Don’t fault Yosemite
Re “A park full of peril,” Aug. 15
My mom and dad would close their hardware store for a week each summer while we went camping in Yosemite National Park. I have taken my family there for the last 30 years, including two weeks ago for nine days.
Every year I see visitors engaging in dangerous behavior, whether feeding the deer or climbing over rocks near cascading water, both activities prohibited by park rules due to the inherent danger.
We do not need more signs, barriers and rangers; rather, we need to respect nature and take more personal responsibility for our own actions.
We had the pleasure of visiting many national parks this summer in the Southwest. Most visitors were smart, courteous and careful.
But some ignored warnings, clambered off trail and bypassed barriers. These few were young and old, parents and children, all sizes, shapes and so on. The only thing they had in common was stupidity.
There just isn’t anything you can do about that.
Phil Brimble and Laurie Pincus
Less conformity is the answer
Re “Don’t look for an indie miracle,” Opinion, Aug. 10
At the risk of mincing words, Seth Masket and Hans Noel are lions for electoral conformity.
Lesser-of-two-evils voting has gotten us to where we are today, so why should we continue to do as we’ve done? Before we can truly liberate our vote from the corporate political parties, we must first liberate our thinking from people like Masket and Noel and base our vote on what we really want instead of what we believe others are going to do.
Masket and Noel say that the way to solve the nation’s problems is to get a “moderate president.” According to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the GOP got 98% of what it wanted in the debt-ceiling deal.
How much more moderate should the president be?
Grasping at a straw poll
Re “Iowa resets GOP strategy,” Aug. 15
Anyone watching television coverage of the straw poll in Iowa will tell you that there was an elephant in that room. Although The Times article does mention “second-place finisher Rep. Ron Paul of Texas,” I would have thought the fact that he nearly tied front-runner Michele Bachmann warranted at least some attention.
Paul’s antiwar stance probably had a lot to do with that strong showing. Come to think of it, candidate Paul doesn’t seem to be the only pachyderm going unmentioned here; as usual, America’s broad-based opposition to endless war gets short shrift too.
We have just had about 17,000 Iowans cast ballots that they paid for or got from Republican candidates that paid for them. This created media attention to the degree that a new front-runner appeared and at least one candidate dropped out of the race.
Give me a break!
Osama bin Laden, the movie
Re “Hunt for Bin Laden profits,” Editorial, Aug. 14
The Times says with certainty that an Osama bin Laden film would be a vote-getter for Obama before the 2012 election.
Many of us still believe in the rule of law. Under no circumstances do we approve of government-coordinated assassination. It would have been much easier to put Bin Laden in handcuffs rather than carry away a bloody corpse.
Why not shoot rather than arrest mobster James “Whitey” Bulger? He’s implicated in 19 homicides.
Let the street rabble cheer the shooting of Bin Laden. Serious voters next year just might have a different take.
Oh, I get it. When it comes to promoting Obama with a movie release right before the 2012 election, it’s OK as long as the only objective is Sony Pictures making money.
I would like to see your editorial if another movie company made a film about Obama’s adolescent cocaine use and his advocacy of Saul Alinsky, and released it in October 2012. Now there’s a movie I’d stand in line for and pay good money to see.
I am shocked, shocked to learn from your editorial, based on New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s reporting of White House cooperation with the politically timed release of a film about Bin Laden’s killing, that the media might be used to promote the president close to the election.
Manipulating the popular media for partisan gain in this fashion is so heinous and unfair. Rush Limbaugh and Fox News should be all over this story with their signature brand of hypocritical zeal.
Two sides of a stadium deal
Re “In L.A., it pays to be rich,” Column, Aug. 12
Hector Tobar’s apparent lack of understanding of the downtown L.A. football stadium deal is shocking. The so-called government giveaway is in fact bond financing that would be paid back from proceeds generated from the project itself.
In addition, the project is expected to generate millions of dollars in benefits to the city, not only in additional taxes but in general economic activity and new jobs. If Tobar were really so concerned with the poor man on the street, he would reconsider his criticism of this project.
Does Tobar believe that downtown L.A. should be left in its former rundown state? AEG has almost single-handedly made downtown a vibrant area that attracts thousands of visitors and provides income to hundreds of downtown businesses.
Palos Verdes Estates
Excellent article by Tobar. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the middle class is disappearing. And if the poor get angry enough, we will have class warfare in our country. I don’t think we want that. What we want is a bit more economic equality.
Is that so much to ask?
Trees don’t think
Re “Early traces of wood in plants discovered,” Aug. 13
Your article describes evolutionary phenomena in Lamarckian terms, specifically the use of the word “need.” Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s theory of evolution proposed that individuals evolved out of necessity. The problem is that Lamarck was wrong.
The Times writes: “Botanists thought that plants first evolved wood-like structures because they needed a sort of scaffolding to help them grow larger.” This statement and two others like it imply forethought, planning, response and design. But that is not how biological evolution works.
Evolution is not a response to the environment but a consequence of it. It is a brute-force innovation system that sometimes produces rewarding results, but not always. Evolution is a phenomenon of results, not planning.
The writer is a professor of biology at Cal State Fullerton.
Re “Limits sought on Stow lawsuit,” Aug. 13
Why don’t the Dodgers and owner Frank McCourt establish a trust fund for young Tyler and Tabitha, the children of Bryan Stow, who was beaten at Dodger Stadium on March 31? Justice issues aren’t the only ones here.
The kids will need help for many years in terms of both welfare and education. The beating was clearly brutal.