Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 8/8

WikiLeaks = whistle-blower

The word “whistle-blower” was not used once in the story by Los Angeles Times writers Noam N. Levey and Jennifer Martinez in their article titled, “WikiLeaks pushes new media model” (July 27). Yet that is the main purpose of WikiLeaks, as told by Julian Assange, interviewed by Amy Goodman back in April.

WikiLeaks is a whistle-blower website. The Los Angeles Times story makes it seem as if WikiLeaks is using illegal tactics to dig around in other people’s business, rather than providing a portal for people all over the world to bring to light information that is in the best interest of the public to know. The article refers to “mysterious sources,” which is true, since the identity of the whistle-blowers is protected if known.

Many people in the military are disturbed by what is going on, but thank you to a few who are brave enough to share. Iraq Veterans Against the War held a forum a couple years ago to air such information, which was not covered by mainstream media.

There have been some heroic whistle-blowers in this country. From where does freedom spring? WikiLeaks seeks to stir up public debate based on real information, an essential of democracy.

Adrienne Dickinson

San Luis Obispo

No political motivation

Scientific issues in their fullness ought to be at the center of the debate about accelerated global climate change, not selected aspects and the colorful, thoughtful, average Joe-isms of Don Asquith (“Climate is changing,” July 30) or the “shocked” complaint of Dean Carlson (“Dangerous theory,” Aug. 2).

The latter cloaks his critique of climate change evidence in scientific jargon but tips his hand by dismissing the preponderance of worldwide, professionally obtained evidence as “political dogma” and “politically convenient.” In the end, Carlson aligns himself with the familiar right-wing bias of Fox News.

To be legitimate participants, the critics of climate change evidence must be able to challenge the data in meaningful and complete terms.

In my experience, the data I’ve seen betrays no evidence of political or “liberal” motivation — as if the universal scientific method is driven by politics instead of the independence of its discipline.

In the face of ongoing right-wing hostility to the scientific consensus on climate change, I offer what used to settle debates: the voice of authority.

I refer Tribune readers engaged in this crucial issue to the just-published book “The Climate Crisis: An Introductory Guide to Climate Change” and the website www.realclimate.org. Gordon Fuglie


Holding to the contract

In order to get the Legislature to agree on a budget, we, the public, need to perceive our elected officials in the same light as contractors. I do not think this is a stretch in job description.

We, as the electorate, have made a contract with our legislative officials to perform certain tasks. One major task is to construct a yearly state budget. Their time frame is to have this accomplished by July 1 of each year. Each day beyond the specified date should be subject to liquidated damages.

Every legislator and the governor should be assessed and fined on a daily basis until a budget is passed and their contract with the public fulfilled. Hopefully, this will encourage members of both houses and the governor to work together. Fines would go to state programs.

Of course, with the people we now have governing, the disbursement would more than likely lead to further discord, which might actually help the state bring more funding to programs. The longer they squabble, the more fines we collect.

Hey, this just might solve our budget crisis.

Peggy Herzik


Vote ‘yes’ on Prado Road

The Prado Road extension should be overwhelmingly approved by the voters. A few disaffected souls think that widening Tank Farm Road or Buckley Road would be a better way to go. They must be nuts.

I invite anyone who can vote on the issue to look at a map of San Luis Obispo and see which route makes more sense. Some people seem predisposed to fear any change, any progress and any growth.

Having driven the area for 25 years, I shudder to think of the consequences of effectively dismantling many years of planning and starting over with a non-plan that is as ill-conceived as it is stupid.

Put a serious alternative on the table, or get out of the way.

Ken McDaniel

Arroyo Grande

Goodbye, Judge George

Chief Justice Ron George has announced his retirement. While in office, he and his legislative ally, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, tried to make state law unconstitutionally apply to the federal government.

Three lawsuits were started, and George and Steinberg’s actions were considered unconstitutional by all 17 judges who heard these cases in both the federal and state courts. Even George’s colleagues on the California Supreme Court voted against him.

Justice George’s actions cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Justice George has made our courts such a large form-driven bureaucracy that people appearing in lawsuits without a lawyer (presumably, an attorney would use the forms) is deprived of their rights if they do not use a “Justice George” form.

So Justice George, “You have sat too long here for any good that you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” (as said by Leo Amery, quoting Oliver Cromwell).

Allan Mayer

San Luis Obispo

Don’t demonize others

Seldom have I been prouder to be an American. I hold dear the words on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

We all come from immigrants. Haven’t you felt ashamed about the news from Arizona?

Thank goodness many went there to stand with the Latino community against obvious, illegal discrimination.

Why do I feel proud? I happen to belong to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in San Luis Obispo. Along with those arrested in Arizona, there were 35 Unitarian Universalist ministers who made the trip to underscore our denomination’s basic principles.

We value and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, as well as justice, equality and compassion in human relations.

I can see why people caught in this difficult economic time would like to find someone or something to blame for their hardship.

Demonizing the people who come here willing to work hard while seeking a better life is so not the way to go.

I’m writing Congress to urge them to take up the problem of immigration now. It can’t wait. Only Congress can make a plan to address years of backlog and design a way to go forward for us all.

Meredith Whitaker

San Luis Obispo

Country in turmoil

Spitting on the voters of California, a known gay federal judge reversed Proposition 8. It’s like the California death penalty vote all over again!

You know gay marriage is coming. You know legal marijuana is coming. It doesn’t matter that the people of California don’t want it.

President Barack Obama and his band of former leftist radicals are forcing their vision of socialist America on us (you did vote for “change”). They are instituting policies that might be dear to them but are counter to the history of this country, its Constitution and in some cases, human civilization itself.

Our leaders can OK a mosque in the shadow of the place of the greatest attack on our homeland, but let’s be sure no public mention of God is made and Christianity is suppressed in the name of “tolerance.”

We need government to raise our nonjudgmental kids or pay for their abortions while we ensure illegal immigrants are as well taken care of as our criminals in prison. We dare not trample on anyone else’s “rights” except Americans. It is my country turned upside-down!

Joseph Kenny

Arroyo Grande

Waste of time to vote

Now that Proposition 8 has been overturned by a federal judge, does it make any sense to have any propositions for people to vote for? All that happens is that someone challenges the meaning of the proposition in court and reverses the vote of an entire state.

This is why people do not believe in the voting process — the voter does not matter! We have the right to vote, but it turns out to be a total waste of time, which is the case with Proposition 8.

Judges should not have the control to overturn legislation, and the Legislature should be in control of making the laws.

By the way, in the case of Proposition 8, it will probably end up before the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the issue of same-sex marriage, not before Congress to make the laws.

I can just imagine the framers of the Constitution turning over in their graves.

Mark Sobowits

Paso Robles

Thanks for debate

The League of Women Voters recently provided an opportunity to hear the 15th District Senate candidates’ opinions about the state of children’s health and education in our community.

When a candidate speaks about the policies regarding children’s health or education, he reveals his beliefs about California’s future and its economy.

We are reminded that those who do not vote do not carry influence with those who are elected. It is up to our community to keep children in the forefront of this year’s debates.

We must invest in our children’s health and education, and we must oppose budget cuts to these vital programs. If we choose not to protect our children, the consequences of these actions are a lifetime to a poorly educated child and a generation to an economically depressed California.

As two organizations that advocate for the well-being of all children in our communities, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the League, First 5 San Luis Obispo County and the other organizations that sponsored the recent debate.

Kena Burke

Executive Director, Children’s Health Initiative of San Luis Obispo County

Rick London

Chief Executive Officer, United Way San Luis Obispo County