Not much change
When the allegations that Herman Cain had allegedly sexually harassed women in the 1990s, a friend of mine called to “reminisce” about what it was like to be a working woman at that time (we both were). She said, “You know he did it; remember what it was like in the ’90s? (Women) were fair game.”
I had not thought about it for a long time, but she was right; we were. And we dared not complain or we’d lose our jobs. I, and nearly every woman I worked with, was sexually harassed (repeatedly touched by a coworker when we accidentally found ourselves on the same side of a desk or table with him). It got so bad and so blatant that I did report it and did lose my job. So, women kept quiet. Which answers the question now being asked: “If it happened way back then, why are these women just speaking up now?”
We couldn’t speak up then, and even now when we finally do say what happened, we’re just discounted. It doesn’t seem that all that much has changed in 20 years.
The general welfare
Donald Hirt (“Basic goals,” Nov. 7) claims that the Tea Party wants a federal government “only as large as is needed to fulfill its obligations to its citizens as clearly defined in our Constitution.”
But which federal obligations are “clearly defined”? Narrowly defined, there are very few explicit Constitutional funding obligations of the government. Some examples: compensation for Congress and the president; and funding for various obligations of Article I, Section 8 (coin money, post offices, courts, Army and Navy, state militias, etc.).
However, our Constitution (Article I, Section 8) says the Congress can raise funds for “the general welfare.” The Constitution is vague on what “the general welfare” means. That’s a political question, not a legal one.
The federal government provides for the general welfare in many diverse ways: education funds for the states, transportation infrastructure, environmental protection, public health, occupational safety, food and drug safety, unemployment benefits, Social Security, Medicare, the Affordable Health Care Act, national parks, veterans hospitals; etc.
Tea Party extremists like Mr. Hirt want us all to believe that most of the expenditures in the examples given above are unconstitutional and socialistic. That’s clearly false. We the people define the meaning of “the general welfare.”
San Luis Obispo
Ability to pay
I have to respond to Joyce Knight’s Nov. 16 letter, wherein she is upset because her property taxes are four times those of her neighbor.
I bought my house in 1978 for $100,000, with its $1,000 property tax bill, which is what I could afford then. Someone now comes into my neighborhood and buys a similar house this year for $400,000, with its $4,000 property tax bill, which is what he can afford. His ability to pay that $4,000 in no way gives me the ability to pay $4,000 in property taxes.
I’ve been retired for 12 years, and Social Security is our primary income source. Under Joyce’s proposal, I would probably have to sell my house and move into something cheaper.
Thank you to the people who passed Prop. 13 and those who continue to support it. Ability to pay is totally fair and equitable.
Temple of Wall Street
When “In God we Trust” replaced “E Pluribus Unum” on all our money, and when “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance, those words demonstrated a national spiritual commitment, if not a legal one.
According to the Christian Bible, Jesus overturned the money changer’s tables in the temple. Today’s temple is Wall Street, and the money changers are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and their ilk (Tribune, Nov. 12); it seems the public has had enough of modern day money changers and is expressing that opinion through the Occupy Wall Street movement.
To those who say, “I’ve got mine, go get your own,” or, “Let the poor fend for themselves,” I say nothing scares a wealthy man more than the loss of his money. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Anton and Vicki Vesely
The patriotic thing
At the Republican foreign policy debate Nov. 12, Mitt Romney forcefully asserted that if President Barack Obama remained in office, Iran would get a nuclear bomb, but if he were elected president, it would not. Republicans are always bellowing about how “patriotic” they are, so shouldn’t Mr. Romney do the “patriotic” thing and share his stop-the-bomb secret with the president right away?
If elected, Mr. Romney won’t be inaugurated until January of 2013. When it comes to nuclear bombs and Iran, I thought time was of the essence.
Lee Van Leeuwen
San Luis Obispo