Readers comments: December 17, 2021
Old technology still makes its mark
Most young folks think history can’t teach us much. However, today’s news headlines beg us to consider otherwise.
For example, because some communities in California have implemented outside watering bans until next spring, households are turning to rainwater collection systems. Turns out these kinds of systems were well developed some 2,000 years ago in arid climates. Could old technology be the salvation of draught-afflicted areas in the digital age?
Many folks suspect virus technology only came into use recently, so development of a COVID vaccine is a dangerously new phenomenon. But, alas, a vaccine for polio saved the nation in the 1950s; a vaccine for smallpox came into use about the time our nation was born in the late 1700s; and, in truth, inoculation was used in India and documented in the ancient Hindu Veda scriptures more than a thousand years ago.
Across the divide
Given how easy it is to trigger a polarized divide when expressing one’s strongly held perspective on significant issues like crime and punishment in America, I first want to commend Mr. Meyer for sharing his perspective and concerns with constraint, clarity, and civility. By doing so, he provided this reader with an opportunity to sit quietly and respectfully with a position on this issue, which, had it been expressed differently, could have provoked a much different response than the one based on the hope I share with Mr. Meyer, that “a return to enforced law and order is at the top of the list on the minds of voters next November.”
Our communities and nation are polarized on many issues, and none is more important than the impacts that our broken criminal and, in my opinion, civil justice systems has on every aspect of our lives. And in a simple and clear statement, Mr. Meyer both identifies the pervasive cause of this dysfunction, and suggests a possible way to restore the integrity of this essential check and balances branch of our democracy, especially it’s responsibility to assure that law and order are enforced equally, and punishment is meted out equitably “regardless of a person’s social status, politics, income, religion, race, sexual orientation, age, or personal economic situation.”
“Lady justice is supposed to be blind-folded, but in present day society there seems to be different rules for different classes of people.”
And herein lies the bridge across the troubled waters that divide, a consensus opinion that could facilitate the creation of a space where constraint, clarity, and civility are agreed upon conditions for addressing our community’s responsibility to assure lady justice’s blindfold is correctly positioned when law and order, public safety, and public service are conducted on our behalf by our city officials, our city’s staff, and our city’s police department.
Having no desire to be incendiary, and with the only intent being to promote a consensus derived solution that considerately melds the perspectives and genuine concerns of those now divided, I would ask that Mr. Meyer and other like minded citizens of Claremont, plan to attend future city council meetings, and respectfully demand that our Council act on its commitment to lead such an effort on our behalf.
Made over a year ago in the wake of the George Floyd murder by a peace officer, the council agreed to perform a thorough, complete and transparent assessment of our city policies, operations, community relations, policing and governance procedures, for any signs of systemic and structural racism, classism, cultural, gender, or race bias, etc., that could be contributory to the cumulative loss of integrity of, and trust in the entire criminal and civil justice system.
Once performed, anything discovered could be appropriately modified or eliminated, assuring the citizens of our community that we can, among many other social, economic, and political benefits, “simply let our police do their job of maintaining law and order and let the criminal justice system determine innocence or guilt.”
The other side of the coin; Response to “Thanksgiving break for CMC low income students” published in the November 26 edition of the Claremont COURIER
Your “sadness” prompted me to reflect on my college days at Kent State University. I was born on the eve of the Great Depression. In those days there was no “welfare” but the Relief Office where people were given flour, sugar and a few necessary items. My older sister and brother began working in a factory after high school for one to two hours a day five days a week and eight hours on Saturdays, and Christmas, Spring and Summer vacations. I followed them. We all knew we were going to the university which was just across the river, but we also knew that we were going to pay our tuition. There were no scholarships, grants or free hand-outs. My beginning wages were 45 cents an hour and by the time I was of age for the university, I was earning $1 an hour. I clearly remember friends asking me at holidays and vacations, where are you going to spend them. My reply, “Across the river and work each day.” I envied them, but knew the reality was “that’s life”. Today, people including my wife have trouble understanding my “depression mentality,” i.e. work, and “save for a rainy day.” My career as a teacher and administrator provided an opportunity to save money and invest. My wife and I visited all the states and many countries around the world. Since retiring I have volunteered in state parks, 19 July’s in Yosemite, and at the Rain’s House in Rancho Cucamonga. My question to Julissa is, “What would you do if someone gave you a ticket to Oklahoma? Who pays your tuition, books, clothes, spending money? What do you do with your vacation time?”