Cardinal Mahony and the Arizona immigration bill; healthy eating; and food photo takers.

Cardinal Mahony versus Arizona

Re “Cardinal Mahony criticizes Arizona immigration bill,” April 20

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the good cardinal has a problem with those in Arizona favoring the enactment and enforcement of laws designed to identify lawbreakers. Does that have a familiar ring to it? And The Times, as usual, omits the word “illegal” when referring to him as an “outspoken advocate of immigrant rights.”

This is not a complicated issue. We are a sovereign nation that welcomes legal immigrants but does not have open borders. Our laws exist for a reason. And no religious figure, not even one as irrelevant as Cardinal Roger Mahony, should be given a second of attention or an ounce of credibility when they stand behind their pulpit of plead and ask that lawlessness be excused.

Glenn Toth
Playa Del Rey

Anybody else wonder where Mahony’s righteous indignation was when the subject was the Roman Catholic clergy’s sexual abuse of children?

Guess it just was not important enough for him to get upset about.

O. O. Harris

Mahony views immigration as a moral issue, so perhaps it is not surprising that he compares Arizona’s tough immigration law with Nazi Germany.

But his overwrought rhetoric masks historical fact. When Jews and other persecuted minorities tried to flee Nazi Europe during the 1930s, Catholic churchmen were among those who led a successful call for America to bar the gates.

And in more recent years, some Italian churchmen have called for Italy to favor Catholic immigrants and to bar Muslim immigrants.

Unlike those other times and places, many immigrants coming to California today are Catholic. What a churchman sees as a “moral” issue depends on where his see is located.

Kenneth Pasternack
Santa Barbara

Thanks for printing Mahony’s quote denying that illegal immigrants are coming to this country in order to intentionally “rob, plunder and consume public resources,” and chastising people who believe that this is the case.

I doubt there are many people who believe illegal immigrants come with those intentions. Most illegal immigrants are decent, hardworking people who come to this country for a better life, though you get some crooks with any group.

The fact is that these illegal immigrants use up billions of dollars in public resources, leaving us all poorer.

Drunk drivers who accidentally kill people rarely decide to go out, get liquored up and find a pedestrian or two to mow down. I am surprised that Mahony failed to note the distinction between intended and unintended consequences.

R.C. Richards

I read with consternation about the new law in Arizona. I appreciate what Mahony is trying to warn us about.

My mother’s family goes back to Texas before the invasion — just what papers are people like me supposed to carry to prove to an ignorant enforcement officer that we are citizens?

I travel back and forth to visit my family in Texas. I have now decided that I will gas up at the border and travel carefully through Arizona.

I will no longer stay overnight in Phoenix or Tucson or go to my favorite restaurants there. No — I will go through the state and not leave a cent. I encourage all to do the same.

Jose Figueroa
Los Angeles

Salty and sweet and what we eat

Re “FDA puts the pinch on salt,” and “Sweet tooth? Watch your heart,” April 21

These two articles are further demonstration of how every aspect of our lives is being micromanaged by so-called experts.

If they had it their way, we would just take vitamins all day and fill our bellies by eating the cardboard or Styrofoam containers food used to come in. Or they would have everyone add huge helpings of cilantro or cayenne pepper because that is “good” for us.

The public was told we would not know the difference when food companies made the switch away from trans fats. Wrong! Fries are not the same anymore. Recipes don’t turn out correct.

I have not used added salt in my food or cooking in 30 years, yet I still have all those diseases that come with advancing age. My husband is considered obese by the experts, yet all of his numbers are spot on, unlike mine.

Can’t we find something else for these people to do besides meddling? Do they follow their own intrusive guidelines?

Stop further government intrusion or there will be a massive backlash and we will not listen to any advice at all.

Shirley Gooding
Long Beach

I don’t cook with salt at home, and I don’t miss it. There is plenty in the processed foods I use as well as at restaurants, where I walk out feeling like I’ve been to a salt lick. I’m now 53 years old, don’t exercise enough, could lose a few pounds — and I have low blood pressure.

If the Campaign for Liberty, the libertarian advocacy group speaking out against government limits on salt content, was for my liberty and not the liberty of corporations, it would demand that sodium be lowered. That way we all get a choice: I can feel like I haven’t downed a tablespoon of salt, and if it isn’t salty enough for you, you can always use the salt shaker. We all win.

Keith Bickford
Culver City

Picture this —your dinner

Re “They’re hungry for good visuals,” April 19

We read this with amazement. We have been interested in fine dining for many years and spend most of our entertainment dollar on food-related activities.

Several years ago we began to photograph each course as it was presented. Short of having a menu, the photographs became a record of our dinner, for future discussions.

At first we took pictures with a small, now old-fashioned, camera. Later, we used an iPhone. The interruption was minimal , our dining partners never seemed to mind and courses arrived without delay.

The food paparazzi you describe may enjoy eating, but the pictures they take seem to be an end in themselves — sources of Internet notoriety and entertainment for fellow bloggers.

Many chefs have celebrity status and should expect added interest from their “fans.” But when the fans try to be part of the entertainment, something should be done.

Meanwhile, we will continue clicking when the occasion arises.

Bob and Laureen Minnich
La Mesa

Make them pay! If you can require a service charge for large dining parties, why not for pictures? Add the following notice to each menu:

“As a courtesy to our other diners please do not photograph the food, facilities or restaurant staff. We will be happy to photograph your dinner for you using your own camera. An additional charge of $5 per photograph will be added to your bill.”

Ralph Bishop
Lake Bluff, Ill.