What Jesus really said

Re: March 31, April 10 and April 15 letters ...

Context and audience needs consideration. Jesus was addressing the issue of the extreme focus and loyalty needed in His disciples if they were to be efficient and effective in spreading the Gospel. He was not advocating war. He was talking to 12 family men (not the entire world) who had professed their devotion to Him and had avowed to leave all behind to follow Him.

Jesus was simply using the words "peace and sword" figuratively. Peace meaning their comfortable daily family routines and sword meaning the separation from it that was crucial if they were to be true carriers of The Word.

Bron Savini

Helendale

Taxes

Forget the roads we drive on; the only road fixtures change will be cha ching cha ching from Gov. Brown’s hands to his pockets.

Jackie Ebbing

Apple Valley

The public's right to comment

“Let the public be heard at meetings” said the Orange County Register editorial reprinted in the April 14 Daily Press. Followed by a copy of the First Amendment.

Thank you for performing a key function our Founding Fathers intended with the “free press” provision in the First Amendment: Letting the community know when government does not abide by the law. Like a mother wolf guards her young. Snarling.

A few more snarls and the 24 City Councils in our county, along with our Board of Supervisors, might back off from their multiple restraints on the public’s right to be heard during public meetings, as indicated by the rules on their website archived meeting agendas. With an average of three restraints on free speech, including some of these abuses of First Amendment protected speech:

They all impose restrains on speaking time, even without the urgent necessity of accommodating all wishing to be heard in the time set aside for the meeting. With the City of San Bernardino the most generous, allowing six minutes of First Amendment protected speech to any item on the agenda.

Fifteen City Councils demand paperwork in order to address an agenda item: speaker slips. Seven ban that “happy cacophony of democracy,” speaking from the floor without gavel permission. And 10 impose restraints on content of speech, “the essence of forbidden censorship.”

Perhaps if our county’s elected officials began listening to the public during public meetings in the days to come, there would be a substantive increase in the qualify of life for the residents of our beautiful San Bernardino County.

Unless our Founding Fathers were fools in requiring us to make our community decisions at public meetings open to all wishing to attend, with no restraint on free speech, and free press on guard to make sure government follows those first two rules.

Bob Nelson

Hesperia

Bork nomination

On 4/16 a letter to the editor regarding Joe Biden and the nominee for Supreme Court Robert Bork didn’t tell the whole truth. The writer said, “Those of you who write opinions based on the ‘Evening Views Reports’ do not have the correct facts….”. She also said she got the information from Fox News, so I can understand why she made a mistake.

The first to criticize the nominee of Robert Bork, it was Ted Kennedy, and several liberal groups very much opposed to the nominee as well, Biden wasn’t leading an effort to prevent confirmation. Biden, as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, did his job, and according to Wikipedia, “At the close of the hearings, Biden won praise for conducting the proceedings fairly and with good humor and courage.” I hardly think that qualifies as "Biden led an effort to prevent the confirmation of President Reagan's nominee…”

The Judicial Committee voted on a party line basis to not recommend Bork. However, it went to the full Senate where he was not chosen for the Supreme Court. Mostly again on party lines, although some Democrats voted for him, and several Republicans voted against him.

The writer also went on to say, “Obama……waited till the last moment to bring his nominee to the forefront.” This is entirely false. Scalia died on Feb. 13. Garland was nominated by Obama on March 16. One month and three days after the unforeseen death of Judge Scalia. I hardly would classify that as the last moment. President Obama still had 11 more months that he would be in office.

She also mentions “the framers of the Constitution clearly intended the Senate to serve as a check on the president and guarantee the independence of the judiciary." That is true. Article II Section 2 of the Constitution states, "The President…shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint….Judges of the Supreme Court…”

However, it doesn’t give the option for the Senate to not hold a hearing. Mitch McConnell violated his oath when he totally disregarded the Constitution of the United States of America. McConnell stated just a few hours after Scalia’s death that he would not hold a hearing for Obama’s nominee, no matter who it might have been. The real enemy of the Constitution is Mitch McConnell.

Lawrence Mayer

Lucerne Valley

Water lies

When I came home from work today, I found a disturbing piece of mail that announced: "Final Notice — Water Fee Increase." Naturally, I assumed this was from Liberty Utilities announcing another surprise rate hike or surcharge that I would have to accept, whether I liked it or not.

To my surprise, it was really a ridiculous campaign mailer from Liberty asking me to vote against Measure F. In reality, it is Measure F, sponsored by my community, the Town of Apple Valley, which will set us free from the lies, million-dollar campaigns, and slight-of-hand rate and surcharge assaults this foreign company has perpetrated on us for the last several years. They actually have the nerve to name their campaign committee, "Taxpayers Against Higher Water Fees." This, from a company that urged us all to save water, and then punished us by raising our rates when we did, because they didn't make a large enough profit.

I am dead set against higher water fees and dead set against anything Liberty Utilities says is "true." This mailer, which I am sure is the first of dozens yet to come, starts with a lie about "hundreds of dollars in new fees" they say will be charged by the town, and ends with a veiled reference to a 67 percent rate increase in some other unknown, unnamed California city.

As voters and citizens of Apple Valley, it's time to set ourselves free from Liberty.

Angela Painter

Apple Valley