Los Osos is poised to be a shining example
Dear Bruce Gibson,
I, as well as so many Los Osos residents, want to thank you for your efforts to create an efficient sewer.
You have inspired trust and integrity to the black eye that we have all worn here in Los Osos.
As my grandfather always said, "If you are going to build a building, build a good one." We now have the attention of not only the county but of the state. We now have the opportunity to build something of which we all can be proud. Take, for instance, the SLO sewer plant. They just received an award for their methane gas recovery system rewarding them with a huge grant from PG&E for their efforts, as well as creating energy and major fuel savings.
With Green Czar Arnold Schwarzenegger gaining strength and respect for his environmental efforts, we in Los Osos are poised to be a shining example of how to do it right and be proud of what's been a "disgrace of the nation."
Dear Bruce, show us what you got! Bring integrity and pride to Los Osos as well as the state. Build us a great sewer that will be an example for all to follow.
We don't need more million-dollar homes
Where in your article ("Will the greenbelt buckle? May 3) does it mention that the lands proposed for development are already zoned open space/conservation? Since most are also in our "sphere of influence," the county would have to come to us in order to develop them. Leaving the lots as they are poses no danger or threat to the people of this beautiful city.
Developers do pose a threat. There are plenty of places for building inside the city's Urban Reserve Line without allowing our slopes to be butchered. Build low and build high-density workforce housing. That's what we need. Not more million-dollar houses that will mar views and put other homeowners at risk. I urge citizens to speak up and save our hillsides.
San Luis Obispo
Letter writer compares apples and oranges
Bill Walther's letter ("Our troops have done enough," May 10) is in error in two important respects. First, it assumes our effort in Iraq is an "occupation." It is not. We are fighting a difficult insurgency as an ally of the duly elected government of Iraq with its military and with other coalition members.
Second, Walther compares the situation in Iraq with the "sorry history of colonialism," citing the "Nazi occupation of France, Israeli occupation of Palestine, or the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan." Respectfully, Waltham is comparing apples and oranges. These were not colonizations, even as the term applies to Israel.
Bill Walther's assertion that supporting our military is "insanity" plays well with Democrats who cry "Bring them home!" But it also plays well with Iran, al Qaeda, and the sectarian insurgents in Iraq. The Democrats and people like Walther provide these enemies courage and great hope to defeat our military in Iraq.
Many believe this is done with the cynical view to bring Bush down so those who were disappointed that Gore and Kerry lost the presidential election may see a Democrat in the Oval Office in 2009. Now that is true "insanity!" The cost is betraying our troops and losing the war in Iraq with massive consequences for the United States in the Middle East and throughout the world.
Vehicles and marine life don't mix
On May 6 down on Oceano Beach, I witnessed a sea lion under a Hummer being poked and prodded with shovels and a broom by undertrained and/or ill-informed State Parks employees and bystanders. These people could not wait for the appropriately trained Marine Mammal Rescue team to arrive. When concerned animal activists questioned their haste, they snidely responded that they could not wait until finally my shouts arrested their cruel behavior. That cute little sea lion was traumatized by the chaotic approach to their so-called rescue. I'm not an expert, but I can tell you that poking an injured sea lion with a shovel is not a positive approach. I have to ask, how did a Hummer end up on top of this cute little pup?
ÜI saw its coverage on the news and was very disappointed to see that they did not convey the true story. They were supplied with the video footage and they failed to show the cruelty and the lack of patience that was witnessed in the rescue of the young sea lion.
We sat for some time, waiting for the Marine Mammal Center to arrive. We watched truck after truck stop to see what happened, and the little sea lion would lift his head in distress from the rumble of the engines. Vehicles and marine mammals do not mix!
The vehicles are destroying the beaches and creek that they drive through to get to the SVRA campground and riding area. They are disturbing the marine life. The toxic exhaust fumes from these enormous machines are infesting the air that we breathe. They have been seen dumping their holding tanks from their campers out on the beach and while driving down Highway 1. When do we say "enough is enough"?
Republicans, change to a better party
I have noticed a number of letters recently complaining about "Bush bashing." In response, I would like to shift attention to where it belongs: the Republican Party. The Republican Party is run by the same extreme neocons who wrote The Project for the New American Century, which chillingly details their quest for a totalitarian America ruling the world.
The GOP has either actively or passively agreed as this administration systematically dismantled our democratic institutions and civil liberties. It supported a disastrous foreign policy that has alienated us from the civilized world. It systematically lied us into an illegal, immoral, and counter-productive war that a majority of Americans and Iraqis oppose. It engaged in election fraud and voter suppression, including politicizing the Justice Department to favor Republicans in elections. The Libby trial provided a record that Cheney ordered his staff to systematically leak the identity of a deep cover CIA operation seeking to stop nuclear proliferation. This is an obvious act of treason and Cheney should be immediately impeached. There is little doubt that an impeachment investigation would implicate Bush.
We can't tolerate for a moment America ruled by traitors. The Republican Party has abandoned all pretense of pursuing American ideals and anyone still drinking its Kool-Aid needs to take an objective look at recent history. Is running up record deficits that our grandchildren will have to pay fiscally responsible? Is putting the federal government between a woman and her doctor getting government off our backs? Is bankrupting the middle class and pouring tax breaks to billionaires pursuing the general welfare? I call on all Republicans to change to a party that stands for something within the American tradition of expanding democracy and human rights.
There's no mission accomplished
With American military casualties exceeding 25,000, sectarian violence in Iraq claiming 30-plus lives each day, and spending more than $10 billion a month, the fourth anniversary of "Mission Accomplished" demonstrates how so many Americans refuse to comprehend consequences from ruinous Bush Administration policies.
People who sing absolute praise of the administration trouble me the most. They condone actions of the administration that undermine their Constitutional rights. They eschew accountability of elected officials for policy choices and actions. What motivates such behavior? Is it fear, stupidity, a need to be part of groupthink, or a wanton disregard of the consequences of political leaders' actions heretofore seen in Nazi Germany and imperial Japan?
The consequences of this administration's abuse of power and arrogance visit every community in our nation. The Iraq War is a tremendous drain on our resources and psyche. In 2002, I protested. Today, facts illuminated that a cabal in the White House railroaded America into a war of choice based on fabrications and outright misinformation playing upon fears of Americans post 9/11.
Ask Bush loyalists what the Iraq policy is. You'll learn they're intellectually bankrupt and disrespect your right to demand a change of policy that honestly supports our troops, their families, and the national interest. Ask whether they would trade places and serve, or send their children. They go silent and walk away. Press them, and they reveal a disregard for the rights of others to live their lives without chaos.
We've engendered more hate toward our nation. We've wasted tremendous resources with no net positive return. No "Mission Accomplished" four years later and not in the future just more talking points and circuitous logic. It's time to move on and bring our troops home.
Peter Vander Arend
Society needs to change
In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech killings, there will be people demanding stricter gun controls. Needless to say, these same people turn their heads and look the other way when it comes to carnage on our highways. More than 100 people are killed every day for a yearly total of some 40,000 deaths. More gun laws are not the answer. It's time to get things in their proper perspective.
What happened at Virginia Tech equates to a deteriorating morality of society. Look what today's society has done to the Boy Scouts for their stand on no gay leaders. Scouting is one of the best things going we have to keep kids straight. If you spank your children, you may end up in jail. The National Rifle Association is portrayed as evil, yet it has the best firearm safety education program in the world. Our nation was founded on Christian beliefs and principles, so depictions of the 10 Commandments are no longer allowed in schools and public buildings. Society looks with disfavor on singing the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" just because it relates to war. The push for same-sex marriage has eroded our churches. Lastly, too many leaders have strayed too far left.
What to do about it? Today's society badly needs change. Sign your kids up for scouting. Change laws and start disciplining your children. Join the NRA along with your family. Support and attend your churches, synagogues, and temples. Finally, come election time, be sure to cast your ballot and vote for conservative candidates who will abide by our Constitution.
This is what liberals want
Liberals and progressives want economic prosperity for America with a secure future, where everyone can gain an education and become successful contributors to society. We want honest leaders who have integrity, who work across party lines to respond to the needs and wishes of the citizenry with oversight to hold the government accountable. We want real homeland security and a foreign policy that emphasizes diplomacy and international cooperation first. We want a realistic immigration policy that secures our borders and is fair to all. We want medical care that is accessible, affordable, and comprehensive for everybody. We want retirement security for seniors, which must include Social Security so that seniors can live in dignity.
I think most people want basically the same things. Many divergent opinions and forces complicate how to achieve them. A few wedge issues have been used so successfully to divide us. As a liberal and a progressive, I yearn for the day when all of us can communicate openly and respectfully about issues, when we can work together earnestly to accept and resolve our differences, and we can contribute to and work for the common good.