Pictured: A woman dressed in nurses scrubs and a surgical mask standing across from protesters seeking an end to stay at home orders and business closures, in Ventura on May 9, 2020. Photo by Barry Harrington. 

May 14, 2020

RE: May Day protests
Stupidity reigns when not following sound medical advice becomes the rallying cry of the moronic minority and reporters report on as if it were just another legitimate point of view.
We are currently seeing the largest spikes of new cover cases in California in Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. All areas where there have been similar protests and stories of businesses and individuals ignoring the stay at home orders. 

A group of protestors seeking the reopening of California gather at the corner of Victoria Ave. and Telephone Rd. in Ventura on May 9, 2020. Photo by Barry Harrington.

I am sure all those brave “freedom” fighters are going to be willing to just stay home and die if they contract the virus during their struggle. Yeah, probably not, they will be crying like the selfish little babies they are and want to be treated, thereby subjecting first responders, nurses and doctors to potential exposure because they are being infringed upon and inconvenienced for the greater good of the community.
We have been really fortunate so far in parts of Ventura County with a really low infection and casualty rate. All evidence points to us not continuing to be so lucky if we are not slow and responsible in how and when we open up.
These “freedom” fighters need to be called out for their thoughtless and selfish behavior. We all understand economic insecurity but, the federal government is throwing money at anyone who has been laid off, furloughed or in many cases those who are still working but had their hours reduced. Food banks are open and providing meals and staples. All difficult options but the last time I checked, better than death.
Please stop writing articles about these selfish assholes without interviewing someone in the same article calling them out for what they are.
Keith B. Filegar
Support H.R. 763
The 50th anniversary of Earth Day has just passed, but this year no physical marches marked this milestone, as humanity is facing the immediate crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We were woefully unprepared for this pandemic, despite numerous warnings that such a pandemic was inevitable.  In a similar way, we are getting numerous warnings of the threat global warming poses to humanity.  Will we repeat our mistake with the threat of global warming as we did with the threat of a pandemic?  We can take action now to try to lessen the severity of the impact of global warming, steps that we have the ability now to take. One critical step we can take is to stop releasing more carbon into the air.  Economists advise that taxing the release of carbon will be an effective way of achieving this.  There is already a bill with bipartisan support suggesting just such a tax — and the tax collected will be distributed back to the public as a dividend.  Join me in supporting H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, and encourage your representative to support it.
Fiona Bremner
RE: “False patriotism”
There goes Paul Moomjean again: “if there is one true unique American patriotic value, it is a true freedom of speech, but locked inside, that appears to be limited.” (“Purple is the New Party: False patriotism,” May 7, 2020.) Only to those who don’t turn the lights on inside while sheltering in place, Mr. Moomjean (and I don’t mean the room lights). 
Like many folks, Moomjean doesn’t understand the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.  It means that government can’t deny you the right to voice your opinion.  It means you can speak and write — but it doesn’t mean anyone has any obligation to listen to you or agree with you.  Moomjean knows that no one is getting arrested for expressing disagreement or for protesting, and that nobody’s “freedom of speech” is threatened by any level of government.  This is a typical straw-man argument tactic that we are so tired of reading from Moomjean.
Moomjean asserts that Gov. Newsom is not “listening to other voices” before making decisions.  On the contrary, it is clear that Newsom has surrounded himself with competent professionals, and clearly engages with many, including those with whom he does not see eye-to-eye, when formulating and implementing policy. It is a model that other elected leaders (perhaps in Washington) should follow.
Moomjean’s criticism of Newsom for not negotiating protective public health measures with the yahoos who believe he is the devil is truly vacuous. It is strikingly similar to the president urging Michigan Governor Whitmer to negotiate with the non-mask-wearing mob which wasn’t content to just risk spreading the coronavirus to Michigan’s legislators, staffers, and state police, but felt they had to brandish their automatic weapons while doing so. 
Perhaps Mr. Moomjean would like to allow those with whom he fundamentally disagrees to edit his columns before they go to print, so that our “freedom of speech” is not threatened.  
Alfred Lawson