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Common sense dictates that the Partisan take a couple weeks off around this time of year in order to avoid becoming trapped in a loop of parochial politics, water and who owns it, income disparity along the Highway 68 corridor and the antics of Howard Gustafson, Paul Bruno, Brandon Gesicki and the Salinas City Council. Even a blog must occasionally clear its head.

But that does not let you, the Partisan readers, off the hook. In fact, it creates extra pressure for you to contribute to this enterprise, which is intended to be a collective endeavor. We here at Partisan central tend to measure the success or failure of individual posts by the number of commenters who chose to weigh in, and we readily admit that the community comments are much more interesting and enlightening than anything we have to say.

So what do you say? What’s on your mind? Many of you place little thought nuggets elsewhere, such as on Facebook. Here’s your chance to expound at considerable or even ridiculous length. I’m talking about you, Larry Parrish, Beverly Bean, Roberto Robledo, Karl Pallastrini, Roger Dahl. I’m talking about you, Eric Peterson, Craig Malin, Joy Colangelo, Amy White. Helga Fellay and David Fairhurst, you’re excused from this exercise. You, too, could use a break.

Here’s what the Partisan’s chief cook and bottle washer looks like when he is not poring over the latest grand jury report

To get the party started, a few prompts:

  • Has the initial flurry of anti-Trump activism locally just become quiet or has it died. Can it be revived? Would it do any good?
  • Where is the best pizza in Monterey County?
  • If you live on the Peninsula, what do you think of Salinas? If you are a racist, you’re disqualified from this one.
  • If you live in the Salinas Valley, what do you think of the Peninsula?
  • What can we do to house the homeless?

If you could force local government to fix one thing, what would it be?

OK, by now, you’ve got some ideas of your own. Feel encouraged to share,

Many of you will have ideas of your own. Please feel encouraged to share.

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UnknownThe following is a news release, followed by an open letter to Clint Eastwood.

A coalition of Monterey Bay Area organizations and individuals is calling on Monterey County resident, filmmaker Clint Eastwood, to condemn the violent extremism prompted by his latest film, American Sniper.

American Sniper is based on the autobiography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, reputedly the deadliest sniper in American history. In his book, Kyle boasted of having killed 160 Iraqi “savages” during his four deployments in Iraq, following the U.S.-led invasion and occupation in 2003.

The film has broken box office records. It was nominated for six Academy Awards and won one.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has warned of a significant rise in violent hate rhetoric targeting Arab-Americans and Muslims following the release of the film. The signatories to the open letter ask Monterey County’s most famous resident to denounce the violent expressions of bigotry inspired, however unintentionally, by his film.

For further information, please contact Phillip Crawford or Michael Frederiksen at the Monterey Peace and Justice Center, 1364 Fremont Blvd, Seaside, CA 93955. 831-899-7322.

The text of the letter follows.

February 23, 2015

Dear Mr. Eastwood:

Since 9/11, hate speech and hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs have been increasing. Following the release of your film American Sniper in theaters across the US, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has reported “a significant rise in violent hate rhetoric targeting the Arab and Muslim-American communities.” Critics of the film’s depiction of Chris Kyle have been subjected to hate-filled comments and violent threats on social media. (Source: Washington Post, Jan. 28, 2015.)

You are a world-renowned film director and the most famous living resident of Monterey County. As concerned citizens of this community, we call on you to join us in publicly and unequivocally denouncing the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry which has erupted in response to this film.

Sincerely,

Zahra Billoo, Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area Office*
Mishka Chudilowsky, Palestine Action Committee
Phillip Crawford, President, Monterey Peace and Justice Center
Carole January Erickson, community activist
Patti Fashing, community activist
Helga Fellay, community activist
Steven Goings, National Coalition Building Institute, Monterey County
Nashwan Hamza, President, Arab American Club of Monterey*
Peggy Olsen, Chair Pro Tem, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Monterey County
Sue Parris, Regional Director, National Coalition Building Institute, Monterey County
Larry Parrish, community activist
Wanda Sue Parrot, Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula
Helen Rose, Monterey Peace and Justice Center
Sidney Ramsden Scott, community activist
Susan Sailow, community activist
Joyce Vandevere, Monterey Peace and Justice Center and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Joe Watson, President, Monterey County Branch, NAACP
* Organization listed for identification purposes only.

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