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Letters 1-11-2007

Teamsters vs. McCaw

Teamsters v. Mrs. McCaw This is in response to
Nick Welsh’s Dec. 21 Angry Poodle Barbecue and other columns and
letters The Independent has printed about the Santa Barbara
News-Press. The Independent has appointed itself judge and jury as
it “tries” the News-Press in its editorial pages. The fact is, it
is up to the publisher of each paper to run his/her business as
he/she sees fit. When Mrs. McCaw acquired the News-Press, she saved
it from the disgrace of insolvency. After years of losing money,
the paper was going to be closed or sold off to a national chain
with no local input or control. The public should remember that the
News-Press is a business and needs to operate as such. How the
paper is run is not anyone else’s choice to make; the owner is the
only one who has something at stake. Every reporter and editor can
choose to leave, but the owner must stay and make the decisions
necessary to preserve her investment.

There are many excellent people at the News-Press. I have known
some of them for years and respect them. Yet they reacted to Jerry
Roberts’s resignation without knowing all the facts. Similarly, the
reporters joining the Teamsters union and the so-called Lawyers
Alliance are unwittingly aiding a national union with the most
sordid history of corruption. The Teamsters printed the signs that
defame Mrs. McCaw; the union placed these in the windows of
innocent stores in an effort to break Mrs. McCaw’s will. The
Teamsters also organized several staged events against Mrs. McCaw
and the News-Press. She will not bow to these tactics. She deserves
and will receive legal representation.

Teamsters Union v. Wendy McCaw: This is the battle, not the
First Amendment issues proclaimed by The Independent and its
columnists. The constitutional shawl that reporters and so-called
free speech groups have been trying to wrap around this battle is
shamefully stained by the conduct of the union’s organizing effort.
My firm has tried to represent the right side during the many years
we have practiced law. We think the Teamsters are making a mockery
of the town by cleverly using The Independent, innocent store
owners, and lawyers who have yet to know the facts. The Teamsters
union is doing this for its ultimate purpose: to unionize the
entire paper. Since the Teamsters have an appetite for newspapers,
you folks at The Independent should be careful what you wish for.
 — A. Barry Cappello

Greedy Gunmen Bravo Nick Welsh! What a superb
historical synopsis of U.S. foreign policy [Angry Poodle Barbecue,
“Revenge of the Dead Dogs,” Jan. 4]. Instead of supporting
democracies abroad, as we claim to do, we overthrow them. The 1953
overthrow of Iran’s Mossadegh came sharply to my attention when
three Iranian students at the local City College spoke to my high
school American government classes in the ’60s. They were in Iran
at the time of the overthrow of the democratically elected prime
minister. People were openly caught with fistfuls of American
money.

We armed Saddam Hussein and looked the other way when he used
chemical weapons on the Iranians and Kurds. The Philippines had a
constitution modeled on ours, but in 1972, Ferdinand Marcos
declared martial law, imprisoned Liberal Party leadership, and
became dictator. The U.S. supported him with economic aid and by
training military and police.

The overthrow and murder of the popularly elected Allende of
Chile was done with U.S. help. Our school had an exchange student
from Chile before this happened, but she was highly critical of ITT
and Anaconda Copper in her country. I hope she was not one of the
victims of Pinochet.

Recently, Bush tried to get rid of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, but
the majority of his countrymen voted him back into office. I had
not known that Mossadegh wanted to nationalize Iranian oil, as
Welsh reported. Our goal worldwide is access to resources we need
because per capita we are the world’s greediest consumers. Heaven
help Chavez, who has nationalized his country’s oil to lift his
people out of poverty. Bush and his evil, conniving cohorts claim
they are exporting democracy. They lie.  — Dorothy F. McNeil

• • •

Recently, mainly due to the near demise of the News-Press, I
have become a fan of The Independent. I enjoy, especially, Nick
Welsh’s column. Usually I agree with most of his opinions, but not
on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Welsh states that the
Warren Commission “sought to soothe the nation with sweet
lies — like the lone gunman theory — which not even an 11-year-old
could stomach.” I have to blow the whistle. I was not an
11-year-old at the time Kennedy was assassinated; I was the CBS
White House correspondent. I heard the shots that killed the young
president and covered the tragic aftermath. The Warren Commission
may have had a few minor errors, but its conclusions were, in my
opinion, correct. The president was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, a
lone gunman. Most Americans do not want to believe that a president
can be killed by one crazed individual acting alone, but even the
Secret Service, which is charged with the responsibility of
protecting presidents, oncedes that this is possible, if the gunman
is prepared to die.

Twenty-five years after the death of John F. Kennedy, we had a
reunion of the reporters who covered his assassination. Only about
20 of us were still around, but only one of the 20 thought the
assassination was anything other than the act of a lone gunman. He
offered no theory about what had happened instead. The rest of us,
in a poll taken at the luncheon, thought Lee Harvey Oswald, acting
alone, had done the sad deed.  — Robert C. Pierpoint

Movie Mishaps How Roger Durling, a
well-respected connoisseur of the film genre, could pass up Borat!,
one of the wildest, most insane, most hilarious films of all time
in his Top Films of 2006 list, bespeaks a tragic loss of cinematic
lunacy. As an old hag in her seventies who has spent her whole life
at the movies, I find this omission the most heartbreaking example
of nihilistic incompetence I have ever encountered. If you want to
know what this world is coming to, consider it a world without
Borats and cry all the way into the next millennium.  — Bunny
Bernhardt

• • •

In last week’s Movie Guide, the review of We Are Marshall
mentioned “a Virginia college’s football team.” Marshall is located
in Huntington, West — by God — Virginia. As born and bred West
Virginians, we are appalled.  — Charlie and Patty Walworth

Dogged by Lawlessness No matter what time of
day or night I walk at Hendry’s Beach, I am accosted by off-leash
dogs in the on-leash area. Although there is a large sign
indicating the off-leash section of that beach is to the left
facing the ocean, and the on-leash section is to the right, dog
owners do not observe the sign and joyfully give the law the
finger.

My wife and I love to walk on the beach, and my doctor has
insisted that we walk on soft sand that is more forgiving of my
disintegrating spine. I am not a dog person. My son was mauled and
killed by an off-leash dog in an on-leash area back East, so my
family and I are meticulously careful in choosing our walking
locations.

Whenever I’ve tried to tactfully explain to a Hendry’s Beach dog
owner with an off-leash canine that runs into the ocean, and
invariably runs over to drench me as it shakes off the water, that
the pet needs to be on a leash, I get hissed, spit, and snarled at,
and my car has been keyed three times. How is it I’m the bad guy
when they’re breaking the law? Further, whenever I call animal
control to cite off-leash dogs in on-leash locations, I’m told the
city is short of staff and there is no one to take care of the
problem. There’s never anyone on duty on the weekends when the most
offenses occur. That is unacceptable. Surely something can be done
to cite the violators before another baby is chewed to death by an
off-leash dog owned by someone who doesn’t care or understand that
beaches are for everybody, laws are laws, and the people who break
them are the criminals, not the good citizens who have a right to
walk without incident on a beautiful, public beach.  — William
Guggen

Paying the Mortgage I have four workers. Raise
the minimum wage and I will lay off one of them. — Richard
Diorio

Egging on Edwards For too long we have had
politicians pandering to the rich and those who want to be rich.
Finally we have a candidate who is speaking for the working
American and also for the poor American. Why should someone who is
doing well financially support a candidate who supports those below
him on the economic ladder? Because it is the right thing to do.
John Edwards is also speaking out about global warming, alternative
energy, the need to conserve, and against the war in Iraq. I feel
he deserves another look in the next presidential primary. — Bob
Faulker

Undeserving Mercy In response to Leslee
Goodman’s letter regarding God’s mercy [“All Merciful,” Dec. 14],
while it may make us feel better to think that we all deserve God’s
mercy, in fact we do not. Deserve is the key word here. The fact
that God offers mercy when we do not deserve it is the central
point of the Good News of Jesus Christ! While we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us. If we deserved God’s mercy, Christ’s suffering
means nothing. Rejoice in the free gift of salvation. That is the
reason we celebrate Christmas. — Steve Boothby

Correction ¶ Last week’s news feature “Unlawful Fiction?”
reported that the novel Intoxicating Agent was based on rape
charges against Massey Haraguchi. We neglected to mention that
Deputy District Attorney Joyce Dudley has consistently claimed her
novel was written before the alleged rape occurred.

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