Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/03

Undemocratic action

Is there an emerging arrogance against the “majority” these days?

Our county, ignoring local “majority” opinion, actually jailed a rancher for illegally helping the homeless. A local minister, opposing California’s “majority” referendum banning gay-marriage, said such balloting threatens democratic values. A bishop, disregarding an electorate’s “majority” position on abortion, advised a politician to refrain from communion.

Though well-meaning, all these actions are essentially undemocratic. They would replace majority will — implemented and designed to protect minority rights — with religious doctrines or narrow secular legalisms.

This Republic guarantees all “rights” ultimately through “We, the people.” Informed citizens, though imperfect, ironically are our best defense against those evils historically imposed by zealots or radical minorities. Certainly, the morality of many citizens remains a religious responsibility, as compliance with law (and its associated checks and balances) remains a secular one, but selectively opposing “majority rule” is the path to tyranny, not justice. Let the truth compete! Our founders, whether religious or secular, believed unleashed truth would eventually — and surely — triumph.

Dan Biezad

San Luis Obispo

Don’t be bought

We have been studying slavery in the South and how progress during the Reconstruction period was cut short by black codes. It seems that we have all been put back to the level of sharecroppers with the decision of the Supreme Court this week (Supreme Court lifts campaign spending limits,” Jan. 22).

The corporations were just given the power to take away our vote. What power do we have against them? We could quit buying from corporations, but that would be about as easy as not getting goods from the company store. Government in the United States and big business will become indistinguishable. Check the definition; that is fascism. If you think big business cares about your well-being, look at slavery in the South.

What can we do? Now is the time for people to take bold action before the eye of the hurricane hits. Can we impeach Chief Justice John G. Roberts for the high crime of undoing democracy? Can we pass an amendment to the Constitution asserting the right of real live people, and not corporations, to influence the outcome of elections?

Can we quit watching TV commercials at least, especially political ones? Maybe we can refuse to be bought.

Adrienne Dickinson

San Luis Obispo

How to stop a car

What to do if the accelerator pedal on your car sticks open? I have a hard time believing so many people don’t understand that all you have to do is turn off the ignition switch to stop the car (Automaker’s halt of sales brings loads of questions,” Jan. 28).

If for some strange reason the motor does not stop, then shift into neutral. Sure the motor will be hurt, but you won’t crash.

That question should be on every driver’s license test. If you miss it, you should not get a license.

Doug Odom

Arroyo Grande

Our streets

I am dismayed at the way the Farmers Market merchants are being treated by the Downtown Association. Why has the Downtown Association suddenly terminated without notice its agreement with the merchants?

The streets belong to all of us, not the Downtown Association, and I would venture a guess that most of us would like to see a thriving Farmers Market continue with merchants from both large and small farms.

Susan Robinson

Paso Robles

Why the change?

I’ve been a resident of San Luis Obispo for 38 years. My husband and I reside in “old town.” We were living here during the transition from “Cruise Night” (on Marsh and Higuera Streets) to Farmers Market more than 27 years ago. We have seen the evolution of Farmers Market from being a local event to what is now a major tourist attraction. This is mostly due to all the hard work that has been done by the San Luis Obispo County Farmers’ Market Association in conjunction with the Downtown Association.

We are firm believers that the Farmers’ Market Association should continue to manage the market. After all, it was the farmers who banded together many years ago to make the vision of Farmers Market come through and to provide fresh produce to our community and visitors.

It’s unclear to us as to what has taken place which caused the Downtown Association to take the action that they did without prior notification or discussion. We do wonder if the underlying issue is that the Downtown Association wants to control money which rightfully belongs to the farmers.

We support the Farmers’ Market Association’s decision to appeal and would like to see them continue to manage the market.

Fay Guerre

San Luis Obispo

In support of IHSS

I applaud County Social Services Director Lee Collins for his outspoken support of the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, the clients and providers (“State money unnecessary, services chief says,”  Dec. 24). Nowhere else in the U.S. is there such a compassionate caregiving program of this magnitude. 

County IHSS caregiver fraud is minor. In San Luis Obispo County, we take care of our own to the best of our ability — the government, families, the providers and our union. No system is perfect, people are not perfect and IHSS is not perfect. But we are compassionate and no price can be placed on that.

As a family member, I would be willing in the future to publicly debate the great benefits of the IHSS program with anyone in our county. 

Paula Fisk Lozano

Paso Robles

USA Inc.

Election reform has long been needed, now the situation is desperate (“Supreme Court lifts campaign spending limits,” Jan. 22). What can the Supreme Court be thinking? Have they already been bought by the corporations that want to own the country: USA Inc.? Action should be swift and to the point.

Meg Crockett

San Luis Obispo