Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/04

Disturbing hunt

John Lindsey’s article (Birds fly up to 100 mph, arrive here in 55 hours, Nov. 22) on the brant geese navigating their way over the open ocean from the Aleutian Islands to winter quarters along various spots on our West Coast was fantastic and highly informative. But what he couldn’t cover was what happens to them after arrival.

More than 2,000 birds winter on our own Morro Bay Estuary, but they are greeted with shotgun blasts. There is a brant hunting season from mid-November to mid-December that is nicely timed with their arrival. (The general waterfowl season is roughly coincident but somewhat longer).

The hunt not only kills brant geese, but the blasts greatly disturb all of the wintering bird life from pelicans to plovers. They also disturb the human residents and especially the visitors who come here to see the wildlife. For a community that depends greatly on the tourist industry, the hunt is a bit like shooting yourself in the foot.

Dick Boyd

Morro Bay

Presidential messes

A recent letter writer to The Tribune bemoaned the need for Democrat presidents to clean up “messes” left by Republican presidents (Republican wrongs, Nov. 15).

As a matter of fact, all presidents leave some problems for their successors.

For example, Lyndon Johnson left the Vietnam war (certainly a mess) to his successor. Jimmy Carter left a moribund economy, inflation and interest rates in the teens and American hostages held by Iran for the next administration. Bill Clinton spent eight years doing lots of things in the oval office, but managed to leave illegal immigration, prescription drug coverage for seniors, terrorism and financially broken Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs for those who followed him.

And it’s not difficult to speculate about what Barack Obama will leave his successor: crippling debt, a weakened national defense, a monstrous nanny-state and significantly higher taxes that will stifle entrepreneurship, initiative and job creation for years to come.

Clearly, neither political party’s presidents have a monopoly on leaving messes.

Robert Olson

Arroyo Grande

Sewer details

The Tribune’s front page story on the Los Osos sewer saga leaves out the details of the 22 appeals to the California Coastal Commission (Los Osos farmland set for long-awaited sewer, Nov. 13). Some of these appeals are objections to the location of the treatment plant.

The County of San Luis Obispo has deemed the previously approved mid-town Tri-W waste treatment site as “socially infeasible.” It’s a political hot potato that neither the Planning Commission nor the Board of Supervisors is willing to touch. Therefore, they have selected 38 acres of Giacomazzi farmland instead.

I believe that the Giacomazzi site, located right next to the Los Osos Memorial Park, is just as “socially infeasible” as the midtown site, if not more so. The people in Los Osos Valley, a small community just outside of town, are being asked to accept a waste treatment plant that they can’t connect to and get no benefits from.

I think locating the project at the Giacomazzi site is more “socially infeasible” than the mid-town site. The Coastal Commission is the last place to right this injustice by requiring the project be moved back to the midtown site.

Don Bearden

Los Osos

Reality check

In her Nov. 19 letter purporting to correct my “falsehoods” about who opposed supporting civil rights in the 1960s, Madalyn McDaniel tries to change the debate from liberal versus conservative to Democrat versus Republican and rewrite 20th century history.

Reality check: Liberal northern Democrats and Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act; conservative southern Democrats voted against it.

Richard Nixon took advantage of this split in 1968 with his “Southern Strategy” — a coded appeal to racism — and began the Republican party’s march back into power by playing on fear and hatred of minorities.

Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater proclaimed his opposition to the Civil Rights Act in his 1964 campaign. George Bush did the same in his Senate campaign that year. Reaching back to 1872 for Republican achievement in women’s rights only shows how far back McDaniel has to go to do so, and puts her party’s sorry record of the past 50 years into sharp contrast. (And yes, conservatives did call Martin Luther King Jr. a communist and a lot worse.)

Evidently, McDaniel considers Republican party propaganda a more reliable source than “mainstream media.” She should try a history book.

Joan Carter

Morro Bay

Extremist views

The Dan Sallia family must have health insurance. As he expressed in his letter on Nov. 19, which represents the views of the most “extremist conservatives,” as long as they have it, the rest of us will just have to make due.

I use the term “extremist conservatives” because although I would be labeled a liberal, I am very conservative in the way I live my life, but understand the needs of those who now suffer because of the actions of our past “extremist conservative” administration. They gave away the store and now the American people will suffer for it.

As for the health insurance debate, liberals see the lack of health insurance and health care as “our” problem while the “extremist conservative” sees it as “your” problem. Sallia’s example of health care through the emergency room really is an oxymoron to his statement that conservatives have huge hearts of compassion. The key word is emergency room; try going there for a checkup before it becomes an emergency?

Thanks for your “hearts of compassion,” and by the way, calling for the death of a president is a serious federal crime and would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Rex Farris

Grover Beach

Try going hungry

How do these guys sleep at night? The right hates public education, public health care, Social Security and any attempt to moderate climate change as Socialism.

Robert Rector, an “analyst” for the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, actually derides a report showing that 49 million Americans either go hungry or eat substandard food at some point during the year, trying to make ends meet. (I use the word “think” loosely).

“Very few of these people are hungry. When they lose jobs, they constrain the kind of food they buy. That is regrettable, but it’s a far cry from a hunger crisis.”

Do these people ever in their black “Christian” hearts “think” of anyone but themselves? Rector represents everything that is wrong with the way the conservatives see the world. These people are no more Christian than they are American.

Let’s cut off his food for a week or so. Maybe that would change his thinking.

Ken Cirisan

San Luis Obispo

Abortion a legal right

When the House of Representatives passed its version of a health care bill, it contained an amendment that should never have been introduced. The amendment hijacks a woman’s reproductive rights and takes the focus off of what millions of Americans need — health care.

Abortion is a legal procedure and ought to be left to a woman, her family and her doctor to decide, not legislators. This is a blatant removal of women’s rights and this abortion clause should be removed from the health care bill.

Keep the focus on providing health care and not taking it away.

George Nauful

Arroyo Grande

Undervalued oil

I do worry that we simplistically undervalue the last oil still remaining in United States territories. All our military aircraft and heavy armor need gas to fly and move. If we run out of oil before other countries do, we put our own defense at incredible risk.

It has been a good 5,000 years since the beginning of the Egyptian civilization and smart mankind has only been able to invent and use gasoline-powered vehicles in just the last 100 years of that. But in that time, a significant amount of the entire world’s known oil supply was used. So the odds of inventing equally formidable “rechargeable electric” or “solar-powered” F-15s within the next 100 years doesn’t look too good.

Maybe we should be thinking about planning to be the last country to have oil rather than the first lose it. Our great- great-great-grandchildren might then be safely around to bless us for it.

Andy Reichert

Arroyo Grande