Welcome to the 13th century, a time of cultural darkness, when words from the Vatican held sway over the powerful and instilled fear in the common man, when science was mere alchemy and its practitioners accused of heresy.
How far have we come in 800 years? In an overpopulated world, we are actually using the issue of contraception as a political football. Certain candidates are casting aside the more critical issues in the campaign to answer the call from the Roman Catholic hierarchy and challenging the president’s recent mandate and compromise on a woman’s right to birth control.
Of course, these are the same candidates who are quick to call global warming or climate change a hoax despite evidence to the contrary, seeing it all as a liberal plot against manufacturers’ right to spew poison into the atmosphere. The whole lot of scientists who have issued warnings of future disasters must be dismissed as modern alchemists.
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Whether the candidates actually believe in the positions they take is another matter. It’s a matter of appeasement. They are preaching to the choir, spouting rhetoric they are certain a segment of the electorate will applaud, knowing full well that ignorance begets ignorance.
On Don Norton
We write in response to the recent Tribune article covering the complaint filed against Cuesta College that includes allegations regarding the chair of Cuesta College’s Human Development Division, Don Norton. We would like your readers to know that faculty and staff within this division fully and unequivocally support and endorse Don Norton.
Many of us have worked with Mr. Norton for more than 15 years and have come to know him as a man of utmost integrity. Mr. Norton was elected by an overwhelming majority of his peers to assume the position of division chair; and four years later was re-elected, again by an overwhelming majority. It is through Mr. Norton’s guidance as a colleague and chair that the departments within our division have maintained professional integrity as well as academic excellence.
We also are troubled by The Tribune’s casual and uncritical reporting on the complaint, which has not been evaluated by any court, and which contains nothing more than untested allegations against the College and Mr. Norton. Had The Tribune simply talked to the signatories on this letter, we would have been able to inform your readers of our years of knowledge regarding Mr. Norton’s character.
Ginger Behnke Judy Berk Michele Gordon Betty Boster Melinda Jones (retired) Tricia Bramsen Nancy Hurd Denise Braun Linda Mintz Pat Brown Cherie Moore Lisa Campbell Phillip Riccomini Caryn Coffman Virginia Roof Bailey Drechsler Vicki Schemmer Jennifer Frere Sherilyn Young
A false tax promise
There was a paradigm shift in the tax codes in the “Reagan Revolution” of the 1980s. Before the shift, low incomes were taxed at low rates graduating up to a rate of 70 percent of income over $200,000. In the 1980s, taxes on upper incomes were cut in half with the promise that lower taxes would provide an incentive to those earning larger incomes to produce more wealth, meaning more tax revenue.
Cutting taxes to provide more tax revenue never worked, and the national debt rose from $0.8 trillion in 1980 to $15 trillion now. We are now paying interest on that debt of about $450 billion per year, and most of those interest payments go to the people in the same tax brackets that used to be taxed. The only way for the fiscal house to be put back in order is to raise the taxes on those who hold all that wealth.
The choices in the 2012 election could not be plainer. Most Democrats are committed to allowing taxes to rise on upper incomes. Republicans are committed to the false promise of getting more revenue for less tax.
Pay for our parks
The farming out of our state’s parks seems like a slippery slope. We are the state. These are our parks. The parks system bemoans its lack of funds. Every week, thousands visit Montana de Oro, Harmony Headlands, Morro Strand and many other local state parks for free.
These thousands are not charged day fees or even asked for a donation. I believe if collection boxes were installed at these parks, with a small sign asking for folks to “give a buck” or whatever they can to help support and keep these parks open, millions could be raised.
The people who visit the parks love them, and if given the chance, will give a buck.
When money runs out
I was raised to work hard, be honest, go to church and take care of one another. It seems our government has other ideas. Don’t work; don’t be honest; don’t go to church and we will take care of you. When all sources of income run out, I wonder what will happen.