Time to vote out stinking politicians
Air quality from the cannabis greenhouse production in Carpinteria is getting worse. Those living near the greenhouses are seeking medical care and legal remedy. Failure of the county to establish setbacks and require closed loop filtration systems for greenhouses has led to a public health problem directly related to the Board of Supervisors’ attempt to replace lost oil revenue with a cannabis tax.
It is time to cast out those responsible for this mess. Democrats should stop protecting Democrats. Das Williams must be removed from office. The end does not justify the means. Greed and propensity for backroom dealing is all too obvious.
Things are bad in Washington, D.C., but they are just as bad here in Santa Barbara County.
Be informed before you vote
Here are a few suggestions to all those voters who have not yet made up their minds. First, don’t believe all the political ads. You are hearing all the same promises those in office now made when they were running for office — and how many have been kept? Next, check into the office or job the candidate is presently occupying. What are the existing conditions? Crime, poverty, overcrowding, morality? Has any of it benefited the taxpayer?
We don’t need more of the same. Educate yourselves, then vote.
How we can keep America great
During the years 2008 to 2016, I watched my son struggling to raise a family, my net worth declining and medical costs increasing, the Iran nuclear treaty immediately ineffective, North Korea testing missiles, daily notices of killed and wounded American military in a never-ending war, red lines drawn and ignored, a do-nothing Congress, factories closing, people dying of opioid overdoses, increasing street gang violence, cities going bankrupt, and on and on.
So I voted for a boss, Donald Trump, for president, not a politician. Something had to be done.
We now are at another turning point. I will still vote for Mr. Trump, as I see nothing from any candidate that will keep America great. Unemployment is down, the economy is way up, Iran is in economic trouble, trade agreements are coming to completion, and our military presence is continually being reviewed so as to detach us from the wars.
If you want new health care laws, continued economic growth, immigration resolution, fair trade laws, red lines drawn and honored, and a functioning Congress that addresses many other issues delayed by partisan acrimony, then vote for Andy Caldwell. He has nicked both parties at times, as he cares about the impact on citizens as the result of governing actions, not the party line or whatever is popular on State Street today.
William R. Gilbert
Senate GOP obstructionists
Letter writer Justin M. Ruhge (Voices, Feb. 23) seems to put all of the blame for the failure of Congress to act in the interest of the citizens on the Democrats who he says spend all of their time investigating the president rather than attending to the citizens’ agenda. Maybe seeking to impeach the president is part of the citizens’ agenda.
I was surprised by Mr. Ruhge’s charge because the last time I heard, the president was a Republican and the Senate was controlled by the Republicans under the leadership of Mitch McConnell. We all know that Mr. McConnell can round up a majority of senators and pass anything he wishes, but he does not. Mr. McConnell has taken pride in referring to himself as the grim reaper of legislation, and that the Senate is the graveyard of House-passed legislation.
Indeed, in 2016, Mr. McConnell refused to consider a candidate for the Supreme Court because he claimed it was an election year. From what I hear, the Senate has passed no significant legislation except the revision of the NAFTA treaty and some other minor acts. So who is failing to take action?
We all understand that the Senate may not like the bills adopted by the House, but refusal to consider them is unfortunate to say the least. The point is the Senate is not even proposing alternatives. The House bills include minimum wage increase, reduced drug pricing, voting security, almost all appropriation bills, gun background checks, paycheck fairness, climate change and many others.
The apparent purpose of Mr. Ruhge’s letter was to endorse Andy Caldwell for Congress. Mr. Caldwell has campaigned on the basis that he is not running as a Republican but as a well-meaning, good-spirited candidate who will look at the issues and vote his conscience on each.
Mr. Caldwell will learn that he has no understanding of how Congress really works. He will end up a cog in the Republican machine.
Tragedy and our hero worship
I’ll admit I got caught up in the shock of Kobe Bryant’s death, and I watched the memorial at the Staples Center and shed tears as his widow spoke. But it made me ask a lot of questions and wonder why.
Kobe was a guy who made himself obscenely rich because of the manner in which he threw a ball into a round metal hoop. That skill made people around the world adore him. How was the world a better place because of his skills?
If Tim Berners-Lee died in a helicopter crash, would he get an emotional memorial in an arena televised around the world and seen by hundreds of millions because of how he impacted their lives? All Tim did was invent this thing called the internet.
Kobe and his young daughter died in a horrific accident, and that is a tragedy because two people left this earth too soon. But we need to reassess our hero worship.
The Santa Barbara News-Press does a great job of interviewing local business owners and telling their stories. How about interviewing a homeless person and presenting their stories once a day? They are a part of our community and their stories deserve to be told as much as anyone’s. And we might find that they are our neighbors and not so different than anyone else who lives and struggles in Santa Barbara County.
Don’t forget lessons of past
Kudos to the writer whose letter appeared Feb. 23 under the headline, “Our way of life threatened.” I wholeheartedly agree on the need to preserve those democratic safeguards that have served us so well for over 240 years.
Those of us of the “Greatest Generation” witnessed the horrors of totalitarianism from close up. And as we studied recent history, we were shocked at how Hitler destroyed the democratic safeguards of the independent judiciary and the free press in a few short years. His path to dictatorship opened without obstruction.
But that is old history — more than a half-century. The events of more recent times and the driving issues of the present tend to blanket this experience. The current generation must not let this blanket obscure the lesson of World War II. We all must be vigilant of anything threatening the constitutional safeguards that have protected our way of life for 240 years. Let us remember the words of George Santayana, who wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”