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Letters to the Editor: Mayor’s ruling during meeting to hear from council candidates, Griem’s response to question on violence rankle readers

During their special meeting of May 10 to hear from the many candidates hoping to be appointed to a vacant seat on the Burbank City Council, I witnessed some disturbing Orwellian behavior from council members. As Roy Wiegand was stepping up to speak, he was denied the podium on the pretense that he already spoken because another citizen had used their public speaking time to play a video clip in which Roy was featured.

The mayor has argued that when “Citizen A” uses his/her public speaking minutes to show a media clip of the “Mike and Roy Show,” that clip counts not for that citizen but instead for Mike or Roy, since they are the ones featured on the clip the citizen presented to council.

For the record:
12:00 AM, May. 24, 2018 Due to an editing error, the letter from Oscar Merlo as first published incorrectly stated Roy Wiegand was a candidate for an open position on the Burbank City Council. He was not.

If Citizen A shows a video of the “Mike and Roy Show” during public comment and then Citizen B decides to use their three minutes to play anotherMike and Roy Show” video, what happens if a third person, Citizen C, also wants to play an episode of theMike and Roy Show?” Would they be allowed to do so?

Every citizen in Burbank has the right to show whatever media they feel best conveys their message about city issues, regardless of who is featured in that video. Is City Council really willing to infringe upon the free speech rights of Burbank citizens?


Oscar Merlo



The Rev. ​Bryan ​Griem’s hit job on Buddhism ​(“Regardless of religion, is violence a part of being human?” In Theory, May 16) ​ignores several important facts. First of all, there are many Buddhist sects, each with its own interpretation of the Buddha’s teachings (sound like Christianity?) You can’t lump them all together into a single category of religious belief or separate the actions of their practitioners from the politics and culture of their societies.


Second, in the interfaith dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Father Laurence Freeman, to which Griem refers indirectly, the Dalai Lama finds ​plenty of parallels between Christianity and Buddhism, and he backs ​his assertions up with an encyclopedic grasp of and sensitivity to Christian belief.

​Rather than spread bias and assert the primacy of his own religion, as Griem does, the Dalai Lama seeks to build bridges between faiths — a nobler and worthier mission, in my opinion.

Finally, I would remind Rev. Griem of Christianity’s long history of colonization, brutalization and suppression of other religions. Not so different from what we’re seeing today, is it?

Would he have us judge all Christians by the same standard with which he judges all Buddhists? Is there no place in his ethos for respect of freedom of religion?

Mickey Birnbaum​