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Mailbag:

Carlin provided us human insight

July 02, 2008

What a waste of ink that insipid self-serving column was — and about a dead man no less (“Who’s laughing now that Carlin’s met his maker?” July 1).

Jim Carnett wonders if “when George Carlin felt the onset of a fatal heart attack, did he experience joy or panic? We can’t know.”

Really? Take a wild guess. What Carlin so brilliantly conveyed is the question of “Is there a God?” is the thing we can’t know. You have to have faith in, as George said, “an invisible man in the sky that will harm you and damn you to hell for not being a Christian ... but he loves you ... and needs money.”

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He also said, “If God is so great why does everything he creates die?” Mmmm.

Carnett concludes by citing his belief system of opting for one fairy tale over another: “To my mind, the thoughts of a medieval mystic are superior and certainly more comforting to the fumings of a 21st century cynic.”

George Carlin had in his “fumings” (dozens of albums, hours of original comedy, bestselling books) as much if not more insight into the human condition as any religious text, and thankfully in 21st century language. Plus, besides the resulting self examination after hearing or reading what he had to say, he made us laugh and laugh hard.

If Carlin did in fact meet his maker, I bet he said something like, “I knew you would let me in, no matter what I said down there. How could you not? Oh, and can you spot me a $20 untiI get a gig? I forgot my wallet.”

GREGG PETERSON

Newport Beach

Another 55 lane will be only partial relief

I read with interest Van Tran’s Forum article about adding another lane to the 55 Freeway to reduce traffic congestion (“Adding another lane to 55 Freeway is a start, not end,” June 27).

Unfortunately, this will only provide temporary and partial relief to the heavy traffic on this freeway. Adding a single lane will hardly be noticeable and will in fact make travel more intolerable during the construction period.

Morning and afternoon rush periods are horrible and will get worse with our continuing population growth. The long-term solution that needs to be considered is to extend the 57 Freeway down the Santa River flood control channel to Pacific Coast Highway.

Extending the 57 Freeway south along the Santa Ana River flood control channel is readily achievable. It must be elevated above the river so as not impede water flow during our wet periods. Construction would not cause eminent domain property loss because it would be on the flood control channel right-of-way.

This 57 Freeway extension would greatly relieve traffic on the 55 because it provides a parallel northern artery. If the 57 were extended to Pacific Coast Highway, it would also help relieve traffic at the southern end of the 55 by providing an alternative freeway entrance/exit. A side benefit is that surface feeder street traffic is reduced because of the easier access to northbound freeways.

I am a Costa Mesa resident. My wife and I travel the 55 Freeway often, and we believe there would be great benefit to extending the 57 to ease traffic on the 55.

CHARLES GROVE

Costa Mesa


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