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March 21, 2001
How appalling and tragic that many bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah celebrations have become ostentatious productions more focused on keeping up with or outdoing the Joneses than on recognizing this significant milestone ("Club Bar Mitzvah: Coming of Age in a Disco Inferno," Feb. 23). Are these really the values we want to teach our children? Many families have found more meaningful and appropriate ways to celebrate. As a Jewish parent, I'd like to suggest that those considering spending $20,000 to $30,000 on a "theatrical production/aerobics workout/rock concert" instead take a family trip to Israel and donate the balance to a charity of the bar/bat mitzvah child's choice.
April 21, 2014 | By Michael Krikorian
Last week I sent a text message to a friend. A Hollywood business meeting I had high hopes for had been suddenly "postponed. " "Everybody canceled except me," I texted. She texted back, "Haha. " What's so funny about it, I wondered? Where's the haha in my disappointment? My text was more sad than funny; her text steamed me. Dismissed twice . "Haha" and its partner, "LOL," are texting's go-to replies, a vaguely complimentary, vaguely condescending way to acknowledge a text has been received.
May 4, 1996
Re: Bill Plaschke's April 28 article about Rick Monday's rescue of a flag: Monday's rescue of the 1981 Dodgers, in my opinion, was far more patriotic and meaningful. PRESTON P. BIRENBAUM Woodland Hills
April 19, 2014 | By Kurt Streeter
A votive in a glass holder, etched with the Star of David and the words "In memory," sits on the granite table. "We will remember the terrible tragedy," Ron Wolfson says, referring to the previous day's shootings at two Jewish facilities in Kansas. The three deaths seem particularly painful on this Monday night Seder, which marks the start of Passover, the eight-day Jewish celebration of the Israelites' flight from bondage in Egypt. Wolfson and his wife are gathered in their Encino home with four generations - 16 people in all, family and friends from as far as New York.
July 25, 1992
Your decision to include players' batting averages as part of the box scores was a great idea. Now you are giving the serious sports fan some meaningful stuff. QUINTON D. WORTHAMS Los Angeles
January 25, 1997
Having seen the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles some 30 years ago, I can appreciate the excitement surrounding the premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's new orchestral work ("An Ode to L.A.," Jan. 18). However, when Times music critic Mark Swed claims that "there is nothing to equal the meaningful experience of hearing a new piece of its time and place . . ." he confuses glamour with art. One might just as well say that there is nothing more meaningful about a presidency than attending the inauguration.
February 6, 2000
I found much of the focus on the Internet ads during the Super Bowl a bit offensive ["Some 'Dot-Coms' Fumble Efforts to Score in Ad Game," Jan. 31]. A few managed to convey their meaning. Several were so esoteric that even my Internet-savvy sons and family members could not figure out the messages. To be sure, the Internet is a wonderful information source, and our responsibility as a society is to integrate this powerful tool into our lives in a positive and meaningful way. Several of Sunday's ads took a step backward in the category of positive or meaningful.
May 13, 2000
Move over, Kirk Gibson. Thanks to Kobe's basket against the Suns, L.A. now has a new last-minute memory of a lifetime. And Kobe's accomplishment is even more meaningful because we didn't just rent him for a season, he has been a Laker for his entire career. DAVID NEMER Glendale
September 21, 1997
Re "Wilson to Pen Last Chapter of 'Textbook' Secession Bill," Sept. 14. Those of us who live in the San Fernando Valley should be allowed the opportunity to decide our own political destiny. Conditions that existed when the Valley joined its fate to that of the city of Los Angeles not only no longer exist but are radically different. The Valley has a core of educated, able citizens who are fully capable of governing us. It has more than an ample financial base with which to provide a full range of services for its residents.
December 12, 1985
Re: "Jewish Children and the Holidays" by Idelle Davidson, (Dec. 8), I was delighted to read this article. Not only Jewish children should know the meaning of Hanukkah. Our Christian friends should also know about Hanukkah. It is a most meaningful and important holiday. MOLLY SCHNEIR Beverly Hills
February 20, 2014 | By Alan Zarembo
Many federal programs aimed at preventing psychological problems in military service members and their families have not been evaluated correctly to determine if they are working and are not supported by science, a new report commissioned by the Defense Department says. "A lot of their programs don't have any good data behind them," said Kenneth Warner, a professor of public health at the University of Michigan who led the Institute of Medicine committee that produced the report.
February 13, 2014 | By Inkoo Kang
Despite its status as a world leader in social equality, Sweden clings to a racial and class hierarchy in which one-percenter bankers profit from drug deals and bloodshed at the lower rungs of society - at least that was the critique that made the 2012 thriller "Easy Money" such a stylish and indignant affair. Striving business student J.W. (Joel Kinnaman) ricocheted between the jet-setting "aristos" and the criminal underclass to engineer a money-laundering scheme. The new "Easy Money: Hard to Kill" picks up a few years after the events of the original film.
January 29, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan
"Like Father, Like Son" is a deceptively simple title for a film of considerable emotional complexity. Its children-switched-at-birth story sounds schematic, but what we see on screen is both meaningful and moving. Those familiar with the work of writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda will not be surprised. One of Japan's most respected filmmakers (his earlier films include "After Life" and "Still Walking"), he brings a gentleness and delicacy of touch to his work as well as an exceptional gift for working with children.
November 14, 2013 | By Jack Schneider
How do you measure school quality? For the last decade, the answer has been informed by a single set of data: standardized test scores. Now there is a chance to change that. Although Congress remains unwilling to overhaul No Child Left Behind, with its overemphasis on testing, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has taken matters into his own hands, issuing waivers that have freed 42 states and eight California districts - including L.A. Unified - from the law's accountability mechanisms.
October 20, 2013 | By Jen Leo
Here's a website that can help you plan vacations that are socially empowering and environmentally responsible. Name: What it does: Introduces travel opportunities with transformative themes such as eco resorts and hotels, health and wellness, volunteering abroad, cultural and culinary, and expeditions and tours. What's hot: I found a trip helping to conduct whale and dolphin research in Costa Rica for less than $200 a day, and a trip to Cambodia to discover the art of rice-paper making in a local village.
October 10, 2013 | By Robert Abele
Deliberately paced but not so deliberately thought out, the horror entry "Cassadaga" tries to scoop up enough tropes to satisfy a wide range of potential fright fans but lacks the cohesion to ever truly be effective. Kelen Coleman sympathetically plays Lily, a deaf art teacher spurred by the tragic death of her younger sister to relocate to sleepy, moss-covered college town Cassadaga, where seance-holding spiritualists roam, a vengeful dead woman begins haunting her and the town weirdo might be a serial killer.
March 17, 2003
In his propaganda piece (letter, March 10), Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson talks about a meaningful discount on drugs. The pharmaceutical companies promise to cut 10% to 15% from the prices of grossly overpriced drugs, costing in this country about two to three times as much as they do in Canada and in the Western European countries. This is definitely not a meaningful improvement over the current situation (only a good argument for future elections) and will not solve the problem of lack of coverage for Medicare recipients.
August 26, 1989
Your recent news item said that some TV viewers find it difficult to determine whether a news broadcast is a news program or entertainment. I propose that they turn off their TV sets and read the newspapers. There is much more news that is important in the newspaper than they will ever get on the TV. I do not have a TV and find that life is much more relaxing and meaningful. FREDERICK A. KAHL Summerland
September 6, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Citing a large drop-off in private student loan originations, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. spokeswoman confirmed Friday that the bank would stop issuing student loans Oct. 12. "Over the last five years, students have increasingly relied on government-backed loans," said spokeswoman Trish Wexler. As a result, "we no longer see meaningful growth in this market," she said. PHOTOS: The costliest bank failures  The lender had already started scaling back its student loan business.
July 27, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
In the automotive world, no one is more loyal than a truck owner. Lassie on her best day couldn't match the fidelity of someone who buys a particular brand of pickup. Once they choose Ford or Chevy or Dodge, usually only a pine box lures them away. With this in mind, the goal of the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado wasn't to lure new buyers with extraneous bells and whistles. Rather, the 2014 model, rolling into dealerships now, aims to give the Chevy faithful exactly what they liked about their existing trucks, while correcting previous flaws.
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