Happy and sad
Patti Launders of Nipomo, you are a smart person, a classy person, someone worth knowing! What a beautiful letter of apology and humility (Oct. 26)! I’m deeply impressed. You may be older, but your mind and heart are hardly ossified!
How incredibly sad, on the other hand, to read a Templeton resident’s diatribe (Oct. 26) against the “lack of personal responsibility, hypocrisy and jealous envy” in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Ms. “Templeton,” have you noticed the photos of decent, hardworking, middle-aged Americans who have lost their jobs after 20 years, forced to stand for hours in long lines to interview for a job they most likely won’t be able to land?
Don’t you read about the people who can’t afford medical insurance and whose teeth are killing them? They often drag themselves to work, forgoing visits to the dentist because they’ve got to hang on to their jobs to feed their children.
Sometimes I find it hard to look at young people without apologizing about our country when the top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income in the past decades. I know so many responsible, educated, caring young people who are underemployed at best.
Jesus must cry when he sees the greed of those who have so much and neglect their brothers and sisters! As said in “Hamlet”: “There’s something rotten in Denmark!”
Liz Ogren Krieger
San Luis Obispo
“No kind deed should go unpublished,” to paraphrase a cliche. I take pride in being a SLO native and have two recent examples of why this town is so great:
My father, Charles Murray, retrieved his checkbook through the thoughtfulness of “Nelson,” who left it at the customer service counter at Target. “Nelson” also left two messages to make sure my father got the checkbook (but left no phone number, so it is hoped he calls again to be thanked personally).
The second example of kindness is one of going above and beyond the job description in the delightful landscaping of the two parking lot planters on Monterey Street near the Mission. This person is Jeff Lesquesne, a City Parking employee. He tired of seeing the automatic sprinklers watering dead shrubs, so he decided to plant new ones. I happened to “catch him in the act” of replacing some of the bedding plants and got to thank him for these cheerful spots of color.
These “random acts of kindness” make me proud to live in such a special community. Small wonder that San Luis Obispo is such a happy place!
San Luis Obispo
The myth of college
College is not for everyone: “Every student is now told that a college degree is essential to a good job and a good life,” said Richard Vedder and Andrew Gillen in the “National Review.” “Sadly, this is a lie.” For more from this article, see www.nationalreview.com/articles/280817/solution-student-loan-debt-richard-vedder.
Too many students who do not have the cognitive skills and discipline to benefit from an academic education are pushed into gaining expensive university degrees. Yet, high school teachers and administrators, themselves with little experience outside academia, continue to push unqualified young adults to enroll in higher education in droves. This folly is paid for by low-interest student loans that now exceed $771 billion. A growing number of these borrowers are not earning enough to pay back their loans.
The myth of college at any cost was created and promulgated by academia. It hasn’t been true for the past 20 years and won’t be true for the next 20. If the principal of your teen’s high school doesn’t know this and won’t talk about real alternatives for your teen’s future, they are not fit to lead.
Cain reminds us
To all those liberal letter writers who have been accusing conservatives of not going along with Obama’s socialistic, left-wing agenda because of his skin color, here’s something for you to chew on: A successful, dynamic, businessman of the same skin color is now leading the Republication nomination. How does that grab all you politically correct, name-calling crybabies?
Unlike Obama, however, who was elected by people who look to the government to take care of them, Herman Cain tells everyone to reclaim their self-respect, get some kind of job no matter what it pays, and stand on their own two feet. Cain reminds all of us we must take care of ourselves. I support him because he understands labor unions are the ones who are creating class warfare in this country.
Some guy up in Cambria dislikes Prop. 13. Perhaps he has his own agenda. If so, let him pay more taxes and leave the rest of us struggling folks alone. As for the protests against Wall Street: Good for them. The stock markets have turned into little more than vehicles for speculators and gamblers to make fortunes for themselves with little thought for those they are destroying.
Our forefathers planned a government “by the people, for the people.” At that time, our forefathers had no way of knowing that huge corporations would emerge and result in a small percent of the population controlling the majority of the wealth.
The result is we have “government by the government for the special interests.” If our politicians do not follow the desires of the “special interest” groups, they do not get the money to get reelected. We no longer have a democracy, not when 1 percent of the population is responsible for our elected representatives!
We the people can turn this around, but it will not be easy. It will probably have to start at the local level. Begin by creating a law that limits contributions by any company and individual to no more than $10 per elected representative per year in money or gifts, with a citizens’ committee to enforce the law.
Add a law that no candidate may contribute more than $1,000 of their own money to their campaign. This leaves it open for average people, not just billionaires, to run for office. To raise $10 million would require promoting ideas that appeal to 1 million people or companies, certainly possible through our social media.
Let us turn this around and restore the democracy “by the people for the people” that our forefathers envisioned.
As a senior at Atascadero High School, I am excited to see the school district getting on board with science, technology, engineering and math programs. A building dedicated to these topics on the school’s campus is in the planning stages and demonstrates that the district is serious about providing education in these fields.
It is vital that those courses be made available and promoted for future generations to be competitive in the world. Being a veteran robotics team member, I can speak of the importance and impact that after-school programs such as the FIRST Lego League Robotics Team at the junior high and the FRC Robotics Team at the high school have made on me.
In the future I would like to see robotics be offered as part of a math and science curriculum for students desiring a career in those fields. It is an excellent opportunity to get involved, learn and be exposed to real challenges and problem-solving situations. Atascadero High School is home to the 2011 FRC World Champion robotics team, and the future looks promising. Thank you for supporting science, technology,engineering and math education!
Regarding Hugh Robinson’s letter of Oct 22: His statement that seniors depend on investment income to make ends meet is misleading. That statement is used to justify high-income investors paying half the tax rate that a worker pays.
As an AARP volunteer, I have prepared hundreds of tax returns for seniors. They mostly get by on Social Security and a pension. Their interest income is mostly negligible.
Wall Street got a bailout because Congress guaranteed it when they told California to build affordable housing. There is no such thing as affordable housing. There are affordable rentals. Buying a home is business. Congress needs to stay out of people’s business. But the genie is out of the bottle.
The Wall Street revolution needs to center on true value. Mortgagers need to take the hit. Congress needs to take the blame. Then, if we want to save our economy, we need local government with a local permit system. Like it used to be, keep the state out of county business.
San Luis Obispo