Category Archives: Opinion/Editorial

Vol. 17, No. 14 – April 3 – April 16, 2024 – As I See It

• California passed a $20.00 minimum hourly pay for fast food workers that will probably result in higher costs for some fast foods. Even though this is a California law, Republicans will now blame Biden.

•To the disappointment of thousands gathered in downtown Ventura to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the inflatable green pig was absent. “Bacon” didn’t participate in the annual parade due to a mechanical problem involving the vehicle used to pull it.

Previously, the Breeze had a fun, very unofficial contest to name the Green Pig. The pig’s name shall always remain Bacon, so we just did it for fun. The following is from a 2022 issue of the Breeze:

“The long list of funny names sent to us by readers were submitted to a panel of Breeze staffers for review and selection. Of the names submitted over 15 received at least one vote. The winning name was Hamlet, which was submitted by Monique Robles. Other names that were right behind Hamlet were Pigasso, Ham Solo and Albert Einswine. All great names.”
• Once again, he keeps amazing me. While seeking money to finance his campaign and pay his legal bills, former President Donald Trump began selling Bibles.

Posting a sales video on his Truth Social platform, Trump said: “Happy Holy Week! Let’s Make America Pray Again. As we lead into Good Friday and Easter, I encourage you to get a copy of the God Bless The USA Bible.”

The God Bless The USA Bible, at $59, includes the U.S. Constitution, the amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Pledge of Allegiance and a “handwritten chorus” to “God Bless The USA.”

Regarding this, Rev. Benjamin Cremer stated; “It is a bankrupt Christianity that sees a demagogue co-opting our faith and even our holy scriptures for the sake of his own pursuit of power and praise him for it rather than insist that we refuse to allow our sacred faith and scriptures to become a mouthpiece for an empire.”

Donald Trump also took to Truth Social to once again compare himself to Jesus Christ as he complained about the criminal and civil cases against him. Trump claimed that he received a message stating: “It’s ironic that Christ walked through His greatest persecution the very week they are trying to steal your property from you.”

Tennis shoes, and now bibles – what will he be selling next, Girl Scout Cookies?

• The California Community College Chancellor’s office has announced that Oxnard College has full approval to launch a four-year dental hygiene bachelor’s degree program. The college plans to welcome its first bachelor’s students in fall 2025.

Oxnard College earned tentative approval for the program in the fall, then spent the intervening months under review for potential conflicts with degree programs in the University of California and California State University systems.

Ventura College will start offering a bachelor’s degree in automotive career education in fall 2025.

I think it’s great that “community colleges” can offer some 4-year degrees, but only if they are in specific fields that will lead to the workplace after graduation. I don’t think they should be in the liberal arts.

I have a soft spot in my heart for what we used to call “junior colleges.” After high school, I attended Los Angeles City College (LACC) prior to attending USC. I would never have been able to attend USC financially if LACC wasn’t first available to me.

I also taught architecture at West Los Angeles College (2-year college) for many years.
• A judge has found Georgia Republican Party official Brian Pritchard guilty of illegally voting nine times over several years. Pritchard has falsely asserted Democrats stole the 2020 election through fraud. Trump was right – the election was rigged.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
~ Oscar Wilde

Vol. 17, No. 13 – Mar 20 – April 2, 2024 – As I See It

• Congratulations to our local stars, Supervisor Matt LaVere on winning a strong majority of the votes in the primary. He won’t have to run in the general election this fall. And California State Representative Steve Bennett who will be on the November ballot for a runoff but will certainly win.

• Ventura has been awarded $640,000 for a homelessness prevention pilot program. The city’s new homeless prevention and diversion program will provide rental and utility assistance to residents.

This will help 100 (if not more) eligible households with up to $4,000 in rental and utility assistance so they may keep their housing. The aid is possible through state funding awarded to the city in February for a two-year homelessness pilot program. More than $410,000 will go directly to applicants, and the remaining funds cover administrative and staffing costs and associated taxes and benefits for the program.

The assistance could be for payment for back rent or up to two months of future rent to prevent evictions. It could also cover outstanding utility costs.

The income limit is $74,400 a year or less for a one-person household or $85,000 or less for a two-person household. Perhaps I’m eligible.

To apply for housing help with the city, contact Mercy House at 805-399-9099 ext. 385 or case manager Norberto “Sal” Meza at [email protected].

• The Ventura City Council voted 6-0 (Jim Duran was absent) to hold off on converting some free parking into paid parking until at least January. The city will conduct a study of rates and details that should be complete in November.

The original plan was approved on Nov. 13 in a 6-1 vote, and would have turned hundreds of free spots into paid stalls starting May 1. The change would have included the parking structure on Santa Clara Street and many surface lots downtown.

The additional revenue (if ever implemented) will help pay for a new parking garage planned for downtown, which is very much needed. The preliminary design calls for spending $31.3 million (which will of course cost much more) and provide for 435-spaces at the corner of Santa Clara and Palm.

• The two largest pharmacy chains in the United States will start dispensing the abortion pill Mifepristone this month, a step that could make access easier for some women. At least some of our country makes sense.

Daylight Savings Time (DST) was first implemented in the US with the Standard Time Act of 1918, a wartime measure for seven months during World War I in the interest of adding more daylight hours to conserve energy resources.

In the United States, Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, and the five populated territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands) do not participate in daylight saving time. Indiana only began participating in daylight saving time as recently as 2006. Since 2018, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio (and others) has repeatedly filed bills to extend daylight saving time permanently into winter, without success.

Apparently, pets’ internal clocks don’t change for daylight savings time. Our cat Savana the cat lets me know at 6:30am that it’s time for breakfast. Now she lets me know at 7:30. They are such odd animals. Some mornings I put the food in her bowl, and she just looks at it and gets back in bed. I think she just likes to let me know that she’s in charge.

• How odd movie ratings are on Spectrum. Mad Max gets 97% and Gone with the Wind 90%. So now Mad Max must be considered one of the best movies of all time.

Is this the one where I get an extra hour of drinking or lose an hour of drinking?
~ Author unknown

Vol. 17, No. 12 – Mar 6 – Mar 19, 2024 – As I See It

The Justice Department said Southern California Edison has agreed to pay the federal government $80 million to recoup expenses caused by the 2017 Thomas Fire. Federal officials are calling it a “record” settlement, one that would compensate taxpayers for the costs of fighting the fire and damage to public lands. Exactly how this compensates taxpayers is yet to be seen.

The application to renew Patrick Berry’s license as a general manager of the Ventura poker card club was rejected by the California Gambling Control Commission. This means he can no longer act as a supervisor for the card room. The card room operates 19 tables for card games. The business license was renewed for another two years.

The card room opened on Ventura Ave. in 1943 and later opened in the Ventura Auto Center and then to the fairgrounds. It is one of the city’s largest taxpayers.

An FBI informant charged with lying to investigators about a fictitious bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden, his son Hunter and a Ukrainian energy company, has had contact with foreign intelligence services, including Russian intelligence agencies.

Smirnov was indicted last week on charges he lied to the FBI, falsely telling them that executives with now-defunct Ukrainian energy company Burisma had paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million each in bribes. He is being held in jail because he could be a flight risk. So, Biden will need to be impeached on some other charges.

I find this a little unbelievable. A new Alabama court decision that embryos created during the IVF process are “extrauterine children” and legally protected like any other child. IVF advocates say the ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court could have far-reaching consequences for millions of Americans struggling to get pregnant, especially those living in states with “personhood” laws granting legal status to unborn children.

The court’s ruling repeatedly invoked Christian faith and the Alabama constitution, which specifically protects unborn children, although that has typically been referred to a developing baby inside a womb. IVF advocates have been warning for several years that such decisions were a potential repercussion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade and permit states to ban abortions.

What I find hypocritical about this is that when an unwed poor mother has a child (because she can’t get an abortion) and needs welfare the same people complain about this becoming a welfare state. And why don’t they complain about capital punishment that only has one purpose which is to kill.

Will be interesting when working robots form their first organized union (probably part of auto workers because lots of them are working on cars). Just imagine that you tell your robot to get you a beer and it says, “This is Sunday, and I don’t work on Sunday’s – it is against my religion “Robotism.”

The Federal Communications Commission is coming to the rescue and has outlawed automated robocalls that contain voices generated by artificial intelligence, a decision that sends a clear message that exploiting the technology to scam people and mislead voters won’t be tolerated. The question is, how do they know they are robocalls?

Greece has become the first Orthodox Christian country to legalize same-sex civil marriage, despite opposition from the influential, socially conservative Greek Church. A cross-party majority of 176 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament voted in favor of the landmark bill drafted by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ center-right government. Good for them.

Just when I thought he couldn’t be more embarrassing for America, Trump unveiled a new line of shoes at Sneaker Con. The shoes, shiny gold high tops with an American flag detail on the back, are being sold as “Never Surrender High-Tops” for $399 on a new website that also sells other Trump-branded shoes and “Victory47” cologne and perfume for $99 a bottle. Is he that desperate for money? Does he think he is Michael Jordon. I’m sure the rumor that, if elected, he would paint the White House gold and try to sell it is not true.

Vol. 17, No. 11 – Feb 21 – Mar 5, 2024 – As I See It

Buenaventura Golf Course future remains questionable for an opening date. City officials said parts of the course could possibly reopen to regain some of the revenue lost during the closure. It’s not exactly clear when such a reopening could come.

In January 2023, the huge rainfall turned the course into a giant lake, while also flooding the pro shop and snack bar. Most of the sand traps, and several greens were destroyed in the flood as well.

The course is in a flood plain, so future flooding and how to correct it must be planned to prevent recurring damage every year.

The city gained approval for funding from FEMA but the exact amount remains unknown. The city’s insurance carrier also needs to validate the funding claim.

Mayor Schroeder said he has been told FEMA will cover 75% of the costs and 15% or more will be covered by other sources, leaving the balance for the city to pay.

The opening could come in stages, from 9 holes to 12 holes to the full 18. Golfers still have 1 ½ other courses on which to play.

Police said at least one person was killed and over 20 people were wounded in a shooting in Kansas City, Missouri shortly after a Super Bowl victory parade for the Chiefs. Guns, guns, guns.

Florida veterinarian Shawna Green lost more than $14,000 to a scammer who called from what appeared to be a legitimate Chase Bank customer service number. They told her that her debit card number had been stolen and tricked her into providing her PIN. Dr. Green was informed by Chase that a new card was in the mail, but the company sent it to the thieves, who used it to buy alcohol and withdraw extra cash with each purchase.

In a claim that is central to the Republican impeachment inquiry in Congress, an FBI informant has been charged with fabricating a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden, his son Hunter and a Ukrainian energy company.

Alexander Smirnov falsely reported to the FBI in June 2020 that executives associated with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million each in 2015 or 2016, prosecutors said in an indictment. Smirnov told his handler that an executive claimed to have hired Hunter Biden to “protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems,” according to court documents.

Prosecutors say Smirnov in fact had only routine business dealings with the company in 2017 and made the bribery allegations after he “expressed bias” against Joe Biden while he was a presidential candidate.

Perhaps impeachment shouldn’t be based on the words of one individual.

Recently U.S. stocks set another record. The S&P 500 rose 29.11 points, or 0.6%, to 5,029.73 and squeaked by its prior all-time high set several weeks ago.

I watched the NFL championship football game, and even though the finish was exciting I refuse to call it super. It was a terrible game in my opinion. The main interest for me was seeing what Taylor Swift looked like – they showed her every 5-minutes.

What? Yes, I’ve never heard her sing or watched her perform. Just not my genre of music.

What is beyond my comprehension is that according to a recent poll, nearly one in five Americans believe a false conspiracy theory that Taylor Swift is part of a plot to boost President Joe Biden as he seeks another term in office. So goes Taylor goes the country.

Are voters in this country so stupid they would let an entertainer decide who they should vote for? Maybe they are. Donald Trump used a rally in South Carolina to attack rival Nikki Haley in her home state and to mock the absence of her husband, who is deployed overseas in the military.

“Where’s her husband? Oh, he’s away. … What happened to her husband? Where is he? He’s gone.”

Michael Haley is deployed in Africa with the South Carolina Army National Guard in support of the United States Africa Command, his second active-duty deployment overseas.

Nikki Haley fired back at Trump’s comments later Saturday, saying, “If you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, let alone being president of the United States.”

Too bad Trump isn’t married so we can ask why his wife isn’t at any of his speeches or supporting him at his court appearances. Oh, he is married!

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
~ Fredrick Douglass

Vol. 17, No. 10 – Feb 7 – Feb 20, 2024 – As I See It

The groundwork has started at the Loose Cannon.

The carousel restaurant space in the Harbor Village will finally have a new tenant with the Loose Cannon restaurant finally breaking ground. There are several vacant restaurant spaces in the Harbor currently, so it’s good they will be coming soon.

I have spoken about the dangers of AI previously. Because of the deceptiveness of the technology, it is very important to cross-check articles, statements and photos that don’t seem quite right.

Here’s a good example. Days before a pivotal election in Slovakia to determine who would lead the country, a damning audio recording spread online in which one of the top candidates seemingly boasted about how he’d rigged the election. If that wasn’t bad enough, his voice could be heard on another recording talking about raising the cost of beer.

“I ain’t going to vote for someone who would raise beer prices,” said Kenneth Bonawitz, described by prosecutors as one of the most violent rioters who stormed the US Capital on January 6. He has been sentenced to five years in prison. He is a member of the far-right extremist group Proud Boys (what exactly are they proud of?). He assaulted at least six police officers.

It’s appropriate that after all this time Trump supporters are still being identified and sentenced to prison. I don’t think five years is nearly enough time for Bonawitz who tried to overthrow our democracy and was so violent. Whoever was behind insurrection should also go to prison, in my opinion.

A man from upstate New York was found guilty of second-degree murder for fatally shooting a young woman who was riding in a car that had mistakenly driven up his driveway. On the night of April 15, 2023, the defendant, Kevin Monahan, fired two shots with a 20-gauge shotgun, one of which struck a car carrying Kaylin Gillis, 20, who was hit in the neck and died soon after. Ms. Gillis and a group of six friends had been trying to find a friend’s house for a Saturday night party when they drove up Mr. Monahan’s driveway.

My opinion (yours is always welcome) that “some” people who own a gun are hoping that they get to shoot a “bad guy” to prove that gun ownership is important for their protection.

An orthodontist’s office in North Carolina has stirred up controversy with its new “Grins and Glocks” promotion, a deal offering guns to patients along with certain dental procedures. I thought getting a lollipop was enough. I hope he doesn’t give them guns while still sedated. People who are not sedated cause enough trouble with guns.

Global average temperatures reached new highs over the past 10-12 months, breaking records in the steady march of a warming climate, two national groups said. It’s been warmer than at any time in recorded history and was likely warmer than any other time in 125,000 years, an analysis by Climate Central concluded. The Copernicus Climate Change group said it’s “virtually certain” that 2023 will be the hottest year in recorded history.

I think calling this climate change instead of global warming explains the phenomenon

more accurately. Deniers say, “so why is it so cold and so much snow?” The result of global warming changes our climate in many ways especially by warming our oceans.

Still amazes me that 66% of Trump devotees still think he won the election. This is in spite of the fact that the last election was the most verified and checked in our history. The fact that Trump can claim this, and this many people believe him, is scary because it means they believe anything that he says which is how a dictatorship begins.

A jury ordered Donald Trump to pay $83.3 million to the writer E. Jean Carroll over defamatory remarks he made about her while he was president in response to her rape accusation. His early defense was “she’s not my type.”

Trump had used over $50 million of his donor money to pay for his legal fees. Might he be broke?

The only thing that kept me from going to college was high school.
~ Edward Friedman

Vol. 17, No. 09 – Jan 24 – Feb 6, 2024 – As I See It

Who would ever think that electric vehicles could result in bumpy roads? It seems the money lost from gas taxes were used for road improvements. Billions of dollars are being lost from reduced gas taxes, so the more electric vehicles we have the worse roads will get. Maybe we need to ban electric vehicles.

Thousands of feet of pipeline have been installed to connect Marina Park with the Ventura Harbor as part of the ocean outfall project for VenturaWaterPure, a planned water treatment facility. The treatment plant is projected to provide up to 20% of the city’s water supply when fully operational and is millions of dollars over budget. See article in this issue.

Ventura’s Stout Burgers & Beers located downtown has closed after operating for less than a year. The rear of the business was a shared space with retail store Iron and Resin and Humblemaker Coffee Co. So, this means 3 more downtown businesses are now gone. Might this be because of Main St. being closed to vehicles? Some merchants think so.

Another icon is gone. This won’t mean much to young readers, but Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buellton shut down as of Jan. 1. Going there was a must when I was growing up.

Another comment on TV advertising. An ad for a restaurant said their breakfast special is now $5.99 (unless it’s $7.99 at your location).

I think that aliens might be coming here to watch football games, which are probably banned in more advanced cultures. We should watch to see if there are more UFO sightings during football season. Commercial airline pilots would be able to report the UFO sightings to the federal government under a recent House bill after House leaders heard testimony from military officers who described reports of mysterious objects outmaneuvering military jets.

The council has approved changes to rules for aggressive panhandling and oversized vehicle parking. The council unanimously approved modifications that change the definition of aggressive solicitation.

Aggressive solicitation is now defined as following pedestrians, using abusive language, making unwanted physical contact, intentionally blocking pedestrians or traffic and causing fear or bodily harm to get money or goods.

People who violate the revised ordinance will initially be given a warning. After the warning, a violator will be fined $132. The fine doubles for a subsequent violation. Oh, sure, panhandlers with no money are going to be fined. And when they don’t pay, what do we do to them? What a brilliant idea.

The city is especially concerned about aggressive panhandling in high-traffic areas such as roadways, center medians and outside businesses. This is a problem but what is the solution?

City officials did acknowledge that many panhandlers are homeless and there are social services and assistance programs available to them. Nonsense. Adequate services for the homeless (especially the mentally ill) do not exist at the levels needed.

Council members voted 4-3 to cut back hours for oversize vehicle parking on city streets. The revision also added more days when such parking is prohibited. The updated rules apply to vehicles at least 25 feet long, 80” wide and 82” high. Police officers will now need to carry tape measures along with guns and handcuffs.

Some 20 million people have signed up for health insurance this year through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) marketplaces, a record-breaking figure. President Joe Biden will likely proclaim those results regularly on the campaign trail for months to come as former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, vows to dismantle the Obama-era program.

Signs-ups spiked after Biden took office, with Democrats rolling out a series of tax breaks that give millions of Americans access to low-cost plans, some with zero-dollar premiums.

What is interesting about our politics is that Republicans don’t like Obamacare, but if it was called Trumpocare they would love it. Sometimes our political system doesn’t work to make America better.

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.
~ David Bissonette

Vol. 17, No. 08 – Jan 10 – Jan 23, 2024 – As I See It

In our last issue, I wrote that Churchill signed a peace treaty with Hitler. I was slightly wrong, but the results were the same. From reader Robert Lombardi, “Happy New Year. I think it was Nevill Chamberlain (Prime Minister) who visited Hitler, and brought message of peace.” Same results of course.

The Ventura Pier has taken another pounding from the latest wave surge and will remain closed for quite a while. The restaurants remain open.

The Ventura City Council meetings are now on Tuesday nights instead of Mondays and meetings will start at 5pm.

The change allows council members the chance to ask questions and get more information on a Monday. The new schedule also gives them an extra day to read agendas and prepare for the meetings. Starting an hour earlier should also give council members more time to discuss lengthy agendas which carry meetings as late as 11pm, and sometimes later.

Now the signs at some city hall spaces that say “Reserved for City Council Members on Monday nights will need to be changed to Tuesdays.

It’s nice that Ventura’s Art City Studios is starting over. Since the early 1980s, the outdoor space has been filled with stone and wood sculptures. It is located at 197 Dubbers St. off of Ventura Ave. It has reopened in a smaller space next door at 175 Dubbers. The new space is about half the size of the previous one. Ventura is a great art city, so this is good news.

Hard to believe we need more laws, but every year California adds hundreds more.

. These are two of my favorites:

We now have an official state bat – the Pallid bat – and an official state mushroom – the Golden Chanterelle. So, reassuring that we have these. Makes me proud to be a Californian.

Your boss can’t ask you whether you’ve used weed. I assume they can ask if you have used heroin.

Kids will have to learn cursive in school. While I understand this is very important, it seems to me that is a decision that should be made by educators not politicians.

I think LeBron James is the GOAT, Greatest of All Tantrums.

Earth has just ended its warmest year since people began keeping records, and scientists say it may have been the warmest in 125,000 years. I won’t call this global warming but climate change to not upset some of our readers.

Is this the beginning of robots taking over the world? Especially if they have AI installed and start thinking on their own and have feelings?

A software engineer reportedly suffered serious injuries when he was attacked by a malfunctioning robot designed to move aluminum car parts at Tesla’s Giga Texas factory in Austin, Texas. The robot reportedly pinned the engineer and inflicted wounds on his back and arm by sinking its claws, leaving a trail of blood on the factory floor. The engineer was programming software for robots tasked with cutting car parts from freshly cast aluminum. Two robots were disabled for maintenance but a third was inadvertently left active, leading to the attack.

In the 1973 film Westworld, there is a futuristic Wild West theme park where paying guests can pretend to be gunslingers in an artificial world populated by androids. When the system goes haywire a guest is killed in a duel with a robotic gunslinger.

What will happen one day when we tell our robot to go get us a beer and it says, “Get it yourself, I’m offline.”

People have one thing in common, they are all different.
~ Robert Zend

Vol. 17, No. 07 – Dec 27, 2023 – Jan 9, 2024 – As I See It

I hope you had a wonderful Chanukah and Christmas and will have a happy new year celebrationn. I’ll see you again in 2024.

Please see letters regarding my comments in our last issue about washers and dryers in our schools. I was completely wrong in what I said. Never too old to learn new things.

I was reluctant to comment on the Hamas/Israel situation but have decided I will.

First, this all started with Hamas attacking Israel. Hamas’ main (maybe only) purpose is to wipe Israel off the earth. If it means killing all of them, that is what they would do. They are a recognized terrorist organization.

When attacking Israel, they killed parents (some by cutting their heads off) in front of their kids, they raped, mutilated, they burned down homes and kidnapped at least 1,500 people as young as 3-years-old.

Israel did the only thing they could, which is attempting to destroy Hamas. In doing this have they committed atrocities? Yes, they certainly have. But war is not like a checker’s game – it’s not clean without awful things happening. Good guys do bad things – look at some of the atrocities the US did during Vietnam.

Many are calling for a cease-fire and for Israel to leave Gaza because they have done enough collateral damage. They can’t do that until their mission has been accomplished. If they left now Hamas would just reorganize and attack Israel again, and again and again.

Winston Churchill signed a peace treaty with Hitler before WWII, and you know how that turned out.

Former President Donald Trump has said that as president on his first day he would order all the military to the border and build a big wall to stop illegal immigration.

Wait, doesn’t he know that he was president? If this is such a good idea, why didn’t he do it during his 4 years in office? Republicans are blaming Biden for the border problem, but he is no more to blame than Trump.

If immigrants were never allowed to come to this country I (and millions of millions of others including most of you reading this) would not be here. My grandparents came from Russia and Romania. Where did yours come from?

The Colorado Supreme Court has declared Trump ineligible for the White House under the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause and removed him from the state’s presidential primary ballot, setting up a likely showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the front-runner for the GOP nomination can remain in the race.

In a 4-3 decision they stated that Trump had engaged in insurrection and therefore was barred by the 14th Amendment which bars insurrectionists from federal office, including the presidency.

The U.S. Supreme Court will probably reverse this decision 5-4. The Supreme Court is supposed to base their decisions on the constitution but that is nonsense. The Court is now divided sharply along partisan lines with justices appointed by Republican presidents taking increasingly conservative positions and those appointed by Democrats taking liberal positions.

Pope Francis has formally approved allowing priests to bless same-sex couples, with a new document explaining a radical change in Vatican policy by insisting that people seeking God’s love and mercy shouldn’t be subject to “an exhaustive moral analysis” to receive it.

The document from the Vatican’s doctrine office elaborates on a letter Francis sent to two conservative cardinals. In that response, Francis suggested such blessings could be offered under some circumstances if they didn’t confuse the ritual with the sacrament of marriage.

Does this mean same-sex couples can go to heaven and not hell? By the way I don’t believe in either of them.

And now we welcome the new year.
Full of things that have never been.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Vol. 17, No. 06 – Dec 13 – Dec 26, 2023 – As I See It

Glad to see that Downtown Ventura’s Limón y Sal restaurant has opened after a brief closure.

Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson recently said: “Someone asked me today in the media, ‘People are curious, what does Mike Johnson think about any issue under the sun?’ I said, ‘Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview.”

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment.

“They want to call you a dictator,” Hannity said referring to the media reports. “To be clear, do you in any way have any plans whatsoever, if reelected president, to abuse power, to break the law, to use the government to go after people?” “You mean like they’re using right now,” Trump initially responded, before pivoting to speaking about the criminal indictments he faces.

Hannity again revisited the question just before a commercial break, asking: “Under no circumstances — you are promising America tonight. You would never abuse power as retribution against anybody?”

“Except for day one,” Trump responded.

That’s what Mussolini said (you youngsters can look him up).

Two vigils are planned this month to remember the 126 homeless Ventura County residents who died during the past year. Called the Longest Night memorial service, the Ventura vigil is scheduled in downtown Ventura at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 at Plaza Park, 651 E. Thompson Blvd. Friends and family members are encouraged to display photos and other items to honor people they lost between Dec. 1, 2022, and Nov. 30 of this year.

The event also coincides with the start of the city’s foul weather program. The initiative puts the local homeless population in hotel and motel rooms when temperatures drop below 40 degrees or when projected rainfall exceeds a half inch.

Many of the homeless are also mentally ill and have nowhere to stay which is why the following is so important. There is a huge lack of facilities for the mentally ill. Especially for those that are too ill to understand and accept help.

A Ventura County board agreed to continue blocking Vista Del Mar hospital from admitting involuntary patients but is considering the authorization to be reinstated.

Voting unanimously, the Board of Supervisors approved the extension for Vista del Mar Hospital to give county officials time to evaluate whether the Ventura hospital has made sufficient progress in correcting serious deficiencies in patient care.

Vista del Mar remains licensed and can still admit voluntary patients but not those that are involuntary.

The hospital’s authorization was suspended two months ago. A 43-bed unit at Ventura County Medical Center is now the only facility where patients can be treated involuntarily in the county.

The U.S. has broken its previous record for most mass shootings in single year. The country has had 38 mass shootings (in which at least 203 people have died) so far this year, passing the previous high of 36.

An ad for a washer-dryer manufacturer explains how they made school so much better for students by installing washer-dryers in schools. I always wondered what kids kept in their backpacks – now I know, it’s dirty clothes.

“How did you do this semester?” “Great, I got an A in clean clothes.”

Ten Wisconsin Republicans who posed as electors for Donald Trump in 2020 – despite the former president’s election loss – have acknowledged their actions were part of an attempt to overturn an election. If this doesn’t worry you, you just don’t get it.

A Texas judge had granted an emergency order allowing a pregnant woman whose fetus has a fatal diagnosis to get an abortion in the state. Late last month, Kate Cox, a 31-year-old Dallas-area mother of two who is about 20 weeks pregnant, found out that her developing fetus has trisomy 18, a rare chromosomal disorder likely to cause stillbirth or the death of the baby shortly after it’s born. Then, the Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocked the historic lower court ruling on Friday. The state’s attorney general asked the high court to reverse the judge’s decision.

The Texas Supreme Court has paused a judge’s decision to temporarily block the state from enforcing its strict abortion ban in the case of a woman who is seeking to terminate a pregnancy in which her fetus has a fatal diagnosis. How sad this is.

Even sadder Kate Cox has left the state after the Texas Supreme Court paused a lower court decision that would allow her to have the procedure, lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights stated.

“With our client’s life on the line, the State of Texas is playing despicable political games. This fight is not over,” stated the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Cox.

If you’ve been naughty, it’s time to be nice,
as Santa Claus will be here shortly.

Vol. 17, No. 05 – Nov 29 – Dec 12, 2023 – As I See It

Costs for the water treatment facility project, known as VenturaWaterPure (coverage in previous issues), had been estimated at $374.4 million. The latest estimate is $556.9 million.

This should not come as a surprise. Government projects have an “estimated” cost that just allows initial funding but never seems to be enough for a finished project. Initial funding allows projects to get started, but when money runs out (and the only other recourse is to abandon them) they just throw in more money.

The decline of local news in the United States is increasing. The nation has lost one-third of its newspapers and two-thirds of its newspaper journalists since 2005.

An average of 2.5 newspapers closed each week in 2023 compared to two a week the previous year. Most are weekly publications, in areas with few or no other sources for local news.

At its current pace, the country will hit 3,000 newspapers closed in two decades sometime next year, with just under 6,000 remaining. This is why it is very important to support our advertisers, as it’s support along with some help from those who donate that keeps us publishing.

Some of the funniest shows on TV are commercials that aren’t meant to be funny. Especially the ones with products that aren’t available anywhere else except on TV, so they don’t have any specific retail value.

They go something like this: “These 12 pots and pans usually sell for $23,125, but, if you order in the next 10-minutes (of course they have no idea when you saw the ad) you can buy them for only 5 payments of $29.95. But wait, there’s more if you order in the next 30 seconds you can have for only 4 payments of $29.95.”

Another one I like is a solar powered generator ad that says, “Order now and receive the solar panels for free.” It doesn’t work without the panels. That’s like saying “Order your new car in 10-minutes and receive a free engine.”

Guns in the news:

Gary police say a 3-year-old boy found a gun in his mother’s purse and accidentally shot his 2-year-old brother, fatally wounding him. What would happen if this mother was attacked, would she say, “just a minute while I get my gun out of my purse? Hard to imagine how this mother feels.

According to a national website that tracks gun violence at least nine mass shootings rocked cities across the nation over last weekend, leaving five people dead and 56 wounded. The mass casualty shootings occurred at parties, outside of a nightclub and a convenience store, during a street game of dominoes (always a violent sport) and even at a community meeting on how to combat gun violence (is there some irony here?) Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz stated, “Honestly, this is really disturbing when you have victims who are trying to do an outreach effort, trying to help people out and get people on the right path and this is what they get hit with.”

Two men and one woman were fatally shot while another woman was being treated in a hospital trauma unit but was expected to survive. Authorities have said the shooting was a “suspected property dispute,” and the victims have property bordering that of the suspect. I think I saw this in an old cowboy movie.

The weekend violence upped the number of mass shootings in 2023 to 419, with still five months left in the year. An average of two mass shootings have occurred every day this year. In all of 2022, there were 647 mass shootings nationwide, slightly down from 690 that occurred in 2021.

Global average temperatures reached new highs over the past 10-12 months, breaking records in the steady march of a warming climate. It’s been warmer than at any time in recorded history and was likely warmer than any other time in 125,000 years, an analysis by Climate Central concluded. The Copernicus Climate Change group said it’s “virtually certain” that 2023 will be the hottest year in recorded history. Why, this could almost be considered to be “climate change!”

Of course, it’s wonderful that some people kidnapped by Hamas are being released (traded actually). I hope the 3-year old girl who saw Hamas kill her parents are amongst them and she has family to take care of her.

An actress I met assured me her real ambition was to be a waitress at a coffeehouse.
~ Woody Allen