Can't Ignore Genocide
Friday September 12
What strange days we live in. President Obama suddenly sounds like George W. Bush. It appears he now realizes you can't ignore genocide. Refusing to stop the perpetrators, will not make the genocide disappear.
Denying you're in a struggle (war) to defend your country, citizens and way of life, does not mean there is no struggle. Professionally crafted speeches by well credentialed intellects do not make dictators and barbarians stop and say, “Gee, I never saw it that way before. I think I'll change.”
Driving around with those childish “war is not the answer” bumper stickers, will not make mass murderers realize the error of their ways and become nice people. It's not gonna happen.
It's obvious we left Iraq prematurely. The president says Iraq wouldn't approve a “status of forces agreement,” allowing NATO troops to stay for stability.
Now there are 1500+ U.S. military personnel there with hundreds more coming. There will be hundreds of targeted aerial bombings over Iraqi airspace by our military to eradicate terrorists. Is there a "status of forces agreement" in place now?
What we are looking at with a sick feeling, is brutality akin to 7th century darkness. Beheadings by the thousands, open pits filled with bodies, dead children with crucifixes stuck into their necks, entire Christian families executed, thousands.
Who are the humanitarians? Is it the soldier who stops murder of innocents with force, or the pacifist who takes the high road of denial and moral superiority while others suffer tremendously? I guess the terror groups missed the Cairo speech in 2009 by President Obama when he declared an end to aggression and war in the Middle East by an arrogant America.
Evil prospers when good people do nothing. We have citizens who want to join a strong, proud military that celebrates honor and commitment. They fight to protect innocents and stop evil like we see today.
If that doesn't suit any particular person, you can simply get out of the way vs. demonizing something you don't have the courage to do yourself. These men and women are our heroes.
Robert Van der Upwich
Wednesday September 10
Long Beach City College professors, counselors and librarians have little faith that the administration and the trustees are acting in the best interest of students and the community. They have cut important programs, increased fees for some classes by 390 percent and severely restricted the right of the public to comment during their meetings. They have mismanaged bond funding and undermined credibility with faculty and the public.
1. Bond funding: just a few years after tax payers paid millions of dollars to build new facilities for vocational programs at the Pacific Coast Campus, the college cut 11 vocational programs, leaving many of the new facilities empty and in need of additional remodeling.
2. Related to the bond funding issue: the college is being fined by the IRS – this is related to property the college purchased with bond funding and didn't use for educational purposes
3. LBCC was the only community college in the state to charge students under bill AB 955. The bill raised the cost per unit from $46 per unit to $225 for resident students, an increase of 390 percent. Additionally, the college was struggling for enrollment during this year and these courses would not count toward our funding.
4. Immediately after the last Board of Trustees election, the incumbent board members voted to limit public comment by 40 percent, changing from 5 minutes (a reasonable time to make a point) to 3 minutes.
[The writer has been a LBCC professor for 27 years and is a Long Beach resident]
Speaking the Truth
Friday September 5
Many Americans instinctively know, as they read the happenings across our country, that local police are now on their way, and of course perhaps unintentionally, to starting a race-war. From New York, to St. Louis, to Ferguson, and finally, to our beautiful city, we see the uniformed, but uninformed, less trained, and trigger-happy cops within the police force, actually costing our city rather than protecting the citizens in it!
And in the midst of this, a retired deputy chief of police of one of
America’s major cities, had the courage to speak the truth, as he unfrocked a long-term police union leader in Long Beach, who is part and parcel, and one overt example of how we have come to our current situation in Long Beach.
And finally, a newspaper publisher has had the guts to let this retired deputy chief of police set the police record straight, and to inform the public fully, demonstrating the role of the peace officer rather than police public relations officer. Thank you Jay and the Beachcomber for this service to the people of Long Beach.
Our elected city leaders, for some reason or another, have taken a vow of silence as the police have lost one case after another, as the few have been permitted to run roughshod over our city. We have a new mayor, and a few new councilmembers, and they should all receive a copy of the August 22 edition of the Beachcomber. We don’t want them to plead ignorance on the matter.
I read the negative comments about President James and the Long Beach Police Department. Mr. Downing seems to be overly occupied with the policies of the LBPD. It also seems that Downing may not be directing his comments to the officers per say, but rather to Chief Jim McDonnell. After all, they are both from the LAPD. It appears to be slap in the face to Chief McDonnell when Downing makes reference to the upper brass in his article.
Downing knows absolutely nothing about the LBPD or about POA President Steven James. With all the time Downing spends on putting our police department down, it would seem that Downing’s time would be better spent making his negative comments toward the LAPD. We all know the issues that LAPD has had for years, yet Downing was one of the leaders of that department, which was constantly bombarded with complaints of misconduct by his officers.
Where were his comments and/or solutions for the huge number of complaints his police department received? Downing is not in a position to be critical of the LBPD when in fact he came from a department whose leaders were repeatedly questioned on issues such as the infamous Rodney King beating. Downing ought not to be casting stones.
Lastly, as far as LBPOA President James’ promotions, obviously his leaders thought he deserved them just like Downing’s leaders thought about him. Lt. James is the union leader because our LBPD officers obviously like the job he’s doing. I’m an extremely strong supporter of the LBPD and Downing’s negative comments will not go unchallenged in the future.
Friday September 5
Thanks to Steve Propes’ 8/22 article on Long Beach water. On Aug. 21, the Parks and Recreation Commission discussed how the water shortage is affecting public parks and how the cost of water is a big part of their budget. Although several parks, including El Dorado, use recycled/non-potable water, potable water is used to water most of the parks and medians. When asked why more recycled water wasn’t being used, the answer was that there was also a shortage of non-potable water and that its cost was also going up.
Perhaps Steve Propes can do some more investigating and answer the question as to why there is less recycled water available. Is it because the public is cutting back on their watering, showers and toilet flushing? Is it because, as I believe I heard parks staff state, that THUMBS is using more of the recycled water? How much water is being used by the oil industries – and for what, I wonder? Fracking? Subsidence?
And why, if the public might be asked to empty their pools if the drought continues, is the city spending almost $100,000,000 to build an enormous swimming pool right next to the ocean?