Tree bonfire is a menace

After watching the fires in the hills surrounding Santa Barbara and Southern California last year, I was horrified to see the annual burning of Christmas trees still going on in some communities.

It is time to change the tradition away from fire as being a means of celebration. Even Yosemite dropped the custom of that fireball over the falls a long time ago.

Our elected leaders must change this for our area. We have witnessed way too many fires to keep doing this. We don’t need to be bringing families to a huge bonfire and basically saying, “Isn’t this wonderful?” No, it’s not.

It’s time to change the event to something more in keeping with being more environmentally responsible. There are internet sites that give you more of a background on what can be done that are a lot more constructive for our air quality and our environment.

There are dozens of sites promoting responsible recycling of Christmas trees. Please take a look at them, and do not use fire as a symbol of what to do with your old Christmas trees anymore.

Peg Pinard


Climate debate isn’t relevant

Regarding your recent editorial censuring President Trump for his comments on California fires, the responsibility for the California fire fatalities falls squarely on the shoulders of our state and local politicians, not on Trump and his antics.

Global warming’s risks have been known for decades, yet our politicians have failed to meet its challenges on purpose. Rent-seeking, the practice of catering to local and state special interests by politicians, has hampered rational responses to this crisis, and the Paradise deaths are a direct consequence.

As examples, local building code and zoning enforcement along with better and more stringent codes and zones, plus preventative measures such as residential brush-clearing programs, roadside vegetation removal to provide clear avenues of escape and better roads and infrastructure coupled with better advanced warnings systems are just a few of the measures that would have gone a long way toward mitigating the recent tragedy.

But local media and their politicians have immediately sought to deflect blame by crying foul — calling Trump’s remarks inappropriate — and impotence in the face of climate.

The biggest con is obvious in this case that the climate issue is an effort to backhandedly blame us for global warming and rationalize taxing us for it. Given current trends and research, global climate change is inevitable, and our politicians and bureaucrats should be planning to deal with the consequences rather than uselessly debating its causes. At present, the causes are, for practical purposes, irrelevant and there is almost nothing our politicians can effect in the short term.

The people in Paradise and other afflicted communities deserved better from their representatives.

Guido Cercatore


Inverting the politics

Inverted totalitarianism is a form of government in which business and government collude for control and power at citizens’ expense.

General Motors announced it will close seven factories and cut 14,000 workers from the payroll. GM, commonly referred to as Government Motors, has benefitted enormously from taxpayer dollars over many decades in the form of subsidies and bailouts.

GM announced some of the closings and layoffs will occur in places key to Trump’s win in 2016 — Ohio and Michigan. GM plants in Mexico and China will remain open.

President Trump was elected largely on his promise to put America and American workers first. Trump promised jobs.

For GM to slash its workforce in the United States, in Trump country, may have a dual purpose. We have watched as social media censored and silenced a variety of conservative voices. The censored or silenced posts, videos and blogs weren’t hateful or violent. However, they did promote disagreement with the left’s narrative. Apparently, it is no longer allowed to have a different point of view.

Trump ran for president to return government to the people. In so doing, he has blown up the old power and control centers. They are fighting tooth and nail to get their power back.

The GM and social media moves may have nothing to do with business interests and more to do with power and control — inverted totalitarianism. They don’t hate Trump. They hate that an outsider was elected without approval from, and disrupting the power structure of the cabal running the country.

Deb Andrews



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