Opinion » Letters



Why shy away from peace?

New Times has done it again. It has totally ignored a peace event in the county.

Last year, you had nothing in your paper about the Youth Peace Fair in Atascadero. This year, even with many press releases and phone calls, you printed nothing about the Iraq Vets Against the War being here, going to local high schools, and being at the Democratic booth at SLO Farmers' Market on Feb. 22. Most other media did exceptional coverage.

What is the matter with your paper? It isn't the old New Times I used to like to read. Are your editors afraid of anything controversial, like peace? Well, I guess your newspaper is still good to start a fire in the wood burner with, anyway!

Dee Carroll

Santa Margarita




Daniel Pipes' Cal Poly visit was creepy

Monday night's (March 5) Cal Poly lecture by Daniel Pipes (pro-Israel and anti-Palestine) was chilling. He is connected with the Young America's Foundation, a conservative think tank who sponsors other radical conservatives like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Delay, Ralph Reed, and Pat Buchanon on university campuses. Pipes, who considers himself an expert on the Muslim faith, did his best to insult Islam and went so far as to call it a fascist movement whose intent is to destroy Israel and America.

It's speakers like Daniel Pipes who fuel hate, terrorism, and war. Unfortunately there are replicas of his ilk all over the conservative/religious media gamut spewing his sick rhetoric. He was creepy enough to give you Hitler-era goosebumps.

Linde Owen

Los Osos





Thanks for getting the word out

Thank you so much for your recent article, by Kathy Johnston, about our quest to bring residential treatment and detox to SLO County ("Detox is on the way," March 1). I would like to thank everyone who has contacted our facility for their interest and support. Special thanks are due to the people at First Bank of San Luis Obispo for their kind offer to help us with some much-needed improvements to our facility.

Thanks also to our hardworking staff, Marti Hendricks and Jay Mitchell, and all the men at Project Amend.

Once again, anyone interested in making a donation can call 782 9600. We are a nonprofit facility, so your donations are tax deductible.

Thanks again to New Times for their help in getting the word out about Project Amend's efforts to give those afflicted with the disease of addiction a place in this county where they can get the treatment they so desperately need and deserve.

Michael Axelrod

executive director

Project Amend




This society's not so great

A Greek proverb states, "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." What do you call a society when old men sanction the creation and storage of lethal nuclear waste that remains life-threatening for a hundred generations?

Duane Waddell





We should take a lesson from the Canadians

It's a well-known fact that those who ignore history are destined to repeat it. Case in point: the Gulf War. As a retired master sergeant in the Air Force, I have friends in the military who are being sent overseas without the most basic equipment for survival. This flies in the face of the United States' legendary "can-do" spirit. Without body armor, all that we'll accomplish is increase the number of body-bags needed.

I'm haunted by a Q&A session held in Iraq two years ago, between Rumsfeld and a soldier. The man asked the Secretary of Defense why he and his men had to rummage through trash in order to find makeshift armor. That's no way for the world's greatest military to treat the women and men who are bravely fighting for freedom. Our allies have armor most notably the unreported Canadian forces. We would do well to emulate them.

Donn Clarius

Santa Margarita




Central Coast cities can be a world model

Algae for bio-fuels!? It grows at an accelerated rate (fed enriched nutrients) at 1,200 times the bio-fuel yield of corn a solution for the Los Osos crisis in dealing with their effluent, as well as creating a pilot program for our children's future. Maybe with the "good will" of Chevron, whose assets include several defunct but functional storage tanks suitable for producing algae to create ethanol, bio-diesel, and animal feed, while purifying water. If the old oil lines from Morro Bay can be utilized to transport processed sewage, both communities could become world models.

Alex A. Rios





Get us out of this ship

It is highly immoral that President Bush is going to send more troops into harm's way and we cannot even take care of our troops when they arrive home.

The situation at Walter Reed hospital is inexcusable. I wonder if the president has gone to W.R. hospital to personally investigate this mess. After all, it is only a hop, skip, and a jump from the grandeur of the White House.

Get a grip, George W., and get us out of this sinking ship.

Patricia Simmons

San Luis Obispo




Let's impeach the whole administration almost

Does anyone remember Donald Rumsfeld? This debacle at Walter Reed Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Department is just shades of the last Secretary of Defense predecessor Donald Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and the front man, George W. Bush, wanted to have a war on the cheap while lying to the people about the need to invade and occupy Iraq. They have never had a clear strategy to win this war. They only saw the money mill of war profiteering from which they could drink "till their and their friends' pork bellies" are full.

We were warned this would happen at the Veterans Administration two years ago. The administration did no planning for the wounded and now there is a sad attempt to take care of our good soldiers on the cheap. Has the Pentagon allotted more money for psychiatric help for all the troops coming home? I wonder who the contractors are that are giving our wounded soldiers a fit place to live in which to recuperate. Could KBR, Halliburton, and other corporate friends of Cheney get these jobs and, of course, charge more than it should cost?

Everything that comes out of Cheney's mouth goes against any connection to reality. Funny how he points the finger at other Americans, saying they are evil or supporting evil. Didn't mother say "when you point the finger, there are three fingers pointing back at you?" Is Cheney really the puppet master of the moron running the United States?

Upon learning about this latest mess threatening our troops right here in America in their recovery from the war, I am embarrassed by the leaders of our country. I wonder sometimes if Bush and his crew are really war criminals. Aren't all the appointed heads of the many agencies operating our government just a bunch of Bush's buddies and really not qualified to hold those positions?

Let's impeach this whole administration except Bob Gates and replace them with intelligent representatives of our country so we can become the America our founding fathers envisioned.

Scott Jenkins

San Luis Obispo




Our mantra should be 'Save the troops'

When I read that Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey abruptly resigned his post over the Walter Reed Hospital scandal, I thought it is about time that someone in this administration had the integrity to resign in view of the grave indignities perpetuated upon our wounded servicemen and women. His resignation came one day after Harvey fired the two-star general in charge of the medical center, which came in response to disclosures of problems at the hospital compound. This happened as revelations of wounded soldiers being placed in shoddy, cockroach- and roach-infested outpatient facilities were published in the press.

As these conditions surfaced in the media, the outpatient environment at Walter Reed became a national embarrassment for the Army in general and the Bush Administration in particular. The official word out of Washington is that Harvey resigned, but some say that Harvey was asked to resign by Defense Secretary Robert Gates over his firing of Major General George Weightman and the naming of his replacement. To me this smacks of damage control, not solution.

No matter the circumstances, the situation is deplorable and our brave servicemen and women deserve better. I, for one, want to see the Army's and Bush Administration's plans provide appropriate treatment for our nation's wounded warriors. Until an adequate solution is in place, perhaps the mantra for all Americans should be changed from "We Support the Troops" to "Save the Troops."

Roger Hart

Santa Maria




Listen to the enlisted

"As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home."

With these patriotic words, 1,600 soldiers and officers of our brave armed forces have sent an Appeal for Redress to their congressional representatives, a form of protest permitted by military rules. Seventy percent of these men and women are still on active duty.

I call them brave because anyone who has been in the service knows the Army has many ways to make your life very difficult. Taking this stand may do just that. One can only imagine how many active military might have signed if the service treated dissenters with the respect they have earned.

Congress may not know what to do about Iraq, but our soldiers do!

Gale McNeeley

Santa Maria




It's called deism, people

I get tired of Christians who know nothing about the founding of our country and stupidly keep stating that our country's Constitution and laws are based on their religion.

Our laws and constitution are based on English-Roman-Greek law and philosophies. Most of the founders of our country were men of the Enlightment, not Judeo-Christian philosophy. When they spoke of God, they were not thinking of the Judeo-Christian concept of God any more than Muslim or Hindu gods.

Their concept is called deism. Its premise is that God is nature and the natural world.

It is gross ignorance to have someone tell you what to believe. You already accept nature and natural laws and forces like gravity, light, and other forms of energy.

Go to Google and check out for yourselves what Jefferson and Paine wrote.

Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande




Now's our chance to get vehicles off the beach

A Dunes Task Force was formed to study the county's 584 acres within the State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA). This property makes up 40 percent of the area where vehicles "recreate." Now is the opportunity for SLO County to tell the state to get their vehicles off our beach and dunes.

The Off Highway Vehicle Division (OHV) of State Parks was established to promote vehicle use as a type of "recreation." It has made the corporations even more rich and powerful.

The time has come to "kick our addiction" to cars that pollute the air we breathe, make us fat, cause global warming, and dominate our lives. We need time to get away from vehicles and roads, listen to waves, play volleyball on the beach, allow kids to run free, and start walking again.

The county should not sell the beach and dunes land to the SVRA.

Bill Denneen


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