Was mountain lion killing necessary?
Regarding the mountain lion killing in SLO:
Was it really necessary to kill that animal? Couldn't a tranquilizer gun be shot from the same distance? When are we going to understand it is humans encroaching on nature's territory, and not the other way around?
San Luis Obispo
Stop bullying and start fixing problems
In response to Arthur Cullati's Nov. 22 letter ("Congratulations, drive-by media"):
Mr. Cullati comments that the "subversive drive-by media ... in association with the communistic Democratic Party" was responsible for the defeat of the Republican Party on Nov. 7. He also warns us that Democrats will raise taxes 132 percent, will make a terrorist attack on the United States imminent, and that Americans will now have to "dress their wives and daughters in burkas."
I suggest that the reason why the Republicans were defeated was because Americans were sick and tired of George Bush's Iraq War, his lies that got us there, and the thugs like Mr. Cullati who supported him.
The election is over. Mr. Cullati's party has had their opportunity and they blew it. It's time to stop the bullying and threats and get on with trying to fix the problems that 12 years of Republican rule have caused.
Pointing fingers is juvenile
Regarding Mr. Cullati's letter about drive-by media being responsible for the election results ("Congratulations, drive-by media," Nov. 22), I was hoping his demented comments were tongue in cheek. His reasoning would have you believe the media is responsible for the failed war in Iraq, for the war profiteering by Halliburton, for corruption in Congress, for price manipulations by oil companies, for the lack of national health care, and for the imminent doom of our nation.
Pointing the finger to deflect criticism and responsibility is a very juvenile ploy. My children do it regularly. Also Mr. Cullati, your fear tactics resemble a recently defeated political party's tactics. But what disturbed me most was the fact that Mr. Cullati's family fled a fascist government in Italy, whose media was controlled by the ignoble tyrant Mussolini. Do you see the irony? Italy has a democratic leader now, sir.
Christians should be compassionate
As a Catholic, I feel I must respond to Mr. Rick Tibben's letter ("Look at today's savages," Nov. 22). While the Catholic church teaches that homosexuality is disordered, by no means does it encourage the mistreatment of homosexuals. In paragraph 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is stated that "[Homosexuals] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."
For any Christian to harm a homosexual individual, however deviant he may believe that person's lifestyle to be, would be a serious sin. The blood in this case is not, as Mr. Tibben states, on the hands of Christian churches, but instead on those who will not, to their own detriment and no one else's, follow God's teachings of compassion.
San Luis Obispo
One more bike letter for the road
I agree most bike tickets are lame. It seems obvious that when a penalty causes more damage then breaking a law, that enforcement of the law is a greater evil than non-enforcement. In situations where the bike lane does not cross traffic, I find it very unbelievable that ticketing someone for not stopping for a stop sign is anything but harassment very similar to being mugged by the police really, only the amount they steal and flush down the toilet is more than I'm likely to carry.
An example of this situation would be a right-hand turn from bike lane to bike lane. The police say a bike is just like a car, but most probably don't ride bikes. If they did, they would notice there are many intersections around San Luis that do not sense bikes. Some lights that would stay green for an oncoming car change red for a bike because they don't notice the bike. Sometimes if no cars are around, a biker has to either go over and push the walk button or wait for a car to get a green light.
A city that encourages pedestrians to act like lunatics and enter crosswalks at whatever whim can certainly allow for bikes to cross at slow speeds with care without coming to stops, which serve no protective purpose. (Really, I think the major crosswalks downtown by Barnes and Noble and Ross should be synchronized with the traffic lights, and pedestrians should only be allowed to jump like arrogant annoyances at their own risk.)
It would be nice to look at an officer in uniform and reflexively feel: There's a hero and a solid citizen. I think my main reflex is more like: There's a pest that can wreck my month. And the commentary you printed about bike tickets ("Bike tickets are lame," Nov. 9) is exactly why I feel this tension. The main stories we as citizens share about the functions of police shouldn't be about harassment for "our own good" and the "protection" of imaginary victims.
If the best an officer has to do downtown in the evening is write jaywalking tickets for pedestrians who walked after noticing no oncoming traffic, then I imagine there are thousands in the community who believe the community would be better served by no officer.
San Luis Obispo
Not everyone can handle mink suffering
I knew a girl in the Bellingham area of Washington state who worked at a mink farm. She said that there was a crew of men who killed the minks by crushing their hearts with their thumbs.
If you worked there for a predetermined length of time, you would get a mink coat.
They had a big turnover of workers because the job was so brutal. My friend did not last three weeks, because she could not stand to see the suffering of the mink.
Can't somebody help the EOC Thrift Store?
Today I was dismayed to find out that the EOC Thrift Store would be closing its doors on Dec. 23. Aside from selfish, personal reasons for this dismay it has been a favorite shopping venue of mine for years I am concerned about the closure's greater impact on those who have relied on its services to fill a much-needed gap in care.
Countless times I have been present as Nancy Wolfe has cheerfully redeemed vouchers for people in need of a sleeping bag, clothes for a job interview or child, or a backpack to contain their worldly possessions. Nancy's policy was that every child would leave the store with a book to read. Chances were that the next time you visited, Nancy would greet you by name and ask after your family. Volunteer workers, paid staff, and customers were treated with dignity and respect.
It is ironic that this humanitarian service should itself be facing homelessness for lack of affordable space. Losing this resource due to the financial bottom line makes me wonder if there isn't someone in our town who could donate a vacant space to house the store. Such a tangible and generous gift would send a message to many in our community who are finding hope to be a rare commodity in the midst of material wealth.
My wishes for blessings and joy to all this holiday season.
San Luis Obispo
Vandenberg Base Exchange makes dollars and no sense
My wife and I went Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving at Vandenberg Air Force Base. We patronize military stores in hopes we can purchase merchandise made in America. We intentionally avoid stores like Wal-Mart, due to the fact their inventory consists primarily of merchandise from communist countries, primarily Vietnam and China. Normally, capitalists and communists don't mix.
As we filled our shopping cart, we were shocked to discover every item we examined at the Base Exchange at Vandenberg was made in the People's Republic of China. I could not believe the military would promote communism by outfitting the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) stores with products from China. I have visited several installations throughout my military career since 1975. I never thought I would see the day our government preferred we listen to Vladimir Lenin rather than John Lennon.
Moreover, the Chinese government has basically bankrolled our struggling economy. The People's Bank of China now holds more than $700 billion in foreign exchange reserves, with roughly one-third parked in U.S. treasuries and another third in other dollar-denominated assets such as corporate bonds. Additionally, our nation's huge trade deficit is primarily with communist China. The Bush administration has even outsourced our national security to the Chinese, confiding in them to negotiate with the North Koreans on our behalf, even as they rebuild their military.
We must reject the policies of the feel good now, pay me later Republicans. If not, "Imagine there's no country!"
Jose Luis Castellanos
Watch math and science improve in the county
Something major is being planned for San Luis Obispo County to address a very serious national and local crisis affecting the future of all of our children, improving their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and abilities. Given many reports about America's dangerously poor state of STEM education, a new local nonprofit organization is planning a very ambitious project to address this crisis.
Our schools need focused help in improving STEM education. I would like to introduce SLO County residents to the new Discovery Institute, which intends to do just that, in a monumental way, building a mega-facility that will become a major attraction for all residents, schools, and tourists.
At Cal Poly on Dec. 4, at 2 p.m., in Building 21, Room 105, teams of architectural students will publicly unveil conceptual designs for the Discovery Institute's "San Luis Obispo Discovery Center." Plans for this $50 million to $100 million STEM education and research complex include an IMAX theater, state-of-the-art planetarium, astronomical observatory, convention facility, research and demonstration labs, classrooms, large auditorium, hands-on exploration stations, restaurant, and science store.
For more information about the Discovery Institute and SLO Discovery Center, please see www.institutefordiscovery.org.
Discovery Institute Advisory Board
This country needs to cut and run
"Leap before you look" leads to only one practical option: "Cut and run."
Every day, the sectarian violence in Iraq increases, despite constant promises by both governments that it will lessen. The most viable option to save lives is for the United States to get out ASAP. Every day we remain there, the greater the loss of lives.
That region is proving daily that it is not ready for western-style democracy. Cut and run is the only sensible option.
Hopefully we'll learn this time that we cannot impose our will on others.