Gallegly failed the people of California’s 24th District.

On Jan. 28, the House of Representatives voted on a bill that would aid the suffering American economy. This $825 billion stimulus bill was a good start and, in the end, I am sure it will lead the nation out of this crisis and into a better economic future, But first, before we as a nation can move forward, we must deal with the likes of Elton Gallegly.

Our great representative, who is fully aware of the huge problems facing the nation, knows you are going to lose your home, he knows you have hours at work cut back, he knows you may have lost you job. Well, Gallegly’s office had said he wanted to help his fellow Americans, but then when it came down to it, to cast a vote to say “yes” saying “I support America and I support the president,” the answer was clean. It was “no.” Is anyone shocked?

Elton Gallegly’s choice was no. Just as with poor children and SCHIP, he feels that you, the American people, do not need aid, that the economy will somehow magically fix itself. Yes American you may be suffering, but know this, Elton Gallegly does not care. And why should he? He has taxpayer-funded health care, a secure job and, I am sure, a lucrative package when he retires and that day can not come soon enough. Next time you have to make a choice of car payment over dinner, or have to tell your children no to something they need because you have lost you job, or not to go to college for a semester because your hours are cut, remember who you can thank: Elton Gallegly.

Christopher J. Grant, Ojai

Greenberg gratefulness
I have been a subscriber to the Ventura County Star since moving to Ventura 10 years ago and have never felt the need to pick up any of the free papers offered in the newsstands.

Yesterday, I did so, only because Steve Greenberg and his cast of characters were featured on the front cover of your newspaper.

I was pleasantly surprised to find interesting and intelligent reading inside and will continue to read the VCReporter on a regular basis.

The Star’s loss is surely your gain, as I’m sure many readers of the Star miss Greenberg’s familiar style.

Good luck to your paper in these difficult times for the printed word.

June Horn, Ventura

More libraries, fewer consultants
I see our brilliant elected officials in the City of Ventura have come up with another magnificent idea. They are now proposing to close down the H.P. Wright Library near Ventura College to save a few bucks in the city budget.  Never mind that it’s the most utilized of the three libraries in town.  Never mind that those who use this library are unable to travel across town to use the E.P. Foster Libary downtown or the tiny, under-equipped Avenue Library on the west side.  Many are seniors, students or transit-dependent folks who may find it difficult already to get to the Wright Library for their research and study needs.

I intend to be at the City Council meeting on Jan. 26 when this proposal is scheduled to be discussed by the Council.  I hope all the Wright Library patrons out there plan on attending as well.  We simply cannot let this happen.

It is my hope that this ridiculous idea goes the way of the City’s 911 fee, down the drain. Let the City Council come up with some other places in the budget to cut, like all the fancy consultants they love to hire to tell us things we already know, or for silly artwork that nobody seems to like.

Better yet, let’s cut the salaries of the City Council and city manager 10 percent every time they come up with another one of these dumb ideas. Pretty soon, we’ll be talking real money!

Rachel Clarke, Ventura

On Obama’s appointment of Richard Holbrooke
Iraqi Veterans Against the War produced a T-shirt with this slogan: “Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam.” They should have added, “and Afghanistan is Farsi for Cambodia.”

President Obama’s appointment of Richard Holbrooke is nothing less than a declaration of war on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region

Wherever Holbrooke has gone, U.S. aggressive policies of power and war have followed him. It was Holbrooke who helped prop up Premier Diem in Vietnam, a ruthless dictator who lynched, tortured and beheaded thousands of South Vietnamese who wouldn’t go along with Diem’s junta.

The youngest adviser appointed by President Kennedy, he stayed on to have critical influence on LBJ’s presidency, and was a key determinant in LBJ’s escalating the war.

Richard Holbrooke’s dark history does not stop there. There were brutal policies in the Philippines when he was ambassador to Asia, and he was shoulder-to-shoulder with Suharto, the brutal dictator in East Timor. He pushed Congress for military aid to the region that went for the weeding-out and slaughter of women and children who had sought refuge in churches.

Under Clinton, it was Holbrooke who advised a war in the Balkans. And under Bush II, Holbrooke was hated by Arab states after showing partiality to Israel. His divisive tactics produced so much hostility, his U.N. appointment was terminated.

Interestingly, Holbrooke embodies the way banking is connected to the Defense Department and American war policies. It was Holbrooke who chaired the corrupt Lehman Brothers from 1985 to 1993. Holbrooke worked with Kissinger on establishing German/U.S. banking in 1992, and then, just two years later, he advised Clinton to invest in the Balkan conflict.

At the end of 13 years of the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon ran as a peace candidate, promising to finally end it. Instead, he expanded the war to Cambodia, killing another 2 million Asians. Holbrooke’s as appointment envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan looks no different, and repeats a Darth Vader policy of the U.S. Government some 40 plus years later. 

Instead of ending the war, Holbrooke’s appointment shows clearly another bait-and-switch, and an expansion of the war from Iraq to Afghanistan. For Americans who wanted peace to be a part of change, they should know that Holbrooke represents the first missile launched, the first shot fired. Afghanistan is Farsi for Cambodia.

Grant Marcus, Ventura

Parasites of California
First off, anyone with a smidgen of sense will concede that California’s budget disaster is the result of too much government spending — California is one of the highest-taxed and -regulated districts in the nation, so we know revenue is not the issue. Our big-spending, Democrat-dominated government, headed by a terrible RINO governor, has gotten us into these dire straits. It will take extraordinary measures to rectify the fiasco that is California’s spending deficit. It would be criminal to force the already overburdened taxpayers in this state to fork over yet more money to the government.  

The biggest stumbling blocks for California taxpayers to overcome are the parasites represented by the government employee unions/groups — really, just special-interest groups that lobby those who are supposed to be the taxpayers’ representatives in government for … more taxpayer monies! Government employees get more taxpayer loot, and their politicians get kickbacks in the form of votes and campaign contributions, not to mention positive press generated by the endorsements of these groups. To my sensibilities, this is a horrific case of conflict of interest; we have what are supposed to be servants of the taxpayer using taxpayer dollars to support politicians who promise to give them … more taxpayer dollars. 

I’m sorry, but government employees are not “heroes” — yes, teachers, police and firefighters, too!  They are incredibly well-compensated (I would say way over-compensated) agents of the government. Why should any of these parasites (anyone who lives off of the privately earned and productive fruits of others who serve an in-demand consumer need/want in the voluntary free-market) be above the reproach and reach of the taxpayer? Why should they continue being ridiculously well-compensated while those in the private sector feel the pain of recession? 

I say, eliminate funding for the government education monopoly, and give the pink slip to all the teachers and bureaucrats currently employed therein — if their services are demanded by private citizens, they should have no problem finding employment. Aren’t we always hearing about how underpaid teachers are? Well, let’s see how the free-market values their services. 

As far as the law/regulation enforcement bureaucracy goes … eliminate statutes/regulations that create victimless crimes, give nonviolent offenders the chance to pay restitution to their victims, and pardon everyone currently incarcerated who falls under these categories (including those serving time for tax evasion charges). Lay off the vast majority of enforcement agents and administrators who wouldn’t be needed any longer under a system of true justice, and unburden the taxpayers who support this apparatus. Drastically curtail the compensation of the remaining parasites. 

Do taxpayers really need to be supporting the incredibly well-compensated firefighters who, for the most part, sit around producing nothing of value?  I know it is, very occasionally, a dangerous job, but there are lots of dangerous jobs in the private sector that haven’t been accorded “hero” status. Firefighters voluntarily choose their profession, but the taxpayers don’t get to voluntarily choose whether to pay them or not.  I say let the private sector (property-owners and insurance companies contracting with private firefighting companies) handle this service, or see if it is practicable for a citizen volunteer corps to fill these positions.

I would like to see these same principles applied to any form of state spending. All of the parasites on any form of welfare — any person, organization or corporation subsisting on government grants/subsidies — should also be eliminated from the taxpayer dole.  No one has the right to live off another’s labor. Loser-pays lawsuit reform in civil suits should also be instituted in order to curtail the abuse of our court system by litigious parasites and the attorney class that encourages them.

One legitimate and desirable source of revenue generation would be the sale of public lands. Turn what is currently a taxpayer liability into a private-sector asset. In reality, there are few areas that demand government interest, action and intervention, so it doesn’t require vast holdings of land.

I know I’m dreaming here, and the eventual solution will probably entail a drawn-out process of typical government ineffectiveness, dominated by the special-interest groups who’ve controlled California politics for some time now. Most likely, the taxpayer will get shafted once again, and those responsible for this mess will remain unaccountable.

Shane Solano, Ventura

The opinions expressed in the Letters/Power to Speak section do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the VCReporter.