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Light-changers are idiots

A year ago I had to slam on my brakes to avoid being slammed into by a car that I believed "jumped a light" at Santa Rosa and Foothill. Our green light had apparently changed to yellow in less than five seconds, snarling traffic. Now I know what happened. It was some fool wielding a light signal-changer, courtesy of the "Internet for Idiots."

If you know one of these moronic scofflaws and believe me, these guys are bragging about their cool toys and how brilliant they are please turn him in before he kills somebody, like your mother. Contact the SLOPD at 781-7317. And by the way, they are costing all of us thousands of dollars in wasted city resources and reprogramming/replacement costs. Thanks a lot, doofuses.

Duane Wall





Let's work on real problems

No matter how you look at it, Daniel Pipes is exploiting Americans' unreasonable fear of international terrorists ("Campus speaker draws protesters," March 8). He is hate mongering at a time when we need to be rational.

The chance of being injured or killed by international terrorists is 1 percent as likely as being hit by a meteor or asteroid.

Yes, 9/11 was a tragedy, but in the five years since, there have been no others as bad. A new "security" industry benefits from promoting irrational fear of terrorists.

Anyone falling for this hate propaganda would do more good worrying about the number of our troops getting injured and killed in their futile role in Iraq, the way our government is mistreating our maimed veterans, and the number of people killed daily on our highways. Those are real problems that need to be worked on. Not imagined ones, like the threat to them from international terrorists.

Roy Berger

Arroyo Grande




Women should be extremely concerned

The information provided by Daniel Pipes about radical Islam is a necessity right now ("Campus speaker draws protesters," March 8). People must know that out of 1 billion Muslims throughout the world, at least 10 percent wish America to live under sharia law.

Women, especially those protesting Daniel Pipes at Cal Poly, should be extremely concerned about this. Ten million radical Muslims, willing to blow themselves up to collapse western culture and establish a total theocracy, is scary. Radical Muslims are using our own laws to protect their hate for the west. I urge everyone to watch the documentary Obsession, Radical Islam's War Against the West.

Greg Larson

San Luis Obispo




Sorry you missed out, Mark

My sympathies to Mark Hanson ("The Housing Doctrine," March 8). He has missed the housing market on the Central Coast. When we bought our house in 1999 in SLO for just under $200,000, people were complaining then that the prices were too high. Well, we took a chance because we wanted to live here, not because we wanted to get in on the appreciations.

How come affordable housing is always limited to houses? We lived in an apartment for our first five years here and would have stayed if the students hadn't taken over. Mark should lobby to have local governments use their housing funds to build suitable family apartments. They will get more affordable housing per acre. The amount of monies that a builder pays per house is nominal and they will charge what the market will bear even if all municipal charges were dropped.

Mark, your commentary was a good start but don't let it stop there. Stay involved and take action!

Terry Mohan

San Luis Obispo




Housing writer needs to get his facts straight

Mark Hanson's "facts," which formed the basis of his opinion ("The Housing Doctrine," March 8), were flawed, and, therefore, in some respects so was his opinion.

What struck me was the bald assertion that "[l]arge urban areas, like the L.A. basin and the San Francisco peninsula, are already built out to their limits, literally from the mountains to the sea."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Los Angeles is now approximately 3.84 million. Its land area is 469 square land miles, for a density of approximately 8,200 people per square mile. New York City's population density is approximately three times higher, or about 26,000 per square mile. This contrast flatly refutes Mr. Hanson's "fact" about the growth potential of the L.A. basin, and, therefore, the necessity of further growth in our area or other ecologically sensitive areas.

Furthermore, the point of these numbers is to suggest that the high population areas of California need to grow smarter, not just further. Higher population density can be achieved by creative suburban infill and renewal. What is most confusing about this is Mr. Hanson goes on to decry the "various city mayors and councils" refusing to develop more "dense, affordable housing." If that weren't a problem, L.A. and the Bay Area could add people without adding area.

It is easy and convenient to blame environmentalist bogeymen for keeping good Americans out of their houses because "animals are more valued than the average American citizen." In fact, careful and vigorous preservation of biological diversity is essential to such citizens' survival. It is not merely the pursuit of the tie-dye clad "politically extreme." It is as much a matter of national security as maintaining military strength, in that a failure to preserve our biological resources will endanger our food supply, something more fundamental to our survival than housing.

This is not to suggest that there aren't self-interested, unjust, or otherwise terrible reasons why there isn't more affordable housing in this county. Many folks spring into action to resist "affordable" housing being placed near them. Finally, in the midst of all of this kind of finger-pointing about housing prices, we never stop to wonder why local wages are so low instead of why the housing is so relatively expensive.

J.E. Storm

San Luis Obispo




Walter Reed could be an example of great care

We have been hearing a great deal lately about the deplorable conditions at the Walter Reed Army Hospital. Every person who has heard about this was and should have been deeply offended. We should be providing only the very best first-class treatment for our courageous warriors. How could this condition occur? The answer is simple. Tragic, but simple.

Walter Reed Hospital is a federal government-run hospital. However, if you compare Walter Reed Hospital to those enlightened countries with their "healthcare for all" e.g. Cuba the care at Walter Reed will appear outstanding. Everything any federal government does is done poorly.

We now have politicians asking for your vote and promising universal healthcare, which is a misnomer for a government-run program in which healthcare is degraded so that all get the same care i.e., very poor (except, of course, for the very politicians promising universal healthcare). If the federal government can't provide adequate healthcare for its own valiant fighting men, how do you think it will handle universal healthcare for the ordinary citizen? If we had universal healthcare, we would have people streaming to Canada (the center of medical excellence). Will those people pass the Canadians streaming to the U.S. for medical care?

Yes, Walter Reed Hospital would be an example of superlative care compared to what an ordinary citizen, without political connections, would get. Think about this before you vote for a candidate whose goal is universal healthcare.

Arthur Cullati

Santa Maria




Union action sets dangerous precedents

The California Correctional Peace Officers' union sued Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger because he sent more than 400 prisoners to out-of-state prisons because of overcrowding. The union claimed that removing the prisoners from California violated the union members' civil service protections. Liberal Superior Court Judge Gail Ohanesian agreed.

The guards shamelessly claimed they have a constitutional right not to lose any income because the prisoners left California. This claim means teachers can demand that their students cannot leave the state because the teachers might lose income. In fact, Santa Cruz County is currently charging parents $36 per day for children who miss school for a vacation. Similarly, the claim means that businesses cannot move out of state either because union members might lose some money. In essence, the union claims that its members have a constitutional right to their income and jobs even if the jobs disappear.

The second real danger of the union's self-serving argument is that its members have some kind of a legal income right to people. Unbelievably, the union has brought back the property rights claim to people. This was called slavery. However, slavery was overturned by the 13th Amendment back in 1865.

Matt Kokkonen

San Luis Obispo




Join us in this sad task

I have had a sad chore lately. I have been making prayer flags to honor all of the American soldiers who have died in Iraq. On each flag is the person's name, their age, and the date of their death. We have made more than 3,190 flags so far, one each for every soldier who died.

The sad part is that we cannot keep up. Every day there are two or three or sometimes seven or eight more soldiers who have died. Every single day. Most of them are young men in their 20s. Lives totally lost, gone forever. We wish they were heroes, fighting for democracy, but now we know they are victims of our president's lies.

The fourth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War is coming up soon. We are going to honor those 3,190 soldiers (or more, by now) who have died there by carrying these prayer flags in San Luis Obispo on Saturday, March 17. If you want to join us, we start at Mitchell Park at 11 a.m. It is a sad chore, but one we must do, because we will not accept the lies anymore.

Mark Tomes

Santa Margarita




It's time to vote with our feet

"Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now.... The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours." (Martin Luther King)

As the war in Iraq approaches its fourth anniversary, we must act to stop the madness. 3,190-plus U.S. troops dead and more than 32,000 injured. Fifty-seven-thousand-plus Iraqi civilians killed in a conflict they wanted nothing to do with. How many more widows and orphans do we need to make before we understand that our insane policies are creating nothing but more hatred?

Last November, the electorate clearly voted for change: An overwhelming majority of Americans want us out of Iraq. The government has spent a staggering $378 billion on the war at a time when the U.S. economy is leaving record numbers of Americans in severe poverty with California leading the way. Where are our priorities?

The politicians have not listened to our words, so it's time for us to vote with our feet.

I urge every person with a conscience to forego any moronic St. Patrick's Day drunkenness and join with CodePink in a solemn march in San Luis Obispo on March 17 to honor the U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. I have to think that St. Patrick would prefer to see people standing for justice instead of passing out from drunkenness. The march begins in Mitchell Park. Please sign up at

Please support the troops. Support them so much that you want them to live!

Eric Parkinson

San Luis Obispo

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