Sunday, November 29, 2015     Volume: 30, Issue: 18

Weekly Poll
What would you like to see the United States do about ISIS?

Air strikes are a start, but let’s put boots on the ground.
Look for less confrontational ways to address the situation, like economic sanctions and a multilateral peacekeeping effort.
They’re a pissed off byproduct of the 2003 Iraq invasion. Maybe it’s time to stop creating more terrorists.
Let’s begin by helping the refugees that fled from their violence.

Vote! | Poll Results

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New Times / Letters to the Editor

No welcome mat for them

Judith Bernstein - Arroyo Grande -

Half a million and more, crammed

Into leaky boats, airless trucks,

Stumbling with heavy packs on their backs

Or with the burden of pregnancy,

Not knowing if their baby will have a home.

Women with head scarves sneaking

Under barbed wire fences,

Men with children in their arms

Rushing the guards at borders

Or pushing Hungarian police who guard

The Freedom Train to Germany

Then close the station down.

We know the fear that drives the refugees:

War, starvation, homelessness, sickness.

We don’t know the fear that drives

The keepers of the realm.

It could be xenophobia as of old:

Fear of being overwhelmed

By people who are not like us

Fear they will take our jobs, cost us money

Or just plain resentment: This land

Is our land, this land’s not your land.

My ancestors once heard that song,

Driven from Russia by pogroms,

But when their sturdy boat sailed into

The New York Harbor, Lady Liberty

Lifted her lamp and said, “Welcome.”

I am confident in Phillips 66 and Union Pacific

David Reutzel - Arroyo Grande -

The Central Coast has for many generations benefited from the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery and the 200 jobs it provides. As a resident of Arroyo Grande, my family and I live with no fear from this refinery or the trains that currently run through our county. This rail extension, is safe and will increase our energy independence. Oil is already being shipped by rail, and the project will only increase it by a maximum of five more trains per week. If we deny this expansion, the oil will have to be transported by trucks on our roads for hundreds of miles where the likelihood of an accident is much greater. Rail is the safe way to go; it is highly regulated and monitored, and the rail cars they will be using to transport the oil will be the most current and up to date in technological safety. Phillips 66 and Union Pacific are prepared to keep our community safe and as a member of this community, I have full confidence in them to continue safely providing services we rely on whether that be in tax revenue, the oil they provide, and community participation.

Thanksgiving, the lost holiday

Helen Saulsbury - Arroyo Grande -

It is a shame in this country, when we have so much to be grateful for, that Halloween overshadows Thanksgiving completely. Then Christmas jumps in early neck-and-neck with Halloween and stomps Thanksgiving to a token of what it should be. It is the holiday we should be celebrating most. Not with over commercialization but with genuine thanks for all we are blessed with.

Say thank you and do something nice for friends, family even acquaintances. Make this Thanksgiving special because Thanksgiving was never meant to be just one day of the year.

Denial of refugees is all about the money

Mark Henry - San Luis Obispo -

Hallelujah! Our chronic do-nothing United States Congress, a crude combination of two basically inert elements that have agreed on little the last decade or two except voting themselves raises and more days off, finally coalesced into a toxic miasma to foment a combined attack on helpless Syrian refugees, thereby condemning them, including numerous helpless women and children, to continued misery and even death. This attack, headed up by the usual Republican Christian radicals, was joined by some 47 Democrat cockroaches who bravely managed to scuttle out from under their desks into the blazing light of Liberty to cast their votes and to garner their fair share of the monumental disgrace this Congress has heaped upon the United States of America.

Their noble purpose was to “protect” our own cowardly, huddled masses from the possibility that among the horde of refugees might be a terrorist or two.

In reality, the true reason is that they, along with a gang of mostly Republican Christian governors, do not want to have to pay the price of aiding the desperate refugees. Having already squandered so much of the nation’s largesse on useless wars, bailing out banks, and guaranteeing the exorbitant bonuses of their Wall Street contributors, as well as to insure that enough remains for their next raise, this concern is entirely understandable. Once again, it is all about money.

What kind of a movie review was that?

Hershel Parker - Morro Bay -

Please get the Shredder to fire Editor Camillia Lanham and Arts Editor Ryah Cooley because only the Shredder can do it with sufficient relish. The movie owners in the county, not just the owners of Downtown Centre, would probably want their heads for giving away all the surprising moments in Suffragette (Split Screen, Nov. 19), but if you fire them as editor and arts editor real fast the theater owners will probably be appeased.