Letters to the Editor for Mar 08, 2007
Thursday, March 8, 2007
NO NEED FOR INSULTING WORDS
I was disturbed to encounter the derogatory word “homo” in Ray Napolitano’s Food Chain column of Feb. 22. It is unfortunate that Mr. Napolitano was unable to express his admiration for another man without resorting to language denigrating same-sex relations. —C. Kevin Smith | Big Sur
DISTURBING THE SILENCE
In her last column before she died last month, Molly Ivins said, “We need people in the streets, banging on pots and pans, demanding, ‘Stop the war now!’ ” So 15 of us gathered in the rain for 45 minutes at Franklin and Alvarado Streets in Monterey and banged away.
As we were finishing two Monterey police cars arrived, lights flashing. Out came four police. The sergeant in charge, who was very polite and apologetic, told us that he understood our First Amendment right but we were disturbing the peace. (Think about that, disturbing the peace to stop war.)
Then as we were leaving somebody looked up at the sky and exclaimed, “Look at the rainbow forming, it’s Molly Ivins thanking us!” —Ed Leeper | Monterey
SOLDIERS DESERVE BETTER
It’s outrageous that Republicans are labeling Democrats’ plans to provide soldiers with proper equipment and training “anti-troop.” It is the Republicans who have repeatedly sent our armed forces into conflict inadequately equipped and under-prepared. Supporting the troops means protecting them from being sent into the middle of a civil war like that.
Service members in Iraq and Afghanistan have experienced shortages of force-protection equipment, including up-armored vehicles, electronic countermeasure devices, crew-served weapons and communications equipment. In addition, the military has been borrowing gear from units stationed in the United States, reducing their ability to respond in case of other military threats.
Consider this: the Arkansas National Guard’s 39th Brigade Combat Team, scheduled to return to Iraq next year, is 600 rifles short for its 3,500 soldiers. As if this weren’t horrific enough, the forces we are sending to Iraq are not even adequately trained! Soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division had so little time between deployments to Iraq they had to cram more than a year’s worth of training into four months. Further, two army brigades heading to Iraq due to the escalation are skipping their counterinsurgency training session at the Army’s premier training range.
Then, our injured troops from Iraq and Afghanistan are not being adequately treated. Soldiers recovering from injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan at the Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, five miles from the White House, were found living in rooms infested with mold, soiled carpet and cockroaches.
When will the American people say “Enough is enough!” and stop this outrageous murder of American, Afghani and Iraqi citizens? —Michaelia Morgan | Pacific Grove
I am a resident of Big Sur. I was on my way to work, which happened to be the same day as the Amgen Tour of California. Shortly up the road there was a roadblock for the race, so I pulled over and parked my car. I was walking along the highway and soon enough came the cars and the motorbikes filming the cyclists. It was a very interesting thing to watch. Yet as the cyclists were going by I was watching them throw cups, Powerade bottles, Power Bar wrappers and other garbage all over the highway. I was astonished by how little regard they had for our environment.
When I finally got to work I started raging about all the trash I had seen. My boss had told me there are people who clean up after them. Is this true? If so, are they going to climb the trees that I saw performance bar wrappers dangling from? Dangling right over the Big Sur River, which flows directly into our beautiful ocean? I think not!
Can there not be anything done for the sake of the rivers, oceans, and the animals? Can the cyclists not have something to put their dirty trash in, instead of our highway?
The sponsors chose our highway as the backdrop for this race because of the beauty and diversity of our landscape. We want to keep it this way. It could and should be regulation on all bikes to have some kind of garbage compartment or something. My point is that people are being oblivious and taking for granted things that they they either don’t know about or don’t care about. —Carissa Fritts | Big Sur