Letters to the editor: Berkeley’s flap over diversity; trouble in L.A. County jails; California’s Dream Act

You can look it up

Re “Frosted by the ‘diversity’ bake sale,” Sept. 28

To make their bake sale truly reflective of affirmative action, the Berkeley College Republicans should have made known what led up to this policy.

They should have found a store owned by a Mexican and then forcibly taken it from him and killed all those who dared to resist. Then they should have enslaved several black families and forced them to make the baked goods. Then, to complete the event, they should have imported some Asians and paid them starvation wages to ferry the goods to UC Berkeley. Then they should have put up their signs explaining why the prices are different.


Maybe the Berkeley Republicans should take some history courses offered at their fine university.

Miguel Rosales


Minorities upset with the bake sale are displaying the same ugly racism that many whites have long been unfairly singled out for. Attempts to shut down this event and silence any debate over the controversial subject expose a glaring hypocrisy on the part of those who’ve been accorded victim status but who are now acting like victimizers.

Regardless of how it’s rationalized or spun, affirmative action is favoritism based on ethnicity and, therefore, discrimination. The only part that’s affirmed is that supporters of this lunacy never intended equality, just the redistribution of racism.

Pat Murphy

Pacific Palisades

The Berkeley College Republicans say they are protesting admission decisions based on race or gender. Their publicity stunt actually exposes the right-wing myth that white students are victims of efforts to increase


The proposed legislation, SB 185, does not allow the use of quotas or weighted preferences; it would simply allow public colleges to consider, but not give preference to, an applicant’s race, gender, ethnicity, country of origin and household income. Considering household income is key because students from privileged backgrounds have a significant advantage in meeting admission requirements.

This legislation will not discriminate against white students; it will instead increase the availability of educational opportunities for upwardly mobile students of any race, ethnicity or gender.

John D. Kelley

Santa Barbara

Clean up the jails, now

Re “FBI probes jail beating allegations,” Sept. 25

The FBI has revealed a rogue’s gallery of sheriff’s deputies in charge of inmate security at L.A. County jails. It is unbelievable that Sheriff Lee Baca seems to be upset only because the feds’ informant was able to get a


That Baca oversees such unspeakable brutality makes it obvious that he is unsuited to supervise employees who must remain sensible while doing their jobs. There should be zero tolerance for abuse of inmates. The ultimate responsibility rests with Baca, who must be relieved of his position now.

If we are to pride ourselves on being a just and humane society, it is in our best interest to keep people safe from physical harm while they are incarcerated.

My thanks go to the FBI, its agents and our media for exposing this heinous situation and keeping us informed.

Lynn Fischer


Silly me. When I read that Baca was “enraged,” I assumed his wrath was directed at his deputy for taking a bribe. Wrong! He was angry with the FBI for conducting a successful sting on his turf.

Methinks the sheriff doth protest too much.

Philip DiGiacomo

Pacific Palisades

It’s not their Dream Act

Re “More anxiety over the Dream Act,” Sept. 25

Gov. Jerry Brown has the Dream Act on his desk ready to sign or veto. This act will give illegal immigrants the “right” to enjoy publicly funded financial aid.

What happened to the rule of law? We have been giving a wink and a nod to illegal immigrants who defy our laws with sanctuary cities, free education and other benefits. We’ve even hamstrung our police to prevent deporting all but the most egregious offenders.

And now the illegal immigrants are to be

rewarded for breaking the law? Is this what you want your children to learn: that the law doesn’t matter any more?

Trent Sanders

La Cañada Flintridge

Is it not illegal to hire undocumented immigrants? Why spend our limited taxpayer money to prepare such students for work they cannot legally do?

Needlessly giving away scarce public money to the undocumented makes no sense when you consider that the needs of our own citizens are not adequately addressed.

Richard Ronald Wood

Vista, Calif.

Fish story

Re “Cows versus trout in the Sierra,” Sept. 25

When it comes to cows versus anything in the Sierra Nevada, the cows usually have the upper hoof.

I was able to see this scenario play out year after year in a small Sierra meadow where I used to fish. Almost like an environmental test laboratory, I saw firsthand the depredations that annual, high-country grazing inflicted until, one day, the grazing stopped.

Instead of trampled grasses, shredded vegetation, fouled stream water and cow pies with flies buzzing around them everywhere, I was greeted with a lush, verdant meadow. I couldn’t believe it was the same place.

Cattle grazing should no longer be allowed on public land. If ranchers wish to let their livestock run free and graze on open range, let it be on their own property (and preferably downstream from towns and cities).

Chuck Warren

Thousand Oaks

Rand’s rebuttal

Re “Putting pot in its place,” Editorial, Sept. 24

The Rand Corp. study does not rest on a “large and unwarranted assumption” that all medical marijuana dispensaries ordered to close on June 7, 2010 did so.

Our analysis assumes only that some dispensaries closed on June 7, and uses a standard research approach designed to yield conservative estimates. To the extent that some dispensaries refused to close, our study approach would have detected no change in crime around these defiant locations compared to those allowed to remained open. Thus our peer-reviewed results probably understate the true effects.

The impacts we identified were short term, as the study clearly noted. Whether they persist is an important issue, but it was infeasible to study because of changes in enforcement of the ordinance. The short-run observations are available for readers to consider, with the knowledge that the methods used were consistent with well-accepted scientific practices.

Mireille Jacobson

Santa Monica

The writer is a senior economist at Rand Corp.

Sign this bill

Re “Capitol’s wild night can mean headache later on,” Sept. 28

The Times’ story regarding my legislation to improve breast cancer detection (SB 791) suggests the bill received “little scrutiny;” not so.

The two-sentence notice to patients at the heart of the legislation was debated in six committee hearings and three floor sessions between Feb. 7 and Sept. 9, when the Legislature took final action.

That debate resulted in clear consensus that the effectiveness of mammography alone for women with dense breast tissue is limited and that women with this tissue should be given notice of that fact.

After seven months and extended debate, the Legislature voted (66 to 6 in the Assembly, 35 to 1 in the Senate) to require this two-sentence notice. Two sentences can save thousands of lives. Let’s hope the governor signs SB 791.

Sen. Joe Simitian

(D-Palo Alto)