LACMA’s big rock; a low rating for Congress; and the wealth gap

One big boulder

Re “A rock’s road to LACMA,” Nov. 25

Yes, it was paid for by private donations, and yes, the display is a cute idea. But didn’t someone somewhere on the march toward a $10-million price tag to bring a 340-ton rock from Riverside County to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art stop and wonder if this is too much?

In our current economy — with so many families


living in poverty or homeless, and with so many of our children forced out of higher education because of skyrocketing tuition — we couldn’t find a better way to spend $10 million?

I wonder if this is the kind of disconnect that the Occupy movement is talking about.

Roger Fumey



That sure is a big rock those guys are trying to move. And they’re really going at it the hard way.

Now that The Times has published pictures of the big rock, LACMA should start building a

fake rock out of fiberglass. Assemble it at the museum and just tell everyone it’s the same rock. Who will know the difference?

When George W. Bush told the world about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, people believed him. Of course, it wasn’t true. These people could do the same thing here.

Iraq? A big rock? Fake it.

Robert L. Macfarlane

Costa Mesa

Wow — moving a gigantic rock 106 miles at a cost of $10 million so people can walk under it and pretend it’s levitating above them, and calling it art.


Thanks, LACMA. You’ve provided a new definition of insanity. Or inanity. Or both.

Roberta Leap

Simi Valley

Coming down hard on Congress

Re “Even Congress isn’t pleased by its performance,” Nov. 24

Message for both the Democrats and the GOP: The people who elected you are tired of you blaming each other for your performance or, more specifically, for your lack of performance.

Negotiation is fundamentally about compromise. If you’re not willing to compromise, then there’s no point in negotiating.

And if you’re not willing to compromise, then at least have the decency to step aside so we can elect people who are willing to make the difficult decisions needed to reach a deal.


Harold Fujita


So, Congress isn’t pleased by its performance. To quote the Church Lady: “Isn’t that special.”

If something positive comes out of this, then I might believe that lawmakers’ feelings are real. If nothing comes of this except more self-righteous posturing, then this is nothing more than politicians trying to get some positive public relations at the expense of the nation.

I am afraid that the latter is more likely.

Jim Goodenough

Canoga Park

Members of Congress should equally be ashamed of themselves for being intimidated into signing on to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. It certainly limits them in forming bipartisan efforts to do what’s proper for our country in these troubling times.

Did your senator or congressman sign on? Google “Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers” for that information.

Dick Ramirez


And the rich get richer

Re “California’s wealth pyramid,” Opinion, Nov. 23

Alissa Anderson and Jean Ross should know that if you’re in the top 1%, you have to be doing better than everybody else. When was the last time you found everyone in the top tier of income earners trailing those below them?

It’s such a phony argument about “inequality.”

Who is supposed to make it equal? Should government take from those who have and give to those who don’t? Or is wealth only truly “earned” by those who don’t have it?

Lawrence Hawthorne


In a democracy, we don’t have to put up with leaders who deny us free speech, but we do have to contend with 1% of our population whose wealth is enormously greater than that of the remaining 99%. The rich are supposed to pay a larger amount of taxes than we middle-class types, but they buy the best Congress that we cannot afford.

Anderson and Ross mention the “growing income divide,” but their suggestions for more enlightened policies ignore the issue of influence wielded by the rich on policies that have to do with how taxpayer money is spent. The 1% benefit from the pressure put on lawmakers whose elections they


The rich should think of boosting the overall economy as a demonstration of good citizenship.

Lou Jacobs Jr.

Cathedral City

A ‘Godless’ day?

Re “Yes, Obamas will call it ‘Christmas,’ ” Nov. 26

I’m revolted by the bleating of the God crowd blasting President Obama for not catering to them by daring to leave “God” out of his Thanksgiving radio address. Anybody happen to remember that in his inaugural address he referred to people of any faith or no faith?

Four cheers, Obama, for not buying into that politically obligatory fatuous hommage to God. Not all of us have our spiritual home in the Bible Belt, and we treasure the separation of church and state that the Founding Fathers had the good sense to bequeath us.

Thanks, Mr. President!

Sara Meric

Santa Monica

Try a library

Re “Another L.A. bookstore to close,” Nov. 25

Regarding the closure of yet another bookstore — this one located at the Westside Pavilion — one customer announced she was “distressed” and went on to say, “I really, honestly don’t know what we’ll do.”

I know what she should do. She should march right down to the beautiful Westwood branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, which is less than two miles from the Westside Pavilion.

With a library card in hand, customers can access the Internet, peruse the valuable databases and check out books and movies. Best of all, the price is reasonable: It’s free.

David Tulanian

Los Angeles

It was Greek

Re “Catholics confront changes to Mass,” Nov. 26

The revised text of the Roman Missal does indeed hearken back to an earlier Latin text, but not to the original text. Many of the Mass texts, specifically that of the Nicene Creed referred to in this article, were originally Greek, as were the books of the New Testament.

That the English translation in use since the 1970s is “fundamentally flawed” is a matter of debate, as is the idea that the more literal the translation, the more accurate it is.

Whatever its literary and theological merits or flaws, however, the new translation does not “hew much more closely to the original,” which was, in many cases, Greek rather than Latin.

Marie Anne Mayeski

Los Angeles

So long, Petruno

Re “The debt, the future and other parting thoughts,” Column, Nov. 26

Thanks to Tom Petruno for his thoughts on the economy. It is nice to know The Times had a columnist with a broad perspective when addressing issues that affect our economy.

I am disappointed with other columnists who tend to pick and choose their economic data to push a particular political or social cause. I am impressed by writers who can weigh costs and benefits in a rational manner.

Petruno’s departure does not bode well for the paper in that regard. But maybe I’ll be surprised. Best of luck to Petruno.

Joe Blackman

Sierra Madre

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