Not a Hillary fan
To the Editor:
Hillary Clinton reminds me of the Japanese soldier they found 30 years after World War II on an island in the Pacific in the loss of her bid to the presidency. He actually started shooting like her big mouth. Hey, it’s over. You lost.
Back to Basics: Fairness
To the Editor:
The American Dream was based on fairness. You worked hard, saved your money, improved your skills, and got ahead. Your kids got a good education and did even better.
Now, in every aspect of our lives, we have unfairness. CEOs make 1,000 times more than their workers. Large corporations, like Amazon, with billions in profits, pay zero taxes.
The very rich pay less of their income in taxes than middle-class workers. Our healthcare system is the best in the world for the very rich, but has become unaffordable for the middle class.
Recent government policies have made unfairness worse. The tax cut benefited the very rich and corporations. It did not stimulate investment, accelerate our economy, create good-paying jobs, or raise wages. Corporations did not invest.
They used their tax cut to raise their stock price. Workers got almost nothing. Homeowners in California got a tax increase.
Deregulation has helped corporate America, but not working people.
Banks, oil companies, drug companies, and big agricultural companies, like Monsanto, got huge benefits.
Meanwhile, oil prices and drug prices are exploding.
Farmers are struggling and we are threatened by fires, droughts and flooding due to climate change.
Over the past 35 years, incomes for the top 1 percent have doubled, but incomes for workers have barely increased.
We must restore fairness and create an economy that works for everyone.
We can do this. We can invest in our country and our people. Infrastructure investments create good jobs.
Renewable energy creates good jobs.
Investments in education will improve our skills, enable us to compete with China and India, and win.
Pre-school helps working moms and gives our kids a great start. We can break the monopolies of drug companies and hospitals, restore fair healthcare prices, and make healthcare affordable for everyone.
A great America rests on ethics
To the Editor:
Getting ahead by any means without regard for ethics.
Take, for example, Boeing’s decision to rely so heavily on the reliability of their computer system on their newest aircraft, that they did not think it necessary to thoroughly inform those who would be responsible for the passengers on their flights.
Or the pharmaceutical industry’s decision to charge whatever price the wealthiest among us can afford while disregarding to availability to the not so well-heeled who live in pain.
Those are only two examples, but I am sure that anyone can think of others and can see the problem we face in making America great again, by making sure that everyone in our society is served. It is time we stop making judgments about how hard someone has worked and caring about their circumstances, for we do not know what has happened to them and how one’s life can be altered by one seemingly inconsequential incident.
We are supposed to be a society of Christians, but we are behaving more like pagans. Getting ahead by any means has become vogue and even virtuous. We ignore doing the right thing if, in the end, it is profitable. The Bible asks, “What does it profit a man if he loses his own soul”? We need to ask ourselves this basic question and redirect our national way of thinking.
What would Washington do?
To the Editor:
In George Washington’s Farewell Address, the essay in which he memorialized our founding values, several things profoundly and consistently worried him: national debt, excessive partisanship and foreign government interference.
He was not prophetic. He was thoughtful, principled and experienced beyond our contemporary understanding.
He witnessed England, France and to lesser degrees Spain and Russia’s aggressive attempts to turn us into a puppet. Fortunately, he outfought, and out-witted them.
Plenty of folks were willing to do their bidding and to profit from those foreign attempts.
His was not the greatest mind in our foundling country, but he was the most inspirational and so he did what he knew so well, he wrote that address hopefully to guide and inspire us.
His deep concerns about excessive partisanship, escalating national debt and the horrors brought about by foreign interference are now more relevant than ever.
The Federal Election Commission clearly states taking foreign contributions of any kind for campaigns is illegal.
It is irrefutable Russians hacked our 2016 election.
They successfully attacked us by: impersonating American citizens on social media while using outrageously false propaganda, by Paul Manafort giving our election data to Russians (which they effectively used against us), by stealing private electronic correspondence, by infiltrating our voting information.
There is no reason to expect they will back off. Because we have not dealt with it, their interference is expected to be more pervasive.
This issue requires a cooperative non-partisan approach.
This time the Russians helped control our election, next time it might be China and it may be another party that wins. By cavalier acceptance of this war-like attack, we are unleashing all kinds of criminality in our elections.
It threatens our very survival.
Clear property, keep fingers crossed
To the Editor:
In response to a May 1 Letter to the Editor about the fire danger on upper Mt. Elizabeth Road. Mt. Elizabeth Road past the ditch runs through the Mt Elizabeth Estates subdivision.
The subdivision is made up of 12 20-acre lots. Those lots are privately owned. The portion of the road that the writer referenced runs through lot four of the subdivision. That lot is for sale and is owned by someone in Colorado.
This winter OES, with permission from the homeowner, cut down the hazardous trees that could fall on the road. OES has marked them and at some point will come and haul them away.
Fire Council 108 has also contacted the property owners and has gotten their permission to clear the property adjacent to the road.
These projects will clean up the immediate area around the road, but many of the lots are filled with dead trees both on the ground and still standing.
For some of the owners these lots are a real estate investments much like a mutual bond.
They have no intention of spending any additional monies to clean them up. Calling or writing Cal Fire will not help because there is nothing they can do prior to a fire.
We live on Mt Elizabeth.
We continue to clear our property, keep our fingers crossed, and are prepared to evacuate ourselves, and our animals at a moments notice.
To the Editor:
My wife and I went to the opening of “Barefoot in the Park” at the Murphys Creek Theatre. It is amazing. We never laughed so hard in our lives. Maryann Curmi did a great job picking the cast and directing them.
Thank you. We are so lucky to have this great theatre in our backyard. For any one who loves Neil Simon and comedy we recommend you go see it. Thanks again.
Chuck and Audrey Hurtibus
We need Woods Creek bridge
To the Editor:
It was great to read a few weeks ago about the plans to move forward with the construction of a new Woods Creek bridge at Rawhide Road.
Including construction, we are probably looking at two and a half years until completion. In the meantime, could consideration be given to programming the westbound Highway 108 red light to a red arrow, “No Right Turn on Red” when Rawhide Road is green.
Hopefully this would stop drivers from turning right and then entering the gas station, stop drivers from turning right on the red and pulling into the “hole” and disappearing from view of south bound drivers on Rawhide Road.
I can only wonder when I witness this. “Where did they go? A giant sinkhole, are they proceeding across, alien abduction?
Or the classic, the driver turns right on the red, sees traffic on the north side of the bridge, obeying the yield sign. But the right-turning driver is suddenly overcome with the urge to be a Good Samaritan, because they didn’t give the kid lunch money or they kicked the dog. This driver has right of way but just makes a mess of things.
The new bridge can’t come soon enough.
The Other 22
To the Editor:
Every day, so it seems, another applicant throws his or her hat in the ring to become the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate. Occasionally someone drops out but the list seems to keep growing.
That’s a good sign for the vitality of our democracy. It also strengthens the broad interest in developing a better union.
I couldn’t name all but I think the list now contains 22 names. Great, may the best ideas and their strongest proponents light the fire that will draw us to the voting booths in 18 months.
But there are another 22 positions open. They attract less attention because in that group nothing ever seems to happen. I call it the morgue of the Senate.
I am talking about the 22 Republican Senators whose terms are about to expire at the upcoming election. Among them Mister Roadblock himself, Mitch McConnell.
It’s high time, maybe even the last chance, to save the Republic. In the current scenario the Republican Party has hitched itself to a person who should never have ascended to the Presidency.
If the administration’s attitude to congressional oversight stands, ignoring legal demands and casting aside even subpoenaes, every future president could rightfully argue that he or she could just well follow the precedence and ignore the Constitution.
A good step in the right direction would be if the Republican Party could recover its identity that was lost when it began to identify itself, come hell or high water, with everything Trump says or does.
Before it’s too late
To the Editor:
Can we PLEASE have a sincere/honest discussion about the real situation that we, our neighbors, and our county, are facing right now?
Are you one of the many homeowners who have had their home insurance canceled recently because of no reason other than ‘fire danger’? If you are, you are probably staggering under a double or triple rate increase from the insurance that you had, if you can even get a replacement.
Are you aware that certain individuals have been advocating strongly for ‘fire water drafting’ points along the 70-mile TUD ditch system? Are you aware that the ditch system stretches throughout a large portion of Tuolumne County and could provide significant protection?
Are you aware that if the wooden flume (owned by PG&E) in the Stanislaus River canyon were to be lost, we would have no water? Are you aware of the fact that many ‘up-country’ (WUI) communities lack adequate fire water flow, or none at all?!
Are you aware that Josh White, the Cal-Fire Chief for our area is, and has been adamantly against such drafting points for several years? Huh? Are you aware that several Tuolumne County Board Supervisors have supported White’s shortsighted viewpoint? Huh?
When will we as a community stand up and take back control of this run-away Tuolumne County government that is driving us into ruin or worse? Get involved. We need to understand just how Cal-Fire is going to protect us if a fire occurs, and in what ‘pecking order’ if a fire, or fires are occurring in other parts of the state. Do we draw the short straw because Senator So and So has a home in the path of a fire in San Luis Obispo? Just ask’in.
Do your job, Congress
To the Editor:
The last couple weeks since the Mueller Report release have been a complete circus in the media and Congress. Total shock and denial. The great aspirations the report would result in President Trump being dragged handcuffed, kicking and screaming out of the White House and off to Leavenworth, shattered.
The results, no collusion and no chargeable obstruction but Mueller planted a few seeds of doubt. Now William Barr is the bad guy for his report summary and a target himself.
The Democrats are digging for any scraps they can to revive their aspirations while trying to create an appearance of obstruction. All their activities in the last couple weeks remind me of the old story of the little boy and the manure pile. The boy was frantically digging away at the pile and when asked why responded, “With all this manure there has to be a pony in there somewhere!”
The Democrats are hoping to find something impeachable buried in the report or supporting documentation.
Over the last two and a half years or more on a regular basis conspiracy theories keep coming up, each time with great excitement, “We finally got him!” only each time proven to be false. This hate campaign has been destructive to the country and obstructive to Congress getting the people’s work done. This is where the real obstruction has been.
We have a real crisis on the border, the product of a broken immigration and asylum policies in need of reform. We have a medical care system that needs fixed with a legitimate solution. We have an aging infrastructure system that needs attention. That is just some of the backlog that Congress needs to attend to.
These hate-driven political games need to end, and Congress needs to get down to doing their job.