Letters to the Editor
August 15, 2018

To the Editor:
Many citizens have been meeting to oppose Measure T, which will be on the Fillmore Ballot, November 6, 2018. Measure T asks voters approve establishing indoor commercial marijuana buildings and businesses in Fillmore.
In July, we went to Fillmore City Hall to find out how we could write the Argument Against Measure T and were given instructions and the forms for writing this counter argument. We were also given the instructions and forms for writing a Rebuttal to the Argument for Measure T, and the dates these forms and signatures would need to be turned in.
We worked weeks on the Argument against Measure T and it was submitted and stamped received by the city clerk on August 1, 2018.
After receiving a copy of the Argument for Measure T on August 3, we worked on the Rebuttal to the Argument for Measure T, which was due August 13, 2018. When we took the Rebuttal Forms, Argument, and Signatures for a review to Fillmore City Staff on August 11, 2018, however, and asked questions, we were told by the city staff that they would have to get back to us with answers.
Instead, the deputy city clerk called us to let us to let us know that Fillmore does not allow rebuttals to their ballot measures and has not allowed any rebuttals to measures for two years.
As we seek further clarification on this process, and as the date for submitting our Rebuttal to the Argument for Measure T has now expired, we are attaching it here, so that the people of Fillmore can have this important information. We invite anyone interested in learning more about Measure T, to contact Annette Sula, Director of Safeguard Fillmore, at 805 524-5585.
Susan Jolley


To the Editor:
Final Rebuttal Letter
Measure T is another mistake. Outsiders get wealthy on us, they walk away, and we are left with fallout that affects our community for decades.
This proposal is not “modest.” From the east, bunkers may line the 126 from the riverbed, to a block from Saint Francis, and across from the Los Serenos homes. From the west, cultivation may line both sides of the highway, adjacent to El Dorado Mobilehome Park (City of Fillmore docs).
Aside from the visual blight on our town, most realtors can tell you what happens to property values when the Marijuana industry moves in. Residents of Carpinteria, one of the first to allow Marijuana cultivation, are now worried about property value loss directly related to this industry. (Ventura Star 05/12/18.)
Once established, it will be impossible to contain the deep pockets of this industry. Initially committed to “Medical Marijuana” sales, Ojai just added recreational purchase. Calaveras County issued growing permits and then rescinded them, when it realized the costs of this industry far exceeded the taxes and is now facing a multitude of lawsuits to force the allowance of Marijuana production.
This is Common Sense. Tell city government to stop spending tax dollars on Marijuana Propositions and start finding legitimate city revenue sources to enrich this Beautiful Valley.
Our city’s fate is in our hands. Vote No on MEASURE T and tell the Marijuana Industry that the “Last Best Small Town” is smarter than they thought and, NOT FOR SALE.


Letters to the Editor
August 1, 2018

To the Editor:
I'm writing regarding last week's Letter to the Editor. It was a typical response in today's political discourse; attack the messenger without using facts or presenting the issues. Kelly Scoles letter stated "you" fifteen times. The response stated "you" once. Today's discourse is void of rational arguments, decaying into personal attacks of loud screams, name calling, and attacks. All to discredit the messenger and making their words not worthy of consideration.
Scoles emotional attack on someone she disagreed with included tag words: "desperate, toxic,[cry]ing, defensive, dismissive, judgmental, authoritarianism, hateful and afraid". Surprisingly xenophobic, racist, bigoted, homophobic and privilege didn't make their way in. Then there was a question of whether the editor should be allowed an opinion on his values regarding society, simply because Scoles contends that "half" of society disagrees with that point of view, implying that size of the crowd/mob should dictate what gets said or heard. Not once were fact presented to explain her argument, only emotional attacks.
I will present my own "tirade" using facts and first hand experience to explain why, after 30 year, I removed myself from the liberal Democratic "cocoon" 15 years ago.
Today our education system is completely controlled by the far left, (not an opinion, facts back that up) yet they take no responsibility for its condition. Example; While attending a class at a California university, I saw students/members of the nonprofit A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (a pro-Palestinian anti-Israel anarchist organization) receive class credit for making ANSWER posters. Those posters were used later that week to protest in the streets while burning our flag. I witnessed first hand how our schools and university embrace anarchists with open arms, but patriotic loyalty to our nation or disagreeing with anything the left is pushing will get you a failing grade. Not to mention that the LAUSD (2nd largest district in the USA) lowered the graduating GPA requirement to 1.0 which is a D average due an inability to teach usable skills needed in a functioning society. Today schools teach "social justice," anarchy, how to protest the "hateful" and "racist" American culture. Most social clubs are racially based and receive almost all the financial support available. Education's social engineering requires skin color, ethnic pride, being unisex, emotions/feelings take priority not just in the "studies" classes, it's promoted in all classes. I was shocked at how pervasive it is. Actual history, which teaches society not to repeat the mistakes of the past has been replaced with group/clubs like MECha; an untrue myth/con promoted by the left to install a feeling of entitlement in a specific segment of society.
Political correctness controls every discourse on campus and demands everyone feel guilty if not conforming to the new world order. Today a third generation of students are entering our indoctrinating education system where students must believe they are citizens of the world, not of this country. They must carry the guilt for the sins of the past, agree that minorities are all victims and ignore all those innate traits they are born with, even their sex. Indoctrination requires that society work as a group/gang/whole and that free thought must be extinguished and emotions become the road map to follow. Our own Fillmore High School still has an English teacher that throw our flag on the floor, stomped on it stating it was "Just a symbol".
The left has little respect for our Republic and Constitution, which tries to give equal rights to all. But our laws get in the way of their Progressive power thus law enforcement must be seen as unjust. For years Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals has been in the works infecting our institutions and creating power machines by using schools, nonprofits, Hollywood, media, IRS, and today we see the CIA, FBI and DOJ being exposed. The glitter of entertainers/athletes convince the youth they are part of the "cool" group. While some of those same entertainers/athletes overdose from their drug abuse. But that's forgiven, everyone is a victim, no one needs to take responsibility, because today drug abuse is an illness. Remove the crimes and everyone stays clean.
Have you noticed Californians practically live in a dictatorship; the controllers live along the coastal beaches and those controlled live inland, many on the government plantation. In Los Angeles, it's 405 freeway that marks the division. The pawns are given sports arenas to keep them entertained, just like Rome. Note the growing homeless throughout the state, along with importing cheap labor, government entitlements, immigrants needed to increase the tax base and you have all elements that toppled the Roman Empire. But history isn't important in schools, right?
If you're a home/property owner, would it surprise you to learn that for years the left has been using nonprofits, including C.A.U.S.E., to overturning Prop.13 and raise your property taxes. Yes, 501c3 nonprofits (like churches) get your tax dollars in the form of grants to promote leftist ideology and issues, which is what 501c4 PAC's are legally able to do, not 501c3's. But laws don't matter to the left. I guess Brown taking all the State's Redevelopment assets was not enough to feed the hungry lefts need for more money. Remember, to the left you're a citizen of the world, and you have to pay for it.
Our Republic is not perfect, if it were, Hillary Clinton would have been charged with destruction of evidence and Obama would be required to tell us why he lied to our citizens, saying he did NOT know Hillary was using a private server, when the facts show he was one of the 13 people using it to communicate with her. We would also be asking why Hillary, Obama and Rice lied about the 9-11 attack in Benghazi; remember, "It was a video". Have you liberals even asked yourselves why they lied? What excuse have you been told? Don't you want the truth? Just tell yourselves that's old stuff, we don't care or "What difference does it make now anyway?" Well four of our citizens were killed and I do care and want the truth.
Our Republic is not perfect, but far better than anything else out there, especially socialism; think Venezuela. President Trump is doing/working on many of the promises that got him elected. Not pandering to both sides of the "resist" movement whose goal is to keep the status quo that has slowly harmed our country; many didn't notice until it couldn't be ignored. The call for attacks, like Maxine Watters dissolves us into a third world country, where laws and a middle class barely exist. This is not the Democratic Party of years ago that I was proud to be part of. Not even close.
Jean McLeod


To the Editor:
Re: to Kelly Scoles letter and Martin Farrell response:
For a number of years now I have subscribed to the Fillmore Gazette. I have always read the Editors Realities. Sometimes I agree with them, sometimes I have read them and said Realities"??
I am a direct descendent of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, He was also a contributor to the Constitution wording. So I take its application to our American lives seriously. My Grand Mother wouldn’t allow less. The foundation and development of both documents was based on, we Americans wanted freedoms we were not getting from the countries our countrymen were from, as well as taxation
Many, many hours weeks and months were spent putting together a Constitution they could agree on and live with. Supposedly the wording was to be forever and always applicable to American life, no matter real living, and evolutionary/changes.
A two party system of government evolved. Now Republican and Democrat, and some independents. Oh yes we even have some Green party and other extraneous parties developing. Nowhere in the document does it say one party is superior or has more position than the other, we are supposed to be equal. Liberal vs Conservative is interesting but neither here nor there, wording vanilla ??
I have been voting for 56 years. Thirty six of those were as a devout Republican, and the difference as a registered Democrat, although in that time, I voted for the person I thought would be our best leader and represent our country first.
It only changed for me, with the impeachment of Bill Clinton. I had been at home recovering from open heart surgery. (Within the time the hearings were televised and I watched all of them/it.) Representative Henry Hyde was the committee chair Republican, and Representative Conyers for the Democrat. The number of committee personal were not balanced more Republicans than Democrats. The process for deciding on the articles of impeachment was terrible.
I thought for sure these alleged fine Representatives could surly be collaborative and put together a solid agreed to process. Hyde was domineering and Conyers was run over more times than I can remember.
I thought and still do, if these supposedly educated People are all we have, we are in serious trouble. (The issue of impeachment was occasionally blurred between lying about an affair or infidelity denied. and other less pronounced issues.)
This Nation since inception has had Presidents and Congressional people who have had their (Human) failings and affairs. Until our fine investigative occupations of our country started to share what had been, personal issues not for sale, we were not enticed by malicious information.
It is now a mud flinging sport.
After the Impeachment had been realized, I decided I could not stay affiliated with a Republican party that could not collaborate with the Democrats. We needed Americans, for the best interest of the Country. We looked like fools then and still do today. The blast and outright astonishment was the information that came to light after the Senate acquitted Clinton. All of a sudden the news hit::
Mr. perfection personified Henry Hyde had an affair, This article is from the Congressional records files through Wikipedia.
This carefully crafted facade, however, is beginning to show cracks. As the House geared up to impeach President Clinton last fall under Hyde’s leadership, the pious Roman Catholic defender of family values and stern opponent of abortion was embarrassed by Salon’s exposure of his lengthy affair with a much younger woman while he was married and serving in the Illinois Legislature. When Hyde stridently pressed the impeachment case in the Senate, despite overwhelming public sentiment against removing the president, he appeared more right-wing sectarian scold than righteously sententious Solon.
Newt Gingrich also had extra martial affair along with the below information article As Newt Gingrich looks to complete his improbable political comeback, his opponents won't let him (or the electorate) forget about the scandal that ended the first act of his political career—a string of 84 ethics complaints in the House that culminated in a $300,000 sanction. "Newt has a ton of baggage."
Then the Speaker designate per this article from the congressional Wikipedia files: The Speaker-designate, Representative Bob Livingston, chosen by the Republican Party Conference to replace Gingrich as House Speaker, announced the end of his candidacy for Speaker and his resignation from Congress from the floor of the House after his own marital infidelity came to light.[15]
Two other notable members of Congress Dan Burton and Helen Chenoweth also resigned because of Martial affairs.
So I think that you might consider, all these People and their affairs, as liberals too, certainly they took the liberty to do as they wanted.
The above is for clarity of my views, of your distinguishing "liberals" based on some yesteryear platform. No one is a saint. I am a Christian I have been married 50 years this October.
President Trump. I Voted for him. I really thought he would-be a badly needed change. A Successful CEO of his company. With appreciation for a budget, goals, accountability, commitments Governmental process improvements. Cost savings planning Ya know controlling our treasury etc.
He should be working these possibilities with Congress for these actions; after all they are his party. None of those are apparent they would all be major improvements for spending our money. Money "Of the People by the People and for the People" fewer tax increase
Yesterday Secretary Of State Pompeo appeared with the Senate Foreign Relations committee... One major view point by the Republican senate chair, Senator Corker was quite informative and allowed me to understand what I had been thinking.
He said ::
“Mr. Secretary I can tell you we are very happy with the work you have been doing for our country. You and Secretary Mattis are doing outstanding work. How do you explain that every time President Trump opens his mouth the words seem to be contrary to your notable actions.?"
His answer was "Senator everything we have been doing is at the, .direction of the President" Unfortunately the President needs to not talk so much. (My words)
Honestly those words are as close as I remember, but right on in meaning. That question sub-concisely is what I hear as well. counterproductive to the country.
I do not accept that because he is President that he can be narcissistic, exaggerate, and demonstrate the posture of a benevolent dictator. Demeaning all in his path, here at home, and particularity with our allies. Even Mitch Mc Connell took exception with his mouthy words with our Nations allies.
I can tell you there is nothing in the Constitution with regard to bath rooms or any other personal sanctuaries, I choose the men's every time, I will say in South Korea they have coed if you will, facilities what a surprise I had.
Allow me to put out just a thought, I am a gun owner and they are not going anywhere. The Second Amendment if you really reflect on what were the living conditions when the 2nd was written.
we were in a war with England, we were entering an uncharted country with Indians and other inhabitants that did not like us, Our army was very limited and our population was spread far and away from each other, no phones no mail, no electronic media. They needed protections
"A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."
It does not say it cannot be reviewed and changed as the country may decide --another amendment?? But we like to hang on to whatever we view is our right, not what may need some additional thought for today's real time life/conditions.
I think that there are many differences in beliefs by our fellow Americans.
To defame or discredit their lives is too sanctimonious for me. It is never going to change even if you and I agreed; the ACLU will tumble us around.
Congress itself has eroded to near useless performance. Both the House and Senate are dysfunctional in terms of collaborative working/planning. Seems like one of them has to submit a legislative proposal while the other is off on some other non -connecting agenda. The two should work the same issues and when done coordination and finalization would be faster. Right now it looks like nothing is being achieved
The Supreme Court = 1/3 the power of the United States Government
The Supreme Court is MIA. I know the process has been a case must have gone through the lower courts before the Supreme Court takes a look.
There are however issues that only the Supreme Court can decide and could clear known issues in advance, there by having resolutions in place. Almost like a repair Manual?? Example what questions do we hear every day:
1) Can the President pardon himself
2) Can the President face indictments?
Just both of those would settle recent questions and allow both the President and the country to know the Courts position.
There is no reason they cannot get involved, only precedent holds them outside the Countries morass.
My Grandmother is Grace Bartlett 3rd Cousin to Josiah Bartlett of New Hampshire signer of the Declaration of Independence
A staunch Republican friend of mine sent me the below:
Raymond S Brown Sr.


To the Editor:
Your editorial of July 25, 2018
The First Amendment gives us the right to spew whatever is on our minds (generally, short of yelling fire in a crowded theater or deliberately inciting violence). However, we are often called upon to consider our duties as humans and Americans, and sometimes just as ethical people, to determine our personal limits in that constitutional exercise.
I would not have responded to your second editorial (July 25, 2018) except it failed to address the one essential issue of my LTTE and tippy-toed right over the second. Perhaps I did not make myself clear:
First, the most essential and egregious. You referred (July 18) to persons with sex identification issues as being a human “sub-species.” Do you have a constitutional right to say such a thing? You do. But, since you brought it up, what happened to “Judaeo-Christian values” here? The “good news” of Christianity made it clear that all God’s children are fully human and loved. Their issues are God-given and have existed since creation (these “pseudo-identifications” are not new, Martin. You are just now aware of them). Humans who respect heavenly authority are obliged to respect heavenly creation in all its forms. God alone will judge. I fail to see how this “saddles” you but, as I said before, I hear your pain.
Clutching your pearls and insisting that you don’t make judgments about who are “normal traditional citizens” is belied by your own words: you asserted and subsequently doubled-down that there are “normal traditional citizens,” the identity of whom you can discern from your knowledge of our constitution. Your judgment of exactly what “normal” and “traditional” means is left unexplained but vaguely tied to your perceived oppression by liberal judges and justices who create “innovative” protections (in negotiating, known as “making the pie larger”), an agony which you suffer in communion with “traditional Constitutional adherents.” Perhaps we should have only one political party, one which reflects only your views. No, wait, the world has tried that, many times, and it has always ended badly.
I am happy to ignore your screeds against Democrats, liberals, Democratic Socialists, feminists or any woman not interested in being nurtured by your sanctification/protection program for womanhood (at least in public bathrooms). We can take care of ourselves. But some people struggle a little more than others with issues the rest of us may not personally confront. Why, as a question of personal ethical limitation on the exercise of First Amendment Rights, permit your fears to dehumanize others?
Lordy, Martin, if you have some imprimatur or nihil obstat issued by the Almighty to pass judgment on those of mankind who do not share your views or experiences, or just that group that exists in America, please disclose it. Because if you can, the New Testament has been sorely misunderstood. If not, as you say, “God bless them all.”
Kelly Scoles


Letters to the Editor
July 25, 2018

Being familiar with your views on humanity and politics, I generally give your “editorials,” at best, a swift glance before moving on to local news. But your cry for help of July 18, 2018, was so desperate and toxic that it cannot go without acknowledgment. I will leave aside your usual tirade against Democrats and liberals.
We already know that you will assume whatever posture necessary to defend authoritarianism, and in the current president you have realized your dream of a nascent “strong man.” Someone who will decide who is worthy and who is “other.” Someone to determine the rules, lay them down without pity, and enforce them without compassion. Like a very nasty Daddy. You will even give him a pass when your brain cries desperately for you to be “taken aback.” Nope. You will take this president’s “word for it” even though he is a consistent and notorious liar.
You dismiss fully half of this country’s and this city’s population that disagree with you, and you do it in the most defensive, dismissive, judgmental and, yes, even hateful way. Who are you to determine what “normal traditional citizens” believe? How would you know? Who are you to determine that human sex identification issues belong to a “sub-species?” What gives you the right?
The answer is that you are afraid of anything that doesn’t reflect your personal views, biases, and treasured sense of impending doom. Of “liberals.” Of anyone who does not reinforce your cocoon. I know perfectly well that there is no changing your views. For some reason, you have to think as you do. It makes you feel safe or superior or righteous. But, still, your cry for help from a threatened world is unmistakable. I abhor your views, but I acknowledge and am sorry for your obvious pain.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
Fillmore Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous donations that made The Sespe Creek Car & Bike Show 2018, a wonderful event that keeps a tradition that has been established for 32 years & continues to grow. Thank You, Silver Sponsor: William L. Morris Chevrolet – Bill & Grant Morris Community Sponsors: Diamond Realty Theresa & Henry Robledo, Aguirre Financial & Insurance, El Pescador Mexican Restaurant, Ay Chihuahua Restaurant, Vallarta Restaurant,
Central Station; Fillmore, Ca., Victor Magana, California Air Conditioning & Heating - Frank Murillo, New York Life Ins., Financial Service - Agents: Arthur Sanchez, Mark Soovajian, Remax Realty - Fillmore Agents: Ray Galvez, John Holliday and Anna Arriaga.
Fillmore Chamber of Commerce

Letters to the Editor
July 18, 2018

To the Editor:
Regarding S. Mason’s July 5th Letter to the Editor.
To: S. Mason.
While you attempt to come off innocent, your comments convey and support racism and are not informative.
You talk all that papas about news media, or fake media, the constitution, elections, politicians, excessive taxes, school system....
You never mention the fraudulent acts surrounding the Russian collusion investigation and trumps campaign, or how about the heighten nuclear crisis in Asia?, what about the immigration issues?, or the recent government shutdown?, and the White House response to the Parkland student shooting?
We have a president so ill-informed about the nature of presidency, he’s so openly deceptive, so self-destructive, and so shameless in his abusive attacks on anyone against him it’s sad your blindness gets the best of you.
Trump is a pathological liar. Trumps behavior is malicious in nature and has caused a major increase in hate crimes across the US and beyond. Families torn apart literally. And immigrant children as young as the age of 3 left alone to act as their own attorney in immigration court proceedings.
And your upset that no major network to televised / covered trumps publicly message about Air Force one? And instead you attack a women socialist? […]
How can we celebrate Independence Day when the current president constantly opposes our judicial system, the constitution and our nation!!?!
This is what America has come to?
Abe Wilson,

Letters to the Editor
July 11, 2018

To the Editor:
This past week end has to the be worst, in terms of the temperature the City of Fillmore has lived through.
On July 6, our Mayor Manuel Minjares posted cooling centers our City could use and stay safe and comfortable. That by itself was an outstanding leadership event.
Thank You Mayor.
It was most certainly needed. The El Dorado Mobil home park had a major power outage when the main electrical power station in the park blew up.
The power went off line at 6:45 P.M. Friday and was not restored until 7:40 P.M. Saturday. Electrical crews had to remove and then install a new power station generating unit. I can share that the heat was near unbearable.
The City of Fillmore can be very proud that we have the finest of emergency services, Early Saturday morning a Fillmore (Ventura County) Sheriff came to my door to check on our welfare and planning to deal with the extreme heat. It was a very welcome happening. The Sheriff went door to door checking on our residents to insure they were aware of the cooling stations and other needs they could count on. They more over stayed in the park to insure all was safe and as well as could be expected. Although this is now a family park we have more seniors than families many needing special attention. They got it!
Additionally our Fillmore Fire Department was in the park with their rescue equipment and specialists, further giving us the knowledge we have the needed support should it be necessary.
There are not enough words to properly commend these outstanding emergency/actions services. Thank you is inadequate , non-the less THANK YOU!!
Raymond S Brown Sr.

Letters to the Editor
July 3, 2018

To the Editor:
Have you ever wondered how the West Coast of the U.S., most notably California, has become so corrupted and faltering in its current condition? It isn’t the water or the smog. It is not ultimately the perverse politicians, university professors or in honesty the residents confused by all the lying rhetoric and false assumptions promoted by their media. The people are being indoctrinated by the institutions of communication such as newspapers and primarily ABC, CBS and NBC, all owned by and controlled by those making an all out attack on the Constitution of America. It is their agenda to eliminate the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness contained in this document.
As long as our United States remains an independent and sovereign nation they find themselves unable to bring about the global governance hoped for and announced by previous government officials including even former President George H. Walker Bush. There were many before him but it has become more evident through the most recent deceitful administrations.
God’s documented Word explains that people cannot believe what they have not heard and they cannot hear the good news unless there is someone to announce it. Last week there were three times our President spoke publicly to people in three different States and once to reporters who gathered on the tarmac around Air Force One. Not one major network carried his hopeful words meant to bring some further healing to the nation. Only Fox News had the dignity and integrity to communicate his words live to the public. Instead the airways were filled with the diatribe of a young declared socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, promoting her agenda to rip apart America by introducing a Socialist form of government which has consistently failed historically and is currently devastating the countries of Venezuela and Sweden. How much longer will we be able to celebrate INDEPENDENCE DAY?
- Stan Mason,

Letters to the Editor
June 28, 2018

To the Editor:
What is going on with our town and these fireworks?? Every evening for the past 3 weeks. Explosions!!! It started as one or two. Now it has mushroomed into many more.
We are traumatizing the most vulnerable members of our community. The anguish it causes is heartbreaking. Is this the kind of people we have become??
I am in total favor of celebrating our great country’s Independence Day, 4th of July. That is fireworks day. Set off as many as your heart or pocketbook desires. I don’t particularly even distinguish between what is legal or not for July 4th. However, no fireworks are legal on ANY day other than July 4th.
We need to demand more from our city leaders. Ordinances the police can act on. Tools the police can use to apprehend and cite there bullies that terrorize and victimize the helpless members of our families.
Systems are available that can pinpoint exactly where these explosions are taking place. An ordinance that would allow the police to cite a property owner and not just the perpetrator would go a long way in discouraging this behavior. Also a reward fund to pay good citizens for helping police identify the culprits and leads to citations. Any costs to the city for implementing these measures could be paid for by a tax on every fireworks booth permit.
I challenge the good people of Fillmore to stand up and do the right thing. Protect the weak and voiceless of our community. We are better than this.
David Andersen,

Letters to the Editor
June 20, 2018

To the Editor:
Do not take your animal to a fireworks show or let the pet outdoors while fireworks are being used.
You might want to consider consulting with your veterinarian several weeks before fireworks season. Some pets may require sedation. The veterinarian could suggest some behavior modification techniques.
Many of these suggestions have come from Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA; Blue Cross for pets (UK); Pet MD; Humane Society of U.S. ; and The Telegraph (UK).
Phantom Fireworks hopes you enjoy the Independence Day holiday safely and show courtesy and compassion to your pets and animals.
Very truly yours,
William A. Weimer
Vice President-Phantom Fireworks

Letters to the Editor
June 7, 2018

To the Editor:
This year’s Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery was really special. As usual, the ceremony itself was well planned to honor those who gave their lives for our country. This year, however, what was different was that we could easily hear what was happening, thanks to a gift from the Basolo family of a PA system. All parts of the program were enhanced - even the singing of the audience! Thanks to those who put together the morning’s activities. Well done.
Susan M Cuttriss

Letters to the Editor
May 31, 2018

To the Editor:
June 5th is rapidly approaching when the residents will select the next assembly of politicians that will be chosen to control their very lives for the immediate future. An eminent psychologist once identified one symptom of insanity as continuing to do the same over and over, expecting to realize a different result. The unfortunate truth is that it is not the corrupt politicians who are at fault for Californian’s dismal economy and excessive taxes but the ignorant voters who fall prey to the false media and financial proponents of discord and upheaval within our governing bodies and the population.
California’s income tax is among the top five in the nation. Gas prices are the highest in the nation due to the excessive tax included in the price per gallon. The tax on sales and property are subverted to the personal whims of the legislative bodies and are seldom spent for the purposes identified by incumbent politicians. Our schools, in far too many cases attempt to separate the authority of the family. Students have among the lowest educational scores in the nation. The citizens are subjected to an increasingly dangerous environment, greatly contributed to by the governing authorities protecting both those who are illegally residing in the state and/or convicted felons. Thankfully many cities and areas are voting to refuse to abide by the unconstitutional law instituted by California’s politicians called SB 54.
For this year, 2018, the hypocrites who were voted into state offices have changed the rules governing the Primary election in an attempt to limit informed voter’s the opportunity to choose a new and better path for the State of California. According to information provided on page 32 of the Voters Guide, only the top two candidates that receive votes in the Primary will appear on the General election ballot, even though they may be from the same party now corrupting Sacramento. The liberal media, aligned with and directed by a group intent on eliminating the sovereign and independent status of America, is now flooding the airways with the lying rhetoric of candidates who support their agenda. It is the purpose of these degenerates to impose international law on our citizens of the United States and to that end they are using California to oppose the federal government that has always had the constitutional authority to protect our borders from entry by those dedicated to our destruction. All international and political news has been owned, closely monitored, edited and twisted to indicate by every major media network, distrust in the federal governing authorities and incite, as the Bible warned, ethnic division and upheaval.
Laws formulated by legislative processes are unable to overcome evil, deception and/or stupidity. Those with evil in their hearts will commit immoral atrocities with sticks or stones if guns are unavailable. The reason Obama and Diane Feinstein oppose gun rights for private citizens is to remove citizen’s ability to protect our freedom. She continues to voice approval of Obamacare for the public although she has refused the same mandate for herself and affiliates. Gavin Newsome openly opposes the authority of Biblical rules of conduct and although he states he wants change for California the only change would be the name on the door of the governor’s office. He supports bigger government, more taxes and even more regulation of guns. The financial conglomerates who are now supporting the misleading ads on the media are the same ones who supported Obama’s previous administration that made war on private citizen’s rights and remained silent when he approved the sale of weapons to the cartels; and gave billions of dollars to the Iranian establishment that continues to voice ‘Destruction to America’.
For evil to persist just continue to vote for those promoted by the perverse media agencies. Candidates who have joyfully accepted the endorsements of Governor Brown or Kamala Harris should be perceived with the utmost suspicion or we will have more representatives such as Maxine Waters and Julia Bromley. Take care what you vote for, you may very well find you are subject to governance you are unable to abide.
Most sincerely,
S. Mason

Letters to the Editor
May 24, 2018

To the Editor:
In the last month I have seen three large, abandoned television sets dumped on the side of the road in town and up on Seventh Street, west of Fillmore. I recently found a business, PC Recycle, who will come to your home and haul E-Waste away, no charge. The gentleman’s name is Robert Barrett and his number is 805-402-6864. If you have any televisions or computers you need to recycle, give him a call, or if you see any electronics dumped on the side of the road, make a call and he will come take it away.
Wanda Castel de Oro


To the Editor:
California’s Primary Election day, June 5th is rapidly approaching. The election process has been subverted by the unfortunate majority of politicians now in control of the State. Entirely due to the possibility that voters might see through the corrupt media and false advertising purchased by the constituents of the candidates for office, the current administration in California has rigged the primary to hopefully assure that only their candidates appear on the General election ballot. California’s socialist leaning administration is only interested in the continuance of deceptive politicians demeaning the Federal government and driving residents into further poverty, subservience to laws in conflict with the U.S. Constitution as well as the duly elected President. Residing in the fear of the public sentiment rising further up against sanctuary policies as several cities and areas are voting against, these self-righteous imbeciles have vividly portrayed their open hostility to moral values, family values and most importantly biblical restraints or principles.
By dictionary terms legislation is the process of governing by rules of law and the forming of such by governing bodies. The operative words in this definition are ‘governing bodies’. When the governing administration is controlled by evil influences the laws they institute are filled with hypocrisy and evil intentions. It is impossible to legislate against evil, deception and/or stupidity.
As an example of the hypocrisy fostered by evil and deception, Gavin Newsom the current Democratic Lieutenant Governor states he is for ‘change’. The only change he hopes for is the name on the door below Governor. He refused to endorse and accept the voluntary maximum expenditure limit set for candidates for the Governor’s office. He refused the opportunity to post a statement of his intentions in the voters guide but highly supported the limit of two candidates for Governor on the General election ballot which no longer will afford the voters the opportunity to choose an opposition candidate should the primary top two candidates receiving votes be from the same party. His statements to the public media outlets which are unceasingly communicated indicate no change from the current administration of deception. Openly he resists protecting our borders from ‘illegal’ entries. In other statements he reflects his opposition to the morality of biblical values. He has no stated interest in protecting the lives of legal citizens.
Both Mr. Newsom and Xavier Becerra, the candidate for Attorney General have readily accepted the endorsements of Governor Jerry Brown as well as Senator Kamala Harris which should cause any thinking person to consider casting their vote for any other candidate.
At the top of page 32 in the Official Voter Information Guide you will find the 2 candidate rule for the 2018 General election. There are 27 candidates for Governor which thins out the populace vote. There are only five Republican candidates. There are eleven Democratic and eleven listed as non-partisan or otherwise. Nearly all accepted the voluntary spending limit set for candidates running for Governor.
There are 32 candidates for U.S. Senator and Deane Feinstein is among them. Cast your vote wisely as she has for too long identified herself as a part of the establishment known in Washington as the ‘Deep State’. Primarily this is the group who hope to take down America’s status as a sovereign nation and cause it to become subservient to an international court of law and One World Government. That is the most obvious reason she is for removing firearms from the law abiding citizens, so they are unable to defend themselves. She also continues to voice her approval fro Obamacare which has proved to be a massive failure.
S. Mason

Letters to the Editor
May 10, 2018

To the Editor:
My wife and I live at the Parkview Apartments on 512 Main Street, Fillmore. Recently our rent was increased by $105 per month. Now as of June 1, 2018 our rent increase will be $118 per month. As senior citizens we feel this is too much for us on social security only! Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Name Withheld by Request

Letters to the Editor
April 25, 2018

To The Editor:
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who contributed to the success of Fillmore High School's 20TH annual arts show “Through the Eyes of Art”. It takes a lot of people and a lot of hard work, dedication and talent to coordinate an event such as this. Thank you to Fillmore Lions Club, Fillmore Women’s Service Club, Soroptomist International of Fillmore, and Fillmore Rotary Club for your donations which help to make this event possible. Thank you to Lucy for being a patron of this event. Thank you to the staff and teachers at FHS who supported the student’s efforts and allowed students to take part in hanging the show. To the custodial staff of Fillmore High school- thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to help . Thank you to the students who stayed late to break down the show and clean up after the event. I am so appreciative of your help.
Special thanks to Mr. Greg Godfrey and the fantastic members of the Fillmore High School Concert Band, Jazz Band and Los Rayos Mariachi Band who played at the event. The musical concert helped to make the evening a resounding success. Thank you to Ms. Lourdes Juarez and the Ballet Folklorico dancers. Thank you to Mr. Josh Overton and the outstanding performances of the Drama students. Thank you to Mr. Randall Kamradt for sharing your student’s videos. Thank you Mr. Ito for your support and for helping with breaking down the show. Thank you to the parents and the community who attended the show and helped to make this a special night for the students. Last, but not least, to all the student visual artists, musicians and dancers who put in numerous hours preparing for this event, hosting and cleaning up after a long day and night- especially my art students and former students who came back to help- thank you- without you there couldn't be a show. I am very proud of all of you.
Rosalind Mitzenmacher,
Fillmore High School Visual & Performing Arts Department

Letters to the Editor
March 22, 2018

To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Lions Club of Fillmore for their continued support of the arts programs at Fillmore High School. Their generous donation to the upcoming April Arts show will allow us to continue putting on this event. On behalf of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Fillmore High School, thank you!
Rosalind Mitzenmacher, Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair
Fillmore High School

Letters to the Editor
February 29, 2018

To the Editor:
The Fillmore Basin, an aquifer that sits below the city and extends beneath the Santa Clara River locally, is the only source of water for local residents and farmers.
But the safety of this basin and its water supplies is currently under threat from plans by the oil industry to double the size of the Sespe Oilfield uphill from the city, which would over time allow for hundreds of new oil wells to be drilled in an area where around 400 oil wells are already located.
California’s Department of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources, DOGGR for short, has been planning for this expansion for some years now. Unfortunately their 159-page analysis of this proposal omitted any discussion of the risk to the Fillmore Basin from an earthquake on the active San Cayetano fault, which runs east/west close to the north end of Goodenough Road.
The San Cayetano fault has been studied in published journals. In December 2001, the
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America published an article that concluded that the fault’s last major quake, in around 1812, caused the ground along the fault to shift by 4.3 meters, at an estimated 7.5 on the Richter Scale.
While DOGGR concluded that the Fillmore Basin is safe from oilfield contamination, the seismological evidence suggests otherwise. A major quake would disrupt oil wells, their casings and the multiple pipelines across the Sespe Oilfield, which is only about a half mile uphill from the Fillmore Basin’s northern edge, near the end of Goodenough Road. DOGGR conducted no risk assessment of this fault - though they know it’s there - and no analysis of how a major quake could pollute the Fillmore Basin.
Then there’s the one big pipeline that transports all the oil from the oilfield down the hill past Fillmore. It actually crosses the faultline. This represents another potential hazard to the Fillmore Basin in an earthquake.
There are hundreds of wells in the Sespe Oilfield already. Adding perhaps hundreds more only puts Fillmore’s water supply at increased risk. The City of Fillmore wrote opposing this proposal. The Fillmore Basin’s management board just voted to send a letter expressing their concern.
The people of Fillmore have an opportunity to voice their own concerns. On Tuesday March 06, at Fillmore’s Active Adult Center, 533 Santa Clara Street, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., local groups have organized a letter-writing campaign opposing this oilfield expansion. Please come along for a few minutes!
Alasdair Coyne,
Keep Sespe Wild,
PO Box 715, Ojai

Letters to the Editor
February 22, 2018

To the Editor:
Fillmore residents and businesses can save 4% on their electricity bills, while also getting more renewable energy, by joining Clean Power Alliance (CPA). The city council has until March 27 to join Clean Power Alliance at no cost. All cities in Ventura County were invited to join CPA back in November. Since then, the cities of Moorpark, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Simi, Oxnard, Ojai, and unincorporated Ventura County have all voted to join, leaving just Fillmore, Santa Paula, Port Hueneme and Ventura yet to decide. It would be a shame if ratepayers in Fillmore have to pay more and get dirtier energy than their neighbors because city staff and city council failed to prioritize this and act in time.
Hopefully they will do the right thing and join. By way of background, the Clean Power Alliance is a newly formed local not-for profit public agency that provides electricity. It serves an alternative to our current provider, SoCal Edison. Clean Power Alliance produces or purchases electricity, while Edison still delivers the electricity and handles billing.
The resulting benefits are cost savings, cleaner energy, customer choice and greater local control. If Fillmore joins, every customer will get to choose if they want cheaper, cleaner energy through CPA or to stay with Edison, and they get to select their preferred level of renewable energy - 36%, 50%, or 100%. Projected cost savings are 4% at the lowest renewable tier and 3% at the middle renewable tier compared to Edison standard rates. Why not join?
Michelle Ellison

Letters to the Editor
January 24, 2018

To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Soroptomists International Club of Fillmore for their continued support of the arts programs at Fillmore High School. Their generous donation to the upcoming April Arts show will allow us to continue putting on this event. On behalf of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Fillmore High School, thank you!
Rosalind Mitzenmacher,
Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair, Fillmore High School

Letters to the Editor
January 17, 2018

To The Editor:
I was wondering what they’re going to put in place of Burger King. My personal suggestion would be Popeye’s Chicken. Why? Because everyone loves Chicken and also all my people here in Fillmore Love Spicy Chicken and Mashed Potatoes & Gravy.
Mr. Vacetti


To the Editor:
I am saddened to be writing again about the Pacific Coast Pipelines Superfund Site here in my hometown of Fillmore, California. I am a lifetime resident and live next to the Superfund Site. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes a partial deletion from the Superfund Site. This partial deletion is the surface soil on this former Texaco Oil Refinery property. I oppose this proposal by the EPA.
Living close to the Superfund Site has been a horrible experience. I have lived at my residence since 1974. The Texaco/ Chevron Site has gone through several cleanups over the years. The last “cleanup” conducted during 2013-2014 was a nightmare. The residents close to the Site experienced questionable exposure as heavy equipment unearthed the toxic soil. Some of this contaminated soil was physically removed from the site in hazardous containers. Tons of contaminated soil was disposed into a consolidation area on the property. I find it amazing that the EPA does not explain where the consolidation is located and does not have a map on it’s website for residents and others to learn about the placement of the contaminated soil. The EPA is leaving the groundwater that is contaminated with benzene under the Site on the partial deletion intent on the Federal EPA Register.
To say that this property is now clean enough to be deleted from the Superfund list is a bad decision. Residents of Fillmore and especially those living close to the Site need to feel safe and comfortable about what’s buried there and about the benzene that is still in the groundwater. Who’s to say that this contaminated soil could be exposed again during a catastrophe. We have had devastating fires, landslides from heavy rains and earthquakes here in California. Any of these catastrophic episodes could happen at any time making the condition at the Site unpredictable. The consolidated contaminated soil is buried next to Pole Creek. That creek has overflowed many times over the years. It could happen again. An overflow from rain could erode the consolidated soil and send it down Pole Creek and into the Santa Clara River. Holly Hadlock, the project manager for the EPA said the underground water cleanup will take about 50 years. Both of these polluted areas need to be brought to the attention of all of those living close to the site.
There is a 30-day public comment period starting on the day the EPA publishes the Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion in the Federal Register, from Dec. 26, 2017- January 25, 2018. Please express your concerns about the Partial Deletion from the Superfund list. You can submit your comments online at the Federal Register Docket website http://www. regulations.gov or email Holly Hadlock at hadlock.holly@epa.gov Let’s keep all the Pacific Coast Pipeline Site on the Superfund list. We owe it to the citizens of Fillmore and to our children and grandchildren who will be the one’s living here in years to come.
Thank you, Christine Villasenor


To the Editor:
Happy New Year, our Fillmore City council held their first meeting of the new year, January 9, 2018. It was for certain contentious. The major subject matter was the issue of Cannabis, and whether or not the City would allow sales and distribution. The chamber was nearly full of residents, but dwindled down as other subject issues were completed. Still and all there was significant resident commentary given, most of which was to disallow sales and distribution in Fillmore.
As we now know the City Council voted against approving the prospect of sales, distribution or storage of cannabis.
I am not writing this letter to repeat what the Gazette has already shared on this subject.
The purpose of this writing is to share an inadequate process for the residents of Fillmore to collaborate with the Fillmore City Council.
I had prepared a hard copy presentation for the purpose of sharing an upcoming issue that will be a part of city staff business, a part of a City Council agendized meeting issues in the near future.
The request for City support, is to provide a pedestrian gate at the R.V parking area of the El Dorado Mobil Home park, for our now family park children.
To provide safe passage to Rio Vista Elementary School. As I know it neither the Developer or the Park ownership have made this necessary gate a planned approved item of the development. I am not sure it ever crossed their minds.
El Dorado is alike a little Vatican with in Fillmore, autonomous, park owners are not in touch with their tenants, or needs of the park. The City treats it like it is a fiefdom, out of their control. We absolutely are Fillmore residents and the park is just an entity with in Fillmore and should comply with normal and expected behavior and cooperative interaction with our City, Municipal code and other ordinances as well.( I Recognize that the owners must comply with the States Mobilehome Residency Law. as their primary required base of, compliance/ operation. This should not preclude the Cities rights and authorities as City Government)
My issue is/was, I had a request in my presentation, for the council to be aware of a need for the pedestrian gate, prior to the upcoming staff agenda item.
Wanting, the gate to be a conditional approval by the Council for the latest HVP development planning. The Owners made this a family park, yes we had some people who caused the change, (they have all moved now). Even so managing this park with Children most clearly must include Resident/children safety planning, by the City for its residents, and the park owner for safety/liability concerns.
A lot said here, but what became very clear is, we apparently do not have a process to give resident/citizen /constituent input to the council, unless we can do it in 3 to 5 minutes. This is the time all who attended were allotted.
I will confess that my choice of Jan. 9, to try and share my presentation, was a horrible night. The time over all was too tight because of the major cannabis cross talk.
It did illustrate however the inadequacy, and lack of a process, for other items of interest or need, for Fillmore residents to share and collaborate with our City Council.
Two City Council meetings a month and resident comment time set at two to three minutes is insignificant time.
There are other items of City life, and ideas to share that make us a tight community, other than the monthly agendized issues. We need to get other issues out there for our leaders to review and consider. (just to be aware of other issues.)
We seem to get close with them only when there is a near delirious crowd of upset people, or if it is an agenda item.
That said-- I am in no way discrediting any of the City Council or City staff.
I appreciate that the Mayor and City Council have another life, they all work and have families.
I have shared other issues and concerns with the City Council, the City manager and his staff. All endeavors and interactions have been very amiable and rewarding.
We are very fortunate to have them all. I am now a twelve year resident of Fillmore, of forty nine years in Ventura county. These last years in Fillmore have provided me with clear appreciation of the successes these fellow citizens have afforded us.
There are opportunities to be realized from collaborative work with the residents, and the City council. We need to plan a way to work together, it is our City too.
We need more residents to get involved with positive issues in support of our City. Quit hiding!!
Raymond s Brown Sr.

Letters to the Editor
January 10, 2018

To the Editor:
In your first sentence you say that for the “reasonably informed” person, knowledge of American history (necessarily?) leads to the conclusion of American exceptionalism. If your claim is that knowledge of American history necessarily leads to the conclusion that America is exceptional in every way, then we disagree on this. Let’s call this view Total Exceptionalism. If Total Exceptionalism is not your position, then we may be in agreement. In the same paragraph you discuss knowledge of facts about the Civil War that a “reasonable and informed” person would know, which is why I inferred that your point was that the deaths of 600,000+ white men was evidence of American exceptionalism.
To challenge Total Exceptionalism, we only need to find one counterexample. I meant for my short argument on Jan. 3rd to be a counterexample which shows that America’s moral actions have not always been exceptional compared to other nations. I do not equate American institutions, such as the Bill of Rights and Constitution, with American morality (although there is overlap). The Bill of Rights may be exceptional even though America's moral actions are not. My Jan. 3rd letter was meant to give a counterexample to Total Exceptionalism by showing that knowledge of the Civil War death of 600,000+ white men in American history does not lead everyone to affirm American moral exceptionalism. On Jan 3rd you wrote that you “did not rely only upon our Civil War as an example of America’s exceptional status among nations,” which leads me to believe that you do think the Civil War is a piece of evidence in favor of American exceptionalism. Although you also say that your point was merely that America fighting the civil war to end slavery was “in itself, a good thing.” I agree that going to war to end slavery is a good thing, but I don't see the Civil War as a piece of evidence in favor of American exceptionalism.
I was a bit dismayed that I was misquoted in support of your argument in your Jan. 3rd editorial. You quoted me as saying that I “don’t view this fact [emancipation of slaves] as evidence, alone, of America’s moral exceptionalism.” If you look back at my Jan 3rd letter you will see that the word “alone” does not appear in that sentence. Perhaps this, in part, leads to your characterization of my argument as claiming that you are basing American exceptionalism solely on Civil War facts. I’ll assume that you meant to bracket “alone.” My argument was not that this is your only evidence, but that this evidence, as I understood it, did not necessarily support the conclusion that America is morally exceptional. As a side question, why does the fundamental Judeo-Christian moral base provide a basis for civil blessings, as you claim, and not for things that aren’t blessings, i.e., slavery?
I’m not opposed to your claim that America is exceptional in a general sense – it clearly is exceptional in many ways (e.g., politically, institutionally, economically) and unexceptional in other ways, historically and in the present day. So far, in my letters to you I have not disputed American exceptionalism in its freedom, political institutions, generosity, etc. My worry is about us believing that American history shows that America is morally exceptional in its actions (distinct from institutions such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights). I have only disputed the claim that knowledge of American history necessarily leads to the conclusion that America is an exceptional moral place. I have arguments about compensating people of color, but I’ll save them for another time.
Lastly, towards the end of your response you say that “ending slavery…was much more than ‘merely’ a step in the right direction.” The word “merely” is in quotations, and so I think it reasonable to assume that you meant to be quoting me, as your editorial was a response to me and there is no other source cited. If you look back at my letter published on Jan 3rd you’ll see that I said “…emancipation was a big step in the right direction.” I did not use the word “merely” in that sentence, although I did use the word “merely” earlier in the letter, so I assume it just got misplaced in your editorial.
A belief of mine is that a way to better our institutions is to be critical of them, and to have dialogues such as this one, in which we both sharpen our reasons and so rationally move closer to how we should view and/or improve our institutions. You have helped me sharpen my views and so you have my gratitude. There is much more we could discuss and clarify, more definitions to be given, and more arguments to be made in this exchange, but this will be my last letter on this topic. I look forward to your comments.
With respect,
Jacob Zellmer


To the Editor:
Our city leaders will once again be voting on if they should allow pot related business in your town. Despite that the majority of you have voted in 2016 with 57% against it while other cities in the county voted for it. Despite that many of you signed petitions against it and now it has been contently lost. They are back to trying to get it in yet another way. Deliveries and warehouses. The few who need this product currently can grow their own or are getting it from other communities. We do not have facilities for cancer related problems in our town or even a hospital of which all of our community could use why do we need pot related business in our town when the needs of a few are clearly being met by other communities. Why not take a wait and see approach for 2-3 years and see how those cities fair and if it really is worth the risk. Please show up to council meeting January 9th to voice your opinion once again.
Kathy Pace

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