Threats to education
Each new budget announcement further threatens public education. Like clockwork, politicians and administrators arrive with the best intentions and decry the current situation.
Predictably, they limit teacher freedom by imposing test mandates, increasing class size and ravaging budgets. They then commit two sins before exiting — the venial one of promoting only one side of education and the mortal one of disparaging teachers.
We cannot advance one cultural side of education (the technical), ignore the other (literature and the arts), excuse parents and expect the resulting unmotivated, uninterested students to enter and win global competitions anymore than a runner can gain advantage by “hopping faster” on only one good leg.
Motivation is key. Enthusiastic students could soar like Hermes or Apollo (assuming they learned both math and mythology). They would impact and change global competition permanently for the better — what an amazing and just world might then emerge.
San Luis Obispo
Roe v. Wade
Saturday marks the 38th year since the landmark Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, providing a constitutional basis for a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy.
The United States has seen many attempts to restrict that right, by legal and illegal means, including violence against providers. But there has also been an increase in support for women’s rights in all areas as, freed from mandatory motherhood, women have made great strides in all areas of public life. The ability to plan one’s family helps not only the individual family, but also the nation and the world, lessening the pressures of population explosion and overuse of natural resources.
In years past, the local chapter of the National Organization for Women has sponsored a public celebration of the Roe anniversary. We thank all those who have participated with us in celebrating a woman’s right to choose. This year, while the National Organization for Women will not be hosting a public event, we ask that everyone take a moment Saturday to remember the plight of women who died from illegal abortions and to be grateful for the ability to choose when to have children in these uncertain times.
San Luis Obispo
As for Rep. John Boehner’s tears, here is a quote from former House Republican Conference chairman Mike Pence, who lost a leadership election to Boehner in 2006:
“John’s got the biggest heart in the House. My preacher used to say, ‘When the eyes leak, the head won’t swell.’ ”
Regarding the article titled, “Big boys don’t cry, do they?” (Jan. 16):
I would like to respond to Speaker John Boehner’s frequent propensity to cry publicly. I support anyone, man or woman, being in touch with their emotions. That is a good thing.
But what if former Speaker Nancy Pelosi exhibited the same type of public displays of her emotions? Remember when Hillary Clinton almost lost it during her campaign? That “nearly tearful moment” was all over the news and was treated in a very derogatory manner.
If it is OK for Boehner to be emotional in public, then let’s give our female leaders permission as well. That’s only fair.
Here is my take on Boehner’s frequent public emotional moments: He would be well advised to lay off the booze, get some therapy and look into taking some low doses of antidepressants so that he is more able to pick and choose when he wants to be publicly emotional.
His lack of ability to control his emotions publicly is not authentic. If he truly was a compassionate man, his positions on health care, funding for education, social security, Medicare and other important social justice issues would reflect a truly sensitive and caring leader.
San Luis Obispo
The letters to the editor that compare business to government are most often in support of government and conveniently omit important differences:
A business must earn its income while government gets its income from the citizenry through forcible taxation.
A bad business goes under. A bad government just gets deeper in debt and raises taxes.
Businesses compete against one another while government is a monopoly enforced by law.
Government regulates business. Government is regulated by ... itself?
Austin A. DuBrulle
Friends of library
Atascadero Friends of the Library will host an open house on Jan. 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the future home of the Atascadero Library. This building is at 6555 Capistrano Ave. in the Hotel Park development across the street from City Hall.
Jan. 23 will be the first time the building will be open to the public. The people of Atascadero and the surrounding communities that rely on Atascadero’s library as the North County hub are especially welcome.
There is no charge to attend, but contributions to the critical fundraising effort to “Open the Doors” will be gratefully accepted, so that construction can begin on the spacious but unfinished interior.
Friends of the Library vice president
San Luis Obispo: the happiest town? Not if downtown shops keep closing. Why is it better for landlords to have empty spaces rather than a monthly rent?
Doesn’t it benefit all of us if full spaces produce higher tax revenues? Please explain this to those of us who don’t want to live in a ghost town.
San Luis Obispo