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Posted on May 5 at 3:52 p.m.
"burning arsonists at the stake" Hmmmm....
On Fire Above San Roque Canyon
Posted on November 21 at 2:36 p.m.
Unfortunately, the drunk driving analogy is all too true. People will do something stupid like light a fire or drive drunk even when you tell them not to and tell them what the consequences are. If the drunk driver KNEW they would kill someone on the way home, they wouldn't do it... the problem is they have the attitude that it won't happen to them, that they know what they are doing, or that they are actually a very good drunk driver.
For all we know, those kids DID drive home drunk and were just lucky not to hit anyone. Just like on previous trips (of which I'm sure there were many) to the Tea Gardens, they were lucky enough not to start a wildfire.
Young kids especially won't take warnings seriously until something happens that directly affects them. And even then, those kids and even some adults will rationalize that THEY know how to put a fire out right, or that having a fire on the beach is MUCH safer and will end up causing this again because all it takes is not putting the fire out completely or thinking the beach is safer when its not and mix that with the right set of conditions and you've got another disaster.
What is the solution? Unfortunately I don't think there is one. I believe these kids should face consequences, should be put to work cleaning up and rebuilding but don't think it will stop it from happening again... these kids will probably never even attend a safe and legal bonfire again their entire lives (may not even want to barbeque).
Those kids are not the ONLY kids in the history of this town to have lit a bonfire up there or other equally dangerous places. THAT is why some of us feel that punishing them as if they were intentional arsonists is a bit harsh. Its a fairly common activity no matter how many warnings or how illegal it is... these kids were unfortunate enough to be the ones who did it during conditions that were a recipe for this kind of disaster. They should face the consequences but should not be drawn and quartered.
On Nine of the "Tea Fire Ten" Went to City College
Posted on November 19 at 1:43 p.m.
Have you never done anything wrong, never taken a risk without understanding the truth of that risk? Have you ever had the sun blind you while driving yet kept going? Not long ago there was a man who hit a child on a bike while blinded by the sun. Holding him responsible is the right thing to do, but don't tell me you have never driven with the sun in your eyes, you just never thought there might be a child on a bike in your path, or thought you'd see them in time... same as these kids rationalized away the risk they took and failed to understand the possible consequences.
"The fire signs in the area have said HIGH for many weeks (probably months) and were completely ignored by this group. " If the signs always say HIGH (even when it was raining) and no fires ever broke out in that area, it makes the warning SEEM irrelevant. Its human nature... these kids think 'oh, they forgot to lower it' or 'oh, they are just trying to make sure people are always careful' and if these kids have had bonfires before (and apparently safely extinguished them) then they didnt understand that it was luck that it didn't happen before.
I am just advocating for some empathy here, some understanding that these kids are not monster or villians, just stupid kids, and no stupider than any other kids their age, they just happened to make this specific wrong choice at this specific moment in time. (How many kids their age, when invited to a bonfire ask 'is it safe?' or even check the fire warning, they just think it sounds like fun). How many other bonfires have there been up there in the past few months?
How many people on here screaming for blood lost their home? Just out of curiousity since I think the people who are most affected and have the most right to decide the punishment are probably too busy picking up the pieces of their lives (as my father-in-law is) and grieving over whats been lost to have any energy left over for these kids. Nothing will replace the art and heirlooms that were lost and that includes punishing these kids or their school or whatever. They should face consequences but nothing can undo what has been done so lets make those consequences something that makes sense.
On Tea Fire Cause Is Determined
Posted on November 19 at 1:06 p.m.
PangZhu - If you choose to be straight every day, does that mean when you look at a picture of a naked woman you have to mentally decide if it turns you on?I don't think anyone cares if you 'accept' what they choose to do in their life, gay marriage, wearing clown shoes every Thursday, or whatever. They just want the right to do it without fear of persecution and bodily harm. If two gay people kiss on the street, you have every right to look away. And if the government was giving out candy for every couple who kissed, they want their piece of candy. They don't care if you think they are gross, they just don't want you to tell them, harrass them, or deny them their share of the 'candy.'
As for teaching it in schools, they don't want it taught that its 'wrong' they don't want it taught that is right, just that its one of the kinds of marriages there are. Just as kids are not taught that only white people marry other white people, they are just made aware that a white person can marry a black or brown person.
Posted on November 19 at 12:48 p.m.
It is human nature to trust empircal evidence, every time they saw a 'high' fire danger sign and no fires broke out, it makes them take the danger a little less seriously. Every time they had a bonfire (and I doubt this is their first) and they didn't start a wildfire, they thought they were doing it the right way. This kind of thinking is especially common in young adults.
They should face some consequences, but I don't think jailtime or even monetary punishments will do any good. We need them to feel the consequences of what they've done as badly as those who lost their homes, work on making it right as much as possible, and help educate to prevent it happening again.
They didn't understand that this is a possible outcome of what they chose to do. It doesn't excuse them from blame or punishment, but I think it makes the matter of how to punish them very different. What they did hurt several people emotionally and financially. Their punishment should be to share in that burden and work on fixing the damage. That will truly help the people who lost everything more than putting them in jail or closing a school. It will help those kids by teaching them a real lesson rather than imprisoning them and costing us more money. Then require those kids to reach out and teach other kids about the dangers and the proper precautions to take. Then there will be a real benefit/change and maybe it won't happen again for this reason.
Posted on November 19 at 12:40 p.m.
"Wouldn't you think that blacks and latinos would be sympathetic to any such legitimate civil rights issue?"
Wouldn't you think that black men would have wanted to give women the right to vote since they knew what it was like to be left out? Look back at your history, there were plenty of black men who didn't want women to have the right to vote.
Being discriminated against doesn't mean you don't discriminate. In fact, there are notorious cases of racism between non-whites in America.
Many people also think that being gay is a choice and therefore different. They also think that is 'gross' or an 'abomination' and therefore ok to discriminate. They don't realize the same agruments were used against their group. Hypocrisy is a word for a reason, and anyone is capable of being a hypcrite.
Posted on November 19 at 12:32 p.m.
"They drove by a HIGH FIRE DANGER sign on their way up there."Did it say High Fire Danger on Wednesday night? Or was it changed to High on Thursday when the weather heated up?Did they notice it? I don't know that I believe those signs when I see them, I know I've seem them up on 'extreme' even when it was raining. There may actually still be an extreme danger but 'common sense' tells you that you can't start a wildfire in the rain. I'm not defending their actions, I'm just saying that they would NEVER have done what they did if they knew what would happen. It doesn't excuse their ignorance but they either didn't notice the signs or didn't think they were serious. The only way to prevent that happening again is to educate so people look for and understand what the warnings mean.
"It's one thing to build a bonfire on the beach--public property, fire can't spread, etc., but this is a blatant example of stupid, arrogant, and illegal behavior."So if they had built the fire on public property it wouldn't seem so bad to you? What if they had done it on their own, private property? What makes you think fire can't spread just because it is started next to a body of water? If the wind blows inward there are plenty of dry grasses to catch on fire. Also, I don't know any beach around here that doesn't prohibit bonfires. Plenty of people still have them, but they think its 'safe' just because they ocean is on one side of them. The kids who started this one thought they were being 'safe' also, using just as bad judgement as those who start fires on the beach.
Posted on November 19 at 12:19 p.m.
Why is it considered racist to recognize the struggles of gay people as SIMILAR to the struggles of other oppressed groups such as black Americans? NO ONE is saying that gay people have suffered AS MUCH. There are similar persecutions.. lynching is similar to gay bashing though gay bashing is not always fatal... both are physical attacks simply for belonging to a specific 'minority' group. Gay people may be able to 'pass' as straight and therefore aren't as visible a target, but should they have to hide who they are just to be safe? Gay people have not gone through slavery but their struggles can still be compared to those of other groups.
Most comparisons to the black community are regarding the fight to legalize interracial marriages. And in that case, the oppressed group includes the 'white' half of the couple.. someone who was denied the right to marry who they chose. Tell me how drawing a comparison is racist?
And once again, for those who think domestic partnerships are the same as civil marriages (non-religious marriages) you need to realize that the very need to define what the rights of domestic partnerships are is an indication that they are different. They do not have the same protections and rights. They can be forced to testify against their partner, do not have the same medical access or decisionmaking power and can have their rights to inheriting their spouse's (oops, I mean partner's) belongings can be taken away by almost any challenge.Separate but equal was decided (rightly) by the courts to be IMPOSSIBLE... separation is inherently unequal.
Sounds like people still want to overturn that decision by telling the courts when exactly separation is equal and when it isnt.
And the people who have now spoken have only shown that by a very SLIM margin they disagree. That means the courts and the remaining HALF of the population think differently... there are times when a 50% majority should not decide something and when it comes to taking away or restricting people from access to rights I don't think 50% is enough of a majority.
Posted on November 19 at 10:54 a.m.
"To me, this terrible event just shows that it is too dangerous to have a bunch of "college kids" living the time of their lives amidst residential neighborhoods and Santa Barbara landmarks"
Seriously? And if it had been started by an elderly person whose walker caused a spark would you ban everyone over the age of 60? If it had been started by a 5 year old playing with matches would you exile all kids? If it was started by a smoker would you ban all smokers? Wait.. one of them was wearing a red shirt, so we should get rid of red shirts! Actually why don't we ban groups bigger than 9 people so this won't happen again!
Many people don't like having rowdy college kids living near them but don't use this tragedy for your own agenda.
The only real solution is promoting awareness, improving our technology in fighting fires and responsiveness to putting them out. Maybe someday we'll have infra-red images of all of SB and the smoldering remains of the fire would have been noticed on such a high risk day and put out properly. That is where I think our efforts should be focused.
Posted on November 19 at 10:39 a.m.
The problem is that the government bestows rights and privelages on couples who are 'married'. If the Yes on Prop 8 people do not want to share the term 'marriage' then the government must cease to recognize all marriages since its not a right provided to everyone and must revoke all the rights that go along with the government recognition. It is the same as the government funding a group or company that discriminates based on age, race, sex, or sexual orientation.
Saying that gay people still have a right to marry someone of the same sex is ridiculous. Interracial couples faced the same arguements and eventually won, gay marriage will eventually win also. If you think the government can tell you who to marry (opposite sex only) then how would you feel if the government said men could only marry women who were shorter than them? What if you could only marry someone who lived within 5 blocks of you? Why should the government tell you who to love and if its going to give rights to people who stand together and pledge to bind their lives together, they should do so without judgement.
Why shouldn't people who are well educated and trusted to view and evaluate our laws and constitution and pass judgements be in charge of applying our laws and constitution?
Bottom line: How does it affect ANYONE except the couples getting married to recognize these unions and bestow upon them the same rights and privelages of straight couples? You don't like the government saying they are the 'same' as you? So what? What does it matter? You can still tell yourself that god knows that your marriage is 'real'... no one is going to think you are gay because you say you are 'married'... get over it and stop fighting what is inevitable, just, and fair.