A heartfelt thanks
Recently, I visited my 95-year-old father in San Luis Obispo and one day we had lunch at a Japanese restaurant downtown. After enjoying our meal, I asked for the check. I was informed by the waiter that a fellow diner had paid for our lunch and the message was “Go for Broke.” It was an overwhelming moment and I broke down. My father is deaf and didn’t understand until I wrote him a note.
“Go for Broke” was the motto of the most decorated unit in United States history, the Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. I don’t know how our benefactor knew that my father had been part of the team. Like many veterans, he never spoke about the war, but I remember him pondering whether people would remember them.
My father said he should have thanked our benefactor. I told him the person left before us and I did not know who it was.
To that person, please accept our thank you for lunch, and for me, thank you for remembering “Go for Broke” and the contributions a boy from Chicago and his fellows made for their country.
All for Walmart
The city of Atascadero needs the Walmart project. We need the additional commerce that it will inject into the area. It will attract shoppers. It will create jobs. We need the additional commerce.
We need the additional tax revenue. I’m all for the Atascadero Walmart project.
Forward or back?
While I do appreciate Caltrans’ efforts to make the highways safer for both motorists and animals, I have to wonder how much research has gone into an animal’s response to a mild shock when delivered to its feet (“Shock awaits wildlife on Grade,” Feb. 28).
Looking at my cats’ reactions when their paws touch something they don’t like, such as a hot stove or wet cement, they are impelled rather than repelled, going forward rather than backward.
I would love to know how decisions get made about which news items appear in The Tribune. It seems important to the newspaper to highlight violent young people who commit murder and not our county’s young people who celebrate the power and beauty of language.
On Feb. 9, more than 100 people came together to watch the San Luis Obispo County Poetry Out Loud Competition, a National Endowment for the Arts sponsored recitation contest organized by ARTS Obispo.
Six high school students received standing ovations from the audience at the end of the evening. No one from The Tribune was there and no photographs were in the newspaper. A fabulous opportunity missed.
Mary Kay Harrington
San Luis Obispo
SS and budget cuts
The federal budget is awash in red ink. Something must be done about Social Security, right? If you think the answer is “yes,” you need to know that Social Security has not contributed one cent to the national debt.
Social Security is not a part of the general fund and according to www.socialsecurity.gov, will be able to pay all obligations until 2037 even without modification.
For those who still believe this is where we need to cut, consider this: Since the end of the Clinton administration, annual military spending has risen from $294.4 billion to $693.6 billion. Exxon Mobil’s profits last year were the largest of any corporation in the United States. Some Wall Street executives are awarding themselves bonuses larger than before the financial meltdown.
Those legislators most determined to convince us we can’t afford Social Security are the exact same who insisted on tax cuts for all income levels, including huge cuts for the wealthiest among us.
San Luis Obispo
Corruption the cause
It is unfortunate how many politicians on the right are using government workers as a scapegoat for their incompetent and corrupt governing. Our economic failure is not due to government workers’ pensions and benefits, it is due to corruption on Wall Street, corruption in our government in the form of special interest groups and corruption in our tax code.
Now the pawns on the right want you to believe it is the union worker that is at the root of all your problems. What these politicians aren’t telling you is that unions helped create the middle class in our country. It is the unions and collective bargaining that fight for fair wages and benefits.
The reason why it seems union workers have good benefits is because so many corporations have stripped their workers of decent wages, pensions and benefits, which used to be common in the workplace.
Instead, they are paying their executives millions in salaries and bonuses. Without unions, we are all at the mercy of greedy capitalistic corporations and the politicians who are their pawns. It is time for social change in our country. It is time to stop thinking about making the all mighty dollar on the backs of the middle class and poor.
Dale Kinney Los Osos
Spend on education
I am offended, if not disgusted, by the recent editorial titled, “Use $25M in state funds to help build women’s jail” (Feb. 20). The future of America is at stake. Our children’s educations are on the line and you are promoting spending a horrendous amount of money on inmates.
We don’t need to spend any more government money on inmates. Jail is not a luxury. People are committing crimes and are rewarded with shelter and a guaranteed meal. These inmates should be appreciative that they are given such commodities.
Maybe the focus should be on keeping people out of jail, not building a bigger one. Education is a key ingredient to a successful life. Imagine a world with illiterate children and luxurious jails. The more we take away from our youths’ education, the more criminals we will have to house.
Inmates made the decision to give up their freedom when they committed the crime. Everyone wants to find a solution to the problem, when in reality, we need to prevent the problem. Educate America’s youth and give children opportunities to be successful. We need to use our money more wisely. Put the $25 million into state funds for public education.
Decline of Carrizo
From a World Heritage site candidate to an industrial wasteland candidate, such is the decline of our Carrizo Plain in just a couple of years.
Former Board of Supervisors yahoos, with paranoid fantasies of jack-booted United Nations thugs storming the courthouse, shot down the World Heritage designation, which might have been the most noteworthy recognition our county has ever received.
Now a self-described “green” Board of Supervisors is about to do what even the yahoos wouldn’t have dared do: destroy a large part of the Carrizo by industrializing it.
When will we learn some things are just too precious to barter away? When will we learn we can’t save the Earth by destroying it?
San Luis Obispo
What will Brown do?
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is gasping in Sacramento as he and his Democratic Legislature observe the emerging national revolt against state and local government unions. Brown was elected and the Democrats retained Legislative control because of the union vote. But California’s budget problems caused by union pensions far exceed any other state.
Nationwide, state and local government unions have a 45 percent total compensation advantage over their private sector counterparts and are suffering from $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities.
Consequently, both Democratic and Republican governors across the country are taking on government unions.
But in California, with its much larger problem, what will Gov. Brown do? Will he untie his political hands and address the problem or choke the economy by ignoring the pension issue?