Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad; columnist David Lazarus on healthcare reform; Alabama's new governor

A peacemaker?

Re "Palestinian leader an enigma to all," Jan. 21

As Israeli President Shimon Peres said, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad might be — referring to Israel's founding father — his people's "first Ben-Gurionist."

Just as President Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize to stimulate future accomplishments, the Norwegian Nobel Committee should consider doing the same for Fayyad and other key peacemakers. That was tried before, and the time is right to try it again. In Fayyad, both Palestine and Israel have a brilliant, nonviolent World Bank economist who might be the linchpin to help solve the Middle East crisis.

Hopefully Fayyad's security will be beefed up as he continues to capture the hopes and prayers of the people of the world who want permanent peace and mutual respect between Israel and Palestine.

Steve Oppenheimer


Standing up for healthcare

Re "Healthcare reform is a job for grown-ups," Column, Jan. 21

Bravo for David Lazarus' factual column. Finally, somebody in the mainstream media is standing up to the Republicans and their wasteful political legislative charade, the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act."

Even Bill Frist, now that he is out from under the right-wing dogma of GOP partisanship, shows some common sense in accepting the new healthcare law.

The only thing Lazarus left out is all the jobs that will be created, not killed, when the private insurance companies get 32 million new customers.

Alan Segal

San Diego

Because Lazarus has decided that those opposed to Obamacare are "spoiled children throwing a tantrum" and that they ought to "grow up," I decided to ask my 12-year-old daughter what she thought.

I told her that from now on I'm not only going to buy Christmas presents for her but for 32 million other children who previously had not gotten any. I told her that no matter how naughty they were all year, they would still get presents and that, despite all of this, I would actually be saving money.

She didn't believe me. I guess you're right, Mr. Lazarus, she just needs to grow up.

Steve Morton


Lazarus hit a homerun. Trying to block the new healthcare reform law is simply the latest example of Republicans putting their party's interests ahead of their country's.

Calling them spoiled children was being much too charitable.

Richard Kolber


Governor, meet the Constitution

Re "Governor apologizes for remarks," Jan. 20, and "Alabama governor's words raise eyebrows," Jan. 19

The people of Alabama deserve their new governor, Robert J. Bentley, if his so-called apology reveals the baggage he brings into office.

The article states that he apologized for his remarks. He did not. His apology was disingenuous, in that he said he was sorry if he had offended anyone. He did not apologize for or take back the language he used to describe who were his brothers and sisters.

His remarks show that his arrogant, self-righteous piety is not worthy of all the people he has sworn to serve.

Larry Macaray


It appears that Bentley, the dermatologist-cum-governor, will need to be given the "straight skinny" about the separation of church and state before he gets too far into his first term.

Raymond Melrose

Los Angeles

Olbermann is out

Re "MSNBC ends contract with anchor Olbermann," Jan. 22

Keith Olbermann may have been too in-your-face at times, but he never had to apologize for his facts.

The big lesson from Olbermann's termination: Those who speak lies to the powerless are rewarded, while those who speak truth to power are silenced.

Ed Brand


We now have one less din, with a couple more to go on the other extreme. Then this planet would be more peaceful.

Kee Kim

La Habra

Thank God Olbermann is finally off the air. His nightly rants against conservatives and the political tabloid right-wing rhetoric on Fox News, based on facts, are over.

We can now get back to a civil discussion based on innuendo, hype and political smut.

Dennis Arntz

Laguna Niguel

That's politics

Re "A crucial opportunity for Obama," Jan. 23

Your spin on the president's first two years would have it that he was relentlessly partisan in pushing far-left policies. Nothing could be further from the truth, as President Obama tried to engage the Republicans at every turn.

What did he get for it? He got consistent obstruction and constant filibusters, with no more constructive motivation than the Republicans' stated goal of making him look bad so they could oust him in 2012.

And what was the first thing the Republicans did after the midterm election? They said nothing would move through the Congress until the tax-cut extensions were applied to their satisfaction. How's that for bipartisanship?

Alex Murray


Buy American

Re "Buy Chinese," Opinion, Jan. 20

I agree with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that Chinese solar modules contribute to lower costs for solar energy installation in the U.S. However, we need to generate manufacturing jobs in this country by creating a market for domestically made products. The government is the best way to do that, because market forces will always seek the lowest cost.

The best American companies involved in electronics are only now recognizing the potential of the solar market. We have to nudge them along so that jobs will be created here. Even the companies that design products in the U.S. send jobs to China.

So yes, we do indeed need "buy American" provisions for government contracts.

Monali Khandagle

Van Nuys

What raise?

Re "Tale of three workers: Hopes, fears for 2011," Business, Jan. 20

Post office supervisor Neri Cruz may well be expecting a 4% to 5% raise this year. But the employees you see in your local post office are expecting no such thing.

I am a window clerk in the Santa Barbara main post office. The roughly 500,000 clerks and maintenance workers across the U.S. have been working without a contract since November. We assume our raises over the next five-year contract will be either nothing or next to it.

We are happy to help our customers, but frontline postal workers are not receiving raises or bonuses anything like what that manager in San Marino is looking forward to.

Carmen Reid

Goleta, Calif.

Thanks, Jack

Re "Spiritual father of U.S. fitness movement," Obituary, Jan. 24

When I heard about Jack LaLanne's passing, I had just come back from the gym. How fitting!

I, a 52-year-old woman, am testament to his impact. My mother bought me a membership in one of his gyms when I was 16; I still have the towel I won for perfect attendance in 1976, although the $76 cash prize is long spent.

The habit for fitness has never left me, and I owe it all to Jack (and my mom).

Nancy Steele


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