Is America still a country “of the people, by the people, and for the people?” Not anymore. Forty-one senators and 236 representatives — almost all Republicans — have signed a pledge to vote according to the dictates of a private lobbying group called Americans for Tax Reform.
During the recent debt-ceiling “crisis,” ATR’s leader, Grover Norquist, actually told GOP “loyalists” what they were allowed to support. To heck with what’s good for the economy or what the average voter wanted. The GOP obeyed its puppet master, ATR, which almost put our country into default to achieve its political goals.
ATR has also been linked with the American Legislative Exchange Council. This group charges corporations to suggest legislation which favors their industry. These bills are then given to GOP lawmakers who introduce them as their own legislative proposals.
In short, this is not old-fashioned lobbying. It’s political tyranny. And it’s why our government seems paralyzed to act on problems such as unemployment or the weak economy.
We are a democracy no more.
San Luis Obispo
Arroyo Grande’s centennial has been celebrated in many ways this year.
I want especially to thank my wonderful volunteer committee who organized and carried out a community Poetry Party in May, a Poetry Contest in June and Student Poet readings every Saturday from June 4 to Aug. 20.
The members were: Marlene Robinson, Janet McLaughlin, Evy Cole and Mary Giambalvo. We all thank Doc Burnstein’s and the Branch Street Deli for gift certificates for the contest winners and student poets, and our major sponsor, Altrusa Cinco Ciudades.
I also want to thank the volunteer poet-teachers who joined me in sharing 30 sessions of poetry with 19 classes of students in Ocean View and Harloe elementary schools in Arroyo Grande: Evy Cole, Margie Hurd, Mary Kleeman and Paula Lowe.
Cheers for all celebrating centennial poetry in Arroyo Grande!
Bonnie Young, 2011 SLO Poet Laureate
Thanks to French
I recently suffered a heart attack, and thank God I was treated at French Hospital Medical Center. The doctors and nurses there carry a cathedral of knowledge and care. They should be thanked by the community. I am very grateful for them.
I have heard and read the sour-grape stories about medical care and about local hospitals. I do not concur!
This hospital is a good place to be when medical care is needed. It is filled with very knowledgeable and very caring, professional people.
When I suffered my heart attack, I was beyond scared. The doctors and nurses there worked diligently and professionally to save my life.
I am and will forever be grateful to them. They do their job with integrity, care and honesty.
I aspire to never need medical attention again, but if it must be, I hope I’m near French Hospital.
San Luis Obispo
To restore sanity
In response to Tom Platz’s question (Letters, Sept. 6), the reason Sacramento and Washington go after cuts to schools is votes. Schoolkids don’t vote.
There is an old saying: When the vote is to rob Peter to pay Paul, Paul will always vote to rob Peter. So the illegal immigrants’ sympathizers and those who believe in entitlements will vote for whoever promises the most handouts.
Politicians long ago quit doing what was best for the majority and instead do what is best for their reelection. Hence such bills as the one that allows illegal immigrants education benefits.
Want to correct the problem? Recall every legislator who voted for those bills, then repeal them. Sanity will slowly return.