Letters to the Editor
August 4, 2022

To the Editor:
One of the good things about being old is that I can remember when a lot of things actually happened. T, there was a time when the political parties differed on policies, but generally had the country’s welfare as a priority. Politics was not just a zero-sum game played only to maintain party power. There really was a “Reagan Revolution” when it became acceptable to be greedy and to blame the poor and increasing number of homeless for their situations, rather than tag big money and the failure of capitalism to provide for anyone except the rich and powerful.
The Democrats have their causes, but white nationalism, Christo-fascism, and denial of civil rights of women over their own bodies are not among them. Here is what the Repo senators have done in the last couple of weeks to strengthen and serve the interests of their constituents:
0% voted for cheaper gas
0% voted for cheaper insulin
0% voted for child tax credits to help out young families
0% voted for the Voting Rights Act
1% voted to fight domestic terrorism
4% voted for background checks to buy assault weapons
6% voted for more baby formula
13% voted to stop domestic violence
16% voted for veteran’s cancer care
23% voted to keep gay marriage legal
32% voted to uphold the 2020 election
Why does the party that vehemently proclaims their patriotism and reverence for the constitution and flag also make it difficult for people to vote when there is no legally-supported evidence of elections abuse? Why would they vote against supporting our veterans In need? Why would the party that claims to stand for the “average American” and “the little guy” work so hard to prevent working people from having union representation in the workplace?
Why do so many Republicans support authoritarian Russia and vote against aid to democratic Ukraine? Why do Tucker Carlson and other conservatives celebrate an autocrat and fascist like Viktor Orban when he’s openly endorsed Russia in its conflict with Europe and Ukraine.
Why do they constantly try to reduce taxes on the insanely wealthy while throwing the smallest of bones to average working people and saving the debt for our children? And why is that acceptable to so many Republicans?
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Kelly Scoles wrote on June 30, "Last week, as anticipated, SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, deciding on a 6-3 vote that women's reproductive rights are not HERS but belong to States' law enforcement." Kelly thinks that abortion is a woman's reproductive right. I assume that she agrees with those who say, "my body, my choice." This raises the question: Is the fetus simply part of the woman's body? Have you ever heard of one part of a woman's body having a blood type different from that of the rest of her body? Yet an unborn child often has a blood type different from her mother's. Within a short time, she also has her own beating heart. Have you ever heard of a woman's body having two beating hearts (and also two heads)?
Kelly also stated sarcastically, "control of a zygot or fetus is far more important than the freedom of the woman ..." The little fetus is a human being with her own heart, her own blood, and her own body. Shouldn't she have the freedom to grow up to be a woman like her mother did? Is her life any less important than her mother's? The Supreme Court didn't say that women don't have freedom, including reproductive freedom. What the court said is that the Constitution doesn't give women the right to kill their unbornbabies.
Sadly, many women buy into the lie, "my body, my choice. "However, abortion is murder because it intentionally takes the life of another human being. All murder, including abortion, is against God's law. David writes in Psalm 139:13-14,"You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." And God said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." God gives life, beginning in our mother's womb. We have no right to take it.
Mary Bennett,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
The discussion of the end of Roe v Wade has quieted down these last few days, as many protests against the decision by an ideological group do. I have no doubt as situations occur some will come out in protest again.
The query by Ms. Scoles was, “Why do so many conservative politicians rail against government interference in our lives ...?”. While she was directing her question to “woman’s healthcare”, I think the question should not be directed only to “conservative” politicians, as it seems to be a bipartisan problem. Government has a habit of interfering in virtually every aspect of our lives.
The federal government has stepped into areas which in the past were under states control - education, healthcare, welfare, as well as law enforcement. In 2021, many were forced to take an experimental vaccine in order to attend school or hold down a job. Many, like Fauci and Biden who have had the preferred four shots, still were not protected. Even when taking Paxlovid, each relapsed.
Our Constitution gave us guidelines granting us the freedom to live our lives as we see fit. It doesn’t care which party is in power. The Founders understood each would seek to push their interests at the expense of our liberty. It set out specific checks and balances for the three branches of government, and each branch was given specific powers under which it must operate thereby limiting overreach by another. Each state then has its own constitution which cannot pass any law that violates the U.S. Constitution.
The representatives in California, the majority being Democrats, are quite progressive. There are 11 bills passed or before the legislature relating to reproductive rights. Over $200 million for those rights are set out in this year’s budget. Most is going to abortion clinics, little, if any to provide support to pregnancy centers that help women and girls who chose to have their child.
Why do Democrats want to pass laws that allow for the killing of a fetus yet don’t support the death penalty for those who are convicted of murder?
Patti Walker
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 20, 2022

To the Editor:
I hope there is someone out there who can explain something to me. Why do so many conservative politicians rail against government interference in our lives, but endorse deep government intrusion into the most private part of a woman’s healthcare? They resent and deplore the inclusion of civil rights that are contrary to their personal Christian beliefs, but insist that it is the government’s job to be a partner in a pregnancy and other intimate issues.
A nine-year-old girl was raped and impregnated in Ohio, a state which outlaws abortion after only six weeks. The mother’s troubling defense should be investigated, but a nine- or ten-year-old cannot consent. Anyone who is acquainted with the physiology or psychology of a female child knows very well that her own body needs the nutrients required in pregnancy and her soul is in no way prepared to mother another child. Gym Jordan (R-OH) smugly declared the pregnancy claim to be a “predictable Democratic lie” designed to make anti-choice proponents look bad.
Ohio AG Yost (R-OH) said the story was a “lie.” When he proved wrong, he blamed the physician for not reporting it within the statutory period. He was wrong about that, too. Some years ago, he claimed that Science has “changed in the last years“and suggested that it has settled the question of when the body is “ensouled.” It hasn’t. Science can detect the presence of life but not of the human soul.
James Bopp, Jr., counsel for the National Right to Life, condescended that the 10-year-old should “have had the baby, and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child.” A grown man pontificates about a female child. Do you really want to consign reproductive issues to the tender mercies of these “geniuses?”
Why do many women look past these political atrocities and conclude that Republicans give a desiccated fig about their interests? And this is just the beginning.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 13, 2022

In May 2021, Biden said to our service members at a Virginia military base, “America is unique. From all nations in the world, we’re the only nation organized based on an idea ” Biden said in the address. “None of you get your rights from your government; you get your rights merely because you’re a child of God. The government is there to protect those God given rights. No other government has been based on that notion. No one can defeat us except us.”
The Founding Fathers’ worked for months to stitch together a document that was the basis of that “idea” Biden mentions - limited government, checks and balances, separation of powers, republicanism (interconnection of individual freedom and civic participation with the promotion of the common good) , popular sovereignty (governmental power comes from the will of the people) , and finally, federalism (BOTH the national and state governments share power).
The Constitution is not a living document, except when amendments are added, the last, number Twenty-seven, was added in May 1992, and it took 202 years to ratify that one. As CNN pointed out in 2020, “The Supreme Court hasn’t been this conservative since the 1930's.” The appointment of Barrett, joining Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh as Constitutional originalists. This left Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson, who ascribe to a judicial philosophy where they bring their own individual ideas and beliefs which shape their rulings.
The late Justice Scalia, an originalist, stated, “My burden is not to show that originalism is perfect, but that it beats the other alternatives, and that, believe me, is not difficult.” He also said, “All these questions pose enormous difficulty for non originalists, who must agonize over what the modern Constitution ought to mean with regard to each of these subjects, and then agonize over the very same questions five or 10 years later, because times change,”
As the battles are being fought over the Roe v Wade decision wage on, please ask yourself, do you want the Constitution to be built on a solid foundation of bedrock or quicksand?
Patti Walker

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 6, 2022

To the Editor:
“Projection” is a term used in psychology to describe the deflection for personal bad acts onto others to avoid censure, incrimination, or responsibility for his or her own acts. The “projector” often presents as a “victim,” of lunacy, ill-will, or frequent “unfairness.”
If you didn’t see any part of the telecast testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, you could not know how compelling the former Deputy to the Chief of Staff to the president was. From her report, Trump knew his crowd was armed, and mag check revealed that many weapons, including guns, knives and truncheons, were confiscated from many in the crowd. Trump told the Secret Service that he didn’t care if the crowd had guns, because, “they’re not here to hurt me.” When told that the crowd at the Capitol was yelling, “get Mike Pence,” and had erected a gallows on the lawn, he excused it by saying that “people are angry at Mike.”
Ms. Hutchinson, a Trump Republican until January 6 when the coup was attempted, testified that her boss Mark Meadows, Chief of Staff, declined to confront the president again as the violence escalated, because “he (Trump) doesn’t want to do anything.” Pat Cipollone, White House Counsel, urged immediate presidential call for peace (which he only got hours into the insurrection), and remarked that if Trump’s Capitol plans succeeded, “we’re going to be charged with every crime imaginable.” Jared accused the lawyer of “whining.”
But Trump determined that Ms Cassidy has “something wrong with her," he said on Wednesday…The woman is living in fantasy land. She's a social climber, if you call that social. She has serious problems. Mental problems. But for this girl to sit there and just, I think, make up stories and I, again, hardly know who she is."
Vintage Trump. Project lying, crazy, and mental problems onto another believable individual, and insist the HE is a victim of her fantasies, and the very worst sin, being a “social climber,” which has been Trump’s alter-ego all his life. He attempts to project onto her, as he has to so many, the very things of which he himself is guilty.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
June 29, 2022

To the Editor:
Last week, as anticipated, SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, deciding on a 6-3 vote that women’s reproductive rights are not HERS but belong to States’ law enforcement.
In states like TX, it’s also the business of vigilantes who may wish to identify for prosecution their daughters, wives, sisters, friends, enemies, or complete strangers. Because control of a zygot or fetus is far more important than the freedom of the woman even if she had been forced into conception. Will doctors be required to report pregnancies to the State for monitoring? Is a woman’s reproductive health record subject to evidentiary scrutiny? Is there no longer a “doctor-patient privilege” for women?
Senators Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) were shocked and “deeply disappointed” in the votes by Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch who had assured them that Roe v. Wade was an “important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times,” and that “any good judge would treat it as precedent.” Naïve or gullible, neither senator did their job, so it was easy for Kavanaugh and Gorsuch to hoodwink them and lie. A significant problem on the highest Court in the land?
Young women today cannot know what it was like before Roe and how many women died in self-administered pregnancy termination out of sheer desperation. While Republicans demand “choice,” and “freedom” from government interference in their lives, they routinely define and deny “freedom” for others, and now justify government intrusion into women’s most private issues. Politicians do not do this out of respect for “life” (or they would show similar concern post-birth), and certainly not for women’s lives. It is not the last intrusion into private life this Court will make. When anti-choice Republicans insist that they are the Party of Freedom, they mean THEIR freedoms informed by thirst for political power or personal religious validation. This is not “democracy.”
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
So, Roe v Wade is history. We’ve known this for over a month. Yet the anger remains so intense. Why? Why are so many corporations paying their employees to travel to a state where abortions are legal? Dick’s Sporting Goods is paying up to $4,000 to cover an abortion. I’m sure it’s less expensive to cover the abortion than to pay for maternity leave, health insurance coverage and for the corporation to have to deal with the affects children can cause.
I believe that individuals when choosing to have an abortion, are facing one of their life’s most difficult decisions. One that cannot be altered. That’s why there are pregnancy centers - centers that provide counter-information to the ending of a life together with support during the pregnancy and after. Is that such a bad thing? Do those who are destroying these centers know this?
In 2006 Biden said, “I do not view abortion as a choice. I think it’s always a tragedy.” Under Clinton White House always pro-choice Counsel Elena Kagan, now Superior Court Judge, urged Clinton to ban partial birth abortions. Clinton said that abortions should be “safe, legal but rare”.
Why can’t the media just tell the truth about the decision? Many states have laws on the books pertaining to abortion, California being one. They are not illegal in all states. Planned Parenthood shows six where it is not allowed. Here in CA AB2223, cosponsored by our local Assemblymember Steve Bennett, states, “SEC. 6. Section 123466 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:123466. The state shall not deny or interfere with a pregnant person’s right to choose or obtain an abortion prior to viability of the fetus, or when the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant person.” Keep in mind AB2223 does not define “viability”. Some say fetal viability is when the fetus can survive outside of the womb. Is this with or without medical care? If so, viability is around 23 weeks of the approximate 38 weeks for a full-term fetus. And a fetus is not a child until it reaches its 8th week after birth.
AB2223 goes on to say, “SEC. 8. Section 123468 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read: 123468. The performance of an abortion is unauthorized if performed by someone other than the pregnant person and if either of the following is true: ...”. So, in CA can the “pregnant person” perform an abortion on herself regardless of where she may be in the gestation period? Just wondering as that too is not discussed.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
June 22, 2022

To the Editor:
We should be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Watergate break in as a close call for our democracy, but one which we finally discovered, acknowledged and held the perpetrators, from the president to the mad-as-a-hatter G. Gordon Liddy, accountable. Unfortunately, we have a far more threatening recent assault on our country to confront.
The bipartisan House Select Committee on the January 6, 2021, event at the Capitol is holding televised meetings to report on the on the events of that day, in a way that makes clear what happened without endless hours of testimony, for which we can be grateful. The only reason that only two constitutionally-honest Republicans serve on the Committee is that Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had a hissy fit when Pelosi exercised her power to reject his Trumpian apologists, and he refused to appoint alternate Repo House members. Take that, Pelosi! Uh oh.
It is now clearthat the events of J6 were not spontaneous. They were planned by Trump minions from the Willard Hotel in D.C. “Stop the Steal” rallying cry was a PR stuntsince Trump himself, and the rational minds around him (including Ivanka), knew that Trump had lost. But here was a chance to inflame his base and it was a sure way to beat the bushes for donations to fight the “steal.” No one has identified one cent that was used for that purpose. But hey, ka-ching!
Former AG Bill Barr finally admitted, after being placed under oath, that he knew the “stop the steal” cry was unfounded, and that Trump’s attempts tooverthrow the election were unconstitutional. Many Republicanstold colleagues that Trump was responsible for the insurrection and needed to be held accountable, only to reverse themselves when The Don yanked their chains.
I hope you have a chance to watch this exercise in democracy. Our government was very nearly overthrown from within and we must be prepared for another attempt.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Last week my former churchgoing friend offered yet another plaintive critique of “Biden and his administration are gloating that he has been able to bring about ‘historic’ economic gains…” (Sigh.)
Fortunately, I know this author to be a caring and intelligent citizen. Let me ask one question, since I respect and also recognize her feelings of frustration and powerlessness as if they were my own: Are there any compassionate Americans who are gloating over anything political in America tonight …or for the last decade? The pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine, hyperpartisanship, wage inequality, climate change, Uvalde, QAnon, racial tensions…
Homework for Fillmorites: Let’s be fearless and try trusting one another again.
Respectfully,
Tom Somers,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
June 15, 2022

To the Editor:
The Biden and his administration are gloating that he has been able to bring about “historic” economic gains during the first 16 months of his time in office.
Last time I looked the stock market is down since he took office. Trump warned the country that the stock market would crash if Biden was elected. Seems he may be right.
Gas prices are up from July 2021, of $3.216 a gallon to today’s average price of $5.107 around the country. And you only need to go to the grocery store to feel inflation at its fullest.
Biden repeats that there is low unemployment and higher wages. As for the first, they don’t count those who are not receiving unemployment payments. Many had to leave their jobs either through resignation or retirement due to requirements to receive the COVID shots. And many didn’t return to their jobs after the lock-downs were relaxed. With 4.5 million workers quitting their jobs in November 2021, it has left over 10 million job openings across the USA. And higher wages? It’s being eaten up by the increase costs at the stores and gas stations.
When Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, the economy was growing at 6.5%. Why pour money into the consumers pockets when they were doing it all on their own? As a result in the third quarter of 2021 the growth rate dropped to 2%. Recession is looming.
So the question is still the same one Reagan asked but worse. Are you better off today then two years ago?
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
May 26, 2022

To the Readers of our Fillmore Gazette:
For everyone's information, there has been a misunderstanding that this year's LGBTQ+ Pride fair was cancelled. This year's LGBTQ+ Pride Fair was not cancelled by anyone. However, unlike last year, the city will not help to advertise it, co-sponsor it, nor will they pay city employees who work on the fair in any way. That is entirely up to any private group that wishes to do so. Anyone in Fillmore is free to organize, sponsor, and advertise for their own fair.
Safeguard Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
May 19, 2022

To the Editor:
Local energy workers work hard to produce safe, affordable, and reliable energy for all Ventura County residents. We take tremendous pride in the work we do. But the proponents of Measures A and B are attacking local oil and gas production, and with it, thousands of good-paying local jobs. Measures A and B are a power grab by local politicians to grant themselves the power to shut down existing oil and gas production. A shutdown would jeopardize more than 2,000 jobs that support working families, including mine. Jobs are at stake, and local families can’t afford Measures A and B. Please take this into consideration and vote No this June.
Joe Benson,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
May 11, 2022

To the Editor:
The California voter ballots are being mailed out this week. Please, please know your candidates. Become familiar with their positions on those matters that you deem important. Read the measures and propositions that may be on the ballot. You may learn too late that the fine print conflicted with your beliefs.
The decision you make will be one you’ll have to live with the entire time you live in this beautiful state. Voting is not only a right, it is a privilege that must be cherished and respected.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

***

To the editor:
With the recently leaked Supreme Court decision draft, the issue of abortion rights is again in the news. We read of demonstrations agitating against overturning Roe v. Wade and see signs displayed with the slogans, "My body, my choice," and "Bans off my body." In discussing this issue, two questions are worth asking. Question one: "If it has a beating human heart, is it a human being?" Question two: "Can one part of a woman's body have a blood type different from the rest of her body?" The answers are obvious. If it has a beating human heart, what else would it be but a human being? And, of course one part of a person's body can't have a blood type different from the rest of her body. Yet many children, including the unborn, have a blood type different from their mother's.
If you support abortion rights, I encourage you to honestly ask yourself these questions. If you're pro-life and discuss abortion rights with those who support them, I encourage you to ask them these questions. If people consider and answer these questions, hopefully they will see that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being.
Also, check out the website of "Abortiontruth.com." Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier,
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
May 4, 2022

Letter to The Editor:
What is the purpose of a city council proclamation? They are handed out like candy at Halloween in recognition of employees work ethics, retiring employees and council members, school championships, or annual announcements like fire prevention week, mental awareness, cancer awareness, etc., etc. It is an official statement of praise and celebration.
Last year the Fillmore City Council issued a proclamation to announce LGBTQ+ Pride Month. When asked, the city joined in to provide support for a resource fair in 2021 which was held outside City Hall. In doing so, they now find they’re being chided for not willing to support the fair in 2022.
The city did not issue a declaration, which is different from a proclamation. A declaration is an indication of an opinion or belief. Maybe not all five of the council members believe they should have the city involved to the level they found themselves in the prior year. Their desire not to continue in a yearly resource fair is not an act of discrimination or an effort to oppress any member of the community. If the non-profit in question wishes to hold the fair I hope it is successful. It is not necessary for the city to be involved for it to be so.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
April 27, 2022

To the Editor:
The first day to vote is just around the corner. Federal, state and local offices are on the ballot. What’s happening in your life? Are you better off today than two years ago? Have the incumbents lowered your taxes? Worked to lower gas prices? Improved your child’s education? If not, this is the sixth inning and your team is losing. Maybe it’s time to replace the players on the field.
Patti Walker
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
April 20, 2022

To the Editor:
“There are only three ways to meet the unpaid bills of a nation. The first is taxation. The second is repudiation. The third is inflation.” Herbert Hoover
In review of Hoover’s quote, Biden is proposing a hike in the federal income tax rate from 37% to 39.6% in his 2023 federal budget. On top of that he’s pushing for taxing unrealized capital gains from stocks and bonds. He’s also pushing for child care credits, elder care credits and reduction in prescription prices. These last items are not bad, just costly. None of this should surprise Biden voters because in 1983 he voted to implement the first tax on social security income at 50%. In 1993 he voted to increase the tax on those benefits to 85%.
But getting back to Hoover, repudiation is next. It wasn’t Biden’s fault about Afghanistan. Nor is the border crisis. Rising gas prices were first due to oil producers now its Putin. The cost of meat was because of corporate greed. Increase in crime is due to guns not the criminal or the lack of prosecution.
Now here we are. Inflation is at everyone’s doorstep. Biden pointed his finger at the economy and blamed the slow economic recovery on the pandemic. In February 2020, before the pandemic, the CPI was 2.3% in March 2021 it ended up at 2.6%. Today it’s a whopping 8.5%.
In 1883 William G. Sumner published “What the Social Classes Owe Each Other”. Sumner said there are four interest groups one is to consider. Group A were the Progressive social planners of his time – late 19th century. Group B were the legislators and bureaucrats of the government. Group C was made up of the large majority of industrious laboring producers who work hard to support their families and improve their situations in life. Group D were the lazy and the drunken, the layabouts who are always looking for handouts.
In the end Sumner stated the A’s decide there is a moral duty to provide charity to the D’s, who they see as victims of economic forces over which they have no control. As an interest group, the A’s lobby the B’s to pass laws to institutionalize such charity, otherwise known as welfare. But here’s the rub. Where is the money to come from? Why, from the C’s of course.
I’ll end with a quote by Vladimir Lenin. “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
April 13, 2022

To the Editor:
VCAS
The following letter will publish in The Fillmore Gazette on April 14, 2022. Ms. Greylock and her dogs are well-known around Fillmore, and it is always fun to run into them on their walks. We have published 2 articles with pictures on her happy trio of pups. It is hard to understand why anyone would object to her friendly pets.
“Dear People of Fillmore; I need your help. I'm Birch Greyloch, the woman with the very large dogs.( Perhaps you saw the wonderful article written by Carina Monica Montoya and published in this newspaper on March 3rd.) My dogs are always with me. I need them. Forrest is my service dog and Dahlia is being trained to be a service dog. But some of my neighbors are trying to have them declared a vicious menace and take them away from me. Neither dog has ever bitten anyone, they have never even growled at anyone, but like all dogs, they have barked at people. I am doing everything in my power to keep them away from anyone that is bothered by them. But I do have to go in and out of the building and because I am on the third floor, I must use the elevator. There is no way to see who will be waiting for the elevator when we get home or who may be on the first floor when we get off. If the dogs are surprised, they may bark. Barking doesn't seem to be a sin if the dog is small, but if the dog is large...
These people who are offended by my dogs are calling Animal Control to complain. If Animal Control only hears from these complainers, it will be easy for them to assume that my dogs are a menace and take them from me. If you would please be kind enough to call or write to Animal Control about what you have seen of my dogs and their behavior, I will be eternally grateful and know that Fillmore truly is my home.
Ventura County Animal Services
600 Aviation Dr
Camarillo, CA 93010
805-388-4341
Thank you all, very much!
Birch Greyloch”
Wanda Castel de Oro
Editor, The Fillmore Gazette
805-524-2481

***

To the Editor:
“There are only three ways to meet the unpaid bills of a nation. The first is taxation. The second is repudiation. The third is inflation.” Herbert Hoover
In review of Hoover’s quote, Biden is proposing a hike in the federal income tax rate from 37% to 39.6% in his 2023 federal budget. On top of that he’s pushing for taxing unrealized capital gains from stocks and bonds. He’s also pushing for child care credits, elder care credits and reduction in prescription prices. These last items are not bad, just costly. None of this should surprise Biden voters because in 1983 he voted to implement the first tax on social security income at 50%. In 1993 he voted to increase the tax on those benefits to 85%.
But getting back to Hoover, repudiation is next. It wasn’t Biden’s fault about Afghanistan. Nor is the border crisis. Rising gas prices were first due to oil producers now its Putin. The cost of meat was because of corporate greed. Increase in crime is due to guns not the criminal or the lack of prosecution.
Now here we are. Inflation is at everyone’s doorstep. Biden pointed his finger at the economy and blamed the slow economic recovery on the pandemic. In February 2020, before the pandemic, the CPI was 2.3% in March 2021 it ended up at 2.6%. Today it’s a whopping 8.5%.
In 1883 William G. Sumner published “What the Social Classes Owe Each Other”. Sumner said there are four interest groups one is to consider. Group A were the Progressive social planners of his time – late 19th century. Group B were the legislators and bureaucrats of the government. Group C was made up of the large majority of industrious laboring producers who work hard to support their families and improve their situations in life. Group D were the lazy and the drunken, the layabouts who are always looking for handouts.
In the end Sumner stated the A’s decide there is a moral duty to provide charity to the D’s, who they see as victims of economic forces over which they have no control. As an interest group, the A’s lobby the B’s to pass laws to institutionalize such charity, otherwise known as welfare. But here’s the rub. Where is the money to come from? Why, from the C’s of course.
I’ll end with a quote by Vladimir Lenin. “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”
Patti Walker,
Fillmore CA

 
Letters to the Editor
April 6, 2022

To the Editor:
Second Opinion. Conflicts of Interest and Rot
Last week’s Realities bothered me for a couple of reasons.I certainly expected the jerk-knee defense of all things Republican (Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Bork whose only problem was that he hated democracy). But I have to call you out on referring to Senator Maizie Hirono as a “Hawaiian pig.” That is beyond fair comment, IMO.
In the course of trying to revive our democratic republic in the 21st Century, we confront political rot from within and without. The spouses, children and even parents of today’s high office holders are often professionals and can have international connections. What is their obligation, and that of the office holder, to act without compromising the US from within? No law prohibits or curtails political spouses or children from having their own lives, interests, and jobs.
Ginni Thomas, wife of SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas has famously said that he and Ginni “are one,” and that there is “no daylight between them.” Justices are not legally, but only honor, -bound, to recuse themselves where their “impartiality might be reasonably questioned.”
Ginni is unique because of the extent to which her activism intersects with SCOTUS. She has been referred to as the “Forrest Gump of rightwing activism.” While her husband was consideringBush v. Gore in 2000, she was vetting resumes for a potential Bush Administration. She was lobbying against Obamacare as her husband was hearing the case. While SCOTUS was deciding whether Congress could subpoena some January 6 records (which later revealed her active participation in sedition), she accused Congress of “harassing private citizens who have done nothing wrong.” SCOTUS decided the case with one“No” vote, Thomas.
How would Republicans react if the Thomases were similarly disposed, but as Democrats?
The Washington Postrecently published a lengthy updated analysis of presidential son Hunter Biden and his international activities. If accurate, and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t after investigation, it ain’t a pretty picture. The younger Biden sounds like a troubled soul taking refuge in drugs and visions of glory in thoughtlessand trashy ways. Arguments that Hunter had no prior experience that would justify hisforeign compensation are well-founded. The DOJ investigation continues and will determine if his activities were illegal.
Many Republicans agitate themselves over Hunter, though the entire Trump Administration provided asmorgasbord of self-aggrandizement. But, to be fair, when it came to the president’s “kids,” there were three actors plus Jared at work. And, of course, the president himself.Tiny examples:
Trump declined to place his business interests in a blind trust, but“ceded” management of Trump Enterprises to sons Eric and Donnie who don’t breathe without “Dad’s” approval. Trump made547visits to his ownposh propertiesand often brought other officeholders or dignitaries, for whose accommodations, meals and golf carts, he charged the government (us) at market rate, as hedid for the Secret Service personnel who were required to protect him.
Jared and Ivanka who, like Hunter Biden, had no experience in government or in the fields for which they were hired, constantly promoted their financial interests while working in the WH.Their Financial Reports indicate that the two of them made millions in their brand side jobs during the administration. Ivanka received highly unusual and remunerativemultiple Chinese patents once her father took office. Jared’s family met with one of China’s largest finance firms and highlighted Jared’s WH role in pitches to investors. Jared met with mortgage finance executives in the White House, and his father met with Qatar’s finance minister about an investment.
Meanwhile, Donnie and Eric continually glad-handed Trump businesses worldwide, despite ethics warnings.
I am not sure that any of the instances cited here are illegal, but they are sordid and have the appearance of wrong doing. We need laws to prevent this rot and the legal teeth to enforce them.If someone wants to serve in high office, their families need to know that their activities are limited.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
“We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, but they are still lying” Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
MDM is whatever those in power say it is. What is MDM? It’s mis-, dis-, and mal-information. Who gets to say what’s MDM? Frankly, it’s whoever those in power are pushing.
Dept Homeland Security (DHS) uses the label to identify those who deviate from the approved narratives relating to COVID or the 2020 election for instance. If you question or have a difference of opinion, you are at risk of becoming a part of the “foreign and domestic threat of actors”. And what are “treat actors”? Well, they believe you are one if you “exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.”
Take a look at the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) website. They say MDM “is based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”
At no time has an example of any such attack been given. Could they use criticism against the government to imprison someone?
Will the DHS/CISA go after Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for their misleading narratives and coverup regarding the Hunter Biden laptop? Or will they go after Fox News because their factual stories ended up sowing discord and undermining the public trust in our government?
The use of MDM by anyone allows for the control of thought and speech. The use of MDM by the DHS and CISA puts them in the position to tell you what is true or false but they also get to determine whether the information is good or harmful for your consumption.
We’ve got the LGBTQ, BLM, CDC and FDA, among others, who are controlling the language yet failing to disseminate the facts. Why? Could it be because they then loose control over the information and therefore the outcome?
By going down this path we are at risk of losing our ability to be tolerant of others, to have a dialogue on the issues, and in the end allow each to walk away without capitulation of their beliefs. That is democracy. That is freedom of speech. That is what the America I live in should be for all.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
March 30, 2022

To the Editor:
Second Opinion. SCOTUS and Jackassery.
A few weeks ago, Martin deemed it unworthy to consider“theater” in serious political debate. My point was that if theater were removed from politics, at least half of our current Congress would be in Cancun, “searchin’ for their lost shaker of salt.”
Example: Senate Judiciary hearings on the SCOTUS nomination of Kentanji Brown Jackson. Judge Jackson is deemed “Well-Qualified” by unanimous vote of the Standing Committee of the ABA and has been vetted and confirmed by the Committee for three prior federal judicial appointments. She graduated from Harvard magna cum laude, and Harvard Law School cum laude. She has a broad spectrum of legal experience.
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sanctimoniously declared that President Biden picked the “wrongblack woman” (it’s “your Honor” to you, buddy), and that Judge Jackson is an “activist” (as opposed to the current flaming-reactionary SCOTUS majority). He became borderline-hysterical and ordered Jackson to weigh in on the Kavanaugh hearings, shouting over her when she tried to respond. At one point he became so overwrought in his lip-quivering concern for some unintelligible menace, he got teary-eyed and stalked out of the hearing room. Very emotional little guy.
Josh Hawley (R-MO) betrayed his Harvard/Yale education by puckering up for a QAnon-inspired dog whistle that liberals support pedophiles, and asserted that some of Judge Jackson’s sentences for sex-related crimes indicate she is an apologist for child pornographers. The mother of two pointed out that while she has some discretion in sentencing, Congress sets sentencing guidelines for judges, noting that she is not in Congress.
The hearing room hushed for the queries of TX Senator Ted “Daddy” Cruz (just keepin’ the legend alive).He so ridiculously grandstanded that fellow-Republican Ben Sasse (NE) commented, “I think we should recognize that the jackasserywe often see around here is partly because of people mugging for short-term camera opportunities” as Daddy checked his Twitter comments.
It wounds me to withhold my award for “jackassery” from Cruz, but it has to go to Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Also whistling toQAnonreveries of liberal support for pedophilia, she demanded that Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) provide, for her inspection and evaluation, the sealed sentencing documents for a couple of rapists sentenced by Judge Jackson. He refused for privacy considerations of the victims. So, she asked the Judge to define “woman.” Judge Jacksonadmitted that she lacks the expertise to definebiological sex in terms of chromosomes, genes, hormones, and organs.Blackburn really wanted a simpler, more helpfuldefinition involving secondary sex characteristicsat birth. Which has nothing to do with an appointment to SCOTUS.
These political thespians know they can inspire and motivate the base by conjuring abortion, liberal plots, and pedophile rings. While Hawley showed an unusually keen interest in the details of rapes and molestations, Blackburn stated, “The Constitution grants us rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – not abortions.” The relevant quote is, of course, from the Declaration of Independence and not the Constitution. Apparently, you don’t have to take a course in American History to get a BA in Home Ec. from Mississippi State or be a Senator from Tennessee. Someone on Twitter recommended that she “put down the Aquanet and read a book once in a while.”
Senate Leader McConnell urged Republicans to reject her nomination because she “declined to address critically important questions and ameliorate real concerns. Judge Jackson was the court-packers pick.” We’re still at 9, Lady Whistledog. Don’t hold it against Jackson that she hasn’t been credibly accused of sexual assault, didn’t snivel, or announce her passion for any particular adult beverage.
I cannot predict whether Judge Jackson will be confirmed, but clearly, she should be.We will see whether Republicans want a two-Party democratic political system or it’s their way or the highway. What you getwith a one-Party system is a dictatorship.Check out Putin to see what that means.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
There’s so much talk about the gaffes and bloopers coming from our President and Vice President.
So Kamala hasn’t been to the southern border, she hasn’t “been to Europe.” And maybe she has trouble thinking on her feet, like when she said “It is time for us to do what we have been doing. And that time is every day. Every day it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down.” It’s also possible she believes adults need to be talked to as if they have a third-grade level of education when she spoke about Ukraine. Her comment, “Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine.”
And Biden is pushing 80. I’m sure he was just confused when he spoke to the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and told them “You’re going to see when you’re there, and some of you have been there, you’re gonna see — you’re gonna see women, young people standing in the middle in front of a damned tank just saying, ‘I’m not leaving, I’m holding my ground.’”. And maybe his hearing was off when asked about the comment from Russia using chemical weapons, he stated we can “respond in kind”. And he did sound like Reagan this week, at least until he said about Putin, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power."
But the best quote is from Harris when she said, “Because as we all know, elections matter. And when folks vote, they order what they want, and in this case they got what they asked for.”
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
March 23, 2022

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

***

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

 
Letters to the Editor
March 16, 2022

To the Editor:
Theater and Drilling
Martin: While my views and literary style are not news to you, I can understand that occasionally they may irritate reactionary sensibilities. Politics has always been in great part “theater” (think Kennedy/Nixon debates or Ted Cruz delivering“Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor). If you observe political Party leaders (on both sides) you know that. These are the very people who will formulate American policy. What they say and do now is very much an indication of how they will govern if given the chance.
You are a serious man, but it’s hard to believe that you think it trivial to reveal a former president and potential future Commander-in-Chief joking about inciting a war between two nuclear powers, then sitting back and watching the result. Or find nothing significant in a prominent Republican politician consorting with groups known to invoke Hitler and Putin and support racism as the dominant conservative ideology. Or that Republican leaders are afraid to condemn these undemocratic extremists.Avert your eyes at our peril.
I do not concoct facts or “alleged comments.”Google them. The incidents I report generally do not appear on conservative media. They contradict the image that many Republicans(want to) have of their Party, or they may disturb the reverie of Tucky’s white nationalist views, conspiracy theories, and dictator envy. ButDorothy Collins taught her 12 kids to share, and so...
The Russian war is a worthy subject and easier to confront. The racism inherent in white nationalism can involve friends and neighbors. You will write what you wish, but I am afraid that you will be stuck with that ink bill after all.
You asked why President Biden “closed down the nation's energy industry,”presumably when he fulfilled a campaign promise and stopped the Canada-to-Gulf XL Pipeline project (and federal oil subsidies). Theindustry was not “closed down.”Thedenial of pipeline construction permits does not stop oil and gas drilling or delivery. It precludesproduct conveyance by way of a very environmentally-risky delivery system. The tar sands oil will just have to find its way to market as it always has.
Oil production in the Trump and Biden Administrations has remained generally constant. The post-pandemic demand is greater as people are out-and-about, the Russian war and sanctions against buying their oil have some effect, but the petroleum companies are not drilling more oil. Instead, they are opting to prioritize stock buybacks and score record high profits rather than using the approximately 9,000 oil and gas drilling permits already available but unused.
"Oil and gas companies do not want to drill more," (emphasis mine) said Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov. "They are under pressure from the financial community to pay more dividends, to do more share buybacks instead of the proverbial 'drill baby drill,' which is the way they would have done things 10 years ago. Corporate strategy has fundamentally changed."
President Biden has released significant oil reserves andis under pressure to invoke Cold War-era powers to force more domestic oil production as the war in Ukraine strains supplies and further fuels inflation. It is a dilemma of the “open market”against governmental interference with private enterprise for national need. Capitalism against temporary “socialism,” if you will.
The industry knows what the future requires. They are already investing in a petroleum-free world. BP (British Petroleum) has rebranded itself “Beyond Petroleum” andis looking toward renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar.But the GOP wants to “party on” as if the future is distant and the horrific environmental impacts of fossil fuel do not exist. And blamePresident Biden.
This is the time to bite the bullet and go green energywith the new jobs that will generate. To miss this opportunity is to deny the future, andextend the economic prison of the fossil fuels industry and theproduct-source of our impending climate crises.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
At the beginning of each week I give thought about what to write in my Letter to the Editor. I see so many issues to address - Ukraine, inflation, pandemic/endemic, the supply chain? Seems they are connected in so many ways, which I find troubling in itself.
For instance, back in early 2021, Russia started setting up its military along the Ukrainian border. In response Biden was set to give a $100 million military aid to Ukraine then it was halted. As Russia moved in more troops, Biden began his talk of “strong economic and other measures” if they should attack. Republicans were asking Biden to provide military aid to Ukraine in November 2021, but it wasn’t until mid January 2022 that Biden provided any aid.
On February 22, Russia launched his “demilitarisation and denazification” of Ukraine. On March 14, Russia joined forces with China. Now Biden’s threatening China with the same lines about “strong economic and other measures” if they respond to Russia’s request for military and economic relief.
When the USA placed sanctions on Russian imports, it became clear gas sanctions were negligible compared to the impact we’ll see in the current inflation situation as it relates to the iron, steel, fertilizer, nickel and copper, and grain Russia provides. Our current inflation rate as of February is 7.87%. In February the average American was paying $250 more a month to deal with the price increases we see daily; today they say it’s now $375.
Today, Biden’s sitting with Russia to broker a new nuclear deal with Iran, one of America’s biggest threats. He’s begging Venezuela, another arch enemy, to sell us their fossil fuels. Pete Buttigieg, our Secretary of Transportation, says we need to look to solar, wind, nuclear or hydroelectric means for our energy and move to zero fossil fuels. Keep in mind 65% of the energy used in the USA is a form of fossil fuel. I’m sure it will take much longer to get become fossil fuel free then the time it takes to return to our being energy self-sufficient today.
Ukraine is in the 20th day of fighting to maintain its sovereignty after the unprovoked attack by Russia. Since then Iran sent 12 missiles near the U.S. consulate in Irbil, Iraq. North Korea has shot more ballistics missiles off it’s coast in the last month. A Russian missile strike near Poland was launched from within the USSR’s own borders. COVID is raging out of control in many areas of China, causing a reduction in their ability to respond to our “supply chain crisis”.
Concerns about Russia having nuclear weapons has Western Europe worried. And rightfully so. Since most of Europe depends on Russian fossil fuel, they were unwilling to take the same actions as we have. If Russia wins this war, the dynamics in Europe and around the entire world will dramatically change.
It is possible for the USA to be self-sufficient in most of it needs and if necessary we could live without the rest. I don’t care if you call it “Made in America” or “Make America Great Again”, but it’s my opinion a true leader will see that it may be time to shift the agenda from globalization to self-sufficiency and “... preserve, protect and defend“ America.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
March 9, 2022

To the Editor:
Second Opinion: Nuts and Numb Nuts.
While the world contends with the terror of war, the resilience and courage of the Ukrainians, and the real possibility that Putin is mentally ill and not opposed to using a nuclear bomb, our own doofuses and crazies have not been idle.It’simportant to keep an eye on them especially in a midterm year. Sadly, there is only space here for a few.
In the garden of the merely demented,Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)blooms conspicuously. Shewas confronted recently after speaking to a crowd summoned by the notorious Nick Fuentes. She claimed not to knowFuentes, an advocate of America as a white-Christian-only nation, a Holocaust denier, and a leader in the Groyper Movement,white nationalists who seek to normalize racism and make it a part of mainstream conservative political ideology.
Repo House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) seemed to “buy” her self-exoneration until Logic grappled him to the ground. He later observed that Fuentes’ “introductory speech where he praised both Putin and Adolf Hitler should have been enough for her to walk away.This is unacceptable.”(emphasis mine) But the racism inherentin white nationalismactuallyis acceptable to a lot of people in this country, a factwhich McCarthy and many Republicans are afraid to publicly criticize.
If it were not acceptable, MTG, Nick Fuentes, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, the afore-mentioned Paul Gosar and Thomas Massie, Tucker Carlson,Louis Gohmert, Stephen Miller, and many others,would be as isolated in the Republican Partyasa pig at the Westminster Dog Show.Unfortunately, their porcine grunts are music to the ears of not all, but many.
In the arena of the barking-mad, theBest in Show for the week goes to a recent former president. Last Saturday night in New Orleans, Trump spoke to 250 of his most loyal donors. To prove that he’s “up” on foreign relations, he praised North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as “seriously tough” (he did not mention their “love letters”). He blasted President Biden’s “weak” response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,andsuggested that the US should disguise our F-22 Raptorswith the Chinese flag and “bomb the sh*t out of Russia.”
“And then we say, ‘China did it, we didn’t do it, China did it,’ and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch.”His audience roared with laughter and, I expect, deep, guttural,barnyard delight.This is the irresponsible,unprincipled,reckless man-child that nearly half the country thinks should have another whack atbeing our Commander-in-Chief.
I saw a video last week of a reporter asking Trump if, were the situation reversed, he would be as brave as Ukraine president Zelensky. Trump responded, “Well, you never know.” I was reminded of a Howard Stern interview about 10 years ago when Trump, a legendary germaphobe, told a story in which headmittedly refused to help an 80-year-old man who fell at a party at Mar-a-Lago and bled on the “beautiful marble floor[which] became very red…This is terrible! This is disgusting!After the Marines took the old man away, “I say, ‘Get that blood cleaned up! It’s disgusting’…The next day I forgot to call [the man] to see if he’s OK…[the blood] it’s justnot my thing.”
To the reporter, the real answer’s,” ‘Fraid not, that’s just not my thing.” Trump is worlds away from the courage and national leadership demonstrated by Volodymyr Zelensky.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
March 2, 2022

To the Editor:
Second Opinion. Putin, Trump, Ukraine
In a radio interview with Travis/Sexton last week, former president Trump praised Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. “Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful. He used the word ‘independent’ and we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace. You gotta say that’s pretty savvy…how smart is that? And he's going to go in and be a peacekeeper. Here's a guy who's very savvy.” Trump later clarified his statement: “The problem is not that Putin is smart, which of course he’s smart, but the real problem is that our leaders are dumb, dumb, so dumb.” (emphasis mine)
These are the words of our former Commander-in-Chief and wanna-be future CIC, congratulating a foreign despot for invading a sovereign country, and pronouncing the current President of United States incompetent in a time of war. Trump does not care about this country or maintaining the principles upon which it was founded. Everything is about his ego; he is clearly no “patriot.” And still, there are people who will vote for him in 2024.
Trump claims Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if HE were president because “he knows Putin.” More to the point, Putin knows Trump. Hanatee proclaimed that Putin was “afraid of Trump” and his “unpredictability,” (as if that were a good thing in a person of great power) and so, peace reigned. But in every picture of the two of them, Putin looked like the cat that munched the mouse, but let it live for further amusement. The mouse limped about, Rocky-style cocky, declaring that he had won a round.
Knowing well the kind of man Trump is, Putin played him countless times (when he asserted that Putin was more believable than that our own Intelligence Agencies, that NATO was useless, or when he couldn’t think of why Putin would lie about not spying on America). Trump detects that Putin is stronger than he, and that he likely has “information,” so where Putin is concerned he was, and still is, a very good boy.
President Biden has made significant progress in resuscitating NATO against Russian adversity. Former Bush 43 Secretary-of-State Condoleeza Rice observed that, “the global community would not be unified behind Trump the way they are with President Joe Biden.” The UN voted last week in a draft resolution to tell Moscow to cease the attack against Ukraine and “withdraw all troops immediately.” Russia was the lone “No” vote. The surprise was China, who joined India and the UAE in abstaining, but did not support Russia on the US-authored text.
Fox News and Tucky were instantly pro-Putin, and referred to the invasion as a “border dispute.” Carlson absolved Putin of being an enemy because he, among other things, did “not eat dogs.” (Google it) He is energetically seeking to interview Putin (as he did the despot of Turkey, Erdogan). These murderous despots somehow hold great emotional attraction for him.
Over the weekend, however, Fox News seemed to be reversing itself in its support of Putin, as major international corporations turn on Russia. It is clear that defending Ukraine is defending the future of Europe, particularly the NATO Balkan states.
The Russian people grow weary of Putin’s quest for historical stature by reconstituting the USSR. His crusade is not for the people of Russia, but for himself. Trump’s objectives are not for our country, but for Trump alone. This planet has been through so much in the last couple of years and there is still much to endure, particularly if this war extends on.
One great hope is that the despots and wanna-be’s will not arise victorious.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
As I write this, March 1, 2022, tonight President Biden will give his first State of the Union address. I don’t hold out hope that Biden will speak to the vast majority of the Americans he represents. He promised in his inaugural address to “repair”, “restore”, “heal”, and “build” America. He promised to do “great things,” to make America a “strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security,” and to answer “the call of history.” He also said, “To overcome these challenges – to restore the soul and to secure the future of America – requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity.”
As a reminder, here is the short list of his promises. He’d “shut down the virus, not the economy” and “I don’t think [vaccine mandates] should be mandatory”. Then “If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness. It is time for us, for we, the people, to come together. And make no mistake, united we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America.”. He also said “No new taxes” for Americans making less than $400,000" and “We will not conduct a hasty rush to the exit [out of Afghanistan]. ... we’ll do it responsibly, deliberately, and safely.”. Or how about “I will notuse the Justice Department as my vehicle to insist that something happen.”. And finally, “I will make it clear to the Kremlin that it must end its aggression toward an occupation of Ukraine.”.
So how has he faired?
Biden mandated everyone get the vaccine or loose your job. He supported and pushed masks on those over two, yet the virus raged. More Americans died in 2021 from the virus than 2020. Then we learned we needed boosters, and in the end it turned out the vaccine was not fully effective in stopping it, only reduced its severity. Not that a small thing, but it wasn’t shut down.
As a country, we remain politically polarized. He pitted us against each other with his constant lament this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. And it’s not just because of the pandemic. His divisive rhetoric has even polarized many in his own party.
American’s are anxious about the economy. Yes, there was record job growth in 2021 and many saw their wages go up. Yet with the inflation number above 7%, those wage increases were lost. I believe in his speech he will push for the tax and social spending portions of the Build Back Better Act. He’ll talk about housing, education and climate issues. But who will pay for the child tax credits for undocumented immigrants? And while families struggle with child care costs, the solution in the BBB was not the answer for most. Biden would also like to cap low-income families housing costs at 30% of their income. And preschool for 3 and 4-year olds, community college or training programs being tuition-free and for families making less than $125,000, college and university will be free.
I won’t dwell on the hasty rush on the exit of Afghanistan. You already know that was a colossal failure.
Biden and members of his administration have pushed the DOJ to go after states which enacted voting laws he disagrees with. He has the FBI targeting parents who speak up at school board meetings and targeted them as domestic terrorists.
And today, Russia is taking over Ukraine. For four years the Democrats and mainstream media accused former President Trump of being an agent for Russia. On his first day in office Biden opened the door to Russia to be a thorn in our side when he took away our ability to be energy sufficient and help to provide energy to European nations when he cancelled the Keystone Pipeline, which by the way left 11,000 people unemployed. In 2019, Biden stated, “Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be President, because I’m the only person in this field who’s ever gone toe to toe with him.” He was wrong. Biden’s foreign policies have allowed Russia, China, India and Iran to move in lock-step against the United States.
As Biden told us when he gave his address to Congress, “It’s time we remembered that ‘We the people’ are the government.” It’s not surprising 61% of American’s believe he’s on the wrong track. All we can do is wait and see what a year two has in store for us.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore