Escondido, CA
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Editor, Times Advocate:

I know that is a long title, but that is what Sustainable Santa and the REAL Santas United are trying to do – break the mold of the fat guy in the Coca-Cola colored outfit, successfully promoted by Coke since 1931, back to being an encourager of kids eating a healthy diet and living a sustainable lifestyle.

Your publication of my three stories in the Times-Advocate and one in the Winter issue of Valley Center Magazine: “Escondido Farmers Market Santas ready to Stand UP to help give kids the gift of good health” in mid- November; “Santas continue to promote healthy children” – December 1; and “The Miracle on Juniper Street”- December 22 go a long way in helping us transform the Coke inspired image and message of gluttony and consumption back to its original origin: Bishop Nicholas of Myra (later canonized to become Saint Nicholas.)

He was a promoter of good health and kids living an intellectually inquiring lifestyle which will render them “Healthy, Happy and Fit for Life” – the mantra of the current Real Santas United.

Overcoming the use of the Coke created image by industries who profit from selling Processed and so called “Fast” food stripped of important nutrients and fiber and loaded with harmful chemicals and preserves; and the pharmaceutical industry who benefit from selling pills to allegedly combat all the Bad Diet created illnesses will not be an easy task. Just look at the TV ads. They can overwhelm the efforts of conscious moms who want their children healthy – unless Santa can “Stand Up” and “not just Stand By” and help her.

Your publication of these three stories helped get the message out that the Real Santa’s United are there to do just that – and they are as nearby as your local Farmers Market.

There currently are so-called Santas – we call them “Santa Mistake” – who not only oppose the efforts of the Real Santas United, but they actively promote actions like wearing Red Gloves “which don’t show the germ loaded ‘soiling’” which the kids bring to their laps as they pose for pictures. Santa Mistake’s clearly ill-thought-out germ spreading behavior is counterproductive to promoting children’s health. We know that and suspect he does too – but he is unwilling to Stand UP to the commercialism of the Obese Santa image.

So, a huge Christmas HUG to you Mr. Editor for helping us get the word out. A Real Santa who promotes good health, reading books – not spending hours of Screen-time on video games – and living an active and sustainable lifestyle is back – and at your local Farmers Market. It’s the new best destination for your holiday shopping, not only for Real Food, but artisan inspired holiday gifts – and no “food court” or promoters of mindless consumerism. A Healthy New Year to all. Let’s Make America HEALTHY Again. #EatReal- Food – tweet that!



Editor, Times-Advocate:

Clearly, America can’t be destroyed militarily from without. So the answer to the question is -to destroy it from within. What was the one principle upon which this country was founded and flourished? The answer is TOLERANCE. We wanted to be free to worship, think, and talk as we wanted and to let others do the same. Destroy that and you can divide and conquer us. Isn’t that what is really happening?

Over the last decade I have watched that tolerance slip away. Freedom of speech has eroded to be politically correct speech. We always had people standing on soap boxes spouting the strangest doctrines imaginable. We looked and walked away from them. We just didn’t waste our time listening to the garbage they spewed. But suddenly groups decided to shut down individuals or other groups they didn’t like. The first one that comes to my mind is the ACLU. Now there is an organization to be feared, financially if not politically. Even if you are right, you will be wiped out financially trying to defend yourself. So the initials themselves create fear. That fear is contagious. The fear of many groups in this country is palpable and growing.

If you do something one group doesn’t like, like refusing to bake a cake for a group you don’t support, you can lose your business and your savings. If you say you support a particular candidate, you can have people shouting in your face and plotting ways to harm you. If you are a policeman, anyone you stop may challenge your authority and get violent for no reason. It doesn’t matter what the spark is, a mob can form in minutes and rampage through a community destroying business and looting. A man made a sexist comment twenty years ago and suddenly groups want to hold him accountable now and deny him a job, now. Where were they twenty years ago? Maybe we tolerated too much twenty years ago. But where is the divider line between what we will walk away from confronting and what we must confront? What is the proper way to confront?

For me the example and dividing line is bullying. We need to teach our children how to use their voice when they see someone being attacked without reason. They need to speak up and say they don’t like the behavior. When a bully gets enough verbal feedback that his behavior is not supported, they usually stop or try another behavior. We also have to live what we teach. If you see an adult do or say something offensive to another person, you should speak up and voice disapproval. But you also have to teach children that mob behavior is not acceptable either. The idea of “my way or the highway” has to end. Remember the phrase, “divide and conquer”? We are being divided and will eventually be defeated if we refuse to talk to one another, and see the other person’s point of view. Polarization means a great battlefield and wasteland in the middle. That wasteland is getting bigger by the day.

It is time to stop, take a deep breath, and reroute the talk. For example, instead of talking about who is going to be hurt by repeal of Obamacare or why we have to scrap all of it, let’s talk about what of it we should keep, what worked, what didn’t and how we can afford the best parts. Instead of being Democrats and Republicans, let’s be people with a common problem we need to solve. We don’t pass something we haven’t read or play games to sneak something in. This isn’t about being right or wrong, winners and losers. It isn’t about one man, his color or his ego. It is about what is best for all of us.

So maybe we can no longer turn a blind eye to inappropriate behavior, must immediately voice our disapproval, but we also have to avoid becoming part of a mob. Rugged individualists who made up their own minds developed America. Maybe their greatest attribute was “ tolerance” and if we don’t find a way to recapture it, to problem solve the best answers for the majority, we will be conquered – from within. End fault finding and start problem solving. It’s our America.


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

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