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Panetta commentary outdated, lacking proof

Leon Panetta's commentary on Feb. 14 is founded on 50 year-old happenings. Do most of us think that in 50 years, which is probably longer ago than most of the California population has been alive, the oil industry might have actually improved and made safer off-shore oil?

He is the great example of the Democratic party's continual assault on domestic oil. There is absolutely no concrete information on oil industries' lack of improvement. The Democratic party seems to think that we in California really want to buy oil from other countries. I used to think Panetta was one of the more reasonable Democrat’s but based on his commentary it seems that he thinks that the majority of Californian’s, who pay the most for gas in this country thanks to Gov. Moonbeam, agree with him.

He is in right field spewing ridiculous information on 2018 oil production and the safety standards that are in place. I sure wish just one time the Santa Maria Times would have an editorial refuting these stupid claims.

Jeff Scott


Hoping to learn more at fake news forum

I commend the Santa Maria Times, the League of Women Voters, Allan Hancock College, and the Fund for Santa Barbara for co-sponsoring a Fake News Forum -- recognizing it and what to do about it -- on Feb. 20 at the Marian (PCPA) Theater with five outstanding panelists and a chance for questions.

If you are reading this, come. Even well-meaning and educated people can be duped into passing on information that is false, misleading or outright propaganda, sometimes subtly attached to a "nice" sounding story or appealing to our political leanings.

As a Christian and former educator, I feel passionately about ethical journalism. In my college journalism class and college debate team we were drilled in checking sources and knowing the reputation of sources. In debate, we weren't allowed to make statements that didn't meet those requirements. I only wish our political leaders would abide by the same rules.

Right now the Russians and others have hundreds of thousands of bots spreading misinformation via social media that aim to get us to hate each other. You can make a difference by not passing along this toxic garbage. You can use fact check sites such as Snopes to verify. I hope to learn more at the forum.

Carole Zink

Santa Maria