Reader: The news media does an excellent job reporting the names of arrestees and their crimes. Why not report their immigration status also? This would provide factual information instead of emotional bias to help develop common immigration reform. Just kidding — that wouldn't be politically correct.
— Tom Specht
Price: We might consider including immigration status in our public safety reports, in cases where it has relevance, if we knew what that status was. But immigration status is not reported to us by law enforcement, and for good reason: Local police are not compelled to confirm it or include it in arrest reports, and therefore they don't. They don't know, so we don't know, so you the reader don't know.
Noted Sgt. Brian Holcombe of the Bakersfield Police Department, "We do not have a way to record someone’s immigration status in our records management system."
Other things that may or may not have relevance at the scene of an arrest or later in a criminal court but are not included in police reports, either, might include exposure to communicable diseases, significant health issues, known allergies and addictions, foreign language fluency, marital status, educational attainment and credit score. Nobody asks about that stuff either.
Back to immigration status. Two recent studies, one by the libertarian Cato Institute and one in the journal Criminology, report that undocumented immigrants are less likely than native born residents to commit crimes. I know, I know, not what you want to hear.
Reader: If I am not mistaken, this doctor's name, Dr. Justin Lee, M.D., is incorrectly noted in Dignity Health's ad on Page 5 of your Oct. 26 issue.
I believe if you use "Dr.," then "M.D." is not appropriate. Alternatively if you use "M.D.," then "Dr." is omitted. I learned to never use both.
I love the paper as always. I am not ashamed to tell you that my family and friends have nicknamed me Grammar Queen.
— Molly McKean Sabat
Price: You're correct, Molly, but to me different rules apply when it comes to advertisements. Yes, advertisers are bound by the rules of spelling and grammar, or should be, but I see this as a matter of clarity and emphasis. Justin Lee is a doctor, so let's get the "Dr." right out in front to establish his most essential credentials. Then we ought to know what kind of doctor he is — an "M.D.," for doctor of medicine, as opposed to a dentist or veterinarian.
It's our policy, based on Associated Press style, to put the designation "Dr." only in front of medical doctors and a select few others such as veterinarians and dentists. Dr. Lee, of course, qualifies. But in a news article we would leave out the "M.D." and simply explain, if it were necessary, that he specializes in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.
By the way, welcome to Bakersfield, Dr. Lee. We greet all newcomers this way.
Reader: This week it was reported on NPR that President Trump’s false statements have increased from two per day last year to 4.5 per day now. Would it be helpful if TBC published a sidebar quoting the lies and unpacking them?
False statements have no constructive value but serve only to damage the credibility of our nation’s leadership. The president needs to be held accountable for what he says.
— Stephen A. Montgomery
Price: Evaluating the truthfulness of the president's statements is a full-time job, and we just don't have the resources for it. Besides, we focus almost exclusively on local news.
But plenty of fact-checking websites are out there, including FactCheck.org, which is managed by the Annenberg Public Policy Center; PolitiFact, run by the Poynter Institute; and The Washington Post's Fact Checker. I use them all, and often more than one when I'm researching an issue. But then I'm a nerd in that way.
Reader: I have to ask all of you Trump haters and by extension American Constitution haters, what is your plan after you help the world invade this country? ("Migrant caravan pauses to honor dead man, rest, still far from US," Oct. 24.) After the USA is destroyed, then what? Where is your utopia then? After millions more illegals have crashed the border, emptied the treasury and blown up the Constitution, then what is your dream? You apparently want us lawless along with being broke like the rest of the world.
Guess it will be the start of a new dark age. Every human for themselves, as the PC police would say.
— Mike Ladd
Price: Interesting you would ascribe the philosophy of "every human for themselves" to the "PC police," aka, I would assume, liberals. Ayn Rand, poster child of laissez faire capitalism and darling of the 20th-century conservative movement, is commonly associated with an "every man for himself" worldview.
Writes Rand, in "The Romantic Manifesto": "No one, therefore, can claim the objective superiority of his choices over the choices of others. Where no objective proof is available, it’s every man for himself — and only for himself."
For what that's worth.
Reader: Regarding the Oct. 24 article, "Congressman McCarthy's office burglarized": Probably a certain senior editor down at The Californian.
— Gary Johns
Price: I can explain. Just give me a little time to come up with something.