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Seducing the people’s minds

Our country is engaged in unending wars that have not been declared by Congress. Why is the U.S. in perpetual wars? What is moral and right about being involved in them? What about the chaos and deaths in so many countries? Has war become the top priority of the nation? The U.S. has 800 military bases all around the globe. Why?

There is little evidence of support for these ongoing wars. So why are people willing to bear the costs? Are citizens even debating these questions?

Congress seems to have punted the power to the President for a long time now. If the power of the Executive branch is promoting hegemony and domination worldwide by conducting military operations anywhere on the planet, one must wonder what the future holds.

James Madison, one of the chief authors of the U.S. Constitution stated:

"In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people ... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” To what ends are the people’s minds being seduced?

Betty Faas

Santa Maria


Voting for Olmstead for Sheriff

At a time when the relationship between our public safety agencies is paramount, we need to consider who is best suited to work cooperatively as leader of our Sheriff's Department going forward.

Sheriff Bill Brown, without a doubt, has had a long and distinguished 40-year public safety career. However, the Sheriff has lost the support of his own rank and file, the majority of the county Supervisors who will regulate the Sheriff's budget, our county's firefighters, and so many more.

As a former 12-year elected Sheriff and 3-year appointed county Fire Chief, I learned that there comes a time when change is good and necessary. I believe for the Sheriff's Department, that time is now.

I believe Lt. Brian Olmstead is the best choice to lead the Department going forward. Lt. Olmstead is a highly experienced law enforcement professional. He is smart, well educated, and will surround himself with the best available men and women who understand the mission of the agency and the necessity to keep staffing adequate to accomplish the variety of challenges they face every day.

Lt. Olmstead has received the support of the Deputy Sheriff's Association. It should be noted that they have not opposed Sheriff Brown in either of his previous three elections. Lt. Olmstead is also supported by the county Firefighters and Santa Maria Police Officers and I believe you will soon see more public safety professionals joining his campaign. These are the men and women who are the first line of contact and support during the challenges we all face on a daily basis. They know who they trust to lead them into the future and they ask for your support now. They, and I ask that you vote for Lt. Brian Olmstead for Sheriff on June 5.

Jim Thomas

Santa Barbara County Sheriff 1990-2002

Santa Barbara County Fire Chief 1993-1996