PUBLIC FORUM : U.S. THE AGGRESSOR.
Belgrade is guilty of nothing except attempting to put down a secessionist rebellion. Nearly a dozen countries have done the same thing in this decade alone, often with far greater bloodshed. Russia's war in Chechnya, Sri Lanka's conflict with Tamil rebels and Turkey's suppression of the Kurds are examples.
The administration's spinmeisters insist Serbia is the aggressor, but that twists language in a manner reminiscent of George Orwell. ``Aggression'' has a specific meaning: unprovoked cross-border warfare, an unwanted attack by one state on another. A country cannot commit aggression in its own territory, any more than a person can commit self-robbery.
War against Serbia is unwarranted on strategic, legal and moral grounds. Serbia is the fourth country the president has bombed in the past seven months. That record is one of a trigger-happy administration - something Ronald Reagan was often accused of - creating an image of America as the planetary bully.
Decent Americans need to make a stand, when it has reached the point of a full-scale war of aggression against a country that has done us no harm.
- Brian Goldenfeld
Bombing for trade
The Clinton White House said the main desired result of NATO bombings in Kosovo was to stabilize that part of Europe for purposes of trade. Two years ago trade was used as its cover to flatten our Long Beach U.S. Navy base and turn it into a red Chinese ``Cosco/Pla'' container yard with Russian rockets for the Chinese cash.
Trade seems to justify all, for this administration. By the way, if trade is our stated goal in Kosovo, why is a burning Yugo auto factory in the first TV pictures sent back to us?
Folks, looks like we're just blasting the Y-U-G-O-S out of them over there.
- Ronnie Guyer
NATO began an aerial attack upon a sovereign nation with no authorization from the NATO Charter.
Yugoslavia is not a NATO member and is not having any military difficulty with any NATO member.
The attack is taking place without authorization from the United Nations Security Council, which is required under law.
Our soldier president said the action is to protect innocent civilians from the Serbian army. Hasn't he heard about the Kosova Liberation Army that is trying, with support from the Albanian government, to wrest the province of Kosovo from Yugoslavia?
The KLA is an armed rebel group that kills Serbs, both civilian and military, and now we, the United States of America, have gone to war to save the revolution.
- Louis Innerarity
Out of money?
Come again? $300 million and climbing, for a mega high school on toxic soil? How much for a new Academy Awards theater? How much for a new stadium for the NFL? Benefits for illegal immigrants, again?
What was that? The city has no money for police and fire? Could you say that again? I think I misunderstood you. No money for a $2 million secession study? Hmmmmmmm. It's a good thing for you that so few people vote, or none of you would have jobs.
- Laurien DuTremble
Re ``MTA rejects order compliance'':
As a Bus Riders' Union member, I attended the MTA board's March 25 meeting and was quite dismayed to witness its action on the court order to buy more buses, a decision that appears to be for the purpose of racially motivated persecution of transit riders.
That Mayor Richard Riordan should allegedly say he was ``misled'' by his own staff is either a sign of his incompetence or his unwillingness to take responsibility for his own actions and obligations or both.
MTA board members Riordan, Julian Burke, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and others have intentionally and repeatedly, under the color of law, defied an order of the court. Their actions are unforgivable, unlawful and wrong. All voters, residents and transit riders need to take action.
In addition, I hope the court will consider placing a freeze on all transit funds already set aside for rail projects and hold the board members financially liable as individuals for their contempt of the court.
- G. Juan Johnson
Bus Riders' Union member since 1994
Re ``Animal officials are the ones in need of training,'' (Opinions, March 19).
Thank you Daily News and Lois Newman for, hopefully, fueling some action out of voters regarding our mayor-appointed animal officials.
And to the public, take the information Newman has provided you with to the poll. Obviously, the mayor and his Animal Regulation Commission don't really listen to the public unless it's through money or votes.
It's no wonder privately owned animal shelters are popping up everywhere. When I find an uncollared dog on the street, the option of taking the dog to our local, or not so local, pound doesn't even enter my mind. Everybody knows what will happen if they take a dog or a cat to the ``shelter.''
So, what is this teaching our kids and people in general? It's teaching them that our taxes go to the mayor and his lazy animal officials to relay false accusations against pit bulls instead of those who own the dog, so they can kill all those dogs brought in by uneducated and unwilling dog owners.
- Shelley Butz
Say it in English
Mayor Richard Riordan declared April 30 Children's Day, calling it ``Dia de los Ninos.'' I have no problem with a national Children's Day, but why ``Dia de los Ninos?'' California is in the United States, and most of the children speak English, so why not have National Children's Day in English?
- Fred R. Nehen
No rights for jurors
Today, I received my ``Dear Citizen'' letter from the Superior Court attached to a jury questionnaire. Since it has been almost two years since I served on a jury, I guess my name was due.
While looking at this summons, I noticed that they want even more information if you have a legitimate reason for not serving on a jury.
However, I was appalled when I noticed that if you have a medical reason (and you are under age 70), you must agree to release your medical records to the court. If you have a financial hardship, then you must disclose your annual income.
The government and the courts have no right to this information, yet you are threatened by automatic qualification for jury service.
Jury service is another name for indentured servitude. As a potential or actual jury member, you lose all rights to freedom and other rights that are afforded to the defendants but not to you.
And for what, $5 per day in Superior Court and $40 if unlucky enough to serve at the U.S. District Court?
- Greg Badovinac
Banned in Glendale
Prudery is the word for it.
So Neil Simon's play, ``Brighton Beach Memoirs,'' contains a scene in which teen-agers discuss masturbation, which disturbs Glendale school officials. After all, teen-agers in Glendale schools, not to mention in all the schools in the world, talk about masturbation.
What are those school officials afraid of?
Masturbation has been around as a topic of schoolyard talk since I was in high school 55 years ago.
Are they afraid that their district will be plagued with requests for transfers because masturbation gets an open hearing on Glendale campuses?
Or are they afraid of all of the puritanically minded in the local population coming down on them for permitting this play with this scene?
- Kenneth H. Bonnell
Hate vs. rights
The column by Robert W. Tracinski on the Feb. 22 Opinions Page, ``Hate laws treat crime as politics,'' raised some good arguments against the federal ``hate crime'' laws, which intended to elevate some crimes to a higher level than the more common ``love crimes.''
What is left out, and is always left out of the arguments against such laws, is more significant than what is stated. That is the fact that when on trial for a felony, an individual's past criminal record, as well as his or her political views, are excluded from evidence. The hate crime laws allow past convictions into evidence, as well as such ``evidence'' as tattoos, hairstyle, political views and even reading material of the defendant, which can only have the effect of prejudicing the jury.
This is another step in dismantling the Bill of Rights.
- Lowell C. Flannery
Greed in Santa Clarita
We received a letter from The Newhall Land and Farming Company yesterday. It included a so-called ``fact sheet'' regarding the proposed Nordstrom development in Santa Clarita.
This ``fact sheet'' is a one-sided misleading attempt to enlist the support of the community. Newhall Land and Santa Clarita city government officials are smitten by the greed bug and should be ashamed of themselves. After all is said and done in Santa Clarita, is this where the wealthy families of Newhall Land and Farming will want to live and raise their children? Somehow I doubt it.
- Carol Fleming