Thanks, film fest
We would like to acknowledge the great opportunity and honor of hosting some of the screenings of this year’s San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. The variety and depth of subject matter and the passion and devotion of the filmmakers inspires all of us.
Thank you to Wendy Eidson and all of her staff and volunteers. You are all so professional and dedicated to bringing this huge event to our county. It is a tremendous effort and a tremendous success. Congratulations.
We also want to encourage the public to take advantage of the creative storytelling, the entertainment, the inspiration and enlightenment and the education that the films bring to our area.
Never miss a local story.
Shelley Malcolm and Garin Sinclair
La Perla del Mar Chapel, Shell Beach
War brings pain
Please reconsider how threats, wars and occupations are working. As a veteran who participated in the Vietnam War, which resulted in the killing of hundreds of thousands of women and children, I understand that war, the ultimate violence, brings extreme pain, grief, humiliation and despair and results in vengeance rather than security or peace.
Where will we learn?
Joe Tarica’s column about the disgraceful state of California’s educational system is right on (“State of our public schools is a disgrace,” March 21). The best insurance for a prosperous future is an educated populace. Cutting education to the bone is like leaving your luggage at home to save the $15 charge at the airport. When you get to your destination, you have only one suit of clothes, and a mighty rumpled one at that!
Junior colleges throughout the state are experiencing record enrollment as the unemployed and underemployed seek to retrain themselves, only to find that the classes they need have been canceled. All to the tune of the relentless drumbeat of “no new taxes.”
Where will the next generation learn the skills necessary to survive and prosper in the 21st century? India? China? Somewhere education is valued?
School is worse now
I find myself agreeing with Joe Tarica (“State of our public schools is a disgrace,” March 21). As a former county student and a current college student, I can confirm, school is worse now than ever before.
Not enough teachers, too many students. Soon the buses will stop running because the district has no money to pay for them. At what point did it become acceptable to let our children be stupid? At what point was it decided that these bus drivers, counselors and teachers who have worked diligently for the state deserve to get fired because our government is incapable of a proper budget?
Leaning Pine is fine
I urge everyone to, as soon as possible, visit the Leaning Pine Arboretum on the Cal Poly campus. (www.leaningpinearboretum.calpoly.edu.)
I was there recently and had the place to myself. With the recent rains and sunny weather, this little-known gem of a botanical garden is putting on quite a show. In particular, be sure to visit the South Africa Garden: you will be treated to a spectacular sight of clusters of low trees in full bloom of purple and pink.
Hurry — don’t wait!
A right to health care
Finally, despite the innumerable protestations of Republicans obsessing about the possibility that the new health care bill might possibly contain a loophole allowing a woman and her doctor to jointly make medical decisions, the health care bill has been passed.
Watching the televised speeches on March 21, I have lost whatever respect I had for the naysayers and bombasts who fought with such disrespect and lack of dignity against this bill. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, you were among them.
Thanks to Rep. Lois Capps, who with vigilance, dedication and persistence, supported us in Washington, D.C., and to President Barack Obama, who risked his political career on this one cause: that all of us have a right to health care.
Jeanne and John Dukes
What was said
Critics called it “a cruel hoax and a delusion,” a socialist program that would compete with private insurers and kill jobs. If it passes, Americans will feel “the lash of the dictator” and “end the progress of a great country.”
One New York Republican representative said, “Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers.” We were told that to cooperate with it would be “complicity in evil.”
Am I describing the outcry against Obamacare? No. Those quotes are from prominent Republican opponents of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare in 1965. Same party as today though. Same fear-mongering, same predictions that the sky would fall if America extends a hand to its most needy.
And now today’s Republicans must slouch back to their districts and explain why a bill that prevents insurers from refusing to cover you, or canceling you if you get sick, is somehow the work of the devil. They’ll find a way.
San Luis Obispo
For the people
The only problem with the headline, “As end nears, health care tilts Obama’s way” (March 20), is it’s not supposed to be President Barack Obama’s way. This country is governed by the people, for the people, not ruled from Washington, D.C. To have something crammed down our throats to suit someone’s power grab is not why this country was founded, but that’s what is happening.
This whole administration is a disgrace to this free country and the valiant people that have given of themselves for its betterment.
Obama’s next grab
Now that we’ve had time to digest (and celebrate!) the implications of Obamacare, it’s time to ask some tough questions. How much longer are we going to need this Constitution thing anyway? Didn’t the philosophy of John Locke perish in the flames of the 20th century?
With no rational basis for morality, in the wake of Friedrich Nietzsche, what moral construct remains as a foundation for our next Constitution?
And finally, if it is true what Thomas Jefferson said, that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” then shouldn’t President Barack Obama’s next big grab be for our guns?
Shift in opinion
On March 21, Republicans in the House of Representatives were shouting to defeat the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because that was “what the American people want.”
A USA Today/Gallup poll taken just after the bill’s signing shows that 49 percent of the “American people” believe that the law that President Barack Obama signed is “a good thing.”
If other polls confirm this shift in public opinion, does the Republican obstructionism putatively on behalf of “the American people” make any sense?
Max Riedlsperger San Luis Obispo
Just recently, 219 Democrats in the House of Representatives narrowly passed a health care bill which killed the best health care system in the world. They stomp-ed on the United States Constitution and ignored their constituents’ wishes.
Washington has treated the American voter as if they are helpless children, assuring the American people that the bill is good even though Congress cannot explain what is in it or that they are exempt from its provisions.
Congress has forgotten that it is they who serve the people and not the other way around. In November, the people can use their vote to inform Congress that the people are the boss.
A silver lining
Now that passage of the health care act is a done deal, hopefully those who have single-mindedly attacked it over the past months, focusing exclusively on how it will negatively affect their own personal interests, will have the simple human grace to acknowledge that health coverage of 32 million previously uninsured individuals is at least a modest silver lining.