Bravo, Brutoco

By Montecito Journal   |   August 30, 2022

Bravo (yet again) to Rinaldo Brutoco’s August 11 column.

He always comes up with the best adjectives when clashing up against “Big Power” greed: “Preposterous shibboleth” … Makes me laugh every time I look at it!

In throwing big shade last week at the PG&E & Edison monopolies, he calls back to his group’s white paper on the shortcomings of nuclear power and his 2020 column on the creation of interconnected fuel cell microgrid networks, to 1) divorce ourselves from the Big Power monopolies, 2) mitigate climate change and 3) create sustainable & renewable electrical resilience.

It’s a mouthful, but deceptively simple and elegant. In a word, hydrogen.

Hydrogen. Hydrogen. Hydrogen. 

Throw in a little AI (Artificial Intelligence) to run these microgrids and maybe, just maybe, we won’t have to run scared of PG& E & Edison for the rest of eternity.

The ultimate stress-management tool: fearlessness.

Thanks, Rinaldo. Keep shouting it.


LeeAnn Morgan

Learn From Our Ancestors

Today, we clearly have a problem of young adults well into their 20s and 30s still tethered to their parents’ homes and purse strings and unable to make it on their own. In my own home, Bank of Dad and the extra room in Dad’s house get regular use by adult children in mid- and late-30s in temporary need or real crisis.  

However, lack of economic self-sufficiency is only the surface problem. Forget twenty-first century children and grandchildren in perpetual need. Parents and grandparents are themselves still living off the considerable social, economic, and political capital supplied by their far distant ancestors who actually knew how to live democracy day to day.  

If it were only true that sappy story we like to tell about how generations Y (Millennials) and Z have been standing on the shoulders of their Boomer and Xer parents, and Boomers and Xers in turn have been standing on shoulders of their parents. Nobody is standing on anybody’s shoulders today. 

The truth is, Boomers, Millennials, Xers, Millennials, and Zers are all badly slumped on the backs of ancestors going back a dozen generations in this country or in the countries the ancestors immigrated from. 

Our people today have simply forgotten how to be self-motivated, self-sufficient, self-less, and bound together into social units. Instead, we are self-important, self-interested, self-righteous, and standing alone. We have a super-exaggerated sense of personal importance in a world that doesn’t reward but absolutely stomps on such individualism. We need strong interpersonal relationships, marriages, and families to be able to endure life, and we don’t have them today.  

The only way we can live at all securely and comfortably going forward is to learn how our ancestors built this country. And to do that, we have to study our nation’s history and the laws, ethics, and spiritual values our ancestors lived by that enabled them to build the economic and ethical powerhouse that came to be the United States of America.  

Unfortunately, that powerhouse has rapidly decayed into the humongous welfare state required today to take care of our helpless and life-less citizenry of all ages. 

Kimball Shinkoskey 

Would You Like Cheese With That Whine?

Welcome to Ms. Thorn’s (almost) weekly Whine Festival. She constantly complains about the MJ’s alleged partisan bias. Does anyone wonder why she has never voiced similar concerns about the extreme right-wing bias of a certain local daily?

For example: Opinion writer, James Buckley, had these things to say about Donald Trump. 1) “(He) became one of the best presidents in the history of this great nation.” 2) “He received more votes than any other candidate ever in his bid for re-election.” Joe Biden received 7 million more votes than Trump, so who has blinders on now? 3) He was “snookered” out of electoral victory “via the machinations of too-clever-by-far Democrat lawyers.” One can assume that Mr. Buckley is referring to the fact that Trump and his acolytes lost 63 out of 63 court cases alleging voter fraud. This is like a little boy riding his bike into a lake; running home to his mommy and crying that some bullies stole it. He also makes the obligatory and predictable complaint about “the conniving support of the establishment press” … of which he is a part! 4) “In the four years of his hugely successful (?) administration, President Trump fulfilled – one by one – nearly every promise he’d made during the campaign.” Mr. Buckley then goes on to list “accomplishments” that exist only in his and Trump’s own minds. Trump did NOT make us energy independent. He did NOT take on the Chinese communists. He did NOT quiet the North Korean dictator. His record on job growth pales in comparison to that of President Biden.

Another opinion writer, Heinz Schute, who previously claimed a reluctance to make Nazi references, just compared the DOJ, the FBI, the IRS, and virtually anyone who challenges his Trumpian point of view as being the equivalent of Nazis, the Gestapo, or the SS. Accordingly, the IRS is referred to as the IRSS. Ha! Good one, Heinz! Does this make him smarter than the average fifth grader? You be the judge.

This, apparently, is the kind of objective and non-partisan reporting that Ms. Thorn relishes. We should all be grateful that MJ provides a much-needed balance.

Robert Baruch

Against the Clock

As one reads about government spending, one encounters the mathematical terms thousands, millions, billions and trillions. By the end of the 2021 fiscal year California’s state debt was about $144 billion and the federal debt was about $28 trillion.

My unscientific research has led me to believe that many good people have difficulty relating to these number quantities. The following might help: If you started timing right now…

ONE THOUSAND SECONDS would take about 16.67 MINUTES.

ONE MILLION SECONDS would take about 11.5 DAYS.

ONE BILLION SECONDS would take about 31.7 YEARS.


Something to think about when you listen to government politicians talk about spending the taxpayer’s dollars.

Sanderson M. Smith, Ed.D.  


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