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Atascadero

After reading Justin M. Ruhge’s opinion letter (“Sophisticated defense doesn’t come cheap,” Nov. 25) I felt compelled to submit a response. Mr. Ruhge’s proclamations were some of the most ignorant, misguided statements I have read in some time. Mr. Ruhge makes a number of offensive assertions, including accusations that “The Muslims have been the menace in the world for 1,400 years” and “The Muslims must be defeated ...” I assume Mr. Ruhge is referencing the radical sects of Islam that get so much negative attention nowadays and not the vast majority of peace loving Muslims prevalent all over the world, including within our local community. By Mr. Ruhge’s own logic, one can just as easily indict Christianity as a “menace” that “must be defeated” due to its 2,000 year history of crusades, inquisitions, witch-hunts, homophobia, misogyny and other social ills that have been perpetrated on Western Civilization as well as indigenous populations across the globe!

Like Mr. Ruhge, I too am a “concerned taxpayer.” It’s interesting (and, dare I say, more than a little hypocritical) that those who are so quick to decry “public entitlements” are often those who benefit the most from such a system. I’d reckon to bet that as a former public servant, Mr. Ruhge was compensated well for his years of employment at the Defense Department and has a nice government pension with retirement and health benefits, all thanks to us taxpayers.

Mr. Ruhge, dare I remind you that in 2009, 23 percent of the entire federal budget was allocated to Defense, the same government department that paid your salary for 40 years? Coming in second and third, respectively, were Social Security (20 percent) and Medicare and Medicaid (19 percent). I reckon to bet that you currently benefit (or stand to benefit in the near future) from the latter two “public entitlement” programs as well.

They say that humans share nearly 99 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees. Well, Mr. Ruhge, it sounds like you and the proverbial “500-pound gorilla” are also more closely related than you’d care to acknowledge.

 

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