A GOP class war between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney; U.S. policy on Iran; abuse allegations in L.A. Unified schools

Pursuit of happiness

Re "In GOP race, class war gets personal," Feb. 27

Although I agree that Rick Santorum's use of greed-and-envy attacks against Mitt Romney smacks of the class warfare rhetoric of the Democrats and President Obama, I also agree with the basic premise of his message: Opportunity for all beats welfare checks for the many.

Few Americans would disagree with Santorum's disdain for the "elites in society who think that they can manage your life better than you can."

But this is not a message of class warfare but rather a call for returning to the "pursuit of happiness" promises that were handed down to us by the Founding Fathers. They viewed America as the land of opportunity for everyone, not one of dependency on the government for the many.

Donald E. Wiggins

Yucca Valley

Those looking for a real-life definition of hypocrisy need only to read The Times' report from Michigan, where Santorum is running ads attacking Romney for "turning his back on Michigan workers" without mentioning that Santorum also opposed the bailout of the auto industry.

One can only conclude that Santorum must have a very low opinion of the intelligence of Michigan's voters by resorting to such tactics.

James Parsons

Carpinteria

Santorum calls the president a "snob" for suggesting that college should be a possibility for any person who dreams of getting ahead in our society.

Santorum possesses a bachelor's degree, a master's in business administration and a law degree. So that makes Santorum a — oh, I give up, my brain hurts.

Jack Kenna

Whittier

Iran can't be trusted on nukes

Re "Reckless on Iran," Editorial, Feb. 24

The Times writes: "There are also signs that sanctions are beginning to pinch. Iran has indicated a willingness to resume talks with the United States." One of those signs must be Iran's refusal last week to let United Nations

inspectors visit its military base at Parchin.

Didn't we also have talks with North Korea? How did that work out?

Of course Iran is willing to talk. But it takes a few months even to agree to a date for the talks, then several more to agree to other terms. Then finally Iran will announce it will talk with us but that it will not give up its right to develop nuclear energy.

That sound you hear is not a nuclear test; it is Iran and the rest of the world laughing at us.

Orrin Turbow

Oxnard

From Iran's perspective, we overthrew its government once. After9/11, Iran supported our allies in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance, and offered through the Swiss to normalize relations and to discuss nuclear cooperation and the acceptance of Israel.

The Bush administration's response was to chastise the Swiss. It designated Iran as part of an axis of evil and invaded another member of the axis. Iran now has U.S. troops on either side of it.

Add to this Israeli and U.S. hypocrisy about nuclear weapons and it is understandable why Iran would want them.

If China called the U.S., Canada and Mexico an axis of evil and invaded Mexico, think about what the U.S. response would be.

Michael Goldman

Woodland Hills

There's a code

Re "Scrutiny grows at L.A. Unified," Feb. 24

Here we are with horrific allegations of sexual misconduct in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and reports that "a teacher likes to rub my shoulders and sometimes their hands drift" are considered mere "child annoyance" under sex-crimes guidelines.

You don't need an official code of conduct to know that this behavior is a form of molestation.

And for the record, L.A. Unified's Code of Conduct with Students prohibits "touching or having physical contact with a student(s) that is not age-appropriate or within the scope of the employee's/individual's responsibilities and/or duties."

Jeanine D'Elia

Granada Hills

License lunacy

Re "Baca would back licenses for illegal immigrants," Feb. 24

Los Angeles Police Chief Beck and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca are dreaming. First, how valid is the assumption that a licensed driver is safer than an unlicensed driver, particularly when an illegal person may be trying to avoid any conflict with the authorities?

And then, do these gentlemen truly imagine a person coming to the DMV saying: "Hey, I'm illegal. I want to get one of those special licenses. I will go through a driving course and, of course, get insurance"?

Dream on.

W.R. Frederick

Tarzana

Doctors, nurses

Re "Let nurses fill the gap," Opinion, Feb. 22

I respectfully disagree with the suggestion that nurse practitioners can replace physicians in providing primary care. Nurse practitioners, on average, receive 1,500 hours of clinical training, compared with more than 20,000 hours of training required of physicians.

To solve the primary care workforce shortage, we must increase the number of both primary care physicians and nurse practitioners and encourage the development of multidisciplinary teams delivering care.

Team-based care, such as the patient-centered medical home, helps keep people healthier and makes the best use of healthcare dollars. Together, physicians and nurse practitioners provide the best care. Each team member plays a different, though equally important, role.

Nurse practitioners cannot replace primary care physicians, or vice versa. Providing the best care for patients requires the health system to ensure a strong primary care infrastructure and appropriately reward all of us providing it.

Steven Green

San Diego

The writer is president-elect of the California Academy of Family Physicians.

Lost in Virginia

Re "Legislators in Virginia revise controversial abortion bill," Feb. 25

Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell defends a proposal to require women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound by stating, "Virginia will have a strong women's right-to-know bill, to provide the information necessary to make a fully informed decision."

I've always thought that rights lead to requirements, not the other way around. Requirements become necessary when rights are abridged, which is not the case here, in which women can ask for and receive an ultrasound.

I hope McDonnell's twisted spin-doctoring helps the Virginia electorate make a fully informed decision before the state imposes further "rights" on them.

John Brock

Hansville, Wash.

Foolish delay

Re "D.A. delayed action on teacher," Feb. 25

Is the Los Angeles County district attorney's office logically challenged?

We know where accused child molester George Hernandez is and we're not going after him, but the case is still open and he's subject to prosecution. This is civil service quackery at its best.

Don Traina

Oceanside

Expensive slopes

Re "Ski season hits bump," Business, Feb. 25

Mammoth Mountain resort spokeswoman Joani Lynch states that the weather, not the economy, is the cause for the drop in skier and snowboarder visits. How about the $96 lift tickets?

Face it, Mammoth Mountain, you're pricing yourselves out of most people's budgets.

Mary Edwards

Los Angeles

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