Save on foreign aid
Recently, I found a 1969 issue of “Life” magazine with a lead story titled, “The Dollar Squeeze.” In the article are polls with questions such as: “Where to cut federal spending first” and “Where to cut federal spending last.”
At 69 percent, foreign aid led the list of where to cut spending first. At 60 percent, aid to education topped the list of where to cut spending last. As Marvin Gaye asked a couple of years later, “What’s going on?”
Hosni Mubarak is leaving Egypt with an estimated personal wealth of $40 billion. Where did that money come from? We give Egypt $1.5 billion a year and Mubarak was in office for 30 years. He was a dictator, but he did things our way, so we buy our world friends and don’t have them suffer with cutbacks? All of our cuts are aimed at domestic programs for health, education and the well-being of millions of Americans.
In total, we give the world $58 billion a year. Countries will take our money if we give it to them. Rather than cutting domestic programs by $60 billion, how about we split it? We’ll save $30 billion and keep programs that should still be our country’s priority.
Gary J. Freiberg
The Republicans in Congress have such an elitist perception of what their fellow Americans desperately need.
Their proposed cuts to health care, Planned Parenthood, Social Security, Americorps, etc., combined with their poisonous votes to shield greenhouse gas polluters, only make sense to me if I conclude that they are from some vengeful human-hating planet and are therefore trying to destroy our Mother Earth as fast as they can.
The hope is, however, that their dangerous view of our world will soon be hushed and eclipsed by the power and evolutionary zeal of people rising up from Cairo to Wisconsin to reclaim what is rightfully ours: a people abiding by the laws of social justice and environmental reverence.
Here are our suggestions for improving downtown Pismo Beach: The beach is beautiful yet downtown Pismo Beach is dirty and dreary with restaurants that serve mediocre food and streets that abound with tacky souvenir shops. What a contrast.
Why not create a beautiful downtown by offering shop and restaurant owners an incentive to paint, decorate and clean their businesses? Other cities that have remodeled their downtowns can be used as models.
Currently there is nothing to draw local residents to the downtown area. Look for new restaurants to come to Pismo Beach to attract the locals so they don’t have to go to San Luis Obispo. Encourage a broader base of businesses that local residents will use during the week.
We live in a democracy. We get to vote. We get to decide. We need the opportunity to vote this spring on whether or not to extend some taxes that we are already living with. These would not be new taxes, just an extension to let the state figure out the budget.
It is critical to let our state representatives Sen. Sam Blakeslee and Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian know we need their support to allow us to make our own personal researched and thoughtful decision.
Remember, putting a measure before the voters is not asking any politician to decide to raise taxes. Voters are just asking them to avoid the Sacramento budget stalemate and allow us to make the decision. We are not asking them to break any promises they may have made.
Please e-mail Sen. Sam Blakeslee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-651-4015, and Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian at email@example.com or 916-319-2033 (or both) and tell them to let us vote.
We are the ones who have to make this decision because we are the ones who will have to live with it.
San Luis Coastal Unified School District board member
Regarding Joe Tarica’s column titled, “Here’s how to be a true patriot” (Feb. 12):
I don’t even know where to begin, I feel so strongly about this subject. Did Tarica’s parents teach him to disrespect our country? Maybe it was his teacher. That brings me to the letter written by Jean Rouff (“Patriotism vs. idolatry,” Feb. 21).
Perhaps she was Tarica’s teacher. She wrote that her class was expected to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day, not knowing what the words meant. Hello, isn’t that her job to teach them?
I am very sorry for her students.
My teachers were the main reasons I have such a strong patriotism. Not only did I recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day, my teachers taught me what the words meant. They taught me why I should have pride in my country and the symbols of that pride.
Rouff calls flying the flag idolatry, I say she should move out of this country where she doesn’t see our flag. I guarantee she will wish she was back here seeing our wonderful flag flying everywhere.
Oh, by the way, she should take Tarica with her so he doesn’t have to gag when he hears patriotic songs.
Judith Lee Wiltse
Thank you, Joe Tarica, for so eloquently expressing all the reasons why a thrift shop should not be rebuilt in downtown Atascadero (“Opportunity is there for Atascadero,” Feb. 20).
Many Atascadero residents now travel to downtown Paso Robles to purchase in its stores, dine in its restaurants and enjoy its coffee shops and wine bars. We want the same amenities in Atascadero within walking distance of our downtown park, our soon-to-be-opened theatre complex and our soon-to-be-renovated City Hall.
Atascadero needs interesting restaurants in multiple price ranges that will appeal to singles and empty-nesters as well as families. We need shops of the quality that Paso Robles has already had the vision to attract.
A performing arts center across from the movie theatre would bring audiences from throughout the region and would provide a home for our many talented locals. Thrift shops are great places to bargain hunt, but there are plenty of vacancies in local strip malls for such enterprises. It is time to raze the block between Hoover’s 101 and Traffic Circle and replace it with a creative cultural center that will attract locals and tourists alike.
This is the first letter to the editor I have ever written, however Joe Tarica’s recent columns have greatly concerned me. He appears to not know what the flag represents.
I am not going to explain it to him because two men who loved their country have done that better than I could. I invite Tarica to go to YouTube and watch videos by Red Skelton and John Wayne.
Then Tarica will be able to explain to his children what the Pledge of Allegiance really means and what the American flag stands for.
Don’t be duped
San Luis Obispo City Councilman Andrew Carter is making considerable hay with his push to repeal binding arbitration, replete with his nerdy charts and graphs. It’s no surprise when such a worker-harming effort emanates from a member of this City Council because it exists to do the bidding of the opulent.
I’m not shocked that Carter would blame the workers who have the audacity to make a nice living. What is surprising is that corporatists like Carter engender support from the nonelite. There is simply no excuse for the nonrich to be duped by a corporate media paid handsomely to promote the elitist concept that reducing middle-class compensation will somehow benefit the many by enriching the few. Trickle down, anyone?
Unless you are rich and have no conscience, don’t be fooled by Carter and his ilk into believing that it’s the workers’ fault. The real threat is not unions, but the imbalance that worsens by the day with overwhelming affluence percolating relentlessly into the hands of the super wealthy.
But know this, Carter: There is evidence in Wisconsin, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and beyond that many people are onto you and the days of the creeping American oligarchy are most assuredly numbered.
San Luis Obispo
Voters take heed
When it comes to development, disagreement is inevitable. Some will want houses on top of houses and some will want no change at all, thereby making it impossible to please everyone.
Still, it’s likely most of us fall somewhere in between and simply want growth to be balanced, well-planned and occurring at a reasonable pace. We’d also like to think that should differences of opinion occur, we’ll be treated fairly and respectfully. Don’t count on it.
At a recent Board of Supervisors meeting, our new chairman, Adam Hill, accused Supervisor Bruce Gibson of being too “legalistic” for asking that our land use ordinances be followed. Huh? Why follow laws when Supervisor Hill knows what’s best for everyone?
At the same meeting, as a number of Templeton citizens took time out from busy schedules to attempt participation in the process, Hill repeated Supervisor Frank Mecham’s “3 B’s” for public speakers: “Be bright, be brief, be seated,” then added, with a chuckle, “be gone? I don’t know ... all those B’s.” Speaks volumes about his interest in hearing what the underlings have to say.
Ideologues with contempt for the law and condescension toward the public have taken societies to dark places in the past. Voters take heed.
How refreshing it was to read the recent editorial about federal pensions, especially in this climate of heated rhetoric (“Federal pensions show path to affordability,” Feb. 26).
Our county has welcomed retirees who have served our government in many diverse agencies here and abroad. What we all have in common is pride and dedication to service. And like the rest of the retirees throughout our country, we are concerned about the future of our annuities that have already been affected by actions of Congress.
Thanks again for the balanced editorial! It is appreciated.
National Active and Retired Federal Employees president, Chapter 1028, San Luis Obispo
I was amused by Ms. Myra Tomkins’ letter of March 2 regarding Abel Maldonado (“Always a race to run”). Perhaps she has not noticed that Jerry Brown — our current governor, former governor, former attorney general and former mayor of Oakland — has always found a public office for which he could run!
Edith E. Welter
Myra Tompkins (Letters, March 2) was on point with her criticism of state career politics under term limits.
Maldonado looks to a new office, Blakeslee moves up ... just be sure to include Jack (“climb the ladder”) O’Connell in your concern over incessant ambition. Federal politicians are exempt from such shortcomings if you ask Lois (“just finishing Walter’s term”) Capps.