Letters to the Editor
January 3, 2018

To the Editor:
There's some strange goings-on in Fillmore these days... For the last two years a large majority of citizens has gone on record to oppose having the marijuana industry come to town, but the City Council keeps pushing it. Why? And whose bright idea is it for Fillmore to store large quantities of marijuana in warehouses around our town? Picturing armed guards patrolling the facilities also conjures up the likelihood of criminals being attracted to our last, best, small California town.
After two years of carefully studying the issue of having the marijuana industry take hold here in Fillmore, our Council voted 4 - 1 in August not to allow it. Yet on Tuesday, January 9th, at the City Council Mtg at 6:30 p.m., the Council wants to "reconsider" its decision. What new information have they received? What's the benefit to our city? We are owed an explanation by our Council as to what each of them is thinking in going against the will of the citizens that they represent, not to mention dismissing the views of city and county law enforcement officials.
Lynne Brooks


To the Editor:
Thank you for your friendly Dec. 20th response to my letter. Thanks also to Susan Cuttriss for her kind words. I’ll keep this follow-up to one line of thought.
One of your claims on Dec. 20th was that America is exceptional (outstanding or unusually good) because 600,000+ white Americans died to end slavery (Let me know if I am misconstruing your position). I don’t view this fact as evidence of America’s moral exceptionalism for the following reasons.
First, the Civil War shows that a large portion of Americans did not think slavery was wrong. The 600,000+ number represents Union and Confederate soldier deaths. I’ll grant that it was praiseworthy for Union soldiers to have given their lives for emancipation, but those who fought to keep slavery act as a counterbalance: presumably, Union soldiers died because Confederates were willing to kill to preserve slavery. This seems unfortunate rather than exceptional.
Second, after extorting unpaid labor from slaves, there was never any compensation. As an analogy, when a thief continually steals from a victim, justice requires that the thief not only stop stealing, but also repay the victim, and compensate the victim for how the stealing hurt them. To merely stop American thievery of unpaid labor we had the Civil War, but America never repaid ex-slaves for the years of unpaid labor, nor compensated them for the land, education, voting rights, wealth accumulation, cultural affluence, etc. that blacks would have accrued, had blacks not been systematically exploited. Merely ending slavery didn’t undo the damage done.
In short, the 600,000+ white deaths evinced something lower than exceptionalism. Although, emancipation was a big step in the right direction. I almost got this down to 250 words! Thanks for dialoguing and happy new year!
With respect,
Jacob Zellmer