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Days of vinegar and thorns


I picked up my laundered shirts from the dry cleaner. The one attendant (where once there had been two) said she was told that if the police see you driving without a mask INSIDE your automobile they will  ticket you.

I assured her this was not true. Although given the current state—where each week Obersturmführer Nathan Fletcher announces new rules different from the week before and if you are seen violating them you face a $1,000 fine and maybe jail—it could very well be in the cards.

Let’s not forget that Sheriff Bill Gore—who earned his civil liberties chops in 1992 at the Ruby Ridge incident in Idaho as the FBI Special Agent In Charge when an unarmed woman with a babe in arms was killed by a sniper—is always within earshot to swoop down on rules breakers. Emphasis on “shot.” 

I don’t expect the Sheriff to shoot any lawbreakers. He’s grown since then. But what, oh what do we do when we aren’t booking actual criminals because we don’t want to put contagious miscreants next to each other in jail for fear of spreading infection? Replace them with people who accidentally walk into a Walmart without a mask? Or, as happened over the weekend, handcuff and book demonstrators on the beach in Encinitas? Which violates at least two articles of the Bill of Rights that I know of.

Unfortunately, every idiot in charge of a Facebook page or group (and that’s a lot of idiots) posts erroneous information they heard by putting their ear to the floor with a water glass and deciphering the sounds of mice scurrying. It is easy to be confused.  Good rule of thumb: If you read something on social media, and nowhere else, it’s almost certainly wrong, and perhaps deliberately, perversely fake. 

Did I just say some people deliberately post untrue information? You read that correctly! Some people get a kick out of starting rumors and initiating panics. These are called “trails.”

The lesson here? Don’t believe anything you read on social media unless you can also find it on a reliable news source. Check several news sources since many indulge in click-baity fare like “Did you read what Donald Trump said today?” “Did you hear about the coronavirus case at the blankety blank market?” “Did you know Dr. Fauci caused the coronavirus?” Consider your local Facebook host equivalent to the old guy who sits at the end of the bar and grumbles, “UFOs? Don’t get me started!” 

Cultivate reliable news sources. Not just those that confirm your biases. There are reliable and truthful reporters you can find if you try. Local news? I humbly suggest your best bet is this newspaper. If we make a mistake, we acknowledge and rectify it. What we don’t do is, when we hear a rumor, post it before fact checking it. So, if you are catastrophe-surfing, hoping for gnarly gossip—you won’t find it here. We’re kind of boring. We believe in facts, except when we do our annual April 1 prank.  

I’ve been in the news business awhile. It has become second nature to spot badly sourced news and to do my own research when I read something that sounds funny (I don’t mean spoken by a clown, although that too is a good indication.) I can’t expect average readers to be that penetrating since, after all, they do have lives.  

Here’s a tip: If something sounds too good to be true or too bad to be true, it’s probably not. When you read something you want to be true so much your entire being starts to vibrate, it’s probably not. You can file most of the U.S. media’s many “The Trump presidency is going to end,” stories over the last 3 ½ years in that wish fulfillment category. Any story that began “Russian Collusion,” “Robert Mueller,” “the Ukraine phone call,” “will bring Trump down” fits that.

Three terms I have come to hate with the white hot passion of a thousand suns are:  “social distancing,” “essential business” and “the new normal.”

As part of your new normal, prepare to become an unintentional vegetarian. I’m a mainly-on-purpose vegetarian, but our self-induced Depression has pushed the meat industry into a tail-spin. I actually like meat, but my stomach doesn’t. Unfortunately, many of you will probably be joining me—but not by choice.

What a trifecta of pleasure for our liberal friends! Meat farmers forced to euthanize and abort thousands of piglets and chickens because there’s no market for them as many restaurants aren’t functioning. And because meat processing involves workers in close proximity. For the extreme Bernie and AOC progressive wing this is cool because it harms a “big” business, decreases the carbon footprint (so would a mass depopulation event) and it involves aborting things. Woo-hoo!

As for “essential business,” I want to find the bureaucrat who invented that term, and to whom it obviously does not apply, and ask him to publicly defend what about his job makes it “essential.”  

Finally, some positives to our society-wide impositions” This could drive a stake through the heart of efforts to switch highway money to more mass transit. Obviously mass transit isn’t a safe mode of travel if you want to “social distance.” We shouldn’t get rid of it, but we definitely shouldn’t force more people into crowded buses and trains.

Parents can spend more time with their children. Perhaps deprogram them from the extreme environmentalism, the “diversity is more important than anything”  and “America is an evil place with a depraved history” propaganda constantly poured in their ears by schools. With luck, some parents will take advantage of this time to educate the kids about the proud history of a nation we are all sacrificing so much to preserve.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

4 responses to “Days of vinegar and thorns”

  1. Dave says:

    Great commentary!

  2. larry markey says:

    Well said, Mr. David!

  3. Ray Flores says:

    Enough of the name calling and biased reporting!

    The article on April 30th edition of the Roadrunner,Days of Vinegar and Thorns, and now in the Times-Advocate is about as unbiased as a heartattack!!! Another thing, why as a legitimate news journalist do you resort to name calling? I quote,”Obersturmführer Nathan Fletcher”, why not just Nathan Fletcher, or County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher? It makes you sound like someone with a chip on their shoulder. Am I really a fan of Nathan Fletcher? Not exactly, but I do realize that he is one of the current leaders trying to get us through this pandemic. A former Marine, I am compelled to be leave he does have some leadership skills, and being a leader does always make you a popular person. If one decides to stay in the shadows and not run for County Supervisor, why criticize someone who has? Unless you have some real answers to this pandemic you shouldn’t criticize. This disease is killing people, 76,000 and counting, and now our children are being affected. You may disagree with our local leaders, but they are leading from the front and not from the rear.

    Quote, “ Cultivate reliable news sources. Not just those that confirm your biases. There are reliable and truthful reporters you can find if you try. Local news? I humbly suggest your best bet is this newspaper.” Really? This article is again unbiased as a heartattack!

    Quote, “I’ve been in the news business awhile. It has become second nature to spot badly sourced news and to do my own research when I read something that sounds funny (I don’t mean spoken by a clown, although that too is a good indication.) I can’t expect average readers to be that penetrating since, after all, they do have lives.“ I think you under estimate a lot of your readers. I think they’re much more intelligent than you think. I believe you have led a very, very sheltered life if you believe people don’t check things out for themselves. There is a whole world out there beyond Mt. Palomar, Escondido, and Valley Center. My advice, venture out, no guts no glory!

    “Three terms I have come to hate with the white hot passion of a thousand suns are: “social distancing,” “essential business” and “the new normal.” This is reality, not wishful thinking. There is truly an invisble Beast out there and the Beast is hungry. It doesn’t care who you are, it’s an equal opportunity killer. We should take precautions to protect everyone as much as possible, even meat cutters and food producers, their lives are as important as yours and mine.

    I quote, “As for “essential business,” I want to find the bureaucrat who invented that term, and to whom it obviously does not apply, and ask him to publicly defend what about his job makes it “essential.” Somebody has to lead and sometimes it means protecting us from ourselves. California’s and San Diego County’s Covid-19 numbers are a heck of a lot better than other cities and states, and thats why we starting to inteligently open some business and start to get back to some type of normal. I hope we do it slowly, because the Beast is a live and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Please stay safe and healthy.

  4. Cynthia Wert says:

    Thank you! Balanced and truthful is a rare thing these days.

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