Letters to the Editor for Feb 22, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
LAND WAR WINNERS LOSE
LandWatch Monterey County continues their abuse of the people of Monterey County, even whilst claiming to be the protector of those very same people! I read in your paper that LandWatch had sued Don Chapin Company to stop a mere 28-home subdivision. Thank goodness the case was decided on the basis of facts, not on LandWatch’s usual fear-mongering arguments.
LandWatch has proven it can scare the general public into believing them: note the number of people who signed the recent referendum against the county’s new general plan without ever reading the over-300-page plan. Use the word “SCRAWL” and pay signature gatherers and you can get anything on the ballot. I was told I didn’t need to read the initiative or the recent referendum, as LandWatch, who has never been able to present any actual facts in a court of law, was going to interpret both documents for me. It is clear that LandWatch’s intends to win one, eventually. And in winning, we all lose. —Darla Smith | Salinas
BRING ’EM HOME
Our troops need to come home right now. The Pentagon has failed to provide all the equipment needed for their protection. We need to be civilized in this 21st century, employing diplomatic skills and practicing fairness, not engaging in the caveman cruelty of war. —Marjorie Atkinson | Salinas
DRAFT CHILDREN OF PRIVILEGE
I never thought I’d support the return of the military draft in America, but it’s a travesty that the sons and now daughters of the working class in America continue to die in an elitist war to maintain the status quo of the privileged in our oligarchic society.
I took a courageous stand against America’s last great travesty, the Vietnam War, by refusing induction when I was only 19 back in 1969. That was an impressive thing for the son of a plumber to do.
I did not duck out of that very wrong war by exploiting the college deferment scam that the privileged in America had engineered to keep their spoiled kids from harm’s way. Many of my friends did escape that war by staying in college, whereas I deliberately dropped my full-time student schedule so I’d be ordered for induction so I could make a powerful moral statement against that war. That action cost me seven years of my young life because I had to go on the lam from the FBI to avoid the five-year prison sentence I received for not wanting to kill people. But I’ve never regretted that action, and history has proven that what I did was the right thing.
But now I view this whole issue of war and the American populace through the wise eyes of a 57-year-old man who has four kids of his own, all of whom are of age to go to war. I see America with anything but a democratic military. Ours is a military comprised of the kids of the poor who joined the Armed Forces for lack of any other kind of advantage. And these children of the working class are once again dying in Iraq so that the kids who attend schools like RLS and Santa Catalina can maintain their privileged status in this country.
I concur with Congressman Charles Rangel when he says it’s in America’s best interest to re-instate the draft, only this time offer no student deferments or other mechanisms by which the children of the rich and powerful can escape war. By forcing everyone’s children onto the battlefields of the world only then can America rightfully call itself an egalitarian democracy. By forcing everyone’s children to be potential cannon fodder only then will the democratic will come to bear against the poor foreign policies of our government that keeps starting wars that are unnecessary and immoral. —Jeffrey Van Middlebrook | Pacific Grove
Last week’s Local Spin column incorrectly reported that the Mucky Duck was destroyed in the Feb. 8 fire downtown. We were frankly quite happy to find out that this was an error, which we nevertheless regret making.
In the same issue, the Art Listings included a painting incorrectly credited: It is by William Lee Gulley and is entitled Just Me, on exhibit at the Avery Gallery through Friday, Feb. 23..0