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Letters to the editor

The Secret Service scandal; L.A. Unified's graduation requirements; attacking Obama's record

April 20, 2012
  • Agents from the Secret Service, which protects the president, have been implicated in a prostitution scandal in Colombia.
Agents from the Secret Service, which protects the president, have been… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Who's watching?

Re "3 Secret Service agents dismissed in prostitution scandal," April 19

It's nobody's business what others do behind their bedroom doors. If they're employees and their extracurricular activities do not diminish their on-the-job performance, then I don't give a hoot. In the case of the Secret Service agents implicated in the prostitution scandal in Colombia, it's what's between their ears that is in question, not what they do in bed.

The real message in all of this is that some in the media and President Obama's opponents are undoubtedly investing great sums of time and money to convince people that these events are somehow reasons that he should not be reelected.

Joel Gossman

Los Angeles

Graduation standards

Re "LAUSD weighs lower bar for grads," April 18

Once again, in its one-size-fits-all mentality, the Los Angeles Unified School District may lower the credits needed for graduating from 230 to 170, while still requiring students to take college-prep classes.

Why is it so difficult to understand that not all high school students plan to go to college, regardless of their ability to complete the academic work? There are myriad reasons why young people need or want to enter the workforce upon graduation, just as there are students who wish to prepare for college.

The district should keep the college-prep curriculum but make it optional. At the same time, it should require certain basic academic subjects, particularly during the first years of high school, for all students and augment the last year or so with classes in practical areas such as computer science and auto mechanics.

Seems like a win-win solution.

Ellie Doud

Sherman Oaks

Can anyone explain how a student who is allowed to graduate with a "D" average and 25% fewer credits than are currently required is an improvement over a high school dropout in terms of future employment prospects or college potential?

Better still, can anyone explain how that "D" student with 170 credits is not, in fact, a dropout?

Joan Walston

Santa Monica

The issue is not lowering the bar but making the bar flexible.

The criteria for graduation should not be based on the number of credits or grades in a college-prep curriculum. Rather, it should be based on "satisfactory completion" (however that's defined) in an "appropriate" curriculum.

Not all students are destined for a college education, nor should they be. The guy who puts the new roof on my house does not need a college degree; he needs to be an informed citizen who can contribute to our society. For some, a good, basic education with opportunities to acquire vocational skills would work.

We need to provide for all students, not just those who plan on pursuing a bachelor's degree. By providing a relevant education for all students, we will not only lower high school dropout rates, we will provide society with the skill sets necessary to function well.

Barbara Hartl


Obama's record speaks for itself

Re "Obama's problem: his record," Opinion, April 17

I am tired of hearing that President Obama has not done enough to pull us out of the recession caused by an irresponsible Republican administration. No president without congressional support can repair such damage in a few years.

The Obama administration has advanced a number of proposals to attack unemployment, but he has faced a Republican-dominated Congress

intent on denying any progress that could benefit the president politically.

W.R. Frederick


It is amazing to read Jonah Goldberg's column. How is it that all the right-wing pundits are now complaining that Obama, after taking over as the captain of the Titanic, is having a hard time pumping out the flooding after the incompetence ofGeorge W. Bush, who ran the economy into the iceberg in the first place?

Brian Rogers

Woodland Hills

Western Union's scam problem

Re "Western Union should send a clear message to scammers," Column, April 17

David Lazarus wrote that Western Union should do more to send a message to scammers.

My computer was hacked a few days ago and everybody in my address book received a plea for help under the subject line "Sad News." The message was as Lazarus described: I had been mugged in Manila and lost all my money, my plane was about to leave but the hotel manager was unwilling to let me leave, and so on.

There's one important detail of how this scam operates. The hacker opened an email account in my name but with one subtle difference: He used "l" instead of "i" in my name so that few people would spot the difference and any replies would be sent to the fraudster's new account.

Yahoo immediately deactivated the bogus email account, but Western Union only promised to cooperate with local law enforcement agencies.

John Lanning

Los Angeles

I believe Western Union will take additional security steps when an enterprising competitor implements some of Lazarus' simple security suggestions.

Michael Siegel

Van Nuys

Fixing real estate

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