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Have you noticed how dependent you are on the various forms of communication that you are blessed with in this country? I don’t know what I would do without the newspapers, television, radio, Internet and old-fashioned conversations with my friends. All of these are sources of information for all of us so that we know what is going on around us. In times of emergency, all of these sources are critical to help us make decisions about what we need to do to survive.

It has been stressed that we should all have an emergency plan for our families, should there be a fire or some such other disaster. Now that we have entered fire season, we all have to be mindful of the possibilities of wildfires around us. For those of us who have livestock, we all need to have a plan to evacuate them to safety. Even though that may entail a major undertaking to accomplish, it is still possible to do if proper planning is arranged for ahead of time.

So it was with some alarm that I heard recently that there is a move within Congress and the Department of Defense and Homeland Security to give the federal government the power to take over the civilian network’s security in the event of an “imminent cyber threat.” Now I agree that there might be a time when this was an appropriate action but to make it a permanent ability is, in my opinion, another swipe at our freedoms subject to massive abuse. This is particularly true, given the fact that we currently have leadership that has openly declared to “Never waste a crisis.”

I feel personally blessed to have this vehicle to describe things to you that you may not be aware of. Legislative bodies that don’t have to answer to their constituents usually go out of control. We have seen this in California, where there is a lack of balance in representation so the politicians are emboldened to do whatever they feel like; particularly because the money isn’t coming out of their pockets. Until that imbalance is changed, I think the system that is in place will continue to please themselves and their masters rather than their constituents.

In the meantime, it behooves all of us to keep ourselves informed by a cross section of information sources. It is important to realize that just because a source has been around for a long time does not necessarily mean that it is giving either unbiased information or the whole story. It is very common to hear a variety of stories on a topic where some significant information is simply left out, giving you a completely different take on the topic. So be watchful on what you listen to or read and check out different sources to see what they are all saying. Of course, if you can find independent sources for your information gathering, you may be better informed than your friends. It is important to make sure that the most reliable sources are kept free from interference and that they are supported by their communities. If we are to remain a free society, we must insist that our information sources remain independent as well. Any effort by any level of government to control the flow of information needs to be vigorously resisted.

Us and them

When things are not going as you would like, you seek change. It is said, and I think it must be true, that if you keep doing the same things over and over and expect a different outcome, you are not being realistic. We all know this. It seems as though there is a group of people who do not like our country the way it is. These people don’t have the same values that we have, the values this country was founded on. They intend to change it whether you like it or not. I have always been surprised at how much they have infiltrated government at all levels, including our local government. At the recent publication of new rules for irrigated agriculture by the Regional Water Control Board, the progressive term social justice was included in the document; and sure enough, there were some non-English speaking folks at the hearing with matching T-shirts and printed signs saying that they had a right to clean water, like somehow they were being deprived of it.

So, too, when I opened up the document describing the changes to some systems at Cachuma Lake there was a section on “environmental justice.” You cannot believe my shock and disgust that the Bureau of Reclamation had been infiltrated by these radicals as well. I don’t think it is appropriate to include political policies in government documents since none of us has supported such concepts and it is, after all, our tax dollars that pay their salaries.

This is why I believe there is “us” and “them.” I have spent considerable time over the past few years observing these people, not realizing just who they were. I do now know who they are and what they are trying to do. I believe they will do almost anything, including lying and cheating the system in order to implement the changes they desire. I also believe that they have been working on this for a long time and have succeeded without discovery for a number of years. That is about to come to an end.

I personally do not accept the inevitability of the value system I treasure being destroyed, and I know that most of you believe the same thing. This is what motivated me to participate in the latest election debacle. The disenfranchisement of the voters in Santa Barbara County that I think has been going on for many years is the most disgusting and shameful thing I have come across in a long time. I and a number of other citizens intend to bring that practice to an end as soon as possible.

So I thought you might like to hear a bit about the scene in the courtroom during the election trial. I found it very interesting, mostly because I had no idea who some of the people in attendance were. As I learned their names, I was fascinated to see who they knew and why, I suppose, they were there because it wasn’t because they had nothing else to do on those six days. I believe they were there because they were all intensely interested in the outcome. Perhaps they all had something to lose.

Of course, the lawyers were there and I was interested to see that the Farr attorneys were the same ones who had argued the case against Willy Chamberlin many years ago. A coincidence? Then there were some college students in attendance, who studied as they watched the trial progress. I don’t know where they went to school or what their interest was, but they came every day. Naturally, the witnesses from the elections office were there to testify and when they were done, they returned to work.

I sat in the back of the courtroom so as to better observe what was happening in the audience, and I was surprised more than once to see who was there and what they were doing. One day Former Supervisor Susan Rose attended and clearly was part of the Farr contingent. Was she there for support?

There were quite a few regulars there as well. Some were Pappas supporters and some seemed to be part of the legal team, including a woman I did not know until someone told me that her name was Mickey Flacks. The name was familiar, but until I looked it up I did not realize that she was part of SBCAN. I wrote about that some time ago when I described my surprise at discovering that Lisa Plowman, who worked for Santa Barbara County Planning Department, was part of this organization. The picture on the website had her sitting next to Mrs. Flacks, whose husband Richard is also of interest because he was part of the 1960s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a radical group known for their bombings of government buildings. SBCAN’s website lists its donors and it is a who’s who of Santa Barbara County and City politicians, including Susan Rose, Gail Marshall, her “staff” John Buttny, Helene Schneider and Salud Carbahal. Throughout the trial, Mrs. Flacks seemed to be very involved in the mechanics of the attorneys’ presentations as she repeatedly went up to the attorney desk in the front of the courtroom and did things on the attorney’s computer. She also sat for the majority of the trial with the head of the local Democratic Party. I was not clear as to why he was there. Isn’t the Supervisor supposed to be non-partisan? When did that change?

So the attendance at the trial was a very revealing experience that opened a lot of eyes as to just what was at stake here. I believe it will be over soon, and I also believe that there will be some major changes in the way elections occur in this county. It is about time that we regain our votes and shame on those of you who have tried to rob us of our rights. This is real justice, not that phony stuff!


Springtime is the time for new babies in the world of nature. So far we have seen turkey babies and fawns with spots around the ranch. This is also the time when the newest foals get to venture out of their pens for a day in the big green pasture. This daily activity will continue to occur until the youngsters reach the age when the boys must be separated from the girls. Then they will be weaned gently from their mothers and put into bigger pastures, where they have a babysitter who will teach them manners and help them learn how to safely go up and down hills, avoid rocks and tree limbs, and grow up. Enjoy the pictures.