DID YOU KNOW? Bonnie Donovan
Did You Know? is a group of people from different backgrounds and affiliations who feel that it is important for common people to have a voice about what is going on in California, Santa Barbara County and the city of Santa Barbara, in particular.
We now have come to the time when we need to comment on serious matters occurring outside our state, which will have profound impacts on all of us in this seemingly safe and pleasant land of California.
Events in Europe are spiraling out of control with the brutal, mass, invasion of Ukraine by the Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin. This is no longer the piecemeal expansion of Russia that the West, including America, ignored, and permitted when Russian armies invaded Georgia and Russian auxiliary troops annexed Crimea. This is the full-scale scorched earth, invasion of a sovereign nation. A country that is a democracy led by a hero, who was elected to clean up the corruption left behind by the, previously, communist oligarchs, who prospered under the Russian communist control of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is selling America right out from under us, as he negotiates to buy energy from the dictators in Venezuela and Iran. The United Arab Emirates refused his call.
The pathetic truth is that our elected officials, both local and county, show us time and again their inability to grasp the bigger picture. To show wise leadership.
Look at what this Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has just decided concerning the Exxon-Mobil proposal to truck oil locally. The board squashed the deal because of “unmitigable safety impacts.”
Supervisor Joan Hartmann asked, “Is this the direction we want to go when we are facing a climate crisis. … It’s detrimental to the health and safety of the neighborhoods.”
Supervisor Das Williams said that what he doesn’t validate “is our driving habits as a society.” What?
There is a war going on, and for President Biden to tell us to expect sacrifices for even higher gas prices, by banning the 3-8% of the oil the US buys from Russia, makes no economic sense.
We should tiptoe around, when we already have enough natural resources of our own, to regain our energy independence?
Pointedly obvious, if as a country, we buy energy from countries that make war; we are not thinking strategically.
Whatever the numbers, gas prices are skyrocketing, and our officials hide behind clutched hands, such as Goleta Mayor Paul Perotte, who said, “The potential ramifications, (oil spills) could have on the environment.”
We can’t assure safety on our roads by transporting oil on our highways, yet we understand, we have thousands of truckers traveling up and down Highway 101 right now loaded with gas, oil, jet fuel, diesel, and rocket fuel from Los Angeles to the Central Coast.
What do the politicians think war does to the environment? We are at war, contrary to what the United Nations has decreed we are allowed to say. Tragically, it is our own government that is at war with the American public and working class who bear the burden of the elected official’s magnanimous and sanctimonious idea to halt oil and gas production in our own country.
How is it not obvious, the idiocy that we buy energy from other countries while we the people own the natural resources in our own country?
But we aren’t allowed in the name of climate change to access our resources? This is not just bad judgment, this is treason against the American people, as Americans are further hog-tied.
The current move to cancel American oil leases and to add more restrictions to production has not limited our use. It has only increased purchases of foreign oil and gas from countries that do not have the capacity, technology, or incentives to produce more cleanly. Instead, we are enriching countries “run by terrorists, tyrants, human rights abusers, and other generally bad people.”
Eighty percent of our energy comes from fossil fuel. One hundred and one million barrels a day! Oil is part of our everyday world.
Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, it’s time to jettison your plastic thrones used during your meetings! It’s time you stop driving, period! Even your electric car uses oil by-products. Start with changing your rubber tires to stone.
And to help the employed make ends meet, Gov. Gavin Newsom vows gas price relief. Can’t officials see what is wrong with this equation? Let us open our energy production instead of paying top dollar to our enemies.
Speaking of things that don’t make sense, just as the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks down to the reporters in the same tone that is used with President Joe Biden or any other imbecile, the people running the Santa Barbara Unified School District are proud that student proficiency in math is only 45% and in English only 54%. Can anyone think of any endeavor where only 45% to 54% achievement of proficiency is considered successful?
Instead of comparing themselves with other failing schools in California, SBUSD should compare its performance with the best schools in Asia and Europe. After all, we are now competing in a world economy for goods, services, manufacturing and jobs.
Note the poor performance not only in Santa Barbara but also across California and the USA. Clear evidence of the absolute failures of the state education system nationwide. Yet watch the Ukrainians speak English while being interviewed from their war-torn country.
The math and English scores reported in the SBUSD for elementary, middle and high school, illustrate the point that a significant number of students graduate from high school every year without a command of the basic skills in English language and math to either qualify for entry into university or to get anything but a low-paid, unskilled job.
Santa Barbara City College is largely a place of remedial education for subject matter that should have been learned in grade school. The taxpayers are charged twice over for the same educational objectives. If it weren’t for the need for remedial instruction during the first year of college, a bachelor’s degree could be earned in three years. That would reduce some students’ loans by 25%.
Subtract the time from basic learning for the intense focus on training students to be social justice warriors and street activists via curricula such as critical race theory and variations in sexual activities and gender diversities. To top it off, one of the school board members is so proud, she fancies herself better serving the public as a member of the Board of Supervisors. Just WOW. If what she was pushing at the school board was “White people are bad and they suppress you,” shouldn’t she step aside for a person of color to fill that seat?
“May the saddest days of your future, be no worse than the happiest days of your past.”
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.