By Montecito Journal   |   December 13, 2018

In last week’s Montecito Miscellany, we mistakenly left out Gonzalo Sarmiento from the photo’s caption, which should have included Mr. Sarmiento.

Many apologies.

David Bolton, Spain’s Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, and Gonzalo Sarmiento (photo courtesy of US-Spain Council)

Mulling Mueller Matters

There are certain areas of the Mueller investigation that could be very disturbing when his report comes out later this month.

As a former FBI director, does Mr. Mueller not have certain guidelines set by the Justice Department on how he may pursue his investigations? And, how does the public know he sticks to these guidelines? Does he have to set forth how he came to his conclusions in his report?

As an attorney (prosecutor) does Mr. Mueller have immunity from prosecution if he breaks laws in his pursuit of justice?

If Jerome Corsi is correct in his assertion, that Mr. Mueller tried to bring out false testimony from Mr. Corsi, would that not be a crime?

If it’s likely that Mr. Mueller has the President’s tax returns how could he legally obtain them without Rudy Giuliani’s consent?

If it turns out that the President did nothing wrong, but his family may have, would the President pardon family members?

Either way, his presidency would soon be doomed. 

Thomas Carlisle
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: Many pundits have been predicting President Trump’s imminent ouster since, well, since he was elected. We have our doubts that such an event will occur, but, as the President might say, we’ll see what happens. – J.B.)

Survey Respondents

I write with gratitude to the many Montecito residents who responded to the survey we sent. This year’s early January debris flow was an event with a multitude of consequences and multiple issues to address in recovery. As researchers at UCSB, encompassing fields from geology to geography to psychology, we are striving to help by using the responses to understand how Montecito residents think about the debris flow, the evacuation process, disaster preparedness, and teaching about future disasters. When we report on the survey to the community, we will compile the confidential responses so that they aren’t attributable to any individual. Only by better understanding the experiences of our community can we better prepare Montecito and other communities in the future. 

To correct a well-intentioned but misleading letter, I want to emphasize that the survey was not funded by any governmental organizations and not designed to take the place of other information-gathering efforts that are more focused on rebuilding. Clearly, there are enough problems caused by the debris flow that multiple efforts to help understand and mitigate the problems are appropriate. 

For those who have not yet participated, we hope you will be part of those efforts by completing the paper survey or the online version at https:\\tinyurl.com\MontecitoSurvey. We would welcome your thoughts. If you have any further questions regarding this survey, please feel free to contact me at sanderson@bren.ucsb.edu.

Dr. Sarah Anderson
UCSB Professor

Coronado Polo

Lynda Millner waxes lyrically on her recent visit to Coronado, Southern California (Seen Around Town # 24/48). In her column, mention is made of the Coronado Hotel and its owner John D. Spreckels, who founded a transportation and real estate empire. 

One aspect not mentioned in her interesting reminiscence is the Coronado area’s early involvement in the game of polo. In 1906, Spreckels built three polo fields and a two-story clubhouse on the grounds of Coronado Country Club. It became known as the “Meadowbrook of the West,” and was the site of many polo tournaments in Southern California; its fields saw the first playing of the Pacific Coast Open Polo Tournament. 

It was in 1909 that Coronado Country Club offered the splendid PCO trophy, to attract national and international polo competitors to California. This is California’s premier polo event and has been played annually every summer since 1952 at Santa Barbara Polo Club, in Carpinteria. 

Nigel Gallimore

Voting Fraud

The Democrat Party demands that every vote be counted and elections be fair.

What a joke.

In Florida and Georgia they tried to steal elections. In California, seven Republican House seats flipped three weeks after the election.

Nowhere is voter fraud more evident than in California, where the election system is flawed. Six reasons why.

1. The DMV automatically registers people to vote, even illegal immigrants. The L.A. Times reported that 23,000 voters were registered incorrectly and a month before the election, 1,500 people registered who shouldn’t have (illegals, minors + felons).

2. “Ballot Harvesting,” which is illegal in 49 states is allowed. In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law that permitted “ballot harvesting,” which means anyone, even paid political campaign workers, could return ballots up to a few days after Election Day. In Orange County, once a Republican stronghold, every Republican House seat was flipped. The number of election day vote-by-mail drop-offs was unprecedented. Over 250,000. This was the result of “ballot harvesting.”

3. California allows voters to register to vote and cast a vote on election day.

4. Voters can cast a ballot at the wrong polling place (provisional).

5. Counties are allowed to mail absentee ballots to every voter in the county, whether they request it or not.

6. Absentee ballots that arrive a week late are counted. Unlike most other states, absentee ballots in California do not need to be delivered by election day, but merely postmarked on that day.

As a patriotic, native Californian, I wonder whether my vote even counts anymore. Sadly, the once great state of California is now under the control of the socialist left. And voter fraud is one of the main reasons why.

Diana Thorn

(Editor’s note: We should not have to remind you of what Mr. Lenin supposedly said about voting: “It doesn’t matter who votes, but who counts the votes.” Why the general public or at least the Republican Party hasn’t shown more concern and even outrage over the loss of voting integrity is baffling. – J.B.)

Non-Citizen Ideal

“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself… Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.” – H. L. Mencken

The ideal is to be a noncitizen. This only seems fanciful because we’ve been conditioned to believe citizenship is honorable and indispensable. It isn’t at all, but it is mandatory.

Imagine any creature, besides man, born somewhere on this planet, being identified as “belonging” to its place (nation) of birth, and having limited privileges and unlimited obligations peculiar to that locale.

What is citizenship but a state brand; a claim on a person’s life, freedom and property?

Patriotism (pride, affection, loyalty, etc.) towards an ideal (freedom, independence, self-reliance, charity, etc.) shouldn’t be blindly granted to the state. The state is not an ideal. Inevitably, the state, supposed guardian of an ideal, will sacrifice the ideal to further the state’s own interests. It serves the state well to confuse patriotism for an ideal with blind patriotism to the state. 

Steve King

A Fair American Flat Tax 

The United States and the states must reform their tax structures to make it more equitable for everyone. Presently, the Congress is just “fooling around with the numbers” but not giving us tax reform that means no IRS in the future.

Today 40% of the people pay 90% of the taxes. In addition, everyone wants to be excluded from paying any taxes by gaining special exemptions at the expense of other taxpayers. This is social redistribution of wealth, and un-American and unfair.

The easiest way to redo the tax system is by making the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913 – the income tax – a flat tax of not more than 1.5% of a person’s gross yearly income. 

So if you made $10,000 a year, you would pay $150 a year and that is all. No tax returns and no taxing of your savings or any other taxes. And, if you earned a gross income of $100,000 a year, you would pay an income tax of $1,500 per year. $1million would pay $15,000. The same Flat Tax for all incomes. The rich would pay more dollars than the poor but at the same rate. 

This tax would be taken out of your paycheck directly, as FICA and income tax presently is. There would be no other deductions, tax credits, or write-offs and no tax reporting. This would end the present outlandish tax code. Your savings, Social Security and stock profits would be yours and your stock losses would be yours, etc.

Companies would report their gross incomes through a CPA and submit a check for 1.5% of gross, no write-offs, no depreciations, no exceptions, etc.

All non-profits would pay, meaning all religious organizations, the Sierra Club, the Farm Bureau, ACORN, AARP, Democrat Party, Republican Party, unions, foundations, Planned Parenthood, League of Women Voters etc. 1.5% of their gross incomes! No exceptions, no excuses, no exemptions. Why should these hundreds of billions of dollars go untaxed at the expense of all of we middle class taxpayers? There would be no exceptions at all.

Yes, even God would pay!

Taxes could not be raised except by a supermajority in Congress, but only every four years if that, and for only .1% at a time if approved; 5% the max ever.

If this is not enough to run the government then cut the government to fit the taxes. But, when everyone pays their fair share, there will be plenty of revenue. Americans are not here to pay for the government but to support themselves and their children.

Flat taxes being considered by other groups of 15, 17, and 30% are just too high and do not solve the American tax problem with their deductions, and tax credits. 

A small fair tax for everyone is the solution! This is real tax reform. Out with the progressive tax system. But, Congress isn’t really serious, is it?

Justin M. Ruhge

Time to Stop Listening

It’s hard to conclude just what event, or events, drove Arnold Schwarzenegger over the cliff.

This is truly sad.

At one time, this man had something worth saying and conveying. He was a good actor, as long as the parts he played fed his overwhelming size and demeanor. He never was a character actor. But, the guy he portrayed in Kindergarten Cop was truly humane and empathetic… self-deprecating, too. Comedy came easily to Arnie, especially when the premise of the farce was in-your-face evident; does Twins with Danny DeVito come to mind?

He carried his super-hero status over into California politics. The state had to be saved from the big, bad Gray Davis. Davis was accused of Do-Nothingness in the face of huge and embarrassing electricity blackouts in southern California, reminiscent of Third World Banana Republics.

Republicans also held Gray Davis responsible for a $38 billion shortfall in state revenues, leading to major cuts in legislatively enacted programs.

Arnold Schwarzenegger came to the rescue, riding in on a White Stallion, and reminding anybody and everybody who would listen that he was married to Camelot.

Republicans got the recall petitions signed en masse, and Arnie put together a very plausible campaign to marshal support from Republicans, Democrats and Independents. And succeeded in a recall where nobody else in history ever did. His popularity was such that he could last long enough in office to be reelected. Probably, the last Republican governor California will see until something cataclysmic happens to change the issues important to voters, and alters the demographic make-up of the state.

What happened to change Arnold Schwarzenegger?

He never was an “Orange County Conservative”. He even hovered a bit to the left of the pragmatic Republicans who ran Sacramento after Edmund Brown and before Gray Davis.

My hunch and assessment is that Schwarzenegger never was grounded in a hard-and-fast political ideology. He was willing to anchor his beliefs in whatever the voters were passionate about at the moment. He could employ his larger-than-life charisma in behalf of any belief system that would garner 51% of the total vote.

After reelection, he pressed a hard-core “Orange County-type” conservative political agenda from the governor’s manse…

…Thinking and believing he could overwhelm the Democrat majorities in the State Assembly and Senate with his wealth, celebrity status and glad-handing.

He failed miserably. Sacramento Democrats weren’t going to have any of it. His administration fell into a deep-funk malaise, with no purpose. He fell into line with the ruling legislative Democrats…

…Much to the consternation of the conservative Republicans who circulated all those Recall Petitions that catapulted him into political fame and glory in the first place.

After state politics, Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to Hollywood and a much more private existence. When his name did arise in the news, it usually wasn’t very good. His movies often tanked. He wasn’t the magnetic draw he once was.

But, the final set of nails to the coffin of his public persona came when it became grossly apparent he hadn’t been faithful to his beautiful but career-minded Kennedy spouse. Arnie was willing to give up his storybook family for something much darker. That became apparent when he bought into the Left-Wing Ideology of Climate Change: that sloppy, messy coming together of Junk Science and Punishment Politics meant to persuade a capitalistic society to hand over its freedom and wealth to a global cabal of socialists and communists as retribution for supposedly “wrecking the earth”.

The crowning (clowning?) touch of his unintentional public amusement came in Poland this week at an international Climate Change conference where he prattled on whimsically and feebly about “If he were the Terminator, he would put an end to the discovery of fossil fuels before we figured out how we could use these dangerous commodities for mankind’s selfish ends”. He’s gone from a loving family man to being a crazed, ugly troll for Left Wing Punishment Politics while he flies around the world in his private fossil-fuel-burning jet spreading his Gospel of Destruction.

Schwarzenegger’s come up with new depths and dimensions of sadness and pathos. It’s time to stop listening, not only to Arnie, but to all people like this.

David S. McCalmont
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: Many of us stopped listening to Mr. Schwarzenegger a long, long time ago, but others in the press can’t seem to get enough of ex-politicians who’ve “seen the light,” or have otherwise come around to the “Progressive” point of view – J.B.)

A Green New Deal

I was born in 1998 and lived in relative prosperity and comfort for my entire life. I am concerned about the effects climate change will have on my life, my children’s lives, and my community in the coming years. I support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution to create a House Select Committee for a Green New Deal in Congress. United Nations climate scientists tell us we have just 12 years to move our country off fossil fuels before it is too late to avoid catastrophic climate disaster. We don’t even need to do anything specifically to bring about this decline in civilization, all we need to do is nothing. 

That’s why we need a Green New Deal to create millions of green jobs, move our country off fossil fuels, and protect working people of all backgrounds. Congress members should support this too and I would like to urge our community to hold their representatives accountable for our generation’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Maithilee Kanthi

(Editor’s note: And, how exactly – other than voting for someone else if you don’t like what your representative has done or is doing – does one “hold their representatives accountable?” Just curious. – J.B.)


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