Random Letters 8-8-19


The Battle of Automation — One Perspective

You seem to be clinging on to some old visions of what the San Pedro and the POLA should be. Like a latter-day Don Quixote – trying to throw advancing technology under the old noble-labor bus. One of these days, with new and better technology, San Pedro and Wilmington might actually get rid those overpaid ILWU jobs for good and finally and hopefully, all the stinky, polluting trucks and ships that continue to kill the families surround the existing ports.

Richard Pawlowski, Oregon

The Battle of Automation —Second Perspective

I have a similar sentiment.  Self-driving everything is coming, and there’s going to be a huge upheaval in the workforce.  It can’t be fought – no one will be able to toss their wooden shoes into the gears of technology.

It’s far easier to automate a controlled environment like a port rather than freeways which must still (for now) accommodate unpredictable humans – this is why true full automation is happening in places like mines, farms, Amazon warehouses, and other fenced-off parcels where we need to ‘move stuff’.’

It’s only a matter of time.  What to do with/for the non-knowledge workers is a big question.

Jason Herring, San Pedro

Mr. Herring,

Not all progress brings prosperity. There will be winners and losers. As I wrote in my last editorial, “good jobs and  a clean environment must be equal to a sustainable economy and a healthy community. It doesn’t have to be an either-or decision”.  We must not jettison the jobs that are already here for an unknown promise of future prosperity. We’ve seen how this didn’t work in the past with the shipyards and canneries closing. Technological advancement is a force of its own that is undeniable.But how it gets integrated into our economy is a discussion for debate, the same way that human DNA engineering is being discussed as ethics and legal issues.

James Preston Allen, Publisher

New Dog, Old Tricks

Is anybody else among RLns readership shaking their head in amazement about the Daily Breeze’s op-ed page of late? You’d figure a paper that supported the Vietnam War to the end and Nixon deep into Watergate might change with new ownership. Nope!

The last two Sunday editions have been a union buster’s wet dream. In particular, “Unions v Innovation” 6/30. Steven Greenhut lambasts unions for impeding progress while being political bullies. He praises Lyft and Uber, on the other hand, as innovators and political innocents.

Trouble is, these two relatively new companies employ more lobbyists than Amazon, Microsoft and Walmart combined. They often barge into small statehouses with as many as 16 lobbyists and an already written bill they want passed. Talk about bullies!

I highly recommend Leigh Anne Schriever’s 2018 piece in Regulation Review at https://tinyurl.com/LASchrieverRegulationReview

Steve Varalyay, Torrance

Cruelty at the Border

When Donald Trump tells American citizens to “go back” to their country, I hear chilling echoes of my own childhood.

I was born in America, but when I was just five years old, my family and I were put into American internment camps. One hundred and twenty thousand Japanese Americans were rounded up and uprooted from our homes simply because we looked like the people who had bombed Pearl Harbor. We lost everything. We were allowed to keep only what we could carry. It was a dark, harrowing time.

Today, we are witnessing new horrors at our border, eerily similar to what I experienced during World War II — with the added cruelty of family separation. The Trump administration once again is turning America into a nation that has lost its soul, where barbed wire camps become the symbol of a broken and cruel system.

George Takei, Los Angeles

More on Trump

Who is Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore) and why is the president repeatedly attacking him over Baltimore? Who are those four congresswomen he constantly slurs? It doesn’t matter to the president. Slurs and insults are a “little game” of hatred that the president uses to divide voters.What are his rules?

Rule 1:  “Haters hate hatred of their hate.”

Rule 2:  “Lovers hate hatred of their love.”

Rule 3:  “While Lovers and Haters are hating each other, Tycoons grab the Monopoly money.” Maxine Waters might agree that Members of Congress and reporters and football players and anyone with brown skin have become mere pawns in a silly little game of hate.

Meanwhile, the one percent of Americans who are “super rich” are quietly pocketing 90 percent of the biggest tax cut in a century.

If the president didn’t play his little game, what would happen?

When voters see they got nothing from the president’s only accomplishment, ordinary Americans might just stop playing a poor little rich boy’s game.

Billy Orton, 44th Congressional District Candidate, Long Beach

A View From the Hand Basket

I am a lifetime resident of San Pedro and the changes that have occurred over the past few years are astounding.

California is now a sanctuary state, with many sanctuary cities. It welcomes illegal aliens who can receive medical and other free benefits, compliments of the California taxpayer. It leads the nation in homelessness and allows vagrants to camp out on its streets, to do drugs, and relieve themselves in public without any restrictions or consequences. It’s passed laws that will cost the taxpayers billions of dollars to deal with the homeless problem. It has the highest state income tax in the nation and its public education system is a disgrace. Its gasoline tax has been increased constantly while its roads continue to deteriorate. It’s passes laws that are a joke at best, no straws, no plastic bags at the supermarket unless you pay for them, etc. It has alienated businesses and property owners to the extent that many are leaving the state. It supports gender free restrooms which in my opinion can be a danger to children. Recently, it wants to teach children that capitalism is racist.

It seems like everyday there is something new that is in conflict with America and its traditions. Most of the above can be attributed to the liberal politicians who have dominated its political offices.

Unless significant changes are made California could become the first state to be recognized as a “third world state.”

Kenneth M. Bezich, San Pedro

Mr. Bezich,

I presume that at one point your family immigrated to this country and then had access to at least a free public education, if not other public services supported by taxpayer dollars.  And, as much as some nativists at that time may have discriminated against you and yours, no one shut the door on you as you are now proposing to do to those who come after.

This area, and California in general, is a diverse cultural melting pot that has become an international cioppino of flavors that is difficult to replicate anywhere else.  This should be celebrated and not disparaged. In the end, we will fix the homeless problem.

James Preston Allen, Publisher