Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019: Climate change, gun control, Trump, Modesto trees

Global warming will destroy Earth

With algebraic regularity, small critters outnumber big critters. Single-cell animals outnumber all multi-celled animals combined, and animals that weigh less than a pound outnumber all animals that weigh more than a pound. That means animals that weigh 150 pounds are rare in the biosphere.

Homo sapiens are an anomaly. Taken in the context of our relative weight, our population should be somewhere under 100 million, just 0.0137% of our current 7.3 billion. Even granting us wide latitude for being omnivores and having advanced technology, this condition is not sustainable.

Although I knew this in the ‘70s, I’d figured that Mother Nature would autocorrect with microorganisms (viruses and bacteria) that would knock our population back into equilibrium (a la Stephen King’s “The Stand”). But that was just wishful thinking. Runaway global warming will end up killing off most of the microorganisms and virtually all complex life on the planet.

If every human alive today dedicated themselves to Green-New-Deal-type programs and population reduction, we might be able to mend the damage to the earth. But, given the political and economic obstacles, that is probably just wishful thinking.

Jason Gale, Riverbank

In support of gun control

“I am sorry your child was killed in school by a shooter. You have my prayers and thoughts.”

Stop with the prayers and thoughts and do something about sane gun laws. Most Americans want background checks. “Sorry,” says the NRA and President Trump. “They give us money to win elections.”

We do not want assault weapons on our streets. “Sorry; what would the people who make guns do? They would go out of business.”

We must have gun reform laws now.

Shelly Scribner, Modesto

Double standard for Founding Fathers

Re “More questions on slavery, our nation’s past” (Letters, Aug. 25): Apropos Cathy Brown’s “it works both ways” letter, while I also am certainly not a supporter of the South’s Confederate views and do not particularly think we should memorialize the slave base of that group, we are, nonetheless, being hypocritical.

Since moving to the Boston area from Modesto in 2005, we found every single town has a Washington Street. The nation’s capital is named Washington, and one of its noted attractions is the Washington Memorial. Crossing the Potomac from D.C. to Virginia, or vice versa, one sees the beautiful Jefferson Memorial, worthy of a visit due to Jefferson’s work. Yet I have not heard talk of renaming the city, or tearing down its memorials, because both Washington and Jefferson were lifelong slave owners.

So, again, I believe Brown has a point, however we feel about this issue.

Samuel Oppenhein, Franklin, MA

News punctuation is important

The Bee has been terribly inconsistent in its treatment of the name and claims of the far-right organization that has been disturbing Modesto’s tranquility over the past few weeks.

Good journalism dictates that the National Straight Pride Coalition’s claim to promote “traditional gender roles, Christianity and the importance of white people in Western civilization” — and similar assertions — should always be framed by quotation marks, since the claim is clearly dubious if not patently false. The same is true for “straight pride,” the principle that it claims to represent. Also, except in the organization’s name, there is no more reason to capitalize “straight pride” than there would be for any other generic label.

Leo Stutzin, Modesto

What Trump says v. what he does

Drinkers of the Kool Aid will ask the public to disregard President Trump’s unhinged remarks. They will ask us instead to focus on what he does, his policies, rather than what he says. And that’s generally good advice, given that Trump lies, flip-flops and contradicts himself with striking regularity.

No more foreign wars, he promised us. At present we are still enmeshed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and making threats against Venezuela.

Winning trade wars is easy, Trump told us. Today, the Dow is 600 points lower, and China shows no signs of caving in. Tariffs, tariffs and more tariffs.

“I will only appoint the best people,” he said. His administration has been a home for the most ethically challenged, incompetent cabinet members and staffers in years. The swamp is not drained. It is steeped in corruption.

“Only I can fix the economy,” he bragged. While it is true that the economy he inherited from Obama continues to be robust, the federal deficit has exploded, and his fiscal policies have primarily benefited the wealthy.

“I will unite the country,” he claimed. The U.S. today is awash in racial division and white supremacy.

Are we prouder to be Americans today than we were at the start of this embarrassing presidency?

Paul Neumann, Modesto

Show some respect, Mr. President

One of President Trump’s tweets called Fed Chairman Jerome Powell a possible bigger enemy than China’s president, Xi Jinping. Trump’s string of disrespectful comments and statements toward fellow American citizens, politicians and economists is not acceptable. I realize that he is a New Yorker and considers being brash and “in your face” as his way of doing business, but he also is president of the United States. I think that office and role should overshadow his callousness.

Calling Joe Biden, a former vice president for 8 years and a former senator from Delaware for 36 years, “Sleepy Joe” is disrespectful. During the presidential campaign he continually called Sen. Marco Rubio “little Marco.” There are many more examples. What makes his remarks more ridiculous is his immature reactions when other politicians do not go along with his views. Example: Denmark saying the U.S. buying Greenland was absurd, so Trump takes that as being nasty.

None of us is perfect; there are no 100% angels or devils among us. But when you weigh President Trump’s positives versus his negatives, he is a loser. Trump, you’re fired!

Tom Murphy, Modesto

Celebrate what makes us Americans

President Trump was elected to give the Washington bureaucracy the long-overdue (change) it so richly deserves, and he has been dutifully doing it. An unexpected side-effect was to expose so many Democrats as socialists.

Our Founding Fathers were heroes, not racists. The Constitution is the greatest government document ever written. The Second Amendment protects the Constitution and our God-given right from such socialists.

Stand for the flag and the National Anthem, sing “God Bless America,” thank a veteran and support the National Rifle Association. Show everyone you love your freedom and will never give up your rights to these anti-American socialists.

Grover Francis, Modesto

Modesto tree maintenance is pathetic

I wrote a letter about this years ago. I even called the city office in charge of trees. The lady I got through to said, “No money,” the old excuse. The situation (now) is not better — it’s worse. I look out my sliding glass door and see large clumps of this tree killer on beautiful Modesto trees.

Since we’re not winning this battle, here’s what I will do: I will volunteer my time to the city to help with this problem. Maybe this will motivate others to help find a solution.

David Shirk, Modesto

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