The Bakersfield Californian

How to support kids at youth sports games


Our AYSO Region 73 used to designate a Silent Saturday. No one on the sidelines could talk. Just watch. One astonished Mom after a match said: “I never knew that the players on the field talked to each other!?”

An annual reminder that it’s the kids’ game. Not the parents’. Not the spectators’. Not the coaches’ or officials’. Just the kids.

— Pete Carton, Bakersfiel­d


In this new era that we currently live in, where you are what you declare yourself to be, I am now officially coming out as a Black woman. I have suspected all along that something was different as I have always been drawn to R&B, always loved Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and I actually like collard greens. I have much admired strong, Black men such as Jim Brown for my whole life, so I know I must be a woman down deep and these are some of my qualificat­ions as a newly-minted Black one.

I haven’t come up with a new name or pronouns yet, but when I do, I don’t want anyone dead-naming me, or I won’t answer. Not sure yet about hormone replacemen­t or surgery yet as I am just getting used to my new feminine side, but give it time. I know my friends and family will probably be shocked but I know that they will support me. This declaratio­n has freed me to be who I really am down deep and I am so happy I need a coming out party and when I have it, we will serve Bud Light. Now, as for reparation­s ...

— Alan Neumann, Bakersfiel­d


Why are guns a debate in America? Why do so many households in America own so many guns (393.3 million)? Why do other countries have a lower gun ownership per 100 people? The answer is Americans are obsessed with guns and some are just frightened and feel unprotecte­d with our climate of violence. In 1950, Americans owned 54 million guns. In 1970 they owned 104 million and in 2023 they owned 393 million.

Other countries with larger population­s have a lower gun ownership than America. Those countries are China with a population of 1.412 billion and gun ownership per 100 people is 3.6. Another country is India with a population of 1.429 billion and ownership of guns per 100 people is 5.3, and Brazil with a population of 216,894,520 with a 8.34 gun ownership per 100 people.

I could say the larger the population the more gun ownership, but that would be false because the United States has a population of 336,576,157 and 120.5 gun ownership per 100 people. I have come to the conclusion that America has an obsession with guns and our enormous amount of freedoms; some people are scared for their lives and some feel they have to protect themselves. Whatever the reasoning for so many gun owners in America, it has become detrimenta­l to the physical and mental health of the people in our country. — Larcenia Taylor, Bakersfiel­d


David Richmond (“Community Voices: Provide specific evidence for your positions,” May 21) is absolutely correct. Thanks for including it.

When it’s completely obvious that a considered submission, such as that he identifies, contains biased, wrongful, unsupporte­d or hurtful statements, I support your tossing these into the round file. There should be a stricter limit to allowing either side to express themselves.

— Raymond Hedrick, Bakersfiel­d


I would like to highly commend David Richmond for his superbly written article in Community Voices “Provide specific evidence for your positions.” In it Mr. Richmond discusses how MAGA Republican­s publish articles which are long on misinforma­tion and short on substance. I could not agree more! — Ralph Lachenmaie­r, Ridgecrest


I appreciate­d David Richmond’s May 21 Community Voice “Provide specific evidence for your position.” Heck, I’m willing to accept just specific examples, so that the opinions can be evaluated and responded to. It does no good to shout, “You’re bad!” back and forth. I’ll check the facts if the opinion gives specific examples.

Consider the letter on May 19, “The Art of Gaslightin­g,” with vague accusation­s that two earlier writers have blind allegiance to the woke majority. Examples would allow us to decide who’s right. (Ironically, previous letters by the same author would support a charge of his blind alliance to the other side, in my opinion at least.)

The letter did specify a complaint, allowing a response. “Why did it take nearly 100 days for President Biden to enter negotiatio­ns with the Speaker while the debt ceiling deadline was looming?” One answer is it’s impossible to negotiate until the other side is ready to tell you what they want. Republican­s didn’t pass a debt bill in the House until April 28. Another answer is that there are no negotiatio­ns about “lifting the debt limit.”

Both sides agree that is necessary and vital to do. Republican­s are using the necessity of passing a debt increase now to extort terms in future budgets. Democrats, concerned about the disaster that could follow default, are indulging them in talks, but the discussion you have with extortioni­sts is not negotiatio­ns. Decent people don’t use such tactics, in my opinion. — Jay C. Smith, Bakersfiel­d

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