Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor | Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018

Require 60 votes to confirm judges

Re “Roberts’ brushback pitch has a big asterisk” (Page 3B, Dec. 1): Columnist Michael McGough writes that there may, indeed, be “Obama judges” as Donald Trump stated and cites as evidence those liberals who were upset that Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland was denied a hearing. McGough applauded Chief Justice John Roberts’ remark about there being “no Obama judges or Trump judges.”

The Constitution is clear on the sitting president’s ability to appoint justices to the Supreme Court, but Sen. Mitch McConnell stated that his proudest moment was to look Obama in the eye and tell him he would not be able to name a Supreme Court justice. This was a purely political move by McConnell and undermined the Constitution by reinterpreting and changing the rules in the middle of the game.

To protect and ensure a truly independent judiciary, we need a return to a 60 vote Senate confirmation for lifetime judicial appointments or our courts will, indeed, become filled with lifetime political appointments rather than an independent, bipartisan judicial branch.

Anita Bruce, Modesto

YCCD, instructors must figure this out

After looking at my property tax bill, I was angry to see picketing instructors standing on Carpenter Road rather than in the classroom.

Every year, I pay taxes on bonds for Yosemite Community College District improvements. YCCD spent large sums on new buildings and parking lots, but cannot give instructors a pay raise commensurate with the cost of living?

Perhaps the layoff of some overpaid administrators will free up money to compensate instructors.

Larger class sizes can work if lesser paid teaching assistants are hired to do clerical work and provide tutoring. Instructors need to work with management to make themselves more productive and worthy of the pay raises they ask for. Modesto’s largest institution of higher education seems to be suffering from a lack of creative thinking.

Bruce R. Frohman, Modesto

What beating Denham has cost us

Thanks folks. In your supposed wisdom, you elected Josh Harder. Now a few things about what you have done.

We now have a freshman congressman, no political background, no contacts, no clout and in need of about a year just to get up to speed if he’s a fast learner. If not, much longer.

No bills introduced to address the needs of the district during his break-in time until he learns how. Jeff Denham was one of only three Republicans to submit bill to protect the Dreamers, so you Dreamers voted out the ONLY one that was trying to help you. Good job.

From all us disabled veterans, thanks. Harder has no idea how the VA works, or how to help us. Denham made sure we were taken care of. He served.

Now we head into a water battle with an uninformed freshman leading the way. All the progress for new storage plans and dams gone. You worried about water. Now you can really worry.

This is just the short list of the 10th district’s problems, which will grow as the year goes by.

Mike Simpson, Modesto

Editor’s note: Dreamers are not non-citizens protected by the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals executive order and unable to vote for any candidate.

Denham’s support was appreciated

I want to thank Jeff Denham for his service to this district, and especially for his strong support of Alzheimer’s research funding. In 2012, at the age of 51, I was diagnosed with a form of dementia called Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy (CTE). It’s what football players suffer from after many head injuries; I probably developed it as a result of my martial arts fighting over last 40-plus years (I hold the rank of Master in TaeKwonDo).

Before being diagnosed, I was vice president and district manager for Wells Fargo Bank in Stanislaus County, overseeing 12 branches and 250 employees. I was active in the community and served on two non-profit boards. After my diagnosis, I got involved in the Alzheimer’s Association support groups and public policy advocacy. That’s when I started meeting with Rep. Denham, here in Modesto and in Washington, D.C., to tell him my story and ask him to support Alzheimer’s research funding so we can find a cure.

I will always be grateful for Congressman Denham’s support for Alzheimer’s research. I hope Josh Harder will follow his lead on this issue.

Steven A. Barbieri, Modesto

Our long history of discrimination

After the Europeans came and stole the land from the native peoples, dominant whites defined “race” and used it as a weapon against “others.”

White “nativists” such as the “American Party” (1849-55), aka the “Know-Nothings,” objected in the mid-19th century to the entrance of German and Irish immigrants.

After the Civil War, those in southern states imposed Jim Crow laws and other segregation laws that endured through the 1960s.

In 1882, under the theory of “the Yellow Peril,” the Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act barring Chinese immigration.

In the early 20th century, other nativists protested the mass immigration of “new immigrants” from eastern and southern Europe, including from Russia, Poland, Italy and Greece who were “too Jewish and too Catholic.” This opposition led to infamous laws in the early 1920s that significantly curtailed immigration.

While Mexico was never included under the quota laws, Mexican immigrants – the “Mexican problem” – were racially exploited, discriminated against and segregated.

It just goes on and on and must be resisted morally, politically and spiritually

Pearl Alice Marsh,


California deserves help from the feds

A recent letter, “Trump’s fine when you need help” (Nov. 27), demonstrates the absolutism in Trumpian thought. Basically, the writer feels that if a governor disagrees with a president’s policies, then he/she shouldn’t ask for Federal relief from catastrophes like the Camp wildfire.

First, California gives more money, dollar for dollar, to the Feds than it receives, unlike states like Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, etc. We help pay for the recovery from hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and fires all over the US – regardless of politics.

Second, this isn’t Trump’s money. A request was made to Congress, which writes the checks for aid after natural tragedies. This funding lessens the financial and personal impact of catastrophic events for the affected states. Trump saw an opportunity for photo ops and to speak against climate change.

Finally, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and Gov. Jerry Brown weren’t cowing down to Trump. They were being respectful hosts to a man who didn’t remember the name of the burnt town; nor did they laugh out loud as he lied about a supposed conversation with the leader of Finland about raking the forests.

Has our polarization caused us to forget Barack Obama and Chris Christie cooperating immediately after Hurricane Sandy?

Dean Jepson, Turlock

Teach young people the truth

Re “Ignorance of history fuels hatred in America” (Page 8A, Nov. 26): Esther Cepeda’s essay saddened me. It is certain that, along with the ignorance of the Holocaust, America’s young people are also ignorant of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Jim Crow laws, internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, confiscation of Italian fishing boats during WWII, the massacre of native Americans at Wounded Knee and in other places, practices encapsulated by the phrase “Irish need not apply” to name a few.

A well educated populace is essential to maintaining a free society. Students need texts with factually correct information and a forum for discussing opinions on the information. It is time to ask teachers, the people who are in the trenches, how to repair a dysfunctional education system.

Teresa Rogers, Modesto

Back to school for you Trump fans

Re “Show ’em you’re smart in a red hat” (Letters, Dec. 2): A letter writer from Escalon believes the MAGA-hat wearing Trump fans are “the real smart people,” and that the “‘educated’ people (are) violent and ignorant.”

Of course Donald Trump is a self-proclaimed “very stable genius,” but why is it that the 16 states with the highest percentages of people with advanced college degrees went for Hillary? All of the Trump voting states (except Pennsylvania at No.17) are in the bottom two thirds, education-wise. It is clear that Trump is no fan of education. When he won the Nevada primary with a huge majority among “low-information voters” (a euphemism) he famously quipped, “I love low-information voters!”

Trump’s appeal to his MAGA-hat wearing followers makes me think of the old adage, “It’s easier to fool someone than it is to convince them that they have been fooled.” Trump knows this is true and letters like the one from the Escalon writer prove that his “low-information” followers are far more likely to continue to be fooled than to ever recognize the all-too-obvious truth.

Gary McNett, Modesto