Calling out the evil
Re "Fending off the regime, unseen," Feb. 23
Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire"; George W. Bush labeled Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil."
It is time for a new and forceful recognition of the wicked on the international stage. Iran, Russia and China have expressed support for the government of Syria, which is attempting to wipe out civilian opposition through a brutal campaign of atrocities perpetrated by its military.
Any leaders who would support the Syrian savagery are not members of the community of civilized nations and deserve to be known as international pariahs.
I hope that President Obama, who has demonstrated that he is anything but a foreign policy wimp, will use
his bully pulpit to challenge the immorality and contempt for human rights that is demonstrated by Iran, Russia and China as they support a beastly Syrian dictator.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper Saint Clair, Pa.
Voting for values is tricky
Re "Character counts, say voters who gravitate to Santorum," Feb. 21
Yes, by all means let's vote for the people who hold most of the same values as everyone else on the planet — except politicians, who somehow lack these traits in being
Let's be really radical and vote for the people who like air. I like breathing air. He likes breathing air. Why, I'll vote for him!
The problem with values voting is that it completely puts to the side or totally obviates past performance, the effectiveness of policies proposed, intelligence and judgment — you know, the qualities that actually matter for someone who wants to lead the free world.
To those who say they want to take their country back, and to the woman from Arizona quoted in your article as saying she would vote for a dog before voting for Obama:
Rick Santorum will lead you and the world back to the Stone Age. Newt Gingrich will lead you back to looking for child laborers.
We are more than 300 million people today. We can't go back to when we were 30 million, 20 million, 10 million, or to when we were 13 states, 26 states or 48 states. We are 50 states wanting to move forward, not backward.
Driver's licenses, and much more
Re "LAPD chief joins driver's license fray," Feb. 23
Have our government officials gone crazy? Why is one part of our government spending hundreds of millions to protect our borders while another part supports giving opportunities to illegal immigrants? The taxpayers foot the bill for this stupidity.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck wants illegal immigrants to have special driver's licenses. Then, when an illegal immigrant is pulled over for running a red light, the officer will see that the person is here unlawfully. The driver will receive a traffic ticket, but nothing will be done about his illegal status.
This is in effect gives permission to be in our country illegally. Is this what you want as a citizen?
Palos Verdes Estates
Beck is correct in his support for allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
Like it or not, there are illegal immigrants who drive in California. Those who are able to understand our driving laws and pass a driving test are safer than those who don't. I would much rather share the streets with licensed and insured drivers than those who aren't.
Plus, for illegal immigrants with licenses, we have pictures, thumbprints and mailing addresses. We know their age, how tall they are and how much they weigh.
Allowing them to be licensed is an excellent idea.
Neil C. Reinhardt
What is means to be an American
Re "The white majority strikes back," Opinion, Feb. 20
Is Gregory Rodriguez engaged in some sophisticated guilt-mongering? The Anglo Protestant culture has given us the Magna Carta, English common law, the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights and a tradition of successful representative government like no other. The heirs to that culture need not worry about its reputation.
And yes, in the past when "cultural sensitivity" was not in vogue, they probably dealt too harshly with less successful and more primitive cultures.
Today, when many Mexican American students are getting their education, it's important that they learn the origin of the magnificent institutions that they are privileged to live under by virtue of the fact that their parents brought them here. These institutions did not come from Mexico. These students need to know this.
If they become less Mexican and more Anglo in the process, then so be it.
Raymond R. Toal
Rodriguez comments on the plight of the Chiricahua band of Apache Indians forced off their land in the late 1800s.
In 1952, when the junior class of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles needed to choose a name for the graduating class of 1953, they chose those same Chiricahuas, spurred on by a beloved teacher and social activist, Blanche Bettington. The faculty was aghast that we chose the name of some "savages" rather than something like Spartans or perhaps Athenians.
Rodriguez believes, and rightfully so, that the United States has improved over the years. My sense is we have not progressed as far as Mrs. Bettington would have hoped in the 60 years since.
Re "Mixing Medicare and mudslinging," Opinion, Feb. 19
Although many of us believe that our healthcare would be vastly improved if we were to adopt a single-payer system with no involvement by insurance companies, it seems that Republicans — and some Democrats — would like to junk Medicare, the only single-payer system in this country, in favor of an insurance-based plan.
Undoubtedly the 80% of people in the National Journal poll who don't think Medicare needs to be cut prefer a single-payer system.
Doyle McManus states that "both sides recognize that Medicare spends billions of dollars wastefully." Last time I checked, overhead was a tiny percentage of the Medicare program's overall cost, while insurance companies had much higher rates. Which system is wasteful?
Re "U.S. proposal targets distracted driving," Business, Feb. 17
So now theU.S. Department of Transportationwants car manufacturers to disable certain communications functions when vehicles are in motion because they might distract the drivers. This is one of the most inane bureaucratic ideas in years.
What's next? Disable the radio because it distracts the driver? Or how about making a law that forbids a driver from talking to one of his or her passengers because that would also be distracting?
When did common sense take a back seat to stupidity?
Missing in O.C.
Re "O.C. teen is reported missing," Feb. 21
What immediately struck me when I read this article was the fact that 18-year-old Matt Hoff was released from jail at 4 a.m. Why would any release take place at that time?
In this case, Hoff was known to have been emotionally troubled, and he should not have been released without notifying his parents.
The same would go for a 24-year-old.