As for demands to divest fossil fuel holdings, I suggest that the students set an example by demanding that their classes be lighted by candlelight and remain unheated in the winter and uncooled in the summer. After all, most of Southern California's electricity is still generated by...

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