Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, June 16, 2019: Trump, socialism and gas tax

See classic cars in Modesto’s biggest Graffiti parade ever

The North Modesto Kiwanis Club organized the Modesto’s annual Graffiti Classic Car Parade and this weekend’s American Graffiti Festival.
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The North Modesto Kiwanis Club organized the Modesto’s annual Graffiti Classic Car Parade and this weekend’s American Graffiti Festival.

What will the neighbors think?

Recently, our family faced a difficult decision. Uncle Don was acting in a strange way. He lived alone in a big house, but he had workers with him 24/7 to care for him. However, even his helpers were concerned. All Uncle Don did was watch TV and eat fast food. Worse, he would fire his helpers if he didn’t like what they were doing. He was becoming more and more unbalanced.

Finally, the family decided to have Uncle Don examined by a well-known and respected doctor. He reported to the family that brain tests were inconclusive, but he was concerned that some of Uncle Don’s reported behaviors were not normal.

When the doctor reported his findings, Uncle Don was really happy. “See, I told you,” he said, “NO DELUSION—NO INCOMPETENCE. I’m staying in my big house. This has all been a WITCH HUNT.”

Part of the family believed Uncle Don, mostly because they hoped to inherit the big house. Others worried that Uncle Don’s behavior was embarrassing. People were talking. The family’s reputation was suffering.

Then Uncle Don started talking to himself. He thought the house was wired and that the doctor was part of a gang who were spying on him. The family tried to convince Uncle Don that there was no conspiracy, that the doctor was there to help him, that there was no gang. All they wanted was for him to behave normally.

But he did not believe them. His behavior got worse. “This has been a BIG HOAX,” he said.

So the question—remove Uncle Don from the big house and save the reputation of the family, or put up with continued chaos and loss of respect throughout the neighborhood?

The answer may determine the fate of our democracy.

Paul Neumann, Modesto

Economy took off with Trump

Back when Joe and Barack were running things, life for us retired people was easier: the stores were not crowded, traffic was light, very little illegal crossings at the border. As a matter of fact, the third world people were going back home.

But now what do we have? People everywhere — people, people, people. Us retired people can hardly go out any more on weekdays because of all the people. Just to go to the store, we must go early. It’s like back when we were working, with gas stations all busy with people filling up their cars so they can go to work, and people in stores buying stuff for their families.

Just think of those not long ago days when people stayed home and played video games or watched Oprah; they had a lot of free time for things they wanted to do.

Joe, if you are our next president, I’m sure good times for us retired people will be right around the corner. Maybe with Barack’s help, things can be just like before this businessman Trump obviously caused all these people working, consuming and traffic congestion.

John Mendosa, Ceres

Say thanks while there is time

When I was in the sixth grade, I had a teacher who changed my life greatly. I was extremely shy and had a problem standing in front of the class to do oral book reports. He was so wise that he had me come in at lunchtime to give my report in front of a few students who were familiar to me. After this I had only a little trouble with such reports.

A couple years ago (I am now 71), I tried contacting this teacher to thank him for changing my life. I could not locate him, probably because he has passed away. I relate this experience to encourage people to thank their teachers or anyone else who has done something extraordinary in their lives. Thank them before you lose contact.

David Shirk, Modesto

Don’t abuse term “socialism”

Re “Grizzlies’ video accurate: Socialists oppose freedom” (Page 6B, June 6): Perhaps pure socialism is dangerous to freedom, as Heng warns. But we shouldn’t confuse dictatorships run by Castro and Kim Jong Un with social programs managed in a healthy democracy. Public services in the U.S. are based on the idea that some things need to be under control of the people as a whole, and require that we share the cost for the public good. These “socialist” businesses include police, firefighting, Medicare, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Postal Service, and public health.

What we should fear is the creation of fear itself, to advance a political agenda that creates conditions in which a dictatorship can occur. Confusing social programs with tyranny distracts us from what we need to be doing: making our nation work better for more people, not just the advantaged few. The poverty of portions of the populations of Germany, Cuba and Venezuela allowed candidates (Hitler, Castro, Chavez) to succeed in eliminating freedom by using the ballot box. If we misuse terms like socialism and dictatorship, we may end up voting for leaders who control us with lies that we have allowed by our own lazy thinking.

Randy Huth, Turlock

Democrats’ legacy is incompetence

Re “Democrats are ruining everything” (Letters, June 11): Thanks to Linda Meyer, Sonora for noticing what is going on. She rightly highlights the homeless problem created by socialist policies. Of even greater significance is denial of full voting rights to citizens by diluting their vote with that of automatically registered illegal aliens. That coupled with the legalization of vote harvesting fraudulently denies fair elections. This is the Democratic party plan to perpetuate their political dominance.

What do we get for electing Democrats? Bike lanes with not a bike in sight, above-ground utility poles and wires, narrow two-lane roads, long drives to shop as over-regulation and high taxes limit commercial activity, and bullying by threats of harsh punishment. Further, we are forced to use nasty groundwater to drink while cold clear mountain stream runoff goes into the ocean.

The state economy is tax driven with value subordinated to the greed of politicians. It matters little how much water I use on my lawn because the usage fraction is less than the tax associated with it.

The Democrats’ political facade is caring and indulgent, but the reality is gross incompetence and tyranny by regulation.

Wallace R. Johnson, Waterford

What good is high gas tax?

A proponent of the last sales tax came to our Sons In Retirement club stating that all roads would be serviced three times every 25 years. All that happened was bicycle lanes; on an average day I see maybe one or two bicycles throughout town, while the street I live on hasn’t been touched in 50 years.

The state passed a 12-cent additional gas tax which goes into the general fund. The governor says there is a surplus in the general fund to pay health care for illegal immigrants between 19 and 25, saying he will tax working citizens who can’t afford to buy health care.

We pay the highest gas taxes in the nation and have the worst roads and bridges.

Roger Townsend, Modesto

Graffiti means good times

I would like to thank Chris Murphy and his committee for honoring me with a star on the Graffiti Walk of Fame on 10th Street. It meant a lot to me and I am forever indebted. It also meant a lot to see so many old friends. Fun time, fond memories.

Steve Pedego, Modesto