Mailbag: Dr. Laura did the right thing in quitting

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Loyalty to a former boss is certainly commendable, but for columnist Steve Smith to compare Dr. Laura Schlessinger's recent "eleven n-word rant" to that of the legendary social critic and humorist Lenny Bruce boggles the imagination ("City Life: Another lesson learned," Aug. 17). Superficially there is a relationship, because Lenny was given to including all the racial epithets in his shtick — we found a Dustin Hoffman rendition of the famous and profane Lenny doing stand-up on YouTube — with the express and stated purpose of softening their sting.

But in her radio show last week, Dr. Laura — who was reacting to a black female caller, in a troubled biracial marriage, where the n-word is regularly and, one assumes, hurtfully used — spoke in that tonal mix of the caustic and the imperious for which she's well known, repeating "n-bleep, n-bleep" over and over, louder and louder, to the mutual consternation of everyone listening. It didn't come off as racist, but rather, it was full of scorn for the poor woman. Missing completely was any shred of the empathy and compassion for which Lenny continues to be remembered.

And then Dr. Laura quit her show, knowing immediately how inappropriate she had been. Good for her! Columnist Smith gave her a high-five for her fine moral stance, though Laura knew better, closing the door before her various sponsors could send her packing.

Karen Evarts

Newport Beach

Watch out on taxes for crashes

I live in Westminster.

I will reduce my driving in Huntington Beach because of their new "Crash Tax" for people who are accident victims.... with a huge schedule of possible charges for them ("Crash costs hiked for non-residents," Aug. 18).

Services such as this should be part of the commons.

I will not be patronizing theaters, bookstores, restaurants, classes, and grocery stores. I guess HB will have enough business from their own residents.

I can find other equivalent businesses in Seal Beach and Long Beach, which are equally close by. People will need to stay in their own cities or in cities without Crash Taxes. Long road trips may become problematic.

I will also not buy a car in HB. I bought four of them over the years.

I do not use their beaches — and they seem to blame beach tourists for city expenditures.

I would like to thank the businesses for their fine delivery of goods and services over several decades. I hope this issue is resolved sensibly so that city budgets can be balanced by some other means.

I would hope that the Automobile Club provides a list of cities with similar legislation for travelers so that we can avoid stopping at these jurisdictions for roadside breaks. Perhaps people will appreciate airline trips again.

Lauren Gascoigne

Westminster

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