Welcome Simone Alex, Fillmore City Council's new member. Ms. Alex was chosen by the Council to replace Councilwoman Ari Larson who passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 17. Alex will be sworn-in Nov. 9.

My best wishes go out to Simone for great success on the Council. I have one concern for any new (or seasoned) councilperson, and it is this: Please confine your Council energies exclusively to city problems and opportunities, and avoid national political issues, such as Black Lives Matter (BLM), sexual orientation, or notions of white supremacy, which distract from concentration on city policies and issues. Recent city elections saw (for the first time in my experience) funds from county and state political parties intrude into Fillmore to influence the outcomes. Much of the city was caught off guard. This sort of outside interference should not be welcomed because it discourages normal local cooperation and causes unnecessary conflict.

But again, Simone, I wish you a warm welcome and successful stay on our Council.


Just a quick thank you and congratulations to all Fillmore Unified School District personnel who witnessed the completion of our new Career Technical Education Facilities, located on First Street. $6 million in matching funds gave us this truly state-of-art complex.

FUSD Superintendent, Christine Schieferle, introduced the large group of leaders and contributors during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. That was followed by a truly enthusiastic and grateful stream of Fillmore officials and residents who remarked about the beauty and functionality of the design.


Before answering Kelly Scoles' "Second Opinion" I would like to explain a personal thing.

This past weekend I participated in three funeral-related gatherings, a Rosary and memorial for Ari Larson who passed away recently, and a memorial luncheon for Bob Crum, a friend who passed in January. I'm afraid I was monotonous company.

My memory is betraying me recently, mostly in recalling names, sometimes even of those I have known for many years. While it's very annoying, I'm not surprised since I've passed my "four score". So, if I should happen to greet you without stating your first name these days please don't be put off. Ironically, my memory is razor sharp recalling people, places, and events long ago. It's just names that cause some embarrassment now. They eventually surface, but slowly.

With that, God grant you all long, prosperous lives, and vigorous memories!


Now, what the heck was I going to write about? Oh - Kelly Scoles' "Second Opinion".

Hi, Kelly.
Well, my memory focuses sharply on the year 1973, with the shocking Supreme Court opinion of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). My wife and I immediately joined pro-life forces, raising funds and helping to organize opposition to Roe. Christians in particular were stunned by the pro-abortion case. "Prior to its amendment by The Therapeutic Abortion Act, section 274 of the California Penal Code made it a felony to perform an abortion on a woman for any reason "unless the same is necessary to preserve her life. Essentially the same provisions [existed] in 40 other states."

Abortion has been anathema to (Catholic) Church teaching for 2000 years. Being Catholic, my opposition to Roe has only hardened as the ubiquitous slaughter broadened into "partial-birth" and beyond (severed fetus parts marketing) and live birth homicide. So, you might say I have a bias here, in favor of protecting human life.

There are some religions and philosophies which place no more value on human life than they might in killing a rat. Pagans are among those people, as are Communists. Pagans go back to Genesis; Communists began in earnest in 1917 with Lenin implementing Karl Marx's bloodletting nightmare (hundreds of millions murdered). For these people abortion is simply business as usual. Strange how easily we forget that each of us was once that tiny soul secured in our mother's uterus.

Kelly, I will go into more detail about the history of abortion at a later date because I've run out of time and space, again. But just a few short responses.

Even the ancient Greeks recognized the sacredness of the as-yet unborn human. The famous Hippocratic oath includes "First, do no harm." More specifically: "...I will not give to a woman a pessary [abortifacient] to cause abortion." "This oath is the earliest expression of medical ethics in the Western world." 500-BC. It seems, regarding this issue, during the past 2500 years, we have just encouraged ignorance and forgotten ethics, for personal convenience alone.

Your history on fetal development is confused. You misunderstand Thomas Aquinas' (the Angelic Doctor) teaching on time of "ensoulment " when presence of soul creates a human being. Though one of the most brilliant persons in history, not much of human biology was understood in the 13th Century. Briefly, the idea of "ensoulment" creating human beings has not changed, i.e. when the soul enters the egg humanity is created. Though spiritual presence can't be documented, science today can indeed document the beginnings of human life.

At the risk of boring our readership I would like to spend next week's column entirely on this fascinating discussion. You say, "But what precise moment the unborn becomes a fully-actualized "human being," they [doctors] can't say for certain." However, they can say for certain that at one point "it" was not independently alive, and at another "it" was. "The genetic material of the sperm and egg then combine to form a single cell called a zygote and the germinal stage of development commences." "This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being." It contains all the necessary chromosomes for human life - only time and maternal nurture are now needed. Smart as he was, Aquinas couldn't have known this.

Until next week, Kelly; you cannot be both "pro-life" and "pro abortion"; that's what we call a contradiction.

Be well.