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Letters to the Editor March 18, 2011

Public unions have responsibility for our budgetary mega-crisis

In his March 8 Coastal Voices piece, “Don’t blame public workers,” Mr. Barry Wendell zooms in on Karen Brooks, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the Tea Party as singling out labor unions for the balancing of current budgetary meltdowns. His solution to that impending disaster is the time-worn mantra of liberalism: Tax the rich.

Positing the position of defender of the common-man, big-labor union bosses and their minions have called out their militia to defend their bastion of ensconced power. Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, union workers find themselves on the tip of a dilemma: whether to side with a few emergent leaders with courage who ultimately rely on the support of the Tea Party Movement in reining in the escalation of rampant union demands, or to kow-tow to cigar-chomping Big Labor bosses on whom they rely for sustenance.

 Mr. Wendell seems unable or unwilling to see public labor unions as having responsibility in this budgetary mega-crisis. Instead he cites eight local public service agencies, each of which is represented by a bargaining unit. To that he adds seniors on Social Security and Medicare and a projected figure of 18 percent who live in poverty in our county and concludes that we have an overwhelming government dependence. Indeed! Isn’t that the whole point? Dependence on government to solve all our problems? So continuing the status quo is the way to go? I don’t think so.

Mr. Wendell’s efforts to offer solutions to the problem of run-away budgets and “fixes”(which don’t fix) are most welcome and encouraging as they reflect an essential process of individual responsibility, which are the cornerstones of our republic’s functioning. However, cliches and status quo thinking will no longer suffice. Remember, union members, while your organization painfully extracts its “pound of flesh” from us unrepresented public employers, you will also be stuck with the inevitable tax increases.

I found Mr. Wendell’s definition of “real patriotism” most chilling: a premier education free to all, subsidized housing and food, free public transportation and services to the elderly, to name a few. Utopia awaits us all. I believe the communist manifesto lists these and more.

In reviewing my copy of the Constitution I cannot find anywhere within it the concept of such government beneficence. All I see is a guarantee of my opportunity to struggle to achieve those goals.

Dale L. Bohling

Crescent City

Soft copy of Triplicate tsunami coverage would be valuable

For posterity’s sake and to pass on to our friends andv relatives, the Tuesday tsunami coverage, including news articles and photos, Gopher Gulch, Editor’s Note, both Coastal Voices and letters to the editor would make a truly valuable soft copy.

Think of what our teachers could do with such a priceless and personal piece of history now and in years to come.

Arlene A. Knecht

Smith River

‘We Hear You America’ voting contest could bring needed help

On March 11, I awoke to news that Crescent City, a place I once called home, was being evacuated due to a tsunami warning. Immediately, I began contacting family and friends in the area to make sure they were all okay.

Then I turned to Facebook and Twitter. While the news coverage was thorough where I live in Sacramento, local TV stations were tasked with covering the entire West Coast that day. Posts from friends and family were the most up-to-date and kept me informed throughout the weekend.

Earlier this week, I started to see Facebook posts linking to the Reader’s Digest “We Hear You America” contest. Cities across the nation have entered to win cash prizes including a first place prize of $40,000.

Last I checked, Crescent City is currently ranked No. 8 and climbing steadily toward No. 7. By now, people across the nation have seen the video footage and photos of Crescent City’s harbor destroyed and a fishing community devastated. The extent of the damage is significant and the “We Hear You America” contest is one small way people can help. 

I’d like to urge Triplicate readers to:

Go to wehearyouamerica.readersdigest.com, and sign up using your email address. Type in 95531 or Crescent City, CA. Press the “Cheer!” button 10 times. Vote daily through May 16.

In addition to voting regularly during the contest, people are encouraged to share the page with friends, family and co-workers. The website has links allowing you to share the information through Facebook, Twitter and email, which makes it incredibly easy to spread the word.

I think we can all agree that much larger tragedies have come out of recent events and we continue to see reports of more and more devastation in Japan every day. As we keep Japan in our thoughts and offer up resources to the greater cause, let’s also use the “We Hear You America” contest as a way to help a community close to home.

Jennifer Snyder

Sacramento

How will you feel if GOP cuts coastal emergency funding?

The recent disaster at Crescent City Harbor should remind us all that there are important functions which only government can provide. All the politicos — including Republican Doug LaMalfa — are promising to bring in government assistance to fix the harbor.

But wait: The Republicans are trying to cut $30 million for “flood control and coastal emergencies” from the current year’s federal budget. How will you feel if they are successful and that results in no assistance to our harbor?

Everyone likes budget cuts except when it affects the safety net on which they rely. More Americans every day are realizing that the Republicans are going after funding that provides important government services. Sooner or later they will get to something that is important to you; perhaps they already have! Think about that next time you fill out an election ballot.

If the filthy rich just paid their fair share, there would not be a budget crisis.

Felice Pace

Klamath

Public unions shouldn’t be able to strike or bargain collectively

Not surprised at the utter lack of any left-wing media condemnation of the day and night union thuggery we saw in Madison, Wis., and around the country. Wasn’t it President Obama himself who asked us to be civil in our political discourse?

Yet when union thugs rough up Fox employees, “act out” like spoiled children, and hold a mob sit-in at the Wisconsin Capitol, Obama actually cheers them on. In fact, under his benign gaze, unions, raucous far-left organizations, and their brainwashed student shock troops, have nearly shut down Wisconsin government.

Even FDR and labor biggie George Meany warned against allowing public employees to join unions. And now we can see the wisdom of their thinking and the stupidity of the American president who let it happen.

By the way, this union and student tantrum remind me of the 1960s, and I can just imagine the giddiness of some in the older collegiate fraternity, I mean those who cherish the notion that it’s “flower children” time again. So much, too, for the hypocrisy of the Democrats’ mantra of liberal “tolerance.” Has anyone seen tolerance, except for the governor?

Seems to me, we need to accomplish these two things in this country to get off this slippery road we’re skidding down: forbid public employee unions to strike and collectively bargain, and also to end the practice of political correctness in the United States. Political correctness has shredded our common sense.

We must do this soon before we become just another Third World country.

 Carter Swart

Crescent City

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