Re: The likelihood of our city inviting Walmart stores to set up shop here.

Without further introduction, let me simply ask: Has no one cited the unethical nature of the above invitation? Is it not, by the standards of our Jewish-Christian concepts of morality, actually immoral? Why? Because it is unjust!

Consider: The advent of Walmart as a grocer, a nurseryman and a clothier does not simply add competition for every grocer, nurseryman and clothier in the city; it adds unfair, unjust competition.

How so? By skirting the minimum wage law (employing workers less than eight hours daily), Walmart pays less than a minimum wage. Consequently, it can unfairly charge lower prices than our shops can possibly charge.

It is worth noting here that were the city of Ventura, in order to gain what the city believes is an asset, to grant all local businesses the same lower wage-scale paid by Walmart, it would equalize the playing field. Yes, but in time would the standards of living in our Ventura not be radically reduced?

The proposal is therefore not only unethical and immoral, but, for practical reasons, foolish as well!

Val Bettin, Ventura

How to get the public option
In reading the letters to the editor in the Reporter regarding the recently passed healthcare “reform,” I’ve seen much approval of the policy of prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against applicants with preexisting health problems.

While, on the face of it, this would seem to be a good and moral policy (enacted at the point of a gun, as usual), there is also an economic reality that seems to elude so many of the statists who laud this noble action. I understand that the penalty for committing the heinous crime of not buying health insurance under the “reform” legislation will cost much less than yearly insurance premiums. In effect, it will allow people to wait until after they get sick before demanding insurance.

Imagine what would happen to car and home insurers that were forced by government to offer coverage to car and home owners regardless of the preexisting condition of their property. What do you think would happen if a home owner could wait until after a flood, earthquake or fire destroyed his or her home before buying insurance? What if the owner of a car could buy insurance after a serious accident damaged the car or after it was stolen? Wouldn’t insurance companies be forced to raise everyone’s premiums in order to compensate for those who took advantage of this kind of loophole? Might this provoke people to complain to government that rates are too high? Would government then outlaw “price-gouging” and more heavily regulate companies? Would this be combined with ever-rising penalties for not buying insurance? Does anyone believe the same kind of thing won’t happen with health insurance?

I realize statistics aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed, but it really doesn’t take a genius to see where this will lead.

Rates will skyrocket, people will scream bloody murder, and then government will further regulate private insurance providers into oblivion. After private insurers are mostly out of the way and further demonized, government will step in with a “public option” that will compete with the private providers (which will be so heavily regulated by their “competitor” that they might as well be part of the government themselves) that do remain. I’m sure only the most politically well-connected insurers will be allowed to stay open for business. I fully expect that the “public option” provided by government will be as crappy and inefficient as every other “service” governments provide now. I’m also sure that every problem that government causes will be blamed on the nonexistent “free-market,” just as has been happening now for decades and decades.

Shane Solano, Ventura

The old bait and switch
Re: John Darling “A true tea party activist”

Take John Darling’s “always” liberal opinion and replace “democrat” with “independent although registered republican”; 24th District with 23rd District,” Elton Gallegly” with “Lois Capps”; and “he” with “she.” I’ve met both representatives and, by far, Congressman Gallegly is more responsive to his constituents. We’re blessed by a Santa Barbara spendthrift with no noticeable financial responsibility to this country. Finally, replace “Tim Allison” with “Tom Watson” and we may regain some sense of sanity in Congress.

Bob Harmuth, Oxnard

Politicians’ role in protecting the environment
Climate change poses an unprecedented threat to wildlife — changing, shrinking and destroying habitat, forcing wildlife to migrate or adapt, or even threatening its very existence.

The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change warns that if we don’t take strong action to address global warming soon, 20-30 percent of the world’s plant and animal species will be at increased risk of extinction by 2050.

Fortunately, there is something that can be done.

Last summer, the House of Representatives passed legislation to both reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that are triggering climate change and take steps to safeguard natural resources and wildlife threatened by the changes in climate already set in motion. Now the Senate is moving on similar legislation recently introduced by Senators Boxer and Kerry.

However, reducing carbon emissions is not enough. Any comprehensive climate and energy legislation must dedicate 5 percent of the funding generated to safeguarding fish and wildlife and the natural resources on which we all rely. Our senators should know that their constituents expect nothing less.

Brandon M. Bean, Thousand Oaks

Behind Susan Jordan
Susan Jordan receives my endorsement for the 35th District Assembly seat because I believe she can put results behind her work.

I first met Susan when she led the coalition to fight the liquefied natural gas line through Oxnard. The collection of different organizations and community members had an almost impossible fight. President George W. Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had signed off on the LNG line, and international money promoted the project. Susan Jordan stood up and protected the families of Ventura County over the high pressure gas line that would have passed in front of our homes, hospitals and schools.

Susan Jordan has been a keen advocate on the education of our children. I have had many long conversations with Susan Jordan about how to better support our children, teachers and schools.

Last summer, I and other educators wanted to send our message to the governor that cutting funds to education and lessening the school days children can study is nothing short of unpatriotic. We decided to fast for seven days, collect signatures and deliver the message and signatures to the governor’s office.

Both Susan Jordan and her competitor for the Assembly seat supported our efforts. Susan called me several times before and during the fast to make sure I took the possible health issues seriously. Her Democratic competitor showed up three times with a photographer and campaign contribution envelopes. Susan came with many supporters to sign the petition, and Das Williams stepped into the photo on the last day to celebrate that he had fasted on his own while traveling up and down the state seeking his own campaign contributions.

We gathered more than 2,000 signatures, we completed the fast (and I lost 12 pounds in one week), we spread our message, and with the help from Susan’s husband, Assemblymember Pedro Nava, we delivered our message and the signatures to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s office. Susan Jordan was a supporter who elected not to turn our serious cause into a campaign event.

I support Susan Jordan because she has the sincerity, ability and experience to better our community. I am confident that our schools, environment and fiscal management will be better with Susan Jordan as our next 35th Assemblymember in Sacramento.

Denis O’Leary, Oxnard
(Denis O’Leary is Oxnard
School District Trustee.)

For the sake of clean air
Valero gas, a Texas-based energy company and one of the top polluters in the country, is trying to mess with California’s clean energy jobs and air pollution law, AB 32.

AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, is a great tool for us to rebuild our economy, clean up our dirty air, and reduce greenhouse gases. But Valero gas is trying to effectively kill AB 32 by spending lots of money to put a measure on the November ballot.

I will be boycotting all Valero gas until it stops attacking AB 32. I hope you will join me.

Bruce Jackson, Port Hueneme