Letters to the Editor
December 1, 2021

To the Editor:
What an impressive tour of the new classrooms at Fillmore High School!
State of the Art equipment along with positive up beat educators!
I had the opportunity to meet the new Fillmore United School District Superintendent Mrs. Schieferle and the First Family!
The citizens of Fillmore should be very proud of their school knowing it is second to none!
Ray Hoover,


To the Editor:
Second Opinion. God, Guns, and Trials.
A self-declared “second amendment person,” 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, borrowed an AR-15 style .223 rifle and "righteously" headed from Antioch IN to Kenosha WI to insert himself as an armed vigilante in a violent protest after a police officer shot and paralyzed an unarmed young Black man the week before. He claimed he went to "protect businesses, and provide medical assistance," services for which he had no training. His mother apparently knew of his intent and did not protest. In pursuit of his objective, Rittenhouse shot three men, killing two of them.
Many Trumpians hailed the kid as a heroic symbol of gun rights and "justifiable," deadly “self-defense." Money poured into a defense fund; two Republican congressmen agreed to arm-wrestle over who would hire him as an intern. He was serenaded with the "Proud Boys Anthem." Grown adult men applauded our kids hitting the streets with semi-automatic weapons whenever a violent protest occurs. And called it “patriotism” or "altruism."
The president rightly walked back the statement that Rittenhouse was a "white nationalist." Government officials should not draw conclusions of law or fact before a criminal trial and verdict.
The acquittal of this poorly-parented, naive, and reckless junior Don Quixote was not surprising given WI law and jury instructions, especially since the defendant was overcharged under WI law and the clearly defense-biased judge dismissed all lesser charges. In any event, the criminal jury system was invoked and rendered a verdict after apparently careful deliberations.
But where did Rittenhouse get the infantile and dangerous idea that he had a right to arm himself and join the already violent and chaotic scene? "I feel like God has been on my side through the beginning," he said. Oh, well then. If you "felt" it, Kyle, that settles it.
The three defendants accused of shooting a Black jogger, Ahmaud Arbery, were each found guilty of “felony murder” in GA, applicable when the commission of another felony (here, aggravated assault and false imprisonment) results in an unintended death. Only the shooter, Travis McMichael, was found guilty of malicious (intentional) murder by a mixed-race jury. None mentioned "citizen's arrest" when apprehended. Where did these three get the idea that they could run down a person and shoot them on a suspicion?
Maybe these defendants heard then-presidential candidate Donald Trump observe to a thrilled rally audience that if Hillary Clinton "gets to pick her judges, judicial appointments, nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people — maybe there is. I don't know.” Or praise racist combatants in Charlottesville as “good people.” Or tell one of the militia groups to “stand by.” Or promise to pay the legal bills of followers if they injured protesters.
Or maybe they saw the National Guard troops brutally disperse a peaceful demonstration on June 1, 2020, in Lafayette Park near the White House so that Trump, Jarvanka, AG Bill Barr and the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley in his field-fatigues, could have a photo-op in front of a church, holding…a Bible. There are many other situations from which to choose.
There has always been an undercurrent of violence in this country. What has changed in the last 5 years or so is the legitimacy of it in public, as "a right." The appropriateness of being "at the ready" against our own countrymen, even looking forward to it. The acceptability of violence to enforce individual beliefs or preferences. The idea that God is on your side if you're "packing."
Many cannot see that we are degrading ourselves as a democracy by normalizing threats and fear to ensure political conformance, forcing values, obstructing voting and other rights. Believing that guns and security systems, locked gates, intolerance, and "America First" will make them safe. Assuring themselves that a "vengeful God" is on their side. Because, you've all seen those portraits of Christ with a weapon.
Kelly Scoles,