Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Monday, Aug. 19, 2019: Ethnic studies, population control, CA debt

More perspective on ethnic studies

Re “Ethnic studies time bomb goes off” (Page 8A. Aug. 13): Dan Walters takes strong issue with a recent state Department of Education draft concerning “model curriculum in ethics studies” for high school students. He writes that the draft is “left-wing rhetoric, advocating indoctrination of teenagers into believing that everyone who isn’t white and male is an oppressed victim.” He does write that ethnicity is a huge part of the nation’s history — citing slavery, segregation, lynching, and genocide against native populations — and should be part of history and civics courses.

Walters’ concluding evidence of the flawed nature of the draft, in its message of systematic oppression in this country, is that the ethnic history of this nation “must be presented in the context of America’s largely successful experiment in offering opportunities and freedom to immigrants from everywhere.” It’s hard to square his view with the fact that blacks in America today, whose ancestors largely arrived as slave immigrants from Africa, have education levels, average earnings, home ownership, and net worth one-third to one-half lower than the general population. Maybe Walters mistakenly left out the word “white” when referring to immigration success.

Bill Mensing, Modesto

Climate control and population growth

I have lived in a subdivision near the Amtrak tracks for 16 years. Except for yesterday, I have not seen an MPD police car between there and McHenry Avenue. I cannot remember police cars along several other widened corridors with speeders regularly going way faster than the posted 50 mph limit, as well as tailgaters at high speed behind me.

The biggest risk to our survival on earth is the overlap between climate control and population growth. The latter will cause the population in this century to allow for a space per human being of that of a phone booth. There will not be enough water for agricultural products to feed this population. Cities such as Cape Town, South Africa, almost ran out of drinking water.

In urban and rural areas worldwide, there will be no money for expansion of public services. Modesto’s population has tripled since 1979 and yet the number of roads has not increased. Where will be the next urban gas and oil explosion, as already occur in rural parts of the country?

Paul Golden, Modesto

Compassion shown after bad fall

Just when I was convinced everybody in the world hated everybody else I had an incident that renewed my faith in humanity.

Upon leaving O’Brien’s market, I put my groceries in the car, reached for the cart to return it and the next thing I knew I was flat on the ground, not unconscious but totally stunned, and bleeding profusely from the back of my head. Out of nowhere, angels appeared. First, someone called 911, and I am so grateful they did. Someone took the groceries from my car back into the market to be held until I could claim them. Someone put my cane in my car.

After three unsuccessful tries to reach family members a man took my phone and called the last number I had called. Fortunately, it was my niece who is a registered nurse. Someone saw to it that my car was locked as I left in the ambulance. I ended up with four stitches, but thankfully, no broken bones.

To all those kind people who stopped to help, please accept my heartfelt thank you. It was comforting to know someone was watching out for me.

Florence Velthoen, Modesto

State debt is out of control

How much debt does California carry? Two trillion three hundred billion. Half of the debt is underfunded pension plans. California will only acknowledge it has 1 trillion; this is far from being upfront. Eighty percent of this year’s budget will cover education, welfare, healthcare, pensions and interest. We pay over 13% tax, highest of any state. Economists say this is unsustainable. Is the state trying to spend itself into prosperity?

Dennis Shaeffer, Modesto

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