Credit to Bush
President Barack Obama killed the most feared and dangerous terrorist and mass murderer, Osama bin Laden. Congressional Republicans are now demanding the former President George W. Bush and his illegal torture interrogation methods be given credit, even though the Bush administration incomprehensibly allowed bin Laden to escape due to rank incompetence and timidity when the U.S. military had him cornered in Tora Bora, Afghanistan.
I do give former President Bush full credit for a killing, though. George W. Bush and his arrogant administration inherited a roaring economy with a budget surplus from President Bill Clinton in 2000. In eight short years, he completely killed the United States economy, leaving it in shambles for President Obama, along with the greatest deficit in America’s history.
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld will also receive full credit for authorizing the torture of captives, in direct violation of international Geneva Convention standards. I dare them to make a trip outside America’s borders, where they will be arrested and find themselves facing world court trials and certain convictions.
D. Duane Wall II
When the California State University system complains about aspects of the California Faculty Association (“CSU bristles at paying for union work,” April 28), contract readers should remember who signed off on them in the first place: the chancellor, that’s who. Among his responsibilities is negotiating with employee unions. He has done this about as well as he does everything else — poorly.
Furthermore, for CSU spokesperson Claudia Keith to say, “Why should we pay someone who doesn’t teach at all?” is, at best, disingenuous. The CSU is rife with former administrators who get six-figure salaries to do nothing at all. When highly paid administrators must be relieved of their duties, they are generally given their full salary and an office in the Kennedy Library — a room known to many on campus as “The Rubber Room.”
George M. Lewis
Cal Poly professor emeritus, Los Osos
Find peace of mind
A recent letter to the editor complained of onerous taxes and cited the author’s 35 percent federal income tax bracket. Those in that bracket who are married and filing a joint return have a minimum Adjusted Gross Income of $392,350, a level of good fortune shared by only 1 percent of the population. The gentleman from Atascadero might find greater peace of mind by spending less time counting his dollars and more time counting his blessings.
Carroll R. McKibbin
San Luis Obispo
Dirkx vs. Krauthammer
I read Phil Dirkx’s piece (“On the killing of bin Laden,” May 6); he perfectly captured my sentiments about the killing of bin Laden. Mr. Dirkx reminded me that the death of anyone, even someone considered evil, is not a frivolous form of entertainment and must not be celebrated like a touchdown in football. Even our enemies are worthy of respect for their abilities and points of view. Mr. Dirkx’s piece was important; it grounded me in civility about bin Laden and helped clarify my own understandings and feelings about his killing.
I next read Charles Krauthammer’s piece (“Evil does not die of natural causes”). I found Krauthammer’s petty piece puerile partisan politics — not edifying in the least. I abhor his inability to rise above a fatuous polemic about who gets the credit for the killing of bin Laden. His snide sniveling about the world and its problems didn’t help me clarify my thinking about the issues. Nevertheless, I respect his piece because I did go away from it with new understandings and feelings. The problem is that those understandings and feelings are about him, his ego and his insecurities, not about anything important.
Thomas A. Cyr
Los Osos water
In their recent letters, neither Michelle Tasseff nor Gene Kalland mentioned which water company served them in Los Osos. We have more than one with very different rates, as I have learned over the years.
When served by what I knew as County Area No. 9, my rates seemed reasonable. However, Golden State Water is a very different story. Before any charges are made for water use, I pay $21.55 per month for a “water service charge,” which they raise whenever they need dollars, and this is not controlled by the Public Utilities Commission.
The last time, their rather lame excuse was “to give investors a better return” or, perhaps, the CEO needed a few more million.
Tasseff must have had Golden State and Kalland is in the county section of town?
What’s the answer?
Let me count the ways:
1. Oil. The Santa Barbara oil spill 40 years ago, the BP oil spill one year ago. No more drilling.
2. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Russia, the new one in Japan. Close all nuclear plants.
3. Solar farms that disturb frogs and antelope. Can’t build them.
5. Wind farms that disturb frogs and antelope as well as make noise and kill birds.
6. Water power plants that use the energy in waves would disturb the surfers.
7. Coal. Those 33 miners trapped in Chile? Two brothers trapped somewhere back east. Nasty coal burning making nasty smoke and greenhouse gasses. Remember the acid rain of 30 years ago?
If we had known then what we know now, we would have hanged Henry Ford and Thomas Edison before they built cars and invented electricity. It’s their fault.
Now, let’s be serious. It takes $2 billion to drill for oil in Brazil. Is that our solution? Would not $2 billion used here be more useful and realistic?
What’s the answer? We all go back to riding bikes or walking, go to sleep when the sun goes down? Back to horses and oxen, huh?
Why evict now?
When the Port San Luis Harbor District purchased the Harbor Terrace mobile home park land, Senate Bill 6806 allowed the port to keep the land.
Why is the district evicting the remaining elderly inhabitants now?
“Drunk on developer’s Kool-Aid,” the district is greedy for the perceived revenue it might get from an Oakland-based developer who has seduced them by painting a glossy picture of “what ifs.”
Where is the input from Avila Beach residents? What is Avila Beach going to be like with RVs going in and out on one road? Will beach users continue coming to this peaceful place? Will they be worried about their children, pets and health?
You have here the same potential disaster scenario as the recent events in Japan: earthquake, nuclear meltdown and tsunami. With one added complication, the single emergency escape of Avila Beach Drive.
Will the public accept the negative community effects of the proposed project?
Regardless of what happens to the elderly residents, an exclusive RV facility will be a risky and noncompatible use within Avila Beach.
Pitts too much
How much longer do we have to put up with commentaries written by Leonard Pitts Jr.? It is one thing to have only one moderate commentator allowed — namely, Charles Krauthammer — but to have to put up with Pitts’ weekly articles of everything seen through the prism of race and bigotry is too much. The irony is, in many cases, those who love to accuse others of racism are, in fact, the biggest offenders.
It appears everyone Pitts and his followers disagree with is some sort of bigot. People can no longer disagree with someone without being accused of an underlying racial motive.
There are many fundamental issues that liberals and conservatives disagree on, but it appears that if liberals cannot win the argument on facts, they use the race card to end the debate. It seems that the extreme socialist liberals have pulled the Democratic party so far left that God-fearing moderates are now labeled extreme, far-right zealots.
Most Americans want the best for our country. We might have different opinions of what is best, but there is no place for race baiters, like Pitts, who only cause hatred and the end to debate.
Matthew Hoy recently wrote in his letter: “The Supreme Court did not allow corporations to make unlimited donations to politicians.” He then goes on to contradict himself: “Citizens United merely allowed corporations (and unions) to spend their own money to independently advocate for the defeat or election of a particular candidate.”
A corporation’s “own” money comes from profits, money that probably should go to investors. How the logic of his argument failed to alert him to the fact that the Supreme Court has given corporate America the same standing as a private citizen escapes me.
A corporation is “an artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state,” according to Black’s Law Dictionary. The Supreme Court gave corporations the same rights as human beings in the electoral process. Now, private citizens are supposed to compete in elections with billion-dollar organizations with coffers overflowing with cash.
Hoy argues that public unions can “now hire their own bosses.” Don’t private corporations hire their own advocates when they elect or defeat their choice of elected officials?
Wake up, America. The Supreme Court has put a spike in the throat of democracy.
Many miles walked
The Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Center and the San Luis Obispo Symphony would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in the ninth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Mile Walk and Family Fun Fair on April 30 in Mission Plaza.
Our partnership was made complete by the generous support of our Platinum Pump sponsors.
The SARP Center and the Symphony both provide free educational programs to children and teens in San Luis Obispo County schools, as well as to other community organizations and businesses. This would not be possible without the support of our community, as this year’s Walk a Mile was the most successful ever with more than 200 registered walkers.
We’d also like to thank all our vendors for making this year’s first time in Mission Plaza a fun day for all our wonderful walkers and their families who joined us on this men’s march to end sexual assault in San Luis Obispo County. A special thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who donated their time to make sure this year’s event was the best.
Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Center of San Luis Obispo County
Richard Kinz speaks of outrage at the government. He also speaks of “shades of Joe McCarthy.” Let’s be sure to give credit where credit it is due.
Indeed the same party that gave us Sen. McCarthy gave us this amendment to the 9/11 responders bill. That is the same party that was against providing any care to the responders in the first place, because of the cost, although I am sure there would have been an exception for any corporate or millionaire responders.
This is the same party that talks a good game about deficit reduction, but if we go look back over the past 30 years, we see they have increased the deficit each of the years they were in power, while talking about reducing the budget every single one of those years.
The fact that they are responsible for $10 trillion of the $14 trillion in debt should give us pause, and we should wonder what their actual agenda is for any bill or amendment that they put forward.
Better than this
Why is it that when Republicans are in office deficits don’t matter, yet when Democrats are in, the Republicans kick and scream about spending and the programs that help the elderly and needy?
The last three Republican administrations have successfully trashed our country by their sociopathic ideologies of greed and corruption. Their Machiavellian urge to justify their actions, by doing whatever it is they want at the expense of whomever or whatever to satisfy their political and personal economic gain, is now in our face.
The Republicans don’t have a policy problem, they have a mental health problem. True Americans look out for each other. We look out for those less fortunate than ourselves.
We are the most generous nation that has ever existed. Don’t let the Republicans bury that concept by pulling the proverbial rug out from the very people who not only elected them but pay their salaries as well.
We are better than this.
In his May 5 column, Phil Dirkx mentioned “remarkable people who can forgive those who harm them or their families” and said we should hope such people multiply.
He could have gotten this idea from L. Ron Hubbard’s essay, “What is Greatness?”
Hubbard said: “A primary trap is to succumb to invitations to hate. There are those who appoint one their executioners. Sometimes, for the sake of safety of others, it is necessary to act. But it is not necessary to also hate them. To do one’s task without becoming furious at others who seek to prevent one is a mark of greatness — and sanity. And only then can one be happy.”
I, and I’m sure others, who partake of the pleasures of Laguna Lake Dog Park, extend thanks to Ken Herrmann and his boss, Todd Beights, of the Park Maintenance Division of our Public Works Department. They do their utmost, with limited resources, to keep the park neat and clean for our canine friends.
A bothersome mud hole was recently eliminated by Herrmann, and our dogs will be healthier and cleaner as a result. These guys work very hard and get too little recognition for all that they do. We are grateful, and we and our dogs want them to know it.
Dr. Norm White
San Luis Obispo