160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Does spying on me and my family, or intruding into my life, or keeping me from saying or discussing anything about terrorism, explosives, bombs, dissatisfaction about the White House’s current occupants, their disenchanting and mesmerizing razzle-dazzle handiwork, or how our country seems to be the lowest on the totem pole for being the so-called “best country in the world” help me in any way? Just how does all of this and more keep me and my fellow Americans safe from terrorism? John C. Weaver Reseda A stepping stone Re “Bush defends secret spying in the U.S.” (Dec. 17): President Bush and Cheney are showing the public, by their domestic spying, that they have no respect for the Constitution or our Democratic society. Their Patriot Act is being used as a stepping stone toward a dictatorship. People like myself writing these articles could be hauled off in the middle of the night and never seen again. Excuse me, I have to sign off, there are two suits at the door. Ted Pearson Valencia Military presence If the naysayers, today’s liberals, had had their way, we would have declared a specific date for our pullout from the World War II theaters. They probably would have selected 5 June 1944 as an appropriate date to bring our soldiers home. Or when the newsreels (no nightly TV in those days) showed 5,000 American soldiers killed in one day on the beaches of Normandy, they surely would have demanded that we quit then and there. Fortunately, Cindy Sheehan, Jane Fonda, Rep. John Murtha, and their ilk were not around in those days. Pull out? Good grief, folks, we still have troops in Germany, Japan, and, oh yes, Bosnia. We will, and must have a military presence in Iraq and, indeed, the whole Middle East for a long time to come. Max C. Yost Northridge My second job I remember when I was excited that the workday was finished and got to go home. I now am excited that I made it to work on time and do not want to see my workday end. The traffic commute is now my second job, thanks to all who must get into that last opening in the middle of the intersection. When the greedy take a parking spot in the middle of the intersection and the light turns red, traffic can’t move, then the green for the left-turning traffic sits and waits, light after light. We need some super strict fines for those who have no care for congestion or common sense when it comes to creating traffic jams. I say it’s time to get the cameras up and running for the intersection blockers. Impose a $500 fine and call it a day. I bet traffic will flow better and maybe I can quit my second job. Mike O’Donnell Reseda The gold rules Re “House approves tough immigration bill” (Dec. 17): This is something American citizens have needed for a long, long time. Actually, we never should have allowed all the problems that lax immigration laws and subsequent lax enforcement began to create in the early 1970s. From the loss of once-dedicated American manufacturing and other jobs to Asia and Latin America, to a new Third World level of living that we mostly just seem to accept like sheep, things got worse because of the immigration mess we allowed to come into being. This bill won’t survive the Senate. The Republicans are funded by people who maximize their profits by the continued dumbing-down of the American work force. The Democrat side is funded by, frankly, strong racist groups with a pro-any-kind-of-immigration agenda. Although we voters put these people into office, they will do what their true constituencies want. Stan Bass Montrose Spying on me? Re “Bush defends secret spying in the U.S.” (Dec. 17): President Bush never ceases to amaze me on how many personal freedoms and rights he can take away from the American citizen just to keep us safe, and prevent us from being Americans. So, I have a question for the leader of our fair country.