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A riot isn't always a riot

I'm tired of hearing about the SLO Mardi Gras riot. A few unruly college students and a couple of thrown beer bottles do not constitute a riot. Los Angles Watts area was a riot. Ronald Mac

Paso Robles




It looks like they're stuck

I've seen Atascadero's proposed veterans' memorial and read the controversy it's generated. I can't say I understand the work, but those depicted look like they're stuck in a quagmire.

Patrick McGinley





Decisions based on one book are ludicrous

This letter is in response to the letter by Otis Page ("I still believe we must prevail," Feb. 15). In the letter Mr. Page states that he "has a qualified respect for those who disagree with me." And also asserts that "we" are disconnected from reality.

Although I would, to paraphrase Ben Franklin, fight to the death for Mr. Page's right to hold his beliefs, I will also fight to the death against those beliefs. I am older than he, I assume, so I remember being disappointed in presidential selections long before probably Gore or Kerry were born!

My dislike of the politics of George W. Bush and his buddies is rooted in the fact that they are firm believers, apparently, in the inerrant and literal truth of every word of the Bible. The Bible is not a science treatise. Nor is it a prophecy about the "last days," whenever or however those might, or might not, occur. To attempt to jam all of the world's knowledge and wisdom of the past some 10,000 years of humans' ability to write into one small book, and then make political decisions based on that is, in my opinion, the height of national suicide because these totally fallacious and inane decisions that have been made have led to nearly as many deaths as Saddam Hussein has been accused of perpetrating. And this is called pro-life?

Talk about being disconnected from reality!

Shirley Bianchi





Some words for several recent letter writers

In recent letters, Otis Page regurgitates his usual self-righteous absurdities ("I still believe we must prevail," Feb. 15), Toby Manninen admonishes us to appreciate freedoms won by warfare ("Don't complain about nationalism now," Feb. 15), and Robert Parkhurst thinks Bush's Iraq war would be over now if people supported it ("The war could have been over by now with support," Feb. 15).

I served in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1974. In those days, chicken-hawks like Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Rove were either avoiding military duty entirely, or, like Bush, taking an easy domestic duty out of harm's way. I'm wondering if any of the above-mentioned letter writers ever had any active-duty overseas military service. It's often the non-vets who scream the loudest for war.

To Mr. Page: If you believe "we must prevail in Iraq," you can join the Army. If you're too old, petition Congress for a special exemption. And while you're talking to Congress, please convince them we need a military draft now, so we can also prevail in Iran and North Korea. Let me know how that works out.

To Mr. Manninen: Troops in combat aren't focusing on lofty goals like freedom and democracy they're focusing on staying alive. Bush's war has nothing to do with protecting our freedoms. Bush has diminished our freedoms by his repeated violations of our Constitution and laws.

To Mr. Parkhurst: The Iraq war did not get enough support on the home front? Support ran very high initially, but has declined sharply as people realize that Bush's war, based on lies, incompetence, corruption, and an ever-changing "mission," is destined to drag on indefinitely just like the Vietnam war.

Michael Sullivan

San Luis Obispo




Turning science into politics is dehumanizing

I recently read two analyses of how much and why polar bear populations are declining or growing. One, by an all-out liberal, contends polar bears are on the verge of extinction, and we must act now! The other, by a conservative think-tanker with backing from big oil, contends polar bears are overpopulated and more guns are the answer. Both analyses are extreme, and therefore suspect.

Sensible conservation is in our own best interests. If wildlife dies off, so will we. Who would argue that pesticides are good for people, or that polluted water isn't any problem in the Third World? Humans are part of nature.

Saving sand fleas and termites without any regard for humans can only be destructive. One reason property values are so high in California is because of such misguided "environmental" regulations.

Humans are the crown of creation, entrusted as caretakers of earth, and not exploiters. We have our place, though it's not the only place.

Most conservative friends favor sensible conservation and oppose stripping the land and seas. Likewise, most liberal friends oppose eco-terrorism and want property prices to decrease. Making a scientific issue into a political one dehumanizes both sides. Folks then vote according to what's "liberal" and what's "conservative" not what's best.

So conservatives attack liberals as "eco-terrorists" and liberals retaliate by calling conservatives "eco-rapists"! We need less heat and more light.

Steve T. Kobara

San Luis Obispo




Web site posts interesting voting statistics

Lately there have been accusations of not supporting the troops leveled at Democrats on Capitol Hill by Republicans in Congress and the Senate. If anyone is interested in checking voting records they can log on to and link to a government PDF site to get the facts. You'll see what percentage of the time your Representative or Senator voted for troops' benefits. Here's an example of what you will find: Barbara Boxer: 88 percent, Dianne Feinstein: 88 percent, Lois Capps: 100 percent, Elton Gallegly: 13 percent.

So please, log on and get the truth. Find out who really supports the troops.

Jackie Lubitz

Santa Maria




Be careful when you next tie up your dog

Good news as of January 2007, it is illegal to tether (tie up) a dog to a stationary object, i.e. a doghouse, tree, or fence, for more than three hours in a 24-hour period. In addition, the law states that tied-up dogs are not allowed to wear either a choke chain collar or a pinch collar. The fine for this offense ranges from $250 to $1,000 per dog. Anyone witnessing any type of animal abuse has a moral duty to report the abuse to animal control.

When I volunteered at an animal shelter, I was thoroughly disgusted by the cruelty I witnessed. I am equally disgusted by what I have seen on some "Animal Planet" TV shows. It is obvious that some of these creatures have suffered for years because cowards be they neighbors, meter readers, etc. have not had the decency to be a voice for the voiceless.

If, for some reason, you cannot give your pets the care they need or the necessary medical attention, please don't let them suffer. Do the right thing and turn it in to the shelter. Some of the best people I know adopt only from shelters.

This new law to protect dogs will only work with the cooperation of caring people. These wonderful creatures should be given what they need and deserve our love, attention, and a place at our hearth.

Hazel Mortensen





Scientific opinion makes a climactic shift

The year was 1954. As an earth science student, I was interested in the subversive left's claim that the ice age of 10,000 years ago was coming again. They even had scenarios of how people living in northern climates would have to move closer to the equator in order to escape. Of course, in time there would be no escape, as the giant ice cap would cover the whole planet. The rational for this "science" was that the pollution spewing forth from U.S. factories was forming a cloud in the atmosphere and that the sun's rays would then be prevented from getting to the earth and warming it.

What was the reason for this hysterical propaganda? The answer is easy (the subversive left is always so obvious) to cripple and if possible destroy as much of the U.S. capitalism as possible, by curtailing business and manufacturing.

Today, the subversive left has decided on a new stratagem. The fundamental theme is the same, i.e. destroy U.S. capitalism and replace it with global socialism. U.S. capitalism is bad. U.S. big business is bad, but this time they claim the pollution caused by big business does not make a shield to prevent the sun's rays from getting to the earth, it is now destroying the shield (the ozone layer) and causing too much of the sun's rays to reach the earth. What? In half a century, we can cause a complete reversal of not only geophysical actions but thermo-chemical reactions as well. This is too much for any rational, impartial mind to accept.

If the subversive left were interested in global warming, they should address their concerns to the rest of the world. In a study by the Blacksmith Institute, researchers found one U.S. city of the 10 top cities causing pollution (global warming).


Arthur Cullati

Santa Maria




This must be the evil universe

Every country has good and bad. America is pretty darn good, yet conversely, historically and currently, it can be very bad. There was a time when African and Native Americans and others were tortured and killed, and under current national policy any other country on earth back then, especially those within Africa or any with any indigenous peoples, would have had the right to invade us.

And yet they did not. We had our civil war and were allowed to evolve and mature and grow into a great country. Presently, if we are invading every country on this planet (there are problems in every country that we could be concerned with), then let's be honest and say America ãber Alles.

Otherwise, let other countries solve their own problems (unless they invade us, or there's a criminal like Osama who's hiding in the foothills of Pakistan, according to BBC News). The various groups in Iraq might have eventually overthrown Saddam Hussein and united in an alternate timeline. I only know the current timeline, and it is truly crappy.

We must be living in the evil universe.

Dean H. du Vernet

Baywood Park

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