Twisting the truth and outright lies

In a recent Right Persuasion column (“Life in Obama’s America,” 8/16), Paul Moomjean hammered on the Republican Party’s talking point of the day, President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech. Unfortunately for Mr. Moomjean, who is usually slick enough not to include any details that would automatically damn his arguments, he actually quoted the President’s speech more fully than most sources. Even so, he STILL LIED OUTRIGHT about the President’s statements and what they meant, and he bloody well knows it. This is a trend repeated with increasing frequency by his compatriots on that side of the aisle.

Yes, in politics there is “spin.” Yes, “both sides” will selectively use statistics and data to try to persuade voters. Sometimes they’ll even downright twist things. But seldom, if ever, do we see the cynical Big Lie strategy used by anyone except Republicans, and especially Mitt Romney and his cronies.

The most glaring example of Mr. Romney’s, for me, is his claim that Obama has “gutted welfare reform” and “done away with work requirements.” I’m quite shocked that Romney’s trousers didn’t spontaneously combust when he made that statement. You see, I actually work in the “system” and happen to know that the welfare-to-work program actually has more stringent requirements now than it did when first instituted in 1996. Of course, the same liars who claim otherwise have no problem with saying Obama is entirely responsible for high unemployment in one breath, and suggesting that welfare recipients “go out and get jobs” (which are largely nonexistent) in the next. Consistency and facts don’t deter them from their course.

And, of course, Chris Christie and Paul Ryan are some of the worst. While railing against the debt and deficit (they’re two entirely different things; if you don’t know the difference, pick up a macroeconomics book) that they largely ignored from 2002 to 2008, they also conveniently forget their own parts in it. The Bush Administration is responsible for most of the things comprising today’s debt and deficit: two wars, the tax cuts, the Medicare Part D “reform,” the TARP (bank bailouts) and the recession itself. Indeed, Dick Cheney is on videotape stating clearly that, “What Reagan taught us is that deficits don’t matter.” In fact, while in Congress, Paul Ryan voted FOR all the Bush Administration measures that make up the vast majority of our current debts and deficits.

But it isn’t really about deficits. It’s all about the “all for me and none for thee” ethic of today’s Republican Party. They aren’t really opposed to massive spending. They just don’t want such spending on people they don’t deem “worthy.”

And, of course, when none of the facts or data are on your side, what recourse do you have but lying? Without lies, Republicans wouldn’t have anything at all to say right now.

Tom Becham



Spend more on education, pay less on prisons

Bravo! Brilliant … your editorial (8/16) “Dismantling education in favor of prisons?” hopefully will enlighten those “at home but the lights still are #not# on,” sadly. For those who do not place a top priority on education, who, I wonder, do you think will be the very future of our country? Hint … it won’t be the older generation, for which I have the battle scars of membership.

My children have long ago “flown the coop” and yet I will always have a great concern, even though my “initial investment” isn’t the ultimate reason for advocating for support for education. When did our collective priorities become so deeply selfish and screwed up? Education is the wisest investment we can make for the very future we Americans hold to be true, “ … life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Incarceration is not the solution; it only magnifies the deficit and continues this vicious cycle.

Time to think “outside the box” and help California children have more than just a fighting chance for their future. To have been ranked 46th out of 50 states illustrates that California’s glass is more than 9/10 empty. Do the math. This is not some abstract theory; this is reality.

Each year, our libraries seek donations to Stuff the Bus with school supplies, yet for weeks the bus was far from stuffed. Don’t have $10? How about $5? Or a few tablets of writing paper to help elementary school children learn how to print or write. It’s a start. It “takes a village” and Conejo Valley is our “village.” Remember Cash for Schools? Well, where’s the money? Save up your change for a week or a month and donate. The schools appreciate every little bit of financial support since it is well-known and verified that almost all teachers dig into their pockets (routinely) for #your# children. Amazing and altruistic, too, not many professions give so selflessly and anonymously. Just do something, anything, really. It is the genuine meaning of “paying it forward.”

For California to spend six times more on prisoners per year than on K-12 students should be everyone’s “call to arms.” California needs to return our dedication to giving #all# our children the very best education possible. It is their inherent right as children, and it will always be our moral and ethical call to protect and preserve that right.

“I can do no great things … only small things with great love.” — Blessed Mother Theresa.

“There is divine beauty in learning jut as there is human beauty in tolerance.” — Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel

“Ancora Imparo.” (I am still learning.) — Michelangelo

Linda Principe
Thousand Oaks

Facts, figures and lies

I just read Tom Becham’s latest attempt at propaganda, and he either thinks your staff are idiots or that all your readers don’t have Internet access. Florida’s own website says there are 56,700 families on cash aid, commonly called welfare. The drug testing costs $30 per person so if every single family was tested, it would cost $1.7 million. That $178 million figure he quoted is only found on DNC propaganda websites. This does not include food stamp recipients, which have risen 45 percent in the past 19 months due to Obama’s disastrous economy.  Becham goes on to state that 2 percent failed the drug test, saving Florida $60,000. If 2 percent of Florida’s welfare budget is $60,000, then their whole welfare budget for the state is $3 million. That figure wouldn’t stand up to a kindergarten fact checker. I have to give Tom credit for having the hypocrisy to call out Gov. (Rick) Scott on crony capitalism, though.  Maybe he thinks the rest of us forgot about the billions of tax dollars Obama has poured into failed green energy companies that donated to his campaign or illegally giving away GM and Chrysler to his union supporters. Try a few facts next time, Mr. Becham.

Forrest Mize

If the shoe were on the other foot

If a woman goes on a date, gets raped, gets pregnant, she’s obviously a slut for not shutting down those lady parts; otherwise she wouldn’t have conceived. Mr. Ryan says she shouldn’t be allowed an abortion. But what if she’s released 12 years of tax returns beforehand? Big difference. The thought of that would shut anybody down, including Mr. Romney.

Raymond Freeman
Thousand Oaks

Just a little clarification

Good article (Aftermath of the Oxnard investigation, News, 8/9). But Mr. Hughes is in error in that the supplemental post-retirement benefits paid to the retired department heads and elected officials were NOT paid out of the payroll system. They were paid out of the accounts payable system.

Phillip Molina

A difference in opinion, or style

Those Oaxacan devil masks are really cool (Feature, 8/9), but somebody needs to teach those Mexicans some respect for the flag, as in: YOU DON’T WEAR IT AROUND YOUR NECK LIKE A GODDAMN BANDANA!

Bob McMahon

Republicans’ Fahrenheit 9/11?

Congratulations on a beautiful article (“Life in Obama’s America,” Right Persuasion, 8/16)!!  Too bad this could not be published in every paper in America. The movie 2016: Obama’s America betrays the real person that is attempting to destroy USA and bring in his biological father’s dream. He has almost brought us down by pursuing business owners, manufacturing industries, etc., etc., etc., to his way of thinking.

That big smile, arm waving technique, brisk walking, flying Air Force One to every part of the world has to stop! Several more months can bring this to an end!!

Again, congratulations on the article.

Dean Minder

Ag labor shortage

Every year at this time we hear about the shortage of immigrant labor to work the fruit harvest, about how difficult the work is, and how recent crackdowns on illegal immigration (combined with added acreage) have resulted in more severe problems in recent years than in years before.

Commercial growers traditionally encourage illegal immigration in order to exploit cheap illegal labor to pick their fruit (and fill their pockets). Now they’re lobbying Congress to relax guest worker requirements now that a crackdown on human smuggling has resulted in far fewer undocumented criminals living among us, bringing children, pregnant women, undocumented diseases and illegal drugs with them by the boatload, then drinking and driving without licenses in unregistered vehicles (and committing God knows how many other crimes). All in the name of protecting corporate (and drug cartel) profits.

Now that their supply of illegal workers is drying up, the growers are bitching about the strict standards that the current administration is imposing upon them with our guest worker program, a plain case of “if we don’t like a law we’ll just have our boys in Congress CHANGE THE LAW!” (standard operating procedure when Republicans are in power).

Human smuggling is a terrible, often murderous crime (with people dying in the desert by the hundreds every year trying to sneak in). Many of those smuggled here are already criminals back home. Many are also drug smugglers. The tax money and human resources spent on border patrol operations to stem the tide of human and drug smuggling is enormous. The danger to law enforcement and border-area residents from human smuggling is enormous. All for corporate profits in our corporate-controlled country. At least drug cartels can’t lobby Congress (at least not openly).

If the growers need cheap, LEGAL labor ,why don’t they contract to use our local prison and parolee population to do the work?

I’d much rather the money went to help offset costs at our prisons, than ADDING TO THEM!

Justin Markman



The cost of ADA compliance

Of course we are all sympathetic to anyone who has a physical disability. We now have disabled parking spaces galore, disable access to just about everything, disable restrooms. However, it seems now we are going to extremes to enable the disabled.

If you go stand in front of the Ventura City Hall, you will notice there is a driveway on each side of the building that anyone with a wheel chair can access the rear of the building where there is a double-wide door that will accommodate any size wheelchair. That takes a person to the second floor where there are two elevators that are built to accommodate the wheelchairs. However, this doesn’t seem to be enough to satisfy the federal government.

The city is now in the process of building a disabled wheelchair ramp to accommodate the disabled on the east side of the City Hall next to the driveway. It has been in construction for over two months and has a final cost of more than $400,000. I would assume that in order to economically satisfy the cost of this ramp, we would have to have a couple of hundred disabled people in wheelchairs using this ramp on a yearly basis for around 20 years.

Rellis Smith

Life in Romney/Ryan America

Inspired by Paul Moomjean’s Right Persuasion, Aug. 16. As long as we’re imagining things in the future and being creative, let’s pretend that the GOP successfully steals this upcoming election, thanks to many blocks to financial recovery (voting against Obama no matter what), the unprecedented financial support from groups like Koch brothers., and Citizens United and the spectacular disenfranchising of up to 5 million perfectly legal voters by way of bogus new ID laws.

Day one, as promised, “Obamacare” is killed … 5 million people lose their coverage, the insurance companies and big pharma return to the business of maximizing profits at the expense of their customers. Due to relaxed environmental protections and food safety regulations, millions of people start getting sick and with no affordable healthcare or any other safety net in place, well, they die. The upside: it helps thin the population … for a while … but then with no access to birth control and Roe v. Wade being overturned, there is concurrent population explosion of unwanted children, mostly born to new poor, homeless, jobless and uneducated, albeit perfectly legal, American citizens. Soon the top 1 percent pay no taxes at all … their burden transferred to the dwindling middle class. A few “urban homesteaders” make a go of it early in the Romney administration but end up being shipped off to those “top secret” prison yards for infringing on Monsanto’s seed patents or else unable to water due to drought and “re-routing,” and/or their crops just can’t survive the heat.

There are 50,000 homeless in L.A. in 2012, by 2016 that figure will reach 14 million in L.A. County alone! Sure, there are some short-lived “trickle down” jobs (mostly at Walmart or on Keystone XL pipeline) but with minimum wage eliminated, those “millions” (or 20,000 actually) end up broke, sick and homeless as well … or they get shot by some crazy person legally carrying an assault rifle.

2016:  All the “triumphant,” count ‘em, 400, 1 percenters move to Newtville on the moon leaving behind the corporate-run “universal military police” to keep the rest of us in line. “Freedom” is just a distant memory. The Mexicans are making good use of our “electric fence,” keeping Americans out of Mexico where things are much better now than in the US. With defunding of PBS, the only honest, unbiased and accurate news sources go away. All the “ordinary people” hear is Clear Channel-owned propaganda on the sole station called Victory (formerly known as Fox news). A few still read Paul Moomjean’s rants that he writes with burnt sticks on the walls of the parking structure where he and 30,000 other Venturans live. BUT we do have stockpiled oil! Although very few people can afford to own cars and the roads and bridges are in such ill repair that few are passable. Yet there are pipelines, drilling and fracking everywhere — state parks, private property and offshore of the once pristine Pacific coast. Several new nuclear plants, too, with only a handful of accidents! Those and a few hundred spills make most of Southern California uninhabitable but the state was soon to be “just like Greece” anyway, so no great loss really. There’s still some sand, too; it’s just kinda goopy — black and sticky.

Chris Jensen








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