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The fight over light bulb regulations; L.A.'s ‘Carmageddon’ weekend; California history books including gays

Texas’ battle of the bulb

Re “House acts against light bulb rules,” July 16

Once again, the great state of Texas is stepping forward to preserve our nation’s freedoms. Why should I be forced to buy an energy-efficient light bulb? After all, there is still plenty of oil in Texas, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. All Americans have the God-given right to consume as much energy as humanly possible.

Of course, even Texas does have some concerns about energy efficiency. It leads the nation in executions; the state long ago adopted the lethal-injection method to replace electrocution.

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Given the number of executions in Texas, that switch (pardon the pun) has certainly saved a lot of energy. Take that, you environmental fascists!

Jeffrey Stewart

Eagle Rock

That wasn’t ‘Carmageddon’

Re “ ‘Carmageddone,’ ” July 18

For better or worse (mostly worse), I live within earshot of the 405 Freeway. We hear the endless rush of freeway traffic. I had been looking forward to the freeway closure and to an interlude of relative silence.

Alas, the skies above my home were filled with the constant comings and goings of news helicopters. I can understand that the TV channels wanted their own shots of the empty freeway, but why did their helicopters hover overhead endlessly, the noise ricocheting off the nearby high-rises?

Some stations streamed the closure live over the Internet, presumably so curious Americans could stare at an empty freeway. So much for peace.

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Crista Worthy

Los Angeles

I have no idea why my Westside friends were so worked up about the weekend closure of the 405. We folks in the Eastside, Pasadena and Alhambra have suffered for decades with the traffic gridlock caused by the blockage of the 710-210 connection.

Lance Ito

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Los Angeles

Re “L.A. downshifts and takes it easy,” July 17

“Carmageddon could turn out to be the biggest nonevent since Y2K.”

So if we Angelenos had gone about our usual business, made no contingency plans and not heeded the warnings, the traffic flow would still have been light and easy? I don’t think so.

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And that’s the point. Carmageddon didn’t happen because we heeded the warnings. We stayed in our neighborhoods. Businesses put up crucial employees in hotels.

How cool was it to check the traffic online Saturday afternoon and see all that green? Let’s acknowledge when we get it right.

Sally Rosloff

Northridge

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History’s facts and figures

Re “Textbooks to include gays’ achievements,” July 15

When you look at the cases of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who killed himself after being outed by fellow students, or Lawrence King, a gay teen from Oxnard who was shot to death in school, any kind of progress furthering the conversation of gays in our society is desperately needed. And the bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law that includes gay figures in history curricula is progress.

Today’s kids shouldn’t look back when they’re older and be embarrassed about their rhetoric and shallow criticism of gays the way many adults today look back at their shameful behavior during the civil rights battles in the 1960s. Kids today should be able to look back and be proud that they were the start of progress.

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Leo Castaneda

Panorama City

California legislators have given the state the dubious distinction of being the first in the nation to require public schools to include the contributions of gays and lesbians in their social studies curricula.

The matter of the content of textbooks has long been controversial, but until now it had never reached the point at which specific parts of the population were singled out for preferential treatment, especially when that segment is distinguished solely by its sexual preferences. School textbooks should instruct, not propagandize.

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With all California’s problems, one would think that our Legislature might contemplate things that matter to constituents.

Sharon Vesely

Pomon

I cannot remember a single history book of mine, my children’s or my grandchildren’s mentioning whether a person of historical significance was homosexual or transgendered. I’ve always believed the achievement was what was important.

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Alex Fernandez

Lakewood

Two sides of tax cuts

Re “The Republicans’ historic balk,” Opinion, July 15

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From the evidence he provides, I agree with Ronald Brownstein that not every tax cut creates jobs or that every tax increase destroys them.

Brownstein supports his argument by referencing the lessons of the last three decades: After the Reagan tax cuts, the economy gained jobs; after the Clinton tax increases, the economy gained even more jobs; and after the Bush tax cuts, job growth was at its worst since the Depression.

One fact that Brownstein leaves out is that after both Reagan and Bush cut taxes, the federal deficit ballooned, while after the Clinton tax increase, we eventually had budget surpluses.

I find it disappointing that Republicans insist on an argument where there is no correlation while ignoring one where a correlation exists.

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Josef Colman

Santa Monica

Brownstein is correct that tax rates are just one of the many factors that affect job creation.

But unlike the other factors (energy prices, technology booms and busts, Wall Street ups and downs, natural disasters and 9/11), tax rates are within our control.

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No serious economist would suggest that 22 million jobs were created because Bill Clinton raised taxes; more likely, it was in spite of the hikes. Moreover, Clinton was president during an eight-year span of no major wars, falling energy prices and an explosion of high-tech growth led by a little thing called the Internet.

George W. Bush’s challenges included an economic slowdown that began under Clinton, spiking energy prices and a major terrorist attack.

While flattering to Clinton, comparing job growth during the two administrations without taking into account these other factors is, at best, misleading.

Ned Rice

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Marina del Rey

Yes, but Obama is the president

Re “President in name only,” Opinion, July 12

Ironically, Jonah Goldberg claims that Barack Obama is “president in name only” after Obama has strongly taken charge of the budget and deficit negotiations.

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No, it is now House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) who has abandoned his position, overrun by a pack of ideologues in his party.

Republican legislators are in such disarray that no Democratic president could find out who among them has the real authority to negotiate.

We have long regretted partisan politics, but splintered partisan politics could be worse as we near a financial judgment day that won’t be a tea party.

David Eggenschwiler

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Los Angeles

Is President Obama sincere about reducing our country’s monstrous deficit?

Earlier this year, he presented a budget to Congress that increased the deficit and was rejected by his own party.

He appointed a deficit-reduction commission and ignored its recommendations.

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In a recent news conference, he stated, “I’d rather be talking about stuff that, you know, everybody welcomes, like new programs.”

No, Mr. President, we don’t need new programs that we cannot afford.

We need true leadership to cut spending and get the federal budget under control. Only then can we create jobs and be competitive in a global economy.

Janet Polak

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Beverly Hills


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