Jay Beeler

Who won the presidential debate last night? We are assuming they had one, since our paper is being printed at about the same time.

Go to and vote at the bottom of the front page. The choices are Biden, Trump, Tie and Neither One. If you want to add a comment or two, email to

ABC News reported that voters disliked both choices by as much as 55%, which is not surprising. We are still wondering why it’s so difficult to come up with a third, independent candidate capable of breaking the logjam.

Our prior online poll asked the question “Should computer technology be used to call strikes and balls in MLB games?” Results were 38% yes, 54% no and 8% undecided. Major League Baseball has been pondering the same question and apparently is heading toward the same “red flag” system used in football that will allow a limited amount of coach challenges. This would be a good idea that will prevent a bad umpire call from changing the outcome of a critical game.


The US Supreme Court seems to lack common sense. Recently they voted 6 to 3 to strike down the Trump-era ban on bump stocks, which turn a semi-automatic AR-15 into a machine gun. See our letters section for an overview of the topic by Larry Boland, who shares the belief that these weapons of mass destruction are slaughtering our school children.

Boland wrote “Justice Thomas wrote the majority opinion that someone with a fast finger can replicate machine guns at 800 rpm. Thomas offered no proof to support his opinion, because there is none.” (That’s the same Justice Clarence Thomas who has been giving SCOTUS a black eye by accepting free vacations and 103 gifts with a total value of more than $2.4 million between 2004 and 2023, according to the judicial reform group Fix the Court.)

An LA Times letter to the editor pointed out that “The court’s job is to determine whether a law or an executive action is consistent with the various provisions of the U.S. Constitution. In this case, the court decided that, if the objective is to ban bump stocks, then Congress must amend the law to specify such a prohibition. And that decision is correct,” according to Peter Marson of Glendale.

Elizabeth Osborne of Santa Barbara wrote: “For just $350, anyone can purchase an add-on that offers the capability to shoot 400-800 rounds per minute. That’s just what our nation needs: an easier way to massacre. In a concurring opinion for the Supreme Court, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote that it is up to Congress to ban bump stocks, not the ATF. So, in this country, where the No. 1 killer of children is gun violence, kids will just need to wait for Congress to act. What could go wrong?”


In our last Beachcombing column we offered a few reasons why “It’s good to be a man,” found in a 2001 email sent to me by my brother, Tom. Here’s more:

  • Same work ... more pay.
  • Wrinkles add character.
  • Wedding dress $2,000; tux rental $50.
  • If you retain water, it’s in a canteen.
  • People never glance at your chest when you’re talking to them.
  • The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
  • One mood, all the damn time.
  • Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
  • You know stuff about tanks.
  • A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
  • You can open all your own jars.
  • You can go to a public toilet without a support group.

More next time.


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