Perception of Israel

Mr. Moomjean irritates me for my not being able to break my addiction to reading him and, of course, for his dependable re-rendering of Fox News, as in “Why Israel Matters” in the 8/21 VCReporter.

He’s sensitive about his youth, unfortunately, but I know he has no immediate, personal experience of what anti-Semitism was like here in the States prior to the Holocaust. It was blatant and shocking and it was centered around various renditions of Jewish control of the world’s money system. That a Daniel Warburg of an historic German banking family was the technical expert in the reestablishment of a U.S. central bank in 1913 fed this national illness.

Both my father and my wife attended a Christian seminary that specifically worked on the remediation of this national tragedy. So, for example, when unrelated fires in the community in succeeding years damaged a Jewish synagogue and then a nearby congregational church, the two congregations used each other’s facilities during their respective repairs. Seminary girls, skilled in working with children, were popular baby sitters for Jewish parents attending Friday services.

The Holocaust dramatically changed attitudes toward Jews worldwide and nowhere more than here. Total WWII casualties vastly outnumbered Holocaust deaths, on an order of 10-1, but it was the hard-to-imagine attempt to obliterate Jews altogether that shocked the Western world and fixated the horror, so far, indelibly in our minds.

I say “so far,” because I’m in increasing wonderment that Jewish orthodoxy here and in Israel doesn’t seem to remember prewar sentiments against Jewry. With it ever more looking like U.S. foreign interests in the area are basically established by Israeli policy, and only limitedly by ours, when will the guilt “account” of the Holocaust begin to run dry? The public can be very fickle, especially as all memories of WWIl  dim, and for AIPAC here and the Israeli leadership in Israel continue to think the Holocaust “account” inexhaustible, isn’t it reasonable to wonder about their grasp of reality? Israel’s cause, once robust across the board is dwindling to little except for the military, and isn’t it a truism that men’s and women’s minds are not won by weaponry alone?


Duane Waln


Keep the hillsides from development

The Camarillo City Council recently canceled the proposed massive 895-acre Conejo Creek development in Camarillo. Here we see the power of people to shape their civic lives through democratic means. The 895-acre plan of Development Planning Services would have created a minicity that no one needs or wants except the developers and the ag owners of the land.

As citizen Camille Crawford said to the City Council, don’t just kill it temporarily or scale it down, stop it “permanently, now and forevermore.” She must know how these projects can rise from the dead and come back to haunt us another day.

Seven years ago, another, even more massive development got postponed and ultimately killed, that time in the city of Ventura. For $60 million, Investec wanted to buy 3,500 acres of Ventura hills behind the city and build “executive” homes and 23 huge ranches, with promises of open space for preservation and public use. It never happened due to citizen opposition.

Yet, developing the Ventura hillsides has come back to haunt us. A much smaller plan is in the works. Developer Regent Properties wants to build 55 “executive houses” on 45 acres in the ocean-facing hills from Hall Canyon Road west to Lincoln Drive. Regent, too, proposes a gift of open space, 170 acres of it.

The objections to such developments, large and small, have only increased in seven years. We are already in crisis mode for water. We need years of soaking rains to get back to normal, and radical changes in our use of water if we are to live within our water means. Each high-end executive house in the proposed Regent Ventura Estates features a pool. (See editor’s note.)

The traffic in the city is now a major hassle and residents try to find hours during the day when the streets are somewhat available for normal use. Regent’s claim of only an additional 110 trips a day from the project is radically underestimated — just one in-and-out trip per day per house?

Also, Regent’s development would have only one route in and out of the hills, through Hall Canyon Road, with its frequent bottlenecks at the high school already a dangerous nightmare. Only one additional exit would be available to those “executives,” only in an emergency — some cars escaping the hills in a fire could try to negotiate narrow Lincoln Drive.

We’ll have some time to air and debate these and other issues: How much will citizens have to share in the dollar costs of the development? Does land development actually improve local fiscal health? What population and density level in the city do our citizens want? what about the nearby high-pressure gas lines, which rupture even without new instabilities being introduced to the hills? How will environmental impacts be mitigated? is a potential gain in open space worth grading and reshaping the ocean-facing hills, Ventura icons if there ever were. The hills might be our only seminatural icon left.

We need to get involved now to learn about and state either our support or objection to Regent’s plan as it unfolds. Remember, 40 new developments are already approved for Ventura. Perhaps sooner than later the citizens of Ventura will speak out with the same message that citizens of Camarillo delivered loud and clear: “Not here, never.”


    Robert Louis Chianese

Editor’s note: Daniel Gryczman, executive vice president of Regent Properties, stated that the developers have not made any decision regarding pools. He also said that total trips on a typical weekday is a little over 500 per day, but there is an estimated 41 a.m. peak hour trips and 55 p.m. peak hour trips and these are just preliminary estimates. The city will require a full traffic study in conjunction with the entitlement process. This letter has appeared in other publications.

From the web:

RE: State of Denial, feature, 9/04


Stop scaring people

You’re out in left field on this. Polar ice caps are larger than ever. There is no rise in ocean levels; there is no change in global temperature. You’re an emotional mess relying on fake science. Quit scaring people.

None of the global warming pushers ever mentions Al Gore anymore. Have you noticed?

Yeah, after he sold his fledgling TV network to Middle Eastern oil interests, even the most stalwart of supporters had to scratch their heads in disbelief.

For us “deniers” (LOL), it was just what we expected from an ass-clown politician who has gotten rich off of blowing hot air, flying on private jets and living large in energy guzzling home(s).

What a joke global warming (the movement) is. It IS convenient for the left though. They can blame ANYTHING on global warming. And they DO too.


— Scapegoat


Drowning in Kool-Aid

Manipulation thrives when bias is cloaked in a disguise of objectivity. Anyone who cites the 97 percent consensus data is drowning in the Kool-Aid for sure. Please research the Cook study to make your own assessment. The polar ice isn’t at an all-time high but it has seen a remarkable recovery the last two years. At its current track it will at an eight-year high later this month when seasonal minimum is met. Anyone who thinks ice levels are at all-time lows needs to read up on historical records of the 1920s and ’30s.

There are crazies on both sides of this argument. Science should never be driven by emotions nor should data-driven dissent be dismissed as unworthy of recognition. Anyone that’s ever worked with scientists/engineers has seen firsthand how they love to argue. To think you’d find 97 percent on the most complex question ever tabled on world climate is a joke. When hundreds of former NOAA and NASA engineers and scientists are evenly split on man-made impact on global temps we should take note. Read up on the IPCC documents if you’ve never done so. In my opinion, true environmental progress has been crucified by a theory that, to date, has no empirical evidence to back it up. Current observed temp data back to 1998 contradicts their theory and thus puts their entire theory in trouble. Retroactively changing historical temp data back to 1900 to “fix” current projections is what concerns me most. This earth and our future generations deserve genuine effort on our part. Let’s clean up some rivers, pick up trash, develop energy sources that aren’t dangerous to our health. … U know, real work not emotional masturbation.


— Jacks


Nope. The “crazies” are all on one side of this issue.

It’s obvious why BigFossil Inc. and its political servants are fighting moves to limit CO2 emissions. The question is: Why do they have a cheering section among Tea Party conservatives?

The only reason I can think of is that climate change is seen as a “Liberal” cause, and the Teapers have hated liberals ever since America’s workplaces, neighborhoods and schools were desegregated back in the ’60s.

They ridicule, they blow smoke with cherry-picked “facts” and they spew word-salad pseudo-logic as well as any televangelist. But it’s all talk-radio gibberish that can be traced back to a handful of Koch-funded propaganda “institutes.”

Only a select few of the deniers get paid for their work. They’re the same professional “experts” who denied that DDT kills birds, that nicotine causes cancer and that CFCs thinned the earth’s ozone layer.

The rest of the deniers — the “auxiliaries” — are just pawns in a rich man’s game.

— jjohnjj

jjohnjj is Al Gore’s bitch. Talk about a pawn.

— Scapegoat





Voting is power

Like so many others, I’ve been reading the coverage about Ferguson and the death of Michael Brown and trying to make sense of it. How the police have been besieged, how the African American community has been persecuted and how, once again, sides are being drawn.

No one is wrong. And no one is right.

Police officers have an incredibly risky job. They’re forced to make life-or-death decisions with a split second to choose, and a profoundly unequal responsibility-to-compensation ratio.  And nearly all of them are decent and moral protectors of our society.  They do not deserve to be condemned for the actions of a few.

Minorities in the United States are treated less fairly than white heterosexual men.

And if you’re feeling outraged by that sentence, I’m guessing that you are a white heterosexual male. Because nearly every difficult educational experience brought about by living below the Federal Poverty Level, nearly all “chink, nigger, wetback, fag, towelhead” insults and nearly all instances of sexual harassment are not your burden to bear. And to all of the white heterosexual males who are not outraged, thank you.

So how do we fix this?  How can we even start to comprehend the depths of the fractures that exist?
How do we make this right?

For me, it starts with two words. “I matter.”

How can I prove this? There are the abstract methods. I can write this letter. I can speak about Ferguson and the dozens of towns like Ferguson and understand that the actions by both sides will not resolve the problem. I can teach my son that racism, prejudice and insensitivity to others is NOT OK. I wish I could explain that to racist individuals. And I wish I could explain that to the rioters and looters in Ferguson.

And then there is the concrete method. Your vote matters more than you can possibly imagine. And it’s free. In November, every eligible United States citizen, regardless of race, creed or ethnicity, can mail a ballot or step into a voting booth and become a kingmaker. You have the opportunity to prove — not by looting, brutality or racism — that you are exactly the same as everyone else. That you have power.

If you haven’t registered to vote, here’s the website information: http://www.rockthevote.com/register-to-vote/?source=rtv.com-topnav

You matter.

    Anna Hanson Bevens


Conejo Creek not right for Camarillo

I guess my response to the consideration of the proposed Conejo Creek project is, “Ya gotta be kidding!” For those who say it’s a “right” to develop one’s land, I say baloney. I can’t just decide to change my house into a supermarket — it’s not zoned for that and the neighbors have a right to not live next door to a market. It’s not a “right” of mine just because it would fatten my wallet.

Likewise, it’s not the “right” of the current landowner to develop the land. Everyone has the right to use the land as it is acquired; but the right to develop or redevelop land is granted by the community if it 1) fills a need and 2) fits with the existing community.

Nobody has justified either the need or the fit with the existing community.

Let’s hope our elected and appointed representatives represent the will of the people — not the developers.

Sheri Clarke




Being realistic about immigration

As the Republican-led House has totally failed to address the current costs of dealing with a massive influx of immigrant children as well as blocking Senate action on a more realistic approach, we need to understand what is happening to develop an effective approach. A little history will help. During WWII, America suffered a massive labor shortage in agriculture, with millions of Americans either in the service or in the defense industries. A migrant worker program called the bracero program developed, using labor primarily from Mexico. And of course, over the years, massive criminal and social exploitation of those workers developed. The program lasted until the late 1960s.

With the end of the bracero program, massive changes in agriculture evolved, using new machine-harvestable crops, and old labor-intensive crops radically reduced. But a labor need still existed. This was filled by illegal immigrant labor. Then in the 1980s Ronald Reagan pushed through a legalization program, providing a path to citizenship for those who had been here for years. Part of this program included major increases in border security. The consequence of this was raising the cost for migrants to cross the border from a few hundred dollars to thousands, with life threatening conditions. The result: Workers still came north, but remained. They no longer routinely crossed the border coming north two or three times a year. After living here one to two years, they began bringing their families north. In addition, many of those here for years left agriculture for construction or low-wage industrial work. These families now have thousands of U.S.-born children as well as children brought here as minors, now raised as Americans. Next came NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. While it temporarily created industrial jobs near the border, it also devastated rural Mexican farms. They simply could not compete against low-cost, heavily subsidized American agriculture. The wave of immigrants from that transition has significantly waned. But now we have CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement. And once again, massive social and cultural transitions are occurring in Central America. And part of these transitions is massive influxes into cities without the infrastructure to support the new arrivals. The power vacuum results in gang violence and gang dominance. So now the refugees are women and children fleeing violence, as well as displaced agricultural workers.    What is the answer? I don’t know. A partial solution, and the most humanitarian, would be to legalize the status of those brought here years ago, raised as Americans. Next would be to provide a path to legalization for those who have deep family ties here and who have also resided and worked here for years. The majority of the remainder would have to be turned away. But in the process, we need to recognize that actions such as NAFTA and CAFTA have profound social and economic consequences, and in the future, enter into such agreements only after addressing processes and costs necessary to manage those consequences. And finally, we need to address the long-term labor needs of agriculture with a manageable migrant worker program, with sufficient resources to control the criminal and social exploitation that these programs suffered from in the past.

Norm Rodewald








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