Letters to the Editor
March 23, 2022

To the Editor:
Second Opinion: The Art of War
Before I address this week’s column, I want to note that, for all the flame-throwing in the last few weeks of’Realities , the issueremains that a former president and presumed candidatefor Commander-in-Chief made irresponsible and terrifying suggestions regarding foreign policy, and a leading GARepublican consorts with white Christian nationalists and Holocaust deniers who frequently mention Putin and Hitler with approval.
Last week, the sameMTGreene (R-GA) urgedwithholdingAmerican financial aid “to possible [Ukrainian] Nazi militias that are torturing innocent people, especially children and women,”echoing Putin’s favoritebut demented false argument about the invasion. Perhaps that will engender an editorial comment.These people are telling us how they will govern.
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu gives military leadership advice, for instance: “It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.As strong as the urge may be, pulling a “gunfight at the OK Corral” is a bad international reactionat present to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It is understandable that many Americans, witnessing as we do the horrors of the Russian “peacekeeping mission” in Ukraine, demand immediate American offensive reaction. Many advocate for provision of military weapons, even “jet fighter-bombers” and other sophisticated equipment and technology, to support the courageous Ukrainians. As understandable as these sentiments are, the stakes are too high and broad, and the possibilities too unthinkable, to be anything but vigilant, disciplined and prepared at this point.
One of the most important considerations for this country and NATO is the behavior of Putin. There are reports that he has become isolated mentally and that his own “advisors” find his conduct “unstable.”He has abandoned his past Western-style diplomatic approach andhas personally assumedthe role as sole defender of Russia and architect of a restored USSR.His ego is tied to the conflict and a “win.”
Last weekend, General Petraeus observedthat the Russian militaryis a top-down authoritative system, little-prepared for the resolve and the guerrilla-type response of Ukraine. The unusual deaths of five Russian generalsdemonstrates the problem. “Because there's no initiative, no non-commissioned officer corps, no sense of initiative at junior levels -- they wait to be told what to do.”An impatient general goes forward to see why the column has stopped and Ukrainian snipers pick him off.A deformed ego may become more irrational by that demonstration of vulnerability.
Putin-watchers were stunned two weeks ago when he publicly asserted his intention to crack down on internal dissent, predicting that Russia would undergo a "a natural and necessary self-purification of society" that he said would "only strengthen our country," language which conjures up the worst excesses of Soviet totalitarianism and would make a Tsar smile. We in this country would do well to consider his words and conduct when wishing for our own “I alone can fix it” strongman leader.
What happens whenmilitary body bags return to Russia?When the repression ensues?What happens when a leader who may be erratic and unpredictable, someone who must “win” finds that he is losing face if not the War? What does that mean in a nuclear age? To other nuclear despots?
Fiona Hill, Trump’s Russian advisor, stated that “we have to find a way to give Putin an out.” At first, I thought that seemed a trifle generous. TheMachiavellian approach would crush an enemy at every opportunity. But SunTzu admonished military leaders to always give an opponent a way out, a “golden bridge,” and hope they take it.
It is foolish at this point to assume that Putin would not use a nuclear weapon.Knowledge, discipline, analysis, and consensus must rule the decisions of NATO in finding the bridge with Russia, not just Putin, with which Ukraine can live.All our lives may depend upon it.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
“A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority.” Booker T. Washington
In April 2019, Hunter Biden dropped off his laptop and external hard drive to a repair shop in Delaware. When he failed to return to pick it up, knowing it was from Biden, the shop owner contacted the FBI who didn’t take an interest in it until late October when they subpoenaed the shop owner for the devices.
In October 2020, the New York Post (the country’s oldest paper) released details found on the device. And that information, emails, text, photos, and messages details how Hunter used his name to further his overseas business dealings with Ukraine, China and Russia for the years beginning in 2010 when Joe was Vice President.
For instance in early 2014 Hunter ended up with a $50,000 a month job with Burisma Holdings, a gas company located in Ukraine. In an email Hunter was asked by a Burisma advisor in May 2014 how he can use his influence on Burisma’s behalf. In 2015 that same advisor thanked Hunter for introducing Joe to him.
In 2015 a Ukraine prosecutor was involved in a criminal investigation of all board members of Burisma and Joe said America would withhold $1 billion in aid unless the investigator was ousted. Joe said it wasn’t because of the Burisma investigation but that the investigator wasn’t cleaning up Ukraine’s corruption. Could they not be one in the same?
The laptop shows the financial records of Hunter and the millions of dollars coming in and going into joint accounts he held with Joe and other Biden family members.
Journalist integrity went out the window when mainstream media CNN, MSNBC ABC, CBS, NBC and The View claimed it was all false. They stated it was Russian disinformation, was a smear campaign. Any mention of the laptop got you thrown off Facebook, Twitter, and the like, even including the Next Door site. Hunter went on national TV to tell the world "It could be that I was hacked. It could be that it was the that it was Russian intelligence. It could be that it was stolen from me. Or that there was a laptop stolen from me."
Sadly the corruption detailed on it is real. Thankfully the FBI and the Dept of Justice didn’t believe the mainstream media. Hunter must have felt the pressure as he recently borrowed $1 million to pay off his tax liability (I’d like to know who he borrow it from). The investigation is looking into possible money laundering and potential foreign lobbying violations.
So along with the denials and refusal to answer questions from our leaders we continue to see mainstream and social media also don’t have the maturity or professionalism to acknowledge they were wrong. Today you still cannot mention “Hunter” or “laptop” on any of those platforms. Their commentators don’t mention it during their segments allowing their followers to remain ignorant of the truth. How many other issues did they cover or censor in order to continue in their undemocratic extreme ideology?
The misinformation, disinformation, censorship of opinion is not just on mainstream or social media platforms. It’s currently being sought by the California legislation. I, along with a few other Fillmore residents (none of our elected officials appeared) took part in Democratic Assemblymember Steve Bennett’s Virtual Town Hall on March 12. I queried him on his position on AB2098.
AB2098 is a continued attack on the First Amendment right of freedom of speech. The bill states, “This bill would designate the dissemination or promotion of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS CoV 2 coronavirus, or “COVID 19,” as unprofessional conduct. The bill would require the board to consider specified factors prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a physician and surgeon.” No where in the bill is “dissemination, promotion of misinformation or disinformation” defined. In fact, the authors of the bill are responding to “major news outlets have reported...dangerous propagators...” as a reason for the bill.
Frankly, if it wasn’t for the Gazette I wouldn’t be able to inform anyone of this bill or Hunter for that matter. So thank you Martin.
Patti Walker,