Letters to the editor

Shades of 1972?

Re "As vote nears, chief warns of terror risk," Oct. 23

Notwithstanding Los Angeles Police Department Chief William J. Bratton's preemptive precautions and thoroughness, his warning may have precedent. Shortly before the 1972 election, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger announced that "peace is at hand" in Vietnam. About a week before another election, the threat of terrorism seems to loom.

The McCain camp is reported to perceive that it will benefit from any national security "event." That said, voters should be extremely wary of any tactics that might smack of Kissinger's actions, particularly because the Vietnam War went on for nearly three more years. Both tactics flow from the political motives of a party whose grip on power has again come under siege amid a time of an unpopular war, pervasive social fear and another election.

Richard Newton Meyer

Los Angeles

'Real' compared to what?

Re "The ‘real’ America, really," Opinion, Oct. 23

Sarah Palin and John McCain have finally set me straight: I am not a "real" American because I live in Southern California. Apparently, I am not hardworking, although I have held responsible jobs since the age of 16. Patriotic? Not me -- although I have voted in every election for which I was eligible, fly my flag on every holiday and still shed tears on Veterans Day and 9/11.

Pro-America? Not me -- although I proudly served in the Peace Corps in Niger, hopefully demonstrating that Americans were pretty neat people willing to get their hands dirty. My husband, who served his country honorably in Vietnam, would rather read than fish -- not a true American, I suppose.

I recently filled out my American ballot. Sorry, Ms. Palin, you did not get my vote. That is the power of the "real" America.

Marsha Garber

Menifee, Calif.


Rosa Brooks writes, "The GOP code isn't hard to crack: There's the America that might vote for Obama (a suspect America populated by people with liberal notions, big-city ways and, no doubt, dark skin), and then there's the "real" America, where people live in small towns, believe in God and country, and are ... well ... white."

McCain and Palin never said such things, and it's disgusting that Brooks is writing such statements. She is creating this assertion out of absolutely nothing, and doing it solely to create an issue that she can expound on. She might as well have said that when Barack Obama says "change," it's a code word for "time to get white men out of the White House." It has as much basis in fact, which is zero. It sickens me when people agitate on issues such as race for the sole purpose of improving their readership.

Hugh A. Rose


Clothes make a statement

Re "A political fashion do or don’t?" Oct. 23

Because Sarah Palin has made being "pro-America" one of the cornerstones of her campaign speeches, why is she wearing expensive clothing made by Italian designers Valentino and Gianfranco Ferre?

At a time when many Americans have lost their jobs, it would have been more appropriate and pro-American for the vice presidential nominee to wear clothes manufactured in the U.S. Palin should practice what she preaches.

Phyllis Landis

Ocean Hills


John McCain has an economic stimulus plan: Send Palin shopping.

Steve Martin

West Hollywood


In the interest of balanced reporting, we are all awaiting The Times' article on the cost of Barack Obama's tailored suits.

Scott Abramson

San Mateo


Now I understand what Grand Old Party really stands for: a grand for this top and a grand for these trousers and a grand for this jacket. How in the world is it necessary or reasonable for Palin to spend $150,000 of our political donations on a new movie-star-quality wardrobe for her and her family? In my head, I am picturing a tractor-trailer filled with clothes.

I thought she was one of us. How do I apply to get my political contribution back?

Gary Vander-Haeghen

Laguna Hills


After your article on Palin's appearance makeover, I was wondering if you plan to do a story on Joe Biden's hair transplants?

Jeremiah Flanigan

Long Beach

Greenspan's smoke screen

Re “Former Fed chief ‘shocked’ by crisis," Oct. 24

I am no fan of Alan Greenspan and believe that he bears significant responsibility for our current financial meltdown. But where is the focus on those politicians who in the past sat silently in awe of the former Federal Reserve chairman while he used fancy technical language to explain his simple theory that the market, if left completely on its own, would self-regulate and create stability for our economy?

Because they were afraid to admit that they didn't understand his theories or discourse, they never asked the simple question, "Excuse me, what the hell are you talking about?" Instead, they sat in rapt attention, smiled and nodded in agreement as Greenspan dazzled them with technical language that would make a Harvard linguist proud -- and is now making our economy scream.

Matt Giorgi



We should not be so surprised that Greenspan believed the markets would police themselves. This is a man who admires Ayn Rand, an advocate of laissez-faire capitalism. When I read Rand at about age 22, I knew it was nonsense. Too bad Greenspan didn't grow up sooner.

Susan Guilford


Prop. 4 restores parental rights

Re “Not about notification," editorial, Oct. 23

The Times claims that Proposition 4 is really about turning "back the clock on abortion rights." What the proposition really does is restore parental rights.

While The Times insinuates that supporters of Proposition 4 are attempting to mislead voters, what is clear is that the same social engineers who fought to make it legal for campus officials to excuse minors from school property to facilitate an abortion without so much as notifying parents (which present California law allows) have never attempted to override the law that prevents schools from administering aspirin to minors without parental permission.

No, their real goals here are to protect abortion at all costs. Their ideology is for a free-for-all society in which there is no judgment.

This is about circumventing parental rights -- not reproductive rights.

John Mancino


A deep hole

Re "Both candidates face deficits, economists say,"

Oct. 23

Of course Barack Obama and John McCain are in denial about deficits.

Politicians want to win, and you don't gain votes by talking about the deficit, which is hard to understand, less concrete than taxes (to many) and, critically, something we feel we can worry about later. We can still spend massive sums.

For example, although American taxpayers, including myself, are paying billions of dollars a month for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush won congressional approval to cut taxes. That's how you win votes.

To the future generations who will have to pay off the deficit: Too bad, suckers!

Steven Koenig

Fortaleza, Brazil

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