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The abuse of handicapped parking placards; Tim Rutten on San Francisco's anti-circumcision initiative; a new bomber for the Air Force

May 25, 2011
  • Placard protector: A DMV investigator confiscates a woman's handicapped parking pass. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Placard protector: A DMV investigator confiscates a woman's handicapped…

Placard posers

Re "Placards can bring a curbside surprise," May 22

Thanks to the DMV for cracking down on fraudulent handicap placard usage. These cards should be used only by the infirm or the handicapped, not by lazy or cheap individuals.

My 91-year-old father suffers from congestive heart failure, and I use the placard only to take him to the doctor or to run an errand with him. I would never think of abusing this privilege.

Maybe the DMV needs to crack down on physicians who write too many of these placard prescriptions. Both the users and prescribers are often guilty of misuse.

Please think about the infirm the next time you pull into a handicap spot.

Corina Doherty

Los Angeles

People should not be borrowing placards to get convenient parking. However, the way the story begins with "a woman leaving a fitness center" is not fair. Not everyone who deserves a placard is in a wheelchair.

My wife has had multiple sclerosis since 2001 and recently got a placard. She can walk, but not all that well and definitely not far, but she still wants to do yoga so she can maintain a semblance of her past physical performance. Does going to her yoga class disqualify her from having a placard?

A sentence or two recognizing that some without visible disabilities have placards would have been worthwhile.

Michael Pirrung


The provision that lets a person who displays a handicap placard park free at meters should be eliminated. It invites abuse and is unnecessary.

My parents are disabled, and whomever drives them (often me) is more than able to put money in a meter. The main reason we have the placard is to park in handicap-only spots because we need the extra room when using the wheelchair, or to park close when using the walker.

A better idea would be to allow vehicles with placards to park an extra 12 inches from the curb. We can only park 18 inches from the curb, and the wheelchair is 24 inches wide. You do the math.

Steven Coker

Los Angeles

This is one more example of a growing trend of selfishness in this city.

Whether it's parking, cellphones, littering or general disrespect,

Angelenos are becoming less considerate. In other words, cheating is OK.

We need to examine our consciences and take steps to regain a sense of common decency before our society spirals into "law of the jungle" chaos that diminishes us all.

Chris Nicholas

Lake Balboa

Circumcision in the 21st century

Re "Dumb, any way you cut it," Opinion, May 21

Tim Rutten's horror at San Francisco's proposition to ban non-medically necessary circumcision of male children shows that some people believe it is right to continue a practice solely because it has been that way for millenniums.

That does not make it right in the 21st century.

Committing an abuse in the name of a religion does not make it right either. Suppose I start a religion that wishes to treat the sexes equally and perform a similar operation on baby girls. What would the reaction be to that?

It is time to stop this practice once and for all.

Duncan Smith

Thousand Oaks

Rutten hit the nail right on the head with his column about the outrageous attempt to outlaw circumcision in San Francisco. He called it a "particularly virulent form of self-righteousness," which is precisely what it is.

His statement also can be applied to Proposition 8. Although one might, as Rutten said, "roll the eyes" at this ill-advised attempt to steamroll over a Jewish tradition, why do not enough "roll the eyes" at something like Proposition 8?

I can say it no better than Rutten: "Americans are the rare people who … believe that their private moral revelations ought to be ratified into law."

As it should not be so in San Francisco, it should also not be so in California or any other state.

Elise Power

Garden Grove

Although I agree in principle with Rutten's point that the initiative process is out of control, I think he has cultural blinders on.

We have no qualms about outlawing female circumcision but somehow are much more reticent when legislating about more culturally accepted unnecessary procedures.

What about the millions of girls who have their ears pierced as infants? I doubt they gave informed consent any more than the boys being circumcised.

Jonathan Lawrence

San Juan Capistrano

Bombers and the jobs they bring

Re "New bomber could bring a jobs payload," May 22

Imagine the kind of world we might be able to engineer if the $55-billion contract that is being celebrated for a new bomber was spent on millions of jobs to create a green-energy infrastructure built on unlimited solar and alternative energy sources.

It's unfortunate that we continue to strengthen the military-industrial complex and to depend on it to have a "healthy" economy, not to mention the innocent civilians who are killed around the globe.

Lynda Hernandez

Huntington Beach

On the Pentagon "wish list" is a proposed fleet of 80 to 100 nuclear-capable bombers.

We are to applaud this as a potential "jobs payload" for Californians?

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