Opinion » Rhetoric & Reason

The same old song

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Amy Hewes' article, "Honor and betrayal" (Nov. 28), is the same old song, like listening to the same department store Christmas medley for the thousandth time in a month. Her observations about the impeachment hearings endlessly replay every progressive-Democrat, hyper-partisan cliché about Republicans, Trump, "we're all going to die" climate hysteria, and the current conservative SLO County Board of Supervisors majority. All of it's hung like shiny Christmas ornaments on the local political tree, including the fragility of such ornaments when they're dropped, or in this case, when confronted by simple facts.

If one watched the Democrat-controlled impeachment inquiry through mainstream media sources (CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks), it's understandable how you might draw false conclusions about what occurred, as did Ms. Hewes. Watch FOX News, and you would see the entire hearing, including the part when Republican committee members dismantled the testimony of the "non-partisan ambassadors and national security experts," whose every factually unsupported assertion was breathlessly reported by national media as a smoking-gun that foretells the end of the Trump presidency.

During the hearings, Committee Chair Adam Schiff served as prosecutor, presiding judge, and jury. He repeatedly interrupted Republican members attempting to question witnesses (chosen by Democrats), directed witnesses not to answer questions that he didn't like, and refused Republicans the right to call their own witnesses who might provide exculpatory testimony. The president was denied the right to have any legal counsel present, nor were Republicans permitted to cross-examine witnesses hostile to the president. At the end of each day's hearings, each witness, especially the State Department and National Security witnesses, were forced to admit that they had no first-hand knowledge of the facts, that everything they said was based upon hearsay, and that their assertions of the president's intention were based on presumptions or assumptions, not fact. None of it would ever be admitted in any American court of law.

Republicans have steadfastly resisted attempts by Democrats to legitimize what is nothing more than a "star chamber," similar to those used during the reign of England's Charles I. Even Hillary Clinton has a better grasp on the constitutional requirements of an impeachment process than Adam Schiff and his partisan cronies.

Clinton was part of a team that produced a staff report on the conduct of impeachment proceedings in 1974 for the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings of President Nixon. Clinton wrote the "Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment" report, which was released on Feb. 22, 1974. It was a comprehensive review of impeachment in American history from the adoption of the Constitution in 1787 to the present day. Her report outlined four specific standards for such undertakings: no preconceived verdicts, no partisan purposes, no tampering with evidence, and no denial of due process. All of these standards have been violated by the current House impeachment inquiry, some, such as denial of due process, egregiously.

At the end of the day, an impeachment vote in the House will not likely produce a single Republican vote with several Democrats also dissenting. It won't pass in the Senate when brought to trial, as it must be if the House votes to impeach Trump along strictly partisan lines.

Ms. Hewes goes on to bewail the failure of the current Board of Supervisors to adopt the Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) program, instead opting for another study after the county staff reported many pitfalls in the program. MBCP is lobbying hard in local media, but the bottom line is if you adopt this program, you inherit its bills while you are in and keep them if you ever decide to opt out as a community. They use power generated out of state from all sources, including coal, nuclear, natural gas, mass-hydro along with solar and wind. Consumers may start with lower bills, but ample evidence indicates that's not always the case long-term. I've received many emails from disgruntled customers in Monterey County about MBCP. Supervisor Debbie Arnold, a specific target of Ms. Hewes ire, used her seasoned judgement to oppose county adoption of MBCP based upon her extensive research into the program, and she actually listened to the majority of her constituents in District 5.

Finally, regarding the "we're all going to die" climate hysteria, repeating a lie doesn't make it true. I've got a library of 50 or more volumes (and hundreds of articles) written by distinguished climate scientists, such as Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT; Dr. Ian Plimer, holder of Australia's highest scientific honor (the Eureka Prize); and many others who take issue with climate hysteria as adopted as California's official state policy. The agencies Ms. Hewes cites as authorities have also produced reports refuting the extreme claims of the climate hysteria industry, such as exaggerating the rise in sea level, which is most likely rising due to natural causes with no accelerated rate of increase. This is contrary to reporting by bias-invested media and California politicians basing their careers on creating a crisis of fear. Singing the "same old song" while demanding acquiescence to ever-increasing regulation and control of our lives by the privileged few deserves rejection by the people. Δ

Al Fonzi had a 35-year military career, serving in both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Send comments through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com.

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