Wary of unions
Let me get something straight here. We are to understand that the autoworkers' unions and management are jointly responsible for the crippling of the U.S. auto industry.
The president-elect states that he has chosen Secretary of Labor-designate Rep. Hilda L. Solis (D-El Monte) because she will return the Labor Department to its rightful place as a strong, effective and forceful advocate for, among other things, labor unions.
I interpret this to mean the return of the unions' past inflexible demands and threats as a means of getting their way in contract negotiations.
Is this the "change" we want -- all-powerful labor unions alongside all-powerful managements of businesses?
Jerry Brown's Prop. 8 position
Re "Brown asks justices to toss Prop. 8," Dec. 20
Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown's 111-page brief is anything but. It is the ramblings of a pro-gay politician and is predicated on a false premise.
Proposition 8 does not deny any "inalienable" right to any citizen. Under this and every other California law, every citizen has the right to marry -- as long as it is not to an animal, a child, a blood relative or someone of the same sex.
Per your article, even the legal scholars are amazed at the far-reaching nature of Brown's assertions. They are also taken aback by his reluctance to enforce this law even though he disagrees with it.
Accordingly, Brown is either incapable of doing or refuses to do the job of the office to which he was elected. Whichever the case, he should be tossed out of office.
First Brown "jerry-rigged" the Proposition 8 ballot language, hoping for its defeat. After it surprisingly passed, he tempered his earlier action by giving his word that he would, as is his duty, "defend the proposition as enacted by the people."
Now our esteemed top lawyer has changed his mind. He now is asking the state Supreme Court to invalidate the voters' mandate.
At what point can we take Brown seriously? As our attorney general, he seems, again, focused more on politics than ethics. It's time for Brown to stop lying, dig deep within and do his job.
Kudos to Brown for his legal opinion resolving a conflict between California's Constitution and Proposition 8 in favor of constitutional rights.
It's interesting that your "legal experts" seem to miss this basic premise that most lawyers learn during their first year of law school.
O.C. road takes its toll
It's not often that the Bush administration does something to help the environment, but its rejection of the six-lane toll road through San Onofre State Park is a splendid exception.
I've camped several times at San Onofre. That experience would be ruined with a noisy, polluting highway nearby.
The toll road builders should accept that, this time, nature has won and the mistaken project is dead.
If one reads closely, you'll notice that the secretary of Commerce recommends the "La Pata" alternative as viable.
For the uninitiated, that means State Route 241 would go through San Juan Capistrano, through Talega -- taking out about 100 homes in the process.
An alternative like this could only be considered viable to a bureaucrat holed up in his office 3,000 miles away in Washington.
We need traffic relief, but in this case, the cure would be worse than the disease.
Thanks to the Coastal Commission and the secretary of Commerce, we can join our surfer friends and stick our heads in the sand hoping that traffic congestion will magically disappear.
What is it that the Transportation Corridor Agencies don't understand about the word "no"? Or, like spoiled children, do they believe they can just stamp a foot and cry "my way or no way" until everyone else gives up?
Perhaps they should take a look at the results of the last decade of excess: too much development, too many retailers and an unprecedented economic slide. Roads bring development and congestion, they don't relieve them.
This road, in the place that the TCA demands, is not needed.
The public has spoken. The state and federal governments have spoken. The answer to the toll road extension is no.
Betting on the stock market
So anyone who claims to make a profit in the stock market every year "should be viewed with the same suspicion as poker players who never lose."
As a poker player and teacher, I can vouch: No one can win 100% of the time. (I teach my students to win more than 60% of their sessions.)
There is one big difference between poker and investing. In poker you must make many important decisions -- skill involves making the best decisions in your own interest.
On the other hand, when investing in stocks, the only decisions you make are whether to buy or sell. All the important choices that affect the company and the value of its stock are made by a group of strangers sitting in an office -- perhaps in Houston, with an "Enron" sign on the building.
The hypocrisy of Stanley Chais' or Bernard Madoff's investors wanting more government regulation of advisors is laughable.
It's likely Chais was required to register as an investment advisor under current law, and many investors without a clue gave him money anyway. A fool and his money will always part company.
Others were simply too greedy and desirous of being on the inside. That won't change with greater transparency. The secrecy was part of the deal with these folks, who now want a nanny to protect their ilk from themselves. How utterly ridiculous.
West Los Angeles
Hit the bricks in tough times
When the Screen Actors Guild was founded, an outgoing administration's reckless economic policies favored the concentration of wealth among the rich and brought our entire financial system near collapse.
The union has since survived numerous fiscal crises without ever giving up its best leverage -- the right to strike.
Today we again see hostile economic policies that favor the rich, and thus there is again a need for unions to organize and stand up to the powerful elite.
Members of the Screen Actors Guild should take it on ourselves to battle the corporate fat cats -- not just in our interest as actors, but in the interest of all organized labor.
Former SAG President Melissa Gilbert would have us cower in a corner, forgetting our past.
It is said that in the feudal ages, the entertainers of the king's court would refuse to perform in protest of bad treatment toward the common people in the villages. Tough economic times are the best times to utilize the strike clause because that is when the elite are dangerously close to accomplishing their agenda.