Letters to Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   June 18, 2020

Expressing Needs

We need to realize most police officers are dedicated public servants who have a much tougher job than a vast majority of good people could handle. Yes, to use a cliché, there will be a few “bad apples” who manage to get massive publicity, but I wouldn’t want to “not have the police around.” I make every effort to thank a police person for his/her service to the community.

We also need to respect our military. I never had to fight in a war and wasn’t sent abroad to serve in a dangerous place, but I did serve in the U.S. Army back in the “draft days.” Military service is now voluntary. I have some sense as to what is involved in military service. It isn’t easy. This is all the more reason to respect and thank those who serve us.

An idea: We should start a national volunteer program that would allow young people to sign up for one-year salaried work training programs in various career fields. The work possibilities should include military training at a somewhat higher salary. There would be no required commitment after the one year but such a program would open doors of opportunity and thought for many young adults.

We should stop attempting to rewrite U.S. history or stand in judgment of those who came before us. We need to learn from the past and appreciate the elements that came together to create the greatest country in the world.

Finally, we seriously need representatives in Washington, D.C. who can work together, compromise, and come up with ideas, thoughts, and programs to benefit the good people of this country. I see very few current politicians capable of this. Fortunately, this is a situation we can correct if we choose to do so. Vote wisely.

Sanderson M. Smith, Ed.D.
Retired mathematics teacher (Cate School, Santa Barbara City College)

Dear Santa Barbara Police

Mr. Sullivan Israel (Letters #26_24) just completed his first year of college. So, he has years of education and studying. But what he learned about American history up till now, needs to be corrected. United States constitution is not the first legal document. It was proceeded by Hammurabi Code, the rules of Ancient Athens, the laws of Ancient Rome (think Pax Romana) and the greatest legal document of all Magna Carta. However, US constitution legalized slavery, established Fugitive Slave act and gave us Electoral College. The police force in the U.S. was not established by the constitution. In the southern states it grew out of Slave Patrols, that morphed into enforcing Jim Crow laws. In northern states it was organized to keep the undesirable new immigrants under control and as strike breakers. And then there was Prohibition!

We need and support Police. But at this stage of history, there is great need for reform.

Bob Handy

Times Are A-Changin’

Just wondering why Montecito Journal editorials (now called Editor’s Letters) have ballooned to several pages while the once immensely entertaining Letters to the Editor feature has shrunk to only one page? Are readers fuming more but writing less?

Also gone with the wind of the old normal is the charming past custom of previous editor, the unmasked Jim Buckley, to respond individually to some of the more interesting correspondence. I do miss his brief but enlightening yet always gentle rejoinders to his then diverse readership.

The new and now masked editor prefers to lash out at non-residents and presumably non readers Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.

Perhaps they have moved here? Who hasn’t at one time or another? However sans Richard Mineards and his lively gossip column, we are left ignorant of that news.

Linda Marie Prince

Tax Refunds for Police Defunded?

Defund the Police? Once the police department is defunded, I want a tax refund so I can hire private security personnel to take up the slack. I also want a tax rebate to pay for the increased business insurance premiums that will occur as theft and arson incidents increase. I would also need a government subsidy to help remunerate me for the purchase of firearms and instruction so I can “carry.” New ex-office police officers could become the private instructors I will soon need to hire. Talk about “creative destruction” within the economy and government functions.

J.W. Burk

Police Violence in California

The recent murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade at the hands of law enforcement are a part of a generations-long cycle of horrific police killings of Black people.

Recent scenes of police using military gear to violently escalate peaceful demonstrations have only added renewed urgency to end dangerous policies that arm police forces with weapons of war. Instead of condemning the brutality, the Trump Administration encouraged it. Attorney General William Barr even personally ordered the forceful removal of protestors near the White House.

This violence isn’t new. It’s the result of a generations-long cycle of abuse, and we are demanding change.

Police brutality is rooted in systemic racism and oppression of Black people and people of color. It thrives because the structures we have allow and support it. But it won’t survive if every community joins Black people in dismantling them.

Police brutality must end immediately and we must demand that Congress do their job to ensure the safety and freedom of every single person in this country.

Leoncio Martins

Shame on the FBI

Wait a minute! The FBI behaved very badly when pursuing General Flynn. The original report of a conversation between Flynn and the FBI concluded that Flynn was not lying. That report was buried and a higher-up at the FBI altered the document to suit the goal of a continued investigation. That lie fed the falsehood that consumed this country for three years and counting. This alone is disgraceful beyond imagining and reason to dismiss the case. There is also the blatant double standard of investigation and punishment of those on the right relative to those on the left. Law enforcement should not be politically driven. To make matters worse, I see no remorse for these acts from FBI people, present as well as past.

Barr seems to be the only person with the gumption to cleanse the rot in the once admired institution, the FBI.

Gerald Rounds
Santa Ynez


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