Letters to the Editor
No Fly Zones
With recent helicopter traffic that has increased in our neighborhood over the last few years, the application for a private helicopter pad by Pat Nesbitt will open the door and set a precedent for more. If granted, the impact will compromise the integrity of our communities, disrupt our environment, safety, privacy, wildlife, is dangerous and will cause disruptive noise pollution. The overwhelming opposition from our residents should speak for itself.
Santa Barbara Airport is a 20-minute drive from Summerland. We all chose to live in our beach community to enjoy a relaxed and friendly lifestyle. Helicopters flying overhead is not relaxing or friendly by any stretch of the imagination. It is hard to understand how the convenience for a few could be granted at the expense and disturbance of so many.
Julie and Robert Teufel
Stamping it Out
In his “Brilliant Thoughts” column (MJ # 25/32), Mr. Brilliant put forth a thought about cars contributing to traffic congestion (duh!) and air pollution (double duh!) in his own disclaimer (i.e., while “saying” something about cars and congestion and pollution). Does anyone care about that? (Just kidding, Ashleigh; caught you out, hunh?)
Here’s something else in the matter of waste: normal-sized postcards don’t cost 50 cents to mail, not yet. Those many postcards produced by Ashleigh all fall within the standard dimension. So, whoever is posting these with 50-cent stamps is wasting her or his money.
As for the cost of manufacturing one-cent coins, who can calculate the real worth of a penny when it’s employed over and over – maybe countless times – to square up USA cash transactions?
Long Time Melt
My great-great uncle George Bird Grinnell founded Glacier National Park. If you read his writings or any of the books about him, he saw that the glaciers in the “Land of the Walled in Lakes” were melting rapidly from the time he first observed them in 1885 to the time the Park was established in 1910. So, it would be hard to attribute the majority of “Global Warming” to human industrialization, which has mostly occurred after that time.
Ref: “Grinnell’s Glacier” by Gerald Diettert, “Grinnell” by John Taliaferro, Review WSJ: The Western Establishment.
Uncle Sugar Daddy
“The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” – Frederic Bastiat
Social Security is a paternalistic program implemented by FDR and other progressives in 1935. It has many shortcomings, not the least of which is potential insolvency. This intergenerational wealth-transfer program (it’s been likened to a Ponzi scheme) presumes people are incapable of providing for their retirement without a coercive employment tax. These early 20th century progressives were similar to the ones in Bastiat’s day and today. They generally believe ordinary human beings are incapable of managing their own lives and must be protected by people of superior intelligence and wisdom; you know, politicians.
These purveyors of helplessness and dependence, for self-aggrandizement and political power, take advantage of a common human weakness: a preference to live at the expense of others. Hence, they autocratically establish costly and often counterproductive institutions of welfare, education and whatever they perceive as essential for the feeble, clamoring masses. Naturally, as a result of establishing these institutions and programs, and subsidizing these weaknesses, an amplification of irresponsibility and dependence, follows.
The results are apparent in the burgeoning number of jobless, homeless, and drug-addled. Why prepare for the future, or accept responsibility, if it’s advertised as not required? How many of these castaways and/or mentally disturbed were initially injured by: 1) compulsory state education; 2) disabled by public assistance; 3) broken by the drug war; or 4) maimed by state warfare?
Whether the state or a rich uncle leads one to believe they will never have to be self-supporting, that individual may not develop the motivation or skill to provide for himself, or appreciate the effort it takes to do so. If for any reason this false promise of leisure fails, that individual may become a burden on taxpayers.
Can society alone address social problems? Of course, if its concern is genuine and goes beyond a raid on someone else’s property to pay for it. Government, as an uninvited interloper, dramatically increases the cost of things society should do for itself.
When will government spending and debt to sustain these programs reach the breaking point? Who knows, but perhaps individual preparedness incentivized by necessity would work better than handouts and coercion?
“…It is in vain to summon a people who have been rendered so dependent on the central power to choose from time to time the representatives of that power; this rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity.” Alexis de Tocqueville