A budget scheme?
What is more important to our state? Justice immersed in compassion? Or is it just dollars?
Our grandson recently made a bike trip from Monterey to SLO with a friend, stopping along the way at various state park campsites. At their last site, they were awakened by a park ranger asking them to pay the $10 usage fee. When they were unable to pay more than $2 at the time, the ranger charged them with a misdemeanor crime. Over the following weeks, the judicial system demanded that they appear before a judge in SLO County to state their case.
The end result was that two college students were charged $100 each by the court after they were faced with traveling from Chico to SLO in order to meet the demands of the court. No attempt was made for them to cover the fee plus penalty through the mail.
My son’s family works three jobs just to stay “afloat.” Now he has seen close to $300 spent satisfying the California State Parks and SLO County justices over a $4 discrepancy in a site fee! Is this “just” or just a “scheme” to make the state budget? What do you say?
Pitts should stay
This is a response to Adrian Hurtado’s April 8 diatribe (“Ditch Pitts,” Letters) against Leonard Pitts, whom I read avidly every week.
Leonard Pitts makes me think, makes me cry, makes me understand others in a way I never have. He is a much-needed voice in the wilderness.
In our secluded town, we seldom have the opportunity to hear from those whose life experiences are different.
Please know that Mr. Hurtado’s letter, which in my opinion is misguided and sadly wrong, does not reflect the opinion of many others of your readers, myself included. Keep Leonard Pitts!
Sink or swim
Rather than rightfully demanding that private sector workers have the benefits and the security that many public employees enjoy, tea party Republicans are demanding that everybody be brought down to the lowest common denominator.
Henry Ford acknowledged a century ago that money in the hands of American workers — not pay cuts — creates jobs. Economic benefits do not “trickle down.” We all prosper when money flows from the bottom up, and a majority have money to spend.
The prosperity that Americans enjoyed through the mid-1970s resulted from infrastructure projects and enormous government expenditures begun during the Great Depression, and sufficient wages creating sufficient tax revenues to support those programs.
Generations of hardworking Americans have fought for, and paid for, adequate wages, job security, 40-hour workweeks, paid vacations, health benefits, pension plans, Social Security and Medicare — benefits we took for granted.
Americans are electing individuals who don’t believe in government, who pamper big business but attack labor, and who are doing everything possible to ensure the government fails.
This shortsighted, mean-spirited ideology jeopardizes any common sense of community every healthy society enjoys; and, as the saying goes, “Either together we swim, or together we sink.”
In a small article recently mentioned a “donation” to the “High Peace Council” of Afghanistan in the amount of $50 million to help continue talks with the Taliban.
Where do I start? We are talking Afghanistan! This lets us know what the price of “talk is cheap” is. We are assured that these talks are going to be more than talks about talks. Now we are getting somewhere! I’m way impressed! Will they be serving wine and cheese on silver?
If the negotiations are as successful as the government negotiators in Washington are at solving problems, it’s my bet we will join the Russians at the table of regrets. Maybe we should use the “Low Peace Council” — either way the incompetence is extremely expensive.
I want a refund.
With all the hatred being perpetrated toward public employees these days by the media, will The Tribune and others blame themselves when some psycho decides to take his frustration out on one of them?
The endless parade of articles attacking public employees and blaming them for the budget debacles is really getting tiresome. Public employees are not Satan and their salaries and pensions are not the primary reason for the budget issues. Give it a rest.
Regarding a new parking structure in downtown SLO: What if they build it and nobody comes?
San Luis Obispo
Debate over the safety and feasibility of nuclear power has been reignited with the force of an exploding Japanese nuclear power facility.
What isn’t being questioned enough is its economic feasibility. Some nuclear waste components, such as plutonium, would require more than 200,000 years to decompose to safe levels. Safe storage of spent fuel rods is at best only 100 years in dry casks. What about the cost of storage for the next 199,900 years?
Free-market economics as practiced assumes that present and future human and environmental costs play no role in the calculation of profit. Corporations lobby not for less government and less regulation, but for more “favorable” regulation. They want regulation that ignores the real costs of un-sustainable energy policies: ignoring public and employee safety the destruction of limited resources and the environment, and the transfer of unimaginable risks to generations yet unborn. That’s ‘free’ for them but incalculably costly for everyone else.
Nondestructive economically viable energy sources and sustainable economic strategies exist. See Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute (www.rmi.org/rmi/).
As citizens concerned about safety and sustainability, we must recognize the real costs of unsustainable energy. Nuclear power in its current form is simply not economically feasible.
Bruce G. Mills
The Supreme Court ruling in the Westboro case permitting protests at military funerals is outrageous. There should be some reasonable restrictions on the First Amendment, and disrupting a funeral — of all things — should be one.
What the media and many people do not see is that the big loser in most of the recent First Amendment cases is the fallen soldier, the man who paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Lance Cpl. Snyder and others to follow won’t have the dignity of a quiet funeral.
Under other First Amendment cases, war memorials at Camp Smith, the Mojave Desert and San Diego have been challenged and both the “uncommon valor” and the “flag protection act” overturned.
We put a flag on a returning coffin and yet have the right to desecrate it? Why? Congress is overdue in giving the war dead some rights. The fallen deserve to be honored. The men I served with in Vietnam have been dead 45 years. That is a lot of years to give up.
T. Worthington Vogel
Repair planes here
The latest example of shoddy maintenance leading to explosive decompression in a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 is just another example of the airlines outsourcing maintenance labor to Third World countries to increase profits.
Due to luck and the skill of the flight crew, 181 families were not making funeral preparations earlier this month. The airline industry is heavily subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer. Write or call your congressperson, and tell him or her that you demand that American workers inspect and repair American aircraft in American facilities. Give the airlines 120 days to comply or lose all subsidies.
This could reduce unemployment by 75,000 jobs and additional workers in support industries. Local governments would see revenue increases, and we would know the planes have been inspected by Americans whose family and friends would be riding alongside us.
Thanks, Drum Circuit
The Cub Scouts and parents of the Wolf and Tiger Dens of Pack 31 of SLO would like to thank Howard at the Drum Circuit, 280 Higuera St. in San Luis Obispo for all his help. He graciously opened his doors to the us after hours and worked with the Scouts to help prepare them for a skit to be performed at our upcoming Blue and Gold Banquet.
Howard’s patience with the 6- to 8-year-old boys was remarkable. And he sent each home with a new set of drumsticks as a gift.
A big thank you to Howard and the Drum Circuit. It was a fun field trip for our young Scouts.
Jerry Jordan of San Luis Obispo and Dennis Krueger of Morro Bay
Leaders for Wolf and Tiger Dens, Pack 31
President Barack Hussein Obama, as an Illinois state senator in 2002, said that using military force to topple a murderous dictator amounted to a “dumb war” and should be opposed.
In 2011, Obama endorsed the use of military power to enforce America’s “responsibility as a (global) leader” arguing that the United States was “different” and therefore had no other choice but to attack Libya.
Also concerning the use of American military might in Libya, Obama states: “To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and, more profoundly, our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” he said. “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.”
When there were collateral civilian deaths under President Bush’s presidency, liberals and the liberal press went nuts. Now these same liberals are “Silent as the lambs.”
One must wonder about where Mr. Bush’s March 22 letter’s content came from (“Our tax dollars”).
The writer is at best naive and at worst uses a specious argument to support his contention that unionized government employees are using his tax dollars to influence their fate.
Pardon me! What does he think all of those private companies, that are doing business with the government, are doing with some of their income? Is that not our tax dollars that these private companies are using to influence/grease the wheel to better their plight?
Government employees are neither indentured servants nor slaves. Without the solidarity of a union, they might become such — if people like Ralph Bush believe and are allowed to follow through with their inane ideas.