Ryan and Rand

When a reader wrote his letter, "Speaker Paul Ryan," I responded with "Slamming Ryan." He made some wild accusations about Ryan, said Ryan worshipped Ayn Rand, and went on to try to prove he was right about Ryan by telling us how bad Ayn Rand was. I presented evidence from one of her books that his claim about her being opposed to any form of capitalism was utterly false. I went on to explain that he lied about Rand so it would be reasonable for us to suspect he was also lying about Ryan.

What was the response to this? Nothing, really. In "Ryan and Rand," he fails to address the issue of the veracity of his claims, ignoring it completely, pretending it never happened, and submits another missive with the same anti-Rand, anti-Ryan, and anti-Republican mantra. News flash — saying it doesn't make it so, and repeating it over and over doesn't make it so.

In his letter he again uses the term "objectivist philosophy" in describing Ayn Rand, seeming to use it as a pejorative term, perhaps as someone who objects to everything. It was, however, Ayn Rand herself who claimed hers was a philosophy of objectivism. To understand what she meant by that, one must be informed of the difference between the objective and the subjective. Objective: Something aimed at — something real and observable — being the object of endeavor — Existing outside the mind as an actual object and not merely in the mind as an idea; real — buildings and actions are objective; ideas are subjective. Subjective: Existing in the mind, belonging to the person thinking rather than to the object thought of — About the thoughts and feelings — lyric poetry is subjective, expressing the feelings of the poet; narrative poetry is generally objective, telling a story.

An objective letter is concerned with facts and the reality of conditions as they are, in the real world. There is nothing objective about this letter, "Ryan and Rand," except for its only objective (aim), which is the denigration of Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan and Republicans in general.

Gabriel Portillo


Rising anarchy

What we witnessed on the night of 1 February on the Berkeley campus should be disturbing to all of us. The First Amendment of our Constitution allows the freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assembly.

On 20 January we saw two diametrical examples of this during the inaugural parade. Along the route we saw a large number of protesters speaking out in voice and signage their opposition to our newly elected president in a peaceful manner. At the same time we saw another group of people demonstrating by committing acts of arson, vandalism, and rioting believing their acts of expression were protected by the First Amendment. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Speech may be a form of expression, but expression is not speech. If the writers of our beloved Constitution wanted expression to be protected they would have written it so. But in their wisdom they limited it to speech. It is the result of progressive jurists who believe the Constitution is a revolving document that expanded speech to include expression.

Hopefully, with a new conservative court this precedent can be reversed.

William Cash


Full employment for lawyers

In a move that will no doubt embolden those at Apple Valley Town Hall and their minions, the city of Claremont has allocated an additional half a million dollars atop the tens of millions that have already been squandered trying to seize its local, privately held water company.

Just think about that for a moment. A couple of years from now when this has matriculated through the court system again, it's estimated that Claremont will be on the hook for nearly $20 million in legal fees alone. That's separate from the purchase cost of the water system, with all of its ups and extras.

Even though that money won't buy even one more drop of water than they already have, ratepayers and taxpayers in Claremont will have to come up with these millions in addition to whatever they pay for water, no matter who is running the water system.

Rather than learn from the mistakes of others, our leaders taking similar actions here in Apple Valley. Despite the huge sums involved, our council members don’t know what they're buying, they don’t know what it’s going to cost, they don’t know where the money is coming from (and the Town is already broke, by the way), they don’t know what the money is going to cost, they don’t know how to run a water utility, they don’t know who is going to run the system, they don't know what to charge for water, they don't maintain the facilities they already have, they have a history of failure with water systems, and they don't have the support of the voters. No wonder the Town can't tell us the truth about what's really going on.

At least the lawyers are getting paid.

Greg Raven

Apple Valley

George Soros: Un-American

Billionaire George Soros’ dirty money is used by the nation’s foremost un-American to fund liberal-lice activists and protesters in everything from “Occupy Wall Street” to Black Lives Matter, insidious liberal news agencies, to the latest Hollywood and women’s protests against President Trump and his bans on refugees and travelers from terrorist-infested countries — particularly from the Middle East.

Of course Soros' anti-American Open Society Foundation and illicit activities are most dangerous to our country.

Daniel B. Jeffs

Apple Valley

President Trump

We all heard President Trump say that America is just as bad as Russia and any other murderous dictatorial state over the weekend. If President Obama would have said such a thing the Republican Party would have attacked Obama with vitriolic hate, which they did anyway. To say that America has done what Russia, or Hitler's Germany or Japan has done is hateful, anti-American, and just historically wrong.

Vice President Mike Pence stated on Sunday that comparing America with the Russian dictatorship, Pol Pot, Hitler, Mussolini, Kim Jong-in, et.al. is legitimate and fair. America has never heard such a thing from any other American president. Actually demeaning America as he in the same breath touted the greatness of the murderer Putin.

As a combat veteran it is insulting to hear people who have never served this great nation say such things about America. We are a great and wonderful light on the hill, that humanity looks up too. In combat little children would run up to us, hungry, thirsty, arms raised in the air, yelling: "Hollywood Hollywood." We gave them some chow and they loved America.

Dan Daniels

West Oak Hills