Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/17

Can’t afford war

What are we doing in Afghanistan? I mean, really? We are wasting billions of United States tax dollars and thousands of lives, for what?

Yes, I support our troops. Bring them home to their families before any more blood is shed. We need our men and women here at home, with jobs.

The most vulnerable of Americans, of which I am one, are on the edge right now. Social Security, Medicare and the hospitals that take it, Medicaid and health services from physicians are all threatened.

We can’t afford this war. We can’t afford any more losses, human or financial. Let those voters who want to continue fighting in Afghanistan and stop human services here in America be the first to go fight and the first to give up their Social Security and Medicare.

We’ll see how fast they line up to volunteer.

Marty Brown


Choice usurped

San Luis Obispo’s mayor and City Council need to pass a law requiring an existing mayor or councilperson to vacate their seat before running for a new political office. Failure to do so usurps the voters’ right to choose who will represent them in local government.

Jan Marx failed to resign her City Council seat before running for mayor. She wanted to ensure she would still be on the City Council if she was not elected mayor. It also gave her and the City Council the opportunity to appoint someone to fill her former office, a decision that should have been made by voters at the polls.

Because Marx won, the members of the City Council need to either appoint the third-place finisher in the recent election (Dan Carpenter) or they need to hold another election. Given the cost of another election, I would personally favor appointing Carpenter.

The last thing San Luis Obispo needs is for this office to be filled through an act of patronage to a political insider who lacked the integrity to run on their own merits. They need to follow this by formulating and passing the aforementioned law.

Patricia L. Housemann

San Luis Obispo

Warning labels

I am in favor of showing horror pictures on packs of cigarettes, but I believe that we need to take it a step further (“A horror show on every pack of smokes,” Nov. 11). On bottles of alcohol, there should be pictures of people killed by drunk drivers or pictures of damaged livers.

On the boxes of BB guns, there should be pictures of eyes shot out or the effects of BB shots on animals. On every candy bar or fast food item, there should be pictures of obese people and what their hearts must look like.

For that matter, with every car purchase, there should be pictures of auto accidents. Even further, with every stick on the ground, there should be a picture of an eye punctured by someone running with that stick.

It can go on and on to the point of everyone needing to sit quietly in a chair doing nothing to avoid risks of dying. And then probably the chair will break and someone will get hurt.

All of the above are choices that people make knowing the risks in advance. To advertise those risks would require warning labels on basically every aspect of our lives.

Sharel Arfa

Paso Robles

Voter fraud

So many people are wondering how it was that in the face of a nationwide rejection of President Barack Obama’s agenda, California voters elected Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, Barbara “check bouncer” Boxer and Gavin Newsom in statewide elections. How did some polls find Boxer 4 percent behind just before the election, but then she ended up winning by 9 percent?

This isn’t rocket science, the polling reflects how eligible voters will vote, but not felons or ineligible illegal immigrant voters. Apparently, we have some serious voter fraud going on in California and the disparity between the polls and the outcome is the proof.

Nothing good can come from a rigged election. This isn’t a football game where the only objective is to win. An election is a chance for “the people” to express where they want the country to go.

With more than 20 million illegal immigrants in this country (12 million in California alone) with no loyalty to the United States and no right to vote but voting just the same, it is an imbalance that will eventually manifest itself in violence!

Michael A. Pacer


Cut overtime pay

I think the fastest and cheapest way to put the people back to work is to stop all overtime pay and hire new people instead to fill those hours until the unemployment rate gets to 5 percent or less.

It seems as though the taxpayers are getting a double whammy: paying for unemployment and city employee overtime pay.

Leon Collins

Morro Bay

Dream couldn’t last

Most of the Fox News tea party members are middle-aged or seniors and they want back a time when the United States, both militarily and financially, had the power to dictate to the rest of the world what it wanted.

This was called the American Dream and like a house built on sand, it did not, could not, last. No amount of wishful thinking will bring those times back.

We were exploiting the resources and the labor of all the lesser nations around the world. It is called imperialism, and we practiced it with gusto.

Much of our foreign policy is still based on this out-of-date idea. But we cannot control what goes on in Asia nor in the Middle East, South America or Europe. All we are doing is expending our limited financial resources and our young people’s lives and blood, thereby weakening our position in the world.

We are not all knowing or all seeing, nor all powerful. We must learn to negotiate with other nations and be willing to keep our hands off internal fights and spats between neighbors.

If we don’t change, we will be a Third World nation in another generation.

Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande

Stay down to Earth

Interesting article in the newspaper recently. Something about two huge bubbles in our galaxy about a zillion light years away (“Bubbles of energy sit at center of galaxy,” Nov. 10). When I say interesting, I mean it really made me think. Primarily, it caused me to shout out: Who cares?

I’m sure the brains looking through the telescopes are leaping and jumping with joy, but I’m wondering what could happen if they directed their brilliant minds toward something that could help humanity, like developing a food source that could solve global hunger or researching a cure for cancer, Parkinson’s or autism.

I’m wondering about these bubbles should they spring a leak. What can we do about it? Send a huge roll of duct tape on a 20-year journey? I think not. Let’s worry about our planet, take care of our problems and get real.

Patti Launders


Giving away future

Republicans have decided on politics before country. Corporations have decided that an investment of millions is cheap for the chance to make billions. Attack adds by and for the corporate bottom line assume that the middle class is expendable.

Right-leaning voters are giving away their future to the mega corporations in return for the easy pleasure of scapegoating and the hollow satisfaction of anger. Who decided that government is the problem? Who decided that taxes always go down and never up?

Republicans pursue a tax-cut deficit-reduction strategy without ever acknowledging the contradiction in actions. A single-minded combat to defeat President Barack Obama, in these delicate times, flirts with the sin of making our economic problems worse, not solving them.

We desperately need solutions. We need our government to work out a balanced approach towards a better economy. We need to be mature and make fair cuts across every part of the budget, especially defense. Some taxes will go up.

What we don’t need right now is more time wasted fighting over health care. Massachusetts enjoys “Romneycare,” why can’t we all have it?

David Curry

Santa Margarita

Loss of humanity

A soldier at Creech Air Force Base leaves his computer and drives home after work. Sounds American, except that day, he guided a drone, setting a reign of terror thousands of miles away upon many innocent civilians in Pakistan.

Some people might think he is doing his job, his patriotic duty, and keeping America free. Others view this soldier as committing acts of terrorism, no different than the terrorists who guided their missiles into the Twin Towers on 9/11. Who are the victims?

Last year, 14 anti-war activists protested drone attacks at Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base. The “Creech 14” activists are standing trial for trespassing, praying to stop the war and drones.

Their defense could have profound implications on acts of war. Their defense arguments are: Intentional killing is a war crime, drone strikes by United States forces kill a disproportionate number of civilians, people have the right to stop war crimes and, according to the Nuremberg principles, individuals are required to disobey domestic orders that cause crimes against humanity.

One day, I fear drones will fly over our own country. More, they signal our spiritual death and the loss of our humanity.

Craig Kelso

Paso Robles

Dangerous period

I wonder how many people in this country realize how close we came to losing our freedom. Did you see the clip of John Boehner showing more emotion that anyone in Washington has shown in years?  When I see a politician break in this manner, I realize what a dangerous period we have been through. We have only been spared time to correct the dangerous policies this administration has implemented. 

I wonder if the young people in this country will ever appreciate the angst that we have been put through. Not the way I wanted to spend my retirement years, how about you? 

But the battle so far is in our corner now. It is up to us to support the new Congress but also to demand that they correct the damage that has been done. It is also up to us to be sure the young people understand the importance of being aware and involved in what goes on in Washington, as it was their future that was jeopardized. 

We cannot let our guard down as I fear any opening will find this administration right back to its socialist agenda. This election has been Americanism at its best.

Joan Le Grand

Arroyo Grande