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OPINION
December 8, 2012
Re "Rethinking Prop. 13," Editorial, Dec. 6 Proposition 30 raises taxes on everyone, landed and landless. That's fair. Nevertheless, the only part of Proposition 13 that should be revisited is the two-thirds vote requirement to legislate taxes. The 1% cap on the purchase price must be left alone. In California, property changes hands so often that there is no shortage of revenue. To go back to the days of levying taxes based on current market value would increase costs of administration and would be unfair to those who don't flip houses for sport.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 2012
What annual televised sporting event is more popular with female viewers than males? The Kentucky Derby. NBC's coverage of last Saturday's race — won by the dark horse I'll Have Another — gathered 14.8 million viewers, up 2% from last year, according to Nielsen. It was the third-most-watched Derby in 23 years. Even more noteworthy: 51% of viewers age 18 or older were women, making the Derby the only annual sporting event that draws more female than male viewers. The most-watched Derby in recent years was the 2010 race won by Super Saver, which was watched by 16.5 million viewers.
OPINION
September 8, 2012
Re "'You are the change,'" Sept. 7 I like President Obama's approach (and strategy) to reach out to women, ethnic minorities, veterans, gays, the middle class, independents and many Republicans. On the other hand, I feel that he has been remiss in not reaching out to small-business owners and large corporations by explicitly telling them that his administration wants their input on revising regulations that they consider not only discouraging for job creation but actually a waste of effort for the country.
OPINION
December 22, 2012
Re "The Hagel litmus test," Editorial, Dec. 20 What a breath of fresh air: that it is not a bad thing for the U.S. to choose a secretary of Defense based on what's best for this country rather than for Israel. It is time to rethink the cliche about our "unshakable" relationship with Israel. How come our relationship with, say, Britain or Canada is never described so warmly, even though both countries hew more closely to our idea of civil rights? There was a time when our relationship with white South Africa was warm, but when the Boers drifted into apartheid, the relationship chilled.
OPINION
January 8, 2013
Re "The storm next time," Editorial, Jan. 4 There have been documentaries, news stories and policy proposals that focus on infrastructure (President Obama's jobs bill comes to mind). We have watched people die in Minnesota when a bridge collapsed, we in California faced regular rolling blackouts, and many states have had horrible floods, fires, tornadoes or hurricanes. Until all 50 state governors get together and demand a national policy and funding for infrastructure and the business community backs them up, we will just keep reacting to the most recent disaster.
OPINION
December 1, 2012
Re "Coroner, police differ over death," Nov. 29 While only someone at the scene knows what truly happened to cause the death of Robert Ramirez in Oxnard, perhaps the experience of a 38-year police veteran, now retired, may lend some perspective. Subduing an unhinged subject without causing permanent injury is never an easy task; it is much more difficult when that individual is under the influence of a drug and seems oblivious to pain. Additionally, officers must do so without getting themselves seriously hurt so they can return home after their shift ends.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 15, 2012
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" took in $13 million from screenings at or soon after midnight Thursday in the U.S. and Canada, getting off to a healthy start for what should be a huge weekend at the box office for director Peter Jackson's widely anticipated movie. Though big, the performance of the "Lord of the Rings" prequel did not come close to other movies that premiered in the darkness. The all-time No. 1 is "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," which in July 2011 took in $43.5 million before the sun rose.
OPINION
October 14, 2012
Re "America just can't help it," Opinion, Oct. 9 Osama bin Laden's death does not for a moment make those fighting us in the war on terror think they can go home. Bin Laden became the face of Islamic terrorism; he was not the originator. His death does not diminish what he represents. North Korea and Iran, according to Tom Engelhardt, are "held together by baling wire. " I hardly think so. Both countries have strong and dangerous governments that pursue goals that include having stockpiles of weapons that threaten world peace.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 10, 2012
Turning 65 next year doesn't only mean more nap time for Billy Crystal. The actor and comedian is transforming the milestone into a book and maybe even a stage show. Crystal has an agreement with Henry Holt and Co. for a book that will be part memoir, part meditation - with jokes - about getting older. He hopes to have it out around the time the big day arrives: March 14, 2013. Crystal said he is considering adapting the book for the stage. He had enormous success with the Tony Award-winning "700 Sundays," his one-man theater show that paid tribute to his late father.
OPINION
December 8, 2012
Re "Defending defense cuts," Opinion, Dec. 4 As Andrew Cockburn points out, the DefenseDepartment routinely channels huge amounts of taxpayer money to fund white-elephant projects such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Littoral Combat Ship, neither of which would have been helpful in preventing the 9/11 attacks or in dealing with its perpetrators. The military-industrial complex continues to develop weapons designed to defend against a conventionally armed nation-state at a time when our most serious threat has come from a splintered network of cave-dwelling fanatics.
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