It’s amazing how partisans on the extreme left insist on free speech for themselves but at the same time attempt to silence the opposition.
Justin Purchin (Letters, Oct. 9) and Kathleen Dewey (Letters, Oct. 10) are asking your readers to boycott Glenn Beck’s sponsors in an effort to get him off the air.
The proper, nonfascist method of dealing with opposing views which are baseless is to refute the falsehoods with facts and shine the light of truth on them.
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Of course, when an opposing view is based in fact and truth, it’s impossible to refute, and the partisan is left with only name-calling in an attempt to discredit that view by besmirching its proponents, or silencing those who have the courage to stand in opposition.
So, Mr. Purchin and Ms. Dewey, the next time you submit letters to the editor, please refrain from name-calling as it adds nothing of value to the political debate. Instead, try to present us with some examples and facts to support your contention that Beck is a rabble rouser, a race-baiter, a purveyor of paranoia, a fear monger, a xenophobe, a divider of the nation, a distorter of facts, and a homegrown terrorist.
Where does it say?
The debate over health care reform rages on. Some claim the proposals are socialistic while others deny it. Some say that a government takeover of the health care insurance industry would benefit all of us tremendously, and others feel that doing so would be the demise of the best health care system in the world.
Some say the proposed reforms won’t cost us anything and will be paid for with savings by eliminating fraud and abuse occurring in Medicare — another government-funded health care program. Others state that the cost of universal health care coverage will bankrupt the country.
So who’s right and what’s a person to believe? It’s virtually impossible for the average person to ascertain the answers to such questions because Congress has cobbled together several bills of 1,000-plus pages of legalese and is in the process of ramming them through with little or no vetting in the appropriate committees.
But here’s a question which, with minimum effort, everyone should be able to answer: What limitations does the 10th Amendment (as in the Bill of Rights) place on the federal government and which article and section of the Constitution authorizes Congress to legislate the creation of a government-run health care program? End of debate!
Let Afghans choose
President Obama is calling for a greater effort by Afghan leaders in creating a more stable and less corrupt central government before he commits thousands of more young Americans to fight and perhaps die in that country. A good decision, I think, and long overdue.
Keeping Al Queda in check is a necessity. Putting more young Americans in harm’s way in an attempt to transform Afghanistan from the tribal society it has been for centuries into a functional modern state is neither necessary nor possible.
If asking the impossible of the Afghans is a way to help us rethink and back off from a further large-scale commitment to that failed state, I welcome it.
We should concentrate on containing Al Queda through infiltrating agents into and attacking its command structure with high tech weapons.Let Afghans choose between the Taliban and their present government and limit financial and technical help to small doable projects.
If the Afghan people want to be free of the Taliban badly enough, they will fight for their freedom.
George E. Miller
Cheese demand up
Regarding “Mad ‘cows’ protest plan to cull Cal Poly dairy herd,” (Oct. 17):
As a former specialty cheese retailer from New York City, I would like to suggest that an alternative to getting rid of the precious heirloom cattle in the Cal Poly dairy program due to costs related to low milk prices is to turn that milk into artisanal cheese.
As part of the move towards sustainable, local foods, America is undergoing an artisanal cheese revolution, and some of our best product is even being exported to notorious cheese snobs in European markets, as reported by this week’s Wall Street Journal. The simplest online search reveals a burgeoning demand for regional handcrafted cheeses, topped by mozzarella and cheddar.
Apparently demand has tripled in the last decade for specialty cheeses. There are very limited SLO County sources for excellent cheese products, and this seems like a highly logical use of that luscious local milk otherwise going to waste. Our fabulous local wine industry surely deserves equally wonderful artisanal foods, including cheese!
Variety of viewpoints
As a Cal Poly alumnus and local farmer and rancher, I was amazed to hear the Michael Pollan viewpoint at the panel discussion hosted by Cal Poly on Oct. 15. Since when has a persuasive journalist with no practical or educational credentials in ag become an expert on the topic of “sustainable agriculture”?
As the top “learn by doing” agricultural university in the nation, Cal Poly certainly did justice to its students, alumni and community by bringing forth additional qualified panelists and their viewpoints based on true education and experience in the field of food production. Cal Poly has maintained the respect that it deserves by providing the opportunity to all to hear the opposing perspectives on this topic, and therefore has made available a variety of viewpoints which is after all, what a well-rounded education is about.
A poor choice
The administration of Cal Poly was faced with a clear choice: To risk depriving the students of a much needed educational facility or to teach by example (a fundamental axiom of the university) that principles must prevail over pragmatic material goals.
The Cal Poly administration has made its choice.
I sincerely hope that the students will make a more intelligent choice!
Paul M. Wolff
San Luis Obispo
The real problem
Though I appreciate Frank Mecham’s Viewpoint, “Simply put: We need water” (Oct. 8), I don’t agree with him. He concludes that “The problem is here.” But the real problem is us.
Eminent ecologist Garrett Hardin wrote the following lines in 1975:
“Don’t speak to me of shortage. My world is vast and has more than enough — for no more than enough. There is a shortage of nothing, save will and wisdom; But there is a longage of people.”
Mr. Mecham adopts the premise that population will continue to grow, so we must continue to supply its needs. That thinking corresponds with economist Kenneth Boulding’s observation that, “Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
Mr. Mecham is neither, but he and many others continue to think only in terms of supplying a growing population with what it needs when it is already well beyond time to consider Hardin’s “longage of people.” In less than 20 years Paso Robles increased its population by more than 10,000 — about 50 percent. Had it remained closer to 20,000, none of us would be wondering how to pay for the Nacimiento pipeline.