After nearly 60 years of Communist captivity, the people of Cuba await another dictator, Miguel Diaz-Canel. The small island, under the sole proprietorship of the Castro family all that time, reflects shame on the United States. For 60 years we have been unable to free the Cuban people from Marxist slavery, only 90 miles from Florida.

Every CIA effort has failed miserably, leaving this nefarious Marxist leftover as an affront to freedom. The Bay of Pigs disaster was a massive, startling, bloody failure of CIA intelligence, and all of its efforts thereafter to rid Cuba of Fidel Castro, only further embarrassments.

To this day Cuba is tightly aligned with Russia and China as an outpost for enemy intelligence, much like Panama quickly became a Chinese outpost immediately following Jimmy Carter's dim-witted gift of the Canal to Panama. That gave China power points on both eastern and western shores, also boosting the drug trade. Jimmy Carter was, and is, a well-meaning fool.

Miguel Diaz-Canel is the sole candidate to be Cuba's president because there are no free elections in Communist countries, as we should know by now.

Has there been anything good about Cuba since the former dictator Fulgencio Batista packed his money bags and fled the island in 1959? Things immediately went from bad to worse. The only memories I can recall are murder, imprisonment, and the ubiquitous stenciled image of the infamous Argentine Marxist Che Guevara. I prefer the photo of his bullet-riddled body taken by the Bolivian Army - similar to Pablo Escobar's. Something tells me that had Donald Trump been in charge of retaking Cuba it would have been a free and happy place for the last 60 years. Maybe we should try again?

*****

This nation is headed for a revolutionary-Constitutional conflict. Not since the Revolutionary War between loyalists and rebels has there been such a hate-filled standoff. The radical Liberal Deep State with its supporters seeks to change our Constitutional base; it wants a "living" Constitution which they can modify to suite their emotional needs. The country is truly divided, nearly in half, with conservatives determined to protect the original meaning of the Constitution, the original intent of our Founding Fathers.

I read today that the New York Attorney General seeks to "bypass the presidential power to pardon." This is typical of the radical Left's attempt to change Constitutional law to suit their individual emotional needs. The effort has rarely been so strong. This was never a problem for the Left when Bill Clinton was disgracing the office. Remember his very last act in office? It was a pay-for-pardon of Marc Rich, the fugitive international commodities trader. Appalling and disgusting as it was, Republicans did not demand the limiting of presidential pardon.

Liberals will continue to twist our Constitution until they succeed in wringing all of the original sense out of it.

 

The Fillmore Gazette welcomes our newest advertiser Construction & Handyman Services


 

The blaring red headline on top of today's DRUDGE REPORT declares "Comey Calls Trump Mob Boss". My first thought was to remember that James Comey, as a mob member himself, may just be envious.

As the painful facts of FBI, CIA, and Justice Department criminal collusion reveal, I would not trust James Comey to water my dog, as the saying goes. His behavior before, during, and after his tenure as 7th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, despite liberal political accolades, shows him to be a spectacular Machiavellian agent for that swampy Deep State.

Our country is faced with critical threats growing out of an unprecedented conspiracy to destroy President Trump's administration. Nothing paranoid in recognizing this threat because this fear is rational, based on empirical facts.

Look at the determined forces at play, most related to Obama administration holdovers, and outrageously foolish advise provided to the President concerning administrative appointments in the early months of his administration.

Add to this the (also unprecedented) bias of 90 percent of the media - virtually all liberal. The anti-Trump hate is deep and broad. Virtually all Democrat law-makers attack Trump, and many Republicans as well.

The worst single mistake made was to appoint Jeff Sessions to DOJ. As Attorney General he is a flaming disaster which cannot be put out without poisonous political fallout. His unnecessary recusal started the domino effect, cheered-on by deputy Rod Rosenstein, who dutifully brought in Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, turning him loose with plenary powers and no direction. He's the pig rooting for the magic truffle.

There is a real possibility now for a violent national political insurgency in the Leftist attempt to unseat a duly elected president.

The FBI's Christopher Wray is untrustworthy. A look at swamp creatures such as retired James Clapper (who perjured himself on TV) is galling. Clapper's job was to oversee Comey's FBI and 16 other intelligence agencies, including the CIA and NSA. Then there's John Brennan, formerly at CIA, and other swampers like Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder (of Fast and Furious fame), etc.

America is at a life-and-death moment, with international military threats at hair trigger.

We must defend our President or let our Constitutional Republic collapse.

 


 

I keep thinking about Explorer 1, our satellite launched in 1977 which entered interstellar space in 2012, now the farthest man-made object from earth. It is more than 13 billion miles away. No human can reasonably comprehend such a distance. Imagine we are at the "front" of a light beam following Voyager 1's trajectory (no rest stops or obstructions on the way) with light traveling at 186,000 miles per SECOND. In one year on that beam we would be 5.9 TRILLION miles from earth - greatly overshooting Voyager's mere 13 billion. That sure is way out there. But, in terms of distance from our earth, even this is a sort of walk in the celestial park. Scientists have recently discovered the most distant star in God's playground (ironically) described by NASA as being "more than halfway across the universe...." This comment leaves me wondering about the other "half".

It's "an enormous blue star nicknamed Icarus - the farthest individual star ever seen.” Next to Voyager's 13-billion miles, Icarus is 9-billion (not miles) but LIGHT-YEARS away. Maybe if objects could travel at the speed of thought? No, that would still be limited by imagination. Despite the power of science, it's still frustrating sometimes to have to endure human limitations. But, the most sophisticated science is merely peeking into the Divine Creator's handiwork.

So far, science has not told us how much farther beyond Icarus God's universe goes. Maybe our trip to Icarus on that beam of light, some 9-billion light-years away from our unique earth, could enlighten us to the truth of creation.

Science is a wonderful thing, no doubt. The dividing line among those who admire it's power is the issue of creation. Most scientists today scoff at the thought of the Divine. A few recognize their intellectual limitations and humble themselves. Stephen Hawking was not one to value the virtue of humility, especially when confronted with Divine Creation. He had a great mind which, I'm sure, was finally enlightened when he passed away recently. He gave us many new insights on the structure of our universe but refused to acknowledge its Creator. It's hard for me to understand how anyone can perceive the utterly exquisite details of our universe without bowing to its Creator.

Some of Stephen Hawking's predictions were, from a Judeo-Christian perspective, insane. Only the Creator will determine the end of the world He created.

 


 

The Second Coming By William Butler Yeats:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Ireland's most famous poet emotes the story of America's condition today though it was written shortly after WWI. Particularly striking: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

All that passionate intensity has infested the brain of Master David Hogg, the 18-year-old Parkland school high school student who witnessed the recent Florida shooting. It's said that "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree." His parents and school staff have apparently bent this twig to the breaking point, extolling his energetic ignorance and vicious, foul-mouthed condemnations of our hard fought Constitution, Bill of Rights, and those patriot-citizens who defend them. Hogg's demand: that firearms in America be confiscated to prevent gun violence.

Master Hogg has become the poster child for the Deep-Swamp-Left. He's the progeny of Soros, Bloomberg and a twisted education system. He displays the enthusiasm and hyper-emotion of a Hitler Youth member in pre-WWII Berlin, in disarming its enemies, as though we had no Second Amendment to our Constitution.

The entire Hogg interview is well described by one consumer: "David Hogg's profanity-laced rant was so obnoxious, arrogant and deranged..." that YouTube is apparently cleaning-up these foul tirades to protect his public image.

The whole Children's Crusade which took place last week in DC was clearly orchestrated by various Liberal Left organizations. Most kids knew little or nothing about the issues. How much support would these same school authorities give to a Pro-Life march of the same dimension? A move to take away the 350-million firearms from American hands would save no one. A Pro-Life effort to end the life of Planned Parenthood would save millions of vibrant lives - and help take back the shameful funding of that killing company to the tune of $500,000,000 (That's a HALF-BILLION)! Remember - Trump started out to defund Planned Parenthood.

To top-off this week's ugly news, retired, super liberal, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has called for the repeal of our Second Amendment, which, I fear, would instigate an insurrection, with those 350-million firearms being raised in dissent.

It's not too much of an exaggeration to conclude that America's greatest threats to liberty are due to radical-Liberal ideas. Our Founders were liberal in the preservation of liberties. They were all about securing our Rights, not taking them away. Beside our Founding thinkers, Master David, you are a pissant.

Benjamin Franklin was prescient, again, when he told us that we had a Republic - if we can keep it. I'm sure he meant keep ALL of it.

 


 

It's with a leaking roof and short staff that we begin this edition.
Thank you Lord for the rain. Maybe drought conditions will soon be ended.

****

The Austin, Texas bomber, 24-Year-Old Mark Anthony Conditt, has killed himself with his own bomb as FBI and police closed in. Good riddance. Prayers to those killed and wounded.

****

Forces determined to destroy President Trump are also closing in. The irony of condemning him for an alleged extra marital affair, supposed to have occurred some 12 years ago, is stunning. The Dems and Never Trumpers have coddled the most infamously criminal and immoral political couple in American history - the Clintons. Their attitude towards the Clintons, especially that old horndog, Bill, exudes a truly poisonous hypocrisy. Bill was actually impeached but the Dem. congress lacked the cojoness to complete the job of trying him. Bill was also credibly accused of rape, while in office.

Trump may share allegations of improper conduct years ago, but nothing like Clinton. If you dig a little into Hillary's background (records from her Secret Service bodyguards) her disgusting behavior is clear. Her behavior was so bad that being assigned to her security detail was considered a sort of punishment in the Secret Service. This is a matter of record.

So if hypocrisy were explosive the Democrat Party would be a pile of ash.

Normal citizens should stand up for our President; he is attempting to save this country from the enemies and threatening activity surrounding us. It is outrageous that we have to listen to pornography queen Stormy Daniels and her hungry defenders.

This country is in great peril - when will we become serious?

****

A little good news:
Rocklin High School students are using social media to organize a pro-life walkout using the hashtag #life. With so many public school teachers weaponizing their students to promote liberal agendas, it's consoling to hear some schools express their love of life! "Rocklin High School students [Sacramento] are using social media to organize a pro-life walkout using the hashtag #life “To honor all the lives of aborted babies pretty much. All the millions of aborted babies every year,” said organizer Brandon Gillespie."

 


 

The great scientist Stephen Hawking has passed away. He popularized science for the world, and was responsible for many extraordinary discoveries. He knew more than the rest of the world about the universe but didn't recognize its Creator.
Rest in peace Dr. Hawking. Now you really understand our universe.

****

There was a time when I admired Rand Paul. That time has passed. He has become the Republican Party's Chief RINO. This time around he says he will block Mike Pompeo's appointment to Secretary of State. Mr. Pompeo is perhaps the brightest and most effective public servant we have. His short experience as CIA Director will sharpen his skills at State. Every effort should be made to secure his appointment.

****

"Gina Cheri Haspel is an American intelligence officer serving as the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency". Rand Paul has vowed to block her appointment as well.

She's a great pick for this position. Women should cheer her as first of her kind to be appointed to Director.
Solution to Paul's blockade? Leave her in as Deputy Director and keep the Director position empty. She could be something like a Director without portfolio - but with full powers!

****

Putin is a thug, but more than that, he's a serial killer. Britain should hurt him as much as possible by cutting financial ties. And, Trump should follow, extending the financial pain.

Just in: "We will freeze Russian state assets wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents," May said.

Russia today can be described as a third world nation with a first world military. It has an economy smaller than that of Canada. We should break Putin's bloody Russia like we broke the decrepit Soviet Union - economically.

 

The good news continues regarding our outdoor mailboxes. The city responded very quickly to reconstructing the mailbox island to the rear of the post office. The old concrete base was taken out and was replaced with fresh material. Four bollards were sunk to protect the boxes and were painted and stripped wit reflective tape. The city also stripped the pavement front and back so that it is now highly visible.

Postmaster Bill Thompson then replaced one of the two boxes, freshly painted. The Assistant Postmaster did not know when the second box is expected to be installed but I'm confident it will be soon.

This whole mailbox replacement undertaking has to go down as a model of Fillmore government efficiency. Kudos again to Fillmore City Manager David Rowlands and Postmaster Bill Thompson for a job well done!

****

Just an up-date on the malfunctioning Parkview Apartment elevator. I'm told that it has finally been fixed, after a wait of two weeks. We'll see how long this fix lasts.

****

I don't know how President Trump's move to place tariffs on steel and aluminum will work. Many people warn of trade wars and point to historical bad outcomes from tariffs. But the trade deficits for America have been absurdly high with China, especially since the U.S. conferred Most Favored Nation (MFN) status on China in 1980. "This exempted Chinese exports to the United States from the high tariff rates stipulated by the Smoot-Hawley Act of June 1930, a measure that was long used to distinguish friends from foes among U.S. trading partners."

When President Nixon decided that Communist China was no longer a foe, he officially ended the U.S. trade embargo on China in 1971. America's change of heart and mind concerning China was a typical liberal move, though instigated by a notoriously conservative Republican. For the past 40 years objective observers can see the catastrophic results.

Soft-headed politicians believed that freeing China from former embargos and tariffs would convert the Communists to democracy by showing them the blessings of democratic trade. Of course these liberal politicians didn't understand Mao's indelible, Godless Communist ideology. So, the Chinese, being an intelligent people, jumped at the opportunity, and, "while forty years ago China’s Gross National Product was only about 7 percent of that of the United States, in 2012 China exceeded the United States as the largest trading nation in the world..." (Quotes from Asia-Pacific Journal).

(Please see Pat Buchanan's recent column: Fatal Delusions of Western Man - March 1, 2018).

But, back to the tariffs. The American government, regardless of who is in power, has never understood what they are up against. Not only in China, but in Russia, Iran, North Korea, and all true Islamic nations under sharia law, the ideology is imperishable, except through war. These nations will never peacefully coexist with America or other democratic lands, and it is foolishness to believe otherwise. They trade peacefully as long as it is to their advantage in advancing their particular ideologies.

Germany, Japan, and Italy traded with us until their ideologies at that time demanded they attack. The only choice democratic nations had was to destroy our enemies, to the tune of hundreds of millions of deaths. Then of course China and Russia murdered hundreds of millions of their own people to strengthen their grip. Mao and Stalin were consummate killers. Nothing has changed except the stage of political opportunity for each of these ideologies. When they are satiated with sufficient western benefits they will attack - as always, in their attempts to conquer the world. Communism and fundamentalist Islam in particular have always aimed at that goal. That is the essence of their being. And deceit is a major tool for both.

China and Russia have been arming for war. Steel and aluminum are essential war materials. China makes more than 50 percent of the world's steel and continues to build steel works. It is using these stockpiled materials in their enormous effort to accumulate ships, planes, rockets, missiles, and in furthering research and development of new offensive weapons. This is not a secret, both Putin and Xi Jinping boast of their offensive military capabilities. Xi Jinping has just appointed himself, essentially, President for Life - in the mode of Mao Zedong, perhaps the greatest butcher of human life in human history. Vladimir Putin has also manipulated his place as President for Life in Russia.

Putin boasts he can destroy the U.S. Navy in a few hours. China now has the largest armed force in the world. Its attitude is clear in their hostile, absolute claims to the South China Sea.

I've wondered from the issue of tariffs, but the point is we trust these enemy nations at our absolute peril. China, in particular, produces steel far beyond their needs and has almost destroyed America's steel industry. Tariff away!

Incidentally, you hot earth people should know China builds new coal-fired steel plants every day.

 

My congratulations to our Police Chief Dave Wareham who is retiring after 32-years of service, and Max Pina after 53-years of service. Two unbelievably stand-up men. We all wish you both happy and productive retirements. Now it's time for the grandkids!

****

I'm concerned about the relentless attacks on our Second Amendment by radical liberal groups. As American culture sinks into a bottomless secular state, we are forgetting what our country is all about.

America was solidly founded on Judeo-Christian law and ethics. You can read about it in our Constitution and its amendments, especially in our Bill of Rights. However hard the liberal Left tries to stretch the basic intent of our founding documents (while hiding under those deceptive "penumbras"), citizens familiar with real life logic should not be fooled.

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" means exactly what it says. Clever liberals have always sought to destroy this particular amendment by a process of slow exceptions and regulations. But an infringement by any other name in this context is still unconstitutional. Finding a continuous stream of "reasonable" regulations of the Second Amendment amounts to death by a thousand cuts. Since liberals know they will never be able to get rid of this amendment totally they seek to weaken it, condemning firearms as inherently too dangerous for the average American citizen. These people would have been Loyalists during our Revolutionary War. They want America to be converted into some species of England or Australia where firearms are not allowed, where they have been confiscated.

The issue of firearms in America has revealed a deep constitutional rift between Liberals and conservatives. Right now, conservatives who ardently defend our right to keep and bear arms are on the defensive. Liberals who control 90 percent of the country's media are on the attack, frightening even large corporations into cutting off support to the National Rifle Association. The NRA has been actively involved in promoting the shooting sports to youth since 1903. It is the oldest and most distinguished of such organizations.

In full disclosure, I am, and have been for many years, a life member of the NRA. Its motto is "Freedom's Safest Place". This organization provides numerous firearms safety programs, especially for our youth. Enemies of our Second Amendment constantly misrepresent its purpose. A great American, the late former Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, had this to say about this Amendment:

"...indeed, the right to have arms for personal use (including self-defense)was regarded at the time of the Framing as one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen, described as such by Blackstone, and found in the explicit guarantee of the English Bill of Rights of 1689." Later, "...the Stuart kings had destroyed the people's militia, not by disbanding it, but by disarming those of its members whom they disfavored." Also: It is necessary to judge according to the written law - period." These quotes are taken from the book "Scalia Speaks", with a foreword (believe it or not) by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was a close friend of Scalia's.

So, if one of the true giants of our Supreme Court clings to his right to keep and bear his arms, maybe liberals should take heed. This is a wonderful book which I heartily recommend. It references the Justice's love of hunting, especially turkeys. He also reminisces about his early childhood, when he, as a member of a school rifle team, regularly took his .22 rifle to school, after taking it on public transportation. His recollection precisely recalls a similar time in my youth, when several students took their .22 rifles to school as part of a rifle team. No one paid much attention.

But our culture has changed today, for the worse. The proper exercise of our right to keep and bear arms has never been more important, and respect and support for those individuals and groups who defend this right, like the NRA, is absolutely important. At least a boycott of companies that are disassociating from the NRA should be undertaken.

America is an exceptional country and one of the things that makes it so is our Second Amendment which secures our right to keep and bear arms.

 

Rev. Billy Graham has passed away at age 99. Though I am not a member of his denomination, I have listened to and admired him for decades. I have always been struck by the purity, clarity, and persistence of his mission.

I don't have to ask that he rest in peace - I'm sure he's already there.

****

After another soul-crushing killing spree at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the usual angry confrontation has begun between liberals and conservatives. How to protect our children from mentally disturbed actors like Nikolas Cruz? That is the issue.

Had he used a knife or a bomb, Jihadist style, we would not be seeking to eliminate knifes from public use, though schools would be protected from both, The issue of school safety must be addressed by "hardening" campus areas as Israel has done since the 1970s, when jihadists were attacking their schools with murder in mind. Israel has highly trained and properly armed guards who scrutinize everyone entering school zones. This method quickly ended the bloody Muslim attacks.

Liberal Americans always react to such shooting attacks by demanding firearms confiscation or prohibition, overlooking the obvious logical impossibility of success. They also fail to understand that such prohibitions are direct "infringements" of our fundamental Constitutional (Second Amendment) right “to keep and bear arms." In the face of a movement to prohibit a species of firearm (the AR 15) the American citizen (patriot) must stand to uphold that right. America is not Australia or England, where firearms are prohibited and seen as something evil. In America the citizen is protected from any federal government attempt to take away or infringe upon his right to keep and bear arms. But that protection is always in need of protection itself.

James Madison was a wise man. He foresaw this threat and created the Second Amendment to enable the citizen the ability to arm himself for self-defense and in order to protect against usurpation by the federal government. All of the liberal emotion engendered by the outrageous Florida attack must not affect our liberties as clearly established in our Bill of Rights. Another way, rather than prohibiting a firearm, must be found. The Israelis found that way by "hardening" school grounds.

All of the school and policing agencies utterly failed in this horrendous Florida event. The actor couldn't have had a more obvious criminal profile. No one did anything to prevent the bloodshed.

Don't blame the firearm for those should-have-been-responsible agencies.

America is the last truly free nation on earth - exemplified by our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense and defense against the misuse of government power. No other nation on earth has established that sacred right.

I think the persistent move to restrict or confiscate firearms in America can lead to another, true revolution. Prohibiting firearms to law-abiding American citizens will never succeed in restraining criminals. Criminals will never comply with the law - that is the crux of the problem.

And, law-abiding citizens will always have a need for self defense against the criminal, be it man or government.

****

I've just learned that President Trump has come out against the so-called "Bump Stock" which can simulate full auto fire from a simi-auto rifle. I think most firearms friendly people won't have objections to this, as long as this action isn't the prelude to more restrictions (a common fear). Most firearms enthusiasts have long since lost all trust in government on gun matters.

This stock has only been a gimmick until now. For almost all serious shooters this thing is an expensive ammo-waster, and ammo is expensive. Actually, the function of this stock can be easily replicated in other, simple ways. Still a gimmick, so let it go.

 

Good news! Due to the mutual cooperation of our City Manager Dave Rowlands, and Postmaster Bill Thompson, we are about to have our drive-through postal deposit boxes restored to their original locations at the rear of the Post Office.

We can thank our City Manager for his incredibly quick move to completely rebuild the concrete island for the boxes, and adding steel bollards to protect the boxes from the traffic. The concrete work was a work of art!

Thanks to our Post Master for replacing the boxes in repainted condition.

This was truly a big deal, especially for elderly (me) and handicapped patrons.

****

America has never suffered from a shortage of enemies. Today, it has a glut of enemies, many nuclear armed or about to become so.

The world can be divided between nations espousing traditions of freedom and those who have successfully enslaved their populations through variants of Communist ideology, or Sharia Law. That's a simplification but fairly states the reality.
Russia became an oligarchy following the USSR collapse in the early 1990s. Control of the 15 "republics" in the Soviet Union after 1990 were gobbled-up by the Oligarchs. Whoever at that time had the muscle (guns) simply helped themselves to the most valuable assets in national oil, gas, electrical, etc., and became instant billionaires. They are all criminals, with Putin the head of a Russian National Mafia now.

China has a similar Communist tradition. Like Russia, following Lenin and Stalin, hundreds of millions of Chinese (perhaps 400 million) were murdered by various methods to secure absolute power in Mao Zedong. China, following Richard Nixon's trip to visit Mao, adopted western economic systems and became financially successful, and perhaps our most dangerous enemy. Islamic Sharia Law, the third most deadly challenge to free world values, is arming itself in Iran with atomic weapons in its determination to dominate the earth, after destroying all Dhimmi (non-believers in Islam).

So, it's gratifying to hear our FBI Director Chris Wray reiterate a clear warning about China's infiltration of our nation, in its pursuit of world domination.

Today, our freedom is so threatened by these determined enemies that we should begin to support President Trump in his efforts to strengthen America's economy and military defense. It's past time to drop all the sniveling liberal backstabbing and slander against him.

A note to Democrat Party minions: Donald Trump is our new, duly elected President.

Get over it, because you're not going to change it, by any means. He's working to keep us safe from the above demons of anti-democracy.

 

Well, I'm glad the issue of our two outside, drive through postal collection boxes has been solved. Thanks to Fillmore City Manager David Rowlands, and Postmaster Bill Thompson, the former location to the rear of the post office will be reconditioned to receive the boxes again.

Since their removal traffic on Central has been really bad, as well as foot traffic.

Kudos to our City Manager and Postmaster!

****

The greatest political scandal in American history continues to unfold.

We have become so used to hyperbolic language these days, especially from liberal politicians and their media minions, that when the facts actually demand dramatic language, its use doesn't seem to register as emphatically as it should.

In the case of the fraudulent accusations against President Trump, pretend that I am standing on a soap box, shouting at the top of my lungs, through a megaphone. This is a true political crisis, where true felonious political actors have betrayed our constitution as never before. Extraordinary as it seems, we have been victims of a huge, elaborate, treasonous conspiracy by persons who harbor hateful mental aberrations against President Trump. Just as alarming, these conspirators are holders of the highest offices in the nation, and entire television networks.

Looking at the whole scene from a safe distance, it's becoming very clear that our FBI, CIA, DOJ, State Department, Democrat Party, and others, have colluded in an attempt to derail President Trump's initial candidacy, transition to office, and post election activity, in order to destroy his presidency.

This situation is so boldly iniquitous that one has to pause and contemplate the scene. It turns out that the alleged "collusion" of Trump with the Russians was actually collusion by the Clintons, Democrat Party, and government offices with the Russians against Trump.

There is no room for Republicans to gloat here. A truly dangerous series of treasonous acts is being uncovered. No one should complain about any of the recently declassified "notes". Let's let it all come out. What we need most of all are facts. No one can argue against facts. Let them fall where they may, on either side. The American people must know the facts in order to assign guilt, repair the damage, and punish the felons responsible for this treason.

Hyperbole isn't necessary here because the facts alone cry out for exposure and explanation. Government officers at the highest level, and holdovers from the Obama administration (and it appears Obama himself) with Democrat Party miscreants and 90 percent of the media, are seeking to destroy the Trump administration, with the use of Russian intelligence. They are attempting to unseat a duly elected president. This has never happened before.

This is more than a swamp, it is wholesale fungal dry rot in the ship of state. It's been there too long. One remedy - term limits - on both office holders and the government bureaucracy.

Once the facts are on the table, and the culprits identified and convicted, we should all wait for the sound of slamming steel doors. Will these criminal dignitaries be convicted and jailed for their crimes - even Hillary? That answer will tell us whether our Constitution still applies to liberals.

 

The return of postal delivery boxes to their former location at the rear of the post office building is going to take some cooperation and effort - and more public comment.

I've discussed the problem with Postmaster William B. Thompson but have just recently (this a.m.) contacted Fillmore City Manager David Rowlands for comment.

The two drive-through boxes served patrons for decades before their recent removal and relocation to the sidewalk in front of the post office building. This relocation is a bad idea. It is clogging traffic on Central Avenue, greatly inconveniencing elderly and handicapped patrons, and forcing patrons to drive around the block (often more than once) to find a parking place.

If the public wants the boxes to return it will have to speak out.

****

I thought the President's State of the Union speech last night was magnificent. I only worry about his idea for so-called Dreamers. We have to cut-out the chain immigration altogether, as well as the incredibly stupid "Lottery". This last plan had to have been a Democrat idea, it is just so profoundly stupid. The only logical immigration plan, regardless of structure, must focus only on personal merit! American citizenship really is a precious commodity - more of us should understand that.

The behavior of most Democrats during this historic speech was largely, and typically, disgraceful. These members showed only contempt for President Trump's sincere effort to heal some political wounds and unify the nation in the face of unprecedented world challenges.

Democrats, particularly Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, sat with sour expressions, refusing to applaud almost any part of the speech, while that disgusting little congressional mouse Luis Gutierrez (Illinois) fled the House Chamber when the chant "USA!, USA!, USA!" broke out. Keep running, Luis, or you might become a loyal patriot!

The speech was great - and so is the job President Trump is doing, despite pathetic, maniacal Democrat Party obstruction.

****

I was saddened, and almost alarmed, at hearing U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. has announced he will not seek re-election, saying his skills “are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress.”

He has been a stalwart Representative for South Carolina - and the nation. He is a uniquely tenacious Member, working to drain the swamp. I hope he changes his mind.

****

Among Trump's most important statements in his State of the Union speech was his urging Congress to end the deadly sequestration of the military budget. We ignore this at the nation's clear and present peril. Let's hope that Congress can show that it is not entirely untrustworthy by re-building our military. The enemy is at the gate!

 

I hope everyone joins in the spirit of our new "Save The Boxes" campaign. If we can do it for the whales we can do it for the boxes.

Seriously, the drive-through mail collection boxes are very important for the safety and convenience of postal customers. The lack of these boxes causes serious safety issues for handicapped and elderly patrons. Relocating the boxes to the sidewalk in front of the P.O. (from their former place behind the P.O.) is causing traffic congestion in front, on Central Avenue.

Without a drive-through system everyone seeking to drop off mail must now find a parking space, get out of the vehicle to drop the mail, reenter the vehicles and back out into traffic, causing congestion.

The boxes have been damaged (apparently by truck traffic) at the rear of the P.O. Two things need to be done here: replace the boxes on the elevated area owned by the City, and place bollards (steel posts) in front and back of the boxes (just like the P.O. has recently done at its own parking area. A camera to identify vehicles causing any damage is also appropriate.

A concrete light standard remains in the middle of the former box area, and has not been damaged.

I will continue my attempts to contact the Postmaster. But, I think he should work with the City to restore the boxes to their former location. I hope this new sidewalk box location will not prove to be the proximate cause of accidents or injuries to patrons or vehicles on Central.

The postal collection boxes are designed for pass-through traffic. Let's use them as intended.

Help SAVE OUR BOXES!

****

Anyone paying attention to American politics must, by now, know that this country is in dangerous trouble. A glimpse of DRUDGE'S headlines today tells a story of massively corrupt government.

GOODWIN: Evidence suggests massive scandal brewing at FBI...
WHISTLEBLOWER: 'SECRET SOCIETY' HELD OFF-SITE MEETINGS...
MYSTERY: 5 MONTHS OF MISSING MESSAGES...
AGENT TEXTED ABOUT DELETING TEXTS...
THREATS OF VIOLENCE?
Knives Out for Bureau...

Just think, had Hillary Clinton won the election and become president, all of this would likely never be known. Her massive load of fireworks on that New York dock would have lit the night sky, and every lunatic Lefty would have been running amuck with unbridled joy.

"Hillary Clinton may have lit the fuse for her victory celebration a little too soon — by planning an Election Night explosion of fireworks over the Hudson River, The Post has learned.

Law enforcement officials and the FDNY have been told to prepare for a barge-launched pyrotechnic display off Manhattan’s Javits Center, where Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine will join their supporters for the Nov. 8 vote count, sources said. The aerial detonations would last for two minutes, with the triumphal celebration permitted to start as early as 9:30 p.m. — a mere half-hour after the polls close in New York, sources said." (NEW YORK POST).

That anticipated "triumphal" moment turned out to be "Trumphal".

This country is in a mess. Hillary Clinton is gone, but her presence is felt in the remnants of her Deep State; I think the term Dark State is more appropriate. All of her seditious, fifth column arch minions remain a problem for a new president seeking to unify and protect the nation. Liberal Democrats don't want the country's political wounds to heal; people like Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer only fight for political power and influence. They care nothing for the general welfare of the nation. They care only for a source of perpetual votes, through illegal immigration.

We need a dynamic new Attorney General (Sessions has failed) to plow through the swamp, following Trump as he drives a Caterpillar D-12 dozer with a double-shank ripper through the middle of that swamp.

It's ugly, but necessary. When the job is done we can set-off that cache of fireworks.

 

This week's gripe has to do with the removal and relocation of the two outside postal collection boxes at our local post office.

I have tried to contact our Postmaster without success. I will try again. But the two boxes located on their own concrete stand in back of the post office were removed. Damage was done to one box and was repaired. Now both have been removed and relocated to the sidewalk in front to the post office.

People are wondering why this action was taken since the boxes had been in back of the P.O. for many years.

Now, due to the relocation, anyone wishing to drop main must park on Central Avenue (if space is available), get out of the vehicle and walk to the boxes. This is more of a problem than simply inconvenience. Handicapped persons, and the elderly, will have a difficult time accessing the boxes. The boxes are (were) heavily used, meaning parking areas will be harder to find. Having to now park to mail anything greatly impedes traffic flow, congesting the downtown retail area on Central.

The two delivery boxes should be replaced to their original location as drive-through boxes, as designed. If damage from traffic is a problem it's easily solved by installing steel bollards.

Drive-through postal boxes are absolutely necessary for business and domestic service in Fillmore, and they avoid confusion and congestion on Central Avenue.

The U.S. Postal Service Inspector General's report says:

"Mail collection boxes are practically as American as apple pie. They also seem to be disappearing as quickly as mom’s homemade apple pie."

"It’s a tough balancing act for the Postal Service. Some collection boxes are barely used and are expensive to maintain. On the other hand, mail collection boxes are a visible representation of the Postal Service to the American public, and their disappearance has been noted. They also are reliable, secure, and convenient receptacles for mail."

But our "reliable, secure, and convenient receptacles for mail" have been taken away. And these boxes are not "expensive to maintain."

Mr. Postmaster, please replace the boxes to the rear of the post office.

****

I only have about 150 words left for me today, so I'll give it the bullet treatment.

The greatest political scandal in American political history is now unraveling. The Trump-Russia "collusion" allegation is proving to be a total fraud. The Democrat Party with scores of party "unindicted conspirators" is totally involved. Our top federal agencies are complicit in this extraordinary criminal anti-Trump (true) COLLUSION. Experts now assess the problem to well exceed any issues pertaining to the Nixon-Watergate scandal.

The FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, DHS, IRS, and the rest of our 17 snooper agencies are all tainted. It's the Deep State, Clintons, Russian intelligence, with an incredible list of aiders and abetters, with the Democrat Party up to their nostrils in the stinkiest of swamps.

Shakespeare knew the sting of shame: " Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial”.

This nation's government, in large part, has lost its reputation. It will not get it back until the criminals guilty in this unprecedented scandal are in jail.

The worst part? Government will have lost the TRUST of the people before this is over. The citizens have been betrayed, and the Constitution violated as never before.

And the Dems and their crooked media continue to complain about Trump's alleged expletive?

 

A couple of things before I answer Mr. Zellmer's letter for this week, which I will include in this column.

Congratulations to our three new firefighters. Each received the City's coveted badge at last night's regular City Council meeting. They were individually pinned by family members. A proud moment!

****

Congratulations also to those Council members who voted to exclude medical marijuana warehouses and delivery systems in the city. This has been a very contentious issue for years now, and I'm glad that it finally seems to have been resolved.

****

Thank you Mr. Zellmer for responding to my earlier comments in the Gazette. I wish I had more time to really get into these issues regarding America's alleged status as an "exceptional nation," and you probably do as well. It's been many decades since I last studied the subject of logic. Of all my philosophy classes I found logic most rewarding - just wish I could remember more of it.

It still intrigues me to see how successive arguments in a dialogue squeezes, simplifies, and clarifies issues. I wish I could have more such arguments. Folks don't seem to have the time these days, or the patience.

In the time I do have, permit me to answer again in "bullet" form.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that you are not reasonably informed. You are obviously highly informed, as your academic status shows. Turning my statement up-side-down, those persons who are entirely ignorant of America's achievements could not have an informed opinion on the issue. But I think most people informed about America's scientific, agricultural, military, and civic achievements would credit these achievements as "exceptional" among the nations of the world.

We did save Europe in two World Wars, and prevented starvation with food shipments, and won the Cold War, defeating the Soviet Union through economics, and went to the moon. Our achievements, across the board, seem exceptional if only held up for comparison to all other nations of the world. Examples of our exceptional abilities abound.

Concerning the Civil War, half of our country was enslaved before 1860, and half free. Abraham Lincoln took the slavery dilemma by the horns. War was a terrible choice, but a better one than continued slavery. This was a courageous moral decision. Other nations decided to end slavery, but without the issue of civil war.

In stating that (in my opinion) "a reasonably informed person"...would be lead to believe America is an exceptional place. I did not use the word " necessarily", which would make a universal statement, which would be illogical on several levels. Nor did I intend to state exceptional "in every way." In many ways America is not exceptional. So, "total exceptionalism" is not my position, and we may be in agreement here.

I agree with you that "America's moral actions have not always been exceptional compared to other nations", but, also, vice versa as well.

To say that a nation is exceptional must imply many various aspects, too many to completely identify. I apologize if my comment about the emancipation of slaves was misstated. I just meant to say that one alleged example of America's exceptionalism is just that, a single example, of perhaps millions of others.

As you know, a discussion of the moral influence of our Judeo-Christian American base would take volumes to explain - and has. The word "blessings" implies, for me, a Supreme God. Though several of our Founders were Deists, and one perhaps a true atheist, all firmly believed, and repeatedly stated their belief in religion as the foundation of the new democratic republic.

By "blessings" here I mean the spiritual and material things conducive to happiness and security. America is blessed by its geographical location, secured between two oceans; its agricultural climate, its mineral wealth, its common language and literature, its military might, and all of the specified rights in our Bill of Rights and Constitution. In short, our freedom and material stability for 240 years.

But I could as well have used the word "benefits" for "blessings" and make the same point. I believe America is also exceptional in its actions as well as institutions. By all means not perfect, but our actions have spoken louder than mere words - we do house the United Nations, and have given life-saving support in virtually every world calamity. I think America is due some thanks here. Who else could have provided such support? How many others would have?

On the use of the word "merely", I have addressed your arguments in whole, and you appeared to believe that the Civil War was less than a great example of exceptionalism. I don't have the time today to find your use of this word; I believe your correction here.

By all means we should be critical of our institutions, as you suggest.

You have also prompted me to "sharpen [my] views", Mr. Zellmer, and I have very much enjoyed our exchange. I regret this will be your last letter.

Please feel free to send another at your convenience.

Thanks again,
Martin Farrell
Publisher

 

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm responding to a letter from Jacob Zellmer today. Mr. Zellmer was good enough to send his first letter two weeks ago and I enjoy the dialogue. My response to his letter is separate from this column.

****

The number of important issues, local, state, and national, is so great today that it's a challenge to provide even a paragraph for some of them. But, I'll give it a shot.

It is sad for me to see the rejoicing in California over the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. I see this as a major indicator of social degeneration and a direct threat to the health and safety of our children. This alters in significant ways the peace and welfare that every citizen has the right to expect.

Marijuana has proven to have important medical values worth more scientific study. However, it has always been, and will always remain, generally uncontrollable and accessible to our youth. This new law, ironically, enhances that threat. I have a particular hatred for all illegal drugs, those deemed destructive to members of our society after decades of study. The hugely increased potency of today's marijuana and its offerings in so many different varieties should set off alarm bells to thoughtful citizens. Instead, it is setting off dinner bells.

The magnitude of this collapse in traditional moral standards will gradually seep into the fabric of our entire social network - we have deliberately released control. I dread the profound loss of respect our youth will eventually have for the law, and our obvious hypocrisy. Law enforcement agencies will now face a nightmare of novel and complex issues. A great deal of time and money will be wasted on these new challenges.

****

I have another, local, gripe. Why did the post office remove the two drive-through mail containers? Now everyone must park and enter the post office. The containers were relocated to the front of the P.O. building. This will increase parking problems significantly on Central Avenue and greatly inconvenience customers.

Talk to the Postmaster.

****

Governor Jerry Brown is a dangerous fool.

I've suffered through four Jerry Brown administrations, going back to his "Governor Moonbeam" days, when he frolicked with Linda Ronstadt at the Sacramento pad. A glance at his official capital portrait tells the story - sort of a fake Picasso in bilious colors.

He has managed to commandeer the State of California from its once rational citizens, making it an "Official Sanctuary City", beyond the reach of federal law, a state unto itself- for now.

"Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan said California "better hold on tight" after its liberal Democratic governor allowed a sanctuary state law to take effect this week."

I hope the Feds crush California and Brown. What a cesspool he's made of the state. My children are 5th generation Californians but I now wish I could leave. Brown has inflicted a torrent of unconstitutional infringements on our Second Amendment rights, then dumps recreational marijuana on everyone, and opens the door to all illegal aliens, especially those convicted of serious crimes. California is now just one big fun bag of social instability.

What's worse, after another year of Brown we can expect his probable successor will intensify the curse of a super majority of liberal Democrats.

I watch his obviously unconstitutional new draconian firearms regulations and can only hope Trump manages to secure a few more conservative justices on our Supreme Court and save the rest of us from his wild foray into the Deep State.

I think the year 2018 will continue to be politically unstable in the extreme.

****

A response to Mr. Zellmer's letter:

Hello again Jacob. Thank you for another challenge.

Getting right to the point, you address the issue of America's alleged exceptionalism, but you misconstrue my statement. I did not rely only upon our Civil War as an example of America's exceptional status among nations. It's only one example among countless others which demonstrates that our fundamental Judeo-Christian moral base provides unprecedented civil blessings. I think all nations are bad in similar ways; but I believe America is good in many unique ways. Those ways, in my opinion, begin with the solid defense of freedom.

Your dissent to my argument seems based upon an apparent disappointment in the fact that America is less than perfect. But we are arguing, all else being equal, whether America is demonstrably exceptional among nations, not whether it is perfect. Since mankind is inherently imperfect that point seems moot.

That you "don't view this fact [emancipation of slaves] as evidence, alone, of America's moral exceptionalism" is perfectly reasonable, otherwise we would be dealing with an illogical universal conclusion.

But that was not my point. I merely sought to say that fighting such a horrendous war to end slavery in America, was, in itself, a very good thing. A reasonable conclusion on the 600,000 war dead would be to at least praise half, the 300,000 Union soldiers who gave their lives to end slavery. And, I don't mean to ignore the hundreds of thousands of black soldiers who also fought.

The other, Confederate, half you characterize as a "counterbalance" were convincingly defeated despite their extraordinary efforts - thank God. Again, in a perfect world of peace and love we wouldn't have to worry about people trying to kill us. Our best option seems to be "peace through strength" and constant vigilance - in the real world.

Your observation that no compensation was afforded to emancipated slaves and, therefore, this fact should deny any claim to American exceptionalism seems weak. Some efforts were made.

I'm trying to think of a way this might work to achieve the justice you seek. Those millions who were enslaved and their "owners" have long since passed away. Who should pay, and who should benefit under such a plan? Would it be just to force the ancestors of slave owners to make restitution? Would it be just to make those whose ancestors had nothing to do with this terrible time in our history provide compensation? Would it be any more just or reasonable to compel both groups to pool compensation for this cause? Would it be rational or fair to make compensation to the present day relations of past slaves? I think the reasonable answer is "no".

I don't believe that prostitution is the oldest profession, as Rudyard Kipling first described it. I believe slavery was the first profession, for two reasons: slaves, since time immemorial, provided work and produced tangible value for ancient tribes. This has continued to this day, in northern Africa, especially among Muslim peoples. Secondly, in those times women could not readily defend themselves against sexual assault; and mankind, prior to the Judeo-Christian era, was rarely concerned about sexual morals. Neither were they concerned about personal freedom. A club-bearing Neanderthal just took what he could to improve his condition or for amusement. A slave provided both.

America followed British cultural norms (slavery) until the 19th century, though Britain ended slavery before we did. So, ending slavery, upon which most of America depended to sustain its agricultural commerce, was much more than "merely" a step in the right direction. To say otherwise demeans the brave efforts of good men to halt the murderous efforts of bad men.

Today, it is not possible to cure the evils of historical American slavery, any more than we can compensate the innocent peoples who suffered in the genocides of Germany, Russia, China, Cambodia, Turkey, Rwanda, etc., or the hundreds of millions in the ancient past.

Without the moral and material exceptionalism of America, as determined by our Constitution and Bill of Rights, the western world would certainly live in the slavery of communism or religious totalitarian chains.

If no other nation today can duplicate America's proven moral power, generosity and freedom, America is exceptionally good among nations.

 

Happy New Year to all of our readers!

We have some illness in the office this week so I will cut this column short.

****

A real Wonder Woman!
I don't understand why I have never heard of KrisAnne Hall before. After listening to a couple of hours of her interview on C-Span Monday. As someone who loves American history, I'm really mystified about my ignorance of her presence on the national educational scene.

In short, Ms. Hall is the single most enlightened "professor" of constitutional law it has ever been my pleasure to listen to. Her specialty is our great Constitution, our country's structural backbone. Her knowledge of this extraordinary document, in all its particulars, in my view, is just unsurpassed.

I had to marvel at her command of so many detailed expressions of our Founding Fathers, from the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers to opinions of numerous Founders at every level. She explains, in the most pellucid way, the complex structure of our nation, the strict limitations on each of the three branches of our government, and the central and essential sovereignty of the states. See this interview on C-Span (from August of 2017).

Ms. Hall is the author of numerous books on the Constitution, and the government of the United States of America, its uniqueness and, yes, its exceptional status among nations.

She travels the country speaking to schools, universities, church groups, all free of charge. She is an attorney who served in the Army as a translator of Russian, former state prosecutor, etc. One of her several online addresses is: libertyfirstuniversity.com.

I cannot recommend her material too highly. I found her to be a huge and refreshing expression of Constitutional truth. Those interested in better understanding our government should contact KrisAnne Hall online and through her books.

 

(A response to Jacob Zellmer’s Letter to the Editor printed below)

Dear Mr. Zellmer,

Ordinarily, letters to the editor are limited to 250 words. However, I welcome yours because I enjoy a good debate and seldom find anyone interested in engaging.

As my editorial of 12-6-17 states, it was written in about 30 minutes, so I appreciate the fact that you wrote yours "rather quickly" as well. Your letter was 1,000 words in length. My rushed editorial was 390 words in length. So I will squeeze-in that small excuse here.

I truly enjoy arguments, especially concerning religion and politics, though most people don't. I'm sure you understand that it takes much longer to answer a detailed critical letter than it does to initiate one - speaking of space in particular. I'll do my best, as tightly as possible. If my efforts don't suffice, we can continue the debate into future editions.

You have laid-out scores of arguments, each deserving a response. If I am to make any headway here I will have to restrict myself to a "bullet" format.

After reading your letter I have to say I envision my editorial pinned to a logic class bulletin board, for the next fallacy discovery assignment. I would not fare well, but not as badly as you might expect. Writing speedily sometimes invites the fallacy of hasty generalization, among other things, of which I willingly admit. I should not have used the word "ignoramus" because it has an offensive connotation, which I didn't intend. This is shooting from the hip while in a hurry.

But let's begin.

The general point I wished to make is simply that Americans, students at every level, and others, don't appreciate their American heritage, mostly due to ignorance of their American past. I based this assumption on personal experience and online statistics. I was reminded of this after noticing reference to a recent poll. (Millennials aren't satisfied with capitalism and might prefer a socialist ...www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article182765121.html.

Nov 4, 2017 - Millennials prefer socialism over capitalism, a YouGov study from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Fund. (Other studies show similar results).

I don't vouch for the accuracy of any poll (see last presidential election polls).

General ignorance of essential information, in this case American history, can reasonably be placed at the foot of the institutions responsible for disseminating it - places of learning, schools and colleges. The information is either transfered or not. Too often today it is not sufficiently transferred. Those who don't know our history can hardly be expected to recognize our exceptional place in modern history, for that reason. Children don't go to school to be educated. They go to school to educate themselves - if the curriculum is absent, opportunity is retarded.

For time's sake I would like to clarify some of my more obvious logical fallacies:

"Proof" of such educational deficiency would be better described as "widespread" instead of "wholesale".

Addressing some of your cruel syllogisms, I have to admit of some slovenly logical construction here as elsewhere. Speedy writing can produce the fallacy of hasty generalization. Not every form of socialism is "bad." It's just that America's form of democratic republicanism is superior - exemplified by America's comparative freedom and material achievements. Many socialist-type nations (like the old "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics") have magnificent-sounding constitutions, but are, and were, fraudulent misrepresentations seeking power. The National Socialist German Workers' Party didn't work out so well either.

Today many European nations successfully represent a mixture of socialism and democracy like those in Scandinavia. However they are not as free as Americans - most lack a Bill of Rights, or subscribe to an established religion, and could not defend themselves against a Russian attack, as happened in the Republic of Crimea. But no time to explore this issue.

Without America's exceptional accomplishments, social, technical, and military, there very likely would be no Western-European "democracies", socialist or otherwise, in existence today. America may be loaded with imperfections (as all other nations) but it is the glue that holds the free world together today, indisputably. Res ipsa loquitur! (Hey, you started it with ipso facto).

Moving right along, I agree, elite college entrants probably have better historical understanding. But saying this involves us in the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam. You have insufficient evidence for making that assertion.

To a reasonably informed person, I think knowledge of American history does in fact lead to the conclusion that America is an exceptional place. This does not diminish the historically immoral and malevolent facts, like slavery. But this is where being reasonable and informed comes in - where understanding that white Americans fought to the death (600,000+ deaths) with white slave owners and sympathizers to end slavery - and were victorious.

Then you point to my most egregious logical fallacy, my assertion that "No intellectually honest person can fail to acknowledge Divine intervention in America's birth and growth."

This was clearly a fallacy-infected statement. The idea of Divine intervention is certainly a matter of faith, and a matter of my faith. But your criticism is badly stated. "...must hold certain faith beliefs to be intellectually honest." I have no excuse here, the statement is clearly wrong. But while it may, as you say, "conflate faith and reason" I believe that faith, reason, and the Gospel are not incompatible - so did Thomas Aquinas.

You're wrong again in stating holding different beliefs "is intellectually dishonest." People under those circumstances could be many things other than dishonest - for example, just naive.

Jacob, I truly appreciate your letter. I should have known better than to have sought to solve the problem of evil in 390 words. I shall repent.

Your letters are always welcome.

***

Response to Dec. 6th Editorial

Dear Martin Farrell,

I grew up in Fillmore and still consider it home. The Fillmore Gazette has been a way for me to check in on what’s happening in Fillmore while I am out of town and for that I am grateful.

I am writing in response to your Dec. 6th editorial. The structure of some of your arguments don’t seem valid and I find it difficult to accept the truth of some of your premises. I’ve written this rather quickly, and so despite the critical nature of my response, I hope this comes across as respectful.

Your first paragraph cites an anonymous polling organization as evidence that millennials are more attracted to socialism than democracy. It is then asserted that this data is “proof” of the wholesale failure of our educational system. To make this assertion you need to have the following assumptions, (1) every form of socialism is a bad political or economic system, (2) anyone who thinks otherwise must have received a bad education, and (3) an educational system that produces people who disagree with my opinions is a failed educational system. This is an interested line of argument, but it has flaws. First, there is no reasoning given in your op-ed for why we should believe (1). And so (2) is a non-starter. (3) is odd because it assumes that everyone with opinions opposed to your own are irrational or at least their arguments are irrational or unintelligible.

The second paragraph then narrows in on how you think educational systems are flawed: American history has been hijacked by “radical Left fake history.” I think your point here is that because American millennials are ignorant of American heritage, they are more likely to think socialism is better than democracy. It isn’t clear what makes you say that millennials are ignorant of American heritage. Do you mean that (1) millennials must be ignorant of American heritage based on their attraction to socialism, or (2) millennials are ignorant based on personal experience you’ve had with them, or (3) millennials are ignorant of American history because of external data/polling? You also don’t make clear how knowing American history causes a person to think socialism is a bad thing. First, socialism isn’t defined in your op-ed, so it isn’t clear what you consider socialism to be. Part of the confusion here is that you contrast socialism with democracy even though socialism as a form of government isn’t mutually excluded from democracy. This is why “social democracy” and “democratic socialism” are forms of government. So, I wonder if socialism vs. democracy is in some ways a false dichotomy. If I had to guess, I’d say that millennials are more critical of capitalism than of democracy.

Your argument for why American history is important is that America is “exceptional”: it has thrived for 240 years as a democratic republic. The assumption you make is that students who know American history better will be more critical of socialism in all its forms. I don’t see why this is the case, unless learning American history is a form of brainwashing in which all political systems besides American democracy and capitalism are portrayed as irrational. Studying American history should let students see the ways in which democracy (and capitalism) have been both successful and not perfect, i.e., both systems have flaws.

Part of your op-ed criticizes elite colleges and universities for devaluing studies of Western Civilization, which was mostly, as far as I know, universities dropping the requirement for students to take Western Civilization courses. You claim that the chant was “Hey-hey, ho-ho, American Civ has got to go,” but my Google search of this phrase only brought up, “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Western Civ has got to go,” (at least for what happened at Stanford; if I am wrong here, point me to the relevant news articles). Western Civilization would include all European, American, and colonial history, which is much more than just American history. (Interestingly, Plato is a part of Western Civilization, and he hated democracy.) The required courses that were dropped were in Western Civilization, but charitability causes me to think the university still required courses in history, philosophy, art, etc. of world civilizations (and this might include western civilization).

So, your most pointed claim here strikes me as odd. You say: “Some (most ?) of our colleges and universities, those touted as the greatest, have for decades now produced a crowd of history ignoramuses.” First, it seems likely to me that students who get accepted into elite colleges probably have a better understanding of history (world, western, and American) than those who are not accepted into elite colleges; They probably did well in their high school history courses. Hence, calling people with elite college degrees “a crowd of history ignoramuses” seems mistaken. I think this point holds even if you only mean that they are American-history ignoramuses. Second, requiring college students to take American history doesn’t necessarily make them less of an American history ignoramus. Students can do the minimum to pass classes and so remain “ignoramuses.”

I think part of your conclusion on this subject is viable: “…it’s not too much of a stretch to conclude that most American citizens are dangerously ignorant of their own American history…” But it doesn’t necessarily follow that knowledge of American history will make you “acknowledge its greatness” and think America an “exceptional” place. Yes, America is good in certain ways, but history also shows the ways in which America has slaughtered and enslaved people. Why would people of color, after coming to know American History, ipso facto think that America is an “exceptional” place?

Lastly, you make this excessive claim: “No intellectually honest person can fail to acknowledge Divine intervention in its [America’s] birth and growth.” My understanding of Divine intervention is that it is a matter of faith (for the most part) and not knowledge. So, it is odd for you to claim that every intellectually honest person must hold certain faith beliefs. This conflates faith and reason and it also claims that everyone who doesn’t hold your beliefs is intellectually dishonest – this seems unreasonable to me. This letter has already become very long, so I won’t go deeper into this part.

With respect,
Jacob Zellmer
PhD Student in the Department of Philosophy
University of California, San Diego

 

More frequently these days I find myself fighting against a sense of being overwhelmed. The issues, national, state, and local, appear like a tsunami of ungovernable challenges. I get fed-up and want to head for a cabin in the woods with a trout stream nearby - without cell phone, computer, or TV. I guess many other people feel the same way sometimes.

****

Well, just got an alert on a structure fire down Grand Ave. Back now, half-an-hour to finish this piece.
Fillmore was spared the Thomas Fire. The hills behind town burned, but thanks to a perfectly directed drop from one of the "Sky Cranes" the beautiful Bears Haven area was saved from near immediate destruction. The huge flames were mere feet from the top of the pine grove.

****

Our crazy governor Brown's draconian new restrictions on firearms and ammunition will descend upon California gun lovers in a couple of weeks. We need immediate help from our Supreme Court. Brown is infringing upon our Second Amendment rights by nibbles. That's the new preferred plan by radical liberal psychos. California will never be the same again, obvious when you consider Brown's probable successor.

I never cared for Judge Roy Moore, but Alabama's new Senator Doug Jones is a true bleeding liberal. His win jeopardizes Trump's complete agenda. The Never Trumpers have become the enemies of our democracy, together with our crooked FBI, CIA, etc. It's hard to understand why our Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not been replaced by now. Good man that he is, he's also incompetent in this office. He's too nice a guy.

Trump must tear-out the Obama holdovers, root and limb. They are succeeding in their efforts to kill off the Trump agenda. Republicans seem unable to get anything done.

****

I see Putin is building up his nuclear weapons. Russia Sharply Expanding Nuke Arsenal, Underground Facilities... Of course all of our enemies are doing the same, even little North Korea. I hope they fixed that B-1 bomber that broke down on Guam. We may need it to show how strong we are.We can't even pass our defense budget. Sometimes I think the American people have become too stupid to survive.

Turkey's Erdogan is another piece of work. We store a half-dozen nuclear bombs in his back yard. Maybe it's time to retrieve them?

Next week maybe I can find some positive things to discuss. I will do my best.

 

It appears that the City of Fillmore has been spared the flames of what has become one of Ventura County's fastest spreading wildfires, although smoke is coming our way.

As I write these words Ventura is still dealing with serious fire threats and has lost many structures to date. The fire has nearly reached the ocean near the Fairgrounds. The strong, cold east winds have driven these fires, particularly the Thomas Fire, from our county's eastern border. Maybe it was St. Thomas Aquinas who diverted the flames around Thomas Aquinas College near Ojai. Thank God the College remains unharmed. Los Angeles County is still confronted by dangerous fires in the city itself.

****

It seems a little ironic that these fires have threatened Fillmore at a time when the construction of our new $9 million fire station (actually the county's) is about nine-tenths completed. It will be a good thing to have this facility online (with our own Volunteer Fire Department) for fire threats in the future. It seems we can expect this sort of wild fire threat about every 5 years.

Let's pray for those hundreds (possibly thousands) of families who have lost their homes due to these fires - only weeks before Christmas - personal tragedies too numerous to count; and to keep our fire-fighters safe.

****

Emergency information for Thomas-Ventura fires: readyventuracounty.orghttps://www.wsj.com/articles/socialism-capitalism-seen-in-new-light-by-younger-americans-1512561601

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Polling organizations are finding out that our younger citizens, call them millennials, are more attracted to socialism than democracy. This is singular proof of the wholesale failure of our educational system, from grade school to college level.

Not only are American millennials shockingly ignorant of American heritage, the study of "civics" and American history have been superseded by politically correct, radical Left fake history. This is a huge shame. It's also a tragic loss to those who have advanced through our educational system because American history is so uniquely exciting and socially important.

No other attempt to grow a democracy has lasted more than a hundred years, including the first, in Greece. America has thrived for 240 years as a democratic republic and become the richest, most powerful nation on earth. That alone makes us "exceptional."

We have survived wars, poverty, and pestilence, by the grace of God. All of our Founding Fathers believed in the miracle of America because they personally witnessed the flow of such blessings. I would recommend two recent books that seek to certify these unique "miraculous" blessings throughout our history: "The American Miracle", by Michael Medved, and Bill O'Reilly's "Killing England". Both are famously easy reads. Both are exciting and chuck-full of fascinating facts. American history is extraordinarily interesting. No intellectually honest person can fail to acknowledge Divine intervention in its birth and growth. To prefer any variation of socialism to our democratic system is an admission of raw ignorance.

Some (most ?) of our colleges and universities, those touted as the greatest, have for decades now produced a crowd of history ignoramuses. Remember: "Hey-hey, ho-ho, American civ has got to go." And it did. These words were pronounced during the heyday of the American Left, the rebellious Yippies, Hippies, Yuppies, and Puppies - who now occupy the upper levels our commerce and government. I guess they eventually learned that they had to join-up to succeed in our commercial culture.

Anyway, it's not too much of a stretch to conclude that most American citizens are dangerously ignorant of their own American history, and therefore fail to acknowledge its greatness, and can't admit that America is indeed an "exceptional" place, compared to any other nation on earth - so far.

Read those two books and you will appreciate how God has, and continues to bless America.