Shades of 1972?

Re "As vote nears, chief warns of terror risk," Oct. 23

Notwithstanding Los Angeles Police Department Chief William J. Bratton's preemptive precautions and thoroughness, his warning may have precedent. Shortly before the 1972 election, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger announced that "peace is at hand" in Vietnam. About a week before another election, the threat of terrorism seems to loom.

The McCain camp is reported to perceive that it will benefit from any national security "event." That said, voters should be extremely wary of any tactics that might smack of Kissinger's actions, particularly because the Vietnam War went on for nearly three more years. Both tactics flow from the political motives of a party whose grip on power has again come under siege amid a time of an unpopular war, pervasive social fear and another election.

Richard Newton Meyer

Los Angeles

'Real' compared to what?

Re "The ‘real’ America, really," Opinion, Oct. 23

Sarah Palin and John McCain have finally set me straight: I am not a "real" American because I live in Southern California. Apparently, I am not hardworking, although I have held responsible jobs since the age of 16. Patriotic? Not me -- although I have voted in every election for which I was eligible, fly my flag on every holiday and still shed tears on Veterans Day and 9/11.

Pro-America? Not me -- although I proudly served in the Peace Corps in Niger, hopefully demonstrating that Americans were pretty neat people willing to get their hands dirty. My husband, who served his country honorably in Vietnam, would rather read than fish -- not a true American, I suppose.

I recently filled out my American ballot. Sorry, Ms. Palin, you did not get my vote. That is the power of the "real" America.

Marsha Garber

Menifee, Calif.


Rosa Brooks writes, "The GOP code isn't hard to crack: There's the America that might vote for Obama (a suspect America populated by people with liberal notions, big-city ways and, no doubt, dark skin), and then there's the "real" America, where people live in small towns, believe in God and country, and are ... well ... white."

McCain and Palin never said such things, and it's disgusting that Brooks is writing such statements. She is creating this assertion out of absolutely nothing, and doing it solely to create an issue that she can expound on. She might as well have said that when Barack Obama says "change," it's a code word for "time to get white men out of the White House." It has as much basis in fact, which is zero. It sickens me when people agitate on issues such as race for the sole purpose of improving their readership.

Hugh A. Rose


Clothes make a statement