Kudos to McCarthy

To the Editor:

The Union Democrat’s Guy McCarthy has done it again with his recent article on Murderers Gulch and the propane tanker mishap. The combination of an update on the current situation and a historic perspective made for a most informative read. We continue to enjoy and look forward to Mr. McCarthy’s reports on the environment and more generally the great outdoors.

Dick Chimenti

Twain Harte

Do your job or be fired

To the Editor:

In December 2018, the Republican-controlled Senate unanimously passed a budget without wall funding. As their first order of business in January, the newly elected House passed budget measures to reopen the government that are essentially the same as the December 2018 budget passed by the Senate. Yet Mitch McConnell refuses to put these budget measures to a vote simply because the president threatened not to sign them.

This undermines the separation of powers established by the Constitution. Congress passes the budget. The president can sign the budget or use his veto as a check on Congress. But Congress has the ultimate “power of the purse,” and can override a presidential veto with a two-thirds majority.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Congress cannot vote on a budget the president doesn’t like. We elected a president, not a dictator. Speaker McConnell seems so afraid to damage his re-election chances by going against the president that he won’t even put the budget to a vote.

One man, Mitch McConnell, has denied all of us our voice in the Senate and ceded the power to legislate to the Executive Branch. One man has decided that his reelection is more important than the paychecks of 800,000 hardworking Americans.

Let our Constitutional balance of powers work. McConnell should do his job and bring the proposed budget to the Senate floor. Then, our Senators need to grow a spine and vote to reopen the government so we can all get back to work. Call Mitch McConnell today at (202) 224-2541 or send an email at https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm to tell him to do his job or he’s fired.

Nan Fuller

Sonora

This is not how democracy works

To the Editor:

The British Empire attempted to rule the world and ultimately failed, and now it looks as though the United States is trying to take Britain’s place on the world stage.

The Great Wall of China and The Berlin Wall; both eventually failed. I am sure Trump’s wall will fail too. By the way; T is for terrible, can you think of another word for rump?

Representatives of the majority of voters (Congress) is against spending taxpayer money to build a monstrous wall along our southern border. Why should one asinine person be able to override the will of the people? This is not the way a Democracy is supposed to work.

The Electoral College is the reason that Donald Trump and George Bush won their elections, rather than the candidates who received a majority of the popular votes. I can only speculate that hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians would not have been killed in Iraq, if Al Gore would have been president rather than Bush.

Much of the Middle East is in disarray due to U.S. meddling. The attack and destruction of Iraq is in large part the cause of the disarray. Millions of U.S. citizens demonstrated in an attempt to dissuade the U.S. from that attack. Millions of people demonstrated in many European countries, too. And now, we are supporting Saudi Arabia in their bombing of civilians in Syria.

European countries have accepted thousands of refugees fleeing persecution. So, why can’t the U.S. accept a few refugees — especially when you consider we are supporting corrupt, vicious dictators in many Latin American countries.

Jerry Fueslein

Jamestown

Our basic rights

To the Editor:

The Age of Enlightenment produced the declaration of the “Rights of Man,” the statement of the basic rights we share as humans, rights we should and must recognize and support. They are enshrined in our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The international manifestation of the Rights of Man is the principle of asylum. The 18th Century rise of the nation-state led, for many, to the condition of statelessness. Since then for a variety of political and economic reasons many people have become refugees. Countries have received migrants who represent cultural, ethnic, linguistic, religious and national differences. Alternative responses have been repatriation and assimilation, both of which were problematic. Refugee issues are perhaps greater today than ever.

We must recognize that people migrate reluctantly. The notion that people come to America because we are so great socially and economically is not true. Greed is an American value, and people prefer to remain in the culture in which they were born and raised, one in which they are socially connected and feel supported. They migrate for survival, a threat from which Americans have largely been spared; a threat for others largely of American creation.

Our commitment, as a nation, to the Rights of Man requires positive action. The short-term response: accept and welcome all legitimate asylum seekers into our country. The long-term response: work internationally to assure that all people have life, liberty and support for their pursuit of happiness in their native land.

Phil Nichols

Sonora

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