Letters to the Editor for Apr 23, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
KEEP HOPE ALIVE
Reading “Invisible Children” (April 16-22) made me reflect on something I’ve thought about for years. Why can’t 10 or 12 of those military barracks be fixed up and used for shelters? I was in the military back in the mid-’60’s and lived in barracks just like the ones you see all over the old Fort Ord Base. These facilities were simple, clean, and did the job they were designed for. I know all the critics say they are too old, unsafe, someone might start a fire, all the negatives you can think of. But what happened to “give someone a chance to change” and “give someone a chance to grow up and learn?” Possibly the Safe Place counselors could find out what skills these young displaced people have while interviewing them. Possibly some have basic carpenter skills. Find some federal money to hire a half dozen of these caring young people to go in and clean out some of these barracks, replace screens and windows. Check out what plumbing still works. If it doesn’t work, put out his and hers portable toilets at the end of each building. Ask for donations for brooms, cleaning supplies, hammers and nails, etc. Check out what happened to the metal beds we had when I was in the service. They would last for a hundred or more years and were quite comfortable. They just needed a simple mattress to make a good bed. Military blankets, I’m sure are being warehoused someplace, could be supplied. All the politicians and “leaders” will always have negative input to any pragmatic, practical suggestions. But why not give it a try? Creating hope and shelter is extremely important in a country like ours.John Tyler | Salinas
Squid should be squirming. His stereotype of the 600 “Tea Party” (April 16-22) participants fails to pass the test of reality. Sure, there were conservatives at the tax protest, but many would have been sympathetic with Squid’s views. As an organizer, I arranged to have both anti-war and anti-drug war buttons, signs and literature. Nobody complained. I saw many participants who have been very supportive of medical marijuana. In fact, I have myself worked with a number of medical marijuana clinics in Santa Cruz and Marin County. Many of the teabaggers support gay marriage, especially the libertarian-minded ones who oppose all government interference in the lives of citizens.
Libertarians for Peace, a member of the local Peace Coalition and a sponsor of the Tea Party, displayed “End the War, Cut Taxes” signs.
Interestingly, the handful of counter-protesters on the other side of the street displayed no anti-war signs. It may come as a surprise to some, but the anti-war and anti-tax people are natural allies. After all, high taxation affords the reckless funding of military adventures in faraway lands where innocent foreigners are killed, along with our liberties at homes.
Squid should investigate firsthand before squirting ink so blindly.Lawrence Samuels | Carmel