Carlos, An American Bear

By Montecito Journal   |   July 8, 2021

Carlos, The Bear, reclined in his reading chair listening to Tom Petty. He was flipping through last year’s 4th of July Car Roadshow photos he took with his old iPhone. This year everything will be better, he thought. No lockdown, masks not mandatory and people out everywhere trying to get back into the swing of things. Also, this time he will be taking snapshots using his new iPhone that he bought on Amazon Prime!

Last year, Carlos arrived at his viewing spot, a tree well out of the way of any humans, in the predawn hours of zero dark thirty. This year his plan is to do the same using one of those new urban hiking paths the Bucket Brigade recently put in so he can sleep in a bit before heading out. 

He knows how lucky he is to live here and appreciates the extra effort people of the community put out for such events. He really wants everyone to have a safe, sane, and happy 4th of July here in The Cito as this is one of his favorite holidays. He enjoys seeing myriad classic, exotic, fire department and law enforcement vehicles as they pass; a time to celebrate our freedom.

After all, Carlos is an American Bear!

Technology Gone Too Far?

I admit I am a nerd.

I enjoy watching Santa Barbara City Council meetings.

I can’t take watching our Council and Mayor in a four-inch box.

Even worse the comments from the public have only audio.

Today is June 22.

Now I am listening to feedback that sounds like a Grateful Dead show.

I’ve seen people cut off and or disconnected.

The county meets in person.

The local news is in studio.

The grocery stores have gone back to salad bars.

Why do we have watch these meetings in such an antiquated way?

Safety is always a top priority.

That said, as a long-time citizen this format makes very little sense to me.

The bookcases in the background are cute.

But it’s time to go back to work.

People who make our decisions need to have conversations with each other and with the public that need to be seen and heard.

I’ve had more than enough of technical glitches as it makes it harder and harder to follow.

If this is going to be permanent I for one will watch much less.

Steven Marko

Systemic Racism ‘Fabric of American History’

According to former Vice President Mike Pence, “Critical Race Theory teaches children as young as kindergarten to be ashamed of their skin color.” Since this theory is only taught at the university level and almost exclusively at law schools, congratulations to those parents whose five-year-olds are matriculating at these institutions!

Systemic racism is absolutely, positively, undoubtedly, woven into the fabric of American history. This is not even a theory, it’s a fact. It does not, in any way, encourage children, adolescents, or adults to hate themselves or their country. The enslavement of African-Americans for more than 240 years, the Trail of Tears (aka: the Indian Removal Act), the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II, Jim Crow voter suppression laws, as well as many Republicans questioning the legitimacy of our first Black president are all parts of our history. Acknowledging this and trying to learn from it are acts of true patriotism. Denying this history would guarantee future generations being conceived in ignorance and born into a life of intellectual poverty. 

It is not Critical Race Theory which divides us. What divides us is the tedious drumbeat of historical revisionism. Only the unvarnished truth can unite us. That is what we should be teaching our children and grandchildren.

As George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (The Life of Reason, 1905)

Robert Baruch


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