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PUBLIC FORUM GREAT CITY.

I am a native Angeleno, having been born 50 years ago at the original Queen of Angels Hospital in downtown L.A. In the 1980s, I lived elsewhere - San Francisco, Las Vegas and four years in Washington, D.C. When I returned to L.A. in 1989, I settled in the San Fernando Valley. I have to wonder if the folks behind the secession movement have any connection to our city's history and the rich fabric of our people. I for one would like to know more about these people who want to tear us apart.

In the past 50 years, our city has grown in population and stature to become one of the great cities of the world. The Valley has benefited enormously from this growth and continues to be an integral part of the City of Angels. I encourage all native Angelenos to join the fight in keeping our city united.

- Mario P. Rochin

Studio City

Taxation

Re ``Shadow work force expanding'' (May 6):

It wasn't all that long ago when the working citizens of the United States were the American free-enterprise economy. Those were years prior to World War II when government tax collection agencies would not dare to have taxed an individual's labor. It began gradually enough with the Social Security ``safety net,'' but has now expanded to federal income tax, state income tax, etc.

The problem is not the American free-enterprise economy but corrupt government tax collection agencies that would love to devise ways to steal even more from an individual's productivity. During much of our nation's history, an individual's productivity was rewarded. In socialist nations, an individual's productivity is penalized. Which style of economy is the American worker currently subjected to? Let the evidence speak for itself.

- Celeste Burgess

Northridge

Theory and reality

Re ``Ruining our economy'' (Public Forum, May 12):

Economics 101 at any university in this country will teach the theory of supply and demand. This theory will explain not only the price of potatoes, but also the cost of labor. The larger the potato crop, the cheaper the potatoes. The larger the labor pool, the cheaper the labor. The borders are opened in service to the business community. Open borders increase the labor pool, in turn, and keep the cost of labor down.

As a citizen, you vote for the politician that you believe has your best interest in mind. In reality, that same politician really works for the individuals who write checks and contribute to his campaign chest. Each of America's citizens must abandon the teaching of his seventh-grade civics class. That was theory, not reality.

- Morris Pichon

Lake View Terrace

Weiss responds

You jumped the gun in the May 9 article ``$1.7 billion tax drain,'' describing a vote two weeks ago as preliminary and as a ``flip-flop'' for me. For the record, the City Council did not vote on this project two weeks ago. We voted on amendments to the Central Business District plan. Last week, we voted on the new City Center Redevelopment Project. My vote against this downtown plan wasn't a flip-flop because my no vote on Wednesday was the first vote taken on the project. There was no flip to flop from.

In fact, because the first vote was not unanimous, we will vote on this project this week. I will not be flip-flopping then either.

- Jack Weiss

Councilman

Los Angeles

Religious effort

I agree with George Noonan's comment (Public Forum, May 10) that ``Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were responsible for more death in the few years that they had power than all the so-called faith-based organizations together, for the past 2,000 years.'' That's true.

But considering how happy the Spanish Inquisition was to burn alive whole families of a different faith and how joyfully our Crusaders chopped everyone to pieces on their way down to Jerusalem, we can only shudder at the thought of what would have happened if the Inquisition and the Crusaders had at their disposal the killing power that Hitler and his friends had.

- Dante F. Rochetti

West Hills

Time and place

There is no point to National Prayer Day. Every day is prayer or unprayer day in this country. This is our right. Every organized or nonorganized religion has its own time and place for prayer. So why in a country that has separation of church and state do they feel it is right to label a day and tell us when to pray?

- Kevin Zolt

Sherman Oaks

Christian principles

Re George Noonan, Public Forum, May 10:

How can you say that America was not built on faith and that the president is betraying his office by asking for public prayer? America was built on Christian principles. George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Adams and many other of the Founding Fathers were professing Christians. My gosh, Ben Franklin, who was a professing atheist, recommended that group prayer preside at every meeting during the time they were constructing our Constitution.

Were they, too, betraying the office they were about to create? Or maybe were they acting in a fashion that would better a new country? By the way, the separation of church and state was created so that the government would stay out of the churches' business, not the other way around.

- Catherine Lloyd

Northridge

Rue the day

Do you see, as I do, a parallel between us not getting Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War and the Israelis not getting Yasser Arafat when they had him surrounded in his compound? We now rue the day when we let that opportunity slip through our hands, and the Israelis will as well.

- Herb Wiener

Encino

Not their house

Stanley Smith, in his May 9 Public Forum letter, alludes to having spent time in the Mideast during World War II. He states he visited or lived in Palestine. May I suggest to Smith to check his information because he is historically incorrect. There never was nor currently is a country known as Palestine. The region he probably is referring to belonged to the Palestinians' fellow Arabs, the Jordanians and the Egyptians.

So when Smith makes the analogy of ``someone comes into your house'' we can see how erroneous this concept is since the house in question never belonged to this group of people he calls the Palestinians. Where Smith concludes that Israel is the ``terrorist,'' I find this morally outrageous. There is no justification for suicide bombings. Intentional killing of innocent civilians is morally reprehensible.

- Dolly Greene

Northridge

European criticism

Notice how critical Europe has been toward the Israelis' incursions into the Palestinian territories to hunt down militants? But when given the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get involved by helping to solve the current stalemate over the Church of the Nativity, they (primarily Italy) also hesitate to accept the Palestinians with open arms.

When it comes to the Palestinian militants, can it be the Europeans have more in common with Israel than they care to admit?

- Stephen Wagner

Castaic

Atlas' burden

Re James Glass' May 13 Public Forum letter stating what various people may say as to what Atlas stood on as he supported the Earth, perhaps my books on mythology aren't correct, but I have always read that Atlas did not support the Earth, he supported the sky.

- Juanita J. ``Anita'' Work

Sylmar
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:May 14, 2002
Words:1225
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