Vol. 15, No. 08 – Jan 12 – Jan 25, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ Court proceedings for Jamal Omar Jackson, 52, the suspect (we need to call him that) in the 2018 fatal stabbing of Anthony Mele, 35 at the Aloha Steakhouse in Ventura are scheduled. That terrible tragedy occurred nearly four years ago.

In Nov. 2020, Jamal was deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial. It has since been determined that he is well enough to appear in court. His mental competency hearing is scheduled on Thursday, Jan. 13.

I know that many people will say what’s the difference if he was mentally ill when he killed Anthony Mele? The difference is motivation. If his mental demons were telling him that he was being followed by the CIA and they are instructing him to kill someone this is very different then killing during a robbery or an argument.

Perhaps Jamal knew he needed help but the unwillingness to accept treatment or care by the mentally ill is over 60% in the U.S.

Stigma is the biggest barrier to obtaining mental care. That could be reduced if people understood, and accepted, the fact that mental illness is a neurological condition the same as other illnesses such as diabetes. We need to think of these as brain disorders that can not be controlled without proper treatment.

∙ In her newly drawn 26th District, Congresswoman Julia Brownley will represent a more conservative Simi Valley, but lost the cities of Ventura and Ojai. The changes came as part of redistricting, which happens once every 10 years, after every census, to ensure that each district has the same amount of people.

NASA’s Jim Green has left the agency where he served for 12 years as the director of NASA’s planetary science division and the last three as its chief scientist.

He is forming a plan to geoengineer Mars into a planet habitable for humans. Green’s plan hinges on warming and thickening Mars’ atmosphere by using a giant magnetic shield between the Red Planet and the Sun, which would bring temperature and pressure levels above the point at which humans could walk on the surface without a space suit, without their blood boiling inside their bodies.

Wonderful – one day we could live on Mars and destroy it also.

∙ In a previous issue, I stated that I felt it was good the city has made the process easier to secure the required permits and approvals to obtain permits for developments. To clarify my position, I’m not happy with the huge amount of multi-unit projects being built, especially on Thompson Blvd. (the townhouses, fancy word for condos, that will cost $800,000 and up).

I just don’t think you control development by making it extremely time consuming and difficult to obtain permits. Proper control is done by thoughtful zoning and a general plan.

This is like controlling traffic by putting a speed hump (cities call then humps, not bumps) every 10 feet to slow down traffic.

Mozart and I have something in common; we both have an un-finished symphony. The only difference is that I haven’t started mine yet.

∙ I love things being pitched on TV that are not for sale anywhere else so there is no comparative pricing. For instance, something like this; “Pots for sale. Six pots for 3 payments of $39.95, and if you buy in the next 10 minutes you get 3 more for free.” You’re not getting anything for free, you’re getting 9 pots for 3 payments of $39.95 because they have no intrinsic value except what they tell you that they’re worth. And “buy in the next 10 minutes” is also a joke because you could order in 10 hours or 10 days and they wouldn’t know the difference.

∙ Funny stuff – twins were born on both sides of midnight to end the year. So, one baby was born in 2021 and other in 2022. Do you think they will have separate birthday parties?

A federal judge sided with the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot by refusing to block the release of scores of White House documents from the Trump administration. The federal judge was unimpressed with Trump’s legal arguments.

While most Republicans were absent on Capitol Hill Thursday, one of the party’s most prominent statesmen was there. Asked why he came to the Capitol for the Jan. 6 anniversary Dick Cheney said, “It’s an important historical event. You can’t overestimate how important it is.” He added, “I’m deeply disappointed we don’t have better leadership in the Republican Party to restore the Constitution.”

President Joe Biden marked the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection by calling out former President Donald Trump for attempting to undo American democracy, saying such an insurrection must never happen again.

“For the first time in our history, a President had not just lost an election. He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob reached the Capitol,” Biden said in a speech from the US Capitol that lasted just under 30 minutes. “But they failed. They failed. And on this day of remembrance, we must make sure that such an attack never, never happens again.”

∙ The largest and most powerful space telescope is on its way to a destination 1,000,000 miles away. It will take months to get there and an additional five months, give or take, to start eventually sending information back to earth. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the $10 billion observatory “is going to give us a better understanding of the universe and our place in it, who we are, our search that’s eternal.”

On Saturday, Jan. 8, the new observatory successfully unfolded its final primary mirror segment to cap what NASA has billed as one of its most complicated deployments in space ever. The team is now turning its attention to directing the telescope to its final destination.

Maybe we will finally find other worlds full of polluting people.

Sad in a way that humans have the incredible intelligence and abilities to create such a telescope and send it into space but can’t solve things like mental illness, homelessness, global warming and food scarcity here on earth.


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