Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 9/17

Spectator democracy

It seems that a new crisis is announced every news cycle. However, our great nation was built on crises — they come and go.

The good guys and the bad guys, however, always remain the same. The good are always those who help those in need and call for justice, and the bad are always those who help themselves to excess. The fight goes on, but truly — to paraphrase Ecclesiastes — there is nothing new under the sun. The good and the bad return in each crisis like swallows in springtime, impervious to particular quarrels and intent only on following their respective natures.

The most serious threat to our democratic republic was identified by Walter Lippmann in the early 20th century: “Spectator Democracy” — the idea that the U.S. public is a “bewildered herd” to be manipulated by the powerful using media propaganda. The real crisis today is the increasing truth of it.

Dan Biezad

San Luis Obispo

Try a window

Am I the only who thinks it’s silly for weather reporters to deliver their forecast standing in a hurricane, blizzard or blinding rainstorm? There’s a great invention that will allow them to report from inside and still see what’s outside.

It’s called a window (duh).

John Kepler

San Luis Obispo

Time to learn

I am proud to say that I am a 17-year-old American citizen during this century. Because of this, I have had many benefits and opportunities. However, considering my age I am not able to practice many freedoms here in the United States.

Some people may see this as a disadvantage; I see it as an excellent way to become a responsible citizen. As we grow up, we are exposed to the American way of life, its government, its history, how it is run. Most of us hear our parents talk about politics and see them root for different politicians. The experience inevitably exposes us to politics and our civic duties. Having this broadcast to us allows us to learn before we are formally taught and expected to perform accordingly as citizens.

Eventually, most of us are taught government and politics in school. For me, it is as a high school senior.

I am glad that when we are young we are not expected to participate as adult citizens. As we grow up, we are prepared to engage in government and politics that keep America running. The time allows us to grasp being responsible citizens. Ultimately we are privileged with time to learn and eventually participate in our government.

Celeste Stipicevich


The flag on display

I was shopping in Paso Robles on Sunday, the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a huge number of large flags proudly adorning my downtown.

They could be seen everywhere in the park, including lining the sidewalks and leading up to the Carnegie Library. There were also flags patriotically lining parts of Spring Street and waving all the way up and down the Niblick Bridge. I am not sure which group organized the flags — the city, the Chamber of Commerce, the Main Street Association or a combination of all three — but I wanted to say thank you. Your efforts did not go unnoticed, and the flags made me feel proud to call Paso Robles my home.

Nicole Smith

Paso Robles