Letters to the Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   January 7, 2021

Love for Brilliant Thoughts

It is with anticipation that I pick up my copy of the Montecito Journal each Thursday morning to catch up on local news, learn what’s going on in Montecito and Summerland and find entertainment. My favorite column is Ashleigh Brilliant’s Brilliant Thoughts. Your paper never disappoints!

While I always appreciate Mr. Brilliant’s topics, thoughtfulness, writing style, and wit, I have never taken the time to publicly applaud his work. After reading his latest article – “Declaration of Dependence” – I marveled at how well written and meaningful it was, thinking to myself, “This is the best one yet.” But still I kept my opinion to myself. Days later, as I spoke by telephone with my 90-something-year-old friend she remarked about how “brilliant” she’d found Mr. Brilliant’s most recent column. We agreed it’s high time we send our praises of Mr. Brilliant’s weekly column to the Montecito Journal. So let it be known to one and all – we love Brilliant Thoughts!

Stacey Wright and friend Nancy

Warp Speed Vaccine? You Go First.

In the 1940s, concern over tooth decay, especially in children, triggered a quest for solutions which continues still, even among today’s great thinkers.

Dentists around the world advocated fluoridation as an inexpensive, effective solution to prevent cavities and there was little opposition, until there was.

It didn’t take long before chiropractors, herbalists, politicians, religious leaders and “tree-huggers” began to hear terms like “tooth mottling” and “low-grade chronic fluoride poisoning.”

With fluoride compounds being a key ingredient in many insecticides, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for little people, aka “children.”

Experts, scientists, and physicians from every specialty, and every country, had strong feelings on both sides of the argument. Some countries enacted laws requiring mandatory fluoridation, and some countries (Germany, Sweden, Russia, and Japan) tried it for 10 or 20 years, then decided to return to chlorination after studies indicated a link between fluoridation and brain lesions, particularly in juveniles and seniors.

High levels of calcium fluoride, occurring naturally in water and soils, especially in rural India, have been linked to skeletal fluorosis, deformities and joint calcification but, thankfully, there are very few dental caries.

The two more common synthetic water purifiers, sodium fluoride and fluorite, are found in many consumer products (toothpaste, table salt, mouth rinses etc.) but these compounds are also listed as “…miscellaneous inorganic toxicants…” in many chemistry books, websites, and scientific literature.


I’m not arguing for or against public water supply fluoridation because I eat as much toothpaste as anyone else. So what does the cavity-vs-brain-lesion topic have to do with COVID-19?

If we look at the history of pandemics, including the three Black Plagues of 541 (Africa), 1347 (Asia/Crimea), and 1894 (China), we find that there was “no cure” for Yersinia pestis.

From 1918-1920, the “Spanish Flu” (aka H1N1), originating from birds, killed 50 million worldwide and about 675,00 in the USA. Again, no cure, just resilient human genes.

An enlightening 1998 PBS documentary (Influenza 1918) contained conclusions from health care providers regarding the effectiveness of face masks. Here is a segment for the 20-page original transcript.


“…In many places, officials rushed through laws requiring people to wear masks in public. All of America, it seemed, put on masks. At last, many thought, they were safe. But masks didn’t help. They were thin and porous — no serious restraint to tiny microbes. It was like trying to keep out dust with chicken wire.

In Washington, D.C., Commissioner Louis Brownlow banned all public gatherings. He closed the city’s schools, theaters, and bars. He quarantined the sick. He did everything he had the power to do. But the death rate in Washington kept rising…”  


https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/media/pdf/transcript/influenza_transcript.pdf (search for words “chicken wire”)

“INFLUENZA 1918” (First aired on PBS, February 9, 1998) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Experience_(season_10)

Although masks didn’t work in 1918, maybe they’ll work in 2020?

In 1977, another interesting historical failure involved well-intended mass inoculations and fail-safe government solutions (aka National Swine Flu Immunization Program) designed to fight the H1N1 (bird to pig to human) forecasted quasi-pandemic.

With approximately 25 percent of the population vaccinated, the program was terminated in 1979 because of unforeseen allergic reactions, possibly from the “attenuated live” (aka not dead) virus and a coincidentally high number of Guillian-Barré syndrome (GBS) cases. Oh, did I mention that the Swine Flu never flourished outside the United States? So much for statistical forecasts and analysis.

This false-alarm was later termed “The Gerald Ford Pandemic That Never Was” and Harry Schwartz, of the NY Times, dubbed the entire effort “…a fiasco…but probably one of the largest and most well-intentioned public health initiatives by the U.S. government.”


Where have I heard those well-intended words before?

In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first city to introduce fluoride into its public water supply and the CDC’s current website proudly proclaims the 75th Anniversary of Fluoridation as “…one of public health’s greatest success stories…”


Good intentions and face masks weren’t sufficient in 1918 or 1979 but maybe it will save millions in 2020. Let’s watch (and pray) as the “Mother of All Pandemic Vaccines” begins its Warp Speed charge into battle.

I’ll cover my face with a “chicken wire” mask and have a glass of vintage year calcium fluoride, but when it comes to mass confirmation of the vaccine, you go first.


Dale Lowdermilk, Founder NOTSAFE(.)ORG
Santa Barbara, CA

Half a Century Not Out!

In the sport of cricket in England when a player crosses 50 runs, it is called a half-century, and is recorded in the batsman’s records. As was well documented in his recent Montecito Miscellany weekly column MJ journalist Richard Mineards celebrated such a milestone of a different record: the start of a 50-year journey from Cornwall, a ceremonial county in southwest England, to eventually residing 5,000 miles away on the central Southern California coast.

Such was the life journey that started a successful career as a journalist beginning with local, regional, and national newspapers in England, and then across the Atlantic to the gossip pages and entertainment media world of New York and Los Angeles before landing in our Eden by the Beach, to use his own words!

Richard’s television interviews and news writings on royalty, society occasions, the great and the good and probably an assortment of colorful celebrities and characters in between are the stuff that have filled columns for 50 years starting from near Land’s End in England, the East and West Coast, and eventually to our Montecito neighborhood.

The peripatetic journalist has a new neighbor and resides closer to a royal than any of the royal family blue blood! Long may Richard write and reign over his column.

Nigel Gallimore


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