Protect from wandering
Recent wandering incidents lead us to question whether our loved ones with dementia are safe. Wandering, which occurs in nearly 70 percent of those with dementia, occurs when someone becomes disoriented or lost. Whatever the reason for wandering, we know it happens often, is rarely predicted, is sometimes fatal and is easily prevented.
If not found within 24 hours of being reported missing, about 50 percent of people risk serious injury or death. Even incidents that don’t end fatally can have profound effects on the family.
The Alzheimer’s Association MedicAlert + Safe Return program and Project Lifesaver are two simple ways families can protect their loved one in case of a wandering incident. MedicAlert+ Safe Return is a bracelet connected to a database containing emergency contact information. Project Lifesaver is a wristband with a unique radio frequency transmitter device. The Sheriff’s Department uses its equipment to locate the person quickly and easily. With programs such as these, we shouldn’t have to witness more tragic incidents such as the ones seen lately.
To find out more about these life-saving programs, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-272-3900 or Project Lifesaver at 1-877-548-0909.
San Luis Obispo
Like a poker game
The national economy is like a poker game.
The game is most vigorous when the chips are distributed about the table. When the chips all end up behind one player, the game comes to a halt. In economic textbooks, it is called the economic cycle: invest, produce, consume, invest, produce and consume in an endless cycle.
Two American presidents understood the metaphor and called their economic programs the Square Deal and the New Deal, and their programs acted to keep money distributed around the table. A progressive income tax took money from investments, where it was accumulating, and programs such as minimum wage, Social Security and Unemployment Compensation injected the money at the consumer stage, keeping the cycle going.
Our current president introduced national compulsive health insurance to the same end. The recent debt ceiling debate completely ignores the economic cycle, allowing a huge amount of money to accumulate in the hands of investors. Those investors have so much money that they are lending it at all-time low rates, making it wise to borrow. If the economic cycle makes any sense, it would follow that a wise economic policy would put that money into the hands of consumers.
Richard R. “Pete” Fisher
Destroying the economy
As I’m writing this, the stock market is in a nosedive after Congress’ decision to go on vacation for the month of August. The House Republicans have accomplished what they wanted: a path for economic destruction before the 2012 elections.
When Congress returns, they will appoint an economic death panel to consider more ways to destroy our economy. This panel will deadlock and therefore generate more economic disaster.
The Republicans will then be happy that they have destroyed the U.S. economy in order to stop President Barack Obama in 2012. After Obama gets reelected, maybe the Republicans can then help to get the economy back on its feet.
We are the enemy
For several years, I have been reading with interest the Letters to the Editor — but that does not mean always “with pleasure.” Most, but not all, of these letters come from the right of the political spectrum, and from those who appear to be incapable of rationally examining the very real complexities and elusive shadings of our common experience. It may be a bit generous to remark their lack of historical perspective.
During the course of our history, the conservative point of view has often proved constructive. The successful exercise of a Democrat lies in the realization that governance has its natural tensions, and that patriotic citizens of good will do not lean toward the dictatorial stance of “my way or the highway.” We should not blind ourselves to the sometimes elusive fact that such inflexibility has been, and still is, the hallmark of totalitarian societies. No political party in this great nation of ours should ever place its ambitions above the common good.
In 1813, Oliver Hazard Perry wrote in a letter to General William Henry Harrison, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” Does anyone remember the little Walt Kelly comic-strip swamp denizen, Pogo, whose paraphrase of those memorable words was that we had met the enemy and they were us?
Support our own nation
I paid cash for my Social Security insurance. Just because they borrowed the money doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handouts.
Congressional benefits — aka free healthcare — and outrageous retirement packages — 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited sick days — now that’s welfare; and they have the nerve to call my retirement “entitlement.”
What the hell is wrong? Wake up, America.
Someone please tell me what is wrong with the people who run this country. We’re broke and can’t help our own seniors, veterans, orphans, homeless, etc.
In the past months, we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile and Turkey. Our retired seniors living on a fixed income receive no aid, nor do they get any breaks, while our government and religious organizations pour hundreds of billions of dollars into food to foreign countries.
They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even thought most of us have been paying for it all our lives, and now when its time to collect, the government is running out of money.
America has become a county where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without needed meals, etc.
Imagine if the government gave us the same support they give to other countries.
Too quick to judge
So Jennifer Tolbert, in her Aug. 1 letter, overhears a conversation, makes a judgment about one party involved in the conversation and then makes the determination that this person must be one of the “self-proclaimed liberals” preaching tolerance, yet bashing others who seek to “live out what they believe.”
Judgment of others comes through in a variety of ways, via smoke and mirrors. Sometimes, people justify it under the guise of religious teachings. Sometimes, people justify it precisely because religion is not of paramount importance in their lives. It is becoming increasingly difficult for individuals to retain the ability to “live out what they believe,” because when arrogance reigns supreme, someone else always knows what’s best for the individual.
(Case in point? The debates involving abortion, circumcision and gay marriage.)
Unless Tolbert has lived an existence in the unnamed woman’s shoes, can she really offer up any valid opinion of why her intolerance of the unidentified woman is of a better variety than what was expressed by the woman in question?
The real disaster
The point of the lead editorial in The Tribune on Aug. 2 with the blazing headline “GOP puts U.S. in disaster’s path” was that budget cuts are coming at a terrible time for our struggling economy. But this was contradicted by details in two news articles in the same edition on the same subject of the debt agreement. These articles pointed out that almost all the cuts would be made in 2014 and beyond, and the actual spending cuts in the next year or two would be relatively modest in the context of a $3.7 trillion federal budget.
The real disaster heading toward us is the greater than $14 trillion national debt, and the fact that we are borrowing 40 percent of the money that the government is spending this year. It is unfortunate that it took such a confrontation to begin to address the matter.
San Luis Obispo
Set the RTA straight
Not long ago, I wrote an open letter to the Regional Transit Authority requesting it start running a bus through the town of Templeton since the North County Shuttle, which used to service Templeton, no longer exists.
Just recently, I received a reply to that request. In short, its answer was a big “no.’’
If anyone else besides me wishes the RTA would run a bus through the town of Templeton, please let it know.
Otherwise, the RTA will think that perhaps I am the only one who cares whether a bus comes through Templeton or not. Speak up or go without, my fellow Templetonians.
Write the Regional Transit Authority at 179 Cross St., Suite A, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. Or call Aimee M. Wyatt, marketing and community relations, at 805-788-2706.
Thank you for your input. It is greatly needed in order to set RTA straight.
David E. Murray
Cut foreign aid
Now we will see services cut to low-income households because Congress couldn’t cut its spending on war materials and personal perks. It always seems we get the shaft when government officials start digging into federal spending.
Cut foreign aid to any country that supports terrorism. The United States spends billions each month on foreign aid to countries without knowing where the money goes or who regulates its use. This money could be ending up in the wrong hands, and we are the losers in this deal.
Raymond C. Porter
Doesn’t anyone care?
Where is the outrage from religious leaders, and news reporters on the revelation from Jean Gerard’s Aug. 3 letter that Vandenberg Air Force Base uses Biblical quotations to allow mass genocides?
Whatever happened to the separation of church and state? How have we become a theocracy so quickly? And, doesn’t anyone care?
What a hilarious letter from Jennifer regarding a conversation she strained to hear at the gym. If she had the proper upbringing she claims to, she would not lash out at others who think differently than she. Her letter demonstrates the two-faced meaning of “God Bless” and “pray for.” I was raised in the fundamentalist culture, where those words are code for “let’s gossip about the poor, poor sinners and lowly ones.” Those overused quotes are also meant to distinguish between “us” and “them.” I’m guessing she did not approach them because deep down she knew they were right.
I bet it has been eating away at her ever since —hence an attempt to rationalize her discomfort with a diatribe to the ever-conservative Tribune. Let me be one reader to tell her that lots of Californians feel exactly the way the women at the gym feel. It’s why we live in the liberal state of California. If she likes those billboards, and she thinks public displays of phony faith are hunky-dory, not corny and medieval, it’s still a free country, Move to Texas, but leave heathenish Californians alone. Do I hear an amen?
Thanks for fair help
My wife, daughter and I recently attended a sellout Selena Gomez concert at the California Mid-State Fair. My 11-year-old daughter, Cassie, is a type-1 diabetic. During the show, her blood glucose shot through the roof to more than 400!
While shuffling to test her blood sugar in the midst of thousands of screaming teens, we dropped her test equipment through the bleachers. Concern got the better of us, and we decided to leave halfway through the show. Cassie was devastated.
While leaving, we met up with two San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputies and told them of Cassie’s condition. They called the Paso Robles Fire Department medics, who have a base at the fair. While waiting for the medics, the deputies found Cassie a chair and encouraged her to continue watching the show, which made her very happy. The medics arrived and were extremely professional and courteous, with lots of concern and empathy for Cassie.
Hats off to the true professionals at the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s and the Paso Robles Fire departments. Cassie is fine. They are true heroes. The deputies were Deputy Franklin and Deputy Silverstein. I don’t know the medics’ names, but they know who they are. Thanks.