The Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal; ACORN; Meg Whitman’s spending

The pope’s message

Re “The pope comes up short,” Editorial, March 25

The Times doesn’t explain that the pontiff’s message to the Catholics in Ireland, as a pastoral letter, by definition does not address administrative and juridical measures such as the defrocking of priests or the dismissal of prelates.

No matter. Rome is abject; she did it to herself.

Nothing the pope can say now will suffice. The victims are beyond words, and the enemies of the church, like wolves sensing blood, are going in for the kill.

Marco-Antonio Loera

A singer’s take on the church

Re “ ‘God needs to be rescued,’ ” March 25

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor, who first publicly challenged the pope years ago, has become even more brave with time.

Her thoughts on the child abuse scandal sear the lies like a blaze of truth. Her statement that “God needs to be rescued” (from the Catholic Church) is stunningly wise.

The holy spirit is honesty and compassion in action, principles the church has long abandoned here.

Jeanine D’Elia
Granada Hills

The title of this article wasn’t the only notion that I found intriguing.

While O’Connor makes the point that the finger should be pointed all the way up the chain of command to the pope, I can’t help but wonder why a thinking person would figure it should stop there.

O’Connor supports her logic by saying, “If you were the boss of a company and some of the employees of your company were known to sexually abuse children, you would fire them instantly.”

Am I the only person who wonders what the CEO of the Universe was doing while widespread molestation and other horrific abuse of children was occurring? Fair question?

John Argent
El Segundo

Outraged at child abuse

Re “Father says he warned of abuse,” March 24

With Deandre Green, we have another story of a young child being killed by a parent or caregiver. Where is the outrage?

We all know about Jessica’s Law and Megan’s Law, but where is the call for Deandre’s Law or Viola’s Law?

As a first-time father of an 18-month-old, I cannot imagine how an adult could knowingly and willingly hurt a child, who can’t possibly defend himself and can’t possibly have done anything deserving of such a fate.

You cause the death of a young child, and that’s the last time you see freedom. I don’t hear the outrage that we should all be feeling.

Jerry Baca
Valinda, Calif.

Defending ACORN

Re “Burying ACORN,” Editorial, March 24

Contrasting liberals’ skepticism about leaders’ innocence (and underlings’ guilt) at Abu Ghraib with their willingness to believe claims of innocence (and underlings’ guilt) from the leaders of ACORN is one of the worst analogies I’ve ever seen in an editorial.

I served in the Army. Most grunts and noncommissioned officers don’t eat without permission -- let alone torture.

I have also served on the boards of nongovernmental organizations. Managing volunteers is like herding cats.

I traveled to post-Katrina New Orleans six times to gut homes and rebuild them with Habitat for Humanity. I interfaced with ACORN many times. Its members were responsible for gutting more homes than all other NGOs combined. They were constant champions of the poor. They will be sorely missed. To treat them so cavalierly is shameful, regardless of who made mistakes or didn’t have a high-priced PR firm to unleash. The unrepresented are losing a forceful organization.

Keith Frohreich

Electing directors

Re “Whose board is it?,” March 24

In uncontested elections, directors should be elected by a majority of votes cast, and many in the S&P 500 already require directors to resign if they fail to win a majority vote. The Dodd bill would merely extend this toothless provision to companies that have not already adopted this standard.

However, last year about 100 directors did not receive a majority vote, and none lost his or her position because boards are not required to accept director resignations.

The Dodd bill should be amended so that directors who fail to get a majority vote must be removed within 90 days.

James McRitchie
Elk Grove, Calif.
The writer is publisher of, a corporate governance weblog.

Whitman’s spending spree

Re “Whitman spent $249 a minute to be tops in polls,” March 24

I presume Meg Whitman wants to be governor of California to help the residents of our state live better lives. I can’t help but wonder how much more effective she would already be toward reaching that goal if she were giving $249 each minute to the many worthy charities and social programs throughout the state.

Art Verity
Sherman Oaks

Whitman just told us everything we need to know about her with the partial list The Times provided of her spending.

I saw at least three areas where she could have saved money had she contacted the businesses to negotiate a better deal or gotten bids for a less expensive alternative. If this is the way she operates with her own money, just think how she’s going to spend someone else’s.

Pat Battistini
Valley Village

UCs for Californians

Re “Plans to revamp UC are issued,” March 24

Here’s a fair idea to revamp the University of California: admit more children of the taxpayers of California, not fewer.

This article could not be more timely for my 18-year-old senior, who despite a 4.1 GPA, all Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate course work and high SAT scores, did not get into any of the UCs she applied to for fall 2010.

It is beyond discouraging to read that the proposals include doubling the number of out-of-state admissions when California students with excellent academic records are being turned away.

If a straight-A student who has taken the hardest course load possible throughout high school is not good enough for a UC, what about the rest of the kids without perfect grades who deserve a decent education at a four-year school too?

The myopic solutions before the regents will further California’s slide toward being the dumbest state in the nation.

Jocelyn DeVault
Newbury Park

The LAPD’s fallen soldier

Re “LAPD officer serving in Afghanistan killed,” March 26

On the untimely death of LAPD officer and Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. Maj. Robert J. Cottle, I am reminded of these lines from John Donne:

“Any man’s death diminishes me . . . never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” We are all diminished now.

Roger R. Angle
Culver City

Backing Baca

Re “Baca defends self, Muslims after attack by lawmaker,” March 24

If only we had thousands more like L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca in office, to stand up to hate-mongering, lying racists when they try to paint Muslims or others as enemies. This country has lost its collective mind, it seems, and I blame right-wing actors on Fox and on AM radio stations. We all, like Baca, should speak out. Silence is complicity.

Tobi Dragert
Los Angeles