[Recently Fillmore High School AVID students participated in a series of writing lessons which culminated in writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper of their choice. This was intended not only to improve their writing skills and give them a writing project that they cared about and had a personal stake in, but also to help them see the power and importance of writing and the press for our society. The project was under the supervision UCSBâs Early Academic Outreach Program. Following are four submitted letters.]
To the Editor:
Re: Fillmore Movie Theater
On April 18th, 2011, Fillmoreâs only theater was closed down for good because it was not procuring the amount of money required. When it was open, things were not going so well. It was only open a few days a week and the prices were ridiculously high. However, on Mondays, I recall, they had discounts for âFamily Night.â Despite the setbacks, the theater was our townâs prized possession. I believe that we should bring back this beloved theater.
If we bring back the theater, we can learn from our mistakes. We can start by staying open all week â or at least 6 out of 7 days. We can lower the ticket prices at least by a dollar from Santa Paula Regency Theater fees. As long as they are not as high as before, I think we should be fine. I also think that the idea of a Family Night was a great idea and should continue to be.
Our theater closed down in the first place because of high prices. Once we fix these problems, everything should be fine. When it was open, this place was not just a movie theater â it was a place to get away from home and have fun with your friends. Now that it is closed, there is not much else to do, especially since everything else is closing down, too. If we bring back this theater, it will create more jobs and more entertainment for the community. No longer will we of Fillmore and Piru have to drive all the way to Santa Paula to see a new movie, therefore gas is also saved. If we bring back the theater, it could potentially open up other stores, too, because everyone loves to go out to eat after a good movie with friends. To bring back the theater is to bring back the joy to this town.
Thank you for your consideration,
A concerned Fillmore High School student
To the Editor:
Respect used to be a moral standard in society. In todayâs world this is not the case. I believe that respect is being lost. Respect has become an antique and an old relic that only few people posses today. The cause of the loss of respect can be traced to the increase of technology, booming social networks and infamous massacres that have occurred in the recent years.
Technology has provided advances in medicine and our standard of living but it has also made society take a few steps back morally. This is because of the new era of communicating, texting. Texting gives people the power to not confront problems or situations more bluntly. According to dosomething.org over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly. Instead of giving someone a call people would much rather âtext it outâ. This gives people the sense of ex communication, and everyone is in their own world. It eliminates the necessity of confronting things head on in life.
Another major cause of the loss of respect is the rapid increase of social networks. With social networks people can now be anonymous. People can now opine freely without having to deal with major repercussions. This usually can lead to harassment and one may feel abused in a way. This is not taking into account of how people may react to opinions and in some cases people get severely depressed and commit suicide.
Lastly one of the highest degrees of loss of respect can be linked to the recent in famous murders. More and more have taken place today than any other time in the history of the US. An example is the Batman movie premiere murder where Holmes, a seemingly innocent citizen of Colorado killed 12 and injured 58. The batman premiere was an example of how people can turn deadly in an instant how people state of mind has changed. This man Holmes thought of this plan meticulously and saw the opportunity and captured it, resulting in the loss of innocent lives. These are ideas that perhaps were never even conceived in recent years, but now we must be on a constant state of alert because of these recent grim events.
Respect is an ideal that needs to be resurrected and practiced more often. If people took one another into consideration more often, then our human culture would benefit and would make living more livable and less of a burden.
To the Editor:
Lyndon LaRouche and the Glass-Steagall Act
America: land of the free, home of the brave. In the Bill of Rights, as stated in the First Amendment, we as American citizens have been granted the guaranteed right to our freedom of speech as well as freedom of petition. Various campaigns have demonstrated these rights and expressed their opinions pertaining to the matter at hand. One Campaign for instance, the LaRouche Pac, a political action committee, lead by Lyndon LaRouche promoting his candidacy for office, the removal of President Barack Obama, as well as the re-enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act or more formally known as the Banking Act of 1933 that prohibits the interference of commercial banks with the investment business. "If Glass-Steagall is not re-enacted, you're dead." Lyndon LaRouche said, expressing his radical opinion. The Glass-Steagall Act is NOT the cause or the reparation for the financial crisis as explained in a LaRouche Pac article, "If Hyperinflation hits, you're dead!"
In a closer examination of the leader and economist, Lyndon LaRouche, I've encountered many questioning aspects of the three-time nominated candidate for president. In the mid-40's, Lyndon considered himself a socialist following the ideas of Marxism for a decade before drastically changing into an extremely conservative Republican. Similar characteristics to the infamous Jonestown, Lyndon is the tyrannous leader of a cult-like group of subservient followers. It has been reported that ex-members have confessed to his outrageously controlling leadership, forcing his followers to strip themselves of their right to privacy exposing their secrets; from their personal beliefs to their sex life. Extreme measures have been taken to prevent any consequences due to their leave of the cult, they live in constant fear of his power. In his current town, he has bought many acres of land where he plans to move his followers to force them to work for extended periods of time with relatively small wages. Supposed "violent attacks" have been cast against the Glass-Steagall supporters as said in an LaRouche article, "Thug tactics and dirty tricks are being deployed against Glass-Steagall supporters." Although, Lyndon hypocritically has been caught executing vicious attacks. In 1973-1974 operation "Mop-up" was performed against communist enforcing an ultimatum of either joining their cult or suffering the punishment. Again, in 1975 he was caught attaining illegal weapons and ammunition in a plot to bring harm to any non-supporters; more than 40 fights have been reported. Conspirators say he attempted to assassinate Vice President Rockefeller. He manipulates naive people, bullying them into joining him. At the PAC weekly report on February 9th he had said, "Anyone who opposes Glass-Steagall is actually criminally insane" as well as calling anyone who disagrees with his opinions as "subhuman", ultimately using the same "Thug tactics" that were supposedly used on his followers. Lyndon and his followers infer Obama to be the next Adolf Hitler, although in comparison, Lyndon's methods and ideals resemble Hitler far more.
In 1933 when the Glass-Steagall Act was enacted, at the end of the Great Depression, it was assumed to be the salvation that the economy was looking for as well as the cause of the financial crisis of 2008 when is was repealed, but was it really? In 1999 the Glass Steagall Act was not revoked as most people ignorantly believe. Gramm-Leach Bliley (GLB) was passed by President Clinton to repeal section 20 of the Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited banks from associating with investment banks, and made bank branching illegal, this was the only thing that was discontinued. Following the repeal, the myth of Glass-Steagalls repeal being the cause of the 2008 crisis came to be, although there is no concrete evidence supporting this theory. President Obama, himself even stated, âThere is no evidence that having Glass-Steagall in place would somehow change the dynamic." This was also supported by articles published in Vanity Fair which complies with the irrelevance of resuming to the previous act first enacted in 1933. The actual cause of the downfall of the economy was the real estate lending, not only was the United States apart of but as well as other countries around the world. Another factor was the banks which lost money giving out loans irresponsibly, not because of the repeal. In an interview, Andrew Ross Sorkin grilled Glass-Steagall supporter and Senatorial Candidate, Elizabeth Warren on whether the crisis of 2008 or the JPMorgan Chase loss would have been solved if the Glass-Steagal Act had been re-enacted before their collapse and her response was, "The answer is probably 'No' to both". The banks that had apparently failed due to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act's protection are absolutely false. The only companies that had failed were subprime lenders which are neither commercial nor investment banks at all. Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Indy Mac, Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch, Freddie Mac, and AIG werenât under the restrictions of the act and donât pertain to Lyndon's accusations whatsoever.
In many of LaRouche's biased articles and Lyndon's speeches it is apparent that he relies on emotional appeal to provoke the public into following him. He deliberately misuses his power and promotes his opinions using sensationalism and yellow journalism. The opposing side that consists of Wall Street, Obama supporters, as well as Europe who are supporting the prevention of the act has been targeted as enemy number one. Supporters of this controversial act believed that if commercial and investment banks were separated they'd prosper and restore the fallen economy, although even after the act fell into place and they had no involvement with each other, they still failed separately. Glass-Steagall would have been the trigger for the decline in the economy for this reason; it would have made banks prone to withdrawing even more loans resulting in even more bankruptcies and repossessions which would ultimately lead to the fall of stocks as well as banks. In contrast, the concerns the Glass-Steagall supporters are stressing is without the level playing field between commercial and investment banks would have with the act, the Federal Reserve of the United States would buy bonds. This would lead to the quantum easing, resulting in hyperinflation. Although, the flaw to this concern is the fact that the excess bills printed would be saved in many peoples bank accounts which would be equivalent to not having printed those bills in the first place, prolonging the inflation momentarily. Another concern is as hyperinflation is initiated, prices will rise to unbelievable prices forcing the withdrawal of money from peopleâs bank accounts to buy necessary products while the prices are still low. The third concern would be the problematic easiness for commercial banks to access depositors investment money, these all being valid points.
I've been told that when the economy has an incline in efficiency, the current president is well liked and appreciated, on the other hand, when an economy has a decline the president at the time of the downfall, despite his efforts and wholesomeness, he is hated and is blamed for any political problems. Lyndon LaRouche's effort to remove Obama from office is simply his disability to change the problems, so he needs someone or something to point his finger at to blame. The Glass-Steagall Act has been factually proven to be useless in our current economyâs dilemma.
To the Editor:
In the United States, school violence has had an effect on everyoneâs life at one point in time. The first recorded school shooting in the United States occurred in 1764, the Enoch Brown School Massacre, where a teacher and nine students were killed. Since that day in 1764, dozens of school shootings have occurred in the United States. School violence does not just affect one single state, it ranges throughout many states, whether it be Texas, Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, and even California.
One of the most recognized school shootings in the history of our country is the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999. Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold were outcasts of their high school, who went into school one day and shot & killed 12 students and 1 teacher before killing themselves. Although most people believe that this act of violence was a split decision by the two high school boys, Harris & Klebold had been plotting this massacre for at least a year prior to its occurrence. The first shots were fired at 11:21 AM, and were quickly followed by a massacre of 12 students and 1 teacher throughout the High Schoolâs Cafeteria and Library. One of the most moving pictures from that fateful day in April is one of a victim climbing out of a window of the library to the safe haven brought by the SWAT Team and Paramedics in the parking lot beneath him. Although it has been almost 14 years since the incident, gun control laws have been argued numerous times, and the mental stability of the shooters has been questioned. Harris & Klebold had been outcasts, judged by classmates, teachers, and even parents as to their mental state at the time of the shooting. The two shooters had been bullied throughout their school years, and had learned of guns and which ones to use through violent video games. On the 5th anniversary of the Columbine Massacre, researchers concluded that Harris was a clinical psychopath, and Klebold was Depressed. Harris was believed to be the mastermind behind the entire idea, Klebold had gone along with the idea to avoid losing his best friend. The shooting is believed to have been anything but a lack of impulse control. According to statistics given by researchers, nearly two-thirds of all premeditated school shootings are linked to bullying.
Many people also remember the Virginia Tech University Shooting which occurred in 2007, just 6 months after a gunman killed 5 Amish girls before turning the gun on himself. The shooter killed 33 people, including himself, throughout the Virginia Tech massacre. The shooting occurred at 2 different times, around 7:15 AM in a dormitory building, and about 2 and a half hours later across campus in a classroom building. The University did not evacuate the campus after hearing of the first attack, and instead sent an email out warning of an apparent gunman on campus, but students did not seem to be worried about the possible threat on campus. After the shooting occurred, officers determined that the shooter had turned the gun on himself after killing his victims. At an early age, the shooter was diagnosed with severe depression, as well as selective mutism. These psychological problems had a very large impact on the shooterâs life, and most likely added to the shooterâs mental instability. Between the first and second attacks on the University, the shooter was seen at a nearby post office, where he sent a manifesto, and many digitally recorded videos of himself to NBC News. These recordings were later used in a newscast about the incident by NBC.
A more recent example of how school shootings have had a lasting effect on our country, is the Newtown Connecticut shooting which occurred on December 14th, 2012. Adam Lanza, the shooter, first shot his mother at her home in Newtown, then headed to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he shot his way into the building, and began his rampage. Lanza shot 20 children who attended the school in numerous classrooms, and 6 teachers who worked at the school. Many teachers hid their students in cabinets and cupboards to protect them from the shooter, instructing them to stay quiet and that it would all be okay. After shooting numerous rounds throughout the school, Lanza turned the gun on himself, and committed suicide after noticing 2 Newtown police officers who had walked into the building during his rampage. The total number of people killed, including the perpetrator, was 28, 27 at the school, and Lanzaâs mother at her home. The Newtown Connecticut shooting is considered to be the second deadliest mass murder at an American elementary school, following the Bath School Bombings in Michigan which occurred in 1927. Lanza was believed to be somewhat autistic, and have a personality disorder. Friends of Lanzaâs mother reported that he had been diagnosed with Aspergerâs Syndrome.