The “Black Lives Matter” peaceful protesters are being infiltrated by individuals that want to riot and destroy. Not enough is being done to prosecute these perpetrators. Additionally, any police officer, guard, or anyone that wounds or kills another person, of any color, without sufficient cause should be prosecuted to the extent of the law.
This movement is going too far. Calls are being made to defund police departments, take down or destroy all statues or flags or names that remind us of what has happened in the past. Books are being changed or thrown into the fire of this rebellion. Our leaders are caving in to demands.
We older people remember this story from the past with a huge loss of human life and destruction of personal property and monuments and starvation of many more. Are our minds to be numbed to these current actions? How will our future generations know what has gone before?
We need the statues, flags, names, and other evidence of the past as reminders of what brought us to today and what should not take us to tomorrow. We have over 300 million people in this country. We should not let the actions of a minute number of these people have a devastating effect on the rest of us.
No matter how hard we try, there will be incidents that are horrific and absolutely wrong and that should be dealt with in an appropriate manner as they happen. This is a fact, one we cannot completely eliminate and must live with without over-reacting. I wish we could all live as brothers and sisters and protect on another as such. All lives should be part of this scenario.
Making democracy work
This is the direction the League of Women Voters have been taking for the past two years. It is the focus of our work to register voters and educate voters regarding measures that affect our communities.
Now more than ever we need to step up and practice our right to vote. It is the way in which we can protect our rights that are outlined in the Constitution.
These past few weeks, people from all over this country exercised their First Amendment rights as they protested the killing of George Floyd and the countless other Black lives that have been taken at the hands of police. We saw peaceful demonstrators take to the streets demanding change. We have seen people of every race, religion, and ethnic background stand and kneel in solidarity with the Black community with the same message – Black Lives Matter.
We’ve also seen civil unrest in some places and, sadly, acts of police violence against protestors. We must not let those images derail the fight against systemic racial injustice and inequality. Speaking out is an important first step, but this moment requires more time than words – it requires us to change.
The League of Women Voters uses positions to help effect change that have been developed through study, discussion and majority vote. Our criminal justice position supports a criminal justice system that is just, effective, equitable, transparent and that fosters public trust at all stages, including policing practices, pre-trial procedures, sentencing, incarceration and re-entry and the elimination of systemic bias, including the disproportionate policing and incarceration for marginalized communities.
Also, policing practices that promote safety for both law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. Collaboration between government and community-based programs throughout every stage of the criminal justice system. A focus on humane treatment and rehabilitation with the goal of promoting the successful re-entry into California communities of those who have been incarcerated and lastly, reliance on evidence-based research in decision-making about law-enforcement programs and policies.
The League encourages all communities including Santa Maria Valley, to incorporate these same positions.
Wear a mask - back off! That’s what I want to say to the smartass ideologs who flaunt common sense public practices while a extremely infectious and deadly virus lurks everywhere in public.
The loose fitting masks that we are required don’t stop the virus in our breathing zone. They do substantially reduce viruses that we may exhale. And with a little distance, our chance of infecting someone else is low. So you COVID deniers, get a clue. Don’t infect other people. Wear a mask - back off!
Seeking commentary from both sides
Your recent editorial regarding the governor’s attempt to force all election offices to issue ballots to all registered voters continues the constant barrage of your left-leaning bent.
You state in the recent Georgia primary voting machines didn’t work properly. It happens. That doesn’t mean it’s a conspiracy. And you say how unfair it is to have “long lines of people waiting in the rain to cast their ballot”. I think that’s amazing. Folks who care enough to vote, who want to cast their ballot in person, standing in the rain to do it!
You lament that not every American can afford to drive to their voting precinct. Give me a break. That’s absurd. Even if they can’t, they have always had the option to vote by mail.
Mail-in voting is not under attack. Citizens who want to vote by mail have been able to for decades. By the way, “the elected leader of the GOP” is everyone’s President. It took more than just Republicans to elect Mr. Trump.
And the ludicrous statement that “there is absolutely no evidence that cheating is even a small part of our election process” can be debunked with some basic research, not to mention common sense.
Then you state “so it takes a little longer to get the end results, what’s the rush?” The longer the results are delayed, the longer there is opportunity for voter fraud.
You throw in a quote from Lebron James? Really? Almost funny if it weren’t sad. All we ask is that you provide editorials and commentary from both sides of the aisle.
In negatively referencing former senator and war hero John McCain, President Trump expressed his preference for soldiers who weren't captured or didn't surrender. This from a man who often refers to himself as a "wartime president."
Equating the COVID-19 pandemic with various military conflicts is not far fetched and, as such, presents our President with an opportunity to demonstrate the kind of leadership that will ensure him a niche alongside the true giants that have held the office he now occupies.
He has, instead, thrown up his hands, not signifying victory but, rather, defeat and surrender. His actions indicate that not even a death toll of 120,000 and counting is sufficient to imperil his reelection. For him and his administration, the war against the virus is over and restoring the economy to pre-pandemic levels before the November election is of paramount importance.
Health experts are in agreement that, not only have we not defeated the enemy that is the coronavirus but that the worst may well be ahead of us. In spite of being arguably the richest nation with the most advanced medical facilities in the world, we lag well behind most other industrialized nations in efforts to control the spread of the disease and the fatality rate.
I, along with many other Americans, prefer winners to losers. What constitutes a win means something altogether different to me than it does to our President.
Santa Barbara County flood control recently mowed down the nesting area of migratory birds just as the young were learning to fly.
I stopped the mower, who said the biologist had checked and they were gone, but if he saw any he would stop.
The male red-wing black birds stood guard over the nest in the face of the mower as the young flapped about. I called Flood Control, more false statements. Supervisor Lavagnino’s office, useless.
The abuse of these birds continued, the wanton destruction of California's migratory birds continued. The birds were “gone,” then “they were there,” then “they didn't see any dead.” More false statements.
They removed all the cover for the young birds from hawks and owls, the last little water hole was destroyed. All in front of the 5th District office on Lakeside.
I told everyone they were still feeding the young. That they would leave as soon as the young were ready. They migrate, they do not hang around.
A spokesman said he saw little birds fly into a tree. Yes, finches and swallows fly as well.
I am angry. I witnessed animal abuse unlike anything I had seen before.
We went through this years ago and they listened, did not make false statements as red-wing black birds were destroyed and abused. Destruction of our natural resources for no reason at all. They could have waited another week.
The red-wings arrive for St. Patrick's Day, they leave for equinox. Every year, the same thing, arriving, mating and reproducing. I am tired of these men who do not believe in good government, government not to serve the people but to enrich the greedy.
“Just following orders” both men told me. I am old, and I have heard that line before.
Last Tuesday, the mayor and her “City Council Club” passed a two-year city budget created by the city manager in two weeks, with no input from Santa Marians.
Over 300 pages protected the well-paid police that are guaranteed a 6% raise each year, and cut money from youth services. The city manager said, “Tonight Council will discuss and approve this budget. To save money we need to shed city services and charge more for our services.”
This means less quality of life for us that will cost more. If you wanted to comment on the budget you had to wait three hours on Zoom to speak three minutes. The other option was to join hundreds of protesters outside the Council chamber, asking for the library and pool to open sooner and some police dollars to be redirected to youth services.
Only Councilwoman Gloria Soto fought for us, demanding citizen input before budget passage. But, the Mayor got her budget, while all but Soto acquiesced. It’s time to clean the decks at City Hall and replace the authoritarians with new voices, vision and complete transparency. There is an election in November. Let’s vote them out.
Election hinges on 2016's no-show voters
It's a safe bet that every single person who lived along the coast of Japan during the tsunami in 2011 noticed there was lots of water in the neighborhood that didn't belong there.
Similarly, there's no way to miss the damage done by Trump to our Democracy, one example among many being his attacks on our responsible free press. With his personality disorder, daily lies, terrible appointments to important positions, and heartless handling of immigration, his failures could not be more obvious even to those who watch only Fox News.
Nevertheless, the recent average among several polls showed Biden only ahead by about seven points. In a civilized, humane society he should have been ahead by 30 or 40 points, given Trump's many obvious failures, personally and politically.
When about 40% of voters still approve of him despite everything, we see our generation is not made of the same stuff as Tom Brokaw's Greatest Generation, who fought to preserve the values expressed on the Statue of Liberty.
That not too far from half of us persist in supporting this immoral, unethical man who's desecrated a formerly revered Office of the Presidency of the United States tells us we are no longer the proud Democracy that the world has looked up to as the finest example of rule by the people.
The survival of the Democracy he's tried to destroy with his cries of "fake news," and in other ways, depends on the existence of a residue of intelligent, humane, and politically aware voters who did not show up in 2016, who will bestir themselves in November and cast their votes against this by far the worst President in history.