Letters to the Editor
November 24, 2022

To the Editor:
As we approach this holiday season, Thanksgiving is just days away, I send these wishes to all for a season filled with love, peace, and the thanks for the ability to live in a country that allows the representation of all thoughts, ideas, and freedoms that our Constitution grants to all its citizens. I pray that you hold dear to your heart the rights and values that founded this great nation and celebrate those rights and values with your family and friends.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving and a joyous December season, however you celebrate.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
November 19, 2022

To the Editor:
The failure of the “red wave” resulted in great part from “Trumpfunk,” the sheer exhaustion of many voters at the unrelenting toxicity of extremism, fear, and anger delivered up by the Republican Party and the incessant baseless attacks of election deniers. Add to that SCOTUS overturning Roe and the failure of Congressional Republicans to offer explicit GOP policies beyond “impeach Biden.” While the Democrats are by no means perfect, they actually have passed legislation that will improve the lot of the American people.
Some of the Republican candidates were so offensive, so incompetent and phony, that candidate quality was clearly irrelevant. The fervent Republican support for the likes of truth-challenged abortion enthusiast (only if it’s his) Herschel Walker in South Carolina, snake oil salesman Mehmet Oz in PA, puppet candidate Blake Masters in AZ, or election denier and political dreg Doug Mastriano, was astounding.
Why do you have such a heat on for Senator-elect Fetterman, Martin? Because he thrust “his arms into the air after his win?” Singularly outrageous! His stroke affected his power of speech and auditory processing as is common in stroke victims. He has a mechanism which reduces speech to written form. His thought process is unimpaired. It may pacify you to recall that Stephen Hawking could not utter a single word and somehow managed to do his job fairly well.
It’s good to know you recognize that, in politics,” it’s all money now.” You can thank a 2010 conservative-majority SCOTUS decision which reversed a century of law designed to prevent corruption in elections and opened the floodgates for special interests.
In Citizens United v. FEC, conservative SCOTUS held 5-4 that “independent political spending” by corporations was a First Amendment expression and did not create a substantive threat of corruption (because everybody knows that corporations are incorruptible). They can spend unlimited funds on campaign advertising if they “do not coordinate” with a specific candidate’s campaign. Also, contributing nonprofit groups are not required to disclose their donors.
Obama and the Democrats desperately warned against the dangers of financial and political exploitation inherent in the case. Our worst fears have been substantiated. Welcome aboard.
No major election complaints, except from Kari Lake who bitterly denounced the voting process in AZ that she and other Republicans there had fashioned and implemented post-2020. No making some people happy.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Thanks again for all your hard work in the campaign. Tim Gurrola is collecting signs. If yours has not been picked up, please reply to this email so Tim can come by to get it.
Thanks,
Amy Gurrola,
Fillmore, Ca.
**The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the US Air Force, Department of Defense or the US Government**

***

To the Editor:
The Democrats in the two weeks prior to the election claimed that Republicans intended to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare. In fact, at no time did any Republican, candidate or elected, make such a claim.
Democrats said that Republicans were threatening to use debt ceiling to make cuts to “the programs (sic. Social Security and Medicare). What they actually said was “focus has got to be on nondiscretionary-it’s got to be on entitlements” (Rep B. Carter). Or that Sen. Ron Johnson said SS and Medicare was to be renegotiated every single year. What he actually said was “discretionary spending” should be reviewed during the budget cycle. Of course they turned to Sen. Lindsey Graham who they proclaim said that reforming these two programs was a “must”. Actually he said “entitlement reform is a must”.
So what are the types of federal entitlements? These range from rights granted to citizens and non-citizens. They’re programs that are contributory or non-contributory which are benefits available without regard to whether the recipient contributed any funds to the programs.
Social Security and Medicare, along with Unemployment Insurance are a part of the entitlement programs. These are contributory programs. Currently, Medicare has approximately four more years until the program is broke. Social Security has a mere seven years until it can’t fulfill it’s financial responsibilities.
Others, SNAP (food stamps), Earned Income Tax Credit program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, CHIP, Pell Grants, are examples of non-contributory programs. These are federal programs that are mostly managed by the states, which thereby result in different thresholds regarding qualification.
It isn’t unfair to be asking the question regarding this nondiscretionary entitlement spending when taking into account the additional 4.5 million who have crossed over the border in the last 18 months and who do not have a social security card but are granted housing, medical care, food and education.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
November 3, 2022

To The Editor:
I was disappointed to see that you had recommended a “No” vote on Measure G. Fillmore High needs a new Gymnasium to replace the gym built over 70 years ago which does not meet the present-day requirements for changing and showering in addition to many other factors. We also need to upgrade classrooms. The previous bonds paid for our new industrial arts building which provides an auto repair shop, welding, wood working, computer lab and ag. It is the envy of all school districts with the facilities to train our students for jobs in the future. We need to continue to provide facilities for our young students to have the best tools to succeed in the future. Four generations of my family have gotten a top-notch education a Fillmore High School. I am voting YES on measure G to provide the facilities to continue that tradition.
Bob Morris,
Fillmore

***

To The Editor:
This election is primarily about three things: inflation, women’s rights, and the future of democracy in this country.
Inflation, unfortunately, is a foreseeable problem following Covid and its economic impacts, and the Russian War. Opportunistic corporate decisions to significantly increase dividends to stockholders, especially of big Pharma and the oil industry, add to the pain. Much of Europe is anticipating a significant shortage in heating fuel and rising energy prices and even starvation in some countries because of the lack of Ukrainian wheat. Our very real challenges are not unique to us.
The Biden administration and congressional Democrats pumped trillions of dollars into the economy with the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. These measures were essential for the immediate economic survival of millions of Americans. Republicans backed none of them. Senate Republicans refused to let Medicare negotiate lower prescription prices.
Women’s rights to control their own reproductive health was overturned and the Constitutional standard of Mississippi was imposed. Many Republicans intend to make it a federal law and many have vowed to prevent the use of contraceptives. A female’s wishes and needs are irrelevant. Even if she was the victim of a rape, incest, or unless she is at the threshold of death.
Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point plan for Republican control proposes to “sunset” legislation at five years. The GOP has been eager for decades (and denying it) to reduce or eliminate entitlements to the middle class, primarily by reducing Social Security and eliminating Medicare. They have indicated that they will refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless their plan is effectuated. The ensuing catastrophe is almost unimaginable. The inability of the Repo base to recognize that they are voting against their own middle-class interests is astounding.
The violence that self-pitying Trump encourages and that exploded into Jan6, the divorce from democracy it represents, the packing elections 2022 officials with truth deniers and Big Lie advocates, reducing the electorate by falsely claiming extensive fraud which even the Supreme Court has rejected, the fact that Trump regularly denigrates US intentions and power in the world and continually praises ruthless dictators, ought to give everyone pause.
I am not “fixated” on Trump and his attempt to overthrow elections. I am persistent in sounding the alarm.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
October 27, 2022

To the Editor:
About this one thing you are consistently correct, Martin: it is impossible to have a real discussion when one person either does not know or will not accept facts. My LTTE last week was not about what I think are facts, or even my opinion. I simply listed some of the most revelatory evidence disclosed in the January 6 House Bi-partisan Committee hearings. The facts almost exclusively were provided by Republican witnesses.
The definition of “insurrection” is “an act or instance of rising in revolt, rebellion, or resistance against an established government.” What do you call the violent attack on the capitol on Jan6 instigated by a president to reverse his loss in a valid election?
As a diversion, you draw a false equivalency between BLM and Jan 6. The crucial difference is that BLM was not trying to overthrow our government. The assault on the capitol was an attempt to prevent the certification of a national election and came dangerously close at the hands of people for whom it is “their way or the highway.”
Since then, Trump Republicans have intimidated and threatened elections workers and defiantly proclaimed that they will deny the results of any future election which they lose. So much for Trump’s GOP defending democracy.
If one can overlook or ignore the Committee’s evidence including shocking videos of the Jan 6 sedition, Trump admitting on more than one occasion that he had, in fact, lost the 2020 election, it isn’t too strenuous for some to also pretend that the Trump GOP will make America great again.
Since you like to change the subject, if you want to know what the Trumpian Republican Party really has planned for you, Google Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) “11-Point Plan to Rescue America.” Sen. Rick Scott Lays Out 11-Point Plan To ‘Rescue America’ | The Daily Caller Speaker McCarthy was angry that Scott published the document. It sounds innocuous until you understand what it really means. It plans to cut Social Security, eliminate Medicare, make a women’s right to choose illegal nationally, curtail female birth control options, end LGBTQ rights including marriage, refashion historical reality, and empower state legislatures with the right to dictate national election results in their states. Republicans call it “Freedom.”
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Ms. Scoles wants to anguish over J6. Her letters fixate on the Bi-partisan (sic) House Select Committee televised show trial. She fails to represent to the readers that the Democrats are in full control of the outcome. Of the 13 members only two, Cheney and Kitzinger, are Republican. They say this isn’t a trial, yet they bring hearsay testimony and visuals they massage and edit into a specific conclusion. To be a true believer that J6 was an insurrection, the Committee should show and release all the videos compiled from that day for the public viewing.
Kelly resorts to pointing to the FBI. Obviously, she failed to hear the extent of their corruption and abuses these past six years that has been laid open for all to see. Now the FBI wants to lay the groundwork for the 2022 mid-term elections open to cyber threats from China and Russia. Is this so they can cry foul when they lose?
When I queried her to outline why anyone should vote Democrat, she was silent.
These many months I have written about issues I have an opinion on relating to the state of America. I’ve written on Biden’s decisions regarding Afghanistan. Unduly regulating oil and gas production. Quashing oil and gas production. Failure to follow the rule of law relating to student debt payouts and infringing on peoples’ property rights, and others, causing the use of taxpayer dollars to cover the costs to litigate when they knew they’d lose. COVID-19 issues. Forcing an experimental drug into the youth and working class. And of course, the border crisis.
And as I write this, I am also very concerned with the state of California. The federal government found that due to the inept state government, our political and regulatory policies, were what brought about the disastrous wildfires. We all know we have the 2nd highest gas tax and EV cars pay a higher DMV fee to offset the gas tax. We’re number 38 in the nation for education and our teachers are among the highest paid. California used federal COVID-19 payments to bail out its fiscal mismanagement. Our credit/bond rating is the lowest in the nation. Unfunded pension liabilities are through the roof, and we’re taxed so their retirements remain whole. We have one of the highest sales tax rates. The elected have failed to deal with the infrastructure deficit. Thirty percent of our population receives financial assistance. You won’t be able to purchase a new gas-powered vehicle in 2025. Requirement to be fossil fuel free by 2035, yet we have across the state power outages. Doctors are targeted if it’s determined an appointed committee finds they are providing “misinformation” relating to COVID. The list truly is much longer.
J6. J6. J6. Roe v Wade. Roe v Wade. Roe v Wade.
Like Kelly, the Democrats only have these two things on their minds. (Kelly also likes to fixate on Trump). Yet, as I walked down the grocery aisles this past week, looking at the price of eggs, meat, etc., neither of these things were on my mind. Neither are they on the minds of my family members, friends or neighbors.
Please, vote wisely.
Patti Walker
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
October 20, 2022

To the Editor:

Fox News was silent last Thursday about the televised hearing that day of the Jan 6 Bi-partisan House Select Committee. The evidence presented showed that the violence was not spontaneous chaos, or demonstration of an honest belief in a stolen election, or about a president who unwittingly set afire the brutality of the day. It was a deliberate, intentional, and premeditated effort by Trump to overturn a duly conducted election, effect a coup, and prevent the peaceful transfer of power in America.

Trump knew he lost (“I don’t want people to know we lost”). Trump and his operatives agreed that he would claim election fraud and victory and would not relinquish power no matter the decision of the electorate. He knew that many in his base would reflexively rally to the “Big Lie.”

Some of the notable revelations:

1)The Secret Service and FBI knew on December 27th, 2020 – and did not disclose to appropriate law enforcement until over a week later– that large contingents of heavily-armed Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and other violent white nationalists were planning to congregate in DC on January 6th, 2021. “Their intent is to literally kill people,” said one internal Secret Service email.

2) On a MAGA-favored website where users commonly issued death threats to elected officials was the comment,"Our 'lawmakers’ in Congress can leave one of two ways: 1. in a body bag. 2. after rightfully certifying Trump the winner.”In a subpoenaed video, Trump henchman Roger Stone said, "f*ck the voting, let's get right to the violence."

3) To exact revenge and cause havoc after he left office Trump, on November 11, 2020, signed a directive to the Joint Chiefs to change the Afghanistan withdrawal date of May 1, 2021, under the Trump-Taliban Peace Agreement(without the participation of the Afghani government) to January 15th, 2021,one day after Biden’s inauguration. The horrified Joint Chiefs finally convinced him to withdraw the catastrophic directive. Trump’s shameful “Peace Agreement” remained in place, unknown to Biden until after his inauguration, giving the new president 4 short months to prepare for the monumental withdrawal or escalate the war.

4) On Jan 6th, both McCarthy and McConnell declared that Trump was responsible for the insurrection, and Ted Cruz recently admitted that “not one Republican Senator thought he wasn’t guilty.” When Trump threatened them, they recanted, choosing power over principle once again.

Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
I was Chris Gurrola’s Humanities teacher when he was in the 8th grade at Fillmore Middle School. I remember him as one of the bet students I ever had. Chris impressed me with his intelligence, work ethic and creativity. He told me that his ambition was to become an Air Force pilot, a goal he accomplished.
I was very impressed with his answers to questions recently posed by the Ventura County Star to the candidates for Fillmore City Council. His responses were articulate and showed understanding of the issues and suggested intelligent, doable solutions. Fillmore would be blessed to have Chris Gurrola on the City Council.
Mary Ford,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
October 12, 2022

To the Editor:
Fillmore Unified School District’s schools and classrooms are among our community’s most valuable assets. Measure G, a $41.6 million general obligation bond on the November 8th ballot, will improve and protect these vital public assets without increasing current tax rates.
If approved by voters, Measure G funds will be used to address the most critical needs facing our schools. The projects to be funded will be wide-ranging and will have a profound impact on both our students and our community. Major projects will include:
• Constructing a new gym at Fillmore High improving athletic facilities and allowing for expanded physical education classes benefitting all students
• Modernizing older classrooms to better prepare our students for success in their future studies and careers
• Upgrading older wiring to support modern classroom technology
Of equal importance is the fact that our district’s Board of Trustees is passionately committed to the responsible use of taxpayer funds. As mentioned above, Measure G will not increase a homeowner’s current tax rate. Instead, the tax rate for a prior bond approved by voters in 1997 will be extended with an average rate of 5¢ per $100 of assessed value.
In addition, a Citizens’ Oversight Committee, made up of community members like you, will review each and every bond expenditure. Bond funds will not be used to pay for administrators’ salaries, pensions, or benefits.
Finally, all of Measure G’s bond dollars will be used to improve Fillmore’s schools and facilities and the state will be legally prohibited from taking any of these bond funds and spending them elsewhere.
Ask any real estate professional – good schools improve the value of a community. As a graduate of Fillmore High School, parent of three FHS alumni, and long-time resident and taxpayer, I know the positive impact Fillmore schools have had on our children and our community. Measure G will help ensure future generations of Fillmore students have access to school facilities that meet the needs of 21st century education. With independent oversight, a list of community-selected projects and no increase in current tax rates, Measure G deserves your strong support.
Christine Schieferle
Community Member, FHS Class of ‘91

***

To the Editor:
One of the human treasures of Fillmore died last Friday morning.
Sarah Hansen was the model civic-minded person who, when she saw a community problem, fashioned a solution. Politics were not her particular interest, but Sarah got things done. A quietly effective and tireless volunteer, she supported any cause that would help people in need, especially the young. No fuss, just service to her fellow citizens delivered with steadiness, civility, dignity, patience, and a quiet joy.
With all her accomplishments, I never heard her utter an unkind word.
A light has gone out in Fillmore for everyone who knew her. This is not the time for me to engage in querulous political debate. We have all lost a dear friend and a luminous human being. Whatever else is going on in the world, Fillmore owes her memory a moment.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca.

***

To the Editor:
Democratic Congresswoman and 2020 Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has announced she is leaving the Democrat Party. She supported Biden when she dropped out of the race.
Her reason, “I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party. It’s now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoking anti white racism, who actively worked to undermine our God given freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, and who are hostile to people of faith and spirituality, who demonize the police who protect criminals at the expense of law abiding Americans who believe in open borders, who weaponize the national security state to go after their political opponents, and above all, are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war,”
She’s right. And I couldn’t have said it any better. That’s the shame of it all.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
October 5, 2022

To the Editor:
A couple of weeks ago, an LTTE stated that the “current Democratic rhetoric is there will be a ‘civil war’ if Republicans regain control of Congress.”But for a civil war to begin, people have to be highly motivated. They use language of fear, outrage, threat, and victimizationto make people willing to shed the blood of fellow citizens. This is the realm of Trumpian Republicans.These people are not “conservatives.” They are radicals who only want to conserve - and impose – their heritage, religion, and society. They demand “Freedom.” But only theirs, not yours.
The Charlottesville right-wing mob (one of whom killed a young woman) was deemed “good people” by Trump. Many Republicans defended young Rittenhouse when he armed, traveled, and gratuitously inserted himself into a protest and killed two men. It was right-wing extremists who be sieged the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Trump has invoked white nationalist terrorist groups including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and “Q.” Far-Right militias have become part of national politics. Exhortations to “load and lock”are not coming from Democrats.
MTGreene (R-GA), who excels in spreading bizarre conspiracy theories, spoke at a Trump Rally last Saturday in MI and referenced two local news stories to support her baseless claim that Democrats are hunting down GOP voters. "I'm not going to mince words with you all," Greene said. "Democrats want Republicans dead. They've already started the killings.”She referenced two local stories, though the police in both cases reported they cannot establish a political motive.She is never one to let a tragedy go to political waste.
She made additional false and demagogic remarks. "Joe Biden has declared every freedom-loving American an enemy of the state," she said. But it was Trump who used this language, referring to President Biden as an “enemy of the state” in a rally in PA last month. If you work up the crowdenough, even an obvious lie can be sold. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) when confronted with the comments refused to disavow them. He’s got his base to feed.
The facts don’t matter to these people because truth is not useful to them. Incendiary language, alarm, and lies are what spark conflict. They and their fellow Trumpians learned from “the master.” The question is, how ginned-up can they get the audience, and will itmetastasize to their advantage?
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
September 28, 2022

To the Editor:
Despite Martin’s uninterest in Trump’s sanction of “Q,” the essential question remains: “Why is Trump finally openly endorsing this Far Right conspiracy group?” For the same reason he urged the assembly on January 6, 2021, to storm the capitol and reverse the election. He failed to overthrow the government then, but considering the current tsunami of investigations of him in Washington and his Organization in New York, all Trump has working for him now are desperate attorneys, blind loyalty, threats of violence, and fundraising off the public when he himself is so “fabulously wealthy.”
“The World’s Biggest Victim” claims unconstitutional invasion of his Mar-a-Lago estate (“they didn’t even take their shoes off in my bedroom!” Your typical manly and constitutional concern), when the DOJ under warrant seized documents after months of negotiation and denial. The FBI retrieved tens of boxes of materials Trump claimed he did not have. In a move to delay the analysis of many “TOP SECRET” documents that had been removed from their files (some found in Trump’s personal desk) he demanded a “special master” to review the documents and determine their status.
Unfortunately for Mr. Trump, his selected Special Master Raymond Dearie, reprimanded the Trump lawyers for ludicrous claims of his ownership and/or ignorance. Interestingly, the issue of whether Trump had declassified the documents was not raised in the amended legal filings. Although Trump claimed to Hannity on FOX that he had declassified them, “just by thinking about it,” his lawyers did not raise the “declassification by rumination” defense because they do not want to lose their law licenses for knowingly filing a false statement with the Master.
Why did Trump reveal his “superpower” to Hannity when he should have been exercising his right to remain silent? Because the courts notwithstanding, Trump wants an army of disgruntled, resentful loyalists, and generous donors, to do his dirty work for him. Just as he did on January 6. Like “Q,” Trump wants us to fear that the “Coming Storm” (armed clashes, civil war, bad weather? They won’t define it) is imminent if he is prosecuted, because Trump is above the Law and he, “Q,” and other “very special people” are fine with burning the country down to prove it.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Just when you think that you've seen about every evil, blasphemous twisting of God's word, something else comes up. The latest is Gavin Newsom's attempt to use Jesus' words to encourage women in pro-life states to come to California to kill their babies. In case you missed it in the news, Newsom put up billboards (at California taxpayers' expense) in seven pro-life states: Texas, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Oklahoma with these words: "Want an abortion? California is here to help." Below these words is a quote from Jesus: "Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these. Mark 12:31."
So not only is Newsom declaring California an "abortion sanctuary state" where women can kill the children they've conceived at will, but he's encouraging women from other states ("freedom-hating" states, he calls them) to come to California where they can kill theirs, too - and using Jesus' words to do it He will answer to Jesus for his evil, and when he does, their conversation will be very short. In fact, it won't be a conversation at all. Jesus will speak, and, like the man in Jesus' parable (Matthew 22:11-13), Newsom will be speechless. Then the Lord will say, "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Not a very pleasant picture - weeping and gnashing one's teeth in darkness for eternity. But that's Newsom's future if he doesn't repent of his evil.
Leslie R. Lanier, Pastor
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
September 21, 2022

To the Editor:
Methinks someone got a crisp new copy of Shakespeare’s Tragedies last Christmas! Fortuitous gift, and so appropriate that you would conjure Macbeth in a discussion of QAnon. That big black kettle bubbling away with “eye of newt” floaters is an inspired and apt reference. You have described it so perfectly, I wonder that, as a professional in public information, you are innocent as to what QAnon is.
Perhaps it is because you are unaware that former president Trump recently endorsed this “weird political spook” from which you distanced yourself. On his Truth Social media website, Trump showed a picture of himself posturing like Alexander the Great in modern dress with the ominous warning “The Storm is Coming.” On his opposing lapels were (1) the American Flag and (2) the letter “Q.” Beneath this, the letters WWG1WGA [“Where We Go One, We Go All”], the motto of “loosely-formed but interconnected conspiracy theorists” known collectively as “Q” or QAnon.
The individual who had been posting as “Q” has gone silent for 18 months, but his elves have kept busy, including Boebert (R-CO), MTGreen (R-GA), Paul Gozar (R-AZ), Ret. Gen. Mike Flynn, and many other Republican luminaries. And now Trump, who has alternated between knowing nothing about “Q,” and “supporting their fight” against rampant Democratic pedophilia and Satanic child cannibalizing, has embraced it. You have to log in at www.theqanons.com to view their blog, but since Trump is all in, I would think you would at least be curious. Interesting, too, is to Google “QAnon and Christianity.”
We are both of advancing age, not as flexible as we once were, but your nimbleness in waltzing President Biden and/or Hillary into every defensive gambol for the Trumpian Far-Right is astonishing (“Come and trip it as ye go/ On the light fantastic toe." Milton, L'Allegro).
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
May I respond briefly to Patti Walker’s letter last week? In it she asked the question, “Did you vote for this?” and she cited chapter and verse of our duly elected president’s wrongheaded policies and general incompetence, in her opinion.
Yes, I voted for Joe Biden, a centrist. Yes, I DO like his policies, and especially his support for Ukraine, the environment, a woman’s right to choose, and his willingness to defend the Constitution. We can talk policy initiatives and (outrageous! moronic!) outcomes, but at the end of the day, Americans chose a man who they believed would defend our democracy. We chose a humble public servant over a showman with autocratic tendencies. (You’ll never see Joe with a QANON button on his lapel, as happened recently with our ex-president.)
Sincerely,
Tom Somers
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Kelly,
I’ve read oh these many months about your disdain for Republicans, Trump especially. What I’d like to read is how grateful you are that the Democrats, Biden especially, are in control of the Congress, Senate and House.
Tell me and the readers of the Gazette how proud you are of how Biden exited Afghanistan. Tell us how his open border policies have brought about a positive impact on the United States. I’d like to know, as may others, if you’re appreciative of the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline, causing a loss of thousands of jobs, and the destruction of our energy independence.
You seem to be so concerned about Trump and the “big lie”, outline your position on the Hunter laptop and the fact that Joe is the “big guy”.
Give us, the readers, your position on the additional trillions of dollars of debt Biden has incurred in his time as President. Or the fact that the money that was set aside to pay down the debt from the Infrastructure Reduction Act is being used to pay off college loans.
Maybe you could also write about the “walk-backs” the White House has had to make concerning Taiwan and the pandemic being over. Keep in mind they didn’t seem to care about Biden’s comment that “historic inflation is no big deal”, they let that one stand.
Stop complaining about a party that is not even in control and tell us why we should vote to keep the Democrats in control for the next two years.
Patti Walker
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
September 14, 2022

To the Editor:
Increasingly in this country, there are people who have reached the emotional or mental state that they have resorted to believing and promulgating profoundly fantastical conspiracy theories. Here are just a couple of examples to illustrate what, for instance QAnon, holds as truth.
Child traffickers are usually Democrats, run sex slave operations in pizza parlors, drink blood. No evidence required.
JFK, Jr., is hiding out somewhere to join Trump as his VP candidate in 2024.
“The Jews are trying to replace us.” Charlottesville
The man we all heard say that you should just grab women by their private parts is here to save us from the demented sex offenders.
The 2020 election will be reversed any day now.
The Democrats were for once so organized and crafty that ordinary elections workers were trained to cheat and stole the election for Biden, though fake Republican “electors” tried to save it for Trump. The Big Lie, and not one single court in the land bought the argument.
Someday, we will rely on psychologists and recovered extremists to tell us how people feel hopeless enough to nurture and believe in national and global conspiracy theories. Why people look at a changing world and see only Doomsday, failing to understand that history is full of pivotal changes. How people get whipped up into accepting and believing ridiculous things and feel more powerful because of it. How social networks insinuate themselves and encourage victimhood and fear of the unknown. How independent thought or considering other opinions are anathema. Why people become addicted to resentment and vengeance against those who disagree with them.
History itself should be sufficient to demonstrate how the embrace of conspiracy theories and isolation and rejection of The Other have resulted in the most vicious and bloody genocides the world has known, even in the last centuries. Some here, some in Europe and elsewhere. For some people, the only relevant memories are those that extend as far back as the gauzy recollections of their own childhoods.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
Mr. Farrell, I commend you for your excellent September 1, 2022 "Realities" column in which you responded to Kelly Scoles' letter. I agree completely with you that we have a God of "Divine Mercy," (He in love sent His only Son).
There aren't two gods but one God, as you infer; "the God of everything." Kelly Scoles wrote about the "vengeful god of the Old Testament." I wonder if she realizes what kind of injustices in the Old Testament the just Father of Jesus addressed? A common practice of the people in those days was to sacrifice their children by burning them alive to appease their "gods." A few examples are in Deuteronomy 12:31, 2 Kings 17:31, and 2 Chronicles 28:3. To punish people for these and other atrocities is not being vengeful but perfectly just - as you stated.
Thank you for your column,
Mary Bennett,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
A lot has happened in the USA since the election of 2020. During the months leading up to that day I didn’t hear Congresswoman Brownley, Assemblymember Bennet or even that Biden wanted to open our borders to millions, as well as the drug cartels or sex trafficking. Nor did they say they were going to vote for massive debt on top of inflation. While in support of electric vehicles at no time did they indicate they were going to tell us we could kiss our energy independence goodbye and that they planned on telling us what kind of car we can drive.
Back in 2020 they never mentioned they wanted to destroy women’s sports and now they can no longer define what a woman is.
We’re told what words we can use and as a result our speech is being limited. The ability to assemble has been curtailed as is evidenced by the arrests of those who didn’t even enter the Capital but were outside on the Capital Mall. If you are a Republican, you are a white supremacist, racist, and now a fascist.
Did you vote for any of this?
Our president, vice president, the attorney general, and others have declared war on their opposing party. In a two-party country, they are working to form an authoritarian government.
Currently the Department of Justice is targeting dozens of individuals, requesting, by way of subpoena, all information that sets forth “Any claim that the Vice President and/or the President of the Senate had the authority to reject or choose not to count presidential electors.”
So, you can’t question an election? Tell that to Stacy Abrams who for years said she was the true governor of Georgia. Or Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton who both refused to acknowledge the outcome of the 2016 election.
On September 1 Biden said, “Equality and democracy are under assault, and we do ourselves no favor by saying otherwise,” and Trump, as well as his supporters, are “a clear and present danger,” who “placed a dagger at the throat of our democracy ...”.
The very next day, a woman who flies a Trump flag on her doorstep and posted support for Trump on Facebook had the FBI knocking on her door in the wee hours of the morning saying they’d received an anonymous tip she’d been at the Capital on January 6. They intended to take her into custody unless she could prove she’d not been there. Anonymous tip? Has it come down to this? These are the tactics Hitler and Stalin used to harass and intimidate their countrymen into submission.
Again, did you vote for any of this? I sure as hell didn’t.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
September 7, 2022

To the Editor:
An excellent list of the characteristics of fascism was provided by the late Italian author, Umberto Eco (Eternal Fascism, 1995). I will focus on a few. This extends beyond Trump and MAGA. All Republicans may not share all these views, but they belong to a Party that does.
Hostility to Differences. Fear of The Other, especially minority ethnic and racial groups, the poor, and political opponents. Examples: white nationalism, limitation of voting rights, government endorsement and enforcement of certain religious views, and punishment for the exercise of civil rights (Roe v. Wade). Accusing people of spiritual deviancy falls into this category.
Disregard for Norms or Institutions. Fascists accept that the Leader is not bound by rules he doesn’t like. He knows that his Big Lies are much more believable (who would tell such a huge lie?) than little ones. Institutions that question him are “unpatriotic” or sinister, especially education and non-conforming teachers.
Churning Social Frustration. Exhorting the middle or working classes to feel that economic insecurity is a plan of the political opposition, and that the pressure for equality from those they perceive as “inferiors” makes them a victim.
Characterizing The Other as Both Strong and Weak. A fascist imagines, without proof, that the opposition, “the enemy,” has illegitimately taken control of the country (the “Deep State,” “America behind enemy lines,” anything spewed by the late Rushbo, or the hysterical and infantile Tucky). Paradoxically, “the enemy” is also pathetic, effeminate, stupid and cowardly.
The Leader and His Followers are the “Real Country.” Everyone on the side of the Leader is “very special” and never at fault – like the Leader. The Leader identifies and is identified with the country itself. But holding the Leader to the same Rule of Law that applies to everyone else is “persecution” and threatens “riots in the streets.”
Machismo and Militarism.This includes misogyny, contempt for women’s rights (including her bodily rights), embrace of violent rhetoric against women and men sympathetic to their rights. Strangely, some women endorse this contempt. It also includes an obsession with deadly weaponry, mock warfare and violent displays (January 6 one example).
The Adoption of “Newspeak.” Fascist communications utilize shock, outrage, and sloganeering instead of fact-based arguments (e.g., Tucky, Gutfeld, Watters, etc.). The purpose of Newspeak is to devalue complex and critical thinking and to encourage the feeling of grievance. The Leader’s mouthpieces will tell you what to think and how angry or intolerant he wants you to be.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
“In politics practically everything you hear is scandal, and besides, the funny thing is that the things they are whispering ain’t half as bad as the things they have been saying right out loud.” Will Rogers
Trump is disliked by many. But why? Is he hated because they think he lacks refinement? Displays manners that are unbecoming for a president? Too blunt? A womanizer? He’s not a politician? Too loud? His language is course? All of the above and then some? See a trend here. It wasn’t his policies that most disliked, Trump is disliked because of how he makes you feel.
The next question is, why is Biden disliked so much? Could it be because he’s not upholding the law concerning the border? Overlooking the role of congress in favor of executive orders? Afghanistan? Not my body when it comes to vaccines but is when it comes to an unborn child? Cancelled Keystone Pipeline and thousand of jobs? Inflation at the market and gas station? Broken supply chain? Masking and mandates? Ukraine and Russia? Possible cancellation of student debt? Biden is disliked because of how his policies have affected your life.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
September 1, 2022

To the Editor:
I am concerned by our editor’s rave review of Tucker Carlson, whom I sometimes watch as a civic duty. FOX NEWS attorneys won a defamation suit for Tucky by successfully arguing that, “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer arrives with an appropriate amount of skepticism about the statements he makes.” [Emphasis mine] The judge accepted FOX’s argument and ruled that “[Carlson] is not stating actual facts” about the topics he discusses. [Translation: he says whatever his viewers want to hear despite the truth] so, if Tucky is your political guru, be careful where you step.
Mary Bennett’s mind is made up for herself, and for YOU. She prefers the smoting, vengeful god of the Old Testament. The point of my LTTE was, if someone is to decide the future of a fetus, it must be the person with the most intimate relationship with the fetus: the woman. Not Mary or the police.
I think Ms. Walker made a good case for the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The alarming statement: “…most of the billions of taxpayer dollars are going to climate change...more Americans are concerned about the rising costs in their everyday life, not climate change.”
Cadillac Desert (1986) by Mark Reisner analyzed the dangers of improper water management in the Southwest US. While agriculture is the primary recipient of surface (and now ground) water, massive desert populations like Phoenix and Las Vegas have hugely exacerbated the problem.
ProPublica has published a recent interview with Jay Famiglietti regarding overuse of the Colorado River and worldwide water depletion and increasing high temperatures and drought. “The Colorado River crisis is urgent…but the hidden, underground water crisis is even worse.” Parts of the Central Valley are 28 feet lower now than a century ago because of vast overuse of groundwater. It can take centuries to restore. You can go to duckduckgo.com and search for “ProPublica interview with Famiglietti on water” to access the article (since PP requires sign-up).
Good government’s job is to help solve what concerns citizens now, but it is also responsible for anticipating impending, life-changing challenges of the future. To ignore or minimize climate change is legislative malpractice and will not stay the future. That’s why Biden’s IRA includes billions for climate change and its consequences. Without one single Republican vote.
Expensive? Yes. Or we can wait until all the money in the world won’t turn on your faucet.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
So, if you want to make America great again, you are a fascist, or semi-fascist according to Biden. I was offended that as a Republican, Biden would call me a fascist. I supported Trump’s policies because they cut my taxes. They relaxed regulations allowing small business growth, built up our military, took a stand with Israel, made historic agreements with the Middle East, built the border wall, increased energy production and energy independence, defeated ISIS, improved the Mexico/Canada trade agreement, sent weapons to Ukraine, reduced prescription drug prices, plus much more.
Common sense doesn’t support the fascist narrative. Biden on his first day overturned many of the positive policies Trump put in place. Republicans aren’t looking for a system of government with a centralized authority or a capitalist economy with strict governmental controls. I don’t hear them suppressing the opposition or spewing belligerent nationalism and racism. Biden, while campaigning from his basement, promised to support “the rule of law, our Constitution”, thereby voting for him would “end Trump’s assault on the rule of law.”
How can anyone ignore the fact Biden put in place government controls all the while ignoring the Constitution he swore to uphold. He federalized state rental laws, he ended all immigration enforcement laws put in place by Congress, and vaccine mandates on businesses, and now is using his executive powers to pay an unknown amount of your tax dollars to pay off student loans forgetting Congress is the only entity that has that power. But Republicans are the dictators?
Hitler used his political power to dominate institutions and organizations that were previously independent, like courts, churches, universities, social clubs, and youth groups. In the last 15 months the government has ignored the many rulings of the courts, churches were sued if they remained open during COVID, the FBI refused to rescind its order to law enforcement targeting parents as domestic terrorists who spoke out against school board decisions, and men have infiltrated women’s college sports.
Are Republicans truly seeking to subvert democracy? Do they oppose the rule of law? Can you outline how they are embracing political violence?
In Georgia they require identification to vote. In the 2020 election they saw three times as many voters as in 2016. There is actually overwhelming support among all walks of life in America for voter ID. Yet Democrats continue to use it as a tool to support their narrative. Are they not subverting democracy by not representing their constituents’ wishes?
Embracing political violence? Really? The Democrats call to defund the police. The current administration failed to call out the DOJ for refusing to uphold the law and arrest protestors in front of judges’ homes. Sen. Schumer said “... you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you ...” Or Rep. Waters when she said, "we've got to stay on the street. We get more active, we've got to get more confrontational.” Sen. Booker said “...my call to action here. Please don’t just come here today and then go home. Go to the Hill today. Get up, and please get up in the face of some congresspeople." Or Rep. Castro said, “fight [Trump] and challenge him in every way that we can in the Congress, in the courts, and in the streets and protests ...”. And finally, Sen. Tester said that in order to take on Trump, you have to “punch him in the face”.
Democrats failed to speak out against these calls for violence within their own party. Yet they firmly believe Trump incited the J6 protest when he said, "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard...".
Their current Democratic rhetoric is there will be a “civil war” if Republicans regain control of Congress.
From my chair I see a Democratic party that uses words that increase the rise in political polarization and extremism, partisan pressure, support harmful policies on immigration, and vote for bills that cause disparity in wealth, economic opportunity and political influence.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
In the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America it states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and of the Pursuit of Happiness.
At this time I am focusing on the right to life. The medical profession says that life ends when a heart stops beating. (conversely that means life starts at the beating of the heart.)
A child forming in its mother’s womb, a child’s heartbeat, can be easily detected at 5 weeks from conception. Does the child therefore not have the right to life quoted in our Declaration of Independence.
As for the science, medical doctors now perform corrective surgeries on the unborn.
The United States to our shame ranks 3rd in the world in numbers of abortions, 65 million total to date, right behind China and North Korea.
Since 1973 at the passage of Roe vs Wade we the people have been fed lies about the unborn (not) being a life. But science now confirms that at 8 days the brain starts to form, at 21 days the heart starts beating--the sign of life.
At the reversal of Roe vs Wade the abortion laws go to the states to decide. Currently there are a multitude of Pro-Abortion bills in California waiting to be approved by our legislature, 13 of which are in a package recommended by the California Future of Abortion Council. Most distressing to me is AB2223 which extends the time an abortion can be performed after the birth of the baby and removes all criminal liability. AB1245 allows use of our tax dollars to pay for women in other states to come to California all expenses paid for their abortion. I for one do not support or want to pay for this denial of the right to life. There are millions of Californians who feel the same way; will you be one among those to stand in favor of life? Let your representatives hear your voice and consider supporting Life Centers & Abortion Restriction Laws.
Respectfully,
Annette Sula,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
August 24, 2022

To the Editor:
We all share the shock that a “former president’s home” was subject to search and seizure. That an ex-president is reasonably believed by federal law enforcement to have engaged in criminal conduct that could have compromised the country is repugnant. But even an ex-president who believes that he IS the republic is not above the Law. You assume that the warrant was a political act, but any president who did what the warrant describes could and should be subject to the legal process.
Republicans, the self-styled Party of Law and Order, so passionately critical of “defunding the police” (a foolish idea) by some liberals, had no problem immediately attacking the FBI, demanding the agents on the surveillance tape be identified, threatening bodily harm to them, and demanding the agency be defunded.
Trump was in negotiations until last June for the return of WH documents, which are not owned by the president personally but belong, post-term, to the National Archives under the Presidential Records Act. He falsely assured DOJ that the retained documents were merely “mementos, letters from other world leaders and other pictures and documents,” (some of which were marked Top Secret and which his WH staff desperately tried to retrieve before they were “disappeared” to FL).
Having been lied to and having information leading to a reasonable belief that a crime had been committed and the evidence was still at Mar-A-Lago (MAL), the FBI executed a search warrant signed by a US Magistrate in FL. The Affidavit supporting the warrant was likely provided by someone close to Mar-A-Lago and, understandably, Trump desperately wants DOJ to reveal that name.
You complain again that Representative Brownley didn’t provide you with data that the White Nationalist home-grown terrorists are the “biggest threat” to America. Brownley undoubtedly assumes that her constituents are (1) not playing games, and (2) able to navigate the internet.
I appreciated the splash of humor at the end. The misty-eyed disappointment at not being able to trust…not sure who, exactly. Good one.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
On August 12th, the House Democrats passed the $740,000,000 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which Biden signed into law on the 16th. Actually it’s misnamed as most of the billions of taxpayer dollars are going to climate change. Why the change? Well, more Americans are concerned about the rising costs in their everyday life, not climate change. Those who voted in favor believe it will help reduce the $30.7 trillion debt. Truths be told it’s believed it will decrease the deficit by $100 billion, and that’s over ten years.
How did the IRA address your kitchen table issues? Here are few take-a-ways:
You on Medicare? Well, in 2025 the most you’ll have to pay on prescription drugs for the year will be $2,000. That’s good news.
Medicare insulin user? Remember in 2020 Trump put in place a $35 insulin copay cap starting in 2021. Biden put a pause to it when he took office so he could “review any new or pending rules.” That’s a very long pause wouldn’t you say?
Are you enrolled in the Affordable Care Act? The subsidy given to about three million Americans has been extended through 2025.
Well, for the $740 billion cost I hoped I’d see a larger cut into the inflation attacking the American household. In the end they decided to tout its “deflationary, because it increases our energy supply and makes it easier for consumers to afford their energy bills.”
And how does it do that you may ask? First you need to keep in mind most of the tax credits or rebates are based on whether you are in a moderate to low-income household. This is based on the average income of your community. In Ventura County for a family of four the annual low-income is $62,700 and moderate-income is $100,350. The moderate average income in America is $44,200.
Knowing the above will help you decide if you want to take advantage of the $7,500 tax credit to buy a new electric vehicle. Keep in mind both Ford and GM raised the costs of their EV’s by a like amount. Or maybe you’d like to apply for a rebate on a new heat pump, induction cooktop, heat pump dryer, or maybe you want to rewire your home.
Not in the market for any of these things? That’s okay. The bill will spend $1.5 billion to plant trees, $60 billion for environmental justice, and $300 billion to give to corporations to build solar and wind projects, as well as green batteries using materials mined in and built by China using coal.
All of the above adds to the debt. So how does the IRA reduce debt? Well, it included a minimum 15% corporate tax on those earning over $1 billion which is expected to generate $200 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. They’re spending $87 billion to hire 85,000 gun carrying tax agents. And in keeping his promise, Biden wants you to know no one earning under $400,000 will see a raise in their taxes. Yet, when Republicans tried to put that language into the bill the Democrats said no. Actually, the government determined over 10 years they will see an additional $16.7 billion in tax income from those who earn less than $200,000 and $14 billion from those making over $200,000.
So I believe like 71% of Americans, Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will not make any difference in inflation. Sadly, it could make things worse.
Patti Walker
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
In last week's Gazette, Kelly Scoles wrote:
"Your biblical references" (on abortion) "are from a thousands-of-years-old oral tradition of monotheism arising from paganism in the Judean world."
Wrong. The references are from God's word - the standard Kelly and we will be judged by when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Kelly also wrote: "The written Old Testament from which you quote says a lot of things that are unacceptable today (offering your daughters to visitors for the night), or just plain psycho (God testing Abraham's loyalty and love by demanding he kill his son, Isaac."
The record of Lot's offering his daughters to the visitors is simply a record of what happened; it doesn't say that God approved of it. Secondly, to say that God's testing of Abraham "is just plain psycho" is blasphemous. God isn't a psycho, and nothing that He does or says is psycho. God is holy.
Kelly wrote that the Good News of the New Testament is "Love over Law."
That's half true. While we are free from the dietary/ceremonial laws of the Old Testament (Colossians 2:16), we are not free from the moral law. Jesus says, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." (Matthew 5:17-18) In keeping with this, the moral law found in the Ten Commandments was applied repeatedly by the apostles, such as by Paul when he writes, "Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) Love doesn't negate the law, love keeps the law, as John writes in 1 John 5:3, "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments."
The good news of the gospel is that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus, the Son of God, escape condemnation under the law because their sins are forgiven. "He who believes in Him is not condemned ..." John 3:18 (Ephesians 1:7; John 5:24)
Kelly wrote: "There are two kind of belief systems: one based on choice (e.g., religious beliefs, which do not require proof) and one based on facts (science, which does)."
The idea that a fetus (unborn child) is simply part of a woman's body that she can discard at will is neither factual nor scientific. It is patently unscientific to say that the child, having a blood type different than her mother's is simply a part of her mother's body. It is equally unscientific to say that a woman's body can have two heads, two beating hearts, two legs, two arms, etc. and all of that simultaneously. Abortion rights are not based on science at all. They are based primarily on couples' irresponsibility in sexual relations and the desire to have sex (usually by committing fornication) without consequences. The consequences are there, even if the woman aborts her child. For unless they repent, fornicators as well as blasphemers will go to hell, not heaven. That's not what I think. It's what God says.
Mary Bennett
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
August 18, 2022

To the Editor:
In response to Mary Bennett’s thoughtful comments on abortion:
Your biblical references are from a thousands-of-years-old oral tradition of monotheism arising from paganism in the Judean world. The written Old Testament from which you quote says a lot of things that are unacceptable today (offering your daughters to visitors for the night), or just plain psycho (God testing Abraham’s loyalty and love by demanding he kill his son, Isaac). It is an often-beautiful though violent document, but the relationship with God generally so severe and punitive that God sent His only Son with a far different message in the “Good News” of the New Testament:Love over Law.
There are two kinds of belief systems: one based upon choice (e.g., religious beliefs, which do not require proof) and one based upon facts (science, which does). There are many religious belief systems world-wide. You have chosen some version of Christianity (there are many). Others have chosen otherwise.
No one argues that the moment of conception does not produce “life.” The question is, at what point does a fetus become a “human being? Since Science cannot answer that question, the issue must be resolved otherwise. Who has the superior relationship to the pregnancy? The woman who carries the fetus, or you and your chosen religious principles imposed by the State as law?
You represent that your personal chosen religious beliefs should be imposed upon a woman’s most intimate issues even if she does not share your beliefs, and include severe, punitive sanctions. They do this in Iran under Sharia law. You are welcome to your religious choices for your own life, Mary, but in a free society you cannot impose them as ”facts” derived from a three-thousand-year-old religious document.
With all due respect, Mary, other women’s moral standing or health choices are beyond your responsibility or authority, or that of the State. Still, those who believe as you do can perform a great and loving service: you can pray for her.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Last week the Biden administration under Attorney General Merrick Garland indicated he is intending to indict Trump as he has convened a grand jury and, as everyone knows, obtained a criminal warrant to search and seize documents from Trump’s home. As soon as the information set out in the warrant was released at Trump’s request, those giddy with glee bounced on the word “classified” documents. The Receipt for Property says the DOJ took “various classified/TS/SCI documents (top secret and sensitive compartmented information).” The DOJ refuses to release the Affidavit which gives the pertinent information for what they actually hoped to find. Trump says they were unclassified; Garland won’t say anything.
It is then left up to the commentators on TV, cable news, newspapers and you to determine what actually was in those documents. Could they be worse than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top secret documents on the server in her home?
If Garland thought they were so sensitive in nature why did he wait? His last communication with Trump was in June. No request from the DOJ for documents or another peek into those boxes under double lock. No, let’s just knock on the door, break the locks on the storage door, riffle through the drawers and take any slip of paper we may find. This was done all with the hope there is a word or phrase found that will allow the grand jury to give into the propaganda.
And make no mistake about it--it is propaganda. And the spewing of misinformation and lack of information does nothing to give the average American a sense of peace or trust; quite the opposite. In the last 18 months at least nine individuals who were close to Trump (mostly his attorneys) have had their homes and/or offices searched, and phones seized. Congressman Scott Perry had his phone seized while on vacation with his family. They didn’t contact him or his attorney prior to the seizure.
The timing of the move by the DOJ and FBI has caused further division of the American citizenry. Dictators like Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot, as well as many of our current leaders, use fear to keep control. And they promote fear. Fear of COVID, climate change, war with Russia and/or China, for instance. We’re told white supremacy is the greatest threat to our country. Yet Congresswoman Julia Brownley was unable to provide me with data that supported this assertion.
This is not just about Trump. It’s about the desire for the establishment to retain power. That desire is greater than the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or the rule of law. Twitter announced this week they are going to censure (again prior to an election) what they deem misinformation.
And they want me to trust them? It’s getting harder and harder every day.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
August 10, 2022

To the Editor:
In 2019, the CDC found that 37.3 million American (11.3%) of the population had diabetes, with an additional 1.4 million diagnosed each year. Type 2 diabetes is being found even in teenagers. The medication that keeps many of these Americans alive is insulin. In the United States, insulin costs over $98/unit (monthly cost up to $1,000), whereas the rest of the world pays less than $10/unit.
The Democratic proposal would limit price increases on all prescription drugs, improve Medicare’s drug coverage, and allow the government to negotiate directly on the price of some drugs used by Medicare patients while also limiting insulin co-payments. It would also provide insulin coverage for people without health insurance.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) tweeted on Sunday after the debate over a component of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that would have capped the cost of insulin at $35. He said that he had voted to make insulin available for pennies on the dollar, and that it was Democrats who blocked it. Video of the vote showed clearly that Grassley had voted “No” for insulin cost relief. Does he think his voters won’t notice his lie about his vote?
What happened: the Parliamentarian decided that the insulin bill was not subject to the rules for reconciliation (requiring a simple majority vote). To pass as a regular bill, it needed “Yes” votes from 10 Republicans to join the unanimous Democrats. Since only 7 Republicans joined the Democrats, the bill went to defeat and Congress failed to deliver the benefit to our citizens.
The Democrats did not deny insulin relief. The Republicans did. Providing it was just not as important as “owning the libs.” Or telling the truth.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
August 4, 2022

To the Editor:
One of the good things about being old is that I can remember when a lot of things actually happened. T, there was a time when the political parties differed on policies, but generally had the country’s welfare as a priority. Politics was not just a zero-sum game played only to maintain party power. There really was a “Reagan Revolution” when it became acceptable to be greedy and to blame the poor and increasing number of homeless for their situations, rather than tag big money and the failure of capitalism to provide for anyone except the rich and powerful.
The Democrats have their causes, but white nationalism, Christo-fascism, and denial of civil rights of women over their own bodies are not among them. Here is what the Repo senators have done in the last couple of weeks to strengthen and serve the interests of their constituents:
0% voted for cheaper gas
0% voted for cheaper insulin
0% voted for child tax credits to help out young families
0% voted for the Voting Rights Act
1% voted to fight domestic terrorism
4% voted for background checks to buy assault weapons
6% voted for more baby formula
13% voted to stop domestic violence
16% voted for veteran’s cancer care
23% voted to keep gay marriage legal
32% voted to uphold the 2020 election
Why does the party that vehemently proclaims their patriotism and reverence for the constitution and flag also make it difficult for people to vote when there is no legally-supported evidence of elections abuse? Why would they vote against supporting our veterans In need? Why would the party that claims to stand for the “average American” and “the little guy” work so hard to prevent working people from having union representation in the workplace?
Why do so many Republicans support authoritarian Russia and vote against aid to democratic Ukraine? Why do Tucker Carlson and other conservatives celebrate an autocrat and fascist like Viktor Orban when he’s openly endorsed Russia in its conflict with Europe and Ukraine.
Why do they constantly try to reduce taxes on the insanely wealthy while throwing the smallest of bones to average working people and saving the debt for our children? And why is that acceptable to so many Republicans?
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Kelly Scoles wrote on June 30, "Last week, as anticipated, SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, deciding on a 6-3 vote that women's reproductive rights are not HERS but belong to States' law enforcement." Kelly thinks that abortion is a woman's reproductive right. I assume that she agrees with those who say, "my body, my choice." This raises the question: Is the fetus simply part of the woman's body? Have you ever heard of one part of a woman's body having a blood type different from that of the rest of her body? Yet an unborn child often has a blood type different from her mother's. Within a short time, she also has her own beating heart. Have you ever heard of a woman's body having two beating hearts (and also two heads)?
Kelly also stated sarcastically, "control of a zygot or fetus is far more important than the freedom of the woman ..." The little fetus is a human being with her own heart, her own blood, and her own body. Shouldn't she have the freedom to grow up to be a woman like her mother did? Is her life any less important than her mother's? The Supreme Court didn't say that women don't have freedom, including reproductive freedom. What the court said is that the Constitution doesn't give women the right to kill their unbornbabies.
Sadly, many women buy into the lie, "my body, my choice. "However, abortion is murder because it intentionally takes the life of another human being. All murder, including abortion, is against God's law. David writes in Psalm 139:13-14,"You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." And God said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." God gives life, beginning in our mother's womb. We have no right to take it.
Mary Bennett,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
The discussion of the end of Roe v Wade has quieted down these last few days, as many protests against the decision by an ideological group do. I have no doubt as situations occur some will come out in protest again.
The query by Ms. Scoles was, “Why do so many conservative politicians rail against government interference in our lives ...?”. While she was directing her question to “woman’s healthcare”, I think the question should not be directed only to “conservative” politicians, as it seems to be a bipartisan problem. Government has a habit of interfering in virtually every aspect of our lives.
The federal government has stepped into areas which in the past were under states control - education, healthcare, welfare, as well as law enforcement. In 2021, many were forced to take an experimental vaccine in order to attend school or hold down a job. Many, like Fauci and Biden who have had the preferred four shots, still were not protected. Even when taking Paxlovid, each relapsed.
Our Constitution gave us guidelines granting us the freedom to live our lives as we see fit. It doesn’t care which party is in power. The Founders understood each would seek to push their interests at the expense of our liberty. It set out specific checks and balances for the three branches of government, and each branch was given specific powers under which it must operate thereby limiting overreach by another. Each state then has its own constitution which cannot pass any law that violates the U.S. Constitution.
The representatives in California, the majority being Democrats, are quite progressive. There are 11 bills passed or before the legislature relating to reproductive rights. Over $200 million for those rights are set out in this year’s budget. Most is going to abortion clinics, little, if any to provide support to pregnancy centers that help women and girls who chose to have their child.
Why do Democrats want to pass laws that allow for the killing of a fetus yet don’t support the death penalty for those who are convicted of murder?
Patti Walker
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
July 20, 2022

To the Editor:
I hope there is someone out there who can explain something to me. Why do so many conservative politicians rail against government interference in our lives, but endorse deep government intrusion into the most private part of a woman’s healthcare? They resent and deplore the inclusion of civil rights that are contrary to their personal Christian beliefs, but insist that it is the government’s job to be a partner in a pregnancy and other intimate issues.
A nine-year-old girl was raped and impregnated in Ohio, a state which outlaws abortion after only six weeks. The mother’s troubling defense should be investigated, but a nine- or ten-year-old cannot consent. Anyone who is acquainted with the physiology or psychology of a female child knows very well that her own body needs the nutrients required in pregnancy and her soul is in no way prepared to mother another child. Gym Jordan (R-OH) smugly declared the pregnancy claim to be a “predictable Democratic lie” designed to make anti-choice proponents look bad.
Ohio AG Yost (R-OH) said the story was a “lie.” When he proved wrong, he blamed the physician for not reporting it within the statutory period. He was wrong about that, too. Some years ago, he claimed that Science has “changed in the last years“and suggested that it has settled the question of when the body is “ensouled.” It hasn’t. Science can detect the presence of life but not of the human soul.
James Bopp, Jr., counsel for the National Right to Life, condescended that the 10-year-old should “have had the baby, and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child.” A grown man pontificates about a female child. Do you really want to consign reproductive issues to the tender mercies of these “geniuses?”
Why do many women look past these political atrocities and conclude that Republicans give a desiccated fig about their interests? And this is just the beginning.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
July 13, 2022

In May 2021, Biden said to our service members at a Virginia military base, “America is unique. From all nations in the world, we’re the only nation organized based on an idea ” Biden said in the address. “None of you get your rights from your government; you get your rights merely because you’re a child of God. The government is there to protect those God given rights. No other government has been based on that notion. No one can defeat us except us.”
The Founding Fathers’ worked for months to stitch together a document that was the basis of that “idea” Biden mentions - limited government, checks and balances, separation of powers, republicanism (interconnection of individual freedom and civic participation with the promotion of the common good) , popular sovereignty (governmental power comes from the will of the people) , and finally, federalism (BOTH the national and state governments share power).
The Constitution is not a living document, except when amendments are added, the last, number Twenty-seven, was added in May 1992, and it took 202 years to ratify that one. As CNN pointed out in 2020, “The Supreme Court hasn’t been this conservative since the 1930's.” The appointment of Barrett, joining Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh as Constitutional originalists. This left Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson, who ascribe to a judicial philosophy where they bring their own individual ideas and beliefs which shape their rulings.
The late Justice Scalia, an originalist, stated, “My burden is not to show that originalism is perfect, but that it beats the other alternatives, and that, believe me, is not difficult.” He also said, “All these questions pose enormous difficulty for non originalists, who must agonize over what the modern Constitution ought to mean with regard to each of these subjects, and then agonize over the very same questions five or 10 years later, because times change,”
As the battles are being fought over the Roe v Wade decision wage on, please ask yourself, do you want the Constitution to be built on a solid foundation of bedrock or quicksand?
Patti Walker

 
Letters to the Editor
July 6, 2022

To the Editor:
“Projection” is a term used in psychology to describe the deflection for personal bad acts onto others to avoid censure, incrimination, or responsibility for his or her own acts. The “projector” often presents as a “victim,” of lunacy, ill-will, or frequent “unfairness.”
If you didn’t see any part of the telecast testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, you could not know how compelling the former Deputy to the Chief of Staff to the president was. From her report, Trump knew his crowd was armed, and mag check revealed that many weapons, including guns, knives and truncheons, were confiscated from many in the crowd. Trump told the Secret Service that he didn’t care if the crowd had guns, because, “they’re not here to hurt me.” When told that the crowd at the Capitol was yelling, “get Mike Pence,” and had erected a gallows on the lawn, he excused it by saying that “people are angry at Mike.”
Ms. Hutchinson, a Trump Republican until January 6 when the coup was attempted, testified that her boss Mark Meadows, Chief of Staff, declined to confront the president again as the violence escalated, because “he (Trump) doesn’t want to do anything.” Pat Cipollone, White House Counsel, urged immediate presidential call for peace (which he only got hours into the insurrection), and remarked that if Trump’s Capitol plans succeeded, “we’re going to be charged with every crime imaginable.” Jared accused the lawyer of “whining.”
But Trump determined that Ms Cassidy has “something wrong with her," he said on Wednesday…The woman is living in fantasy land. She's a social climber, if you call that social. She has serious problems. Mental problems. But for this girl to sit there and just, I think, make up stories and I, again, hardly know who she is."
Vintage Trump. Project lying, crazy, and mental problems onto another believable individual, and insist the HE is a victim of her fantasies, and the very worst sin, being a “social climber,” which has been Trump’s alter-ego all his life. He attempts to project onto her, as he has to so many, the very things of which he himself is guilty.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
June 29, 2022

To the Editor:
Last week, as anticipated, SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, deciding on a 6-3 vote that women’s reproductive rights are not HERS but belong to States’ law enforcement.
In states like TX, it’s also the business of vigilantes who may wish to identify for prosecution their daughters, wives, sisters, friends, enemies, or complete strangers. Because control of a zygot or fetus is far more important than the freedom of the woman even if she had been forced into conception. Will doctors be required to report pregnancies to the State for monitoring? Is a woman’s reproductive health record subject to evidentiary scrutiny? Is there no longer a “doctor-patient privilege” for women?
Senators Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) were shocked and “deeply disappointed” in the votes by Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch who had assured them that Roe v. Wade was an “important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times,” and that “any good judge would treat it as precedent.” Naïve or gullible, neither senator did their job, so it was easy for Kavanaugh and Gorsuch to hoodwink them and lie. A significant problem on the highest Court in the land?
Young women today cannot know what it was like before Roe and how many women died in self-administered pregnancy termination out of sheer desperation. While Republicans demand “choice,” and “freedom” from government interference in their lives, they routinely define and deny “freedom” for others, and now justify government intrusion into women’s most private issues. Politicians do not do this out of respect for “life” (or they would show similar concern post-birth), and certainly not for women’s lives. It is not the last intrusion into private life this Court will make. When anti-choice Republicans insist that they are the Party of Freedom, they mean THEIR freedoms informed by thirst for political power or personal religious validation. This is not “democracy.”
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
So, Roe v Wade is history. We’ve known this for over a month. Yet the anger remains so intense. Why? Why are so many corporations paying their employees to travel to a state where abortions are legal? Dick’s Sporting Goods is paying up to $4,000 to cover an abortion. I’m sure it’s less expensive to cover the abortion than to pay for maternity leave, health insurance coverage and for the corporation to have to deal with the affects children can cause.
I believe that individuals when choosing to have an abortion, are facing one of their life’s most difficult decisions. One that cannot be altered. That’s why there are pregnancy centers - centers that provide counter-information to the ending of a life together with support during the pregnancy and after. Is that such a bad thing? Do those who are destroying these centers know this?
In 2006 Biden said, “I do not view abortion as a choice. I think it’s always a tragedy.” Under Clinton White House always pro-choice Counsel Elena Kagan, now Superior Court Judge, urged Clinton to ban partial birth abortions. Clinton said that abortions should be “safe, legal but rare”.
Why can’t the media just tell the truth about the decision? Many states have laws on the books pertaining to abortion, California being one. They are not illegal in all states. Planned Parenthood shows six where it is not allowed. Here in CA AB2223, cosponsored by our local Assemblymember Steve Bennett, states, “SEC. 6. Section 123466 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:123466. The state shall not deny or interfere with a pregnant person’s right to choose or obtain an abortion prior to viability of the fetus, or when the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant person.” Keep in mind AB2223 does not define “viability”. Some say fetal viability is when the fetus can survive outside of the womb. Is this with or without medical care? If so, viability is around 23 weeks of the approximate 38 weeks for a full-term fetus. And a fetus is not a child until it reaches its 8th week after birth.
AB2223 goes on to say, “SEC. 8. Section 123468 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read: 123468. The performance of an abortion is unauthorized if performed by someone other than the pregnant person and if either of the following is true: ...”. So, in CA can the “pregnant person” perform an abortion on herself regardless of where she may be in the gestation period? Just wondering as that too is not discussed.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore