Not parallel wars
I’m afraid that Richard Placak (“Where are protesters?” Feb. 1) has drawn unwarranted parallels between the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. On Sept. 11, the U.S. was attacked by a group of men whose leader and organization were based in Afghanistan, and we suitably initiated action against them.
Unfortunately, the Bush administration then took its eye off the ball, which was the elimination of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, and pursued a war of choice in Iraq, which has proved to be costly and pointless.
We are now trying to extricate ourselves from Iraq and have returned to our main focus in Afghanistan, where the Iraq misadventure gave time for al-Qaida and the fundamentalist Taliban to reconstitute themselves, notably in the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan.
We worry, justifiably, that Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons, will become a “failed” state and to prevent this, we and our NATO allies are sending more troops to Afghanistan to support the Karzai government and deny its enemies any safe haven, while allowing the Pakistan army to assert control in the areas known to support al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Clement Salvadori Atascadero
The thin blue line
I have read the different responses online regarding the Arroyo Grande Police department and a new facility (“Feeling the squeeze down at the station,” Feb. 15).
Arroyo Grande is very lucky to have such fine men and women walking that thin blue line, protecting you from the criminal element.
Those of you objecting to the new facility should at least go on a ride-along with a police officer.
I worked at the Arroyo Grande Police Department in the early 1990s, and back then, it was a small department. Today’s police officers deserve the best that can be afforded.
That thin blue line is getting thinner. Then what will you whiners do when you need protection?
Alex Valencia Santa Ynez
A different motto
It’s nice to see how the county and city of San Luis Obispo seem to believe that being politically correct is more important than safety.
Recently, Supervisor Adam Hill and his followers convinced the Airport Land Use Commission to allow the homeless campus on Prado Road and South Higuera Street.
The Tribune’s article stated that the focus on the homeless rather than safety irked several commissioners (“Commission OKs shelter in flight path,” Feb. 18). Then why did they approve it?
In the Feb. 19 issue of The Tribune, there is an article about how the airport is receiving a grant to bring in more flights (“Grant may bring in new flights,” Feb. 19). So now we increase the risk?
Recently, the City Council gave several developers permission to ignore their responsibility to retrofit their dangerous buildings until 2015. Maybe the City Council, Hill and the cowards on the airport commission made a deal with Mother Nature and the higher powers to stop any potential man-made (plane) or natural disasters that might actually endanger people’s lives.
I suggest a new San Luis Obispo city and county motto: “political correctness before safety.” Unfortunately, the higher powers and Mother Nature can’t be controlled, and they don’t take cash.
Michelle Tasseff San Luis Obispo
The GOP’s year
I am a member of an endangered species as a Republican voter living in a “blue” state.
However, I do not see the necessity of Mark Burnes (“Palin’s time is up,” Feb. 17) to use name calling to get a point across.
I do not believe Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, but I do get satisfaction out of the fact that she has apparently struck a nerve in Democrats and liberals. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be spending so much time trying to discredit her!
I also believe she represents what a lot people in the country are feeling about now. After all, fair’s fair; we have had to tolerate Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer and other Democrats. Maybe this is our year!
Edith E. Welter Atascadero
I had been searching for the right characterization of Sarah Palin ever since John McCain did the big disservice of bringing her onto the national stage.
The words that came to mind were nuts, screwy, lame, scary, wacko, bizarre and befuddled.
Although they all fit to a certain degree, stupid really sums it all up, and I thank you, Leonard Pitts Jr., for your commentary. (“Run, Sarah, to show us if we’ve turned to ignorance,” Feb. 14)!
Richard Mortensen San Luis Obispo
Heads up California taxpayers. You will be paying an additional $211 per child this year when you file your California 2009 income tax return. The reason for the increase is due to the dependent exemption credit decrease from $309 to $98.
Unlike the federal return, California exemptions are a direct reduction of your tax liability. With my two dependent children, I am paying $422 more in California taxes this year than I did in 2008. Despite the exemption credit change, the state did not increase my 2009 withholdings, so I owe the additional California tax even though I am getting a refund on my federal return.
Due to the lack of an increase in withholdings, I believe the state will also be collecting more in underpayment penalties as well. I can’t believe the state can project a $14 billion deficit (“State braces for a repeat fiscal crisis,” Feb. 15) when it will be collecting an additional $211 for every dependent child in California. We must be in worse shape than I thought.
Bob Hushing-Kline Atascadero
Faith in our choices
I can’t wait until the televised meeting with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on health care reform Thursday. On that day, providing scheduling changes, President Barack Obama will be mopping the floor with Republicans. Our president will rid the “no” party of the tactics of fear and misinformation that they have been using.
Our president has been up against two of the biggest, wealthiest powers on the planet Earth: the Republican party and the health insurance industry. They want to bring him down, or as they would put it, put him in his place.
Let us pray the Republican party nominates Sarah Palin as its presidential candidate. No thinking person can believe her capable of managing a popcorn stand, much less the United States.
And Rush Limbaugh, after his last comfortable stay in the hospital, said we have the best health care system in the world?
Take heart, fellow Democrats and independents, who have been so disheartened. We must have faith in our choices in 2008 and believe in the power of good over evil!
Bonnie Condict Paso Robles
What’s Boxer done?
Now that U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer has filed for re-election, I have to ask this question again: After 10 years in the House of Representatives and subsequently 18 years in the Senate, can anyone tell us what Sen. Boxer has done for California?
George Santos Cambria
Pitts wrong on Palin
As usual, Leonard Pitts Jr.’s commentary is totally wrong on his analysis of Sarah Palin and the American people (“Run, Sarah, to show us if we’ve turned to ignorance,” Feb. 14). His arrogance and shameless elitist attitude confirm the very point Palin was making. It has been one thing to put up with Pitts’ continued liberal commentary on everything he perceives as racism, but this personal attack on Palin was meanspirited, over the top and totally unacceptable.
If a conservative commentator said anything remotely like this rude, elitist attack, he would have been fired, humiliated and had every women’s group in the world all over him. Where are the feminists that should be lambasting this writer? Do the feminists only protect liberal women?
We have seen the change that President Barack Obama and his trusted misfit advisors have brought to this country. It has forced upon us a moment of truth, and we have decided that this change is not what Americans voted for!
Pitts and the rest of his like-minded cronies are totally disconnected with real American life outside the protected bubble they live in, and I would like to see Pitts dropped from The Tribune’s commentary lineup.
Allen Litten Atascadero
How stupid are we?
The phrase “can’t see the forest for the trees” comes to mind after reading Madalyn McDaniel’s response (“Protest too much,” Feb. 16) to Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column.(“Run, Sarah, to show us if we’ve turned to ignorance,” Feb. 14).
McDaniel notes that Sarah Palin gets a lot of attention even though she is “stupid.” Let’s read carefully and think carefully (a novel approach?). The column is not really about Palin. It is about us, the average American voter. Pitts expresses a desire to discover just how dumb some of us may be. He urges Palin to run for office and based on the election returns, believes we can gauge just how gullible and ignorant the average American may be.
I think it’s a great idea. Palin, ignorant though she is about more than can be listed here, thinks she can win a presidential election. Just how stupid are we, not Palin?
Mary Ross Cambria
Have you ever noticed that when you open a large bag of potato chips that half of the bag is already empty? It seems like we are getting those half-hearted promises in many different ways.
President Barack Obama promised the country more jobs, but the unemployment rate is growing every day. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promised we would not have a budget crisis in California like last year and guess what? We are about to have another budget crisis. Promises, promises.
I know of only one person who always keeps his promises — the Lord. Maybe we should consider believing in God’s promises more often and place ourselves into his hands.
Mark Sobowits Paso Robles