End of the camp
Re "LAPD, protesters face off," Nov. 30
Our city must congratulate the Police Department on its excellent work in sweeping out Occupy L.A. from the City Hall lawn. The department showed the organization of a world-class army.
The protesters did not have a logical reason to be at City Hall, which does not have much of a say in the nation's economy. Perhaps they should organize against corporations that outsource jobs, or they could encourage people to buy U.S.-manufactured goods.
I only hope our city can now recoup some taxpayer funds spent on police and cleaning up the former camp.
I'm thrilled by the Occupy movement, and I have to say I am very proud of the way our city and police have conducted themselves throughout.
Now that the Occupiers have put life and limb on the line and awakened the nation's citizenry to economic and other injustices, it's time for the rest of us to take the baton and run with it. Put pressure on our elected officials to do the right thing, speak out against the intolerance and lies flying around, and make the commitment to turn the movement into tangible results.
City Hall should have prioritized saving the country over saving its lawn. Its guns and batons could never diminish our everlasting occupying spirit, at least not until our demands are resolved and all the criminals on Wall Street and elsewhere are evicted.
It took a collapsing middle class feeling ignored by Washington and the media to drive ordinary citizens onto the streets. It was a demonstration caused by complete desperation, yet the worldwide movement indicates a global dissatisfaction with the powers that be.
The protesters are not doing this for fun. Conditions have been miserable, and for every occupying protester, there are thousands at home feeling their pain.
The city should have acknowledged this protest as a constitutionally protected assembly and let it be. It is an example of citizens' pride, and the city should have honored their dedication to democracy.
John G. Hill
The various Occupy participants are the real 1%, consisting mostly of professional agitators and freeloaders. It is only because of the recent recession and slow recovery that they can pretend to be part of the 99%.
They have been living off taxpayers for too long, and their removal is welcome.
Pepper spray is a serious matter
Re "Protest at Davis — it's a gas," Opinion, Nov. 27
Joseph Wambaugh's comments about the pepper-spray incident at UC Davis were shallow and smug.
Wambaugh knows something about police officers and has a sense, I assume, of why they do what they do and why they sometimes make serious mistakes. If he wanted to argue that the UC Davis officer made a mistake but shouldn't be excoriated and reviled, I'd listen to him.
But he chose to simply sneer at the students, about whom he knows nothing. And suggesting jokingly that UC chancellors should get a dose of pepper spray if they
spend money in ways Wambaugh doesn't like is pretty juvenile.
Wambaugh represents himself as an expert on police. But having participated in many nonviolent protests and having faced many police officers, I can tell you that in those situations, some cops are reasonable, some are scared and some get sadistic (like the UC Davis officer).
We have seen repeated incidents of officers attacking unarmed kids who are not threatening them. That's not funny, even if you disagree with the protesters' cause.
The guy who helped develop weapons-grade pepper spray was appalled at what happened at UC Davis. And if Wambaugh thinks pepper spray to the face is amusing, he should try it sometime.
It doesn't make sense. We pay a generous salary for a university president to make decisions to properly run the UC system. We also pay for supposedly well-qualified campus police chiefs.
Yet it's still felt that a highly paid consultant is necessary to determine what everyone else knows: that pepper spray shouldn't have been used against nonviolent protesters.
It's no wonder we suffer the economic and ethical problems we have in our schools, and yet tuition goes up. It doesn't make sense.
Not caught up in Jackson's saga
Re "A pop star's comeback comedown," Column, Nov. 29
I am having a very hard time understanding why Michael Jackson's story deserves front-page coverage, or why his former doctor's trial and sentencing deserves "real time" broadcasts on major network television.
Jackson was a drug addict. No doubt physicians must be held responsible for handing out drugs like candy, but the fact remains that the decision to screw up his life was Jackson's alone. He found a willing partner in Conrad Murray to provide him the drugs.
Enough of every detail.
Eileen E. Padberg
Re "Murray gets the maximum," Nov. 30
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor is outraged by comments he heard Murray make on camera. Why is he allowing the media to influence his sentencing? What if the defense's backup plan had been a slickly produced infomercial of Murray frolicking with a puppy?
Witnesses, evidence and the transcript of a case are appropriate for determining sentencing, not a television documentary or a puff piece.
I do not disagree with the sentence, but I am uncomfortable with the precedent this may set.
Tom H. Cook
Re "Defending laws on child labor," Postscript, Nov. 26
Child labor laws should be defended, but what about those currently working as janitors, some of whom Newt Gingrich wants to replace with schoolchildren? Janitors work hard and barely eke out a sufficient living to support their families. And Gingrich wants to give their jobs to minimum-wage (or less) earners.
Do all Republican candidates truly lack heart, or is it a contest to see who can put forth the most effective plan to destroy everything that is good about this country?
Same old story
Re "Being a bear on China gains favor," Nov. 28
Has China built its economy using the American system?
It has favored big businesses by giving them low-interest loans, which create puny returns for depositors. A big segment of China's population is unable to buy what the businesses create, polarizing the people.
Sounds similar to me.
Re "A field day for farmers," Nov. 24
It's indeed good news for the farmers that they are getting higher prices.
But it is really bad news for the consumers who have to finance the farmers' good luck with higher prices in the stores.