Lone fisherman on Venice Beach. Credit: Kris Dahlin

Nord Stream 2

As a member of the Baltic American Freedom League, Nord Stream 2 is an important security and ecological issue to the Baltic States in Europe. The reason it is an ecological issue is that there are still World War II weapons and ships at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Any explosion could be catastrophic to the region.

If this pipeline is completed, the political implications are that Russia may have the ability to exert power over the Baltic States and Western Europe for the following reasons:
Sweden has concerns that the Russian Navy will be patrolling their economic zone along with potential espionage. Vladimir Putin stated ecological concerns will be entrusted by the Russian Navy.

Russia has been uncooperative over the years with energy deals in Europe. Russia still has yet to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty, which is important as they are a large producer of energy. Gazprom has been investigated in 2011 for anti-trust for its abusive practices against receivers of their energy.

Sberbank CIB has voiced their concerns, stating: “Gazprom’s decisions make perfect sense if the company is assumed to be run for the benefit of its contractors, not for commercial profit.

The Power of Siberia, Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream are all deeply value-destructive projects that will eat up almost half of Gazprom’s investments over the next five years. They are commonly perceived as being foisted on the company by the government pursuing a geopolitical agenda. A more important characteristic that they share, however, is the ability to employ a closely knit group of suppliers in Russia, with little outside supervision”.

We, the Baltic-American Community, ask President Biden to reconsider waiving the Bipartisan sanctions on Nord Stream 2 to protect NATO allies.
Danute Mazeika
Mission Viejo

Re: Let’s Shelter the Homeless

Angus! Dude! She screams clutching her head! Where you been the last many decades? There have been numerous court decisions in favor of allowing the unhoused to make a home on the streets because they’re unhoused!

You’re basing your model on China? China? You know, the Soviet Union was one up on the Our Town concept…thousands upon thousands of “undesirable elements” were sent to far away Siberia…and then there was Manzanar in the U.S.

An A.M. protein shake from you for each resident! You’re such a mensch!
Lisa Edmondson
Los Angeles

Response to the Homeless Letters Last Week

Jack Schwartz promoted building private housing for the homeless, which I support, but private housing is not enough.

The homeless litter, urinate and defecate on our public, tax-funded streets and in our waterways, and some are guilty of assault, therefore I agree with Angus MacDonald that we also need mandatory public housing for families, detox and rehab centers, mental healthcare facilities, and low-income housing.

I disagree with Mr. Schwartz’s claim that “it is unconstitutional to force people to move off of the street,” and that it is communism, socialism or fascism. When the majority decides that it is not sanitary or safe for people to live on our streets, then it is our constitutional duty to “promote the general welfare” via our democratic republic. We do it for crimes, and we even did it when LA hosted the Olympics back in 1984.

I disagree with Mr. MacDonald that we implement a lottery because that is not a fair system, and with his NIMBY comment, since nobody is entitled to live in a prime real estate area, plus we have public transit. As with everything in life, we have to start at the bottom and move up.

Had our Founding Fathers lived after the Industrial Revolution, they would have implemented a wealth tax to address the issues resulting from an agrarian shift to an industrial society.

We should, however, combine indoor/vertical farming with these new homeless projects to help fund them, and to provide food and work for the residents. We should also add rainwater harvesting and greywater systems, atmospheric water generators, and solar and wind power to reduce costs, along with offering education and microloans to provide a pathway out.
In a culture where people’s paradigms and mental filters have become either pro-private or pro-public, let’s try pro-both again, and create a proposition to vote on as soon as possible.
Lastly, we all value our freedoms, but just like with an HOA, we agree to conform to certain norms of the majority when we live in a particular area, otherwise we could choose to live in the wilderness and live off the land.
William R. Hicks
Marina del Rey