Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019: Trump, Harder, homeless and safe driving

He must have skipped Ethics 101

Does our Constitution mean nothing to our Congress? Does the end now justify the means even if it is contrary to the Constitution which has held this country together? How does a president hold back congressionally approved U.S. military aid with a simple command? Shouldn’t have those who were told by the White House to stop sending aid approved by Congress ignored the request until Congress decided to stop aid? Do we now have a king, someone who is allowed to brazenly break the supreme rule of law? The system of checks and balances were based on the assumption that those elected would have some modicum of morals.

And does our Constitution mean nothing to many citizens who are willing to support someone who doesn’t play by the rules? Any decent research will provide evidence that this current president has always played dirty; it’s his modus operandi. Has this nation sunk so low that ideology is more important than how the game is played? We teach our children it’s not whether you win or lose but that the game is played fairly. What are we now teaching our children?

Barbara Swier, Hughson

Will democracy survive this?

During Watergate impeachment hearings, Republicans were in virtual lockstep in support of Nixon, then came the tapes and there was nowhere to hide. The tapes were the unavoidable smoking gun. Republicans are now waiting for a video of Trump shooting someone on Fifth Avenue as evidence of misconduct. We have the smoking gun with the Ukraine phone call transcript — a crystal clear abuse of presidential power.

The FEC chair posted a notice online the day after Trump admitted he would take foreign dirt on his political opponents. The note reads: “Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for a person to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 by 2.9 million votes, or enough voters to fill 75 baseball stadiums. No doubt Mr. Malcolm would be apoplectic if that happened to the Republican Party.

My daughter is visiting Ground Zero as I write this. The pics she just sent me are heartbreaking. Trump’s presidency is creating a political Ground Zero. Whether our democracy will survive is anybody’s guess.

Wayne R. Howard, Ceres

The president isn’t above the law

I believe we are in a crisis, the likes of which we have never seen before in this nation. Our Constitution is on the verge of being destroyed as one branch, the executive, has assumed it is above all other branches of government, and that Congress has no oversight authority.

The White House acts as if no laws apply to the executive: they ignore subpoenas, order staff and cabinet members to not testify at congressional hearings, withhold funds and military aid for the purpose of benefiting one man, and sacrifice national interest and security.

We are watching one political party enable violations of the very foundation of our nation: the Constitution. If this nation survives this battle and once again becomes a nation of laws, with three equal branches of government, those who enabled and encouraged this assault on our republic and everything we stand for will be remembered for their destructive actions and non-actions.

It is time to become involved, or else we are in danger of no longer being a great democracy.

No one is above the law, not even the president.

Charlie Lockett, Modesto

Time to say “You’re fired”

Re “Trump: best president in history” (Letters, Oct. 2): This guy in D.C. is a crook, a con artist, a womanizer and he lies quite a bit. To ask Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter is just another example of trying to get any kind of dirt on an opponent.

Now he has the secretary of state lying for him, along with Pence. These two guys are just puppets of Trump. His attorney general is protecting him also. His attorney, Rudy, is another puppet. I just can’t see why so many people support this con man.

The election is about 13 months from now. Whoever gets the Democratic nomination must be strong and not tells promises they can’t follow through on. Do we want a man who lies all the time and covers up daily? Or someone who is honest? You voters think about that. We have to get our country back on the right track. Trump didn’t drain the swamp — he made it bigger. Donnie is not for us, but for himself.

“Trump, you are fired.” How about that?

Roland Sarchett, Modesto

Drivers, watch for students

Thousands of students are returning to schools scattered all over our urban area. We need to practice utmost care not to speed in school zones and look out for pedestrians. At the beginning and closing of the school day, traffic around each school can be hectic, with potential danger. I often see children on bicycles on the wrong side of the street, many not wearing the required helmets.

The speed limit is always posted, usually about 25 miles per hour. The Sacramento Unified School District reduced the speed limit to 15 miles per hour around school zones just this year. A state law allows local school districts to go to such measures, if it is deemed necessary.

I know schools practice and teach pupils the pedestrian safety rules. Knowing parents will do the same with their children. Drivers must be aware and have cautious attitudes in and around school sites. Be prepared to stop in a school zone, because some youngsters may have a mind of their own.

Daniel Marsh, Modesto

Here’s how to treat homeless

Both state and federal governments are doing their one-size-fits-all routine with the homeless.

From my prospective, the problem comes in two parts. The majority of homeless are drug addicts in that position due to bad choices they have made, and who in many cases are comfortable with their no-responsibility, drug-high-chasing existence. Then we have those who — due to some inability to cope, either self-induced or brought on by factors they did not control — find themselves homeless.

In my opinion, this last group should be administered to and have more resources because they have the greater chance of improving their living conditions and becoming productive members of society. After these folks are removed from the homeless population, the remaining chronic drug addiction portion may be dealt with as the health and criminal danger to society they represent.

Charles R. Shetron, Oakdale

He should stand on his own

Although Representative Harder announced he supports an impeachment inquiry, it was not without the blessing of his boss, Speaker Pelosi. This comes after months of denying his support for impeachment and highlighting how he has worked with the Trump administration.

Representative Harder can tout water infrastructure and the plethora of town halls to distract constituents, but the truth is that he does nothing of significant importance without Pelosi's approval. Our former congressman had the same problem when it came to pleasing Kevin McCarthy and party leadership, as seen in his support for the twin tunnels.

Our congressional district deserves better. It would be nice to have a representative who first answers to their district and not party leadership.

Nicholas Dokoozlian, Modesto

Harder works hard for unions

I would like to thank Representative Harder for passing PRO Act legislation protecting and strengthening unions. In a time when unions and union membership have come under siege from corporations and right to work ideology, it’s refreshing to see our new congressman take a stand for unions and the middle class. His accessibility and transparency should be a model for future leaders.

Rep. Harder, keep working hard for the Central Valley and the working union membership that you thankfully represent. It’s much appreciated. You have earned my vote and many of my family members as well. Union strong!

John Vernacchio, Modesto

Hooray for International Festival

AFS Intercultural Programs would like to thank organizers of the Modesto International Festival for their dedication to this culturally diverse exploration that Modesto has been able to enjoy for many years. From the flag ceremony to the cultural booths, food booths, dancers and performers on stage, and watching the families and others enjoy walking about and talking with members of the community, it was a wonderful day.

I hope members of the Modesto area will come forward to assist next year and learn what makes this event one of the best. Our exchange students were so helpful and enjoyed themselves. We were happy to be a part of this.

AFS is available at: afs.org. Check out our website for information on hosting a student or sending your student abroad. There are volunteer opportunities as well.

Nancy Howard, Modesto