Letters to the Editor
September 29, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion: Martin and Democracy This Week. September 29, 2021.
Martin: It's "next week" and I accept your invitation to explain my failure to include every word of Dave's Manifesto in responding to it. You may recall that you rejected my original submission because of length, in large part because I had quoted Dave’s language verbatim. You felt that to do that was unnecessary and too long.
I shortened the column to condense the word count, but included a summary of Dave's comments, as the articles made no sense without them. So, I was very surprised to read your objection in last week's editorial that you couldn't comment because, "Without seeing the substance of "Dave's Manifesto" (9-22-2021) nothing I would write would make any sense to readers." Hmm. But, let’s move on. If Dave feels I did not do a fair job in summarizing his comments, I hope he will let me know. Obviously, I thought his issues important.
The one issue which I will address this week is the plethora of democracy-threatening events happening right here in America, for those who watch only Fox News. I am going to speak here of "Republicans" as if they were all Trumpians. I know they're not, but it keeps the word count down. The AZ Maricopa County Audit Report is in. Before it was released, in a rant that bewailed the "unjust subpoenas" issued to Mark Meadows, Steven Bannon and others by the House Committee on January 6, Trump also proclaimed a victory in AZ and praised the grifting Cyber Ninjas as "highly respected auditors.” Except the Audit Report found that Biden gained 99 votes, and Trump received 261 fewer votes than the official results.
Trump won in TX in November by 5 points, but this week he directed Governor Abbott to also conduct an audit, and it was ordered before the sun went down. How insecure do you have to be to do that? Wants to run up the score 10 months after the game is over. It's abnormal, to use a nice word. And Abbott is willing to spend TX tax dollars to do it.
If Trump has to completely destroy our elections process in all states in order to make himself feel like a "winner," why are intelligent Repos up for that? We the People have the vote and the Constitution, and Republicans appear to bent on destroying both.
To wit: McConnell has said that he may not allow a vote for SCOTUS if an opening becomes available after the midterms and the Republicans pick up Senate seats. He wants permanent control over all branches of government. He believes that no Democrat should have power, nor should anyone who disagrees with Republican ideals. That is not a “democracy.” It is the blueprint for a dictator.
And now, the Republicans have declared that they are willing to default on the national debt. This will be disastrous to our economy and will contribute to the dollar being replaced as the world currency. And we will have done it to ourselves. Well, some of us will have done it.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
Why no mention of Islam in the media? I’m no Islamophile but I am interested in Islamology. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. There are (50) world countries that consider themselves Muslim Nations. That adds up to (2) billion people. There are (18) world countries that consider themselves Christian Nations. That adds up to 274 million people. (USA does not call itself a Christian nation.) Islam gains converts up to 2x the rate of all other religions combined and is expected to grow by 35% in the next 20 years. Last year, 20,000+ Americans converted to Islam.
Taking a cursory look at Islam’s holy texts (which includes the life of their prophet Mohammad), may offer some insight into the nature of Islam and perhaps the mind of Islamic extremists.
There are (3) Islamic holy texts. The Koran (revelation to Mohammad from Angel Gabriel), The Sira (the biography of Mohammad), and The Hadith (Mohammad’s sayings & habits). These three texts are a Trilogy. They are inextricably linked, they cannot be separated, they are unable to stand on their own. Anything that contradicts any of these texts cannot be seen as Islam.
Mohammad was born in Mecca, Arabia in 570 C.E. into the Quraysh, a merchant Tribe. [His father died before he was born, and his mother died when he was 6 years old.]Mohammad lived briefly with his Grandfather but when his Grandfather died, he then went to live with his Uncle, a Trader & Merchant.
In those Pre-Islamic days, Mecca was a conglomerate of Christians, Jews&Polytheistic Idolators (ancient Iranian religions). They lived together in relative prosperity, peace & harmony. It was not unusual for the indigenous people to mix religions. They adopted some Christian beliefs, some Jewish beliefs and kept their own native polytheistic beliefs. Mohammad came from a family such as that. Each family would favor certain gods & goddesses and build a shrine inside their home. [‘Allah’ was considered the highest god. ‘Allah’ means ‘the god’.] Mohammad’s family favored the Crescent Moon goddess, Alilah (Allah’s daughter), the (fertility) goddess Uzza and (destiny, prosperity) goddess Manat.
At age 25, Mohammad married a wealthy woman, 20 years his senior. [She proposed marriage to him.]When Mohammad was 40 years old, he began to have feverish dreams. He said that the Angel Gabriel would give him messages. These dreams are the basis of the entire Koran, about 600 pgs. It was originally compiled in chronological order, but later they were arranged from largest chapter to smallest chapter. The Koran of today’s books store, is not the Koran of Mohammad’s day, 610 C.E. The original was destroyed.
Mohammad’s Koran had (2) separate locals of his ‘revelations’ and each is very different in tone. The first was in Mecca, and the second was in Medina. [The Mecca Koran is poetic & spiritual. The Medina Koran is historical and political.] While in Mecca, Mohammad criticized & preached against the religion of the day, which was polytheistic and idolatrous. He spent 13 years preaching to anyone that would listen. During those difficult years, he gained 150 disciples (followers). Eventually people grew annoyed &angry with him and threatened his life. He was forced to flee to Medina. While in Medina, he stopped preaching his new religion. He instead became a Politician and a Warrior.
During the last (9) years of his life (Mohammad died at age 62) he was involved in 88 acts of violence, averaging violent skirmishes once every 6 weeks. At the end of his life, every single Arab (100,000) was ‘converted’ to Islam. When Mohammad preached his religion (in Mecca) he averaged 12 new converts a year. Whereas in Medina, where he picked up a sword, politics & jihad (the struggle), he gained 10,000 converts a year. In other words, Political Power was a thousand times more effective than Spiritual Religion.
If Mohammad would have stayed in Mecca, he would have had 265 converts at the end of his life due to ‘religion’. Instead, he moved to Medina as a Warrior Politician which gained him 99,735 converts. At the time of his death, Islam’s success was 0.3 due to religion, and 99.3% due to Political Power.
[More on Mohammad, Jihad, Submission & Sharia later.]
I will leave you with one question, are these statistics relevant to today’s Islam and what’s going on in Afghanistan? You decide.
Leslie G. Marshall


Letters to the Editor
September 22, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion: Part II if II, Dave's Manifesto. September 22, 2021.
I Never Cared..Now, I Care.
...You've given all the tolerance you have to give. This is no longer your problem, it's now my problem. I still have time to fix it, but I had better step on it. - Tolerance is not something you bestow. It is something you are. If you were unable to "fix it" when it WAS your problem, who are you to issue ultimatums regarding duties and timetables for me to fix it? This is an American problem. We have to “fix it” together.
…You are a "very patient person" but you're losing it. You insist that millions of people are also "sick of all the Anti-American crap!" - I hate to dispossess anyone of a treasured virtue, but I don't see the patience. You and people who feel as you do are not the sole arbiters of what is “American” and what is "anti-American." Of crap? You raised it. I couldn't say.
...You've always cared about all lives, but you resent the notion that certain lives matter more than others. You cite the protesters as a radical bunch of "thugs, criminals, and anarchists who want to destroy the country." - I have to guess that you are speaking of Black Lives Matter. Please note that it doesn't say "Only Black Lives Matter." The movement arose from repeated national examples of the killing black persons for grossly inadequate legal reasons. A 12-year-old boy was shot in a park in early morning because he was playing with a toy gun. A young woman was killed in her own apartment in the middle of the night in a botched police raid. A father was choked to death on the street for selling loose cigarettes. Another father was suffocated in the street for a small-amount bad check. They, and a lot of the rest of us, got the feeling that black lives did not matter. There are always people who exceed the mission in protests, offensively or defensively, and they should be prosecuted.
If you are offended by "thugs, criminals, and anarchists," how outraged were you by the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, when the Speaker was threatened with death, the building was breached, furniture and windows were broken. congress members were seen trying to shore up the floor of the House, and people died? Gallows on the Capitol lawn, the Vice President, escaping down the stairs with a military aide carrying the "football" with the nuclear codes, having been identified as a near-traitor by the president of our country. I would be far more sensitive to your being offended by BLM if you were also up-in-arms over January 6.
...You assert that America is the greatest country on Earth and if anyone does not agree with your view of what that means, they can leave. "We are done caring about your "misguided feelings.” - It is a manifest truth that, if you have to proclaim you own greatness, you likely aren't (unless you are Muhammed Ali). You do not have the power to determine that, if someone doesn't meet your scorecard, they don't "love America" or don't belong here. It's not just your country. I can't say with certainty about you, but it is evident that many Republicans do not care about the feelings or rights of others. Trump rallies were full of people with signs proclaiming, "F*ck Your Feelings." Message received. Alert: the “feelings of others” are not at your disposal.
Looking back, the America of the 1950's – 1990’s looks so much more attractive from here. Everybody got along and understood their roles in society and were optimistic about the future. It’s an illusion, of course. Long-simmering societal and cultural problems were ignored until they became unavoidable. Economic uncertainty and extreme income inequality grew. This world of political, social, economic, climate, and techno changes we could not have imagined can be unsettling, but we are all going to go through it. We are just at one of those points in history. Let's stick together. We have a history of doing that and it is our best hope.
Kelly Scoles,


Letters to the Editor
September 15, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion
Voting and 9/11
By the time you read this, the results of the CA Recall election will likely be known. Last weekend before election day, Republicans assumed success for Newsom! They claimed on Elder’s website that, “We implore you ... to join us in this fight as you are able, primarily by signing our petition demanding a special session of the California legislature to investigate and ameliorate the twisted results of this 2021 Recall Election of Governor Gavin Newsom," the website said.
There is a reference to "improperly formed ballots" that were discovered prior to the election, but no offer of evidence to support the claim. Also, “if there is an audit of the recall election, county election officials should not be a part of the recount, because doing so would be similar to ‘allowing an alleged criminal to examine the crime scene,’" the petition says.
The Repos are doing what Trump did in the summer of 2020. He claimed that he could only lose if there was fraud in November and whined it at every opportunity. If he won, the election was fraud-free; if he didn’t win, there was a clear “steal.” Remember the kid on the playground who always demanded a “do-over” and would stamp, snivel, and cry “foul” every time he or she lost? This is what the “grown-up” version looks like.
Republicans plan to do this for every election nationally which they lose from now on. Just smear and dishonor the election process, with no evidence, even before the results are known. They equate elections officials with “criminals,” unless they stack the election panels themselves, which they are doing in many states. People ask why Democrats, Independents, and fair-minded Republicans, do not respect the current Party.
I trust that the GOP will not hold up AZ as their classic example of a forensic audit, due this week, though I wish they would. The process has been a clown show from the first. Cyber Ninjas with no prior elections experience took the helm, the voting machines were dealt with in such a way that AZ is going to have to replace them at a substantial taxpayer cost. There have been numerous threats against legislators who criticized the process. The mysterious differences between the counts of other Repo candidates and Trump were found to be because many Republican voters voted a straight Party line, except they voted for Biden for president.
I have been critical of Bush 43 for so many reasons, but I have to give credit when due. His partial remarks on the 20th anniversary of 9/11: "We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. It is our continuing duty to confront them."
Three former presidents, Obama, Bush 43, and Clinton accompanied President Biden to Ground Zero or Shanksville on 9/11/21. Former President Trump was invited but opted out. Rather, he made a last-minute visit to a NYC firehouse to mention 9/11 and discuss his political future. Then he had to skedaddle to prepare for commentary on the Holyfield fight later in the day, for which he bragged he was going to make an “obscene” amount of money. He couldn’t even make that day of national mourning about anything except himself.
Kelly Scoles,

Letters to the Editor
September 8, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion: TX and SB8. September 8, 2021.
TX and SB8
The Republican-controlled legislature of the State of TX has adopted SB8, a bill which will prohibit abortions after 6 weeks (before most women know their condition). What is also extremely concerning about this law is its enforcement provisions. The woman will not be prosecuted. The law targets the doctor, nurse, receptionist, cab or Uber driver who provides transportation, mother or father, sister or brother, husband, or anyone else who furthers her intent. It is a law which the Taliban and Al Queda would endorse.
TX, in attempting not to fall completely afoul of Roe v. Wade which prohibits states from nabbing abortion-seekers, came up with a new twist: the State of TX will not accuse anyone. Individual private citizens, of TX or elsewhere, can accuse the perpetrators, take them to court and, if the perp is found guilty, receive a $10,000 bounty. Attorneys who defend targets will be held co-responsible for court costs, attorney fees (for claimants) and bounties.
A new career is on the horizon. Take a couple of months off, head for TX with the family, get to know as many people as possible and then go for it. Tell the kids to keep their ears open for any talk of procreation in any fashion and tell them to be able to name names. You will probably lose friends, and you will have to respond to summons’ when the court dates approach, but once you get the business rolling, the TX trips are probably tax-deductible, and you could easily realize $100,000 per annum. HeeeHaw!
Russia and China do this. Urge people to spy and report on their friends for crimes against the state. Let’s see. I look in your open garage and see great stuff that I don’t think you can really afford on your salary, so I have a little chat with the IRS. Your mother-in-law comes to visit, but doesn’t speak English so, just to be sure, I call ICE to have her checked out. You swat your five-year-old on the rump for some amazingly bad language his brother undoubtedly taught him, but I call 911 because I don’t believe in corporal punishment. What kind of world are Republicans trying to create?
TX and other red states are rabid to outdo each other in their quest to humiliate, degrade, and now persecute anyone who does not share the legislature’s religious beliefs. There are a number of federal laws which could render the vigilante provision dead in the water. My guess is that SCOTUS will not find the 6-week ban unconstitutional but will decide that “standing” to sue and it’s “harm” requirements cannot arise by legislative fiat. If not, run for your lives, and blow a kiss to democracy on your way out.
This CA recall is a ruse. Newsom is up for reelection in one year. The events of the last two years speak to his commitment to reduce the impact of the virus. I am certain he did not welcome the loss of taxes. The recall is happening for two reasons: the Republicans are hoping that people are so fed up with the life changes that have occurred, so sick and tired, that they are eager to blame somebody. Or, that Democrats or fair-minded Republicans are so disgusted with politics that they just won’t vote. They’re counting on it. Use your mail-in ballot this weekend and put it in the ballot box in front of the Library, or vote on September 14 by taking your ballot to St. Francis Catholic Church, the official voting station.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
Well Kelly I guess the email I forwarded to Martin must have really gotten under your skin. I am so glad that you are out there to show all of us Neanderthals how much we don't know about civil rights. So not caring whether or not someone's skin color is different than ours as long as they do their job and didn't blame me for their problems was not enough for you liberals. You focused on black Americans but what about the Japanese who were put in prison camp during WWII. I didn't hear them blaming America, on the contrary they are too busy being engineers, doctors, and IT specialists.
You said Rush Limbaugh was to blame for the lack of servility in American Politics. I doubt you ever listened to his show but I am sure you are a fan of CNN, and MSNBC. I guess all the things they had to say about President Trump were perfectively fine with you.
You had a melt down over my defense of history. In Minnesota we celebrate the Vikings. I suppose we should stop that because they made slaves of the people they captured. Get over it Kelly. History is history and we can't change it. Denying it because it doesn't fit our ideal of what should have happened is not realistic. In fact, it is foolish. Those who deny history are destined to relive it. If we are so bad, then why are so many people clamoring to get into our country.
Dave Johnson, American Patriot,

[National Review article below submitted by Dave Johnson]

What Is An American?
A primer.

Printed September 25, 2001 in National Review.

Written by Peter Ferrara, an associate professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law.

You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper there an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they would know when they found one.

An American is English…or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them choose.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God-given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

An American does not have to obey the mad ravings of ignorant, ungodly cruel, old men. American men will not be fooled into giving up their lives to kill innocent people, so that these foolish old men may hold on to power. American women are free to show their beautiful faces to the world, as each of them choose.

An American is free to criticize his government's officials when they are wrong, in his or her own opinion. Then he is free to replace them, by majority vote.

Americans welcome people from all lands, all cultures, all religions, because they are not afraid. They are not afraid that their history, their religion, their beliefs, will be overrun, or forgotten. That is because they know they are free to hold to their religion, their beliefs, their history, as each of them choose.

And just as Americans welcome all, they enjoy the best that everyone has to bring, from all over the world. The best science, the best technology, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes.

Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The nation symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed.

These in fact are the people who built America. Many of them were working in the twin towers on the morning of September 11, earning a better life for their families.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo and Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world.

But in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then those lands too will join the community of free and prosperous nations.

And America will welcome them.

Letters to the Editor
September 1, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion: Part I Dave's Manifesto. September 1, 2021.
...if you were gay until your shoved it down my throat. I trust that no one is literally doing any such thing. Do you really mean that you have had experiences where some display of non-heterosexual behavior offended you? Was it not possible to move on and enjoy your day? Ultra-femme behavior in men, or women for that matter, was uncomfortable for me. But I hope I have learned to stop being a ninny and just enjoy the person. Or move on.
...about your skin color until you blamed me for your problems. Who is to blame for the injustices and denial of rights to black people, and others, under the law? Perhaps those who think that, while regrettable, it is no reason to raise a protest. Or those who resent the study of how discrimination has affected our laws? Or those who are so afraid of the issue that they are willing to legislate against actual history? (ID, IA, TX, OK, TN) and 14 more state with upcoming bills?
...about the political affiliation of others until you condemned me for mine. Same here. But liberals did not initiate demonization of the opposing political party. Rush Limbaugh and his successor minions created it. Over the last 20 years, liberals became anti-American, evil, and determined to destroy the country and are, miraculously, both inept and genius at doing it. Republican personal virtue did not become a major issue until the events of January 6, 2021, a direct attack on democracy. Following which the lies, the revisionist history, subservience to one troubled and needy politician, the ravenous appetite for conspiracy theories and lurid assertions that would make Machiavelli blush, made it a huge challenge to respect that political party.
...where you came from in this great country until you condemned people for their history and heritage. If you are speaking of the removal of the southern war statues, I would think the South would not want to be reminded of the bloodiest encounter this country has ever experienced, which it fought to maintain the enslavement of one-third of its population in over ten generations of captivity. The South is only complicit in the Battle for the Confederacy if they represent it as a Glorious Lost Cause, which the statues do. There were brave men and women on the side of the South (John's maternal ancestors fought for the Confederacy), but they made a critically wrong choice which resulted in a massive national tragedy. No need to vilify them now, but so many brilliant and accomplished people hail from the South. Why not glorify them?
...if your beliefs differed from mine until you told me mine were wrong. Being told your beliefs are "wrong," and being persecuted for them, are two different things. Since you brought it up, it depends upon your beliefs. If you believe that man's use of fossil fuels has had no effect on the Climate Crisis, that COVID bis a hoax, that the universe was created in six 24-hour earth days, or that Jesus rode a dinosaur then, yes, you beliefs are objectively wrong. Good news! If they don't hurt anyone else, are not immoral or illegal, you are entitled to these beliefs but should probably avoid career choices in earth sciences and astrophysics. Faith or religious belief do not require reason or proof. People believe in things because they choose to, and every religion has its own inventory. Confidently enjoy your personal beliefs, but do not permit, as a believer or non-believer, persecution of others for theirs.
...how you felt about guns until you tried to take mine away. I am unaware of any existing or past governmental move to take away all guns. As a private citizen, my view of the Second Amendment is likely not to mirror yours.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
Ms. Scoles, you are wrong, very, very wrong.
Trump did enter into a peace deal with the Taliban which had many conditions, one of which was that the Taliban was to enter into an agreement with Afghanistan, which never occurred. The lack of an Intra-Afghan peace agreement nullified the Trump agreement.
The pull-out of the US from Afghanistan, which is a catastrophic failure, rests solely on your favorite Demolitioncrat, Biden. Who, by the way, said “we’re gonna stay to get them all out.”
And as Biden stated today, that did not happen. He didn’t even push for the removal of the man who saved his life in 2008, Mohammad. He was left behind because the State Department would not approve the removal of his wife and children.
And 56 days prior to the “end of the war”, Biden ordered US forces to leave Bagram Airfield on July 5, leaving behind usable Black Hawks, guns, ammo, vehicles, airplanes and more. It’s said the helicopters and planes will become unusable due to the lack of training and spare parts. But with the Taliban meeting with China’s Foreign Minister Yi, I’m sure they can help.
On July 8 Biden said “I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and ... more competent in terms of conducting war.” That was the reason the equipment was left.
Now they are saying the equipment is unusable. So why leave it?
The only truth Biden has stated is his admission he didn’t trust the Taliban.
Patti Walker,

Letters to the Editor
August 25, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion
Afghanistan II
Martin asserted last week that "Joe Biden sold us out for nothing!" I believe that Martin was incorrect. The withdrawal at any cost was the brainchild of then-President Trump in an agreement in which the Taliban "rolled" the US. It is a remarkable document and is available on the internet.
Trump's negotiations with terrorist Taliban culminated in an Agreement in February 2020 entitled, “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and the United States of America.” The US-supported Afghani government with whom we had fought side-by-side for nearly 20 years, and our NATO allies, were not even parties to the Agreement. But a non-state terrorist insurgent was.
I was, then, horrified to watch Trump on Saturday in Alabama praising the Taliban for being "great fighters" and great negotiators." As a testament to the Taliban's prowess at the negotiating table, Trump agreed to release 5000 of their fighters and induced Pakistan to free from prison Mullah Baradar, an Afghan militant and co-founder of the Taliban in Afghanistan, as part of the "Deal." The terms include "protection" for US soldiers, but not the Afghani allies. Though these concessions were bitterly disputed by the Afghani government, Trump sold out our allies and provided the Taliban with a roadmap for our surrender.
While "Mr. Dealmaker" was congratulating himself in Alabama, Bush 43 was issuing a disgusting expression of "sorrow" at the way we left Afghanistan. He and his war-thirsty Neocon minions, including Cheney and Rumsfeld, were hell-bent on invading Afghanistan, though by the time we invaded that country Osama bin Laden had long escaped to Pakistan. And we had no plan for withdrawal.
There is no question that the withdrawal could have and should have been far more strategic. Our allies, the translators and other support personnel, should have been rounded up six weeks ago from outlying regions and put on planes to a place certain. NATO should have been consulted. The terrible withdrawal terms were negotiated by Trump. The execution by the Biden administration is one of heartrending chaos. But no administration involved in this irresponsible and unwinnable experience lacks accountability, at wildly varying degrees.
Now, cable news outlets are breathlessly interviewing the hounds of war: John Bolton and other belligerents, pundits with untarnished histories of being wrong, and Petraeus and other former military who now are ensconced on corporate boards. The same people who 20 years ago told us how successful the occupation would be, then how success was imminent, are now gravely, sagely censuring Biden for Afghanistan.
When will Americans refuse to let our leaders use deceit and fear-mongering ("weapons of mass destruction!") and ill-placed revenge (if we were going to attack the country which provided the 9/11 terrorists, it would have been Saudi Arabia, but that country was too valuable to us) in order to bully us into false wars? Wars that have nation-building hubris and military-industrial complex profits as their purpose rather than defense?
Now, we owe it to the Afghanis who believed our promises of support, and helped keep our soldiers - our children - alive or safer than they would have been, at great danger to themselves. They may have helped save the life of a military person you love. They have earned a place in our country and in the countries of allies. These people are not strangers to us. We owe them. And the world is watching to see how we treat our allies.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
We’re approaching the September 14 Recall election and I think it’s important to know some facts so you can make a sound decision. I’ve tried to “fact check” these. Searched for reasons to keep Newsom and reasons for him to go. I found the former was much more difficult than the latter. I vote not along party lines, but on platform. Who represents us should represent us, the citizens, not a political party. Anyway, here is what I found.
According to the LA Times here are the reasons not to recall Newsom:
While he (1) fumbled at times while leading the state during the COVID pandemic; (2) made some poor personal and policy choices; (3) public communication has been unclear or confusing on occasion; (4) he’s alienated political allies unnecessarily; (5) changed course on the pandemic abruptly and sometimes mysteriously; and finally (6) the largest fraud of public money in state history happened under his watch. But they ask, are these shortcomings grounds to recall him in “favor of an untested replacement”?
And as Newsom said in his Recall Argument, “The recall is an attempt by national Republicans
... to force an election and grab power in California.”
And to see how the first time governor did, here are the answers to the test, these are some reasons to vote to recall Newsom:
(1) massive executive orders – acting without legislature approval; (2) mandatory mail-in voting;
(3) on-going shutdowns, (4) loss of small businesses, loss of jobs; (5) unemployment checks to prisoners/felons in the amount of $500 million; (6) over $30 billion in unemployment agency fraud; (7) $80 million on billboard “education” plan to remind people to social distance; (8) granting clemency for felons: those who raped and murdered, even committed heinous crimes against children (that’s why he can close prisons); (9) homeless rate in CA is out of control; (10)infringing on the 2nd Amendment and put in place new gun and ammo laws; (11) Sanctuary State of illegals and criminals; (12) illegal aliens can now sit on state boards; (13) CA has the highest state income tax in the USA; (14) vaccination of children required or be fined; (15) mandatory health insurance or be find; (16) $98 million a year to provide health insurance to illegal immigrants; (17) overruling vote of the people to reinstate the death penalty (whether you believe in the penalty or not, it was the vote of the people); (18) spent $5.4 billion for the bullet train going nowhere; (19) over $1 trillion in state debt; (20) cut water to thousands of farms; (21) failed to pay his own property taxes, again; (22) 4% salary increase for Newsom and state lawmakers in 2019; 10% pay cut to all state employees in 2020. Newsom and state lawmakers still making 6% more making Newsom the highest paid governor in the USA; (23) $12 million spent on the Sleep Train Arena to treat 9 COVID patients; (24) enacted statewide rent control when it was voted down in the 2020 election; (25) seeking a $1 trillion collateralized loan from China; and (26) redirected gas tax money from roads and highways to railways.
Always good to be an informed voter.
Patti Walker,

Letters to the Editor
August 18, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion
I have responded to Dave Johnson’s I Didn’t Care manifesto but Martin, doing his job as editor, pointed out it grew to be quite a long column even if published in two parts. I thought the concerns Dave expressed were very representative of a part of our population. Perhaps another time.
“The Afghan War is Over.” We should be thrilled. Except for the terrible scenes of the withdrawal, the stunningly swift images of the Taliban taking over city after city, and surrounding even Kabul (nearly the size of Los Angeles). We, as Americans, did not expect or want to see such things, our troops who are fighting and have fought thought the outcome would be much different. Heaven knows, I am no military or strategic expert, but like anyone else I have my memory of events and observations of this tragic undertaking. .
We invaded Afghanistan precipitously. The Bush administration and the Neocons cited Afghanistan’s refusal to “turn over” Osama bin Laden (OBL) to the U.S. days after 9/11 as grounds for invasion, but the truth was that the then-leader required proof that bin Laden was involved. This “proof” (“white paper”) was promised repeatedly by the Bush administration but was never produced. The U.S. government’s case against OBL was insufficient for legal prosecution or diplomatic options but was good enough to take the country to war, a war that killed or maimed countless people who had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. Not to mention our own troops. The US never did find OBL in Afghanistan, as he quickly escaped to Pakistan. But Iraq, practically next door, was our real target (though with even less reason for attack based on 9/11). The troops and equipment were there, and there was no Plan B for withdrawal. We would introduce western policing and culture to Afghanistan and give them a basis for a more democratic government and make our invasion far more palatable to America. Both political parties, with very, very few exceptions, went along with it.
I remember hearing a military analyst in 2002 who said that Afghanistan was not at all like Iraq (this was news to me). It was still comprised almost entirely of unconsolidated tribes of multiple religions who really had no allegiance to each other. He thought that looking to Afghanistan as a “country” was a western misconception. The idea of subduing other tribes was unknown to them but they were historically excellent at subduing intruders, the last being the Russians. Still, we persisted. But we were working against the culture.
Then-president Trump signed an agreement in September 2020 for our withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. His offer to meet with the Taliban at Camp David was quickly nixed by his administration. But the date was determined and notice given. President Biden had a choice when the dates were in sight: honor the agreement and withdraw, or refuse to go and continue our pointless war in Afghanistan. He chose the former.
Why the Biden administration did not do a better job of removing all the Afghan translators and support personnel, I wait to hear. It had better be a good reason. Based on what we know about the tribal structure of Afghanistan, it should have come as no surprise to us, and it is no wonder, that the Taliban cut through and regained the country as they did. They are not “intruders.” They have been there all along.
Kelly Scoles,

Letters to the Editor
August 11, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
Covid Precautions.
Anxious as I am to address Dave Johnson’s manifesto, what’s going on in the country with regard to Covid will have to take precedence this week. For all the people who find Fauci and others inconsistent in their evaluation and recommendations concerning the virus, think back to your biology class and the nature of a virus. It mutates, and mutates, and…well, you get the idea. A world-wide malignant virus with inconsistent handling in different countries creates variants, so the response and protections will change, too. Unfortunately, it's far from over.
I find so many things stunning about people’s refusal to wear a mask, not to mention to take the Covid vaccine. There is precedent for people refusing vaccination for smallpox (which only came under complete control when cities required people to take them in the 1930’s), primarily because of the misinformation that abounded even back then. People who will ingest tobacco, liquor, Cheetos, Fritos, pork rinds, sausages, various substances medicinal and otherwise, frequent barbecue, etc., rail against ”tainting” their bodies with a life-saving drug. My Life! My Freedom! Your Whatever! How about we have an “assumption of the risk” card, or hat, so that when the unvaccinated end up in the hospital fighting for their lives from Covid, they fall to the back of the line for care. It’s only fair. They got the freedom they wanted; unfortunately they also took the risk. They failed to take responsibility for themselves and were indifferent to others when the remedy was so simple and available.
Parents who have resisted giving their infants vaccination or injections of up to 17 different drugs at one time and who, instead, require that the medications be given in periodic doses, I agree. One little, tiny liver or kidney should not have to process all that stuff at once.
A couple of things are strikingly strange about the refusal. It is the radical right news outlets, Repo elected officials, and Trump, who make this an issue. All of them have had the vaccine, both doses. Trump took it, even though he had (barely) survived the virus in 2020. He still won’t recommend it. Making sure for himself. You, not so much. Hannatee, Tucky, Angerham; they’ve all been vaccinated. Sean was indignant on the radio last week because restaurants in NYC are requiring proof of vaccination for service. Unbelievable infringement of personal rights!! The “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” sign? No problem.
Governor Ron DePsycho (R-FL) is barring school districts in the state from enacting mask mandates required by local school districts, proving that he does not trust the judgment of locally elected officials to do what they believe best for their communities. He calls that "freedom." He is fighting to sink lower than Trump and a lot of people, though concerned about the vast amount of oxygen necessary for such an undertaking, have money on the kid. Meanwhile, Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-MO) is begging his legislators to return to session and reverse the “no mask” laws, as his state is awash in the Delta variant. He sees dead people everywhere.
Governor Abbott (R-TX), having sold the State’s energy services to the ministrations of a private company which resulted in freezing constituents last winter (Ted “Daddy” Cruz was saved by a kidnapping to Cancun), signed new TX legislation in which businesses that require customers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 will be denied state contracts and could lose their licenses or operating permits (where is the freedom there?). And today, the reports from TX are staggering in new cases and lack of hospital beds. This, after a busy month making voting far more difficult for minorities in particular, though no widespread fraud was found during the election in November. We all know it's not about "voter fraud."
The thing I find additionally and incredibly offensive is that these people who will not wear a mask or take a vaccine as a gross violation of their rights and privacy, demand the right to insist that a woman carry a fetus within her body when she chooses not to. She has no privilege over her body, but they do over theirs and they are willing to die (until they are found "with virus" and want medical intervention) or let others do so. Also, do they understand that most of the naysayers are Republicans? Likely Repo voters? Apparently not.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
What has become of this great nation, the United States of America? I expressed my concerns in a previous letter to the Gazette warning that the election of Biden was disastrous for our country.
Where are the current leaders of our federal government, the Democrats, or of we’re going to be calling groups or individuals names like one other letter contributor does, let’s call them “Demolitioncrats”.
I haven’t written a letter to the Gazette in a while. Not that I haven’t cared or have not had something I wanted to say. It’s mostly been that the paper is only printed once a week and by the time Tuesday comes around there has been much too much to say! So I’ll start with “The Boarder Crisis”.
And it is just that. And don’t point to Trump, because the numbers crossing our boarder are the highest seen in nearly 20 years. If you’re not aware, not all come from the triangle countries in South America. Some are taking planes and come from Eastern Europe and Asia as noted by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). That in itself shows that they are not fleeing out of fear of violence but want a better, job, income, and life. It does show that the consequences now involve national security.
Over 210,000 migrants were let into our country in the month of July alone. In the Texas Rio Grande Valley agents encountered 78,000 in July, 59,000 in June and 51,000 in May. In July that area saw a 900% increase in COVID cases and 30% of the migrants are refusing to be vaccinated.
Keep in mind those numbers do not include crossers who are detected by surveillance technology but are not apprehended, or the “got-aways,” as the CBP calls them. In fact, some officers of the CBP call Biden “Let ‘Em Go Joe”. I’d laugh, but it’s not funny.
And where are they going? There are so many that the government has flown or bused them throughout the US, to Florida, Arizona, Virginia, California, New Mexico, and Oklahoma to name a few. Most are unaware they’ve come as they are turned over to nonprofits, like Catholic Charities, who house them in hotels without supervision, allowing them to flow freely through those communities.
So where does that leave the honest, tax paying US citizen? How can one remain loyal to our way of life, our laws, our government, when our government isn’t loyal to us?
Patti Walker,

Letters to the Editor
August 4, 2021

Second Opinion.
January 6 Hearings, etc., August 4, 2021.
Although many Congressional Republicans have stated that they will not watch the House’s January 6 Select Committee Hearing, I hope that every American will take the opportunity to watch as much of the Hearing as possible.
On Tuesday last, some of the Capitol Police officers testified before the Committee. They appeared to be nearly as upset about the way the Republican Senate has dismissed their efforts and injuries after January 6 as they were about the violence of the mob.
They had not expected the congressional Repos to minimize their exercise of duty or physical or mental injuries. There are very few men, particularly in law enforcement, who can be induced to admit mental harm in the performance of duty.
They reported seeing tactical gear, goggles, flag poles, sticks, bear spray, and fire extinguishers used as weapons. One officer reported that many guns were confiscated in DC, in the days leading up to January 6, from people who were later identified as part of the insurrection. Military tactics were used by members of the crowd to advance on the Capitol.
It was their professional opinion that the riot was pre-planned. A post-incitement-rally warm-up crowd comprised of Rep.Mo Brooks (R-AL), Don Jr. and his operatic girlfriend, and others were waiting at the Capitol and had alerted the press to their presence.
Officers reported that the mob of several thousands was almost exclusively Caucasian males, mostly middle-aged though younger people were present. A Caucasian officer said the mob was comprised nearly exclusively of Trump supporters. He recognized the goading cheers, threats, and slogans because he had voted for Trump. Officers reported that black colleagues were repeatedly called “ni*ger.” The officers saw no evidence of the presence of Black Lives Matter or Antifa.
The videos that have already been presented are testament to the actual intent of the mob, as is the testimony of the law enforcement officers present on the scene. Makeshift gallows on the Capitol lawn, the scene of the VP escaping down the back stairs to avoid capture with the military aide carrying the nuclear codes following closely, broken furniture and windows, attempts to breach the House Floor, and demands that the Speaker of the House show herself. This was later described by Republicans as a "peaceful protest" and just a "normal tourist visit." One officer suffered a heart attack when he was tortured by the crowd pushing on a door across his chest.
The Repos were quick to accuse the officers of “acting.” The Tweedle Troll Twins, AngerHam and Tucky, gave awards for the “best performance.” This is the Party of “Law and Order?” I guess that’s only true when it is invoked for their causes. Why on earth would Fox be willing to sink so low? Because they expect that their audience will believe them, no matter how preposterous the accusation. They've done it before.
Our government was challenged in our Capitol with violence from within, by our own citizens, with the encouragement and support of numerous elected Republican members of Congress, unidentified financial interests, and others as yet unidentified.
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) accused the president of causing the riot, right after they voted against impeachment on January 13, 2021. Now, they cannot recall.
We now know that then-President Trump pressed acting AG Rosen and other top DOJ officials to declare the election “failed” even though no widespread fraud had been found, so that he and his Congressional allies could try to overturn the election results. If he couldn't win honestly Trump, as he always has, claimed that everyone else was corrupt. And he is perfectly fine with tearing the country apart to get his way.
After reading Martin’s editorial last week, perhaps he and I should review the intent of this column as he suggested. I thought it was to raise questions about the country, Martin’s editorial comments, or comments from the Gazette's readers.
I read Martin's KKK comment as incendiary, but he has said a lot of things that have set my hair afire. He believes that my interpretation of his sarcasm was unfair. I am happy to express my regret in finding a meaning he did not intend. There is enough pain in the country as it is.
I was moved to recall a mantra in my communications course: say or write what you mean, and mean what you say or write. Once an author puts a statement into the public realm, it is in the audience's hands, and the chance at clarity expires. From experience, I have learned that the use of sarcasm is always risky. I would think double that for a comment on vigilante racism. As we have seen, reactions can be visceral.
Kelly Scoles,

Letters to the Editor
July 28, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion: Last Week's Letters to the Editor. July 28, 2021.
I am going to discontinue my political history series, as it has occurred to me that if a lot of people do not agree with my opinions, they are unlikely to want to know how I got them. Besides, the Letters to the Editor (LTTE) last week are too compelling to resist.
I want to thank Dave Johnson for sharing I Never Cared. I have long sought a manifesto of the Far Right’s fears and objectives, and I agree with you that the entry is as good as I have seen. I have it up on my office wall as we speak. Rest assured; it will turn up in subsequent columns.
Racism, sexism, and poverty in a capitalistic society, and how they are reflected in law, are living and appropriate subjects for discussion, certainly law students. Black people were freed in the ratified 13th Amendment and became full citizens. And now they actually want to be treated as such under the law! The gall; or as the "grim soldiers of white supremacy" would say, "so unAmerican."
Your White Guilt and Resentment was in full flower in your response to Pablo Bezan, Martin. To treat a human being as chattel is immoral in anybody's world. Slavery is and always has been an offense against humanity, no matter the era, its acceptability at the time, its long historical practice, its economic advantages, what the Old Testament says about it, who perpetrates it, or where or when. Or the color of the enslaver’s skin. In this country, slavery and racism can be attributed mostly to white people and generally it’s white people who resent the discussion and reminders; the discussion in other countries will vary. Don’t try to obfuscate the issue with, “Look over there! Shiny, sparkly gimcrackery! Something exotic or confounding that will either lead the discussion down a gopher hole, or prove we are not accountable!" "What about the Aztecs?” Ye gods.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry over Martin’s question to Pablo, “Are you saying there was nothing good about the KKK?” Yes, Martin, there was nothing good about the KKK. That you would ask the question gave me more pause than anything I have heard in…well, ever. The KKK (a self-selecting social and vigilante organization turned viciously racist) threatened and murdered people. They burned down Black houses and sometimes whole villages. They lynched people. They dragged young men by noose behind wagons through the streets until their parents could no longer recognize them. As people, the Klan may have been good to their Mamas, but nothing can save them from condemnation, not even the Republican desire to rewrite history.
Leslie: I don’t know you. I like sarcasm as well as the next person and have been known to exercise it on occasion. Your letter was either sarcasm gone awry or an inartful lament. If it was the latter, I'm sorry. However, if you were pretending to care while you were setting up a punchline of the futility of some lives, it escapes from sarcasm or irony and leaps over the fence to hostility, IMO.
You appear to say that you see the value in Planned Parenthood, unless it serves LGBTQ persons. Whatever their reason for being there, those were young people who are trying to figure out, as all young people must, who they are and how they will live their lives. Many have concerns and challenges you will never know. If you can’t or won’t help, fine, but please don’t minimize them. Fortunately, while they probably would appreciate your compassion or understanding, they do not require it.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
Response to Pablo Ivan Bazan letter 14 July.
In Mr. Bazan’s letter of 14 July, heputs forward that American Christians are not being ‘Christian’ in their giving, even though the U.S. ranks #1 in the World for charitable giving for the 10th year in a row. Americans gave $361 billion last year to assist the needy&$1.2 trillion American’s tax dollars were used to assist the under-privileged& marginalized(63% of that $1.2 trillion was used to assist ‘people of color’.)Interestingly, Conservative Christians outgive their Progressive counterparts at a ratio of 6:2. It’s not just the wealthy that give, but the middle-class and the poor also give substantially.Countries that give the most in Foreign Aid are; USA, England, France, Germany. All of which have a predominately (70+%) Christian population. As for countries that are among the ‘least’ giving; ChinaTurkey, Pakistan, India(all have less than 3% Christian population. Turkey has almost none.) It looks like Christians, as a group, are not selfish.
Re ourFounding Fathers(Madison, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams),Mr. Bazan theorizes thatthey ‘were not Christians’and that their authored papers ‘were far removed from Judeo/Christianvalues’.
It’s pertinent thatJames Madison was baptized in the Episcopal (Church of England)Church and attended a small Presbyterian Grammar School (Donald Robertson School) where he became fluent in Latin & Greek. Afterwards he attended Princeton College, where he was tutored in Bible Theology by Presbyterian Clergyman, John Witherspoon, who also signed the Declaration of Independence. [Madison’ s degrees were in Hebrew & Ethics.] It’s certain that Madison studied the Bible in its early languages of Hebrew, Greek& Latinas did all the learned men of his day. Madison had a passion for Religious Liberty and fought hard for ‘Liberty of Conscience’(Freedom of Religion, not ‘freedom from religion’). When he protested thatBaptist pastors were being wrongly jailed fortheir unconventional religious practices --he succeeded. They were released and charges were dropped. It’s well known that Madison ‘accepted Christian tenets and kept aBiblical World View’. During his Presidency, Madison & his family attended St. John’s Episcopal Church. A church where partaking in the Lord’s Super is foremost. Madison’sMemorial gravesite in Orange County, VA, is tended by The Daughters of the AmericanRevolution (DAR). Their motto is: ‘God, Family Country’.
Let’s look at Benjamin Franklin. He always viewed Jesus as the ‘best teacher of all’. Franklin was baptized &raised with Puritan / Calvinist beliefs, he later became anEpiscopalian. His favorite sister was a ferventChristian Evangelist. His long-time friend&business partner was ReverendGeorge Whitefield. Whitefield was a founder of the Methodist Church and is considered the most influential Evangelist of the 18th Century. (His preaching reached millions across 2 continents& Franklin published his sermons regularly.) Some of Franklin’s last words were, “The longer I live,the more I see convincing proof that it is God and his Truth that governs the affairs of men.” Franklin regularly attended Christ Church, Philadelphia (Episcopal) with his family. When Franklin died, he had his funeral there and was buried in the Church Cemetery.
As for Thomas Jefferson, he strongly denounced atheism. [To John Adams he once wrote, “to the God whom you and I adore.”] Jefferson regularly gave financial support to the Virginia Bible Society, that provided King James Bibles to the poor. He felt strongly that no American family should go without a Bible, simply because they could not afford one. Jefferson said… ‘there never was a morepure& sublime system of moralitydelivered to Man than is to be found by the four Evangelists” (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Jefferson was baptized in the Church of England (Episcopal) and was buried by the Church. Hewas adamant in Jesus’ core teachings and on more than one occasion, he unabashedly stated, “I am a Christian. I am a disciple of thedoctrines of Jesus.” Sometimes he would say, “I am a real Christian.” He said, “I am sincerely attached toJesus’ Doctrines, in preference above all others.” During his Presidency, Jefferson attended Capitol Church (non-denominational Christian chapel located inside of the Capitol Bldg) twice a week. While in attendance, he knelt & prayed to God, he sang Christian Hymns, did Bible readings and listened to Bible Lessons.
John Adams, happened to be anenthusiastically, self-described ‘life-long student of The Church’. He went so far as to call himself a “Church-going Animal for 76 years!”He was a life-long member of United First Parish Church (Puritan Congregationalist- later, Unitarian Universalist). That was also the Church of John Hancock (first signer of the Declaration of Independence)where his Father, Reverend John Hancock Sr. was the Pastor. In his younger years, Adams attended Harvard College where he was a serious student of Bible Theology. He had the strong desire to go into the Ministry, but later decided not to.
It’s noteworthy that the wives of each of these men were Christians. Dolley,Deborah, Martha&Abigail. Each of these women,were baptized, attended Church of England (Episcopal), raised (most, if not all) their children in the Churchand these women were buried by The Church. [Dolley Madison was raised in the Quaker Church, but converted to Episcopalian upon her marriage to Madison.] John Adams and Benjamin Franklin are both buried in Christian Church Cemeteries.Thomas Jefferson requested a ChristianMinister at his funeral as did James Madison.] In addition, each of the above Founding Fathers got their higher education from Classical ChristianColleges;Princeton, Boston Latin School, William & Mary, Harvard College respectively.
Although, we know that none of these ‘credentials’ makes one a Christian, because faith in God/Jesus is a ‘condition of the heart’ and no one can know the heart of a Man. However, it isplausible that these Founding Father’s hearts were turned toward God the Father, the Biblical God, the Christian God. One couldin good conscience, say that they were /are Christians.Simple deduction concludes that their Christian faith and/or their close association with Judeo/Christianvaluesweighed heavily in their shaping of our Country’s Declaration of Independence, our Constitution& our Bill of Rights.
And for all that, I can say that I am truly grateful. Who knew that these Deists of long ago were so amazingly godly?!
Leslie G. Marshall,

Letters to the Editor
July 21, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion
Martin, you are of course free to comment at will on my column, but this short (but getting longer) series is about how I came to believe what I do, which will become clear only when I am finished. Many people won't care, which is fine. But these are my impressions, and I am finding that the recollections are far more intense and complicated than I had realized. You can take a rest from me, for the present, if you choose.
To recap, conversely in more detail, the 1960's-70's saw three major history-changing movements in America. Civil unrest resulting from multiple assassinations (JFK, RFK and MLK) where leaders of change were shown to be fatally vulnerable, merged with the protests against the Vietnam War. The brutality of the police when the Chicago Seven demonstrated against the Vietnam War outside the Democratic National Convention in July, 1968, shocked even people who had approved The War. An isolationist movement began to take form. An "Us vs. Them," based upon political position, was emerging.
The second other huge shift was the Civil Rights Act, which addressed race as a critical issue in American society. The reaction of the South and many in the North to Brown vs. Board of Education and other SCOTUS decisions, legislation and enforcement thereof, was one of bitterness and hatred. Violence, threats, and murder, were common. High-powered water hoses, truncheons, spit, epithets and dogs were used to intimidate against and racial equality. A church with children in it was burned. But we are a country of laws, and the laws were changing to recognize that Blacks were equal partners in citizenship, and now they wished to be treated as such. "Those people" were trying to change the white America to its highest ideals on race despite resistance. "Us vs. Other" history based clearly upon race was reinforced.
The third movement was the Feminist Movement. To put it succinctly, many women in the 1950's, having survived WWII by assuming jobs men had previously done (and been paid for!) did not want to return, forever, to the kitchen. Maybe wait until the kids were grown. Or go to college and prepare for a challenging professional career, or possibly not get married at all. The daughters of these women were absolutely committed. The resistance to them was as predictable as it was futile. Women persisted. And, there were benefits: many families could no longer live on the salary of one spouse and to keep up their standard of living; two salaries were required. The male assumption of women's secondary status was partially disarmed, but the wish to control women remained.
Society was irretrievably altered when the many stresses and or cracks in our large and complex society began to show, even though the economy was generally solid, and the country settled into an uneasy re-calibrated "normal." Our expectation that we were "the greatest country on earth" began to change from a hope to an order. You weren't considered by many to be "patriotic" if you didn't insist on it. But (except for Ali) "greatness" is bestowed by the judgment of other people. If you have to insist that you are "the greatest," you probably aren't.
LBJ (D-TX) wisely declined to run for reelection in 1968 (running a war and building "A Great Society" were at financial and moral odds). He tirelessly pushed the Civil Rights Act, though he predicted that the Democrats would lose the South for generations, as they did. Hubert Humphrey, a good but uncharismatic man, was so lost in the clamor that the voters were willing to install Richard Nixon (R-CA) in the presidency.
Everyone knew "Tricky Dicky" was a charmless, bitter, isolated and needy individual, but we did not know how far he would go to subvert the law and tarnish his office to keep himself in power. He resigned in disgrace, and the humiliation caused the Republican Party to look for a savior to erase Dick. Someone who knew how to communicate and deliver the goods. Someone who had "it" and could sell it. Someone who had star quality and was a champion and darling of corporations. And they had been nurturing such a salesman at General Electric (GE) for some time.
Ronald Reagan was as highly underrated as an actor as he was overrated as a man of character. Reagan became president because of his all-American, open-faced good looks, his toned "aw shucks" half-smile, his ability to learn and recite lines and make them believable, his impeccable timing in delivery, his resolute wife, Nancy, his willingness to abandon the values of his childhood and absorb the values of his corporate handlers, and the financial doldrums of 1980. His speech on behalf of a doomed Barry Goldwater in 1964 knocked it out of the convention center. A star was born.
More Reagan, Clinton and Gingrich.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
Why CRT is important:
Recently Texas legislators introduced a bill that would eliminate "the history of white supremacy", including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong." This is probably one of the most blatantly racist moves to come out of Texas in recent years. This effectively removes the mention of what the right would consider objective racism out of textbooks in Texas, and can potentially whitewash history in the rest of the country considering how large a market for textbooks Texas is. Pay attention to the last wording, "in ways in which it is morally wrong." If this isn't sounding any alarms to you, there's an issue because this implies that they consider that these have morally right characteristics. How better to combat this blatant racism than by educating on the true extent of racism in the US, especially through CRT, which teaches how laws have been used to further racist agendas. That's right ladies and gentlemen, CRT is not a grade school curriculum, rather it's a law school level course that specifically explores how laws are tied to racism, contrary to what a lot of people believe. From the actions of Texas state legislators, it is obvious the CRT must be expanded into a study of American racism as we are facing a clear erasure of such more so when reading that they consider that there is moral righteousness to racism.
- Pedro Ivan Bazan,
Santa Paula, Ca
Microbiology , University of California, Los Angeles


To the Editor:
I enjoyed the Art Show at the Fillmore Pride Resource Fair on 27 June. The titles of some of the pieces were, ‘Anger’, ‘Greed’, ‘Gluttony’, ‘Lust’. I thought that the artist did a good job of expressing some dark emotions. I thought it a poignant ‘nod’ to the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ of which ‘Pride‘ is one. [My take away was, that the artist was asking the question, ‘Is ‘Pride’ really a sin!?]
While viewing the Art Show, I noticed that Planned Parenthood (PP) was manning a booth. It got me wondering what Planned Parenthood was offering (mostlyyoung adults) at the Pride ResourceFair. I learned that PP is pioneering a new model of Reproductive Health Services for Los Angeles County teens. They plan to open up ‘50’ clinics at area High Schools. This will provide abortion services for girls w/o parental consent or parental notification. The Clinics will also provide services for ‘GenderAffirming Medical Treatments’. For students that have a diagnosis of ‘Gender Dysphoria’ (distress of sex-assigned-at-birth, or neither identify as male or female). While PP is unable to administerpuberty blockers&hormone replacementor perform Gender Affirming Surgeries for students under age 16, they will refer students to UCLA Gender Health Program or UCSF Child & Adolescent Gender Center Clinic (which medically treats children from age 03).Their Gender Affirming MedicalProtocolconsists of; puberty blockers, mastectomies, hysterectomies, testosterone treatments, phaloplasty for birth-assigned females, and puberty blockers, penectomies, facial surgery, tracheal shaves, breast implants, vaginoplasty for birth-assigned males.
Interestingly, Planned Parenthood,along with Sexual Information & Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has devised a curriculum for Public Schools, K-12, called Comprehensive Sexual Education. SIECUS was founded by Dr. Mary Calderon, an associate and mentee of Dr. Alfred Kinsey. Dr. Kinsey (long-discredited sexologist) was a bisexual, sado-masochist. [For research purposes, he solicited pedophiles to record sexual responses of infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, teens.]
True to Kinsey’s raison de vivre, the emphasis of Comprehensive Sexual Education (Gov. Newsom mandate by Executive Order) Curriculum is ‘how children can have sexual pleasure either with a partner or alone’. [Kindergarteners are learning the word ‘masturbation’ and learning which part of their bodies feel ‘good’ when touched. Second graders learn that this same act can be performed w/ a partner. In brief, all forms of sexual pleasure, with a consensual person, is ‘normal’ and to be ‘enjoyed’ by children].
Truly concerned about over-all well-being, I then thought to look up Health Statistics for LGBTQA+ adults. The CDC reports...suicide ideationup to 65%, suicide attemptsup to 33%, depressionup to 60%, anxiety 58%, substance abuse 46%, HIV/AIDS 67%, (Lesbian) obesity 75%, tobacco useup to 74%. [Note:Gender Affirming hormone treatment, for smokers, increases chance of blood clots, stroke, heart disease.]
I guess I should be appreciative that Planned Parenthood, such a knowledgeable &caring organization, was there that hot summer day for our Fillmore Students. After all, there is scant chance that they will ever experience a fully productive & healthy adulthood.
Leslie G. Marshall,


To the Editor:
I received the following commentary from a good friend. Although I do not know the name of the author I find everything he says to be absolutely true. I agree completely and have had enough of the race baiting and political correctness being shoved in our face. Enough is enough.
Dave Johnson,

I believe more and more people are starting to feel the way I do.
I never cared if you were “gay” or whatever acronym you chose to call yourself, until you started shoving it down my throat.
I never cared what color your skin was, until you started blaming me for your problems.
I never cared about your political affiliation, until you started to condemn me for mine.
I never cared where you were from in this great Republic, until you began condemning people based on where they were born and the history that makes them who they are.
I have never cared if you were well off or poor, because I’ve been both . . . until you started calling me names for working hard to make a better life for myself.
I’ve never cared if your beliefs are different than mine, until you said my beliefs are wrong.
I’ve never cared if you didn’t like guns, until you tried to take my guns away.
Now . . . I care.
I’ve given all the tolerance I have to give. This is no longer my problem. It’s your problem. You can still fix it. It’s not too late. But it needs to be soon.
I’m a very patient person. But I’m running out of patience. There are literally Tens of Millions of people just like me that are sick of all the Anti-American crap !
I’ve always cared about life, and all lives, but now you try to force the notion on me and other fellow citizens and patriots that certain lives matter more than others. You protest, riot, attack, burn, and loot. Your so-called “movement” has become a radical out-of-control bunch of thugs, criminals, and anarchists who are intent on destroying our Country.
The masses have had enough! America is the greatest country on Earth, and if you don’t like America then we invite you to leave. We are done caring about your misguided “feelings.”
You don’t have the right to enjoy American freedoms if you are trying to take that right away from me or other Americans.
Please pass it on if you CARE!

Letters to the Editor
July 14, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
I am not an historian. I am reexamining, through the lens of my memory, what has happened to the social and political life in our country. It is going to take more than one column to do this, probably four, and it won't necessarily be in chronological order. I hope you can hang in there with me and, when I'm through, I sincerely hope you will tell me what you think. If you are heavily aggrieved, you are of course welcome to comment at any time.
I did not recognize many events of my lifetime (since circa 1950; okay, 1945) as being significant, or I see them differently now from when they were unfolding. I did not realize that as the post-war period progressed, the bonds of relief, common purpose and experience, sometimes the memories of friends in terrible battles, as well as the struggles of families to keep the "fires burning" at home were loosening rapidly, naturally enough. In a country our size, expectable divisions arose as people pursued their own goals. But I discovered later that some of the divisions were purposely nurtured and encouraged even then, until they matured into the critical political virus that plagues our constitutional republic today.
The USA had not suffered the bombings and destruction experienced by Europe and the Axis powers in the War. Consequently, the incredible growth of our economy, following WWII, grew three generations of people with high standards of living compared to the rest of the world. We were audacious in our plans to make our country the most successful, righteous, richest, most accomplished, most acquisitive and, most importantly, the most complacent nation on earth.
In the 1950's President Eisenhower, using our taxes and labor, built a vast network of highways and then-governor Pat Brown did the same in California. Commerce and travel boomed our higher education system rivaled any other. But it costs a lot to be the super-power of the world. With our taxes, we all supported the roads, bridges, schools, dams and water systems, other public facilities and, necessarily but probably too heavily, the military..
The 1950's and 60's were a "golden age" for some, especially those who were benefiting from this historical economic boon. But WWII had not just been won; it changed the culture. Women's expectations had changed. Returning black servicemen were not about to subject themselves and their families to the racism rampant in the country after having heroically defended it. Black leaders emerged who would not make nice and accept another generation of African-Americans denied their rights under the Constitution. President Truman, a southerner and sensitive to the feelings of his fellow Missourians, nevertheless desegregated the armed services. It was clear that the time had come to confront racism in a new, truthful, and more vigorous way.
At the same general time, a series of assassinations in the 1960's rocked us, the emerging Civil Rights battles caused resentment, anger and fear in many people, and the Vietnam War caused the college-aged children of WWII veterans and others to reject the hegemony and lies of the government regarding military facts and the morality of that conflict inflicted by both political parties.
After enormous loss of life and treasure and faith in governmental transparency, the Vietnam War eventually subsided, and life was returned to "normal" for most Americans. Vietnam soldiers disappeared except when they refused to do so, College Vietnam protesters got jobs on Wall Street. The USA went to the moon! More homeless people appeared on the streets. The Great Society's plans to move people out of poverty were aborted by the costs of Vietnam and the resistance of none other than the "inspirational" Richard Nixon. And, of course, the somnolent inactivity of the Democratic Party. Presidents came and went.
People were rocked by the 1960's and 70's, but they were still optimistic or working hard at it by the 1980's. Once Vietnam was "behind us" and the Civil Rights Act signed, nothing but outrageous fashion, hippie sexual activity, and "grass" seemed seriously out of whack to the ordinary white citizen.
Next: Taxes, Reagan, Clinton, Gingrich
Kelly Scoles,


To the editor:
I've seen many people talk about Judeo-Christian values when the United States is far removed from being founded on them. The Declaration of Independence was mostly written by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams, none of whom were Christians, they were Deists. Looking at the Constitution, James Maddison, the principal author, was also a Deist. In fact, the Constitution contains wording that removes religion from state governance, contrasting with the theocracy of the Puritans, one of the major original colonies.
Let's look at what the Bible says about treating others:
Luke 12:33-34 - Sell your possessions and give to the poor.
Luke 3:11 - And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”
Matthew 22:39 - Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Despite what the Bible says, Americans refuse to truly help the poor, claiming that the poor have something wrong with them, that they are lazy and deserve to be poor.
The last line is the most disregarded in the United States. How many natives were killed, black people held as slaves, women treated like second class citizens? How long were people of color tormented by the KKK, and how long until one can love who they want without fear of hate? But sure, the USA is an amazing Christian country (not that Christianity has an amazing record, but that's another letter).
Pedro Ivan Bazan (Microbiology, University of California, Los Angeles)
Santa Paula, Ca


To the Editor:
How is it that Adolf Hitler could manipulate and control the entire German population? Yet that is exactly what he did. There were a few dissenters, but they were quickly subdued by the power of the Nazis ( Nazi is an abbreviation for the national socialist party), people were encouraged to turn in anyone who disagreed, and any one of the Jewish faith.
I was born in France occupied by the Germans, while I remember very little, my dad was a prisoner of war in Germany, I heard my mother speak of the loss of our freedom, the constant presence of fear when people spoke .
I always felt America was preserved from this kind of tyranny, we are a nation who always prided itself on freedom and individuality. But all of a sudden travel was restricted, we were commanded to wear facemasks, voting laws were altered, speech censored by social media, large gatherings forbidden, church attendance also forbidden. In short our civil liberties that we took for granted were taken away. And now we are indoctrinating our children about this "cancel culture" lunacy the FBI is encouraging people to report friends, family that are "radicals" in other word not in line with the extreme leftist government of Biden. All this sounds very familiar, doesn't it?
I hope people are going to wake up and not allow this beautiful country of ours to be taken over by power-hungry left-wing radicals.
Huguette Johnson
Fillmore, Ca


To the Editor:
Recently, the City of Fillmore sponsored and added its logo to an LGBT event on city property. It also cobranded a Zoom webinar series on LGBT Basics 101. The following are comments I made to the City Council during Public Comments on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
My name is Tim Holmgren. I’m a Fillmore resident and I’m speaking on behalf of myself and for Safeguard Fillmore. Many Fillmore residents are not pleased with the direction the City appears to be headed with regard to its support of social issues. They can't understand why the City would involve itself in, and take sides on, what are obvious political issues.
From my perspective, the City is doing what it's doing because there was a voice from some community members and the City wasn't hearing any voices from members of the community to the contrary. Hearing no opposition, the City was almost bound to comply and involve itself.
And, yes…up to now, the rest of the community of Fillmore has been silent. But a quote from history aptly describes where we are today. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the attack was intended to keep the United States from interfering with its planned military actions in Southeast Asia. It did not have the desired effect.
Afterward, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, who planned the attack, is said to have written in his diary, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
Republicans, libertarians and conservatives are the same way. We generally stay away from political fights because we're too busy paying attention to our own lives. We go through life with the feeling, “I’ll leave you alone if you leave me alone.” But, others are not so inclined. In fact, they like to use this opportunity to push and push and trample on our rights and our values
But, like with the attack on Pearl Harbor, when a line is crossed, Republicans, libertarians and conservatives wake up, like that sleeping giant, and they push back. That line has been crossed and it's my mission to motivate that giant to take a stand.LGBT is not really the issue. Neither is CRT, Advanced Sexual Education, BLM, "Defund the Police," the 1619 project or the plethora of other causes and issues.
These are all issues but they’re not the real problem. The real problem is the ideology behind these issues that uses these things as tools to divide.
When the proletariat overthrew the bourgeoisie in 1917, class was used to divide the people by this same ideology. In the US today, though, class is not enough so social issues are used to divide. But the goals are the same and they must be stopped.
Because these various issues are tools in the hands of people who are skilled at using them, this is only a stepping stone. Next month (month after month) and next year (year after year) this ideology will continue to push farther and farther.
What today is having a city sponsored event on public property, tomorrow becomes drag queen reading hour at the public library or twerking in the kindergarten classroom to show children it's OK. And people who oppose it will be called intolerant.
Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Good people tend to remain uninvolved while those who would divide and tear down a society keep pushing and pushing. But there comes a point when they push too far and that line is crossed. When that happens, the good people rise up and push those bent on damaging a desirable way of life back into their hole.
For Fillmore, that line has been crossed. More and more people are volunteering to step up and be heard. The ideology that pits one group against another in order to achieve its goals is unwelcome here. The giant is awake.
Moving forward we, the citizens of the City of Fillmore, respectfully ask that the City formally remove itself from any and all activity or ideology that seeks to divide the people.
As a side note, at the last city council meeting, after a resident spoke her mind, another speaker called that lady a racist simply because she disagreed with the first lady's opinion. When Public Comments are made by community members, other members of the public (and, of course, council members), in the name of good taste, should refrain from calling those people racists or other name calling just because they disagree with you.
I find it alarming how often this happens. And, it is bullying. It is also alarming how this bullying intimidates members of the community and prevents those who would like to speak from making public comments out of the fear of being called these names or being otherwise shamed or losing their business or having their livelihood targeted.
I would hope that the next time this happens during a council meeting, the mayor will stop the speaker and respectfully ask them to refrain from that sort of baiting.
We want to be respectful to people with whom we disagree and we would like for that to be a two-way street.
Tim Holmgren
Former Mayor of Fillmore

Letters to the Editor
July 7, 2021

To the Editor:
Re: Realities editorial July 1, 2021 (online dated June 30).
Why Pride parades? Why a Pride resource fair in Fillmore? Look no further than the mirror for your answer. A direct result of the heterosexual majority’s discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ minority.
The first Pride parade in New York was a response to repeated beatings and arrests of LGBTQIA+ people by police at the Stonewall Inn in lower Manhattan, at a time when the “cure” for LGBTQIA+ people was shock therapy, castration, and lobotomy.
You make primarily two arguments against LGBTQIA+; legal, but mostly theological.
Your legal argument attempts to redefine LGBTQIA+ advocacy as a religion for the purpose of making church-state separation arguments against their use of government facilities, public schools, etc. No. LGBTQIA+ is not a religion. No unchangeable holy book, no definition of a god, and no explanation for existence or what happens when you die. NRA, Sierra Club, US Chamber of Commerce, Coalition for Family Harmony, which offers LGBTQIA+ classes, and Fillmore's One Step A La Vez, which hosted the Pride event on the 27th, all advocacy groups, not religions.
Theology is an unreliable path to truth and morality. Thousands of different religions worldwide, 200 denominations of Christianity in the U.S. alone, all in theological conflict with each other. Catholics and Protestants cannot agree on what's true or moral.
You criticize "LGTQ group-think." Judeo-Christian group-think determined in Exodus 21:20-21 how hard we should beat our slaves (oops), Deuteronomy 25:11-12 requires a woman's hand chopped off if she interferes with two men fighting (oops), and it concluded torture and execution the punishment for anyone who dared read, what theologians deemed, a forbidden version of the Bible translated into English (oops).
You say the "fight" against LGBTQIA+ is worth "dying for." Sounds like the Islamic theology responsible for 9/11. Sacrificing yourself to kill infidels is what Allah commands, and theologically, you cannot say it is wrong or immoral, it is justified in Surah 9:5. The bloodiest behavior occurs when the pious put their theology over their humanity.
If nothing else, your screed confirms theology's core competency, defining exactly who you should hate.
If you don't want Pride parades and resource fairs, again, look no further than the mirror. As long as the pious place their theology over their humanity, asserting LGBTQIA+ people are repugnant, unnatural, abnormal, bizarre, disordered and condemned (all your words), there will be a need for advocacy.
Scott Duckett,


To the Editor:
Dear members of the LGBTIQA community, the publisher of this newspaper cares about your safety, security and well-being. He asked an important question in his editorial last week: “Would the LGBT community reduce "bullying" if they avoided flaunting their often bizarre appearance?”
Clearly, the answer is “yes.” Members of the LGBT community, you can avoid bullying, taunting, name-calling, psychological abuse, abandonment, rejection, banishment, ridicule, beatings, torture, and murder, if you just tone it down. You know, act normal. It’s all up to you.
For those of you who identify as the “L word,” (I shall refrain from using the term, lest some young girl should read it here, become curious, and decide to ditch her boyfriend, get a crewcut, a tattoo, and a Harley), you should try to act more feminine. You know, wear long dresses, grow your hair out, marry a nice young man and have children, see a psychiatrist and wash down fistfuls of anti-depressants with a few gin and tonics before the Sarah and Skippy get home from school.
You guys who think you are “G,” should seek out and emulate icons of masculinity such as the Marlboro Man, Rock Hudson, and the original “G Man,” J. Edgar Hoover. If you can’t imagine marriage with a female, that’s okay, be a happy bachelor. Play the stock market. Take up golf. Wear jackets with patches on the elbows. Smoke tobacco in a pipe. Join a country club and yuck it up with the other fellows over whiskey sours and misogynistic jokes.
Above all, members of the LGBT community, live your life with purpose, and your purpose should be to avoid making the normal (i.e. white, heterosexual) people feel uncomfortable. Remember, conformity equals freedom, individuality equals deviancy, and some of us are more equal than others.
Art Sandford Sr.,
Fillmore, Ca

Letters to the Editor
June 30, 2021

To the Editor:
Re: Annette Sula's letter about Fillmore City Council's Proclamation to Honor & Recognize the Month of June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month.
Annette, Pride Month exists to educate people who are ignorant about LGBTQIA+ people and the bigotry they face in society historically and today. No, LGBTQIA+ people are not mentally ill, they are not sexual deviants, they are not possessed by The Devil. All attributes they were once thought to have.
I'm not an expert, but I’ll try to answer your questions and make clarifications as best I can.
You seem to believe the flyer you received from the city about an opportunity to learn more about LGBTQIA+ people from the nonprofit group Coalition for Family Harmony is some kind of mandate. It's not. It's an offer you can choose to accept or reject. You are not required to do anything.
You were annoyed with the lack of explanation about the content of the classes being offered and not being told what the I, A, and + stand for in the LGBTQIA+ acronym. Maybe you missed it, but the bottom of the flyer provided the name, phone number, and email address of someone you could have contacted to get more info. I found the answers to your questions in just a few minutes using an internet search. FYI, I is for intersex, A is for asexual, and the plus is a catch-all to cover anyone not currently included in the acronym.
You question whether children being exposed to a pride resource fair is acceptable, and if Hollywood were to give the event a rating, what would that rating be. It's every parent's choice to take their children to the event. No one is forcing you or your children to go. In the same way no one is forcing you or your children to go watch Fillmore's annual Christmas parade. I went to the event, and I can report it was rated G.
You seem to be confused about LGBTQIA+ curriculum in public schools. Educating children about the fact that there are LGBTQIA+ people in the world is not social engineering. No one is forcing anyone to be gay or lesbian or anything they are not. To prevent bullying and physical harm coming to LGBTQIA+ students, education is making people aware there are many different gender identities including transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, etc. If you don't like what public school is teaching, homeschooling is always an option.
I’m no legal expert, but I think you're misunderstanding the scope of the Troxel vs Granville case. By my reading, the case seems to be fundamentally about visitation rights. I can't find anywhere where it talks about parents' rights to teach their children about sexuality. I may be wrong. If so, please provide the evidence.
You seem to be confused when you say "…our Constitution guarantees a Govt that is For the People and by the People. It does not say For the People by the Govt." In our democracy, the government is the people. The Govt is not a group of foreigners, not an authoritarian who remains in power, it consists of us, the people.
Similar to the negative behavior and attitudes towards minority groups in America, including Americans of African descent, Chinese descent, Irish descent, etc., LGBTQIA+ people continue to be treated badly by ignorant bigots. Pride Month is working to end this.
By the way, I’m in a minority group. I'm left-handed. Only about 10 percent of the population is left-handed, and over the millennia, society has thought and done horrible things to us. Treated us as if we were mentally ill, sexual deviants, and possessed by The Devil. All attributes we were once thought to have.
Scott Duckett,


To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
Because it's out there and those who speak of it loudest seem to be cynical or misinformed Repo politicos, let's briefly take up Critical Race Theory (CRT). It's a theory studied in law schools since the 1970's that emerged from Critical Legal Studies (lawyers-to-be turning a critical eye on their chosen profession).
During the civil rights era, CRT studied how how racism affects the legal system. Instead of addressing laws which are overtly racist (separate water fountains), the CRT theory considers laws which, when applied, are covertly racist: funding of schools based upon property tax revenues (being poor and black often go together). Or the exclusion in our history of Black, Mexican and Asian people (we can take up women's disappearance from history another time).
CRT is an evolving theory (theories always are) which considers race the product of social thought and not biology. It posits that racism is such a central issue in our country that it has permeated systems and institutions, like the legal system, to reproduce racial inequality. Law students recognized back then, and now, that the law can be used to maintain an unjust social order.
In PA, Repo lawmakers have passed a law that CRT cannot be taught in schools. But it isn't. It's a legal theory misunderstood or misappropriated by a bunch of people who know better; Ted "Daddy" Cruz for one. Interestingly, discussion of both "racism" and "sexism" (two heads of the same shrouded fear) is now illegal because PA legislators consider them "uncomfortable subjects."
Racism is well-embedded in our history and the focus on this vote-getting but ginned-up concern proves it. For Republicans, making white people afraid of "others" is a vote-getting bonanza. CRT is on fire as a subject on Fox Noose because it it inflames anxiety and fear of unwanted or unpleasant ideas. Some parents are willing to trade the ignorance of our students, their children, for their own Preferred Version of the World, making it folly to claim to be the Greatest Nation on Earth.
As always, Fear and Personal Preference are the calling cards of the GOP. If Republicans successfully misrepresent CRT, and the PA laws are adopted elsewhere, the only students who will know anything will be people of color.

Letters to the Editor
June 23, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
I’ll only take issue here with three items in last week’s Editorial:
(1) Sadly, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) was not joking, Martin. See the video on YouTube; his query was during the course of a Natural Resources Committee hearing. Moreover, Louie doesn’t have the intellectual bandwidth to concoct a joke. You, however, do have such wherewithal.
(2) So, I was disappointed at your niggle of Pete Buttigieg’s name at an attempt at humor. I get that you don’t like his politics or whatever, but to make recurring coarse fun of his name is, I think, beneath you.
(3) I agree that all information, including videos, cell phone records, and interviews, surrounding the riot should be investigated, and the courts are beginning to release additional information, much of which appears to further implicate some Republican legislators. Their Big Lie version of the attempt to prevent our democratic elections process on the floor of the Capitol is dismissed as fun-loving tourists with with flagpoles, cannisters, and bear spray, a noose on the lawn, threats to our VP, and people dead. But in was an "innocent frolic" because no guns or knives. Info: anything can be a weapon, depending upon how it is used, and not all weapons go "boom."
A new national holiday, Juneteenth, was approved on a bipartisan vote (though the Repos continue to legislate to deny the vote in many states). It commemorates June 19, 1867, when the slaves in TX (Galveston) finally learned that they had actually been free since January, 1865, This holiday is a reminder of the joy and human thirst for freedom, and the economic debt this country owes to slavery in financing and sustaining our break with England. We have all benefited from it, but at such cost to the slaves and their descendants.
President Biden returned from a European visit and G-7 meeting where there was no shoving other world leaders aside to get to the front of the line. Biden and Putin had a business-like meeting in Geneva as both are well-acquainted with the language of diplomacy and world affairs. This time, there were no smiles from our president looking anxious for an "atta boy," or Putin looking like the cat just finishing up lunch. No statement that our president trusts Putin's word over the US intelligence community. Putin did not look happy in his solo presser, and he danced around every subject he could. A steely-eyed Fred Astaire "Putin on the Ritz." (*apologies to cartoonist John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2021)
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
As a longtime resident of Fillmore, I’m concerned about our City Council’s recent meeting & Agenda. On June 8, the Council voted unanimously in favor of making a Proclamation to “Honor& Recognize the Month of June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month”. The Council then ok’d the use of Central Park Plaza (Sunday, 6/27, 4-7pm) for the ‘LGBTQAI+ Pride Resource Fair’. And just today, I received a notice in the mail, from City Council offices, asking me to… ‘Learn how to create welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ & Communities.’ Apparently the City Councilis advising me to take an Education Class called ‘LGBTQ+ 101’, then I’m to follow it up with ‘LGBTQ+ ‘BestPractices’. What I find annoying is that there is no explanation as to what any of the above means. What will be the content of the Classes? I know what LGBTQ means, but I’d like to know what ‘I’, ‘A’, means, and I’m particularly curious about what the ‘+’ stands for. [Are they just going to keep adding more acronyms of sexual practices?]
While I wholeheartedly support our Constitution’s 1st Amendment of Free Speech, I hesitate to think that minor children could be present for the ‘LGBTQIA+ Pride Resource Fair’ planned for a Sunday afternoon in the town square. Even Hollywood gives us ‘Content Ratings’ for movies, videos & TV shows so that parents can guide their Children’s viewing habits. I question what ‘rating’ Hollywood would give this event?
In addition, I disapprove of this type of content becoming part of the Curriculum in our local public schools, as it most surely is. I hope that parents know that that they can ‘opt-out’ of this (un-tested & un-proven) social-engineering subject. Is it really beneficial for our students (as young as age 4) to be taught that there are more than (2) genders? And that they can look forward to choosing to be a ‘boy’ or choosing to be a ‘girl’, or choosing to be ‘non-binary’.
I contend that it is the parents Constitutional right to teach their children about human sexuality in a way that aligns with their own conscience, their own religious beliefs &family values. In fact, the supreme court agrees, that “The right belongs to the parents to make decisions concerning care, custody & control of their children.” (case: ‘2000’, Troxel vs Granville, 530.57)
Lastly, I will reminisce about the qualities of our wonderful small town, a town that is friendly, safe, honest & respectful. I’m not against change. But I want change for the better. We all know that our Constitution guarantees a Govt that is ‘For the People and by the People’. [It does not say ‘For the People by the Govt.’] So why are we letting City Government encroach on that right?
I’m reminded of the inscription on the wall in City Council Chambers, ‘In God We Trust’. That means something to me. I know it means something to you. My question is, ‘Will we?”
Annette Sula,

Letters to the Editor
June 16, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
There are plenty of serious things going on, but let’s look for relief in the funny things that have happened of late.
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) asked the representative for the National Forest Service if they can slightly change the moon's or earth’s orbit to reduce the effects of climate change. Only with Marjorie Taylor Greene's (R-GA) Jewish Space Laser, Louie.
Trump thinks the answer to the computer system hacks is to go back to paper. Don’t educate the Congress on the problems and fix what’s wrong or unprotected. Go back to quill and ink. No wonder COVID exploded under his watch (drink bleach!).
Nothing funny about those recent hacks on our technological systems. It is, however, ludicrous and a betrayal of trust that our Congress has not seen to this. We are decades into the technology. I hope that this is part of the “infrastructure” that Buttigieg, who does understand it, is working on in Transportation.
A Republican Senate Committee report on what actually happened on January 6 (because there was no video of it anywhere!) was a joke. It did not speak to the Causes of the Insurrection, which was the whole darned point. We all saw what happened; the issue is why, how, and who? Another example of how the Relican Senate operates. Months and years on Benghazi, and kiss my patootie on the instigators, planners, and participants of the insurrection against our government.
Joe Manchin (D-WV) is pitiful if not laughable trying to explain that he insists upon bipartisan agreement on voting protection and infrastructure plans. Somebody get that boy a copy of “Waiting for Godot.” He’s either lying about his reasons, is a not-too-closeted Repo, or has suffered a lack of oxygen.
For a true LOL moment, the very smug and glossy Caitlyn Jenner R-CA) admits that her biggest draw is that she knows nothing about government and wants to go to Sacramento as an "outsider" governor and disrupt everything (she has experience in the latter). And she has a bunch of Trump rejects to show her how.
Forever the victim, never at fault, a self-absorbed child, Trump is still whining abut his election loss. And the Relicans are either scared to death of him or awaiting his Mike Lindell-inspired return to power on the pink cloud of a Second Coming. I’m not laughing out loud about this, but it is a funny image. I hope he wears “those pants.”
Kelly Scoles,

Letters to the Editor
June 9, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
For too long, the Trump experience was a mystery to me. In the 1980’s he was a joke, another gaudy glitterati who pretended relevance, power, and success while he conjured repeated business failures, almost all involving lies and misrepresentations, freely threw friends under the bus, and was famous for disregard of anyone’s interests but his own.
A lot of Republicans think he’s a hollow man or even a fool. What they do admire about him seems to be his "righteousness" in disdain for norms, democratic institutions, reverence for the powerful and rich, tolerance for racism, his lack of compassion and duty toward the “undeserving” (Puerto Rico). He has glorified the selfish impulses that we all have and made of them a virtue.
Fortunately, the GOP has long nurtured, among others, a group of people for whom the conflict between good and evil is a regular tension and who eagerly consider an apocalyptic confrontation. Enter Donald Trump, in need of a zealous new congregation hungry for a civilian deity in showman's clothing.
And that, I think, is the key. It is no mistake that at the last Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), the Republicans created a “golden bull” and wheeled it around so the faithful could put their hands on it for “energy and inspiration.” So long as this "god" and his disciples spout "Christian values" they can practice all the corporate giveaways, assaults on democracy, and voter suppression they want. In this exchange, they will believe whatever voodoo canards support their plan to force-march the rest of country to the end of times. No matter that a hybrid authoritarian/religious state is a combination that has been historically disastrous.
Democracy cannot endure such a betrayal of its basic principles. American history reminds us that thousands of our ancestors left their homelands at great cost and peril and came to a place where neither king nor cardinal could impose their will.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
According to Joe Biden, "the white supremacists are a greater danger to our country than Isis or Al Quada". I found this statement which he has been saying a lot lately to be outrageous Ok....who are they? Have they been rioting, burning businesses, vandalizing, killing cops, stealing, turning our great cities into ruins? No, they have not, they are simply good Americans who believe in law and order, freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and they don't agree with the far-left lunacies. They are no threat to our country; it simply exists in the feeble mind of Joe Biden and the democratic party.
When Kamala Harris speaks of PURGING the Republican party, words associated with leaders like Stalin and Hitler it's time for the American people to wake up and realize we live in dangerous times.
Huguette Johnson

Letters to the Editor
June 2, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
When there is an issue of great national concern, or one with political implications, Individual Congressional committees should not be the ones to judge the matter. A bipartisan Independent Commission, comprised of respected individuals not currently in public office, should have a clear mission: to assemble, hear, and judge the facts surrounding the event, and to report to the Congress and nation their findings. The events surrounding 9/11 was such an issue; the Insurrection of January 6, 2021 was another.
Initially, numerous Repos laughably minimized the assault. One, Rep. Andrew Clyde likened the riot to a group of spirited “tourists.” On January 6, Rep. Clyde was videotaped scrambling to push furniture in front of the House entrance to keep the “tourists” out, amidst breaking glass and angry shouted threats from the “visitors.” Another Repo described them as a “rowdy group of misfits.” There’s no arguing that, but they were in the service and at the bidding of the then-president of the US; the Stop the Steal and pro-Trump signs, and the events before the breach of the capitol building speak to that conclusion. In fact, over 140 officers were injured, five people died, and legislators were hunted in the halls of the capitol. Horrific calls to “hang Mike Pence” were heard, even as the then-vice-president escaped down the back stairs accompanied by a military aide with the “nuclear football” containing the “nuclear biscuit,” the actual codes.
When the bipartisan House Investigative Committee voted to create an Independent Commission for January 6, the Relican leadership rejected it. Mitch and Kevin had all sorts of convoluted reasons for rejection before McConnell, when it became clear there would be some Republican votes for the Commission, asked his Party to vote “No,” as a personal favor to him. Why, you might ask? After all, McConnell blamed the January 6 riot on Trump from the floor of the Senate after the second Impeachment, before he sanded it down and painted it over.
The reason is simple: the Relicans do not want the American people to discover the length to which their Party and their Great Leader went to discredit democracy and the election. They want their base to believe what they tell them to believe, and not the clear facts and images before their eyes. As Mitch said, he has one aim and one aim only: to subvert the Biden administration. Eyes-open truth and defense of democracy is a luxury they therefore can’t afford.
“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.” American political philosopher Hannah Arendt.
Kelly Scoles,

Letters to the Editor
May 26, 2021

To the Editor:
Second Opinion.
A sure nominee for the Most Influential Human Being in History is Abraham (followed at a distance by Paul of Damascus). Considered the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, his religious progeny eventually claimed the ancestral family home in Jerusalem and environs. If you think the tenets of faith precluded any of those religions from engaging in war, pillaging, or persecution, you don’t know your history.
No one with a conscience or any knowledge of the Holocaust would deny the Diaspora Jews the right to establish a home for themselves. The point is, they chose a place that was already occupied in the millennia since they left. They had an obligation to work it out (share) with the existing inhabitants. The western nations had an obligation to see that it was a condition of occupation, but Israel, the eldest, wants it all and the west is essentially helping them achieve that.
I suspect that our Editor is selective in advocating that people with an ancient historical presence in a location are entitled to exclusive occupation. Consider, again, the Native Americans. Here long before we arrived, their displacement occurred only because they were brutally forced out. Their conquerors (us) have been here for a mere 100-250 years. So what rights do we, as current occupants, have?
None, under Martin's argument. Residents of Seattle or Dallas, Phoenix, Boston, New York, or Ventura? Find another place to live and be nice about it. No objections, violent or otherwise. The people who lived here long before us, and were violently dispossessed, may reclaim their ancient homeland.
By the way, this current conflict in Israel was begun by the Israelis who, on the first day of Ramadan in April closed down, at gunpoint, one of the holiest sites for Islam because they thought the sound of Muslim prayers would interfere with the Prime Minister’s speech at the nearby Wailing Wall. The Palestinians did not begin the recent hostilities. Google it.
Next week, closer to home.
Kelly Scoles,

Letters to the Editor
May 19, 2021

To the Editor:
Second opinion.
It would be impossible to relate the problems of Israel and Palestine if I had 1000 times the space allotted here, but here are some matters to consider:
In 1917, only 10% of the inhabitants of Palestine were Jewish. Over three thousand years, most of the Jewish population had been driven from Judaea by invading populations in a succession of Diasporas. They had established homes and temples and thriving businesses in many places, including Germany. The practice of their Hebraic religion under the Torah (our Old Testament) kept their communities intact.
Following the Holocaust in WWII, for a number of political objectives and certainly for humanitarian reasons, western powers and particularly England and the US determined to give the Jewish people a separate homeland and restore Israel to them (and to provide a buffer from increasingly-troublesome Arabia).
The problem was that another people, over 700,000 Muslim Palestinian Arabs, already inhabited the area. But, as with the western hubris in carving up the Middle East to eventually create Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq (what could go wrong?), the political needs and guilty consciences of the western nations, which had generally ignored the reports of the Holocaust during the War, were paramount. So, in an act of delayed magnanimity and long-established western self-interest, the Jews were given the keys to Arab Muslim Palestine, now Israel, and the Holy City of Jerusalem.
“Zionism,” a term used a hundred years before, was resurrected and became a rallying cry for the Jewish people. The Palestinians passionately fought back for their homeland. The atrocities committed on both sides by this date should not surprise western powers.
Both the English and we should have been experts in the effects of "settlor-colonialism" by 1945. England did it to Ireland, they helped in Africa and the Far East. Just asserted power and carved up or inhabited countries with their riches because they could. We did it to the Native Americans. Without any thought as to whether the inhabitants, whose country it was, might resist to the death.
How can anyone look at the situation and condemn only the Palestinians? The saber rattling of a Netanyahu who has weaponized religion and ethnicity must be rejected. Of all people, the Jews of the Diaspora should understand the love of country and religion alive in the hearts of the Palestinians. And the fact that extermination of a people is not just.
Kelly Scoles,


To the Editor:
It seems that you have been the lone voice crying in the wilderness. I thought it was time I entered the fray once again and try to clear up some on the questions regarding our new Administration.
I read an article by Gerry Giesler this past week in the Epoch Times titled Alarming Trends Toward Socialism Developing Under the Biden Administration. I would like to paraphrase Gerry's comments for the benefit of our readers. He lists 10 alarming trends.
1. Pushing God to the Background. Removing the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance in the US House of Representatives. Did you notice the church attendance was prohibited during the COVID-19 lock-down, but demonstrations were OK? How did Christians and Jews fare under communism?
2. Defunding the Police. This insane trend can only lead to increased crime and violence which is the intended outcome. That is why California and other stated are releasing prisoners into the general population. Without funding and local support, the police will become ineffective. Then the government can justify a national police force. Sound like the KGB or Gestapo.
3. Open borders. There are two deceitful goals here. First, to increase the population totally dependent upon the government for their everyday existence. Second, to grow voters who are beholden to the government that sponsored them. This is a huge allocation of resources to illegals that should be used to help Americans.
4. Co-opting the education system to brainwash our youth. Introducing the 1619 ideology, undermining American's roots in democracy. Then canceling the 1776 Program which is trying to fight back. Promoting critical race theory propaganda. Such brainwashing was common in the Soviet Union and under the Chinese Communist Party.
5. Lying and cheating to hide the real purpose of government programs. For example, infrastructure, COVID-19 Stimulus. Most of the spending in these programs is for social programs and not for the stated purpose.
6. Federal control of the election process, usurping state authority. H.R. 1, known as "For the People Act," is anything but. It is to increase government control and represents the largest federal grab for power in history. Its purpose is to ensure Democrats stay in power for perpetuity.
7. Corporate and media support for Black Lives Matter. BLM is a Marxist organization committed to the overthrow of the U.S. government. The operative strategy is to divide America by race and other identities and "cancel" those that do not fit the socialist script. Anyone who does not agree to their terms is "racist".
8. Taxing corporations and businesses until they fail. Then having the government take over key industries. More central and control.
9. Taxing workers to redistribute wealth to those who do not work. Promoting the idea of "equal outcomes for all" instead of "equal opportunity for all" as the underlying incentive for Americans.
10. Federal control of guns, disabling the 2nd Amendment. Have you heard of the Gestapo? History has shown these trends toward more central power and control are characteristic of socialism and then communism.
We have a narrow window of time to change this within the next two to five years. Do not stand by and watch America's demise. Remember the only difference between socialism and communism is an AK47.
Thanks for listening
Dave Johnson