Partisan politics and the debt-ceiling debate; burkas and proper attire; and California’s Dream Act

Chess and the game of life

Re “It takes many moves to locate chess whiz,” July 23

Nice story; it’s refreshing to read some positive pieces once in a while. We need more of them.

And since my second son and I play chess online, I would love to play a game with Dyhemia Young. Actually, the person I really would like her to play is my son, as he beats me all the time!


Good wishes to the young chess whiz, not only in this tournament but for the future. Hang in there Dyhemia — you can make it to wherever you choose to go in life. Remember, it’s just another version of a chess game.

Ed Hieshetter

San Diego

Partisan politics get us nowhere


Re “The public burns as politicians fiddle,” July 28, and “Wall St. scrambles on debt threat,” July 27

The strict partisan politics in Washington are slowly choking the country to death. Our representatives are more concerned with tearing down their opponents than governing the country. The negativity on both sides of the aisle is astounding.

Real leaders do not lash out and grandstand to make a point. Real leaders listen thoughtfully to the other side’s position and forge ahead in an attempt to bring opposing sides closer together.

What we have now in Washington is systemic bullying on both sides, and our country is weaker for it.

Think about what would happen if all elections were made nonpartisan. The lemmings in Congress would be forced to understand the issues rather than to simply follow party politics. With the safety and security of their respective parties removed, voters would be forced to do the same.

Mike Piccard

Canyon Country

I can afford to pay more on my capital gains and income over $250,000. What I can’t afford is to have my entire wealth jeopardized by the current Republican inability to come to an agreement between themselves and Democrats, to the great peril of our national economy.


We have to have revenue increases — close loopholes, cancel the Bush tax cuts (which have not created jobs or helped small business) for the top 1%, adjust tax rates on hedge funds and capital gains, get rid of oil subsidies, even if temporarily — to get some breathing room to solve the bigger problems.

Stop the insanity of just cutting spending. The middle class and poor shouldn’t have to bear the whole burden, and it doesn’t take an economist to see that cuts alone aren’t enough.

Dianne Wehenkel

San Diego

With over 60 years as a physician, it is incomprehensible to me that we now have a major epidemic of acute short-term memory loss among Republicans.

They forget that when George W. Bush took office, there was a substantial surplus. But with the Bush tax cuts, a botched war in Afghanistan, an unneeded war in Iraq — all unfunded — plus the fact that Bush never found a spending bill he did not like, that surplus rapidly dissipated.

The recession was already in place when President Obama took office. Obama did contribute to the deficit, but that was necessary due to the massive spending of Bush-Cheney.

The first thing we learned in Business 101 was that income had to exceed expenses to succeed. The present tax code must be revised so everyone pays the same percent.


By the way, I have often voted Republican.

Harry Orme

San Gabriel

Democrats, including the president, need to get on the people’s page.

With this constant filling of campaign war chests or their own pockets, our elected officials are forgetting why they are there. They are all there to do the people’s business.

Public financing of campaigns is the only way to ensure that our government returns to “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Right now it is “of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.”

Democrats need to go back to the principles of the party.

Marietta Kruells


Carving out a burka exception

Re “First, they’ll come for the burkas” July 24

Although I strongly support the writer’s view regarding wardrobe “freedom of choice,” I take exception to the rationale as it relates to burkas.

With all due respect, she needs to take her head out of the sand on this issue, as France has. The issue isn’t about religious freedom; it’s about safety. Burkas can shield identities and munitions and bombs carried by individuals.

If you still have doubts, just ask any of our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Ray Perez

Diamond Bar

The author confuses aesthetics with ethics.

Uncovering one’s chest or midriff or whatnot is a fashion statement (or lack thereof), but wearing a burka is an ideological and moral one.

This dress represents a veiled (no pun intended) threat and serves as a symbol and a tool of intimidation of both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Kyle Taran

Playa del Rey

There is absolutely nothing free about being required to cover yourself from head to toe in black drapery with only a small slit for your eyes.

This dress has been decided for a woman by her male guardian.

It is indecent for an adult woman to have a male guardian who decides what she wears, if and where she can work and if and where she can travel.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is right that being required to be covered from head to toe is contrary to the dignity of women.

Americans should not mistakenly portray suppression of a class of people — in this case women — as the freedom to practice one’s religion.

Katherine Bembry

Beverly Hills

One ID, one vote?

Re “NAACP head targets new voting laws,” July 26

How is it racist to ask for an ID to vote?

We need identification to cash a check, rent a car, buy alcohol, use a credit card and any number of basic activities in society.

One need not drive or own a car to get a state-issued identification card. The NAACP president seems to think minorities do not have the ability or capacity to do these things.

Talk about being

demeaning to blacks and other minorities.

Lisa Niedenthal

Los Angeles

These new voter ID laws are aimed at minorities, the poor and the elderly, all of whom are far less likely to have driver’s licenses or other ID than middle-class whites.

If the laws require people from these targeted groups to pay for driver’s licenses or other ID, or to take time during working hours to obtain them, many of them will forgo voting.

That is the objective, because these groups vote heavily Democratic.

Where is the ACLU?

Harold Gordy

Woodland Hills

Dream Act may blaze a trail

Re “California Dream Act signed into law,” July 26

In all fairness to the taxpaying public, perhaps the undocumented immigrants who wish to attend college should do a tour of duty in the military and earn their education.

This comes from a first-generation American of Mexican descent with a daughter who will probably have to go the military route because I cannot afford to send her to college.

Gov. Jerry Brown, what about the children of taxpaying citizens? What can you do for them?

Yvonne Garcia

Los Angeles

Akin to California’s cutting-edge leadership on a range of issues, the governor now leads the country on immigration reform.

In passing the Dream Act, California is enabling thousands of California students to constructively contribute to our economy.

The Dream Act is just the first step. We must pass comprehensive immigration reform quickly. Deportation of millions is clearly not viable. Deporting America’s undocumented immigrants would cost us far too much.

Congress needs to step up on comprehensive immigration reform, and commitments by courageous states like California pave the way.

Michael Honda


The writer is a Democratic representative from San Jose.

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