Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/21

Shame on Rotary

Last Saturday night, my wife and I attended the Craig Ferguson comedy show at the San Luis Obispo Performing Arts Center, sponsored as a fundraiser by the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

From the first sentence spoken by the warm-up comic, the show was filthy. It seemed that neither man could complete a sentence without using the f-word, the s-word or both. We walked out as soon as it was obvious that Ferguson was as dirty as his warm-up man.

The show’s advertisements prominently featured Ferguson as the host of CBS’s Late Late Show, so it could reasonably be assumed that its content would be at a late-night level (perhaps PG-13). Instead, it was a hard R.

Either the folks at Rotary that booked this show didn’t bother to check its content or they didn’t care. Either way, shame on them. Rotary does too much good in the community to spoil its reputation with an evening of sewage — at $50 per ticket!

Phil Gray

San Luis Obispo

No offense intended

We are sorry for those who were offended by the content of the Craig Ferguson comedy night on Feb. 13, sponsored by the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. It was not Rotary’s intent to present a performer who might make some of our audience uncomfortable. In general, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback, but we are very concerned about anyone who may have taken offense by the content of the performance.

It’s always the hope that Rotary can put on an event for which we can all be proud, as well as meet our expectations in terms of financial goals so that we may continue to support the many worthwhile causes in which we are involved. After saying this, it would never be our club’s intent to place more importance on the net proceeds we raise over our reputation in the community.

We chose Craig Ferguson because we felt he would be a good draw given his growing popularity. We did our best to view clips of his comedy in order to formulate a better idea of how his performance might impact the audience, but all we really had access to were clips from his Late Late Show, on which he is clearly censored. It was our understanding that he had just taken his “show on the road” so we didn’t really have any other references from which to draw.

I can assure you that our fundraising committee will be meeting to discuss the event in detail, talk about any concerns our attendees may have had, and we will evaluate whether a performance of this type will make sense to present in the future.

Donna Lewis

President, Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Turning the corner

Richard Placak expresses puzzlement (“Where are the protesters?” Feb. 1) at the lack of protests when President Barack Obama sent troops to Afghanistan, unlike when the Bush/Cheney administration sent troops to Iraq. Below is the relevant information to enlighten Placak.

When the Bush/Cheney administration attacked Iraq in 2003, that country posed no security threat to the United States. Yet the Bush/Cheney administration deployed almost all military resources to Iraq instead of Afghanistan (the al-Qaida base). Consequently, the opportunity to uproot terrorism was lost.

A current report by the Army’s Combat Studies Institute notes that Lt. Gen. David Barno commanded fewer than 20,000 troops in Afghanistan in fall 2003 because Iraq was drawing away resources. The official report states, “Coalition forces remained thinly spread across Afghanistan.

Much of the country remained vulnerable to enemy forces increasingly willing to reassert their power.” No wonder al-Qaida has become more resourceful and sophisticated in its terrorist activities since then.

Recently, President Obama ordered deployment of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, and other countries are providing an additional 10,000 troops. After a meeting last week, the NATO officials have concluded that availability of additional troops can finally turn the corner against terrorism.

Zaf Iqbal

San Luis Obispo

Why we are afraid

In response to Bob Yarnall’s letter to the editor (“Why so afraid,” Feb. 9):

Yes, we so-called liberals are afraid!

We are afraid because George Bush and Dick Cheney brought the world to the brink of an economic collapse directly caused by their policies.

We are afraid because they led us into an unjust, never-ending war, causing untold suffering while mutilating whatever trust the world had in us.

We are afraid because you are in denial that there is something wrong with the environment, even as the polar ice caps melt.

We are afraid because you are in denial that there is something terribly wrong with a health care system controlled by the insurance industry, which makes health a matter of profit and not healing.

We are afraid because giving corporations the same rights as individuals makes a mockery out of democracy.

We are afraid because after all this and much more, you insist on kicking and screaming like baby banshees. You should go to your room, sit in a corner and think quietly about what you have done.

Finally, I am afraid because, quite frankly, my dear Bob, I believe your herd has gone mad.

Jim Conroy

Morro Bay

Poly’s tainted reputation

After reading Warren Baker’s carefully worded defense of the Cal Poly and Harris Ranch debacles in the Jan. 24 Tribune, I detected the same scent I dread when driving Highway 5 past the Harris Ranch feedlots in July.

It saddens me to say, but I believe my alma mater’s reputation for academic integrity has been deservedly damaged. I hope the harm is not irreparable, but I fear it could be unless Cal Poly’s administration acknowledges that corporate money, in this case, has been allowed to taint what is taught and learned and that plans are in place that it will not happen again.

Mary Giambalvo

Arroyo Grande