March on D.C.
Joe Tarica gave a fair overview of the “Occupy” movement (“Joetopia,” Nov. 5). He pointed out that our nation has the “most carefully conceived and balanced political system in the history of the world.” He reasoned that most people are reacting against the greed and cronyism which are eroding the democratic values that form the foundation of our political system.
It is my view that the protesters should be marching in front of the White House and Congress. The Democrats have their hands out to the union bosses and trial lawyers for money to run their multimillion-dollar campaigns, and the Republicans have their hands out to the industrial titans for the same purpose, and as a result the “little guy,” whom they are supposed to represent, gets shortchanged.
Thank you, W.B. Honeycutt, for your wonderful and truthful letter (Nov. 4). You are absolutely right when you said, “We can find the real cause by looking inside ourselves.” We have become a society of people who feel it’s not necessary to take responsibility for our bad decisions; we feel it is acceptable to blame others for our bad decisions, and many believe it is acceptable to lie. We expect our government and corporations to maintain high moral standards, but we as a society have decided that we should not be held to those same standards. We criticize the government and corporations when they break the law but believe we have the “right” to break the law. We live in world of people that have no moral standards.
What kind of examples are we to our children when we are showing them that responsibility and respect are not important?
San Luis Obispo
Lately there has been a lot of talk about the “Occupy Wall Street” movements popping up in cities around the country. “What is the movement about?” Are these people on our side? Many rumors have been thrown around about this movement and the Tea Party movement. I hear accusations that the Occupy people are communists and the Tea Party are racist. Neither is true.
The fact is that throughout history the ruling class has always ruled over the masses by using one common technique, divide and conquer. If they can make us see each other as Republicans/Democrats, liberals/conservatives, they will continue to rule over us, eroding our freedom as we fight amongst ourselves over which party will screw us this time. “We the people” are the rightful rulers of this great country, and it is time that we stand together and take it back from the ruling elite in Washington and on Wall Street.
This is a quote from the Occupy SLO billboard: “In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its maximum hour of danger. You are that generation, this is your role, now is that time.”
If you agree with this, whether you are a Tea Party or a 99 percent supporter, then stand together and support this movement.
Sunday, Nov. 13’s “60 Minutes” contained a segment that every person in the country should see and be totally disgusted with. The segment dealt with how our politicians in Washington, including Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner, allegedly manage to grow their personal portfolios by huge amounts by using insider information regarding stocks, property investments, etc. that the rest of us are not privy to nor allowed to use without violating the law.
Such action by our so-called representatives, while legal, is immoral to say the least. It is no wonder that Congress has a favorable rating of about 10 percent. The term “honest politician” has got to be the greatest oxymoron of all time!
Stanley D. Schaffer
In reading the articles in the newspaper over the past year of the overcrowding and the need to build larger facilities of jails and prisons, it seems there is no set answer to the problems which keep accelerating. Why not help facilitate the recovery homes that are working to help heal and rehabilitate those who have no hope?
When an individual is sentenced to a jail/prison term, they usually return to society like they entered the facility because of no help inside. We have many recovery homes in our county that have to turn people away because they have no money to go through a program.
When the courts sentence a drug addict to a program, why can’t the state pay to place them in a recovery home for six months to a year? Could it be that the money the state is asking to “expand” the jails and prisons be given to help rehabilitate those who will soon be incarcerated or released from the penal system who need help instead?
Chaplain Judy Boen
The world view
Sunday, Nov. 13’s article “Candidates take shots at Obama’s foreign policy,” summarizing Saturday’s Republican debate noted that the frequently bickering candidates were “... largely united in their view that President Obama has weakened the nation’s standing in the world view.” Since this assessment does not square with the view of friends and relatives in Europe with whom I regularly communicate, I thought I would look for polls on the subject. The most relevant I could find was a poll of 27 countries around the world released by the BBC in March 2011. In this poll, 49 percent held positive views of the U.S. and 31 percent held negative views.
This compares with a favorable rating of 47 percent in 2010 and only 28 percent in 2007. For reference, the 2011 ranking put the U.S. in eighth position, with Germany at the top with a 62 percent favorable rating. (For the complete ranking, see “Views of U.S. Continue to Improve in 2011 BBC Country Rating Poll,” WorldPublicOpinion.org).
San Luis Obispo
In his letter (Oct. 28) Allen Litten of Atascadero feels President Obama has a “miserable record” and our huge national debt is his fault. Interesting, given the $21 billion given to Iraq. The total cost of this unnecessary and illegal war in money and lives is yet to be calculated.
President Obama has been able to do quite a bit despite the obstruction of Congress. He is ending the fiasco that is Iraq. He has found and eliminated Bin Laden and other despots. Indeed, his accomplishments for which he did not need congressional approval have been impressive. Imagine what he could do if Congress was reasonable!
Unfortunately, they won’t do anything which would support the president, as their main goal is to unseat Obama. They killed proposals to provide $35 billion to hire or retain teachers, firemen and policemen. They objected to the half percent tax on incomes over $1 million to support this.
So what is the Republicans’ plan? Anything the GOP candidates have offered has proved to be unrealistic and rather bizarre. Obama’s proposals would create 1.3 million jobs in the first year and raise GDP by 1.25 percent. Certainly all good things for our nation, but that is not the goal of Congress. And if it is not your goal, then you need to rethink who and what you are supporting, Allen Litten.
A surreal nightmare
Regardless of who gets the Republican presidential nomination, think of the possibilities if they take the White House next year. We can dismantle Medicare and Social Security, let Wall Street run wild over those pesky regulations, suppress voting, celebrate the death penalty, break unions, punish gay people, elevate torture, end environmental protection as we know it, start trade wars and shooting wars in foreign lands, erect monuments to Dick Cheney, and enact another huge tax cut for the super rich — er, I mean the “job creators.”
We can nominate more people to the Supreme Court who think money is speech and corporations are people, my friend. We can favor capital over labor, private profit over public good, and further squeeze the vast middle class while our infrastructure crumbles into the Sea of Empire. We can widen the gap between rich and poor — like a banana republic — while laying off teachers and firefighters. We can further isolate our politicians and thereby increase their utter inability to fathom the degree to which the American dream of social and economic justice for all is turning into a surreal nightmare.