Exploiting racism

Mr. Moomjean in his Right Persuasion on What to do with Robert E. Lee drones on with historical nonsense and revisionism. He states the the statues of Robert E. Lee, Stone Wall Jackson, etc., are “symbols of slavery and intolerance”. Horse manure! They are displayed as heroic figures on horseback, commanding forces in some noble cause. A true statue of the real Robert E. Lee would show a white slave owner, spittle dripping off his beard, as he orders a constable to whip two slaves stripped to the waist then have salt rubbed into the open bleeding wounds (all well documented in the case of the Custis slaves).

I can see a monument to the racism and intolerance of the Nazis in Germany by going to Dachau, not see some heroic statue of some Nazi on horseback. I can see a monument to the racism and intolerance of the Nazis in Austria by going to Mauthuasen and see the Stairway of Death where Jewish prisoners were forced to carry huge carved stones out of the quarry (many dying on the stairs), not some heroic statue of a Nazi on horseback. I can see the racism and intolerance of the Nazis in the Czech Republic by going to Theresienstadt. I can see a monument to the racism and intolerance of the Nazis in Poland by going to Auschwitz. Etc.

The heroic statues to the confederacy should all be removed, a few placed in museums, the horrific evils of slavery and the traitorous behavior of U. S. Military officers like Robert E. Lee who resigned his commission and violated his oath of allegiance to the Constitution in defense of this barbarous part of our ignoble past all displayed with full and accurate explanations. The ongoing racism that manifested itself as historical revisionism should be displayed by showing a chart that depicted peaks in statue erections, 1890-1920 and the rise of Jim Crow and southern Apartheid, 1954-1958 and the advent of school desegregation, and 1966-1972 with the final federal enforcement of civil and voting rights for all Americans. The murder of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia Mississippi followed by Ronald Reagan’s first speech as 1980 Republican party nominee by extolling states’ rights at that same Philadelphia Mississippi. The continuing role of crass politicians in exploiting this racism and intolerance needs to be made manifest.

Norman Rodewald

Statues serve to intimidate

I normally do not write to newspapers, but when I read the recent “What to do with General Robert E. Lee” which soft pedals white supremacy, I felt compelled to write. The author Paul Moomjean writes “what leftists don’t understand is that while the desire to remove symbols of slavery and intolerance is noble, the methods in acting out those intentions is what’s striking a chord with a group of people who weren’t consulted prior to the restructuring of their cities”.. I ask you, should we check to be sure that every white citizen feels ok with the removal of Confederate statues?? These statues serve one main purpose: to intimidate. Their other purposes do not supersede that fact.
Considering that it is 2017 and as a culture we are still deliberating the merit of such statues is quite unbelievable, and shows that white America is still mostly clueless to the effects that slavery has had on our culture. A good example of how this is woven into the fabric of our culture is when the author states that the great grandson of Robert E. Lee has “authority” on the matter. Is this to suggest that lineage qualifies a person to have authority? If the great grandson signs off on it, then it’s ok to take them down??? I hope others can see the irony in this statement.
Have you seen any busts of Hitler in Germany lately? has this lack of “memorializing” him kept anyone from learning about the Holocaust? History is more than statues, in fact, statues do very little to educate anyone about history. The plain truth is that Confederate statues can serve no positive outcome when displayed in public places, they can only educate when in the context of a museum, where it can be taught that they were erected for the purpose of intimidation.

 The author seems to suggests that liberals/leftists don’t’ realize that taking down these precious statues might offend some people in their conservative/traditional communities. Let me ask you this; what if there were NO counter protest in Charlottesville?? Is that the world that you want to live in?
 Although the author states that “students” where protesting the removal the Robert E. Lee statue, I find that an interesting description, as I have not read one article that described the protesters as students. They were however described as militia members and Neo Nazis, organized by an ultra-nationalist group, and collectively converged on Charlottesville. Just because this took place on and near a university campus, does not by any means prove that this was instigated by students.

I could comment on every paragraph of this article, for the sake of brevity I will leave it at this to make my point: the author opens by saying ”there must be a way to unify the country before the next Civil War starts”. Well yes, there is. It starts with not displaying statues that only serve to divide. And implying that taking these monuments down will start a war is exactly the type of intimidation they were designed to convey.  Good citizens won’t be intimidated. I know I’m not.

Rob Allen
Rob Allen Guitars

Costly traffic tickets

Many motorists are unaware that according to county records, about $28 in penalty assessments are added to every $10 of a base traffic fine in Ventura County ? a 180 percent markup to the original ticket. A $100 citation, with mandated penalties, can run as high as $446.

Traffic Ticket Fines & Court Costs

Offense           Court Costs (including $2.00 processing fee)  $107.10         

Fine    $10.00 per mile over speed limit 

Speed greater than 94 mph     $107.10      +   $199.90

Speeding in School Zone   $20.00 per mile over speed limit     +      $107.10          

Speeding on Cedar Street in Ventura which is posted at 25MPH will cost you:

Posted 25MPH  –   Your speed 35MPH   You are 10MPH over the posted speed limit.

10MPH at $10.00 each = $100.00  Penalty assesment $28.00 for each $10.00 in the base traffic fine = $280.00   Offense court cost $107.10.  So you now have a beginning total of $487.10

However you may not be done paying, your insurance company may also raise your rates.

Rellis Smith

Carrizo Plain future unknown

Several news outlets published headlines recently  like “Carrizo Plain Spared” and “Carrizo Plain won’t be eliminated,” which are misleading and give people a false sense that the Carrizo Plain National Monument is safe. “Carrizo Plain National Monument remains under threat.” or “Threat to Carrizo Plain remains unknown” is more accurate.

What we know is that the Department of the Interior has recommended shrinking monuments and weakening their protections. They have left us in the dark as to how much, and where. There has been no indication that the Carrizo has been “spared.” It could well be that it, and other National Monuments, will be made vulnerable to development that would permanently spoil what makes them so special and beloved. 

The DOI’s unwillingness to make its recommendations public, especially in light of such an outpouring of support and engagement, is disturbing. Over 140 local businesses, 28 local officials, five out of seven of SLO County’s mayors, four local chambers of commerce, 46 organizations, and over 4,000 area residents have urged no change to the monument. The public deserves to know what is proposed for our public lands; we have filed a FOIA request to force disclosure.

Rebecca August
Public Lands Advocate 
Los Padres ForestWatch

Mother Climate Change laughed last

Has anyone caught the deep irony of what is happening in Houston Texas, with Hurricane Harvey?  The NOOZE  (oooozing polluting lies sponsored by oil, gas, drug and war companies) and the President of the United States remain in denial and shock and have called it everything but climate change: “historically unprecedented,” “never experienced” “a catastrophe,” “an apocalypse,” “a deluge of epic proportions,” everything but the “CC” words. I do give Katie Tur credit for mentioning “climate science” and asking worthy questions of local officials; but it was so different from everything reported, I thought, the whole time, my hearing aids were playing tricks on me.

But here’s the bitter irony:  Mother Nature, Mother Climate Change met the heart of Big Oil head on this week and declared war. Like U.S. soldiers invaded the Middle East, Mother Nature, Mother Climate Change went right into the heart of enemy territory and invaded the environmental beast. Mother Nature, Mother Climate Change, went right into the heart of Refinery-ville, right into the heart of Oil Central, and the cross-haired center, where every pipeline delivers its crude; and then right into the homes to Exxon and Chitron (Chevron) — Mother Nature, Mother  Climate Change came right into the belly of the environmental beast — and shut it all down, just like that.

Unlike our 17 year war in the Middle East, the war for Mother Nature, Mother Climate Change, was a cakewalk and over in a week. Oil was shut down. Refugees fled to their shelters.  The enemy disrupting her all but conquered. And she isn’t done yet.

In all that wind, Texans will continue to deny what Mother Nature was saying: “You want to ignore the sun on my back? You want to ignore the wind that speaks my grace? Well shove this angry breath up your oily ass and weep. And if you don’t weep, I will. I’m shutting you off, Chitron, Exxxoff. And then I’m telling you to f*** off.” 

It was a strong wind spoken by Mother Nature, by Mother Climate Change. And much, much weeping turned the streets to lakes, and turned Houston into the salt of the sea. Mother Nature, Mother Climate Change, certainly told us something about herself this week, and just how small oil companies really are.  One reporter, Katie Tur, acknowledged it, like a drop in Mother Nature’s ocean.

Who I feel sorry for are all the victims, the common men and women of Texas, the dreamers, the apartment dwellers and the homeowners, who have lost everything, not because of Mother Nature, but because of the lies of Exxon and Chitron; who bartered their faith like Faust to the devils of profits; and who, like Frankenstein, created Mother Climate Change. They are the same crude pederasts of truth, who have been lying to the people and extorting the facts, the evidence since the 1970s. And then they bought up every politician and every mainstream news station to grovel in their lies.

Mother Nature, Mother Climate Change laughed last with Hurricane Harvey, and cried and cried, from the lies of the oil companies, yet sending a clear message to the dinosaurs of oil just what tears of salt feel like — and how many tears lie ahead. Mother Nature did what no person, group, organization, or environmental lobby could do.  She conquered Goliath this week, and she did it without a lobbyist, without a politician, without firing a shot. She did it with tears.

Will America hear her words, or feel her pain? Or will the American people just continue, as if nothing happened this week, and then move on, like ants and continue their small behavior?

Grant Marcus

Eat a burger instead

Regarding the extremely unthought-out letter by Mr Brad Nelson in the August 24th issue of the VCReporter, Mr. Nelson either willingly or mistakenly made a few mistakes.  First he remarks that I wrote that cyclist now have almost as much of the roadways reserved for cyclist and for autos.  

Then he goes on to compare Roadways to Freeways, Mr. Nelson, there is a big difference between Roadways and Freeways.

He then said that the bike lane on Victoria is at the most a yard wide and the road for autos goes from one lane to two lanes.  Mr. Nelson, a cycle with a rider is at the most two feet wide and cars are four to five feet wide, hence the difference in width of lanes. 

He ask where are the lanes for cyclist wider than auto lanes, I never said any cyclist lanes were wider than auto lanes however there are now many signs saying “Cyclist may use full lane.” Plus now there are the special Green Boxes and lanes to be used by cyclist only.

He then goes on to wonder where all these cyclist signs are.  Take a look up and down Main Street and Thompson Blvd in Ventura.  There are cyclist signs approx. every 100 ft. He wonders why I say these signs give cyclist more rights than automobiles. What about those signs that say share the road, let me tell you, cyclist can ride in any part of a roadway but don’t let an automobile driver get caught driving in a cyclist lane.

He says I whine about the cost of paying for an injured cyclist, if there are any cyclists that have insurance for themselves while riding a cycle I have never met one, therefore if an injured cyclist is taken to a hospital after an accident and has no insurance the taxpayers are saddled with the cost.  I also know of no automobile insurance that will pay for an accident on a cycle, unless that person has a rider attached to their auto insurance policy.

He whines about my statement that cyclist contribute nothing to the cost of roads and streets, Mr. Nelson, do you know that any person with an automobile pays for a license and insurance for each one there may be in his family. Also if they have a scooter or motorcycle they must have a license and insurance for each of them. Whenever they buy gasoline they pay enormous amounts of taxes, city, state, and federal. Cyclists pay nothing.

Who does he think pays for all of the Millions of dollars’ worth of amenities that are provided to these cyclists? The rest of the population that’s who.  He then admonishes his fellow cyclist to “Ride on the correct side of the road and wear a helmet,” he conveniently forgot to mention Stop running the stop signs, and stop riding 4 or 5 abreast on a roadway, and possibly making hand signals while turning.

Mr. Nelson got tired of writing about cyclist and then continued about Corn, Soy and Animals.  First of all Mr. Nelson your claim that 90% of all Corn and Soy is feed to animals is a true Trumpism, the real amount according to the FDA is: Half the U.S. grain is fed to livestock, a tad less than your claim of 90%.  

Also your contention that 30 percent to 60 percentof greenhouse gases in the U.S. is related to meat production is another Trumpism, the truth is global livestock contribute only 14.5 percent of all Anthropogenic CHC emissions.

My suggestions to Mr. Nelson are No. 1. Check your facts before writing anything and No. 2. Get your healthy butt off of your cycle seat and go eat a big ol’ Jalapeno Burger with Fries. It will definitely improve your attitude.

REllis Smith

Support Hueneme City Councilman

Jim Hensley is submitted in response to the unfair, unprofessional treatment Hensley received by his colleagues on the City Council, and by several employees of the city. A popularly elected official, it appears Hensley is the victim of a concerted effort to humiliate him and effectively silence him. It played out when he was upbraided at the Port Hueneme City Council meeting held on Aug. 7, which I attended.

A retired military veteran who honorably served for 20 years, Hensley is no longer a young man, yet he is as vital and engaged in his community as anyone I know. Among his constituency, neighbors and other local stakeholders, he is known to be fair, courteous, honest and respectful, all while acting as an ardent and tireless advocate for all of the citizens of Port Hueneme. He was propelled into office by the voters of Port Hueneme specifically to address highly irregular and long-term personnel matters combined with serious financial malfeasance issues that were ongoing in Port Hueneme.

Hensley was given no opportunity to defend himself, or to speak at the highly unusual and seemingly staged proceedings denigrating him in public. The entire spectacle was a betrayal of the public’s trust by the City Council and by city management. It is an appalling attempt to silence Hensley, who received far more votes in the 2014 election than did any of the incumbent councilpersons at that time; several of the same councilpersons who have now, interestingly enough, censured him and stripped him of duties and powers as mayor pro tem.

The result of the meeting is that the votes of the citizens who put Hensley into office have been, in some manner, disenfranchised, and Hensley’s civil rights, in no uncertain terms, have been violated.

Mark Andrizzi
Port Hueneme

A Sacred Life

“Ah, in an ugly time, the true protest is beauty.” — Phil Ochs

I am outraged about what is happening in our country. The United States is the only place on earth based on ideals and not ethnicity. Our sacred democratic spirit rooted in equality is being torn apart and vulgarized. Yes, I am outraged.

For the past 25 years, I have been a counselor, poet, and leader of men’s work. I’m devoted to bringing back the ancient practice of initiation and rites of passage to the men of my community. I am a passionate advocate of the deep soul. What I have witnessed in the past six months in this country is truly horrifying. Our own president, the man we look to, to lead us in times of great conflict is clearly a reckless, narcissistic adolescent boy. I choose my words carefully. We are living in a time of what author Bill Plotkin calls: “pathological adolescence.” Pathological adolescence is a chronic psychological disorder where the psyche of men get arrested around the age of 14 years old. This condition of pathological adolescence has the following qualities: 1) self-absorption, 2) entitlement, 3) inability to be relational, 4) obsession with power-over and win-at-all-costs, 5) driven by impulses and the inability to delay gratification and 6) disregard for the sacredness of life. It’s one thing to see these qualities in a 14-year-old boy, but in a 70-year-old man who is our president, it is appalling.  We are living in dangerous times, when the leadership we most desperately need is not just absent but destructively adolescent.

I implore you, all of you, men, to allow yourselves to be outraged by this flagrant abuse of power. Next, find a healthy and sacred way to channel your outrage. Gandhi said “we must make injustice visible.” Walt Whitman said, “Dismiss whatever insults your soul.”

In response to this ugly time we are living in, I invite you to empower yourself and take action by coming to my talk and joining me in this very important conversation.

There will be drumming, poetry and my 30 years of experience working with men. We will explore what it means to be “an initiated man” as opposed to the current epidemic of uninitiated wounded boy-men in our culture.

Men and women are welcome. This talk will be followed by a weekly men’s circle starting Oct. 3, Tuesday nights from 6-8 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, 3-5 p.m.

A Place of Peace — Sanctuary and Wellness Center
2021 Sperry Ave, #24

For more information:

Richard Palmer

Pedestrian safety

Nearly a year ago, I wrote to the Reporter about traffic calming measures. I am happy that Ventura is now a designated Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community. However, Ventura (especially in areas other than downtown) still has a long way to go before becoming pedestrian-friendly. 

All of the 101 Business Route (encompassing both Thompson and Main) east of Seaward/Ventura High School can be a pretty stressful stretch for pedestrians. (Borchard — both at Main and Thompson — is one of the few intersections on 101 Business that actually feels human-scale and walkable.) Yesterday I was walking from the Firehouse Plaza (on Main Street) to my auto mechanic off Market Street/ Callens Road. I sought to cross south across Main Street from the northwest corner of Donlon and Main Street. The offramp from the 126 east and the 101s empties out right there — with Calvary Chapel on the west side and the fire station on the east side.

Any pedestrian trying to cross there could easily get run over. It nearly happened to me. On the walk signal, five cars barreled through, one after the other, without stopping — as if I wasn’t even standing off the curb, in the street. They either did not see me, did not care or wanted to clear the intersection rather than be stuck in an intersection. Obviously not wanting to play “chicken” nor insisting on my right of way, I had to retreat back to the sidewalk. Luckily, I was able to cross — albeit very warily — during the next round of signal changes. The problem is that the crosswalk is offset at least 10 feet to the right around the corner — away from where motorists might expect. Also at that northwest corner are two light/electric poles blocking visibility of pedestrians from anyone coming off the ramp. Therefore, any of the cars — assuming right of way and only checking to the left for oncoming motorists — simply gun it out of the exit onto westbound Main Street.

Many drivers in Ventura (and Oxnard) drive extremely fast, and many of our larger streets (Rose Avenue, Victoria Avenue, Main Street) are basically racetracks. Main Street and Thompson — especially in Midtown — are obviously built for auto speed and efficiency, given that they used to be the 101. We need additional traffic calming measures and greater safety for pedestrians, such as more AND safer (signaled) crosswalks.  I hope the new taxes (gas and sales) can fund some of these improvements if they are not earmarked already.

There need to be motorist education and greater law enforcement presence to enforce the LAW that it is pedestrian right of way in California. In the case of the Donlon crosswalk, city officials should possibly consider changing the signal to have a red right-turn arrow when the green pedestrian light is blinking — or a red light with the pedestrian crossing activated. The crossing itself also only allows 7 seconds for a pedestrian to pass, which really isn’t enough; I went at a brisk clip and barely made it. The crossing at Callens Rd and Main Street is also barely timed long enough —  only about 30 seconds. I am an able-bodied younger female and able to scurry across. What if a person with disabilities or an elderly person has to cross? 

Lisa Ayre-Smith