War of Words


I suggest you reconsider your animal farm logic, some more equal than others, in the War of Words free speech essay in your paper [RLn 9/14/17]. That is, unless you’re simply making excuses for the violent response to speech; violence in response to violence, never to speech. The free exchange of ideas is necessary for differing groups to reach consensus and coexist.
Carl Berryman
San Pedro

Mr. Barryman,
I don’t think I am arguing that some are more equal than others. What I did say is that some forms of speech are not protected and that when certain kinds of speech are used to intimidate or threaten other people’s civil liberties it crosses the line of civility.
James Preston Allen

Public letter from Northwest San Pedro Council

Dear Mr. Nastri,
The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council writes to express deep dissatisfaction with your decision to approve the Tesoro Los Angeles Refinery Integration and Compliance (LARIC) project, the merger of the Tesoro and BP refineries in Wilmington and Carson.
In approving this project, you have demonstrated a lack of commitment to accurate information. A recent study conducted by your own agency has shown that Tesoro has grossly underreported emissions. In particular, the joint Swedish/AQMD study 1 released on April 11, 2017, found that the Carson/Wilmington refineries emit 43 times more benzene, a known cause of leukemia, and 6.4 times more Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), smog precursors that aggravate asthma and other illnesses, than previously reported. The study also states that 2/3 of total refinery emissions are generated from storage tanks — an especially alarming fact considering that Tesoro plans to double its current storage tank capacity with the approval of this project.
Further, your agency has refused to include in its analysis the fact that, with the approval of this project, Tesoro will bring North Dakota crude oil and Canadian tar sands to Los Angeles. This switch to such carcinogenic and highly explosive oils was not addressed in the environmental impact report approved on Friday, May 12, 2017, thus undermining the District’s credibility in this decision.
Mayor Eric Garcetti sent a letter on Dec. 15, 2016 to your agency. In such letter, the mayor expressed similar concerns regarding the inadequacy of the recently approved EIR, saying, “The potential increase in air and water pollution, upstream greenhouse gases, and international safety hazards related to the use of Bakken Crude require a broader environmental analysis through your recirculation process.”
Additionally, State Senate President Pro Tem Senator Kevin De León and Congresswoman Nanette Barragán have expressed opposition to the LARIC project. These representatives join the voices of nearly 10,000 people who marched in Wilmington in opposition to the project on April 29, 2017.
The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council finds your alignment with the current administration’s regressive fossil fuel policy to bring more volatile and toxic Bakken and tar sands crude oils into Southern California, without accurate assessment of the risks, both alarming and shameful.
We demand that the SCAQMD use currently available scientific data to make decisions according to the best interest of the public it is supposed to serve.
Raymond Regalado, President
On behalf of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council

It Doesn’t Seem Real

I had low expectations for Donald Trump’s fitness for office. And for seven months, we’ve watched day by day as he has diminished his office and our nation’s standing in the world. Each day brings a new level of disbelief. But this week he sank to a new low, standing behind the presidential seal and giving his implicit support to the idea that white supremacists, Klansmen and Neo-Nazis have legitimate views that deserve to be heard.
Make no mistake, these are people who have sought to defeat our nation, murder our people and destroy our way of life. Trump’s failure to reject these evil ideologies, without equivocation, is a shock to the conscience and an insult to every American, especially those who are veterans, who have stood up and fought back in defense of our nation’s values.
When the White House is occupied by a person who refuses to defend our values and gives comfort to our nation’s enemies, we need to respond. Therefore, I am asking you to sign my petition demanding that Congress publicly and forcefully repudiate Trump’s comments, immediately (www.tedlieu.com/petition?utm_campaign=dsntseemreal&utm_medium=email&utm_source=tedlieu).
By joining together, we will send a strong message to the GOP-controlled Congress that they cannot hide from their responsibility to our nation. They must stand up and rebuke the President who is their party’s standard-bearer, or they will forever be tainted by his shameful words.
We stand on the side of America. Let’s tell Congress that they need to join us.
U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu
CA District 33

Reply to Kamala Harris’ Letter

You wrote a great letter. The latest incident in Charlottesville, Va., shows the United States exactly what the President, Senate Republicans, Congressional Republicans, Republican governors and legislators really are. Joy Reid of MSNBC was a guest on Chris Hayes’ show this past July. She stated exactly what our republican government is, that is they have a king (Trump), who the republican couturier, “Senate, Congress,” can’t tolerate but put up with because they want his help to do things against the “commoners” whom they couldn’t give a damn about.
Kamala, this presentation by Joy is so great that every election commercial by the Democrats should include this video.
Kamala, I hope you or your staff read Random Lengths News.
Damian Walters
San Pedro

Qualified or Milli Vanilli

In your June 8-21 issue, you said Trump is neither “sufficiently qualified nor trustworthy to be President.” I agree, but how can you think Hillary Clinton is any more qualified and trustworthy?
You have characterized her email scandal as “bogus,” presumably because FBI Director James Comey did not recommend that she be indicted. However, he did say that their investigation found that during a three-month period she used a completely unsecured personal email server for all her government emails, 110 of which were classified, including 22 top secrets. He said that she was “extremely careless” in her handling of “very sensitive, highly classified information.” Yet, despite all that, Comey said she wouldn’t be indicted because they found no evidence of intent. This was pure politics. He knew that the charge of “gross negligence” is available to prevent a perpetrator from getting off scot-free when intent is suspected but difficult to prove. If “extremely careless” doesn’t amount to “gross negligence,” then what does? YouTube video “Hillary Clinton vs. James Comey: Email Scandal Supercut” shows her several lies about her email server. That Hillary nevertheless got off scot-free on the email scandal should make one reconsider her and Bill’s innocence in previous alleged scandals.
Many believe she had a private server to shield her emails from any Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department pertaining to the Clinton Foundation, because emails from her server obtained by Judicial Watch show the foundation was a pay-to-play operation (JudicialWatch.org: “New Abedin Emails Reveal Hillary Clinton State Department Gave Special Access to Top Clinton Foundation Donors”). This is further evidenced by the fact of the Clintons’ shutting down the foundation after her loss.
The email scandal and the pay-to-play foundation are just two of many crimes of the Clintons. Haiti is another. Bill as UN special envoy and Hillary as Secretary of State together controlled the disbursement of $13 billion that the United States and other countries contributed so the Haitians could rebuild after the 2010 earthquake. Little of that money went to help the Haitian poor; most went to Clinton cronies. Last August, Haitian Americans protested in Philadelphia against Hillary’s candidacy (YouTube: “What Hillary Clinton Did to Haiti Will Scare You to Not Vote for Her”). Note: Haitian Americans are not party to any “vast right-wing conspiracy” against the Clintons. This and other crimes are exposed in the “Clinton Cash” video.
And finally, these life-long progressives said the following about Hillary: Eric Zuesse blogged “I’m a Bernie Sanders Voter: Here’s Why I’ll Vote Trump”; Ralph Nader said he would vote for neither Trump nor Clinton, saying the Clinton Foundation was pay-to-play, and that she is a corporatist and a militarist who “actually scares the generals”; Cornel West said she is “a neoliberal disaster” and “a Milli Vanilli of politics;” and Susan Sarandon said she is “more dangerous” than Trump. Bernie Sanders strongly supported Hillary, but that was part of the deal of the Democratic Party allowing him to run as a Democrat.
That Trump became President is entirely the fault of the Democratic Party’s establishment. Bernie polled much better than Hillary against Trump before the primary; yet the DNC cheated him and nominated a deeply-flawed candidate, alienating many Democrats who also felt cheated.
Neil Saaty
San Pedro

Dear Mr. Saaty,
That we can agree Mr. Trump is neither “sufficiently qualified nor trustworthy to be president,” is a good start. However, all of the blaming of the DNC, Hillary and the Clinton Foundation, along with Bill can, at this point, be seen as just more political slandering. In American politics, such as it is, we have often been offered the choice of the lesser of the two evils. Think Lyndon B. Johnson versus Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon versus Herbert Humphrey or Bill Clinton versus Bush Sr. and the list goes on. The very best rarely rise to the top; those with political connections, money and cunning generally do. If there is a single defense for Hillary over Trump is that within the first six months of Trump’s presidency, he has had more violations — both criminal and ethical — than Hillary has had over the past 25 years. She knows what it takes to be president — he doesn’t; she has the guts and courage to both dish it out and take it — he doesn’t. It is a world stage dominated by the old boys’ club that has been out to sabotage Hillary since she was the first lady who refused to simply smile and bake cookies. She may be a flawed candidate, but then who among us wouldn’t be exposed as “flawed” if our entire lives were inspected under the Fox News microscope? Frankly, I don’t take many of the hit pieces published about Hillary and Bill seriously. Just remember, when it came down to impeaching Bill, the only thing they could actually charge him with was lying about receiving fellatio, something I’m sure none of the men reading this column have ever done.
As for Comey’s bungling of the email investigation and how those emails were revealed to the press — as well as who hacked into the Democratic National Committee computers — we will come to a conclusion far too late to make a difference in the most recent election. However, the term “impeachment” does start to sound intriguing. However, let me ask you one final question in rebuttal to all you’ve written — if you had a really expensive car and you were given the choice between giving the keys to either a guy who had never driven a car before or a woman who has gotten a few tickets for driving too fast, which would you chose?

James Preston Allen