Seek power solutions
The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan prompted a continual flow of letters condemning the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant as unsafe. No doubt there are risks intrinsic in nuclear-generated power — power produced in a comparatively clean manner, if we ignore the obvious for a moment. Other sources of power have well-characterized dangers ranging from climate change and environmental disasters for petroleum to damaging the natural setting when we install solar panels, which somehow extract less fear.
Many Americans don’t fret over the source of their power when they leave the lights on in an unoccupied room. Accustomed to cheap and convenient power, you’re unlikely to reflect on my father’s experience, and possibly that of your father. Mine was raised on a Kansas farm without electricity before FDR’s rural electrification. My grandmother still cooked over a wood-burning stove when I was a boy, and my father hadn’t used an indoor toilet before he joined the Army in 1941.
Today’s conveniences and this enabling power we enjoy and expect don’t magically issue from a genie’s lamp. So rather than condemn, let’s seek solutions to the issues intrinsic in all sources of power. And maybe we should begin with finding a way to safely dispose of all that nuclear waste; of course, not in your backyard.
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Bring troops home
Anyone saying “we” must stop Iran or “we” must help Israel no matter what needs to finish their sentence with “by sending other people to die.”
How dare politicians and pundits say “we” will attack Iran if “we” feel threatened. The war-pigs won’t do anything but get richer. Our volunteers will do the warring. “We” aren’t suffering like the troops’ families are, like the locals whose relatives are dead. “We” don’t see the death and mayhem daily.
It’s hard to get our egos out of our military, and I know Sept. 11 hurt us all, but we need to gain some perspective. Our CIA has meddled in that region for more than 50 years. We aid and provide comfort to their enemies and expect no blowback. That is unadulterated arrogance, and I’m sick of it.
“We” must consider, contrary to what is presented about him, that Ron Paul got almost twice the donations from active military personnel than his opponents and President Barack Obama combined in the fourth quarter, according to Paul’s campaign.
The troops want to come home. They know America is safer with them and our resources here as opposed to being globally entangled in nation building. Let’s support the troops by bringing them home.
Regarding “A satisfied voter” (letters, Feb. 20): The claim that “Reagan/Bush I/Bush II are responsible for 93 percent of the entire debt of the U.S.” is way off the mark. The current U.S. debt is $15,413 billion ($13,382 billion in inflation-adjusted 2005 dollars).
The Reagan/Bush trilogy contributed about 42 percent of that amount. President Barack Obama’s own 2013 budget indicates that, if re-elected, his annual average deficits will more than triple the 20-year annual deficit rate of the Reagan/Bush I/ Bush II administrations.
Best and worst reason
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s recent comments about his Christian theology versus President Barack Obama’s is merely the latest example of a “my way or the highway” thinking common to all “true believers.”
It’s one more example of why a candidate’s religious beliefs are the worst possible reason to vote for him or her. Those beliefs, however, are often an excellent reason not to vote for that person.
Get used to high prices
Everyone is acting like $4 per gallon is a surprise. This is the first phase of a hyper-inflationary spiral. It’s not that the gas costs more; it’s that the money is worth so much less.
Gas prices aren’t coming down; prices are correcting for inflation. You can’t add $4.6 trillion in fiat money in three years and not see prices go up. They should measure inflation of the money supply by the price of gold and gasoline. Instead, they measure inflation, like they do unemployment:
Get used to paying more for everything. This is only the beginning.
Michael A. Pacer
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (and the Republican-led House of Representatives) defeated a proposal by Democrats to require that oil from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline be sold in the U.S.
Republicans also blocked regulations on oil market speculation, which greatly increases gas prices. A recent Tribune headline read, “High gas price may fuel GOP campaign.” Like it or not, according to the Bureau of Land Management, our president issued as many new leases and permits to drill as former President George W. Bush. Amazingly, despite President Barack Obama’s attempts to appease Republicans, they are being instructed to blame him for gas prices.
Even worse, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, American exports of oil are higher than they’ve ever been. Apparently, there is more money to be made exporting oil than in “reducing our reliance on oil from hostile regimes,” as the Republican mantra goes.
GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum added another layer of insanity when he publicly derided President Obama’s energy policy, which Santorum claimed places care of the earth and natural resources above human needs, as if these are separable.
These are just more examples of Republicans relying on the intellectual laziness of their constituents to bolster their greed-based agenda.
Pat M. Fidopiastis
Associate professor, biological sciences, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Traffic cash cow
I have noticed a cash cow for the city of Morro Bay lately, and I think the city should pounce on it right away.
I pick up my grandson at the Del Mar Elementary School, and sometimes go to Main Street and then south to return home. At the San Jacinto intersection, there is a three-way stop sign.
I am usually sitting on the north side, on Main Street, (although I’ve seen this from both sides) when the traffic approaching Highway 1 will drive through the Main Street stop sign when the traffic light on Highway 1 is green for westbound traffic to either enter or cross the highway.
No matter what color the light is for the traffic on San Jacinto, trying to get on Highway 1, drivers need to stop at Main Street. This is a significant issue, as there are many others like me who have just left the school, with children aboard, driving through that intersection.
As a matter of fact, the latest offender not only ran the stop sign but cut me off near the school in his haste. I believe that he had just picked up a student as well.
Bags and bands
First, I want to say that I use reusable shopping bags almost all of the time and I don’t believe in the contamination nonsense. Second, I will miss the “disposable” or so-called “single-use” bags as I reuse them 100 percent of the time. They are handy for many reasons, too numerous to detail here. I shall have to buy the same size plastic disposable bags now, which alleviates no plastic bag waste by me.
Thirdly, I wish Andy Pease, “Ditch the bags” (letters, Feb. 22) could somehow trade my rubber-banded Tribune for his plastic-wrapped Tribune. I live in Pismo, where the morning condensation is greater than in SLO, and my delivery person seems to aim close to my lawn where, three times per week, sprinkler overspray dampens my paper. Also, tight rubberbanding rolls my paper into such a wrinkled mess that I feel I should iron it to read.
I’d reuse those bags, too. (I don’t iron my paper. Why waste the electricity when paperweights will do?)
Turn off the phone
This is a message for all those out there who drive while yakking on their cellphones. Stop it. It is against the law.
You are a hazard to other drivers. When behind a wheel of a vehicle going in excess of 65 mph, you should constantly be aware of your surroundings (no multitasking) because you cannot be distracted while operating that two-ton motorized missile.
I myself shut off my phone while in the car. If I need to make a call, I park or wait until I reach my destination.
I am about to start a campaign to ask our legislators to post signs and billboards warning of the dangers of talking on phones while driving.
I urge you, please use the common sense I hope you were raised with and stop this practice.
Raymond C. Porter