The inconvenient truth, Part 1

I am finally fed up with reading Richard Rush’s spin on the beginnings of CSUCI and the history leading to his presidency.  (“School’s Out,” news, 5/12)

It does a huge disservice to Dr. Handel J. Evans, Jack O’Connell and the hard working true original people who scraped that university together. 

“What was it like when you first came here and to put together the faculty?”

When I came here the beautiful buildings were in disrepair and I was the only employee of Cal State, Channel Islands, on the 18th of June 2001. There were other folks here but they all had appointments elsewhere. It was exhilarating, it was exciting — I was really honored to be selected.”

This is a “marginally true” statement — and only if you look at the history with one eye squinted. “Other folks”? Dr. Rush is insulting and playing journalists to skew the history to make it look as though nothing came before him. It’s magical thinking.

How about a great article on the true origins of the campus? There are some fascinating people and some interesting history that would make for great reading. 

Tiffany Smith

The inconvenient truth, Part 2 

REF: School’s Out by Michael Sullivan

Now I fully realize that you only printed what you were told by Mr. Richard Rush of CSUCI. However, it seems Mr. Rush has altered history a tad to make himself look better. Your reporter, as usual, didn’t do any investigation on the story at all. 

The one paragraph I have trouble with is where Mr. Rush was asked: “What was it like when you first came here and to put together the faculty?”

Mr Rush stated: “When I came here the beautiful buildings were in disrepair and I was the only employee of Cal State, Channel Islands, on the 18th of June 2001.”  He attempts to make it look as though he arrived with a nail bag hanging on his hips.  

It is true that the buildings were in disrepair, and that was caused from age; many of the buildings were already going through a remake by the time Mr. Rush arrived. And as far as being the only employee when he arrived, it would appear Mr. Rush came with his eyes and ears closed.

At the time Mr. Rush did appear on the scene, there were already a couple dozen Cal State employees working there. I know this for a fact because my wife was the actual second employee behind Mr. Handel Evans; she was his executive assistant. They changed her title when Mr. Rush arrived to “office manager.” She later retired. 

Rellis Smith

Birds of a feather 

I couldn’t stop laughing when, in the same day, it was reported that Tony Strickland was threatened with an $80,000 fine (and later paid $40,000) by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for allegedly laundering campaign money during his bid for California State Controller in 2010 and that Donald Trump had chosen Strickland to be one of three area delegates for the GOP convention in July. I assume that when vetting candidates, the Trump campaign knew that Strickland was under investigation but chose him anyway. Absolutely perfect!  A match made in heaven — two guys who will do or say anything to get elected. Fortunately, it won’t work, but it sure is fun watching as they try.

F. Bundy
Ventura County

Basic arithmetic  

In a 5/12 letter, Clive Leeman of Ojai complains that Bernie Sanders was cheated out of a big victory in the New York primary election. After explaining that millions of independents were not allowed to vote in the party primary and that an additional 88,000 Democratic voters were purged from the rolls in Brooklyn, he summarizes his argument in this way:

“Hillary won New York by 390,614 votes, so we have to face the reality that Bernie would have won New York by a landslide even if he had won only half the 3 million [excluded] Independents and half the 88,000 purged Democrats.”

No, we do not have to “face that reality” unless we were taught an Alice in Wonderland version of grade-school arithmetic. The truth of the matter is that if Hillary had won New York by as few as three votes, that same three-vote victory margin would remain hers no matter how large the number of excluded votes that are later added, if the new votes are divided half for Bernie, half for Hillary. That’s not “cheating.” That’s just the way arithmetic works.

I have no idea how the writer warped that simple addition result into a come-from-behind landslide victory for Bernie Sanders. However, I do have a better grasp of the group euphoria and anxiety that seem to be turning otherwise rational Sanders supporters into conspiracy theorists, and pretty low-grade theorists at that.

Rick Scott

Atomic bombs saved lives

It is disappointing to read an editorial calling for an apology for the use of nuclear weapons in Japan during World War II (“Calling for an apology,” 5/12). Disappointing because, after all these years, someone finally came up with an appropriate idea that actually shows respect for the people of the affected areas but also incorporates the lessons and responsibilities to be learned from this tragic event.

 Secretary of State John Kerry was recently quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying that all world leaders should visit Hiroshima. “It tugs at all of your sensibilities as a human being. It reminds everybody of the extraordinary complexity of choices of war and what war does to people, to communities, countries, the world,” Kerry said. “I don’t see how anyone could forget the images, the evidence, the re-creations of what happened.”

 A visit to Hiroshima would also be a good reminder to the rest of us that we are responsible for the actions of our governments and militaries. 

 My father was a combat infantry scout in WWII, going into France as a replacement for killed or wounded soldiers from the D-Day invasion and subsequent battle to capture the port of Cherbourg. He fought through the end of the war, being wounded in November 1944, and was pulled out of a hospital in France and sent back to the front lines during the Battle of the Bulge. He continued to fight into Germany until the end of the war in Europe, whereupon he was stationed in occupation in Eastern Europe. As with many single combat veterans, he was cached there until the inevitable invasion of Japan took place. He had no expectation of surviving Japan.

 My father-in-law was stationed on Corregidor when WWII broke out. Google it. Once Corregidor fell he spent over a year in a prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines before being shipped off in an unmarked transport to spend [presumably] the rest of his life doing slave labor in mainland Japan. After several years of that, in terrible health, he awoke one day to find the guards were gone. Thanks to the dropping of the atomic bombs, he lived.

 An invasion of Japan would have seen hundreds of thousands, possibly a million or more military and civilian deaths. The fact is, the atomic bombs saved lives in the long run. It certainly saved those of my wife and me, as yet unborn. No apology is owed by the United States. The U.S. and Japan have gone on to forge a civilized alliance as time heals the wounds. Ultimately war itself is the enemy. Acknowledging that fact would be a great legacy as well as a sign of respect for all the lives disrupted and lost.

 Nels Norene


The inner circle of lunacy

Re: Hiroshima

While it is true that our nuclear stockpiles have been reduced dramatically since the 1960s, there are still over 15,000 nuclear weapons in existence worldwide. As of 2009 there were 23,335 with a total explosive power of 6,400 megatons. That’s 6 billion, 400 million tons of TNT. As a comparison, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 15 kilotons. If the reduction figures are proportional and today there truly are only 15,350 weapons, then there are still 4.2 gigatons. That is the equivalent of 280,000 Hiroshima bombs. Our nations do not need this kind of destructive capability. In his book, The Fate of the Earth, Jonathan Schell argues that a global nuclear war would lead to the extinction of mankind through (aside from the estimated 200 megadeaths caused by direct explosions) radioactive fallout and nuclear winter. 

Although a global nuclear war is unlikely today, the No. 1 concern is not even so much nuclear terrorism as it is accidental nuclear war as described by Bruce Blair in The Logic of Accidental Nuclear War. In spite of the decline of the Cold War in the 1990s, the United States and Russia still have nuclear-armed ICBMs on 24/7/365 alert. These should be the first urgent target for nuclear disarmament, followed by submarine launched ICBMs. My recent research into this subject led to a strongly anti-nuclear play, Psylo, that I soon hope to see produced, which title describes in a word the insanity of the nuclear brinkmanship played by the nuclear-armed nations on this planet. Kim Jong Un recently became a card-carrying member of the inner circle of lunacy with his claim to “never use nuclear weapons first.” Thanks for the assurances, now we feel so much better. Or not.

Dave Cintron