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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Future prospects

May 20, 2011

Re "Terminated? Not likely," May 18

The end of the road for former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger? Not likely. He will probably go down in the history books with the likes of Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant. Just look at former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer; he got caught in a prostitution ring, and now he has his own show on CNN.

The American public can sometimes be too tolerant of sex scandals, immediately placing celebrities on a pedestal where they don't belong.

Instead of expecting Schwarzenegger to apologize to Californians, we should ignore his future endeavors in film, politics, green energy or whatever. He is human, but his status does not entitle him to get out of this predicament easily.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, May 25, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 18 Letters Desk 1 inches; 47 words Type of Material: Correction
Photograph: A May 20 letter to the editor incorrectly said a conservative Israeli newspaper digitally scrubbed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from a photo of Obama administration officials monitoring the raid on Osama bin Laden. The newspaper that altered the photo is based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Daniel Wirtz

La Habra Heights

As painful and difficult a situation as Maria Shriver finds herself in right now, she stood proudly by her husband's side when he ran for governor while women bravely came forward to reveal Schwarzenegger's unwanted attentions. These women took great risks by speaking out, and they were ignored.

I'm sure Schwarzenegger will continue to make lots of money and behave badly. Such are the privileges of stardom.

Lisa Blok-Linson

Los Angeles

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Should we fear Sharia?

Re "The Sharia paranoia," Editorial, May 16

It is strange that the conservative forces behind the drive to make us fear Sharia are the same ones that are trying to impose their Christian version here (anti-gay rights, anti-

abortion, abstinence-only education and so on).

Some conservative Christians still make women second-class citizens, and we just had a conservative newspaper in Israel delete Hillary Rodham Clinton's image from the picture of Obama administration officials in the Situation Room during the Osama bin Laden raid, as it offended its view of a woman's role.

Ignorance and hatred, not God, are the driving forces here.

Terrell Roberts

Northridge

::

The Times ignores well-known facts in trying to minimizing concerns about aggressive Islamists. The well-advertised beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood and its satellite organizations, whose members helped start several organizations in the U.S., call for the creation of an international caliphate and the institution of Sharia.

Events in Europe should provide data for those willing to look. The anti-Sharia statutes may be ill-advised, but they reflect a genuine concern, not paranoia.

Barry F. Chaitin

Newport Beach

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But parks are such nice places

Re "How do you close a park?" Editorial, May 17

You state: "Californians cannot expect state parks ... to be spared from the budget ax." Why not?

State parks provide all Californians with benefits far out of proportion to what they cost. They provide most of the available access to our coast, protect the tallest trees in the world, contain historically significant sites and provide open space. The measurable value alone -- dollars received by local communities from state park visitors -- is reason enough to keep them open.

What is probably not measurable, but is of far greater monetary value, is the parks' role in attracting and retaining a skilled and educated workforce. People who are attracted to outdoor recreation visit or move to California to some degree because of the largest state park system in the country.

Because spending on state parks amounts to a tiny percentage of the total budget, closing them is an extreme example of being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Pete Aniello

Redlands

::

Gov. Jerry Brown wants to close 70 state parks to help balance the state budget. This is the same old recycled plan that helped make Arnold Schwarzenegger extremely unpopular.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) has introduced AB 1130, a measure that would raise taxes by just 1% on taxable income over $500,000. Skinner says her bill would raise more than $2 billion.

Why not raise taxes on the wealthiest residents instead of closing state parks that belong to us working Californians? And here's another idea: Chevron could kick in a couple of billion from its huge profits. After all, what does Chevron do for our state or our planet?

Linda Rollins

Oakland

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Medicare is really sick

Re "Fix them soon, or pay later," Editorial, May 14

The Times understates how terrible Medicare's financial situation is. The actuarial projections are based on unrealistic reductions in what Medicare pays for services.

The appendix to the Medicare trustees' report cites numerous reasons, including a 29.4% reduction in physician fees scheduled for 2012 and projected reductions for a wide range of medical services that are unrealistic.

The appendix goes on: "The financial projections shown in this report for Medicare do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range (as a result of the unsustainable reductions in physician payment rates) or the long range (because of the strong likelihood that the statutory reductions in price updates for most categories of Medicare provider services will not be viable)."

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