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Opinion

The dust-up over France’s Armenian genocide bill; what a Gingrich presidency would look like; ‘super PAC’ problems

The genocide issue

Re “Genocide bill riles Turkey,” Jan. 28

The Armenian genocide question will not go away in France or in Turkey until the genocide is recorded, recognized and honored with dignity in Turkey.

Getting to this point has taken nearly 100 years of parrying Turkish opinion that the killing of more than 1 million Armenians starting in 1915 does not meet the legal standard of genocide — intent to exterminate a race or a group — although many historians agree it does.

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I don’t believe the sins of the fathers should rest on the shoulders of their children and grandchildren. But if and when there comes a time to lift the tenor of the conversation between the Turks and Armenians, then maybe these verbal warriors can deepen their understanding of one another and become an example to those who prefer to attack one another instead of finding common ground.

Kay Mouradian

South Pasadena

What Gingrich would do

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Re “A Gingrich presidency?,” Opinion, Jan. 29

Doyle McManus quotes Newt Gingrich regarding his intentions to overturn several policies and laws — and Supreme Court rulings — in the first hours of his presidency.

Not only would Gingrich be our most radical president by far, he would unquestionably receive unbridled power from our radical Congress. Many of Gingrich’s extremist views are shared by congressional Republicans, and it is unlikely that even Mitt Romney as president would have the temerity to veto their decisions.

The only check would be the veto power of a Democratic president. The Obama campaign needs to emphasize the importance of this vital protection for American society.

Howard Hurlbut

Redlands

If McManus intended to persuade readers not to vote for Gingrich, his column had the opposite effect on me. McManus persuaded me to support the former House speaker.

I especially like Gingrich’s promise to use executive orders to reverse President Obama’s polices within hours of his inauguration. I also loved McManus’ statement that the Republican probably “means exactly what he says.”

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In the wake of the disastrous Obama administration, thank God a man such as Gingrich has arrived on the political scene.

Stuart Kaiden

Laguna Woods

Re “Sex! Lies! Political scandal!,” Opinion, Jan. 26

Feeling as part-French as the next person, I am willing to ignore the sex lives of government officials as a matter of petty gossip.

However, when it comes to the moral hypocrisy of candidates, I can be as self-righteous as Miss Grundy.

Gingrich — he of the three marriages and a six-year adultery — might have slipped by had he not been so self-righteous.

In his attack on a debate questioner who raised the issue of the alleged open-marriage request, Gingrich — in the sly manner of a noted debater — asserted that it was not his morality and hypocrisy that was at issue but the audacity of the questioner in raising those issues.

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As a former high school debater, I recognized the tactic.

Debaters do not aim at the truth but at winning the argument.

David Eggenschwiler

Los Angeles

Extend Medicare to fix healthcare

Re “Eyeing health system’s failings,” Column, Jan. 27

Thanks to David Lazarus for pointing out the shortfalls of our healthcare system. The sad thing is that we have a better system already in place: Medicare. All we have to do is extend it to cover everyone from cradle to grave.

But before that happens, we must have federal funding of elections. Most of our elected officials are very wealthy, and they don’t have to worry about such things as paying for healthcare.

Clara Browda

Los Angeles

Lazarus evidently believes that some other healthcare system would be “better.” But he’s silent on what that system would be: a government-run “solution.”

Politicians would decide if Lazarus’ victim in this case — Karen Fairbanks — would be allowed to have surgery and, ultimately, where she could have it. Lazarus ignores the reality that government controlling costs would mean fewer eye surgeons and longer waits.

Lazarus informs us that Fairbanks has paid $200,000 in premiums to Blue Shield over the last 25 years. Well, yeah. Insurance premiums are just that: insurance. Someone in each of those years paid a premium — say, $8,000 — and had a $16,000 surgery, and Fairbanks’ money was used to fund the shortfall. This is the situation Fairbanks is in now.

Kip Dellinger

Santa Monica

Taking aim at ‘super PACs’

Re “An honorable campaign,” Editorial, Jan. 27

The deal to minimize the influence of “super PACs” in the campaign for U.S. senator from Massachusetts is a good way to reduce the influence of money on our democracy.

The innumerable Republican debates suggest another idea: Presidential candidates could agree to stop advertising and instead go up against each other only in debates. This would greatly reduce campaign costs and still give the electorate more than enough information to make informed decisions.

Carl Swallow

Manhattan Beach

The impact of the Citizens United decision and super PACs is overblown. Romney outspent Gingrich in South Carolina and lost.

First the VCR and now the DVR have conditioned most of us to tune out unwanted noise. Voters are sizing up the candidates in the Republican debates.

Those half-truth TV ads are like trees falling in the forest: Nobody’s watching or listening.

Bob Munson

Newbury Park

Say it ain’t so on Phillipes’ joe

Re “Cup of woe,” Jan. 26

Phillipe’s should not raise its coffee price. Instead, the “French dip palace” should lower the price or make coffee free for lunch and dinner in addition to breakfast.

Think of the advertising: “Phillipes, home of the free cup of coffee.” If the restaurant must cover its costs, it should raise the price of its sandwiches.

Still, we will love Philippes no matter what it does.

Donald Shapiro

Culver City

Since last week, I have been outraged that I was charged $7 for a cup of coffee at a well-known Beverly Hills hotel.

It was ironic, then,

that the article regarding Philippe’s raising its coffee price to 45 cents a cup appeared in the paper last week. It certainly put things into perspective.

Elaine Franklin

Burbank

Flag, not cross

Re “A House vote for religious symbols,” Jan. 25

For about 30 years I traveled though San Diego thinking there was a church with a ridiculously large cross on the hill near the 5 Freeway. Wasn’t I surprised to find out it was a war memorial.

The cross should never have been installed. What should be there instead is the largest American flag in the United States, lit 24/7. That would truly honor all American veterans.

Anthony Foster

Oceanside

People power

Re “New Jersey gay marriage bill moves closer to passage,” Jan. 25

Cheers to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for threatening to veto a gay marriage bill if it comes to his desk. Christie made a courageous stand for supporting traditional marriage. The definition of marriage should be decided, like he said, by the state’s voters, not just a few legislators.

Christie is not a homophobe or religious extremist, and he would get my vote for president.

Dennis Kinney

Santa Ana


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