PUBLIC FORUM : PAUSE AND BE THANKFUL.
I read Dennis McCarthy's column on prisoners of war, ``It's time to remember tortured war heroes,'' (Daily News, Sept. 12). I tried to think of what it would have been like if I had been captured as a young man of 18. I saw Corregidor, and those awful, tortuous events. I wondered if I could have withstood the onslaught by those men, and then the horrible tortures they endured. My God, no one can ever feel that pain associated with the tortuous trip.
I hope and pray those people who may not have been in world wars - especially the young - will pause and be thankful for such persons who endured hell, or even worse. I feel too many people who are very fortunate to live in the United States have no idea of what such a life could be.
- John Adams
Gun owner clemency
If gun owners sign a pledge of nonviolence, will President Clinton give us clemency?
- Robert Harding
Re ``Ballistic'' (Public Forum, Aug. 20):
When guns leave the factory they are very similar to the others that are manufactured in the same line. It is also true that through use, the wear and tear on a gun will add to its ability to be traced. However, through testing of sequentially manufactured firearms, independent ballistics labs along with the LAPD Scientific Investigation Division have determined that newly manufactured guns do have minute unique characteristics, or ballistic fingerprints, that can generally be traced and identified. By documenting these ballistic fingerprints at the time of manufacture, we can link specific firearms to specific crimes.
- Bernard C. Parks
Chief of Police
Los Angeles Police Department
Stop the madness
Terri Glaser (``Fluoridated water,'' Public Forum, Sept. 7) asks how the Department of Water and Power can get away with fluoridating our water. The answer is the L.A. City Council. It is amazing that the council, which wants to ban everything from Marlboros to Mausers, approved the addition of this known pollutant. But this council, composed mostly of left-wingers and quasi-Marxists, believe that the helpless masses are either too stupid, poor or victimized to be able to make their own choices, and that government, which always has the last word, must make these choices.
Fluoride is a known toxin and carcinogen, causes bone loss, and is banned in nine European countries. It may prevent tooth decay by interfering with bacterial metabolism. Unfortunately, this same metabolic system, glycolisis, is also present in humans. Tough, says the City Council; shut up and take your medicine. How can we stop this madness? Maybe through the initiative process, and the demand of the return of our right of choice, which soon may be limited only to pregnant women who want to destroy their fetuses.
- Kenneth A. Eaton
Fluoridation of drinking water has got to be a classic government boondoggle. First of all, only about 1/10 of 1 percent of the fluoride actually goes into the teeth. It's an incredibly wasteful delivery system.
The other 99.9 percent goes elsewhere. If it goes down the drain, the fluoride contaminates all the sewage and ends up wherever sewage water ends up. If it goes down storm drains (such as lawn runoff or car washing), it drains to the ocean and contaminates it. If it goes into swimming pools, the fluoride just increases and increases in concentration, as the water evaporates and is replenished.
How about doing some realistic environmental impact statements on this toxic substance?
- Carl Olson
Save the plants
The whining about eating animals is so tiring . . . what about the poor helpless plants? Organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Plants are leading the defense of these peaceful, helpless beings that want only to live and breathe and have a place in the warm sun.
PetP fights fauna-centrism in all its forms. We support the systematic hunting of herbivores, who not only tear out little flowers by their roots and chew them to death, they also callously trample upon them. One day, people will realize that plants are living beings, with the same right to life as any human. We will understand the grotesque cynicism of creating these beautiful, pacific beings only to shred and eat them, or cast them, dead or dying, to filthy beasts. Until then, each of us has to live with his or her own conscience.
- Michael Nowland
Democracy is dying
The measure to restrict the building of superstores in our state is the latest example that democracy is drying in California (Daily News, Sept. 11).
First, Gov. Gray Davis and his legislative cronies prevent the implementation of propositions passed by voters to stop politicians from spending our tax dollars on services for illegal immigrants and for affirmative action programs offering favoritism to certain groups. Then they restrict our ability to arm and protect ourselves from the criminal elements of our society.
They continued to push their socialist ideology by forcing thousands of California State University professors and charter school teachers to join, and pay dues, to unions whose political agendas they don't agree with. Not content with this, they want to restrict where we can do our shopping.
Did it ever occur to our representatives in Sacramento that the reason that Kmart, Wal-Mart and Costco are growing in California is that we actually like shopping in these superstores?
- Michael Pucher
I read with disgust about the legislation passed and sent to the governor's desk attempting to restrict the sale of groceries at the ``warehouse clubs.'' The only beneficiaries of this are the already wealthy grocery operators in the state and union bosses trying to grab more power.
Giant grocery chains have swallowed each other until there are only three or four left. They have already eliminated all of their competition. Club stores offer quality and fair pricing to rich and poor alike.
AB 84 is protectionist legislation, pure and simple.
- James Chilton
James F. Glass, in his Public Forum letter of Sept. 12, attacks Tom Agostino's and my comments (Public Forum, Sept. 9) criticizing the trapping of coyotes. He uses the scare tactic that coyotes pose a threat to children. He even suggests (I hope in the tradition of Jonathan Swift) that ``Agostino and Malvin donate their pets and infants as bait.''
Though I cannot speak for Agostino, Glass is at least partly correct in his statement concerning my ``compassion for the coyotes and contempt for humans.''
Coyotes take only what they need to survive. We humans, on the other hand have a ``quality'' which is totally foreign to the coyote: greed. In our relentless pursuit of bigger profits and more elegant and powerful toys, we are systematically pillaging the planet. If the trend continues to its unquestionable conclusion, we, rats, and roaches would be the only species left. But not to worry. Long before this, we will self-destruct.
- Don Malvin
When Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky called the 2,000 exhibitors of the Great Western Show ``merchants of death,'' he defamed 2,000 independent small-businessmen, many of them veterans, from all over the United States. He owes these people an apology.
People who buy modern firearms at the Great Western Show are either collectors, hunters or those who want a firearm for home defense. Gang members do not come to our show. Yaroslavsky would have known this if he had ever attended a show.
Everyone at the Great Western Show abhors these crazed attacks on innocent victims, regardless of whether a gun, knife or hammer is used. Yaroslavsky accuses the Great Western Show - which for 22 years has been providing entertainment to 100,000 people annually at the Fairplex with not one serious disturbance - of illegal activities.
The Great Western Show is a law-abiding business that will fight these attacks in court. Not only are there constitutional issues involved, there are fair play issues. Yaroslavsky simply wants to break contracts and shut us down for his political gain.
- Karl Amelang
Great Western Shows Inc.
The Fresno Bee editorial ``Lane-jumping really a waste of time, energy'' (Daily News, Sept. 13), was totally on target. But they overlooked one very important new dimension to the ``game.'' Not only is lane-changing the latest fad, but now the lane-jumping cowboys are playing the game with as little space as possible between cars. And the tighter the better. The rules are to get your car into the next lane and practically scrub the bumper of the other car. It's no fun if the space allows two or three cars. It's got to be the bare minimum, not more than one car. This is not just on the freeways, but on the streets as well.
- Gene Cofsky
Photo: Ex-POW Dale Stephens is one of several VFW members preparing for POW/MIA Recognition Day.
Phil McCarten/Staff Photographer