Letters to the Editor

Myth of self-made man | Letters to the editor, Nov. 4, 2018

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Huntington Tri-State Airport, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in Huntington, W.Va.
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Huntington Tri-State Airport, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in Huntington, W.Va. AP

‘Self-made man’ is just a myth

Hans Christian Andersen’s “Emperor’s New Clothes” is relevant today. One example is Trump’s false claim about being a self-made man. The self-made man myth has been spread by many oligarchs. The truth is there is no self-made person. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote in his foreword to “Tools of Titans,” “…it is not true that I am self-made...”

President Trump may want people to believe that billionaires become wealthy without anyone’s help. Actually, Trump got huge sums from his father and took advantage of government programs. Trump and his father gave themselves tax breaks that the average person cannot take; Trump and others don’t contribute enough money for essential government programs that strengthen our democracy. People depend on federal programs from natural disaster relief to Pell Grants for students.

When will American voters recognize that no one is self-made and that the federal government needs funds to support infrastructure, public education programs, Veterans’ Administration programs, and programs that help addicts get back on their feet? Please vote for candidates who work for the benefit of all, not just the billionaires who spread myths.

Leo Pedretti, Fresno

Need new method to pick justices

The current system for choosing justices for the Supreme Court has become too politicized. The original intent of having justices serve for life was to insulate them from politics. However, the selection process of presidential nomination and Senate confirmation is inherently partisan, especially now that a super-majority for approval is no longer required.

We saw this in the most recent nomination process, where the vote of a single senator made the difference, with others mostly splitting on party lines, ever mindful of the effect on their own re-election chances. The prevailing party cheered at having installed a justice with their preferred ideological bent who could serve for 30 years or more. Such long-serving justices tend to be less connected to the people and modern sociological concerns. Even more disturbing, there is no process for appealing decisions made by the Supreme Court.

A better method would be to have justices serve a single, finite term, such as six years, with the selection rotating by lot from the U.S. Federal Courts of Appeal, regardless of political party. Justices who completed their rotating term on the Supreme Court could then return to a position on the Appeals Court.

Linda Munoz, Fresno

Patients’ time is also precious

I took 2.5 hours off to accompany my elderly mother to the doctor. My mother’s doctor appointments requires an ASL interpreter to facilitate communication. Interpreters have multiple assignments, so when a scheduled appointment begins late or runs over, the patient is then left to fend for him or herself. We sat in the doctor’s office for an hour and a half before finally seeing the doctor for approximately 20 minutes. The only reason we didn’t wait an additional hour was because I began to vocalize the inefficiency and disrespect doctors offices display towards the very people they make their money from.

When my mother brought up the long wait time and the interpreter’s limited time, the doctor’s response was “If you have a problem waiting, you can find another doctor.” My mother has had this doctor for 30 years and this is how he treats her?! I am angered by the complacent attitude of doctors regarding patients schedules. Unreasonable wait times are commonplace among doctors; it’s high time patients unite by rescheduling appointments after 30 minutes of waiting and billing the doctor (his hourly rate) for the wait time. Maybe then doctors will get off their high horse and treat patients schedules with respect.

Colleen Coletti, Fresno

Cancer research gets needed money

I recently headed to our nation’s capital to join more than 700 fellow volunteers with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network for one of our favorite times of the year — the annual Leadership Summit and Lobby Day, when we meet with members of Congress to ask them to make cancer a policy priority.

This year, one of the “asks” was an increase in the budget for medical research. We accomplished it! Congress approved a $2 billion dollar funding increase for the National Institutes of Health and a $6 billion increase in funding for the National Cancer Institute. We also requested support for a bill currently pending in Congress that would increase education and access to palliative care, which addresses the symptoms of cancer and its treatment. And, we asked for votes in favor of legislation that would eliminate surprise co-pays and ensure those on Medicare have the same access to colorectal cancer screening as those with private insurance.

Consider becoming an ACS CAN volunteer cancer ambassador to help speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Find out more at www.fightcancer.org.

Audrey Redmond, Fresno