Letters to the editor: Medical care and the poor; protesting greed; classroom instruction that includes contributions of the LGBT community

Not very healthy

Re “Still seeking relief,” Oct. 16

It is truly appalling that in the 21st century, with all of our incredible advances in medical science, we are reduced to treating the dental issues of our low-income citizens with the medieval procedure of pulling teeth. This article exemplifies why charity alone will never come close to treating the medical needs of the poor.

It is unfortunate the article included concerns about mandates in the healthcare reform act without providing additional commentary that its stated intent is not to punish the working poor but to move toward affordable and comprehensive coverage for all. Healthcare will never “trickle down.”


Jay Steiger

Spring Valley, Calif.

Mike Kilgore buys a tube of Orajel every day, probably $5 to $7 per tube, to numb the pain in his mouth. I would hope that there is a dentist out there who could work out a payment plan to actually deal with the problem.

The real problem, of course, is that we as a nation have read the Sermon on the Mount and have chosen to disagree.

Pat Mauer


The privileges of wealth

Re “Global march against greed,” Oct. 15

Around the world people march against an ill-defined target. The question is not whether one should or should not get very rich, but from what. The confusion arises from a “politically correct” evasion of discriminating between those who bother to do what it takes to generate well-being and wealth, and those who just slosh it around (or do neither, like many of the occupiers). It is in some cases difficult to determine where to draw the line. But since when has this been a justification for evading judgment altogether?

Ilan Samson

La Jolla

If protesters against Wall Street are upset about big banks using their influence to buy special favors, then just who do they think is selling those favors? Career-oriented politicians in Congress will always need money, and there is no better way for an ambitious politician to get money then to bend to those who possess it.

No, occupying Wall Street is clearly not the solution, but taking back Capitol Hill is. Ending long-term tenure in Congress by instituting term limits is a critical first step down the right road.

Brady Cuthbert


Lessons for first-graders

Re “How to teach gay issues in 1st grade?,” Oct. 16

A person’s sexuality is not why we teach about people. We teach about them because they have made a contribution to the good of society.

Most of our leaders in the past did not talk about their sexuality; will these educators do gender assignment to people, as has been done to Langston Hughes in your article? His gift was that of a poet, not his sexuality.

Why would an adult say that someone is gay if the person has not said so? Why would a teacher teach such a thing?

Jean Solomon

Los Angeles

The headline completely misstates the purpose of SB 48. “Gay issues” are things like marriage equality and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and have nothing to do with the law.

Simply, SB 48 is about teaching history, and making sure that the achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are noted. Your headline feeds to the fears of the right that the so-called gay agenda (whatever that is) is going to be taught to first-graders.

By far, the better and more correct headline for the story was posted on “California schools scrambling to add lessons on LGBT Americans.” That’s the real story.

Todd Duncan

Aliso Viejo

This article is the newest example of the lobby-driven silliness that so infuriates us everyday people, gay, straight or otherwise. Teachers should not be asked to spend valuable classroom time un-teaching biases that do not exist in first-graders.

Robert Fulghum said it best: All I really need to know, I learned in kindergarten. Just be nice to each other, right?

Anthony Moretti


Catholic charges

Re “Charge against Catholic bishop unprecedented,” Oct. 15

It is about time that Roman Catholic authorities face prison time for their role in what amounts to a child-molesting ring using religion as a front.

Such action has been delayed for years because the enormity of the crime, and the hypocrisy involved with priests raping children, calls into question the religion itself. Had these same people been stealing cars, they would have been driven out of town long ago.

Medieval times are gone. Robed charlatans who subsist on tax-free donations from the flock they prey upon decade after decade have no place in modern society.

William Lorton

Los Angeles

It’s fashionable

Re “Turning bikes into fashion statements,” Business, Oct. 15

As a “MAMIL” — a middle-aged man in Lycra — and a serious bicyclist, I read this article with a little astonishment.

Anything that gets people on a bike and out of a car is a good thing, and bicycles already come in such an array of colors that anyone should be able to find one that compliments his or her outfit with no problem.

I suggest that a better use of the extra cost of a designer bicycle would be to buy a stock bike in your color and buy an additional one with the savings to donate to a program that provides bikes to disadvantaged kids. More people on bikes, a good deed and a bike that matches your outfit — seems like a no-brainer to me.

Joel Slaven

Los Angeles

Drug madness

Re “The medical marijuana mess,” Editorial, Oct. 14

Mexican drug cartels are no doubt thrilled with the Obama administration’s crackdown on voter-approved medical marijuana dispensaries. So much for change. So much for jobs.

The medical marijuana industry is one of the few job creators in the current down economy. If President Obama succeeds in destroying the domestic medical marijuana industry, drug cartels will move in to meet demand and reap the profits. This is basic economics. As long as there is a demand for marijuana, there will be a supply.

Replacing domestic growers with organized-crime groups that also sell cocaine, meth and heroin is not a good thing. Marijuana prohibition is a gateway drug policy.

Robert Sharpe


The writer is a policy analyst at Common Sense for Drug Policy.

Good news

Re “His overriding story: joy,” Column One, Oct. 15

Thank you for this heartwarming front-page story.

After the last several years of discouraging stories about the economy, how refreshing it is to read of a simple, happy man who takes pride in his work, loves his wife and family, lives within his means, treats others with respect and enjoys the approbation of his employer. A man who is grateful for his travels right here in America and is delighted with dinner at Norm’s. A man who is truly blessed, as are the folks with whom he comes in contact.

My bests wishes to Ruben and Trudy Pardo.

Barbara Z. Myers


Shalit’s wish

Re “Israeli captive is reportedly handed over,” Oct. 18

Freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit said it all: I hope this will lead to peace between the Palestinians and Israelis and that it will support cooperation between both sides.

Paul Waller

Woodland Hills