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Left wingers juvenile at inauguration

Unlike the right-leaning crowd at Bush’s inauguration eight years ago, the leftist throngs attending Obama’s inauguration booed the outgoing president and vice-president – and their wives, too.

That’s the political left in a nutshell: juvenile and classless.

Mark Kalinowski

New York, N.Y.

China’s only concern is about China

Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, said China is manipulating its currency, making the value of the Chinese yuan too low. This created fears that China, angered by Geithner’s statement, would sell off some of its huge reserves of dollars.

The fears are unfounded. Were China to sell off its dollars, the value of dollars would fall relative to the value of the yuan. A weaker dollar would make imports from China less price-attractive – exactly what America wants and what China does not want.

This fear is related to another unfounded concern – that China will find a reason to stop buying U.S. debt.

Let’s get this straight. China does not buy our T-securities out of kindness. It buys them because U.S. T-securities still are the safest investment in the world. The microsecond that China feels our T-securities are not good investments, it will stop buying them – not out of pique, but for investment reasons.

And what if China were to sell our dollars or to stop buying our debt? America could reverse the inflationary effect of such actions simply by raising interest rates. This would strengthen the dollar and bring in new buyers for our debt. Problem solved.

It’s time our leaders stopped worrying about being at the mercy of China’s good will. China needs us more than we need them, and they are not going to cut their noses to spite their faces – especially since we easily can deal with such nose-cutting.

We do not have China’s good will, so we cannot lose it. China always has, and always will, do what is in their best interest, Tim Geithner not withstanding.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Wilmette, Ill.

Education needed to stop overdoses

Heath Ledger’s posthumous Oscar nomination, falling on the one-year anniversary of his death, is a wake-up call to all of us.

We need to start talking about the preventable tragedy of overdose and the need for more education and outreach to people at risk. We, as a country, have been far too silent about this hidden crisis for far too long.

We should be talking about how, according to the Centers for Disease Control, alcohol and drug overdose are the No. 1 one injury-related cause of death among people ages 35 to 54.

We should be talking about the more than 22,000 Americans who die every year from accidental overdose and that the majority of those deaths occur among people using prescription drugs.

Maybe we don’t talk about it because of the terrible and persistent stigma associated with fatal drug overdose. Silence and stigma kill people – just ask the earliest activists for AIDS awareness and prevention.

Maybe if people knew about the lifesaving drug Naloxone – which immediately reverses opioid overdose and is cheap, easy to use and effective – they’d feel more comfortable talking about overdose prevention.

Let’s take this opportunity to finally start a conversation about the many ways we can prevent more deaths in the future. Let’s bring the topic out in the open so we can finally work toward putting an end to this tragedy.

We can’t bring Heath Ledger back, but we can make sure his death was not in vain by finally bringing overdose prevention into the spotlight where it belongs.

Meghan Ralston and Heather Edney


The Los Angeles County Overdose Prevention Task Force

Los Angeles

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