A wave and smile
My wife and I are new road bicyclists having only started two years ago. We have noticed something about many of the bike riders in the greater San Luis Obispo area: Weekend bicyclists rarely return a hello or a little wave.
We have grown up in this area, and we love to hike and bike and enjoy the area. During the week, everyone we meet is very social and will at least return a smile while riding. Come on, “Happiest Town In America,” a little wave and a smile!
In 1862, Lincoln, regretting his suspension of “habeas corpus” nearly a year earlier, apologetically reinstated it. He then used his executive power to sign the Morrill Act, setting aside land for future educational institutions. Businessman John Purdue used his wealth in Indiana to fund my Alma Mater, Purdue University.
In 2011, President Obama (with regret) authorized American citizens accused of hostilities against America imprisoned without trial or counsel, this power overturned only by court order. In contrast with John Purdue, today many wealthy individuals only fund their off-shore tax havens.
We were warned of this transitional behavior of our political and financial elite. It is “written-large” on the wall of Old South Church in Boston, where Benjamin Franklin was baptized and Sam Adams launched our freedom: “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it,” Judge Learned Hand said.
San Luis Obispo
Faceless cash cows
Our state Assemblyman, Katcho Achadjian, voted against AB 1148, the DISCLOSE Act (Bouquets and Brickbats, Feb. 3). He cited “protecting free speech” as the reason for his vote. My understanding of the basics of free speech in the United States is that one has the right to say almost anything or support any cause within the (or without) the bounds of reason.
However, I have assumed that with this right came the responsibility to identify oneself. Apparently, that is not the case when it comes to PACs, corporations, wealthy donors, etc. who wish to participate in our political processes anonymously.
To my mind, the very essence of free speech is the ability to stand up and be counted, to say “this is what I believe.” Those who voted against this bill had only one thing in mind — to protect their campaign financing and the covert financing of issues they support. To suggest a higher purpose would be disingenuous, to say the least.
A super Super Bowl
Super Bowl XLVI finally lived up to its hype: New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw, sealing the win by going into the end zone on his derriere from six yards out and the game-ending “Hail Mary,” pass from the Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady, falling incomplete in the end zone.
On unproven charges
Kudos to Bob Cuddy for pointing out the harm-that-cannot-be-undone by purveying unproven harassment charges against an individual (in this case the Paso Robles police chief).
Here’s hoping The Tribune will keep this in mind next time an alleged, unproven accusation of sexual harassment or rape is made against a college student, teacher or public official.
Last year, there were too many instances of such charges being dropped after, typically, a young male found his name and picture on the front page of your paper. As Cuddy writes, those so publicly accused have in this community little chance of remaining “innocent in the public eye,” even if exonerated.
San Luis Obispo
Mental health aid
News stories have reported that over the past year, 20 percent of Americans age 18 and older suffered from some form of mental illness. Click on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website at www.samha.gov, for referral locators for both mental health and substance abuse help. I particularly request that SLO County providers review the locators because the database for our county looks a little sketchy. Are these really the only resources we have available, particularly for the North County?