We’re all on the hook for PG&E
PG&E customers brace yourself. With the recent bankruptcy filing, a judge (and perhaps Sacramento politicians) will decide how much unsecured creditors (including fire victims, bond holders and pensioners) will receive as the utility faces tens of billions of liabilities – far greater than its ability to pay. There is only one way these creditors will be made whole, a dramatic increase in rates. While it may be politically fashionable to bash PG&E, at the end of the day customers will bear the brunt of this anger.
Additionally, this will be a great window into the future of single-payer healthcare as politicians will essentially be asked to manage a business that impacts most Northern Californians. It will be fascinating to watch.
Jeff Burda, Modesto
It’s her politics, not her dancing
Re “Despite her haters, youth is not wasted on Ocasio-Cortez” (Page 1B, Jan. 13): According to columnist Esther Cepeda, if I dislike Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez it proves I am a misogynistic racist and an old fuddy-duddy.
Nowhere in the article do we see any suggestion that we might not care for Ocasio-Cortez, not because of her dancing but because of her politics. She is a self-described Democratic-Socialist, trying to bring socialism into this great nation which has flourished because we have consistently rejected that failed political view. Why does she think we have caravans of Central American refugees from collapsed socialistic societies storming our gates?
It is not that she is young or female or likes to dance, but that she is ignorant of the myriad horrors wrought by socialism throughout history.
Larry Koch, Turlock
What happened to senate’s backbone?
Dear Mitch McConnell and Senate Conservative Republican Caucus:
What more has to happen before you realize you are enabling President Trump in the creation of an artificial national crisis, a crisis of his own making? How much longer must we endure a government shutdown, a consequence of his destructive impulses, before you come to your senses and confront him through your co-equal branch of government? At what point will this president say, with self-satisfaction, “I have no choice but to declare a national emergency”?
Our country is in a free fall. I don’t trust this president to do what’s right. I’m hoping you will do what’s right. But I’m also trying to prepare myself for much worse. After this artificial national emergency, what’s next? Martial law?
Tom Crain, Modesto
Trading humanity for a few dollars
Re “Modesto nonprofit that helps disabled faces loss of city contract” (Page 3A, Jan. 16): Awarding the bus stop maintenance contract to an out-of-state company is morally wrong. Not everything has to come down to money; some benefits cannot be measured in dollars. Other factors have to be considered, such as under United Cerebral Palsy, who has had the contract for 20 years, local residents with CP have learned job skills, social skills and, most importantly, that work is important for their self-esteem. They give back to the community. I hope the Modesto City Council will consider all of this when awarding the contract. Don’t turn your back on them, Modesto.
Eunice Birmley, Cimarron, N.M.
We won’t find real truth within
Ask yourself, what is the most important thing in the world. What should you accomplish, experience, think, believe or seek out? The answer might involve yourself, or family, pets, friends, career, world peace, political power, riches or just living a good life. Ask another person, and the answer will be different.
Ask what is the purpose of our lives? Again, you will get a variety of answers – all different in some way.
Such questions reveal subjective truth. If everyone gives an answer that is true, and all the answers are different, it isn’t really helping us. Objective truth, which exists outside of us, supersedes subjective truth in trying to answer these questions. Politicians, political parties, partisanship, power grabs all give us some kind of subjective truth. They might occupy our time and energy and inflame our righteous indignation, but they give us nothing in the way of what is actually true or important, or the destiny of humankind.
Which takes us back to the question of what provides objective truth. Go grab a Bible and read chapters 5 through 7 of Matthew. Then let’s talk about objective truth.
Gary Nelson, Modesto
Plenty of sympathy but no solutions
It is time to recognize that those protesting against “homelessness” do not want homeless people in their neighborhoods, in the community, or anywhere near where they live. As long as people listen to such protest, there will never be a constructive solution for taking care of the homeless.
It will not matter if a “poor house” is built for the homeless and they are given subsistence meals or porridge to keep them from starving. The homeless will be considered a blight no matter what solution is offered. People were run out of public parks even after a federal court has offered them protection in the middle of winter; what does that tell you?
Anna Bennett, Delhi
Fox system for treating mentally ill
Re “Mental illness increasingly helps defendants – but not always” (Front Page, Jan. 7): If claiming a mental defect has become a ploy by defense attorneys, it is no less a detriment to the seriously mentally ill (SMI) than a false rape accusation is to victims of rape.
Only 4 percent of our population has an SMI that manifests in psychosis, hallucinations and delusions. Within this 4 percent, studies show those in treatment and taking medications are no more violent than the general population. But studies also show those within this 4 percent not in treatment are more violent.
As an advocate and mother, I know family members do not want their SMI loved ones who become violent released into the community, nor do they want them in prison or jail. Our SMI are victims of non-treatment. They do not deserve to be in a revolving door of hospitalization, incarceration and homelessness.
By fixing the broken mental health system, HIPPA laws giving barriers to treatment and eliminating the IMD exclusion blocking availability of hospital beds, we can humanely protect the person who, through no fault of their own, develops a brain disorder which causes paranoia, delusions and hallucinations and may lead to violence. We can protect the community from violence that might result from untreated brain disorders.
Linda Mayo, Modesto