Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019: Straight pride, Gilroy, socialism, animal cruelty, Mueller

Straight pride fosters hatred and bigotry

As a congregation in the United Church of Christ, College Avenue Church condemns the tenets of the organization seeking to sponsor a white nationalist event in Modesto in August. The National Straight Pride Coalition advocates racial and religious supremacy, which is totally contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It promotes the lie that LGBT people are part of an anti-Christian, even Satanic movement. It fosters hatred and bigotry, whose effect is to dehumanize certain people and divide all people.

We affirm that people of all races, religions, genders, and sexual orientations are created in the image of God and have equal dignity. We affirm God’s unconditional love for LGBT people and assure those who are Christians that they are an integral part of the Body of Christ. We offer the LGBT community our love, support, and welcome. We will offer a safe space to LGBT people and people of all races and religions on the day of the nationalist event if it is approved by the city of Modesto.

Rev. Michael Schiefelbein, Modesto

The answer is more guns...

Let’s see if we can apply some common sense, logic and some undeniable truths to these tragedies.

If, for example, I had been attending (the Gilroy festival), as a trained military special operations veteran, I could have eliminated the shooter after one or two shots, saving those lost lives, had you allowed me or other good law-abiding citizens their right to bear arms.

The shooters are well aware that California Law has disarmed and left helpless those they prey upon. They have until police arrive to get off 10, 30, 100 shots, without fear of reprisal from helpless victims.

You can pass all the anti-gun and -ammo laws you wish. The shooter will easily get the weapon and ammo he needs despite your laws. Unfortunately, good law-abiding citizens must die because the state has seen fit to remove any ability to defend ourselves and others around us. It’s old but so true: Outlaw guns, and only outlaws will have guns. All you anti-gun people are directly responsible for those lost lives.

Michael Simpson, Modesto

... Or is it more gun control?

We are dealing with another massacre by a deranged, angry individual with a military-style assault rifle. Three people in Gilroy lost their lives, including two children; 12 were injured. When will our politicians say enough is enough?

Elected officials (both Republicans and Democrats) who accept millions of dollars from the NRA are equally complicit in these crimes. Their thoughts and prayers are not enough! These elected officials need the backbone to stand up and enact common sense gun-control regulations to help put an end to these murders. Public safety is being compromised.

Assault-style rifles are not meant for hunting or sport. Their only purpose is to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

I urge all voters to investigate where candidates are getting their contributions. POLITICO is an excellent site on the web for this information. Sitting around waiting for another massacre to happen is not enough. The next victim in one of these massacres may be one of your family members. Please help stand up for public safety.

Thomas Tyler, Modesto

Wild animals should be in the wild

Re “Animal cruelty at Stanislaus County Fair? No, but wildcat exhibit missed mark” (Page 8A, July 24): Animals, wild or domesticated, should not be kept in cages. And what difference does it make whether they are going to be on your dinner table? Cruelty is cruelty. If this company was truly interested in rescuing wild animals, they would not be for profit and they would give those animals to a viable animal rescue organization, which would return them to the wild if possible or, if not, keep them in a large area that resembles their natural habitat.

Wild animals should not be in zoos, circuses, theme parks, county fairs, or someone’s backyard or barn as a perceived pet or roadside attraction. They belong in the wild.

John Brennan, Oakdale

Important programs are socialistic

Re “The new official stance of Democratic Party spells doom” (Page 8A, July 30): Apparently Tom Emmer wants to do away with anything that may appear to be socialistic. I assume that Emmer wants to do away with any Democratic initiatives such as Social Security, Medicare, MediCal, etc. All of these things were said to be socialistic or communistic when they were first mentioned, and that they would bankrupt the country. Obviously none of that is true.

Every modern industrialized country in the world except the United States has some form of universal health care. The United States has the highest cost per person for health care of any country and we are only rated seventh in health care quality.

The recent Republican tax cut did more to increase the national debt than anything the Democrats have ever done. Apparently, according to the Republicans, as long as the top 1% get the benefit of legislation, it is OK. If John and Jane Doe get the benefit, then it is socialistic.

Neal Gittleman, Sonora

GOP’s scare buzzword: socialism

Re “The new official stance of Democratic Party spells doom” (Page 8A, July 30): Rep. Tom Emmer laments the passing of the Democratic Party of his grandfather in favor of a socialism which “poses a direct threat to every American.” Congressman Emmer doesn’t cite a lot of facts. However, it’s apparent he has carefully studied the Republican Party talking points since he uses the words “socialist” or “socialism” at least 14 times while attacking a number of party boogeymen, including Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

One of his targets was the Green New Deal. I just read the proposal and I’m not sure I see anything in it that could be considered a direct threat. Some parts I agree with and some I don’t. I do believe the Green New Deal is an important starting point because effectively addressing climate change will require a skill set that is uniquely American.

I agree with Emmer on one thing: anti-Semitism, and I would add racism, have no place in the public discourse. Both must be denounced whether the source is a congresswoman from Minnesota or the president of the United States.

Terry Gray, Modesto

Don’t let the door hit you...

Re “DeMartini leaving California for ‘no-income-tax’ Nevada” (Front Page, July 28): I can’t begin to express how sadly I feel that County Supervisor Jim DeMartini is having to leave the beautiful state of California for Nevada to take advantage of their lack of state income tax. Despite owning 1,100 acres of farmland and having a collection of 31 classic cars — which most might say would be “plenty for me” or perhaps even “more than I need” — poor Jim feels like he just doesn’t have enough.

It seems that he objects to having to pay taxes to help support the state in which he lives and the agencies that provide so many necessary services. In light of all of this, how surprising to note that he is a GOP stalwart.

Farewell, Jim. Hope that once you are freed from the overbearing onus of a state income tax you will be able to find true happiness. We who are left behind apologize for making you contribute a fair share for the pleasure of living in such a sought-after place as California. We feel for ya, buddy.

But do remember, if Nevada should ever pass a state income tax law, you’ll just have to pack it all up and move again.

Gary McNett, Modesto

Mueller’s testimony was lame

Apparently Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times, as printed in The Modesto Bee, witnessed a different Mueller hearing than I did. Mazzetti said that Mueller “gave clipped answers to lengthy questions and forced lawmakers to give their own dramatic readings from his report, rather than reciting the conclusions himself.” I saw it as a man well beyond his prime who either couldn’t remember, or didn’t know what was in the report that bore his name. He declined to answer well over 100 questions. His explanation for choosing all Democrats for his committee was rather lame; he stated they were chosen for their expertise, not due to political inclination. Hmm! No Republicans were qualified? And he certainly didn’t know many of those members had given to Hillary’s campaign.

How the Clintons can get by with their scandals is amazing. What a double standard.

Dona Nagel, Riverbank

This road repair stinks

Recently, Floyd Avenue in north Modesto was repaved from McHenry Avenue to Oakdale Road. I use this road quite often and have to say that the repair work is horrible, the manhole covers stick above the pavement surface and the pavement finish is quite rough. If you turn off Floyd to either Rose or Keller, you see that the new road is far worse than these older surfaces. I think the road is worse off than before this so-called repair.

Ross McKenzie, Modesto