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Letters to the Editor: Election integrity is a national imperative; Compassion for all people - a new adventure

Letters to the Editor: Election integrity is a national imperative; Compassion for all people - a new adventure

Election integrity is a national imperative

I do appreciate the Santa Maria Times because on their opinion page they do print letters and columns from both perspectives. The House of Representatives, including Congressman Salud Carbajal, passed without one Republican vote HR 1 which should be titled The Voter Fraud For Ever Bill.

This bill nationalizes election voting laws and rules which accordingto Article II Section 1 of the Constitution is the purview of the state legislatures.

Back in 2005 President Jimmy Carter headed up the Election Integrity Commission and one of their suggestions was a requirement to show a picture ID when casting a ballot to show that you are who you say you are, but in a column in today's Times, Jacob Winch says that states which require a picture ID in order to vote are practicing "voter suppression".

Is one "suppressed" when boarding an airplane, buying a beer or driving an automobile all requiring a picture ID? Carter's Commission would make ballot harvesting illegal and limit mail-in voting, both of which lead to voter fraud and both are encouraged in HR 1. House Resolution 1 is 800 pages long, wipes out basic safety protocols and one amendment suggested allowing 16- year-olds to vote. Is anyone comfortable with that? Election integrity is a national imperative.

Ralph Bush

Arroyo Grande

Compassion for all people - a new adventure

When Columbus arrived on his first voyage to Asia and landed in the Bahamas, the Arawaks swam out to welcome him. You can read about this in many sources including “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn, and the “History of the Indies: Volumes 1 and 2” by Bartolomede Las Casas. They quote directly from the journals of Christopher Columbus.

It is estimated that the European invasion of the Indigenous settlements in the Americas resulted in the loss of over 3 million human lives. Samuel Eliot Morrison, a Harvard historian and sailor, authored a popular book “Christopher Columbus, Mariner” in 1954. He does not deny the enslavement and killing. He wrote: “The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide”. Then he continues to extoll the virtues of Columbus’ seamanship. He concludes that “there was no flaw, no dark side to the most outstanding and essential of his qualities — his seamanship.”

In other words, mass murder, enslavement, forced mining of gold, and decimation of entire cultures took place but that is inconsequential because he knew how to sail a ship? Regardless of his alleged navigation prowess, his ship, the Santa Maria, with his Arawak captives on it, ran aground just miles away from where he originally landed in the Bahamas. On “Hispaniola” which is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic, out of the timbers of the marooned Santa Maria, he built a fort. It was the first military base in the Western Hemisphere. He named it “Navidad” (Christmas) and left 39 men to use it to guard the gold mined by Indeginous forced labor.

We can certainly agree to disagree about changing a logo but for some of us that image will remain stuck in the mud just like the Santa Maria vessel. I envision a time when we no longer need to memorialize Columbus or our fantasies about his voyage because white supremacy is of the past. There is a new adventure that awaits us called compassion for all people. It is a force so expansive that we might call it love, mutual respect or decency. It includes all human beings and the Earth and it is an energy that is unstoppable.

Rev. Judith Cirrincione Elia

Santa Maria

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