Recently, to obedient, adoring hurrahs, a Conservative Political Action Conference orator railed that the Founding Fathers met to “strike down big government.”
So 55 of the wealthiest colonial, white male landowners took four months off in growing season and traveled to Philadelphia to “un-create” a central government? This, after Shay’s Rebellion in Massachusetts by starving, poverty-stricken farmers (who marched and demanded relief from financial slavery) were gunned down by a “well-regulated militia”?
No, the 500 colonial landowners sent their delegates to create a central government that would put an end to such rebellion. Read “Federalist Papers” No. 10 and 84. Where is the word democracy even mentioned in the Constitution? Voters were limited by states to wealthy white males.
Today, sitting-on-their-hands “moderates” (the real majority) might still be moved to save our country from conservatives by discovering our actual history. We can take great pride finding real patriots/struggles that have arisen to free the U.S. from the continuing thuggery of corporatists. Read “Democracy For The Few” by Michael Parenti.
It’s astonishing to see brave Egyptians passing us going in the opposite direction! They have a grand-sounding constitution too.
I am writing this letter in the interest of our society in general to point out that human beings make mistakes and at times break the laws of our society.
I became concerned recently when I read the article concerning the current conditions at the women’s jail facility (“No room at the jail,” Feb. 20).
We need to realize that most women in jail are mothers. And I don’t care what detractors say, most children need their mothers.
Therefore, we can’t crowd women into a closet and expect them to rehabilitate themselves. They need space, counseling, routine visitation with their children and drug counseling.
We need to find the funds, and if it means cutting off aid to dictators who abuse their own people, then so be it. In my opinion, as a member of the baby boomers crowd and raised by two World War II Army veterans, we need to establish the correct priorities in this country if our republic is to survive.
San Luis Obispo
A mother’s lessons
My mom, Patti Harsch, is well-known throughout the county as being the leader of a belly dance troupe, a choreographer and a dancer for more than 30 years.
She has appeared in The Tribune numerous times, on television and on the local radio.
You’ve no doubt seen her troupe perform at parades, the Strawberry Festival, on the waterfront and many other locations. She has taught hundreds of women of all shapes and sizes to love their bodies just as they are.
What has she taught me? To always be polite and respect those around you. To never judge anyone because you do not know what that person has endured. To not strike out in anger, no matter how much someone has hurt you. To be compassionate and to share love with those who walk this earthly plane with you.
My mom is the embodiment of selflessness, strength and love. She is my hero, my inspiration and my best friend. Best of all, she has never once made me eat all of my vegetables.
Always a race to run
It’s a comfort to know that Abel Maldonado will never be unemployed as long as there is a public office, somewhere, for which he can run (“Maldonado will face Capps in 2012 race for House,” Feb. 26).
As he gears up for yet another campaign, Maldonado should know that many of us want our politicians to stand for more than their own incessant ambition (are you paying attention, Sam Blakeslee?).
San Luis Obispo
Tucked into a corner column on page 5 of the newspaper on Feb. 28 was what may be the most exciting story of the century: a way to wean ourselves from foreign wars, unethical relationships with despots, Earth-killing pollution and economic disaster (“Nation Roundup”).
Of course, that story can’t compete with the picture of four actors, an old politician and a story about mercury thermometers you thought merited the front page instead.
In the tiny article, we learned that a Massachusetts biotechnology company says that it can now produce limitless diesel fuel or ethanol using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. Can you please find out more about this and share it with your readers? It is huge news!
San Luis Obispo
Attack someone else
Missed birthdays, holidays, field trips and band concerts. No complaints. Being spit on, cursed at, shot at during the Los Angeles riots, pelted with rocks during the Poly Royal riots and stuck with a junkie’s hypodermic needle. No complaints.
Up all night keeping watch over you, who sleep peacefully in bed while we patrol the neighborhoods keeping you safe. Never saying one bad word about private sector employees making millions during the dot-com days and not begrudging anyone their holiday bonuses and gifts. Nobody enters law enforcement or fire service for the money. Nobody.
We earn our paychecks and our benefits and I will not apologize for the salary I have come to earn after 26 years of service. I am not “greedy.” I am not a “cry baby,” and if you think you can do my job, then come on. Do it.
You want my pay and my benefits, then start applying. Put yourself through the academy and get a job. Otherwise, find some other scapegoat to attack.
Binding arbitration is a democratic, responsible and problem-solving process! Carroll R. McKibbin’s rant (“Restore local control,” Feb. 22) on the evils of binding arbitration is just the same tone as extreme Republican ideologues. Just hammer away at any topic long and hard enough and someone is bound to believe you. Never mind the reasoning.
Binding arbitration is good because, after all else fails, an expert, wise in the world of other ideas and opinions, weighs in on a local problem and renders a solution. All local politics are set aside.
This sort of problem solving rattles the minds of present-day Republicans because they have been carefully taught to be biased and uncompromising. They want their way or it’s the highway! Life was so much simpler and pleasant when we had moderate Republicans!
Protection isn’t free
Just what is your life and safety worth to you? What about your family’s safety? Would you work in a career where you are virtually guaranteed a shorter life span and poorer health in your old age? Would you be willing to give up Thanksgiving and Christmas year after year to be on duty protecting others?
The media continues to point at the salaries and benefits of police and fire employees and the time has come to stop. We don’t blink over professional athletes being paid millions of dollars. Would one of them take a bullet to protect your life or pull your child from a burning building?
Yes, times are tough. But let’s not go off the deep end and attack those people who put themselves in harm’s way so that you and I can feel secure and safe.
Frankly, my family’s lives and well-being are worth much more than what police and fire personnel are currently paid. If I’m in danger, I want the best protecting me, and the best don’t come free (or cheap)!
Earning their pay
As a wife of a firefighter, I can no longer sit silently and listen to the public and the media trash my husband’s profession. These public servants work 24-hour shifts and sometimes are away from their families for 48 hours, 96 hours or even two weeks at a time.
They may work Christmas, Thanksgiving and their kids’ birthdays. The sleep deprivation is huge, they are often up three to four times after midnight to run calls and if lucky, steal two to three hours of sleep a night, if at all.
They are exposed to very stressful situations that most people will never encounter in their lifetime like diseases, infections, death, gangs, violence, crazy people, depressing situations, domestic abuse, child abuse and toxic chemicals. These women and men run into a burning building while you are running out.
Their pay and benefits reflect the risks they take on a daily basis. They could literally go to work and never come home. Before the media reports on one more firefighter or police officer being paid too much, please do your homework.
Put yourselves in their shoes. Their job takes a big toll on their bodies, minds and families.
Someday, they could risk their lives to save yours.
The country is broke, unemployment is high and money is scarce. People are getting more desperate and looking for a scapegoat. First it was illegal immigrants, now it is public employees and their pensions.
Public employees are not at fault for the loss in revenue. Major contributors are the corrupt banking industry and wars in foreign countries. The average bonus at Goldman Sachs in 2010 was close to $500,000! All from a company that our hard-earned tax dollars bailed out. How much was your raise and bonus this year?
I am a state employee who pays into both my retirement and Social Security. State employees do not get raises or bonuses when the state is in a recession. I will be working well into my 60s before I can afford to retire.
Picking on the folks who work for a living and receive a small pension after 30 years of service is not productive. Yes, a large percentage of the budget is paying for salaries, benefits and pensions. The money goes toward providing you a service and giving people employment. Business owners and corporations will cut off their nose to spite their face by continuing this attack on the middle class. We will no longer have the cash to buy your products. We will all lose.
San Luis Obispo