Fans are fed up
Re "Ballpark violence," Editorial, April 7
The Times encourages fans not to tolerate rowdiness at Dodger Stadium. As a Dodgers fan who has attended many games, I find that the bad behavior usually stems from individuals who have consumed a few too many beers. At the very least they interfere with my enjoyment of the game.
The Times says it is not suggesting that the stadium go dry. I am. There are plenty of soft drinks and water available.
I am an 84-year-old man, and I am not about to confront several drunk individuals who are rowdy. Do you think it would be impossible for them to abstain from drinking beer for three hours?
As a lifelong Dodgers fan, I'm equal parts disgusted and infuriated by the savage and cowardly attack on Bryan Stow. Sadly, fan misbehavior is common at Dodger Stadium.
At its apex, the scourge of English soccer hooligans throughout Europe was so pronounced, it was euphemistically referred to as the "English disease." It pains me to think that our stadium and team, once the class act of Major League Baseball, can heretofore be known throughout the game as incubator of the "Dodger disease" or "L.A. disease."
Like all diseases, it needs to be eradicated before the damage is irreparable.
Winston F. Emano
The GOP's grand plan
Re "McCain assures GOP on 2012," April 7
With more than two years of the Republicans vehemently obstructing President Obama's attempts to repair the damage inflicted by the previous administration, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) turns around and blames the president for not delivering on what he promised.
That talking point has always been a part of the GOP's grand plan for 2012. It kind of reminds me of a cruel man who kept his wife chained in the basement. He then self-righteously announced to his clueless neighbors that he was divorcing her because she was a terrible housekeeper.
Ramona S. Saenz
McCain said, "Maybe this time the American electorate will interested in someone who has a proven record." This, from the candidate who chose Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Separation of church and state
Re "Religious school tax credit upheld," April 5
The Times quotes David Cortman of the Alliance Defense Fund as saying that parents "should be able to choose what's best for their own children." That's a red herring — parental control was not the issue in this case. The issue was whether their choices could be legally subsidized by taxpayer dollars.
The Supreme Court's decision was both legally and morally questionable. Cortman and his clients have the right to choose their own schools, but they do not have the right to force others to pay for their choice.
The 1st Amendment permits the free exercise of religion; nowhere does it mention a right to have that freedom subsidized by public funds.
On the day that the death of religion historian Edwin Gaustad is announced, we get the news that the Supreme Court has ruled that tax credits that offset contributions to church schools cannot be challenged.
Gaustad was emphatic about the need for separation of church and state. His concern was that "the most horrifying but most obvious" reason for it was to prevent "religious warfare."
Ridiculous? I think not. Witness the killings of the United Nations workers over the burning of the Koran by the lunatic pastor Terry Jones.
Robert C. Thompson
Marina Del Rey
Burkas don't belong in U.S.
Re "Behind the ban," Opinion, April 7
In the U.S., when people conceal their identity by covering their faces, it generally means they are up to no good, and that's why they don't want to reveal their true identities.
I don't see why the U.S. should tolerate anyone covering her face in public. It's offensive. Even though the burka-clad people might not intend it to be offensive, it is an affront to our customs. Plus it poses a security threat.
If people want to wear burkas in the U.S., let them do so in private. If people insist on wearing burkas in public, there are many nations that welcome doing so. The U.S. is not and should not become one of those nations.
Hurray for the French government, standing up for the West. The tribal customs of niqab, burka and chador should not be brought to the West.
As for Timothy Garton Ash, my desire for him is that he be born again as a woman and forced to wear a burka.
First 5 funding
Re "Difficult budget choices," Editorial, April 7
Proposition 10 is not "ballot-box budgeting." The Proposition 10 commissions are funded by a separate tobacco tax, so the dollars directed to early childhood programs do not impact the state's general fund.
First 5 commissions fund more than preschool for low-income children. Our funding also supports healthcare for children, child abuse prevention, prenatal exams and other services. The $1 billion that the state wants to take from First 5 is money that has already been allocated to support these community-based programs, which are facings cuts or elimination.
Medi-Cal is an important state program that should be funded. But taking away dollars from local children and families who rely on First 5 to fund Medi-Cal is not a sensible solution. All it does is shift the problem from Sacramento to our own communities.
Evelyn V. Martinez
The writer is chief executive of First 5 L.A. and president of the First 5 Assn. of California.
Re "Far reach of free speech," Opinion, April 6
Apparently Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others are willing to let the actions of murderous extremists in Afghanistan change our cherished ideal of free speech. We all know that the Koran burning was a hateful expression of this freedom, but to limit ourselves to expressing only what is acceptable would allow many ideas, however radical or idealistic, to be censored.
As one who cherishes books, I would never burn one, and as an agnostic I would never burn the Bible. However, in this country I do have the right to burn my copy of the Bible or any other book, even
the Koran if I choose to
To allow the violent demonstrations in Afghanistan to limit an American freedom would hand extremists a victory in their battle against our democracy.
Re "Lawmakers don't get a gun permit break," April 6
That many politicians want to carry concealed weapons to protect themselves is no surprise, as we live in a dangerous world. What is also no surprise is that they want to have this luxury while at the same time denying other law-abiding citizens the same opportunity.
Anyone with a clean record willing to submit to a background check and pass gun safety training should be able to have the same privilege that many of our lawmakers want. Perhaps if I lived behind guarded gates like many of our wealthy politicians I wouldn't feel the need to carry.