Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, July 28, 2019: Civility, welfare, fireworks and homeless

Show some respect, people

Whether intentionally (it was) or indirectly, the Russians have interfered in American political discourse, resulting in our own ineffectiveness. From the “lock her up” rant to “we’re going to impeach (him),” American politics and the effectiveness of our governing system have descended into a new low. We have spent two years, $30 million dollars and countless hours of Congressional time and talent in trying to criminalize questionable political behavior and destroying the reputations of those with whom we vehemently disagree.

How do we rebuild the body politic into an organism that works for the good of the people, that solves pressing problems like immigration reform and infrastructure improvement, and addresses the existential threats to our country: catastrophic weather events, hostile nuclear regimes and growing poverty? It begins with each of us making the conscious decision to separate the issue from the personality, to show respect to those with whom we disagree and to strive to find practical solutions. It isn’t easy and will require many to change their priority from strict party ideology to a commitment to accomplishing the people’s business, but it is most certainly worth the effort.

Ernest Thomas Elledge, Modesto

What’s with the freebies?

Tuesday, I ran into Safeway on McHenry to grab a few things around 10:30 p.m. I waited in line for literally 20, maybe 30 minutes behind a young woman paying for her groceries with WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) coupons. She was with her young, virile looking husband and two children. She had beautifully manicured nails and eyelashes. While the clerk dutifully processed her coupons, the young woman lamented to him how she had to return to work in two weeks to her job at (a school district). When it came time to pay for her non-WIC items, this woman pulled out a wad of cash like I have never carried in my life, and I am in my 50s.

For the record, I am a registered Democrat, I voted for Hillary, I think Donald Trump is a buffoon, and I distrust anything or anybody Republican. But I still don’t understand what I saw Tuesday night.

Maury McCord, Hughson

Safety for school children

A great use of Measure L money would be to paint all crosswalks near schools in Stanislaus County.

Joyce Moe, Modesto

Get rid of fireworks, period

It’s time to ban fireworks altogether. Those who want them may go to organized events or see them in the sky from their residence.

David Shirk, Modesto

Recipe for avoiding trouble

Re “America’s love of guns creates killers – I’m one of them” (Page 6A, July 25): Perhaps if Joe Garcia had not been engaged in illegal marijuana and shady characters before marijuana became legal, he would not be in prison for murdering one of those shady characters. We all make life choices. Some are good and others are not.

Samuel A. Oppenheim, Franklin, MA

Blame homeless crisis on leaders

The Bee and our local TV stations have been reporting on our homeless crisis. It seems to me that this population falls into three types: the very old and helpless, the mentally ill, and the mobile and seemingly healthy. Of the latter group, I note that they have mobile phones, costly camping tents, sleeping bags, and other modern camping gear. Some questions come to mind: How are they able to live this free and carefree life? How can they afford all these things and not work? How can they stay healthy and fit?

Only the first two types mentioned above live in cardboard boxes and in doorways. Could it be that our government is the cause for the explosive growth of today’s homeless population?

Dave Shoemaker, Sonora

Thief: Look over your shoulder

To the person who decided they need my car cover more than me: Do you believe in karma? I do.

Lois Hiebert, Modesto

This play is a must-see...

I had the pleasure of attending Modesto’s Prospect Theater Project’s performance of “A Walk in the Woods.” The actors, Jill Taylor Barnes and Joel Morrison, knocked my socks off. The play evoked memories of the cold war in thoughtful dialogue and humor.

There are a few performances left (through Aug. 4). Do yourselves a favor and don’t miss it!

Casey O’Mara, Modesto

... And this one’s great too

Last night, I attended the dress rehearsal of YES Company’s production of “Dancing in the Rain.” My faith has been restored in the greatness of our future generations.

Want a change of pace from the daily headlines that bombard us with negatives? Take the time to go to the Gallo Center to see for yourself the magic that these young, local, talented men and women put on right in front of your eyes. Guaranteed to walk away with a positive, warm fuzzy.

Norm Porges, Modesto

Only you can prevent fires

Why is California burning? Even a grade school student knows about the fire triangle of oxygen, fuel and heat. The fire in Paradise was caused by an ignition source not firmly identified as yet. An enormous amount of fuel was present in vegetation, trees, combustible buildings without adequate separation, piles of combustibles around buildings and very dry and windy conditions. When the fire ignited, the prevailing wind became a firestorm and ravaged the community. If the enormous supply of combustibles had not been present, most of the life loss and property damage would not have occurred.

A communitywide fire prevention program with firm enforcement action could have prevented this horrible loss. The entire community needed cleaning up, fire code compliance and education of residents.

Eddie O. Smith, Modesto

Editor’s note: A state agency in May concluded that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. transmission lines caused the 2018 Camp fire, destroying Paradise.

Christians shouldn’t look away

Mr. Vice President, it is ironic that the Parable of the Good Samaritan was discussed in churches recently. It turns out that you were on the road to Jericho when you visited detention centers. When you came upon those caged men, you had the power, as we do not, to immediately intervene. You did not. What could you have done?

You could have ordered the cage be opened and the prisoners be given food, water and medical care. You could have summoned shower vans and had clean clothes distributed. You could have called the Red Cross and Salvation Army to come and immediately render aid not only there but at all of the centers where inhumane conditions exist. Are we not the greatest, richest, most powerful nation on earth?

Mr. Vice President, we all fall down, we fail. But Christ demands we get up and attend to our neighbor, that we love them. Doing this can be difficult. No one said following Christ was easy. But Christ was clear about what we all must do. Pence, raise yourself up and follow the man you so ardently say you believe in.

James Costello, Ceres