Letters to the Editor
April 6, 2022

To the Editor:
Second Opinion. Conflicts of Interest and Rot
Last week’s Realities bothered me for a couple of reasons.I certainly expected the jerk-knee defense of all things Republican (Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Bork whose only problem was that he hated democracy). But I have to call you out on referring to Senator Maizie Hirono as a “Hawaiian pig.” That is beyond fair comment, IMO.
In the course of trying to revive our democratic republic in the 21st Century, we confront political rot from within and without. The spouses, children and even parents of today’s high office holders are often professionals and can have international connections. What is their obligation, and that of the office holder, to act without compromising the US from within? No law prohibits or curtails political spouses or children from having their own lives, interests, and jobs.
Ginni Thomas, wife of SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas has famously said that he and Ginni “are one,” and that there is “no daylight between them.” Justices are not legally, but only honor, -bound, to recuse themselves where their “impartiality might be reasonably questioned.”
Ginni is unique because of the extent to which her activism intersects with SCOTUS. She has been referred to as the “Forrest Gump of rightwing activism.” While her husband was consideringBush v. Gore in 2000, she was vetting resumes for a potential Bush Administration. She was lobbying against Obamacare as her husband was hearing the case. While SCOTUS was deciding whether Congress could subpoena some January 6 records (which later revealed her active participation in sedition), she accused Congress of “harassing private citizens who have done nothing wrong.” SCOTUS decided the case with one“No” vote, Thomas.
How would Republicans react if the Thomases were similarly disposed, but as Democrats?
The Washington Postrecently published a lengthy updated analysis of presidential son Hunter Biden and his international activities. If accurate, and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t after investigation, it ain’t a pretty picture. The younger Biden sounds like a troubled soul taking refuge in drugs and visions of glory in thoughtlessand trashy ways. Arguments that Hunter had no prior experience that would justify hisforeign compensation are well-founded. The DOJ investigation continues and will determine if his activities were illegal.
Many Republicans agitate themselves over Hunter, though the entire Trump Administration provided asmorgasbord of self-aggrandizement. But, to be fair, when it came to the president’s “kids,” there were three actors plus Jared at work. And, of course, the president himself.Tiny examples:
Trump declined to place his business interests in a blind trust, but“ceded” management of Trump Enterprises to sons Eric and Donnie who don’t breathe without “Dad’s” approval. Trump made547visits to his ownposh propertiesand often brought other officeholders or dignitaries, for whose accommodations, meals and golf carts, he charged the government (us) at market rate, as hedid for the Secret Service personnel who were required to protect him.
Jared and Ivanka who, like Hunter Biden, had no experience in government or in the fields for which they were hired, constantly promoted their financial interests while working in the WH.Their Financial Reports indicate that the two of them made millions in their brand side jobs during the administration. Ivanka received highly unusual and remunerativemultiple Chinese patents once her father took office. Jared’s family met with one of China’s largest finance firms and highlighted Jared’s WH role in pitches to investors. Jared met with mortgage finance executives in the White House, and his father met with Qatar’s finance minister about an investment.
Meanwhile, Donnie and Eric continually glad-handed Trump businesses worldwide, despite ethics warnings.
I am not sure that any of the instances cited here are illegal, but they are sordid and have the appearance of wrong doing. We need laws to prevent this rot and the legal teeth to enforce them.If someone wants to serve in high office, their families need to know that their activities are limited.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
“We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, but they are still lying” Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
MDM is whatever those in power say it is. What is MDM? It’s mis-, dis-, and mal-information. Who gets to say what’s MDM? Frankly, it’s whoever those in power are pushing.
Dept Homeland Security (DHS) uses the label to identify those who deviate from the approved narratives relating to COVID or the 2020 election for instance. If you question or have a difference of opinion, you are at risk of becoming a part of the “foreign and domestic threat of actors”. And what are “treat actors”? Well, they believe you are one if you “exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.”
Take a look at the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) website. They say MDM “is based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”
At no time has an example of any such attack been given. Could they use criticism against the government to imprison someone?
Will the DHS/CISA go after Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for their misleading narratives and coverup regarding the Hunter Biden laptop? Or will they go after Fox News because their factual stories ended up sowing discord and undermining the public trust in our government?
The use of MDM by anyone allows for the control of thought and speech. The use of MDM by the DHS and CISA puts them in the position to tell you what is true or false but they also get to determine whether the information is good or harmful for your consumption.
We’ve got the LGBTQ, BLM, CDC and FDA, among others, who are controlling the language yet failing to disseminate the facts. Why? Could it be because they then loose control over the information and therefore the outcome?
By going down this path we are at risk of losing our ability to be tolerant of others, to have a dialogue on the issues, and in the end allow each to walk away without capitulation of their beliefs. That is democracy. That is freedom of speech. That is what the America I live in should be for all.
Patti Walker,