Put in in perspective

To the Editor:

In 1932, the far right “nationalist” working class NSDAP publicly targeted the conservative “establishment” DNVP in upcoming parliamentary elections. Post-election, the DNVP quickly dissolved. Many of its members not already defecting to the NDSAP quickly did so, at least by appearances.

With “whopper” propaganda overwhelming a supposedly “lying press,” practiced mass showmanship, and ceaseless scapegoating of immigrants, minorities, religions, the courageous, and the left “encouraged” by armies of street hoodlums, the NDSAP advanced its agenda unchecked. Those daring to voice opposition were openly shunned as unpatriotic, imprisoned in concentration camps, or liquidated. Historians remarked the conservative party’s failure to offer a viable alternative to the NDSAP significantly contributed to the destruction of democracy and the republic.

Surviving former DNVP members were executed when, renouncing their silent complicity, they belatedly sought to effect political change by force.

Our parents served in World War II to prevent this very evil from overcoming America, not to see it become established here. Those tempted to welcome surrogate Steve Bannon’s nationalist political war on establishment Republicans should think again. History teaches that for both the left and the right, there are things much worse than an establishment Republican Party.

Steve Monroe


The laughable
laffer curve

To the Editor:

Guileless Democrats allow Republicans to talk “tax reform.” This latest, another reincarnation of the same trickle-down nonsense: “conservative” policies benefiting corporate sponsors, paid for by ordinary taxpayers.

Dr. Arthur Laffer showed Ronald Reagan on an envelope, how tax cuts for the wealthy would stimulate the economy. They’d also pay for themselves in added tax revenue. That this has never worked doesn’t prevent Heritage Foundation economists, with the same veneer of authority, from spouting the same line today – $70 billion to “job-creators,” ($1 trillion to $2 trillion additional national debt.)

Since Reagan, the fruits of invention, innovation and productivity have gone entirely to top earners, reversing the post WWII pattern, when marginal tax rates were high, the economic Golden Age, marking the American Century.

Not only did paychecks stagnate, the nation itself became diminished: deteriorating infrastructure, third-world healthcare outcomes, inaccessible higher education, diminished expectations and the world’s highest incarceration rate.

Justified discontent catapulted Trump to the White House. Even the wealthy may begin to wonder where a political philosophy of austerity (for you) leads. We appear headed from plutocracy to kleptocracy.

Banks used to finance industry. Now lending to Main Street is just 15 percent of financial sector business, the rest, “a closed loop of trading and corporate deal-making designed to enrich the already rich” (New York Times.) Four percent of jobs take 40 percent of corporate profits.

It needn’t be this way. For starters, a one-pro-mil transactions tax could penalize speculators who erode your 401k. Fair marginal tax rates, on all income, including capital gains, could pay for decent health care, education and rebuilding rotting bridges. Seventy-thousand pages of tax code are simply 70,000 pages of political obfuscation, tax give-aways.

Retirees on Medicare see the problem filtered through friends and children. Time to stop being bamboozled! Perhaps time to evaluate our moral values.

Paolo Maffei


Vilifying the rich

To the Editor:

In my large extended family, we have members who would be considered rich, poor, small business owners and veterans.

I have worked with and for rich and poor people, small and large businesses, and had and have my own businesses. It’s been popular for quite some time to vilify rich people, especially by people who ride the meteor tail of the mass media.

One member of my family was a flight mechanic who became an inspector who now works for a firm that services $60 million private jet planes. The rich buy these planes, and yachts, golf courses, hotels, which are built and maintained by many people; and buy or start businesses that need capital.

The rich do not work to maintain their possessions as we do; they have managers who contract firms that supply the landscapers and housekeepers, etc. They hire a whole lot of people. Many of the rich are rich because they have different disciplines than everyday people, they save, think positively, possess a don’t-give-up attitude, believe in achieving, and that is at the core of what built this nation. So their money is not an issue because in some way we all benefit from them.

What each of us, rich, poor, do with our money or possessions is the issue; whether it is moral or immoral. The opposite example of this is Bernie Madoff, an immoral pariah upon our society, and Dr. Ben Carson, who is a very admired man. PG&E officers knew about the San Bruno gas leak for two years, and we saw the devastation that caused; so were the stockholders immoral? So if being rich is evil in itself as the media projects, can someone please explain to me why there are over 100 million people in the country every week buying lottery tickets?

Frank Wilson

Tracy, with homes in Jamestown


To the Editor:

In 1966, when I was drafted, I went. That’s what men did; they served their country when called. By the time I completed my two years, including a year in Vietnam as a clerk in a hospital, I realized that the war was a big mistake. My government had lied and it kept on lying. The results were tragic beyond description.

Those who answered the call were patriots, as were those who refused but answered the call of their conscience instead. But I feel that someone who evaded the draft for selfish reasons has no business telling me or anyone else how to act during the playing of a song. The football players who are protesting police misconduct toward African-Americans are trying to lead us to a better future. When President Trump questions their patriotism because they don’t follow a ritual, he is being as self-serving and deceitful as when he dodged the draft.

While African-American draftees were dying in Vietnam, Trump Management Inc. was systematically violating the Fair Housing Act. A civil rights suit by the Justice Department resulted in a consent decree in 1975. In August 2017, President Trump suggested to an audience of law enforcement officers that police should treat suspects more roughly. His Justice Department has ended the policy of pursuing the consent decrees that were used to curb profiling and police brutality. NFL players are calling attention to matters of life and death, but instead of listening, President Trump wraps himself in the flag and says that these legitimate protests are an insult to veterans.

This veteran isn’t buying any of it. I say that it’s time for President Trump to grow up, get to work, and be the president of all the people.

John Watson