Reader: Bob Price's leftist view is obvious in his obsequious defense of Supervisor Leticia Perez's misdemeanor charge as an overreach by the DA ("Why is Perez's case different? Onus is on DA's office," July 25). His political leanings are at variance with any moral values his father, a chaplain, may have instilled in his psyche.
Drug abuse is a scourge in Lake Isabella, where I live, causing rampant moral decline, remorseless theft, corruption of entire judicial systems, etc. This needs to be addressed by the DA, exposing so-called servants who fail to take a firm hand against encroaching lawlessness, which includes conflict of interest behavior by all involved parties.
Supervisor Perez, like Bob Price, has a lineage from a faith inheritance that should predispose them to enhance everyone's faith, not cloud it in a haze of medical marijuana. What happened to faith healing?
— Dick Weaver
Price: You came to a conclusion about my moral values based on your reading of that column? Oh MYYYYY, as my late father would have said.
The gist of that column was that the District Attorney will not merely have to produce evidence of criminal-level wrongdoing by Leticia Perez. DA Lisa Green will almost surely need to produce evidence or elicit testimony that supports the contention that Perez's alleged acts were more egregious than those of local elected officials who ran afoul of campaign or conflict laws in the past but were not charged criminally.
My opinion on this is hardly groundbreaking. I can see Green and H.A. Sala, Perez's defense attorney, reading what I wrote and in unison exclaiming, "Well, duh!" Sala will argue, among other things I'm sure, that Perez is being treated differently. Green's deputy, therefore, will have to argue that Perez is being treated differently with good reason.
There's nothing liberal about that opinion. There's nothing conservative about it either. It's simply a logical conclusion. My conclusion. And you'll have to point out, Dick, how by stating it I am defending Perez.
Marijuana really has little to do with the case. The accusation is essentially that Perez used her office to help her husband, Fernando Jara, and therefore herself, gain financially. It could have been any commodity or business venture.
Have drugs devastated the Kern River Valley? Absolutely they have. But the drug in question there is methamphetamine. Heroin and other opioids are huge problems, too. Marijuana is in the Kern River Valley, of course, but it's not ruining lives the way those other drugs are.
You threw me for a loop at the end there. A haze of medical marijuana? The way medical marijuana was prescribed after the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 was, in far too many cases, a joke. But its pain-relieving properties are, at this point, undeniable. "Faith healing" and its semantic cousins can truly ease suffering, but THC-laced gummies have their place, too.
It wasn't for him, but I don't think Dad would have argued otherwise.
Reader: It is always interesting to see how your editors edit my letters, although thankfully most of the time there is no editing. When there is, you conveniently change the meaning or the intent of some of the passages or completely leave them out as you did this time. I already get anonymous hate mail so it wouldn’t bother me if you left my words and intent as written.
— Mike Ladd
Price: A paragraph of your letter was deleted, Mike, because it violated one of our conditions for publication. I was certain I had previously explained what that condition was, so I looked in our archive, and sure enough there was.
A portion of what you wrote "violates our rule against publication of letters that contain blanket, devoid-of-specifics condemnations of a party or ideology (or, for that matter, a religion, nationality, ethnicity or other life circumstance)."
Those words were first published on Oct. 31, 2014, in response to a complaint from a rebuffed letter writer by the name of — get this — Mike Ladd.
Among the deleted lines in your recent letter: "The Democrats intend to destroy any vestiges of the Christian morals."
Back in 2014 you wrote: "... Any Democrat elected, no matter what level of government, (is) beholden to ... Marxist ideology."
Those are both examples of the dialogue-stopping rhetoric that permeates our national conversation. They're also just not true. This sort of they're-all-bad rhetoric comes from both sides, too, not just the right. We've all heard them, and they serve no purpose other than to drive a wedge.
Reader: Regarding the front-page headline for your Aug. 1 column,"Could Gonzalez, Vallejo split Latino vote in District 4?":
Am I the only one who finds this question offensive? It implies Latinos only vote for Latinos. Should we not be past all this "labeling" by now?
— Just wondering.
Price: That's a great question, one I asked of Delano Mayor Grace Vallejo in a roundabout way this past week: Why should it be important for Latino voters to support a Latino candidate? "Because you want someone who truly knows the culture, the language, and the way of life," she said. "You want someone who has lived through some of the things you have lived through." Vallejo is challenging David Couch for his 4th District seat on the Kern County Board of Supervisors, as is Lamont Chamber of Commerce President Jose Gonzalez.
Society still insists on grouping us all by race and ethnicity. We are constantly asked what we are and who we identify with -- not just by government and other institutions but by corporate America, too, which uses that information for marketing, because different ethnicities have different, predictable buying habits. Different ethnicities have different voting habits, too, and distinctly different opinions: Look at polling that finds divergence among whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians on issues like religion, abortion and gun control.
So, Couch, whose newly configured district is now majority Hispanic, is up against that challenge. But Vallejo and Gonzalez are up against Couch's experience in office and name recognition.
Reader: Great column last weekend ("A tale of two cities and one congressman," July 29) but perhaps it should have been titled "no congressman." I did not vote for President Trump but upon his election I wrote an email to Congressman Kevin McCarthy supporting our new president and suggesting that he use his experience and wisdom to perhaps offer insight to the president.
Since then I have written many more emails to the Congressman and his website reflects his indifference. Each submission asks "do you want a reply/response" and every time I have answered yes but never have I received a response. (I don't count his newsletters as a response.) I have suggested that while I admire and respect loyalty, the congressman's loyalty seems to be to the president and the Republican Party. The congressman represents a large Hispanic, lower income community — and don't get me wrong, I love Bakersfield and this is not a critical comment, just a realistic assessment — that does not benefit from the tax overhaul or the cutback in the Affordable Health Care Act. Yet he votes party line on every bill. You pointed out his money raising — and once again it's for the party and national campaigns.
Elected officials should be responsible and responsive to the people they represent, not to their political party.
— Walt Oliver
Price: A small leadership team manages the House Republican caucus, or tries, and McCarthy has chosen to be part of that team. We should all appreciate how challenging that job can be. But I don't remember ever seeing McCarthy stand against a bill favored by the Republican majority, or oppose a presidential decree, because it's detrimental to his district. As some have been.
Reader: I’ve noticed over the last few years that some cartoonists place a product with the label "K2" on it. I don’t recall drugs being the “theme” of the cartoon. One of the cartoons most guilty of this is "Bizarro." I have included the most recent reference which was Aug. 1. I simply wanted to point out the fact that K2 (synthetic marijuana) is sneakily making its way into your paper. Maybe this cartoonist feels as if he’s pulling a fast one but since I’ve worked in the drug testing field for many years, I don’t find any humor, as K2 is very harmful.
— My rant
Price: Here's what the artist, Dan Piraro, has written about the many "secret symbols" that reappear in his single-panel comic strip (a piece of pie, a dynamite stick, a bird, the abbreviation K2, and other things):
"Though most of the symbols mean nothing at all, a few were developed as a shout-out to specific people. 'K2' is for my two daughters, Krapuzar and Krelspeth."
Yes, his daughters are named Krapuzar and Krelspeth.
The Californian's Robert Price answers your questions and takes your complaints about our news coverage in this weekly feedback forum. Questions may be edited for space and clarity. To offer your input by phone, call 395-7649 and leave your comments in a voicemail message or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name and phone number; they won’t be published.