A drug bust that fueled Mexico’s drug cartels; a controversial mountain lion hunt; and LAPD eases rules on impounding cars


War without end

Re “A drug war success story?,” Opinion, Feb. 29

William C. Rempel’s Op-Ed article on the 1989 cocaine bust in Sylmar that ultimately strengthened the Mexican drug cartels illustrates the folly of the continuing war on drugs.


This war is an arms race in which the opponent has no morals and no qualms about a scorched-earth strategy. Increasingly, the casualties are innocent people and entire economic sectors, such as Mexican tourism and trips by charitable organizations to the country.

Instead of continuing to squander billions in a losing battle, we should decriminalize drugs and pour the money into substance-abuse education and treatment. And, if there’s any increase in drug abuse, at least the only victims will be adults who freely made informed choices.

David Salahi

Laguna Niguel

Kudos for publishing Rempel’s Op-Ed article. It illustrates that, like a cancer, drug suppliers will continue to find opportunities to expand even as some opportunities are erased.

The cartels’ motivation is our seemingly bottomless demand for certain mind-altering drugs. The law of supply and demand amply explains the how and why of it.


Only legalization and commitment to treatment has any hope of ending the violence associated with the illegal drug trade.

Gerald Sutliff


The mountain lion mess

Re “Fish and Game’s lion hunter,” Editorial, March 1

The Times would do well to remember that the “less than 1%” of state residents who hunt, as we’re so dismissively referred to, pay the lion’s share of the Department of Fish and Game’s conservation efforts through hunting license fees, tags and permits.


As for Fish and Game Commission President Daniel W. Richards, it’s heartening to see that even The Times’ editorial board recognizes the legality of his mountain lion hunt in Idaho and is refraining from joining ignorant grandstanders like Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in calling for his resignation.

Now if we could only get you on board for a repeal of California’s Proposition 117, which has accomplished nothing but ensuring the starvation of scores of lions due to overpopulation.

Rich Crowther

Shadow Hills

Richards’ killing of a mountain lion with a dog pack and a rifle, his grinning photo-op and the tired, predictable defense by his apologists was so wrong on so many levels.

For a man in Richards’ position, having a right to engage in a “100% legal activity” in Idaho is a bar set far too low for the majority of Californians. He should do the right thing and resign.


Brian Lent

Sierra Madre

Richards was within all legal rights in shooting the cougar.

The 40 Assembly Democrats who signed the letter stating that the commissioner is unfit to enforce the laws of the state of California are themselves shameful. This is exactly the reason California has become the laughingstock of the world. These are the very same legislators running and ruining this once great state.

I remember a time when I was very proud to say, “I am from California.” It is now an embarrassment.

William Garrett

Newport Beach


‘To Ignore and to Endanger’?

Re “LAPD panel eases car impound policy,” Feb. 29

Despite the opinion of likely the majority of Los Angeles residents, the Police Commission has voted to ignore their concerns and endanger their safety by easing the policy for impounding the cars driven by unlicensed


At its next meeting the commission should change the motto of the LAPD from “To Protect and to Serve” to “To Ignore and to Endanger.”

Rik Violano

La Crescenta


The writer is a retired LAPD lieutenant.

A Feb. 21 Times editorial was headlined, “Obey the law, Sheriff Baca.” The sheriff apparently risked the lives of all Angelenos by appearing in a political ad with his uniform on. A more heinous crime I have never seen.

Will we see a follow-up, “Obey the law, Chief Beck”? Didn’t think so.

Don Rosenberg

Westlake Village

Drug dangers

Re “Doctor charged in drug overdose deaths,” March 2


At the age of 19 my son, who shunned drug use, injured his back and was given Oxycontin by a doctor; he became seriously addicted. He lost his job, became a thief to support his habit, was eventually homeless and ended up in the emergency room after an overdose.

Many people do not know that opiate addicts become heroin addicts when they cannot get their pills.

I contacted his doctor and told him that my son was taking a potentially lethal combination of pills. This doctor said writing my son his prescriptions was perfectly legal and that the addiction was not his problem.

I’m sure many other parents are also heartened by the arrest of Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng. Our children are dying.

Laura Hall



Tea party types

Re “Republican hopes for recapturing Senate dim,” March 1

In this era of hyper-partisan politics, it is to be expected that we will continue to lose moderates like outgoingSen. Olympia Snowe(R-Maine). Her assessment of our political system as dysfunctional is right on.

However, I took special notice of Republican strategist Steven Schmidt’s comment, “This whole notion of let’s define people … who don’t line up 100% on every issue, let’s label them as RINOs and chase them out of the party, makes the party weaker.” This is ironic coming from the guy who managed the presidential campaign that introduced the nation to Sarah Palin.

Palin helped give us this era of tea party extremism. Now, four years later, this extreme faction is hurting both the GOP and our country.

Valerie Burchfield Rhodes


Laguna Niguel

Legal muddle

Re “Human rights in U.S. courts,” Editorial, March 1

Comparing the positions of the five GOP-appointed members of the Supreme Court who made up the majority in the Citizens United decision with the remarks they made during oral arguments in Kiobel vs. Royal Dutch Petroleum, the word “doublespeak” from George Orwell’s “1984” comes to mind.

The court is more than happy to subscribe to the fiction that corporations are “people” to protect unlimited corporate funding for political propaganda under the 1st Amendment, but corporations must not be held accountable under the same standard that applies to “people” under the Alien Tort Statute for crimes committed overseas.

Ernest A. Canning

Thousand Oaks


It’s no joke

Re “Court review targets judge’s Obama email,” March 2

I was appalled that a federal judge in Montana could joke about President Obama’s mother with such smug amusement. This is racism, likening blacks to dogs and interracial relations to bestiality.

If Judge Richard F. Cebull had a shred of decency, he would resign immediately. He has dishonored the judicial integrity of the nation and provided evidence that compromises his impartiality. His self-serving apology rings hollow indeed.

Andrew Apter

Santa Monica