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Mailbag: Egypt should heed lessons of Iran

February 23, 2011

I pray with Mona Shadia ("Hoping for freedom in 'my' Egypt," Feb. 3) that Egyptian people will get freedoms that have been denied to them. However, I also would like to caution Egyptian protesters about the probability of a new regime that could be more repressive. Unless the "secular democratic" opposition groups are better organized and have a plan for a new regime with specific, competent leaders, they may only make things worse, with better organized and committed groups like the Muslim Brotherhood waiting for the opportunity to take over.

During the late '70s, I was talking to a young Iranian woman student at Cal State Long Beach, holding a banner calling for removal of the late Shah of Iran. I asked her what would happen if the Muslim clergy got into power and enforced their own religion-backed dictatorship. She naively replied that "once they remove the Shah, then later they would remove the mullahs also." I told her that it may not be easy to remove religious clergy who will torture and execute opponents and justify that in the name of Allah. Sadly, my worries came true in Iran, where hundreds of thousands of opponents have been tortured or executed, and minority religions have been given second-class status at best.

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Maneck Bhujwala

Huntington Beach

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Wetland not drained on purpose

I am writing in response to Lou Murray's article dated Feb. 3 ("Getting to bottom of drained wetland," Natural Perspectives). The Bolsa Chica Land Trust in no way has, or ever will, purposefully drain a wetland/seasonal pond/vernal pool. It is completely antithetical to the 18 years of hard work we have put into preserving, protecting and restoring Bolsa Chica.

I was the Stewards leader Jan. 2. On that day, due to heavy rains, water was pouring off the mesa in multiple locations, causing significant erosion and engulfing the public trail by the new pedestrian bridge at Warner Avenue. A small furrow was created. It was in no means a deep trench and did not drain any water that was not already flowing off the mesa edge.

Thierry Kolpin

Huntington Beach

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Mesa is in proper hands

I am sorry about Lou Murray's "heart attack" ("More like a 'heart attack for the mesa,'" Natural Perspectives, Feb. 10). She could have avoided it by consulting with some of the people involved in the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). However, she chose to use her column to express a temper tantrum and to write a diatribe against the Bolsa Chica Land Trust.

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