Christian in Name Only

Mr. Moomjean laments the apparent decline of Christianity in American life (“An attack on Christianity,” Right Persuasion, 6/4). Following his fact free thought process, he blames his usual whipping boys, the liberals, secular humanists, etc. To quote Herman Cain, “Blame yourself.”

The problem for Christian religions in America today is caused by conservative sociopathic Chino’s (Christian in Name Only). Take the Affordable Care Act, which Mr. Moomjean has repeatedly attacked.

Before the Affordable Care Act, 43,000 Americans died every year prematurely due to lack of adequate preventative care. Christ was clear, as you do unto the least among you, so you do unto me. The Christian position is to extend health care coverage to all. The sociopathic Chino says the death of every man, woman and child every year in a city larger than Moorpark is an acceptable cost to preserve my ideology.

The European Union consists of 25 nations, 450 million people speaking a couple of dozen languages, but share common democratic governments with some form of universal health care. The EU has an infant mortality rate of just over 4 per thousand live births. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. rate was just over 6 per thousand live births. The Christian position is clear, protect the most vulnerable. The sociopathic Chino accepts two dead babies per thousand live births as an acceptable cost to preserve his ideology.

No, Mr. Moomjean, the problem for Christianity is not liberals. It is the good works of those who follow the teachings of Christ are drowned out by the noise of sociopathic Chino’s ranting in His name. The rightwing noise machine, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’ Riley etc., have poisoned what is Christian.

Norman Rodewald



Religious right

Lately, the Duggar family has been in the news, more so than normal, on account of the legal struggles faced by the eldest son, Josh.

How can the Duggar family be surprised? By their own statements, the Duggar family has been molding their eldest son, Josh, for just such actions.

Now, to be clear, I am not saying that large families are bad. Truth be told, if two consenting adults find happiness in lots of children, who am I to judge? But familial happiness was never the goal of the Duggar family. As “Quiverfulls,” their primary drive is to raise a large family that will one day vote in much the same way as their parents. For the Duggars, that’s 19 votes they’ve raised.

But in order to raise those votes, the Duggars had to raise their family in accordance with some specific rules. In fact, for any “successful” Quiverfull family to function, they have to follow the same rules. These rules, by their very nature, can only raise problems for the children down the road.

To be specific, Michelle Duggar has stated in interviews that her role is to submit to her husband’s carnal desires whenever he wishes. How else could a family of 19 children come to be? But what example does that give those 19 children as they are growing up? Very clearly, this means that a “good woman” in the eyes of the Duggars has no say or choice at the most intimate physical and emotional level. Josh was raised on this, as were his brothers and sisters, yet the whole family is surprised when he views women as voiceless in regards to intimacy.

Watching the show only serves to portray how this belief was, and still is, reinforced in the Duggar household. Josh’s sister Jill recently married, and her own father made the statement at the wedding that there would be “no more chaperones.” Jim-Bob’s daughter, an adult in the eyes of the law, was not permitted to see a man of her choosing without a chaperone or a wedding ring. The simple fact that statement even could be made only shows how marrying away a daughter for the Duggars is more akin to a transfer of ownership. The sacred wedding ceremony, in their eyes, has the same ramifications as signing over the deed on a house, or the title on a car.

That’s the environment Josh grew up in; women are property and men are infallible. Some statements have been made by defenders of the Duggar family by their like-minded cohorts on the religious right, stating that Josh simply “has some demons to work through.”

I’d say so, and two of them are easily named — Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar.

Roger Stroklund




Real water waste

The Monday night 06/08/2015 council meeting was a total farce. The council had already, according to their own printed information, decided to adopt the increased water rates.

On the Ventura Water paper on top of the second page under “What are the Current Adopted Rates,” it states: Table A reflects the adopted water rates for the next three years. This was printed and signed by Shana Epstein in April of 2015.

The administration stated that anybody already in the Tier 1 would see no increase. However presently Tier 1 is 0 to 14 HCF, paying $2.40 per HCF or $33.60 per month for water. The new rate is Tier 1, 0 to 6 HCF which is still $2.40 per HCF; but because we are now in what they are calling “Stage 3 drought,” the ex-Tier 1 customers that go over 6 HCF will be paying $3.25 per HCF from 7 to 14 HCF or $40.40 per month for water.  So that would mean most of the present Tier 1 customers will be paying approximately 25 percent more.

In an article by Arlene Martinez in the Star far in advance of the Monday night farce, it stated: “City Council OKs plan, rate, increases. Then goes on to say, “The council passed the plan, rates and incentives each of a 6-0 vote.” I believe this article came out in May.

In Ventura Water’s printed blurb printed in early April there is a list of things they want the citizens of Ventura to do to conserve water, eight items ranging from “Do not allow water to run and be wasted during outdoor use,” to “Do not knowingly waste water in any way.”

Yet at this time the city is using over 280,000 gallons of fresh potable drinking water to flush the sewer system each month, which equals 3,360,000 gallons of fresh potable drinking water each year “down the sewer.” They also use 2,500 gallons of water each month to water street trees. Just for clarification this amount of water (3,390,000 gallons or 4,582 HCF) would supply over 700 homes with 6 HCF of water per month for an entire year.

Rellis Smith



Giving back

My name is Dawn LaRaia, a fifth grade teacher at Driffill School in Oxnard. I would like to share a recent collaborative experience my class had with the Canine Adoption and Rescue League. Karlene Porter from C.A.R.L. contacted me to see if I would be interested in having my class create art work to display on their promotional brochures and posters advertising their annual Pooch Parade. My students worked on drawings and integrated enhancements using their iPads provided by the Oxnard School District. Karlene and Mary visited my classroom to pick up the finished product, presented them to C.A.R.L.’s board and selected the one picture to use. Last week we visited their shelter in Santa Paula for a field trip to see the dogs, learn who the winning picture belonged to, receive a pizza lunch as thanks for our work and, last but not least, present C.A.R.L. with a donation of $240 that my generous kids scraped together.

I am extremely pleased to provide this opportunity for my students to give something back to our community and to raise awareness of the overpopulation of animals, especially dogs. I work to facilitate an attitude of generosity and helpfulness in my classroom. This was an extremely rewarding experience for all involved. Karlene and Mary were kind, informative hosts during our visit. We have viewed their website so the kids knew many of the dogs’ names when they saw them in person. Each child was able to choose a small stuffed animal to take home as a token of appreciation and to remember our experience.

Dawn LaRaia
Fifth Grade
Driffill School, Oxnard




Oppose Right-to-Die bill

Alicia Doyle offered a balanced dialogue about SB-128 (“The right to choose,” feature, 5/28). I take exception when opponents of the Bill paint an emotional picture to instill horrific thoughts in the minds of readers that the only alternative to SB-128 is being hooked up to medical intervention with the patient waiting for the inevitable with time ticking away. This is a reckless distortion of the options we readily have available to us.  

I grew up around a hospital where my mother worked and where I eventually was employed in both hospital administrative services and patient ministry. For 15 years I taught courses on death and dying. Today I frequently minister to ill and dying patients at VCMC and CMH.

Thank God we live in the USA where medical relief through palliative care and hospice support death with compassionate dignity. My parents received hospice care in the final stage of life and were comforted by pain relief at the level they desired. We Americans need not suffer at the end of life as purported by those who support SB-128.

One of the major concerns about SB-128 is for the safety for disabled Californians, who may be subtly, or even openly, pressured to “request” the option. I am also concerned that when physician-assisted suicide has been legalized in places like Oregon, the “social contagion” suicide rate has skyrocketed. Suicides have risen by 49 percent since doctors began prescribing lethal doses to their patients.

Oncologists who deal with dying patients on a regular basis and who are most familiar with the process remain firmly opposed to the practice. I urge all citizens to immediately contact their state Legislators to oppose SB-128.

Thomas Elewaut



Stop overconsuming

Did you know that if everyone lived like an American we would need five planets to produce what we consume every day? With 7 billion people in the world the most resources we use are water, oil, natural gas, phosphorus and coal. So just think about it; these most-used resources are being used every single day, 365 days a year along with other resources that we use. I am an eighth-grader who understands the problem that we are facing now with overconsuming, and if we don’t stop overconsuming we will lose our planet.

Hector Guerrero, 14



No moral center

You’ve done it again! Your “shill” cartoon last week (Critical Line, 5/21) hit the nail right on the head! I had heard that Obama had given a rousing commencement speech to the Coast Guard graduating class, talking about how important the issue of climate change is. Then gives permission for Shell to drill in the Arctic! This is schizophrenic! Politicians, in my opinion, have lost any moral center. Sad.

You might want to do something on the BILLION PEOPLE MARCH on Dec. 19 centered around a climate conference in Paris. I found out about this from the most recent issue of ADBUSTERS. There was also an article on geoengineering. I thought I would give you a heads up.

Carol Ann Rose




Port Hueneme troubles

Quite a bombshell story on Port Hueneme. Looks like Haas is having a long weekend not making any comment.

Jack McGrath
Port Hueneme



Flushing water

A few days ago I noticed that the city water trucks were filling up at a fire hydrant and then flushing all of that potable water down the sewer. I inquired with the city as to why they were using potable water instead of recycled water. This is the answer I received.

From Mr. Joe Barabas, City of Ventura,

Our regional Water Resources Control Board permit does not allow the use of recycled water for cleaning sewer lines. It’s only use is for irrigation purposes. Also, the vehicles used are part of the city’s emergency preparedness program due to the storage of potable water for emergency use and backup water tenders for fire units. There is no recycled water system in the city and driving back to the treatment plant several times a day is not cost-effective.  Please give me a call if you have any other questions. My number is 677-1448. Thank you.

I replied: 

Recycled water can be used for irrigation but can’t be dumped into the sewer system?  How ridiculous is that? You mention some blah-blah about the city vehicles doesn’t make any sense; all I asked is how much water each of the vehicles used for sewer-flushing carry. You also say that spending a couple of extra bucks to go back to the treatment plant is much worse than saving a few hundred thousand gallons of potable water. Now that’s a phony spin if I have ever heard one.  I still would like to know exactly how much water is used each month to flush the sewer lines.

From Barajas, Joe

Two trucks carry 1,500 gallons of water and one truck carries 1,000 gallons of water; 4,000 gallons per day per truck, 240,000 gallons per months all trucks combined.

My reply:

Damn, that’s 320 HCF, enough for 53 homes at six HCF per billing cycle if they used the top of the first tier. That’s done every month. Talk about your water conservation, it would appear that Ventura Water is the largest waster of water in the city.

That amount of water at today’s billing rate would cost $1,705 every month plus the cost of vehicles, employee salaries and other incidental cost.

Rellis Smith



Die with dignity intact

We are not asking doctors to kill us. This is, and has continued to be, a real misconception. We are asking them to let us go, and because the law demands it, to give us prescriptions for drugs that will help us go quietly, gently, into “that good night.” The doctors do not have to administer those drugs; they do not have to be there. As a 77-year-old survivor of two cancers and a hideous surgery that involved removing most of my esophagus, which has affected my digestive system most negatively and creates a lot of suffering, I am aware that when my “end of life” time comes, I do not want my family members to have to suffer and struggle with decisions. I want to make that decision on my own. If it is more than I can bear, I will know. Nobody else will know as much I will know. I know my own tolerance level of pain; I know my own insistence on clear cognitive functioning; I know my own beliefs about dignity and respect. And isn’t that all we are asking — that you show those who are dying and wish to die with their dignity intact and their comfort tolerable be able to make their own decisions about when their life should end? It’s not much to ask, but it seems as if everyone else wants a say in it. It should be one of our rights: To die when and how we choose.

Jan Richman Schulman

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