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PUBLIC FORUM REVEALING APPLAUSE.

Early in his State of the Union Address, President Bush delivered the following line (in reference to next year's scheduled expiration of the Patriot Act): ``The terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule.'' Immediately following this sentence, the TV cameras panned to a long-range shot that showed virtually everyone on the Republican side of the aisle rising to their feet to applaud, while most of the Democrats sat stonily silent.

The applauding Republicans unwittingly revealed their true political motivations. Republicans don't want the terrorist threat to expire. The threat of terrorism is good for Republicans. The surest way to advance the administration's agenda is to keep a majority of Americans fearful and unthinking.

- Sam Dolinar

Sunland

California's win, too

Re ``Kerry wins in Iowa scramble'' (Jan. 20):

Fans of democracy owe John Kerry a note of thanks for his shake-up of the Democratic race. Why? For the first time in eons, voters in California, the nation's largest and arguably most important state, may finally have a say come March in selecting a major party candidate for the presidency.

Barring a close race like the current one, voters in California and other large states are deprived of their right to vote by the oneupsmanship scheduling of small-state primaries. This should be high on the list of election practices to reform, right after the statistical distortion created by the Electoral College system. From 2008 forward, I suggest California schedule its primary for the same week as New Hampshire's or the Iowa caucuses.

- Bill Murphy

Mountain View

He can afford it

Re ``Rapper helps sheriff launch half-cent police initiative'' (Jan. 21):

Maybe Sheriff Lee Baca and his cohort Won-G can afford an addition to the sales tax, but for most of us it's just another added expense of having the privilege of living in the city of Los Angeles.

I guess if Won-G can prance around with a $250,000 Elvis watch along with his $35 million contract with Universal Records and driving around in SUVs with 27-inch wheels, let him and the overpaid Lee Baca pay all the extra money needed for police and fire. It seems as if they can afford to. I find it a total insult for Lee Baca to recruit this man for getting signatures to get a ballot initiative for an increase in sales tax.

- Robert D. Henri

Tarzana

Another Algiers

Re ``Shiites protest for early election'' (Jan. 20):

Hamaz Hendawi, in his article about the tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims marching in Baghdad to protest the U.S. plans for transferring power by July 1 to a caucus-chosen Iraqi legislature, warned that ``U.S. authorities cannot afford to alienate'' the Shiite community which comprises about 60 percent of Iraq.

But the Bush administration, in its greed to control Iraqi oil, will eventually turn the Shiite population from peaceful protests to violent rebellion similar to what happened 50 years ago when Muslims kicked the French out of Algiers (so well portrayed in Gillo Pontecorvo's classic film ``The Battle of Algiers''). Hopefully, God will bless America. The Bush policies won't.

- John Wisdom Dancer

Canoga Park

Still not repaired

Re ``Northridge Earthquake: 10 years later'' (Jan. 18):

It's now been 10 years since the Northridge Earthquake and still the Northridge Park swimming pool has not been repaired - yet pools in other parts of Los Angeles have been.

I called our Councilman Greig Smith's office and I was told that the repairs were costly and the money is not available. My only question is that I'm sure it was listed as part of the destruction and either Federal Emergency Management Agency or Small Business Administration must have allocated money for its repair, so what happened to it?

- Al Ferraro

Northridge

Unseasonably warm

Re ``CSUN emerges from ruins'' (Jan. 15):

The article and picture of California State University, Northridge, students huddled ``in the cold'' after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake was interesting. It was more than 85 degrees outside, day and night at the time. I live less than two miles from the university. We wore shorts and T-shirts at the time because the weather was unseasonably hot.

The girls might have been huddled together out of fear, but certainly not from cold.

- Pat Davey

Northridge

Tighten them belts

Re ``Reduce staffs'' (Your Opinions, Jan. 20):

We agree, if you have a budget crisis in your business you will first look where to reduce the overhead and unnecessary expenses. All council staffs are bloated, their perks past our imagination, and they still drive cars paid for by the taxpayers.

Start with Mayor Hahn: Cut his staff in half. Alex Padilla does not need 20 people at all. He does little for his district. He loves photo ops. Reduce all salaries and extravagant pension benefits, reopen negotiations with the unions. Cut across the line; tighten them belts. Do not even think of new taxes. Thus far there is only a lot of finger-pointing and talk about suing. Wimps.

- Herta and Frank Neumeister

Sylmar

Sales tax, not bond

Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposed $15 billion bond issue, while controversial, has one major flaw; it unfairly targets property owners. This is most especially unfair because of (Fed Chairman Alan) Greenspan's dropping interest rates to the low of 1 percent and thereby artificially causing housing property to skyrocket.

Homeowners will pay an inordinate amount of tax while the population as a whole will not. If this bond is absolutely necessary, the only fair way to share the burden is to increase the sales tax to accomplish the desired goal.

- Robert Bowman

Sylmar

Going to Mars

The president who fabricated war in Iraq supposedly to bring democracy to that country is opposed to elections there. Bush's so-called Healthy Forests initiative allows increased clear-cutting of our dwindling resources. His so-called Clear Skies initiative weakens air pollution standards.

Now, he wants to excite us with his vision of going to Mars, while at the same time the director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration canceled the scheduled maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope. If new batteries and gyros are not installed as planned, the most productive scientific instrument ever built will cease functioning, thereby wasting our expensive investment and squandering our opportunity to learn more about the universe. It's time to replace this twisted administration.

- Bruce Joffe

Piedmont

Wardrobe and ideology

Even though I am a staunch Republican, I voted not to recall Gov. Davis. I reluctantly voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger. I hold Schwarzenegger's position on abortion as anathema. The jury is still out on Schwarzenegger.

In my opinion, Arnold has charismatic leadership qualities, but there is a problem. He appears to lack ideology, making his efforts ineffective. I wish Schwarzenegger good luck, but the man needs to learn how to dress. Richard Nixon set the fashion for politicians to project authority - one whose dignity demands respect. Arnold should always wear a dark blue suit with a blue or red tie.

- Steven Dale Ahern

Woodland Hills

Simple addition

Re ``Likening tax to Holocaust outrageous'' (Their Opinions, Jan. 7):

I read Richard Cohen's article on Grover Norquist's importance in contemporary Washington and then George Bush's opinion on giving tax breaks to the richest Americans - and also the poor, who have nothing to tax.

I suggest any government officials in high places to be able to prove they at least had a C in math at some time.

- Shirley Moore

Sherman Oaks
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 23, 2004
Words:1232
Previous Article:TINSELTOWN SPYWITNESS.
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