What conservative means

To the Editor:

Anyone who believes in social engineering and calls themselves a conservative would be called a fool or a Rino in the U.S.

In Europe, it's de jure and seen as perfectly reasonable. To a conservative, watching the Democratic Party see how far and how fast they can reach the bottom of the hole of self-serving oligarchism under the name of social equality (read socialism) has been a frightening thought to us.

To us Americans, it seems hypocritical or it should be to both conservatives and all of Middle America.

So, to the meat of the matter. This is what conservatism means:

There are two spheres of conservatism in the U.S. (there are three, but the third is not relevant to this conversation)

1. Social Conservatism:

A belief in traditional values such as family and community and nation.

2. Business Conservative:

They tie in by core beliefs that the government has no business meddling in one's lifestyle or business as long as it harms no one.

Personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

It is taken as a dictum that government will always end up wasteful inefficient and will inevitably turn corrupt and end up working for themselves instead of for the people.

I hope that helps you, ladies and gents, who do not truly understand what it means to be a conservative.

Fritz Bahten

Sonora



No Collusion? No Obstruction?

To the Editor:

One hundred and forty times during the 2016 election, Trump’s campaign team coordinated with Russians. Campaign manager, Paul Manifort, briefed the Russians on campaign strategy, swing states and the key issues for each. Russia used that information to help elect Trump.

The first batch of stolen emails was timed perfectly to disrupt the Democratic Convention. Another batch was timed perfectly to cover over the scandal of Trump grabbing women by their “P”. Russian intelligence attempted to hack into and steal Clinton’s emails within hours of Trump’s public request, “Russia, if you’re listening ………”

Putin was smart. He didn’t put the stolen emails directly into Trump’s hands; he channeled them through Wikileaks. Otherwise, we would have an ironclad case for criminal conspiracy.

Ten times, Trump obstructed justice. Ten times, he interfered with the FBI investigation. Now, Trump is attempting a cover-up.

We know that Russia interfered in our 2016 election and Trump’s campaign welcomed Russia’s help. We know that Trump lied about his Russian deals and Russia’s leverage over him. Innocent people don’t obstruct justice. They welcome a thorough investigation to clear their name.

Obstruction cuts at the core of the rule of law. Mafia bosses bribe or threaten witnesses, prosecutors, investigators, and judges. They stop investigations. Their strategy is simple. Stop the investigation before a crime can be proven.

Putin was smart and sidestepped our laws. Are we comfortable with the results?

Do we want our President re-elected by Russia? Do we want a President who refuses to protect our 2020 elections? Do we want a President that leads a cover-up, obstructs Congressional oversight and thwarts our Constitution’s checks and balances?

Do we want a President, or a Mafia boss? Do we protect our Democracy and the rule of law? Or, do we want a dictatorship?

Marvin Keshner

Sonora



Authoritarian rule

To the Editor:

The 45th is full of gas. Yeah, he always looks like his muchos nachos are running for the border, but I’m talking about GAS-lighting, and he’s full of it. Gas-lighting means up is down; out is in, facts have alternatives and “truth isn’t truth.” Even when seen on TV and recorded on tape, he denies it; says it didn’t happen so much that you question yourself. The lies so blatant, there couldn’t possibly be hidden agendas, right? You believe he’s transparent because he tells you he is- and that’s enough. But action is what matters.

Pay attention to what is done, not said. He says he wants to cover pre-existing conditions, but what is he doing? Says tariffs benefit America, but tariffs are actually taxes we pay for. Says they’re good for farmers, but if so, why are they given bailouts of subsidized welfare? Where does this new revenue of taxes go? Funding perpetual wars? Is climate change real, or does denial benefit fossil fuel corporations? Is the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” great for Joe the Plumber, or a windfall to corporations like Amazon, which paid zero federal taxes in 2018? Is freedom of speech the enemy of the people, or just veracity? So what does Faux News and Radio Rush do, not speak?

Having three co-equal branches of government and an independent DOJ are the norms and safeguards of a free society. To abolish accountability and transparency is to abolish the tenet of democracy and promote fascism. As the next election nears, be prepared for questioning term limits. A country with absolute power will corrupt absolutely, and in Trump’s America, it’s just another name for MAGA: Make Authoritarians Great Again.

M. Long

Sonora



The Golden Rule

To the Editor:

As a Christian pastor and an American citizen, Trent Fiorino has every right to uphold the teachings of the Bible. It is not hatred or slander or disgusting to talk about what one believes. One is not morally bankrupt because they strongly believe in something.

Mr. Fiorino has deeply held religious beliefs. He believes, as millions have for thousands of years, that the Bible says all sexual sin — homosexuality, sex before marriage, sex outside of marriage, even the epidemic of porn addiction — is sin. What he believes is not hate speech or discriminatory. He is being true to Scriptures he honors as sacred.

Likewise, the LGBTQ+ community has strong beliefs. They believe they have the right to live as they have chosen. Their convictions also are not hateful or discriminatory towards those who disagree with them.

The Bill of Rights protects both sides. Each have the right to live what they believe and talk about what they believe. And, thank God, both sides are protected from either side forcing their beliefs on the other. This is the true spirit of freedom of religion in our nation. There is no liberty if one does not have the liberty to choose what they believe.

Demeaning remarks don’t solve anything. If someone is offended by someone else’s belief or chosen lifestyle, take it up with God. If you don’t believe in God, take it up with yourself. Shouldn’t our goal be to be kinder, more respectful human beings?

Disagreement isn’t discriminatory or hateful or divisive. It can be and will be if that's what people choose But it doesn’t have to be.

How one responds is what matters. Isn’t there enough misery, anger, and hatred? I believe treating others the way we want to be treated is a better way.

TY Atkins

Tuolumne

Better water access needed

To the Editor:

A recent letter from a retired rafter advocated opening a gate to allow the public to use the remaining roadway to drive down to the water at Parrotts Ferry. Yes, why not? Before Parrotts Ferry was put under water, promises were made to enhance fisheries and improve recreational opportunities. These promises have not been kept and the general public has not been adequately compensated for what was sacrificed.

That cool spot in the shade beside the clear flowing water was free of charge and easy to get to. Its beauty beyond the ken of man to build could put its visitors into harmony with the wordless mystery at the center.

The value of a river should not be measured only by acres irrigated, revenue generated or motor boats sold. Rare places of beauty enrich us in ways that money can't buy. Only nature can make them. Our work should be to preserve and honor them. The public is owed some expenditure and effort by the Bureau of Reclamation to at least provide better access so that we can more easily enjoy what's left of that special place.

John Watson

Columbia

23486525