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By Donna Westfall – December 17, 2018 – Normally, our publication includes all comments at the end of the article with very little editing or censoring. As an example we will edit to correct misspelled words. Or, if someone writes in and can’t make a point but can only use profanity, we’ll delete their comment.

Michael Ceremello’s article, published December 13, 2018, “Short & Bittersweet” has had responses that are much longer than the average 2 or 3 or 4 paragraph response.  Here’s why.  Annie McGairy Brown had a number of  points to make and sent in this:

“You guys desperately need a decent proofreader. This article has numerous spelling errors, grammatical errors, and the like, and it is also writing at which the world’s worst hack would cringe. I won’t even get into the ridiculous, non-fact-based claims, as I expect nothing more and nothing less from this sad joke of a “newspaper,” and I honestly don’t really care. I’m sure you wouldn’t care about my opinion, as I’m one of those over-educated, bleeding heart liberals that is stupid enough to want every American to have health insurance so they don’t have to bankrupt themselves to pay for medical treatment. I’m one of those stupid liberals who wants this country to divert money from the military in order to help care for the refugees and asylum seekers I want allowed into this country. I’m pleased to admit that I want this country to heavily tax the rich in order to help poor people pay for housing and food and higher education. I want the lower and middle class to get tax breaks, and the very rich, and corporations, to pay high taxes!! I voted for Obama!! Twice!! I truly believe Donald Trump is an entitled, ignorant asshat who does not give a flying f**k about any of you guys who love him so much, as he only cares about getting richer. I also truly believe that, if I die today and it turns out that Jesus does judge my life, I will be all right, as I have done my best to live my life with love and compassion, and to look at every fellow living being as if they were Jesus himself. Jesus told us that “whatsoever we do unto the least of my brethren, you also do unto me,” and I have tried to do this. Have any of you ever considered that, by opposing universal health care and not wanting to accept refugees and asylum seekers into this country, and being in favor of cutting funds for food stamps and other safety net (“welfare”) programs, you just might be “doing unto the least of” Jesus’ brethren? Just think about it?”

Our publication welcomes interaction. That’s the true meaning of freedom of the press and free speech.

Here’s Michael Ceremello’s response:

Dear Ms. Snowflake, a.k.a. Annie Brown,

As always, I take criticism constructively and went back to see if my column indeed was as described: “This article has numerous spelling errors, grammatical errors, and the like, and it is also writing at which the world’s worst hack would cringe.” Liberal hyperbole has certainly not been lost on you as I found only one typo, a “how” which should have been “has”, and no spelling or grammatical errors. Perhaps it is the “style” which offends you?

Liberals such as yourself don’t have a problem with authors who flaunt the edicts or norms of writing by not capitalizing words. Why should you have a problem with conversational English writing including incomplete sentences as long as the thoughts or ideas are conveyed?

As for the lie that you don’t care, if you didn’t care you wouldn’t have responded. I would suggest you get specific about which facts I stated you don’t believe rather than loosely condemning all in a vain attempt to discredit the content and conclusions.

As for you personal quest for salvation, I don’t believe Jesus or the Christian religion condones theft and you are a self described thief or unindicted co-conspirator with the rest of your ilk in the American Socialist/Communist party known as the Democratic Party. Lie to yourself but you don’t care what the rest of us think or want as many of us wouldn’t give a dime to your worthless causes. So you use politics to steal from those with money. By the way, the rich already pay the majority of taxes in our country. Ever heard of killing the golden goose?

I really don’t care what you do with your own money as long as you personally earned it. You don’t get to cut the military, as Carter, Clinton, and Obama did, unless you don’t believe in the Constitution which makes it a duty of the Federal government to defend our borders and sovereignty. You are a liberal so that question has already been answered.

As for The Donald being “.. an entitled, ignorant asshat who does not give a flying f**k about any of you guys who love him so much, as he only cares about getting richer”, I would like to know how you can claim he is either “entitled” or “ignorant” as he has been quite successful in the private business world in numerous venues and now is succeeding, despite all of the Swamp’s attempts to crush him.

Those poor you so adore, Hispanics and Blacks with the lowest unemployment rates in history, are as ignorant as you are and continue to vote for those who would keep them economically and socially enslaved. Trump only cares about getting richer? Seems he is doing a little more than that.

Finally, because I am not enthused about wasting so many electrons on the mentally confused and damaged, all of the programs you mentioned are “slavery” instead of the teaching how to fish model. You want people on food stamps? Why? That is demeaning. You want open borders? Try to leave this country and enter another illegally and see what those countries do. Universal health care? You mean free health care while we who have to fund it have to pay premiums the size of a house payment. Again, you are a thief.

I would not put words in my mouth, if I were you, as I never claimed the stereotype of “over-educated” for or toward you. You are typical of the under-performers I had the pleasure of “breaking the curve” for in many of my collegiate classes. A co-worker once described people like you quite succinctly.

“She is so smart, she is stupid” … enough said …

Here’s Samuel Strait’s response:

As in any civilized society, debate in an open and friendly fashion is 
the key stone to further education of one’s mind.  In the pages of this 
newspaper are endless possibilities to expand as a person and improve a 
person’s mental capacity to challenge preconceived notions about the 
world we live in.  It is only the intolerant who carp about the mundane 
details of grammar and punctuation, yet offer nothing substantive to 
grow useful knowledge.  The local newspaper, the Triplicate, offers no 
such opportunity to express oneself except in a very restrictive 
fashion.  As such it is truly a blessing that this forum exists. To be 
truly valuable as a learning experience it is important to comport 
oneself in a respectful manner, over-educated or not.  As such I offer 
the following comments to MS. Annie McGairy Brown, not to demean her 
words written in a recent comment to a guest column offered by Michael 
Ceremello, “Short and Bittersweet”, December 13,2018 in the Crescent 
City Times, but to merely ask her politely to respect the venue.It isn’t often that one gets the opportunity to assist a self described 
bleeding heart liberal that is stupid enough to subscribe to all sorts 
of bankrupt progressive nonsense, but I will make the stalwart effort.   
I will stay away from the self descriptive term “stupid” and reassure 
Ms. Brown that being over-educated is probably not something that in her 
present state she will wish to admit.  Most people can open up their 
mind to the distinct possibility that continuing one’s education is 
still in front of them.  It is only when one has completely lost the 
ability to be inquisitive about all thing around them that education 
ceases.  Normally that only occurs when one is dead, and I sincerely do 
not wish that prospect on anyone.As to Ms. Brown’s particular tribulations, perhaps I might render her a 
bit of assistance.  A person who bankrupts themselves paying for medical 
treatment has very little to do with having health insurance.  In this 
Country at least, there are many ways for a savvy person to avoid such 
misery (more on that later).

Unless Ms. Brown is of the sort that lives in an echo chamber, she 
should by now know that most, about 95%, of the prospective immigrants 
currently on our southern border, to be kind to her mental state, are 
economic in nature and have very little to do with refugees and asylum 
seekers.  Diverting money from the military will do very little to 
change that fact.  As far as you wishing that they be allowed into this 
Country, I am sorry, but if you are at all law abiding, you must remain 
in the wishing state, Unfortunately not all wishes are granted  even if 
you are a bleeding heart liberal.   Keeping in mind, just to suggest 
that allowing thousands of illegal immigrants into this Country might 
just have the unintended consequence of being detrimental to the well 
being of the poor, the young, women, minorities, and elderly citizens 
seems a bit contradictory to your passionate advocacy for aiding such 

While you may  be pleased to admit that you wish to redistribute money 
from the wealthy to aid the poor to pay for their housing, food, and 
education, it might surprise you to learn that by doing so, you are 
preventing those same people from learning how to provide for 
themselves.  It has been clearly shown on any number of occasions in the 
past 150 years that when redistribution occurs in a country in any 
significant fashion, bad things will follow. Heavily taxing the rich is 
the surest way for economic stagnation which also has been clearly 
demonstrated to have an equally devastating effect on the entire 
population of a country, not just the poor.  Tax breaks, at least in the 
United States, for the lower and middle wage earners are a moot point.  
Most, not all, do not pay much if anything in the way of taxes.  The 
rich pay most of the taxes, unless you are misguided enough to think 
corporations pay taxes.  Sorry, but their consumers are the ones that 
foot that bill, and there is no opportunity for the middle and lower 
wage earners to avoid that burden.  Sucks to be wrong in so many ways.

Before I return to talk about Ms. Brown’s desire to have universal 
health coverage it is important to note that the public, yes, the public 
already spends nearly 50% of the total health care money spent in this 
Country.  Very inefficiently, I might add.  If we are to allow the 
federal government to control health care costs, they have already 
demonstrated within several groups that they are ill-equipped to handle 
the task.  As with the Canadian government’s attempt to control costs 
within their system, with no other choices, costs quickly became 
unmanageable and escalated beyond the ability of the government to pay 
for anything resembling exceptional health care, hence essential care.

Finally, as so many liberals, progressives, and a growing number of the 
over all population in this Country seem to think that single payer or 
universal heath coverage is the only path forward to better health care 
you may wish to read a little more.  When the Bernie Sanders of the 
world are quick to point to Canada to our north as the utopia of health 
care, single payer and universal coverage one should be very wary.  
Little do they know about the realities of state of Canadian health 
care.  To start with, there is no such thing as true single payer health 
care.  Canadians pay out of pocket or through supplemental insurance for 
about 30% of their health costs.  Something quite common in other parts 
of the single payer world as well.  Ten percent of the population avoid 
the health care system all together, and about 3 to 5% do not have 
health care coverage of any kind.   Beyond that Canadian style health 
care is for essential health care alone.  Keep the term “essential” in 
mind, because it in no conceivable way equates to the premium health 
care that can be acquired in the United State. The bottom line is, that 
you pay for what you receive.  If you desire cheap, average quality 
health care after long waits in under funded and under staffed clinics 
and hospitals, universal health care or single payer is for you.  As we 
have moved toward single payer, Canada has moved toward allowing for 
private insurers and they are not the only country to do so.   On a 
final note for Ms. Brown to ponder upon.  When governments take upon the 
administration of health care several things occur,  medical science 
stagnates, medical providers either become very average or in short 
supply, costs either balloon or care is rationed, and quality suffers.  
These phenomena all have current ready made examples in multiple 
countries who go down this path.  Universal coverage may seem idyllic, 
but it has very little to do with the end product.   In spite of all the 
spin to the contrary, health care in this Country is expensive due 
primarily to government interference with real market delivered health 
care.  Even with the government out, it will still require the good will 
of the people who use the system to curb its excesses.

Please feel free to engage in further discussion Ms. Brown, 
grammatically correct, punctuation proper, or otherwise. Remember, you 
profess to love everyone.

Here’s Bob French’s response:

You said: ” I also truly believe that, if I die today and it turns out that Jesus does judge my life, I will be all right, as I have done my best to live my life with love and compassion, and to look at every fellow living being as if they were Jesus himself. ”

Hello Annie McGairy Brown.

Treating people with love and compassion is a good work. My following statements do not minimize the importance of that.

However, the Bible teaches that a person will die in their sins if they believe works will save them (from the wrath of God).
Eternal life is a free gift (grace). Believe Jesus, and you will be saved. Simple truth.

(2Timothy 1) “…. God, 9. who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,…”

Grace and Peace.

Finally, here’s my response:

News Flash. I voted for Obama once because I thought emotionally. Here’s what I thought, “Finally a Black Man in the White House, it’s about time.” What I neglected to do was my homework. I thought he did a terrible job first term and wouldn’t support him a 2nd term.

I’m very much against multi-generational welfare and very much for bringing back excellence to public education which stopped happening some time ago.
Ever heard this saying, ““Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” It’s a quote from the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism. However, there are passages in the Bible that generally convey the same ideology. (Speaking of the Bible, we always have a Bible verse on our front page.) But, with poor education, no industry, few jobs and multi-generational welfare, we have young people growing up not knowing how to be productive, not knowing how to work. Instead, they add to the burden of an overburdened society through too many taxes and fees, learning to bilk the system. With a diminishing middle class, taxes, fees, rates on everything always going up, soon there will be no middle class. And then, where will all the money come from to continue to finance these welfare programs? Oh, right “The Rich.” Let’s go on.

Public education. Calif was #1 in public education in the USA in the 1950’s. Today it’s 43rd. How about getting rid of bad teachers? You can’t. Why, BECAUSE, the Calif. Teachers Assn (UNION) is too powerful. Did you know that the majority of teachers are Democrats? Did you know that they get tenure after 2 years of teaching? Try to get rid of a bad teacher? Very, very hard. What about disciplining disruptive kids in class? You can’t. Why, because teachers are not allowed to. How do you teach when the class is being disrupted? So, we’re left with stupid children who inevitably become stupid adults…. go on welfare, become homeless, do drugs and alcohol, steal and go to prison where the taxpayer is left to support them. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m at the point where I think the teachers union should go away. At the very least their power diminished They’ve done more harm to education than good. If this doesn’t get turned around, (y’know, not being able to read, write or do math, etc), taxpayers are going to be clamoring for school closures and rightly so. Bad teachers will be thrown out en masse and rightly so.

Now, I’m pretty aware that Pres. Trump will never get an award for being a faithful husband. But, I didn’t vote for him for that reason. Once a Clinton supporter, I started listening to rumblings about their past. Bill Clinton, another one that won’t get an award for being a faithful husband. Again, I didn’t vote for Bill because of that reason. I really thought the guy could do great things for this country. Now, I get to enjoy seeing Pres Trump correct some of the things Bill did and Obama did that didn’t turn out so great. (You can read 6 disadvantages of NAFTA and how it is being reworked by Trump.)

About illegal aliens (like the caravan): We’re now seeing Mexico shutting the border between Mexico and Guatemala. We’re seeing Mexico bus these caravan people back for FREE to their countries. What’s wrong with legal immigration and vetting people like they’ve done for hundreds of years? What’s wrong with finding out if these people are healthy or not BEFORE allowing them into the country? And whats wrong with NOT paying for their medical treatment? Have they been vaccinated for anything? Do they have TB, hepatitis or HIV/Aids?

On the other hand, 60 million abortions have been performed in our country since 1973 – Roe v Wade. Babies not wanted, but illegal aliens wanted? Try to figure that one out. What ever happened to the sanctity of life? But what’s worse? Taxpayers, some of whom believe abortion is tantamount to murder, are expected to pay for abortions through Medicaid/Medi-Cal even though we were promised in 1973 that we wouldn’t.

Taking in illegal aliens does not an American make. Our country is already so far in debt, I cannot fathom how in the world it will ever dig itself out.

Lastly, the new mantra is “Tax the rich.” Listen, the “rich” are not that stupid. That’s why so many are moving out of Calif along with moving their companies out of California because Calif. likes to tax anything and everything. If we want to see industry or manufacturing come to Del Norte County, we should be thinking of incentives; tax incentives to attract them and create the jobs that our people so desperately need. In the meantime, groups like True North Organizing Network, and places like Our Daily Bread Ministries and the Veterans organizations are working together with public and private entities to combat homelessness locally. I like to say a Hand Up, not a Hand Out. Hand Outs should only be temporary, in my opinion, in many cases. Based on your statement that you consider yourself to be overeducated, I would venture to be so bold as to guess that economics was never your major.

To conclude I ask that you please watch your language as it does not reflect a Christian heart.


4 thoughts on “Comments on Michael Ceremello’s article”
  1. This is nothing more than a right wing Christian opinion page.Religion always has come along with rules , rules usually targeted at taking away the joy’s of life . Rules that target our souls. Rules that take away from our individuality. Rules that go against human nature. Rules that have killed culture’s across the world. Rules that have killed languages. Rules that have burned books . Rules that have burned down sanctuary’s and buried reprieve. Religion has taken away from the worlds so much more that it has ever provided. Religion is a destructive force created by man. It was created by the minority as a tool to manipulate the majority. A way to stop revolt, and tranquilize the soul.Religion looks good on paper but the
    realities are so much more dark.

    1. Sounds like you are talking about government, rather than religion. Rules tend to be more the province of government, not necessarily religion. Try replacing the word religion with government in your comment and you might find a closer representation.

        1. I guess when God starts throwing people in jail or fines them large amounts of money, you just might have a point, at least in this Country. Of course there is always the tinsy, tiny problem of choice for now. Then again, the modern left in this Country seem to have taken up the mantel of eliminating choice and replacing it with the rule of the Left. I, for one, am sure that the rule of the left is far more destructive, maybe even more so when there is no choice.

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