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Rick Santorum's 'theology' flap; columnist Steve Lopez on his father's death; altering California's high-speed rail plans

Letters to the editor

February 23, 2012
  • Former Pennsylvania senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks at a rally at the First Redeemer Church in Cumming, Georgia on Feb. 19.
Former Pennsylvania senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick… (Erik S. Lesser / EPA )

Santorum's theology

Re "The over-the-top Santorum," Editorial, Feb. 21

Rick Santorum's attempts to explain away his use of the word "theology" as a generic word meaning "belief system" might fly if he had left out the Bible tie-in. That inclusion, coupled with his repeated campaign promises to weaken the separation of church and state, argues that he is a nimble, slick guy who has at least two faces: the tea party evangelical and the moderate family guy.

The Times wrote that Santorum "should perhaps have realized that accusing the president of embracing an unbiblical 'theology' would be interpreted as a nod"

to the canard that President Obama is a Muslim. "Perhaps"?

Regardless of his claims to the contrary, Santorum is signaling his support for a large minority within the GOP that believes Obama is a Muslim. Santorum doesn't say which "different theology" the president follows, but it is anything but Christian.

Mark Davidson

Santa Ana

Santorum's claim that global warming is scientifically unproven confuses two meanings of "prove."

You prove a mathematical theorem by deducing it logically from a set of axioms. You prove a scientific theory by testing it. You describe mechanisms that imply it and give examples that fit it. You use it to make predictions and check them out. You examine any evidence that seems contrary. That's why "the exception proves the rule."

All these tests have been applied successfully to global warming. Surface temperatures in the last decade have been historical extremes. The theory predicted this.

Empirical proofs don't get much stronger than this.

Allan Stewart-Oaten

Santa Barbara

The passing of a columnist's dad

Re "To Tony Lopez, with love," Column, Feb. 22

I thank Steve Lopez for writing about his heart-wrenching experience with his dad. My family and I recently went through a similar experience.

My dad was in a hospital's critical-care unit in January. It was during this period that he requested to be taken home for the last time, which was on a Friday night. We got hospice care involved, which was great and compassionate.

At first, my mom questioned the wisdom of allowing Dad to come home, but toward the end, she was thankful for allowing him his final wish — to be home with his family to die. Sunday morning, he passed away peacefully.

Ron Allard

Temple City

Kudos to Lopez for having the courage to make the personal public.

Life is finite, and none of us is going to get out of this alive. Healthcare professionals and loving families must have the compassion and moral fortitude to acknowledge the difference between prolonging life and prolonging death.

The quality and comfort of our last days of life hang in the balance.

Lynn Kessler

Sherman Oaks

High-speed rail's best option

Re "Bullet train focus shifts to local rails," Feb. 20

Finally, a plan for high-speed rail that makes sense.

Investing in the "bookends" of Los Angeles and San Francisco offers the potential for plenty of real people making real journeys and enjoying the comfort and convenience of high-speed rail. Further, it leverages the present and future connections and facilities at L.A.'s Union Station and San Francisco's Transbay Transit Center, and will generate the momentum that high-speed rail so badly needs.

Andrew Shaddock

Manhattan Beach

Gov. Jerry Brown has bad vision. He is pushing the astronomically priced bullet train while our highways are in disrepair.

Many freeways are strewn with trash, have weeds growing on the roadway and barely visible lines separating the lanes. Especially unbelievable are the decrepit freeways going through downtown L.A. Does Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have no pull at all?

What has happened to our state?

Karl Simon

Manhattan Beach

Shooting back

Re "ICE shooting latest in a line of troubles," Feb. 18

The incredible survival story of Kevin Kozak, a deputy special agent at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, following the shootout in the Long Beach federal building is truly amazing. The action of his co-worker who killed the assailant was heroic.

But one must wonder what carnage would have occurred had this not been a law enforcement office where the co-workers were armed. Remember the recent salon massacre in Seal Beach? What if a co-worker there had had a firearm? How many lives could have been saved?

ICE office: one dead, the shooter. The salon: eight shot dead. There's no fuzzy math here. Perhaps it is time we reconsider our concealed-carry laws in California.

Christopher McCauley

Redondo Beach

More doctors

Re "Front-line doctors," Feb. 19

It is good that medical schools are now emphasizing primary care. But to produce the number of primary care physicians needed, their training period must be reduced from 11 years to about eight. This can be done if schools tailor their education to what is actually needed in practice.

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