The holidays were marred by sadness creeping in each time we remembered those 800,000 furloughed federal employees. Imagine being forced to report for work without pay. That is not public service, it is slavery.
Or imagine being told to stay home, without pay, through no fault of your own and not for cause. It is a complete violation of employee rights by the head of the executive branch of our government, who now says he does not care how long it goes on unless he gets the money for a border wall. And let’s get the facts right — there is no automatic restoration of back pay for those furloughed employees.
Meanwhile, the American public suffers from lack of government services, we may ultimately have to fund the wall Mexico was supposed to pay for and the economy feels the pinch of lost paychecks.
Here’s an idea — if Mr. Trump absolutely must have his wall, he should form a public/private venture and invite his loyal corporate supporters to pay for his wall.
Enough is enough. Let’s all demand an end to the shutdown, and a return of respect and pay for public servants.
Yvonne Williams, Nipomo
Here’s why I have a problem with news
Why we really are drifting away from news is because we cannot take this much longer, this constant eroding away of democracy, common sense, fairness, etc.
Follow the money. Why doesn’t it bother you that a president is only using his office for self gain?
It’s pretty transparent, he’s always been this way, but now he’s running scared, he’s gone too far, and although there’s no “for sale” sign we can see, it’s privately listed — America: SOLD!
You call it bashing Trump, I call it seeing the truth. Read “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis (1935).
Peti Johnson, Los Osos
What bowl games can teach us
Let us resolve this new year, in the season of the great bowls, to renew our “democracy” — let’s aspire to govern ourselves in the spirit of fair play we demand in football.
Who would attend sporting events if there were no boundaries, rules that apply equally to players on both sides, or impartial referees (whose decisions are subject to review)? We talk of a “level playing field,” but we have none in either our elections or in our legal system. A powerful reason why so few Americans vote is that they know the system is rigged — by the idea that corporations are “people” whose “freedom of speech” gives them the right to tilt the playing field in campaign finance, by the facts of gerrymandering and widespread voter suppression, and by the Electoral College.
Why attend a football game if your team is limited to 11 players to the other side’s 12? Let us adhere to the idea of “one person, one vote.” And “justice”? What justice if you can’t afford a legal team, of if a treasonous Michael Flynn gets far less jail time than a common car thief? Give me the Eagles vs. the Rams.
Bert Bender, Atacadero
Thanks, Dr. Mounts
Of all the obituaries I read in The Trib in 2018, the September story of Dr. Billy Mounts, M.D., touched me deeply. Dr. Mounts served as director of health services at Cal Poly when I was finishing my B.A. and getting my teaching credential in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He became more than my doctor. He became my friend. He showed interest in me and in my stories in the Mustang Daily. He contacted me if I hadn’t been in touch. This gentle, profoundly caring man, made me more aware of my own health. He saw that my need to pop antacid pills meant that I had developed an ulcer. He put me on a plan to help it heal.
The passage in Dr. Mount’s obituary that brought tears was the last paragraph. There was no request to donate to any nonprofit or community organization. Instead, “If you wish,” the obit read, “please take a moment at a sunset...to have a personal memory in your own way and place.”
And finally, this wonderful man asked readers to “...please consider taking a child on nature walk or to a ball game.”
Rest in Peace, Dr. Mounts. And thank you.
John FitzRandolph, Cambria