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Letters to the editor: Doyle McManus on the GOP presidential hopefuls; wasting taxpayers’ money; “Contagion” versus real life

Where’s the next John McCain?

Re “Rightward ho!,” Opinion, Sept. 25

None of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates had the courage to call out the haters at the recent Florida debate who booed a brave American serviceman just because he’s gay. None of them had enough courage to confront the right-wing zealots at a previous debate who cheered for the idea that a person without health insurance should be left to die.

During the 2008 campaign, I recall Sen. John McCain standing up to those who questioned Barack Obama’s patriotism. Sadly, it appears that none of the current candidates has that kind of decency and principle.

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If they can’t stand up to radicals in their own party, why would we want any of them to be our commander in chief?

Steve Mehlman

Beaumont

Doyle McManus leaves out one moderate Republican candidate the networks are refusing to allow into the debates. Fred Karger was the first man to file for the office, has been campaigning the longest and has been noted in some polls. He worked for Ronald Reagan, and his ideas stem from that era.

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McManus states the obvious about radical Republicans but leaves out that there is a moderate running. He just continues the process of exclusion.

Barry Mason

Los Angeles

After watching these clowns (who are actually not funny at all) with utter disbelief and dismay, one might actually begin to wonder if their denial of evolution might, in fact, have some truth to it.

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Karen Williams

Anaheim

Who’s wasting money now?

Re “Frozen funds stymie party races,” Sept. 26

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In her own scheming way, Kinde Durkee has allegedly done to the politicians what they have done to the public for years. The Times has exposed greedy, inept politicians and public servants who have spent taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. They have pushed our cities, states and nation close to bankruptcy.

What Durkee is accused of doing is not legal. But is she any different than Ronald Lederkramer, the finance director of the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, who has charged taxpayers thousands of dollars for gasoline since 2008?

Our governor has asked for more taxes for the people to pay and politicians to squander. Let’s be very careful about whom and what we vote for.

Perhaps Durkee, unintentionally, has done the public a favor.

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Marilyn Smith

Encino

Your article indicates that many candidates may not have enough funds to run their campaigns. Just think: We might only see days rather than months of blurred photos and proclamations of how bad someone’s opponent is.

When someone says The Times never prints good news, I’ll refer him or her to this article.

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Clay Wells

Newport Beach

Perks at the L.A. Coliseum

Re “Public pays Coliseum gas perk,” Sept. 26

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Why does a nine-member Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum commission even exist? The Coliseum has only one steady tenant, USC football, and a scattering of events such as soccer and rave concerts. The companion L.A. Memorial Sports Arena remains a ghost venue.

Now, The Times has discovered the gross improprieties of the commission. It’s no surprise that it is a money-losing operation at the expense of taxpayers.

Wayne Muramatsu

Cerritos

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Come on, we are talking about $7,600 in gas since 2008, less than a tank a week. Is it worth a front-page story in our world of trillions in lost real estate value and millions of unemployed?

For your information, a million is one thousand thousand, a billion is one thousand million, and a trillion is one thousand billion. And then there is $7,600.

Trudy Self

Lake Arrowhead

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Movie magic

Re “From a bat, to a pig, to you — not likely,” Opinion, Sept. 25

Just because a lethal pandemic hasn’t happened at the speed depicted in “Contagion” doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t. An intimately connected world of 7 billion people has changed the pace at which we encounter new contagious threats to people, economies and communication networks.

About 70% of emerging infectious diseases originate in wildlife, including bats. Pigs are common intermediates, implicated in influenza as well as Nipah, the model for MEV-1 in “Contagion.” MEV-1, like the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus that was our wake-up call for how rapidly viruses can spread, could have circulated in pigs for a long time before the pig used for Gwyneth Paltrow’s banquet broke the barrier.

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We clearly disagree on predicting and preparing for pandemics; nonetheless, I appreciate that Wendy Orent has helped promote the discourse on science and public health.

W. Ian Lipkin, MD

New York

The writer, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, was the medical advisor for the film “Contagion.”

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A home for DHS

Re “Homeland Security has no home,” Sept. 25

Given the money squandered by the Department of Homeland Security over the last decade, the proposed consolidation of the department’s executive offices into a former federal insane asylum is entirely appropriate.

For the further protection of taxpayers, Congress should also insist on the construction of a really secure perimeter (border) fence, strict censorship of mail, confiscation of all telecommunications devices from the civil service employee-occupants, permanent exclusion of all prospective corporate vendors and the required full-body search of all visitors at the front gate.

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Robert Schwartz

Thousand Oaks

Poor ally

Re “Pakistan-U.S. ties on the brink,” Sept. 24

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Just how many slaps in the face will it take for the U.S. government to realize that Pakistan is our enemy, not our friend? Its leaders disguise their true intentions with diplomatic smoke and mirrors, but then reveal their true selves time after time. Why do we always fall for their sleight-of-hand and continue to consider them on our side in these worthless and senseless wars, when they clearly are not?

How many Americans have died because of their nefarious tactics? How many more will?

Dennis Kline

Irvine

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Follow the rules

Re “Homeowner, Glendale spar over remodel,” Sept. 26

Though I sympathize with Judy Shea’s plight, I feel Glendale city officials are pursuing the correct course of action. I remodeled my small Glendale home last year and obtained several building permits, and though the process was a bit burdensome and expensive, everyone I dealt with, from counter staff to inspectors, was experienced, professional and reasonable.

There are plenty of countries where anything goes; quite often, we send our relief workers to these places when their buildings crumble after an earthquake.

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Simon Lakkis

La Crescenta

Crisis point

Re “Senate OKs bill to avoid shutdown,” Sept. 27

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The Democrats are irate that the Republicans are using the need to pass emergency relief as a vehicle to seek additional budget cuts that would offset those expenses.

A few years ago Democrats were enamored of the hardball tactics of Rahm Emanuel, who said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Teach the children well.

David Goodwin

Los Angeles


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