We’re ignoring the important stuff | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


As they age, right? It’s accepted wisdom, and a political aphorism, that does have some validity, though it is much more common that there is not that much change throughout a person’s life (as shown by “The Michigan Youth-Parent Socialization Panel Study”).

Study, schmuddy. They didn’t study me. Recent and current events are not only making me revisit nail biting, they are “radicalizing” me again, more than Vietnam and Nixon combined.

Yes, I know. “We will always have the poor,” and hunger (but that’s not a given any more), disease (but medical science is amazing), and war (nope, that’s definitely a choice), and political corruption (see “war”), and greed – that one might be incurable. And is the root cause behind most evils.

For those of you who weren’t there, or for various good reasons don’t remember the last half of the ‘60s and into the early ‘70s, it was a time of such political and generational unrest, and cultural change, that some thought the United States, the world’s longest-running democracy, might actually experience a revolution, an insurrection. Not possible, that kid at UNM reasoned. I mean, it’s basically a small group of disaffected young folk (and I really didn’t get it, then, what they were so upset about), and, c’mon, there is the military, and police forces, and what are they going to do? Throw garden vegetables and bags of pot at drawn bayonets?


Except for my passion for music, which was beginning to take on revolutionary tones, I was pretty straight arrow. A shy, unassuming, blue collar middle class, fairly conservative (or at least content), patriotic, programmed product of Catholic schools in Albuquerque, I didn’t flee or fight my draft into the US Army at the height of the gruesome Vietnam War. It was a moral decision. The Communists were really bad guys who wanted to spread their way of life throughout the world, by any means necessary and if we didn’t stop them over there we might have to repel them here. Yes, I bought it, like so many. Alternative information was hard to come by then.

But here are some historical facts, for those who may downplay the threat, Hitler barely slides in at No. 3 among greatest murderers in history. Marxist-Leninists Mao and Stalin eclipsed his deadly brutality. And let’s not forget Cambodia’s Pol Pot, who came to power around that time, and managed to kill 1.5-2 million, in a nation of only 6-7 million.

So yeah, despite the lies of our government, the threat was real, though not here, and not immediate. And so I submitted to the draft – and got very, very lucky to be assigned to Germany.


Fall of 1968, and returned to school, a whole lot had changed. I was exposed to a ton of historical facts that was either not taught in my schools (or any, really), or misrepresented. I grew up thinking we were the good guys on this planet, only to learn the sad truths. Journalism is the pillar of fact finding and truth seeking in any democracy, and I decided then that’s where I belonged. (They forgot to mention that most journalists have trouble even paying the rent.)

So like most, my views haven’t changed much in the last 50 years. But now, I’m … losing patience. Which aligns me somewhat with younger generations, like millennials, who wonder if they will be able to live to my age. Is it worth it to bring children into this world, not just screwed up but, as measured by science, on its last legs as far as the ability to support human life. That’s a different reality than those older grew up with, even with the nuclear threat. And we still have that: Putin, Communist or not, definitely not a nice guy, has his finger on the button that could end human life on earth. So, there’s that too. Climate change is proven and proceeding faster than we feared, and now we have the best tech minds (like Robert “Oops?” Oppenheimer warned about his A-bomb baby) nervous that unregulated AI could also do us all in.

Since we are all equally threatened, can’t we put aside our tiny differences, like pigmentation, religion, gender, even politics? Sigh. No, I suppose we can’t. Too important to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.


The politics that got us into this can get us out. But we need better politicians, radically better, like those three state legislators in KY and young Maxwell Frost, the Gen-Z US Congress member from, of all places, FL. We need brave people like the GOP-reviled “Gang of Four” in Congress. I have no love lost for the Democratic Party I embraced most of my life, but they are angels compared to the Republican Party, who have become our nation’s largest terrorist threat. A third party won’t accomplish anything more than handing the next election to the mango man, like Jill Stein did last time, so what we need is a totally remade Democratic Party. Let’s have our revolution there, and we can resolve most of our problems.

I do understand that politics involves compromise, but on the fine points, the methods, not on the life or death issues. We need free health care for all, like every other country. You can’t touch Social Security because that is our money, that we entrusted you with over the course of our work life. We need to melt down every damn gun in the US, all 400,000,000 of them, no matter how loud the howls are. How many deaths will it take, til we know, that too many people have died? Sweet little children, for God’s sake. But I will settle now for banning assault rifles and associated equipment, and requiring waiting periods and background checks, red flag laws, etc. 80% of the American people want that. We are being held hostage, and they are slaughtering the hostages as we wait. All men are created equal. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Pretty clear concepts, and it’s way past time to live up to them. Equal rights, equal votes.


In Santa Monica, we need to tell Sacramento that every city has the right to determine its future. And we need to tell every City Council candidate that no one is buying the patently false idea that density is good. Density is bad for human beings and there are a thousand studies to prove it. Affordable housing, not just housing. We’re not buying your BS any more.

Although some have done a good job, it’s still too little too late. We need to recall the entire City Council and hold a new election, and for damn sure the School Board, with candidates who will use common sense and work for residents. Their records are indefensible. Their transparency is approaching zero. Not a penny more for useless programs to attack homelessness, until you find out where all the other millions went. We don’t need to take this. OUR money has been spent foolishly for years.

We need open libraries. We need more cops, and more mental health teams on the street. A lot fewer lawyers and a lot more Code Enforcement. We need investigation into deceased child molester Uller (he was not the first to pervert PAL), to put in place safeguards so it can never again happen to our defenseless children, and accountability and harsh punishment for anyone who knew. We need an elected mayor, an ombudsman to mediate problems at City Hall, and an efficiency expert. WE need shorter Council meetings, MUCH shorter agendas (cut the unnecessary bureaucracy crap), and an assistant for each Council member.

We’re running out of time, folks. If not now… probably never. Are we going to DO anything?

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 37 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at [email protected]

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