Can’t be trusted
At the San Luis Obispo city budget review meeting, staff proposed eliminating the Golf Course Enterprise Fund as a way to save some nominal administrative charges. Enveloping it into the parks & recreation budget would also disguise the now glaring $300,000 annual subsidy from the General Fund to keep this special interest course afloat.
The Multi Dwelling Housing Association receives a $200,000 annual subsidy, burdening the taxpayer for two-thirds of the cost of the state-mandated fire and safety inspections on their properties.
The Chamber of Commerce gets $200,000, supposedly to promote the city. As the main driver to overturn public safety employees’ bargaining rights, one has to wonder if some of this taxpayer money will not be used by the Chamber for this campaign.
In any event, the supposed savings from the pension ballot measure, $500,000 after five years, could be saved now by eliminating just a couple of these highly suspicious expenditures. These frivolous amounts are just the tip of the iceberg; what is needed is a line-by-line accounting of all the hidden giveaways in the city budget.
The past and present city councils and administrations have demonstrated they cannot be trusted to administer disbursements nonpolitically.
San Luis Obispo
Keep letter handy
Can we all just hang on to Matt Kokkonen’s June 3 letter, so he won’t have to spend any money in his next campaign telling us what his views are?
But then, if we do remember, that might not be a good thing (for him).
Crime & consequence
As I read the May 27 article, “Assembly OKs immigration opt-out,” I seriously contemplated a move to Arizona. How does checking someone’s fingerprints against a database lead to racial profiling? People are in jail because they did something that gave a cop probable cause to believe they committed a crime. The last time I checked, people don’t get arrested for a traffic violations. Normally, you’re issued a citation and sent on your way. Unless of course the traffic violation involves something serious, such as driving under the influence, attempted evasion, hit and run or an outstanding warrant.
Families being ripped apart — a reason cited in the article for why California is opting out of the immigration status checks — is a consequence of violating the law. If you get sent to prison for doing something illegal, naturally your family is ripped apart.
Enter the country illegally, and you have committed a crime. I don’t care how you sugarcoat it, whitewash it or otherwise spin it — the fact is it’s a crime. If you are found to be here illegally, you get turned over to immigration and deported. Ipso facto, you were convicted of the crime of entering the United States illegally.
Consider your vote
As Sarah Palin ramps up her bid for the presidency (“Palin’s looking a lot more like a candidate,” May 17), I hope those who have blithely assumed the Republican Party has America’s best interests in mind will take note. Clearly, Palin is a political and intellectual lightweight with little or no chance of gaining the nomination. Even most Republicans share that view.
But she does have a real shot at influencing the 2012 Republican Party platform. And that’s testimony to the party’s cynicism toward the American people. Remember: it was their elected nominee, John McCain, who with a straight face chose her as a running mate. And it was the Republican Party that then cheered her on.
She won’t be there in November 2012. But when you vote, for the presidency and for legislators, please consider whether you would elect candidates from a party that would hypocritically present such a person as a viable commander of America’s best interests.
Warm and cold
The juxtaposition of two related articles, “As ice melts, Arctic interest grows,” and “GOP hopefuls shift on global warming,” (Page B5, May 29) was wonderful. Even as evidence supporting global warming becomes more abundant and apparent every day, GOP candidates and others in denial about our changing climate engage in a delicate dance with the truth, avoiding it whenever votes might be at stake.
Paradoxically, the warming of the Arctic will make available even more fossil fuels, assuring that we can continue to add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere for decades to come. A report from the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Science last year stated that “Climate change is occurring, is very likely caused primarily by the emission of greenhouse gases from human activities, and poses significant risks for a range of human and natural systems.”
On the other hand, Oklahoma’s Sen. James Inhofe maintains that global warming is a hoax (spoofed in cartoon on editorial page).
Sadly, GOP candidates for president seem closer to Inhofe than to the NAS. As Mark Twain once quipped, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” To paraphrase Benjamin Disraeli, there are lies, damned lies, and politicians.
Honoring Flight 93
Thanks for your May 30 Viewpoint on honoring the heroes of Flight 93. Suggestion: How about printing the names of those who were on that flight for Memorial Day/week; but also, definitely on every anniversary of 9/11?
Mention of it just reminded us of the movie “Flight 93,” and we are going to see it again soon!
Sarge and Nancy Edwards
Nugget of knowledge
There was a recent letter to the editor in which the writer stated that he was fed up with the Republican Party and was finally going to register as an Independent. Good for you! It seems as though everyone’s pretty confused about which side of the political fence they fall on these days, even the politicians themselves.
However, I have a feeling that the writer was meaning to register as “Decline to state.” This means you are declining to state an affiliation with any political party, but are still allowed to vote.
When it comes time to vote in the primary elections, you get to choose whether you’d like to vote on a Democrat or Republican ballot (the two parties who allow decline-to-state voters to vote in their respective primaries). In all other elections, you vote as usual.
Registering as an Independent makes you a member of the American Independent Party, which is a political party like all the others. They have seen a steady increase in registered voters in recent years because of this exact mistake. So please, do your research and choose wisely.
A quick thanks to my high school government teacher, Mr. Gary Peters, for giving me this nugget of knowledge.
Review Smart case
Fact: It is nearly impossible for a writer to proofread his own work. You know what you think you wrote, so you see what you thought you wrote.
The same thing has to be true in an investigation: If you send the same people that originally investigated a case back to review that case, they will see what the thought they saw the first time and overlook small items that are often smoking-guns.
Please, Sheriff, allow an outside agency to work with your team to review the mountains of evidence in Kristin Smart’s case. Please.
De facto apartheid
Mr. A.B. Solomon suggests in his recent letter that President Barack Obama is wrong to expect Israel to follow international law and return to its 1967 borders. As a comparison, he offers Texas and California, which the United States won in war. He says that since we do not cede these back to Mexico, how can the U.S. expect Israel to give up conquered lands?
I’d like to point out that when the U.S. conquers any territory, it has always been returned to the people living there (Japan, Germany, Iraq, etc). When the U.S. keeps the land, it always gives the people living there equal rights under the law.
Israel, on the other hand, denies any rights to the occupied Palestinians, while Jewish settlers have all civil and legal rights in the occupied territories. In other words, there is a system of apartheid set up, where the occupied people are denied equal rights for one simple reason: They are not Jews. The United States should not support this for moral and legal reasons.