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Comments by jonkwilliams

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Posted on August 3 at 5:04 p.m.

Wonder why people are afraid to go by their real names on these discussion boards...

On <em>The Gulf Oil Disaster: How Can We Protect S.B.'s Future?</em>

Posted on July 25 at 12:13 p.m.

Look, please, at the Sunday afternoon program lineup on our one truly local broadcast channel, KEYT, and you'll see why we need to be increasing funding for community-oriented media outlets like SB Channels rather than cutting it.

KEYT has a license to use public airwaves because of its promise to serve the public. I guess providing a place for flim-flam men to offer gut-busting, ab-building gizmos qualifies in some small respect, but where are the programs that reflect our community, that let us speak out on issues of the day, and that help all the people of the region share their talents and express their concerns? One half hour of nonprofit coverage a week and a threadbare news effort don't constitute public service in my book.

SB Channels, while broadcast only on absentee-owner Cox Communications' cable, also posts many of its programs to the web where anyone with broadband internet access - oops, there go the working poor and unemployed - can also benefit from them. We need a complete media makeover in this community - from broadcast to print to web - and only with experienced, knowledgeable professionals like Keri Stokstad is that going to happen. Of course real change is anathema to the powers that be and that's why boards of directors are usually employed to stifle genuine innovation.

On Infighting at Santa Barbara Channels

Posted on May 26 at 3:52 p.m.

In a highly theoretical universe, you say, Prop. 15 would be recognized as a positive step forward. Then you really have nothing negative to say about it, yet recommend a “no” vote.

First of all, mightn’t you have told readers that Prop. 15 calls for raising state fees on lobbyists from a whopping $12.50 per year to $350? Do haircutters and massage therapists pay less to practice their crafts? The $6 million raised would fully fund Secretary of State races for all candidates agreeing not to take special interest money or, in fact, any other outside funds. If voters like the way the two year trial program works, they can expand it to cover other statewide races.

But for half that $6 million, you offer, the state should create and operate an ongoing system to inform voters of candidates taking special interest contributions. To what end? So we can know exactly who’ll be telling our elected officials how to vote? Doesn’t it generally become obvious once they’ve gotten into office? Isn’t the Fourth Estate supposed to keep us informed of shady backroom dealings?

What would it hurt to take $6 million dollars from the people who’ll continue to line the pockets of politicians in one way or another and fund the campaigns of those who don’t want to be beholden to special interests on the right, left or center? I’m sure the return on investment would be tremendous.

On Propositions

Posted on August 28 at 9:45 a.m.

Hearing the filmmaker speak yesterday on the NPR show "Fresh Air," I started wondering whether I really wanted to see "Inglorious Basterds." In this work of fiction, Tarantino has a squadron of young Jewish American recruits literally scalping the corpses of Nazis they've assassinated, in imitation, he says, of Apache guerrilla fighters. Evidently this desecration of human bodies is shown in graphic detail. I suppose one should see a movie before judging the intent and effect of a particular device, but as the behavior is, to the best of my knowledge, completely made up and surely must be antithetical to the most basic Jewish teachings, the whole thing leaves me troubled. Has anyone seen the movie, and is the scalping completely gratuitous or does it have a redeeming payoff?

On Quentin Tarantino to Take S.B. Film Fest Prize

Posted on August 22 at 1:15 p.m.

Hey, folks, first of all, I'm not the one who mentioned anything at all about immigration or immigration reform or undocumented residents getting or not getting coverage under the public plan. I'm the guy who complained that single-payer isn't being discussed -- even though President Obama said not long ago that it would be the best solution if we were starting from scratch. Sadly, we're not even at scratch; we're deep in a hole that the current system has dug for us. So "reform" without single-payer is really just an attempt to slow the rate of descent into the for-profit health care industry's gaping maw.

And why don't people use their real names on these threads? We'd get a lot less bluster, I'm sure. Me, I'll bluster in the open and surely live to regret some of what I say, but doing so does tend to keep me grounded.

On None

Posted on August 21 at 10:56 a.m.

The immense body of single-payer supporters in Lois Capps' district have been very disappointed that the Democratic leadership immediately took that option "off the table," refusing to even discuss its relative merits and drawbacks.

As I've been told, advocates were informed by Representative Capps' office that there would be no "Town Hall Meetings" in Santa Barbara during the Congressional recess at which they could voice their displeasure and urge her to speak out in favor of such consideration. Evidently, when she was hit from both sides by those who said "holing up" isn't what we pay our public servants to do, she decided she would have to face the music. Does anyone know where and when the three promised events are to take place?

And don't we think a public option, if it is to happen, should be open to anyone wanting to escape insurance industry abuse and waste, not just those who "can't afford" it?

On None

Posted on May 30 at 1:52 p.m.

It's interesting to me that the governor's threatened too-little-too-late cuts are almost exclusively in areas adversely affecting the less fortunate among us, tantamount to a shrunken family budget that says "Dad gets to keep enjoying his sports car, booze and cigars while Mom won't have to break a nail appointment but sorry, kids, you'll all still be wearing last year's shoes. Grew out of them? More's the pity..."

As long as corporations and fat cats fund our legislature we'll have government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Clean, fair, and transparent elections, funded with public money, are a must, followed by a plan to pay off the deficit with new state taxes based on well thought-out wants and desires.

On None

Posted on May 25 at 11:02 a.m.

I'm amazed at the number of anonymous nay-sayers this article has brought out from under the rocks. An ice rink too costly? What does it cost to maintain our beaches and harbor, including yearly dredging? What do parks and athletic courts cost us to keep sightly and safe?

Santa Barbara County, and our metro area in particular, could and should become a Mecca for those engaged in a wide range of competitive sports and physical arts, including ice activities. We're the perfect location, already a draw for those looking to spend time in pleasant and interesting surroundings. We have the hotels, motels, inns and campgrounds to support the crowds that attend sporting events as competitors, parents and fans. We have facilities at the beach, including a pool (which could be improved upon), a football, soccer and track stadium at City College, volleyball courts, and open water swimming. We have golf courses, running and bike paths, baseball fields, tennis courts, etc., all in place to support an organized effort to become "Sportsville, USA."

It's a smokeless industry that jives with our own widely held beliefs and practices on the importance ow fitness and physical fun. It could set Santa Barbara apart as "the place to go to be and see athletes in action -- as swimmers, bikers, water polo players, wind surfers, runners, jumpers, dancers and, yes, ice skater.

You want to walk on the beach, walk on the beach. But don't try to deny improved opportunities for athletic activity to those who want and are willing to work for them.

On Group Pushes for Goleta Ice Skating Rink

Posted on April 25 at 4:15 p.m.

Any "side-by-side" public plan is either going to be so good it drives private plans out of business or bad enough it won't have a chance of succeeding. Which do you think we'll get if politicians taking insurance company contributions are the ones designing and funding the system? "Government can't do anything right" is a self-fulfilling prophecy when corporations are actually calling the shots.

It's time for public funding of elections and true universal single-payer health care: pooled public money and privately-delivered services.

Congratulations to intern Allison Jones for a well researched, well written story!

On Protestors Urge Capps to Endorse Single-Payer Healthcare

Posted on October 26 at 2:59 p.m.

So what are we to do when "the other side" is either too odious to invite into the discussion or refuses to participate because one seat on a panel of four is not acceptible?

The N$#s-P@#s just published a letter from someone on "the other side" of this issue whose prior appearance in print involved declaring a fear that "the Mexicans" were going to move into her neighborhood. Could we really benefit from giving voice to someone like that?

Thoughtful citizens have tried to put together an educational experience based on the successful coming together of factions that quite often disagree with one another. That a spoiled brat of a newspaper publisher along with a few of her flying monkeys could derail the effort is almost literally a crying shame.

Personally, I'd like to see some well-intentioned local with more money than sense institute "The Western States Progressive Workshops" in Santa Barbara, taking advantage of the many knowledgeable and experienced teachers, leaders and doers we already have in our community along with the attractiveness of this fair burg to activists across the country willing to travel to a place where issues, ideas and solutions are always being productively discussed.

Needless to say, such an entity wouldn't be required to include voices of regression and intolerance, though such people might well serve as the "live mine field" through which our commandos in training could crawl.

Anyway, here's to the day Santa Barbara's esteemed daily paper passes into new owners' hands. Here's to a brighter, more progressive tomorrow!

On SBCC Cancels Adult Ed Housing Series

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