Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 3/17

Headed for repeat?

It seems as if, three years ago, residential real estate prices would go up forever. Buyers were overbidding on residential sales and builders were building. Our children were refinancing their homes with new low-interest loans, paying off their IRS taxes and maybe paying on their maxed-out credit cards. Free money; God bless America.

As a retired California real estate broker, I could not believe what was happening. People were buying homes with toxic loans they could not ever afford to pay off, thanks to the changes in the United States government loan qualifications. Housing prices kept rising. Banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Wall Street were packaging these toxic loans with regular loans and making room for more of the same toxic loans. No end in sight.

Then came the crash.

If we don’t investigate what happened, will our children or grandchildren repeat the problem?

John Gariboldi


Broaden the focus

I am 17 years old and I love to watch the Olympics on TV. The only flaw is that every time I try to watch the Olympics, the newscasters seem to interview the same four individuals: Apolo Ohno, Shaun White, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, over and over again.

There is nothing wrong with interviewing these fine athletes, but what about all of the other American athletes? There are more than 200 individuals on the United States team and we only talk about the same four most of the time.

Personally, I am interested in what all of the athletes accomplish at the Winter Games in Vancouver. I feel that the Olympics are not games anymore but a paid professional business, which is not what the Olympics are all about.

The Olympics were a competition designed for athletes to compete against one another and have a good time. I feel this has been taken away and I just don’t feel as if it’s a game anymore.

It’s called the Winter Olympic “games” for a reason, not “professional winter sports.” I think our media gets wrapped up in who’s winning and it takes away the feeling of it being a game in the end.

Patrick Larsen

San Luis Obispo

Real people dying

Some people don’t believe that more than 40,000 people in this country die every year because they can’t get health care. I know some of those people.

I come into contact with indigent disabled people through the charity I volunteer to help. All of our cancer patients (about 40 per year, all in San Luis Obispo County) are terminal before they are diagnosed. Some of them could have been saved if they could have received routine, preventative health care. You can’t get that from an emergency room.

They can’t afford health care and they can’t afford health insurance. They can’t get public health insurance until they are diagnosed as disabled, and by that time, they are terminal.

I remember the lady who quit her job to take care of her father in his final illness. She lost her health plan and couldn’t afford any other. When he passed away she was ready to go to work, but by then she had breast cancer and it had spread. Treatment extended her life but could not save it. She never got to be a senior citizen.

Pearl Munak

Paso Robles

Entertaining brouhaha

Although I have no direct interest in the “Orfalea affair,” except for the $5,000 apparent bribe, I have found the brouhaha surrounding it quite entertaining. Paul Orfalea’s viewpoint (“Why I teach the way I teach,” March 14) was, to me, most enlightening. I especially applaud his interest in geography.

That said, there is one part of geography he apparently does not quite understand. It is not the “Straits of Hormuz” or the straits of any narrow passage between land masses. It is the Strait of Hormuz.

The only straits that I am familiar with are dire straits, and most of us wish not to be found there.

Robert Christenson

San Luis Obispo

The real world

I want to thank Dean Dave Christy for showing us what the real world is like. A-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is available for students, but only to students in the right group. Then there is a noncompetitive process to make it into the next, more selective, right group. The students who make it into that group then receive perks not available to others.

The evaluation of the students’ performance was decided ahead of time and not based on their actual work or accomplishments. That is a great example of how an open, competitive marketplace produces efficient, beneficial results that improve the entire system. It is the real world where executives get large bonuses whether or not their company succeeds or fails, even when the company can’t stand on its own two feet.

The worst part is the intellectual dishonesty of the defenders of those practices, the very nature of which runs contrary to what they argue is the greatest strength of their ideology. If the process for admission into the class and the evaluation of the students’ performance were more in accord with the principles they claim to be most beneficial, then this issue is mostly a nonstory.

Victor Krulikowski