Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 8/27

Approach worked

The conflict in Libya is not yet over but it does appear that the people of Libya will get a chance to form a democratic government.

Once again the patient and collaborative military approach of President Obama has been a success. While Republican hawks (like John McCain) were deriding the president, he took the time to build a genuine coalition through NATO. He made sure that we avoided putting our troops on the ground and instead provided air and logistic support that allowed the rebels to succeed.

I know the media will never give Obama credit but the facts are that once again his reasoned, cooperative international approach worked where all the blustering of the right failed.

Dan Daniel

Paso Robles

Follow the law

Those of you riding bicycles: Are you not required to follow the rules of the road? Recently, over the course of three days, I saw seven bike riders run through red lights or stop signs. Most hardly slowed down. All were wearing riding gear, so they should know what the law means.

Red means you are required to stop. The police could help the budget by citing these law breakers. A 40-pound bicycle vs. a 4,000-pound car or truck, bicycle loses every time.

Jim Stainbrook

Paso Robles

Natural tensions

For years I have read with interest the letters to the editor, but not always with reassurance as to our ability to examine rationally the complexities and elusive shadings of our common experience.

“Liberal” is not an ugly word, and throughout our history the conservative point of view has often proved constructive. What has happened to it? Has it surrendered its principles to a vociferous fringe spawned by unprincipled media and political voices?

The successful exercise of a democracy lies in recognizing that governance has its natural tensions and that citizens of good will (as well as their elected representatives) do not assume the dictatorial stance of “my way or the highway.” Such inflexibility has been, and still is, the hallmark of totalitarian societies. Should any political faction place its ascendancy above the common good? Where do we, as citizens, stand?

In 1813, Oliver Hazard Perry, an American naval commander, wrote of a successful engagement, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” Does anyone remember the little Walt Kelly comic-strip swamp denizen, Pogo, whose paraphrase of the memorable words was that we had met the enemy and they were us?

Harold Spencer

Paso Robles

Editor’s note: This letter is republished today to correct an editing error in an earlier version.