Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019: Fire insurance, abortion, NFL violence and gun control

Don’t expect others to subsidize your stupidity

Homeowner insurance rates in fire-prone areas going way up? I say all of us folks here in the Central Valley should subsidize them.

I also think we non-smokers should subsidize smokers’ life insurance. Us sober drivers should make sure that drunk drivers can get low premiums on auto insurance. How about those folks who live right on the Mississippi River? Don’t they deserve subsidies? Let’s not forget people who choose to build homes in hurricane-danger areas. Do we Valley folk want to pick up premiums for earthquake insurance for Bay Area people?

Here is a cold hard fact: insurance companies are not charities. If they can’t turn a profit, they go belly-up. Premiums have to be based on risk. If you have the same rates for everyone, those who choose not to take on extra risk have to subsidize those who do. It’s Insurance 101, something Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara apparently hasn’t learned. If I want to live in the Bay Area because of better weather, I have to accept a higher house payment.

If you want property in a fire-prone area, expect to pay lots more for home insurance.

Art Rossetti, Manteca

Fight against abortion pills

The California Assembly is actively considering SB 24, a dangerous bill that would force state university health clinics to dispense deadly RU-486 abortion pills on campus. The FDA documents that RU-486 abortions have already killed 14 women (four of them in California), injured 1,200, and caused adverse effects for 2,200 others. Additionally, RU-486 pills have been slipped into young women’s drinks to trick them into having abortions against their will.

If SB 24 is passed, California state universities would also be placed under tremendous liability whenever students experience complications from abortion drugs dispensed on campus. This burden would be passed on to taxpayers, who would be forced to pay the expensive liability insurance and perhaps legal settlements. College campuses should be places of learning, not places of death.

SB 24 has already passed the Senate. Please contact your Assembly person to vote no on SB 24, and urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto it.

Teresa Vandenburg, Ripon

Football is just too dangerous

Congratulations, Andrew Luck.

I was pleased to hear this stellar athlete and competitor has chosen to retire from football. He enjoyed an outstanding career spanning high school, college and as a professional. Anyone who questions his grit has not watched him perform. The negative response he has received I recognize as the same “fans” who deride Colin Kaepernick for exhibiting personal moral integrity. The Romanesque attitude toward their gladiator-slave entertainment is objectionable at best.

I’m a retired football fan, partly because of the negative response to Kaepernick, but mostly because of the useless, nonsensical violence. Additionally, I have been saddened by the outrageous focus on the upcoming high school football season portrayed in The Bee; it seems shameful. Dr. Bennet Omalu’s brain injury research while working with NFL Hall of Fame player Mike Webster led to “League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth,” concluding that boys should avoid the game.

I was a college cheerleader, a loyal 49ers fan, and a high school teacher who encouraged his students to play. But the reality of physical damage and the bloodthirsty attitude of fans has driven me away.

Timothy Buchanan, Modesto

Why bury mass shooting news?

It is a sad commentary on our nation when a mass shooting with five killed and 20 injured is on page 10 of the newspaper.

Neal Gittleman, Sonora

Meaningful gun control needed

If you believe the NRA-Trump lie that gun violence is a mental health issue, consider this: There are 326 million people in the United States (4% of the world’s total), however, there are 393 million guns, a whopping 46% of the world’s total. Also, investigators have discovered that 77% of mass shootings were planned at least a week in advance — not something a mentally ill person could or would do.

The real problem is that we have an oversupply of, and ease of access to, guns in this country. With about $400 a person can walk out of a gun show with an AK-47 and enough ammunition to kill lots of people. I carried an assault rifle when I served in Vietnam. No civilian needs to own one of those killing machines.

In 2017, there were almost 40,000 gun-related deaths in this country. That’s about half the population of Turlock in just one year. It has to stop. We need to close gun show loopholes and reinstate the assault weapons ban.

George J. King, Turlock

What constitutes assault weapon?

Before we ask to outlaw assault weapons, could we first define what is an assault weapon?

“Shallow and weak” appeals to some people. Govern, Sen. Feinstein, or get out of the way of someone who will.

Paul Fogarty, Oakdale

“Socialism” is just another catch phrase

I recently saw a meme: “If school children must pay for their lunch, then prisoners should do the same.” Many people support the idea that free lunch at school is socialism.

We are caught up in labels and catch phrases. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, reds and Communists hated America. Since the ‘70s, liberals hate America. Then liberals changed their name to progressives.

Now socialists hate America. You want to see a real socialist? Look to Europe. Trust me. We don’t have anyone like that here.

Our society is a mix of capitalist and socialist policies. Capitalism is an “I’ve got mine; you get yours” form of government. That means there are winners and losers. The 1 percent have gotten the 99 percent to believe socialism is getting its dark claws into our society. Oh my! No wonder we have so many mass shootings. Would you call any of these mass shooters winners, or losers? Maybe it’s time to reassess our society.

Gary W. Kinard, Gustine

More thoughts on socialism

Re “True patriots reject socialism” (Letters, Aug. 2): A recent letter sure made me glad I took eighth grade U.S. government. The writer was concerned about the effects of socialism on the United States. I’m at a loss as to why an interstate highway system, police departments, fire departments, public schools, public hospitals, libraries, social security, medicare and public transportation are a threat to our freedom, as the writer implies. I suppose it has something to do with the one-size-fits-all definition some folks have for socialism.

Apparently, enormous turnover in the Trump administration, as well as the well-documented graft and abuse of offices, haven’t registered on the writer’s swamp watch. Because of Mitch McConnell, the D.C. swamp has never been deeper, and reaches all the way to Russia.

The idea that the Second Amendment wasn’t created to help maintain state autonomy, but instead to protect the Constitution, is a misinterpretation. That’s fortunate for Trump, who has failed miserably in upholding his oath. But, my favorite comment was that the Founding Fathers weren’t racists. I imagine that’s why they only counted blacks’ votes as 3/5, and didn’t let Native Americans vote at all. Class dismissed.

Dean Jepson, Turlock

Include recreation in reservoir plan

West Side residents understand that water is a necessity for the health of the region’s economy, and they support wise water storage. However, we remain concerned. Over 100 residents sent a petition urging the water district and now the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors to take seriously the following:

  • Del Puerto Canyon serves the West Side by providing nature respite, yet the proposed reservoir would eliminate the portion of the creek that many enjoy. The project could include a recreational component. Opportunities for outdoor activity would show good will toward our entire community, that water can enrich everyone’s quality of life.
  • Native American tribes called the canyon home; artifacts and paleontological fossils remain. These would be destroyed. What steps could be taken to preserve these items and provide educational opportunity to the canyon’s historical significance?
  • Pumps will be necessary to move water, and gas pumps are heavy polluters. Understanding pollution can be life-threatening in the Valley, what efforts are being made to install renewable energy pump technology, such as solar?

These are in addition to our most critical concern: safety.

If we bear the burden for the community, we would like to benefit, too.

Shivaughn Alves, Patterson

The meaning of social justice

Society ensures social justice when it provides conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and vocation. True social justice flows from the idea of the inherent dignity of all humans.

Being pro-life is more than just being anti-abortion. While the label rightly includes a desire to protect a human in the womb, it also means providing proper food, clothing, shelter, education and opportunity for work that will allow all persons to provide for themselves and their family. It means caring for those who are physically and mentally challenged. It means protecting society from those who would do evil.

The American Solidarity Party promotes using common sense to find common ground for the common good. We believe in true social justice. We believe each person has rights endowed by our creator that need to be protected and honored. Don’t buy into the belief that a third party is useless.

Leslie Shaw Klinger, Modesto