Friday, July 31, 2015     Volume: 30, Issue: 1

Weekly Poll
What’s your biggest problem with local news outlets?

They’re a bunch of liberal freedom-takers.
Why can’t our national press be this upstanding?
They should focus less on themselves, and more on the outside world.
No one ever calls me for comment.

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New Times / Letters to the Editor

The real freedom takers

Dave Raleigh - San Luis Obispo -

Ralph Bush (wrote the letter “SLO’s media is full of liberals” in the July 23 issue) claims the SLO County print media consist only of “liberal freedom takers,” who “never” print anything positive about “conservatives.”

His Romney-esque slur characterizing liberals as “freedom-takers” suggests he has fallen for the Orwellian tactics of the modern GOP, which wants us to believe black is white and up is down.

For example, to these new “conservatives,” those who uphold gays’ right to marry are not merely extending to our brothers and sisters the equal protection of the laws. Rather, they are infringing on the right of these “conservatives” to make the rest of us conform to their moral code even in matters that are none of their business. To the new “conservatives,” their own interests always trump (no pun intended) those of others.

REAL conservatives, like Bob Dole and Dwight Eisenhower, wore their country’s uniform and crossed oceans to fight against oppressors. These new “conservatives” ARE the oppressors, dancing to the Koch brothers’ tune and making life hell for millions of ordinary Americans who’ve lost their homes, their jobs, their futures, or all of the above. Lost to the recklessness or villainy of those who brand them, and those who stand up for them, as “takers,” knowing that a big enough lie, repeated often enough, may be accepted by many as the truth.

Oh, the porn possibilities

Ray Sandowski - Arroyo Grande -

The July 23 New Times article “Porn hack targets local store” was interesting reading and brought an idea to mind. In the entrepreneurial spirit that helped make this country great, Kmart, as a Target competitor, may wish to consider pumping porn audio tracks into its stores. Kmart could then offer “Red Light Specials” as well as the longer established “Blue Light” ones. Assuredly, the “Attention Kmart shoppers” announcements would draw immediate response from store patrons. I see a lot of possibilities here: Guest porn stars conducting lip-sync contests? What a concept.

A marine sanctuary's the answer to ocean woes

Joey Racano - Director, Ocean Outfall Group -

The idea that we need a reason to protect the sanctity of our sea is preposterous. However, allow me to address it if only to humor the detractors, and their benefactors, their biologists,
and apologists.

The one thing the oil companies, nuclear waste producers, and over-fishing industry does not want is decisive action to be taken to promote sea sanctity and sanity. They don’t want a sanctuary because it might, well, protect the sea! And they have discovered a way to keep such decisive action from being taken—ask for the specific cause of whale beachings. Ask for a specific cause for deep sea whales and fish like oarfish and beaked whales to be washing up on Catalina and the mainland emaciated. After all, it could be overfishing, radioactivity from Diablo or Fukushima, or ocean acidification from oil burning, or seismic testing from oil and gas exploration, or it could be from Navy ocean war games, or it could be elevated sea temperatures, farm runoff, urban runoff, sewage dumping, point source pollution, non-point source pollution, pulse disturbances, or press disturbances.

So what is it specifically? Darn impossible to tell. And so because of that, they expect you to take no decisive action to create a marine sanctuary. Well, all of those impacts have a hand in creating the poor conditions that are killing our marine life. So the only thing to do is say, ‘Here is a myriad of insults our ocean is being forced to endure, that taken together constitute an emergency.’ A state of ocean emergency. That is the specific reason we are in a state of emergency. And this state of emergency is the specific reason we need to move ahead with the Chumash National Marine Sanctuary. Let’s do it now.

Say no to rail or create enforceable mitigation

Marguerite Bader - President, League of Women Voters SLO County -

The League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County shares the deep concerns of many in our community regarding the Phillips 66 rail spur project and the risks to the public that it entails. When deciding on the project, our local officials cannot ignore the tremendous increase in rail accidents, property damage, and deaths that have occurred from rail accidents in recent years.

The increase in oil shipments, the volatility of the oil being shipped, the use of old and vulnerable tanker cars to transport that oil, and the failure to upgrade infrastructure on our rail lines are all issues to be considered. Increased activity resulting from the rail spur project will expose hundreds of thousands of people and large areas of environmental sensitivity to a greatly increased risk of accident and damage.

Locally, the main rail line through San Luis Obispo County is one of the windiest and steepest in the state with trestles and bridges in serious need of upgrading. Schools, hospitals, and homes along the rail line in San Miguel, Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, and Nipomo would be put at risk.

The serious safety issues raised by the far-reaching impact of this project require that the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors insist upon full and enforceable mitigation of these risks before approving the project. We say “enforceable” because it is unclear that county authorities can require structural studies of and upgrades to infrastructure or enforce speed limits on trains coming through our county. If county officials cannot enforce mitigation of the very real dangers that this project presents to our communities, they should not approve the project. To do so would be to risk real harm to all of us.

Dear Shredder, you're a liberal comrade

Greg Larson - San Luis Obispo -

You and your modern liberal comrades’ excitement over Bernie Sanders is disturbing, to say the least (“Vive la révolution!” July 23). If you dig deep into history, yes deeper than Wikipedia, and follow the trail of money and relational cronyism, beginning with the mercantilism and the populists of the late 1800s, who then mutated into the progressive socialists, you will find that all the progressives, whether on the right or left, who promote egalitarianism through a centralized power, such as Bernie Sanders, are precisely the major contributors to corporatism in America that we are sick, sick, sick of!

You ask, “Haven’t the rich learned anything? French revolution anyone?” Do you not know that massive debt, public works projects, and the inflation of the assignats are major factors that helped give rise to Napoleon? Yes, I agree with you, “vive la révolution!” Back to laissez-fair please. I’m all for overthrowing the rotating dictator of bureaucracies we have now, and restoring the executive branch to its intended limited role. It’s not going to happen by electing a progressive Republican, and it sure as hell isn’t going to happen by electing a self-described nationalist socialist. Oops, I mean democratic socialist. I always get those mixed up.

Side note—my employer, a longtime auto shop owner in San Luis, says he not only would not, but financially could not hire an inexperienced person wanting to enter the automotive field, say, as a lube tech, for $13 an hour. It’s math people, not greed. Unless of course customers want to pay $80 for a basic oil change to cover all the bullshit overhead from the city, state, fed, and the newbie’s “living” wage.

Demagoguery and the promoting of the victimization mentality is primal. I get it. I guess that will always be the difference between me and you modern liberals. You want to control other people’s money and property in the name of the collective, and all we want is to keep ours to spend as we see fit. Which, I might add, diminishes market distortions. “A sound heart gives life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.”