Businessman hands opening an envelpoe


Soon, we will arrive at the great patriotic day in July, with hopefully a sigh of relief.

But I have news for the mayors, parade organizers, country singers, veterans, political candidates, and chamber of commerce gurus who will once again be crowing loudly about “our democracy.”

Every real democracy passes out land to families, publishes and sticks to a written law, and requires civic and science education of the youth. Democracy must have an independent judiciary, term limits and return limits, and supremacy of the legislative branch.

Democracy curbs luxury, bans special privileges for the rich, and focuses heavily on public health. Democracy protects local decision-making power, uses impeachment to rein in would-be dictators, and requires citizen oversight of government.

Oh, and yes, democracy establishes broad voting rights among the people and insists on equal justice for all.

In fact, we are doing exceedingly poorly on virtually everything except praising ourselves.


Kimball Shinkoskey


‘Newsom or No One’ is nonsense


It’s time for many of my colleagues in the California Democratic Party to get a clue about the current gubernatorial recall election against Gavin Newsom. This isn’t 2003, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is not running for governor of California this year.

In other words, the hostile hyperventilating that you hear from some of our state’s party leaders is unnecessary, because there is almost no realistic chance that Gov. Newsom is going to be recalled, in large part thanks to the fact that all registered voters in California will automatically receive an absentee ballot in the mail for this year’s recall election. 

Speaking of unnecessary behavior, the ugly arm-twisting and aggressive suppression of the Democratic candidacies of some well-known potential gubernatorial replacement candidates is unfortunate, not to mention unseemly (and un-American, if you ask me). Democrats, run for office if you want to. Don’t be bullied by anyone.

There needs to be at least one viable Democratic gubernatorial replacement candidate on the ballot this fall, just in case the majority of California’s voters do decide to go ahead and recall Gov. Newsom from office.  

This latest laughable political proposition of “Newsom or No One” being promulgated by not only Gov. Newsom’s inner circle but also by the friends and former underlings of recalled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis is so fundamentally at odds with realpolitik, where does one even begin?

How about with the 2003 gubernatorial recall election in California? “Democrat” Gray Davis (who was barely a Democrat at all) lost that recall election for one main reason — and I’m not talking about Davis’ Republican replacement Schwarzenegger or former Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, the most prominent Democratic replacement candidate on the ballot that year. Blaming Bustamante for Davis’ loss is ridiculous.

Gray Davis was recalled as governor by California’s voters in 2003, because the then-second-term Gov. Davis had the lowest approval ratings of any California governor in my lifetime (and I’m a middle-aged man who was born and raised in California). 

Conservative Democrat Gray Davis’ approval ratings were in the 20s at the time of the recall election, in other words only about 1 out of every 4 Californians approved of the job Davis was doing, which is why Gray Davis’ second term as governor of California came to an abrupt, embarrassing end in 2003. The voters wanted Davis to go.

Blame the blatant corruption of Bush-Cheney, Ken Lay and Enron for Davis’ ignominious defeat, if you wish, but stop beating up on Cruz Bustamante already, conservative Democrats. Or were you unaware of the fact that a bunch of angry, asinine, over-the-hill, white-haired white folks falsely blaming Bustamante might backfire on our current Gov. Gavin Newsom?

As the worst president in American history, Donald Trump used to say so often, “We’ll see what happens.”


Jake Pickering