Mailbag: Irvine 11 editorials got it wrong

I cannot understand why the L.A. Times and the Daily Pilot continue on their editorial pages to defend the Irvine 11 (Editorial: Irvine 11, D.A. both made mistakes, Daily Pilot, Oct. 2; "Editorial: Punishing the 'Irvine 11' again, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 24"). I have observed and been involved with what has been going on at UC Irvine for at least 10 years or more.

For too many years, these Muslim students have been causing disruptions, spewing their hate and making it difficult for serious students to get to classes and do what they have come there for — an education.

These are not just your run-of-the-mill college students. They are on a mission, have an agenda, and they finally got caught! Thank God the university was finally able to go after them, after they crossed over the line and it could be traced.

There are others who are trying to get an education, and they are the innocents caught up in this rhetoric and hate. This was not an isolated incident and they deserved to punished. Hopefully this will put an end to their type of behavior.

Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky (who disagreed with the decision to prosecute the Irvine 11) has not been at this campus very long, and he is very liberal, so I don't put much credence in to what he says on this issue.

Shirley Cameron

Newport Coast


Defendants censored a speaker

I have to totally disagree with your comment that the district attorney has more important things to do than to prosecute these hoodlums. If we could rely on the opinions of academics and newspaper editors for legal decisions, we wouldn't need judges and juries. Thank God we have someone like our current district attorney to explain the law to those who don't respect our laws and our culture.

Just think, if these people came to the Daily Pilot and prevented your free-speech rights to distribute your newspaper, what would your opinion be then?

"It's OK. Let UCI handle it?"

I don't think so.

J.R. Thompson


Freedom of speech includes audience

I disagree with those who say the conviction of the Irvine 11 is in error. Please refer to quotes the district attorney released showing the Muslim Student Union's preplanning to deprive Oren of the right to deliver his speech.

I invite all to view the Irvine 11 videotape to hear the hate speech directed at the speaker. I invite critics to speak to those who have, over the years, tried to hear UCI talks with Israeli or Jewish content and experienced a group of students yell out, subverting the speaker. Speakers invite the yellers to ask questions during Q & A, or attempt to answer the yelled insults with information.

The yellers show no interest in dialogue, only to shout down the speaker. Nobody shows up to stop speakers who speak from the Muslim perspective.

Freedom of speech includes me when I attempt to inform myself by hearing, for example, a secretary of state. Freedom of speech includes the exchange of ideas in a university setting, especially both sides of a debate.

Carrie Slayback

Newport Beach


'Déjà vu all over again' on 19th

(Re. "19th Street Bridge talks revived," Oct. 2): Back on August 8, 2004, the Daily Pilot published several letters to the editor regarding a proposed OCTA study to take yet another look at building a Gisler-Garfield bridge over the Santa Ana River. Among these letters, was one from me. In that letter, I made this statement:

"How many studies does it take? My guess is that the studies will keep on coming until the bridge is approved and built, despite assurances from various city, county and transportation authority officials that "it will never happen."

I hear these assurances from city officials at public meetings about the bridge, and I read about them in the Daily Pilot. But public officials come and go, and vetoes can change to approvals as the political winds shift.

It appears it's déjà vu all over again. I truly wish I hadn't been so prescient in that letter eight years ago.

Despite the fact that this latest impromptu, and somewhat under-the-radar, study concerns the 19th Street Bridge, those in Mesa Verde had best not get too relaxed. The two river crossings have always been linked in the Orange County master plan, and in every study I've seen since the early 1990s SARX study. And just because your mayor pro tem and a city councilman live in Mesa Verde, don't think that the talks going on now will stop with 19th Street.

As long as there is even a remote chance that the Banning Ranch property could be developed and there is big money to be made, politicians in Newport Beach will always push to build the 19th Street and Gisler bridges.

As the saying goes, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Thanks to reporter Mike Reicher and the Daily Pilot for helping us remain vigilant.

Jon Rowe

Costa Mesa


Do not honor 40th president

(Re. "Newport to dedicate Reagan statue," Oct. 1): Notwithstanding the salient fact that the City Council clearly circumvented proper protocol from the outset regarding the Ronald Reagan statue on so many levels — from its fundraising to underwrite the costs, to bypassing the Arts Commission entirely to allow certain council members to dictate the sites where they think the statue should be permanently situated (all of which Daily Pilot's former columnist Bill Lobdell spoke to in his op-ed pieces so eloquently) — it appears that the City Council's actions (chief among them Councilman Keith Curry) speak to an arrogance and indolence that is nothing short of breathtaking.

And despite the council voting to place this statue in Castaways Park, it mysteriously ended up in Councilman Curry's backyard, where it will nonetheless remain as a paradoxical monument to a president who called government "the problem," clearly illustrated by the clandestine actions of this City Council.

I don't think it's any coincidence that Newport Beach seems to be the only city in the United States to commemorate Reagan's centennial with a statue.

Gee, maybe Councilman Curry should suggest that Budapest become Newport's sister city!

Kevin Doremus

Newport Beach


Solyndra failure not eclipsed

As a member of that minority group of Americans who actually pay federal income taxes, I have a question: Can I deduct my portion of the country's losses on the Obama administration's venture socialism investment in Solyndra Inc. from my income taxes?

For those too busy earning a living to follow this shocking travesty as it unfolds, the Obama folks chose to guarantee with our money a $535-million loan to this Silicon Valley solar chip manufacturer, even though the Bush White House refused to do so, and Obama's own treasury and energy officials advised against it.

And that loan placed the public in an unprecedented subordinated position behind private investors in the event Solyndra went upside-down. And upside-down it went, as of Sept. 30, declaring bankruptcy.

Now, the half of America who pays income taxes (does that mean we're finally paying our "fair share?") has watched a half-billion of its precious dollars go "poof" in an uncoordinated partisan flurry of activity to finally produce some of those so-called "green jobs" in time to create some positivity in advance of the 2012 general election.

So, I'd like to know if I can recoup some of that loss by declaring it on my taxes. Or, as one of the ever-diminishing cadre of those who are actually pulling the wagon so that others can ride, do I not deserve even this small consideration? Or has half-a-billion dollars become such chump change that it becomes a rounding error?

Loose change Obama could find between the cushions of his Oval Office couch, perhaps?

Pardon me, but I'm growing a bit weary of this whole costly charade. How about you?

Chuck Cassity

Costa Mesa


Ignore global warming at your peril

(Re. "Editorial: Rising oceans could wash away revenue," Sept. 17): Kudos for your editorial about the local effects of global climate change. There seems to be an effective embargo about even mentioning global warming these days. Politicians mock science and liken themselves to Galileo, har har, yet take the word of naysayers and accuse scientists of getting rich off their research grants, har har again.

The folks who get their information from faux news outlets are just listening to the latest chapter from the same playbook the tobacco industry used: Confuse and delay while we continue making huge profits.

When did spending $100 dollars for a tank of gas become the American Dream? When did wasting energy and destroying our planet become a conservative value? Both parties ignore this at our collective peril.

The question shouldn't be how much will it cost us to do something about global warming, but how much will it cost us not to do something about global warming.

You mention possible local sea rise of 55 inches. How much do you think that will cost? Vermont, of all places, has racked up $1 billion in damages from a tropical storm.

And I haven't even mentioned this year's tornadoes or the drought. How much will those disasters cost us? A lot.

I hope my grandchildren don't look at me one day and ask why we didn't do anything to stop global warming.

I am sure you will receive a lot of letters disputing your editorial. I have one simple fact: The ocean is filling up with the carbon we have emitted by burning fossil fuels. This is changing the pH of the ocean and destroying the ability of plankton, which makes most of our atmosphere's oxygen, to produce that oxygen.

And forget about coral reefs. They won't be able to form their calcium skeletons in the acidic water.

We need some common sense here. Global climate change is happening. Our inefficient use of energy is to blame. What are we going to do about it?

Anne Earhart

Laguna Beach


Do your homework on climate change

Thanks to Jay B. Litvak for his letter (Re. "Challenge to climate change argument," Oct. 1).

It is so nice to read a letter in the Forum from someone with legitimate and credible credentials, rather than comments from those who take almost anything they can find from the Web to argue an opinion. Anyone with a computer has found that you can look on the Web to find "data" to argue almost any opinion thinkable.

Sources like Wikipedia and "The Old Farmer's Almanac" (where the purpose of publication is to help farmers get the best crops for one year at a time), which has been used in the past in letters to the Forum for data to determine climate change, and the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, which, according to Litvak's research, was mostly interested in getting the maximum number of signatures, are hardly good sources for scientific arguments to predict long-term climate change.

Although I don't intend to submit any scientific data to the climate-change issue, I feel that I have the background to differentiate between the scientific and non-scientific arguments. I have bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering and am retired from a career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and McDonnell Douglas, where I worked with scientists on space projects for 30 years.

Another thank you to Litvak, for the time he spent on research for inputs on climate change predictions. From the details in his letter, he has obviously conducted scientific research.

I have added the name Jay B. Litvak to my list of credible views on climate change. The list also includes New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman (a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner), Tom Brokaw, Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria and Al Gore.

Conrad T. Timpe

Newport Beach

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