Re "Supreme Court overturns verdict against prosecutors," March 30
As a physician, I am held legally responsible for any errors that I make in the course of performing my job. Even if there is a bad outcome for a patient that was completely out of my control, I may be held legally responsible.
It's an outrage that five conservative justices of the Supreme Court feel that prosecutors should be given a pass when they make errors. It is even more of an outrage that in this specific case, John Thompson was deprived of 14 years of his life and was nearly executed because the New Orleans district attorney's office intentionally withheld evidence that exonerated the defendant.
If that's not malpractice, I don't what is.
Now we see why Justice Clarence Thomas doesn't have much to say in Supreme Court sessions. His reasoning is that prosecutors' actions are excusable because it was a "single incident." Does he apply that to other crimes? Is a single murder excusable? A single robbery? Does everyone get one "freebie" in his eyes?
The prosecutors need to be in jail. They stole 14 years from an innocent man.
Re "GOP lost a rare chance to wield clout," March 31
Shouldn't your headline read, "Brown fails first major test in office"? Surely his campaign promise to raise taxes only if the voters let him was based on a misjudgment of the willingness of the Republican minority in Sacramento to comply.
Such overconfidence also overlooked the voters' rejection of a tax hike sought by our previous governor. It also failed to take into account the state's high unemployment, which has tempered the public mood for more taxes.
Gov. Jerry Brown should begin negotiating with state employee unions to scale down their generous retirement pensions and perks so that California's huge deficit can be reduced. If the sick and disabled can endure cuts in benefits, others must share the pain.
I consider myself to be middle of the road. At the state level I tend to vote for Republicans, as they usually reflect my views better than Democrats. But now they refuse to bring a vote on taxes to the people, and democracy is now held hostage by state budget negotiations. Wow.
I don't know if I would vote to extend the tax increases or not. I would need to do more research on it and understand the pros and cons. Maybe the Republicans don't trust me to make such a decision, and maybe I don't trust them to protect democracy.
I've got to disagree with your headline. It seems to me that Republicans, especially the activists, got just what they wanted. They believe Ronald Reagan's mantra that government is not the solution, government's the problem.
So shut down the government? Problem solved.
Feminism and religion
Re "Taking feminism overseas," Opinion, March 29
Contrary to what Jonah Goldberg asserts, feminism in America is not "played out."
Females do not have control of their own bodies, thanks to restrictions on abortions and sexual education. He thinks that differences in pay equity are only "about statistics." The religious side of the conservative right heeds the Apostle Paul's statement "As the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything." Talk about patriarchy.
It is infuriating that Goldberg deflects the arguments about the treatment of females as a problem in Islamic cultures. Such thinking maintains our own backward treatment of females.
Thanks to Goldberg for breaking the silence about women's rights in the Islamic world. It is sad that it takes the alleged gang rape of a woman in Libya by government operatives to get the world's attention.
While achieving full equality for American women is far from complete, the situation here pales by comparison with that of women in the Middle East and North Africa. The grim reality is that this Islamic misogyny is now happening here in the U.S. as well as overseas, as witnessed by honor killings, forced marriages and female genital mutilation.
My only hope is that American women's organizations will join Goldberg in loudly condemning the oppression of women at the hands of Islamist extremists.
How oil puts the U.S. in a bind
Re "U.S. to trim oil imports by a third, Obama says," March 31
President Obama's vow to cut oil imports by a third by 2025 is another exercise in political futility. His administration has stifled oil exploration with worthless leases, too much regulation and reduced gulf oil production, exacerbated by spreading turmoil in the Middle East.
Adding insult to injury, Obama wants to increase subsidized ethanol production — which raises the cost of fuel and food prices — and he is pushing subsidized renewable energy, which greatly increases the cost of electricity.
This is coupled with the administration's preposterous plan to have us dependent on 80% "clean energy," which deceptively includes "clean coal" and nuclear, by 2035. This kind of irresponsible governing will result in economic ruin long before then, especially without a regime change in Washington in 2012.
Daniel B. Jeffs
Apple Valley, Calif.
In the first oil crunch in 1973, America's first response was to accelerate the exploitation of the domestic petroleum supply. Wags of the day dubbed this the "Drain America first" policy.
In the intervening 38 years, we have proven to be exceptionally slow learners. The president has dusted off an old Nixon speech about what to do, and we continue the process. Each year we go further up into the tundra, and deeper into the oceans, to drain what's left. Predictably, the amount of foreign oil we use has continued to climb.
Hurdles to a job
Re "Is asking for work a crime?," Editorial, March 30
With the civil rights movement, I thought we were done passing laws directed against disfavored groups, especially those that exclude where people can stand or sit.
These anti-dayworker laws, enacted in so many municipalities, are not only, as you say, "clumsy" and "ill-conceived," they are blatantly discriminatory, unjust, mean-spirited and inhibit a sense of civic friendship. Moreover, they deprive persons of their most cherished capability — the dignity of working for their livelihood.
Douglas J. Miller
Re "Another Schlafly attack on feminism," Opinion, March 31
My younger sisters fell for the anti-feminist propaganda and courageously spent their working lives manning the home front, caring for children and spouses and holding full-time jobs to pay the bills. Now my sisters approach retirement from these low-paying jobs with little but Social Security to support them.
My anger at Phyllis Schlafly rages once again. Her pompous rhetoric gave employers permission to devalue the work they did both financially and with limited opportunity for promotion.
How dare Schlafly continue to tell hardworking women to feel guilt for needing to work outside the home. It is no honor to be treated with such contempt.