Letters to the Editor

Border control | Letters to the editor, Nov. 30, 2018

Central American migrants, part of the caravan hoping to reach the U.S. border, get a ride on the bed of a semi flat bed trailer, in Donaji, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. The migrants had already made a grueling 40-mile (65-kilometer) trek from Juchitan, Oaxaca, after they failed to get the bus transportation they had hoped for. But hitching rides allowed them to get to Donaji early, and some headed on to a town even further north, Sayula.
Central American migrants, part of the caravan hoping to reach the U.S. border, get a ride on the bed of a semi flat bed trailer, in Donaji, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. The migrants had already made a grueling 40-mile (65-kilometer) trek from Juchitan, Oaxaca, after they failed to get the bus transportation they had hoped for. But hitching rides allowed them to get to Donaji early, and some headed on to a town even further north, Sayula. AP file

Flood of unwashed keeps rolling

We should thank the Trumpeteers for waking us up. If not for them, we would not care to take our gaze from that little screen and pay attention to our society.

White people fear becoming a minority because of the influx of “the brown face.” But our leaders are mostly white and they are acting like junkyard watch dogs snarling at those who want to save themselves by moving north. Our blond leader’s efforts to stem the tide are useless. Inertia rules.

Northern countries took pity on the dispossessed and welcomed them. Today they doubt their good intentions. The flood of the unwashed is beating on Trump’s door. Build a wall. Deny them humanity. Lock ’em up. Take their kids. The Trumpian band keeps marching on to the cliff.

No one can stem the tide. Not even with walls.

David Desroches, Fresno

The key is be open to new ideas

Civil discussion between people is dying more and more every day, as it seems. The ability of people to detach themselves from their opinions and be open to change is outright rare.

I have experienced emotional silencing or generalizations due to having a differing opinion. This type of behavior is commonly associated with the left. Yet, all the same, people inflate anecdotes of this behavior and, in turn, use it to silence the left, claiming they’re cry-babies not worthy of having their opinions heard.

Recently I told my dad about my experience meeting a federal judge twice appointed by Barack Obama. He responded “Must have been a lib[eral],” and looked at me expectantly, waiting for my defense of him. Immediate negative assumptions and name-calling of those whose beliefs are not consistent with yours is ignorant and regressive. Should this behavior continue, democracy cannot survive. The sharing of ideas is cut out all together, and this nation becomes infinitely more divisive than it already is.

I urge you: unblock those people on Twitter who defended Kavanaugh, and listen to that college student advocating for Black Lives Matter — you just might learn something.

Grant Hill, Clovis

High-speed rail going nowhere

In theory, high-speed rail is a great idea. In practice, it is a “bridge to nowhere” — a complete boondoggle which will never be completed because the real costs will far exceed any ability to pay them. China can build high-speed rail because its government can simply confiscate private property, which we cannot do. I rarely — probably never before — have agreed with Assemblyman Jim Patterson on anything, but he is spot on on high-speed rail.

It is time to cut our losses and put an end to it.

Robert Rosati, Fresno

Much smoke in wildfire debate

I am responding to the Valley Voice by Joe Denham (Valley Voices, Saturday, Nov.17). Apparently Mr. Denham has not familiarized himself with Trump’s 2018 budget for the Forest Service and associated operations.

The 2018 budget for the Forest Service was $4.73 billion, a decrease of $938 million dollars from FY 2016. He also quotes Trump tweets about Forest Service mismanagement, even though this administration has cut the budgets for some of the areas Mr. Denham claims are necessary for “proper management.”

In this budget, funding for brush disposal was decreased by 20 percent, timber salvage sales took a 30 percent hit, grazing management lost 47 percent, and, under capital, improvements for roads (access to fight fires etc.) saw a 103 percent loss of funding. Additionally, vegetation and watershed management lost 5 percent.

While the costs of fire suppression have outpaced the costs of management, the Trump budget uses an accounting trick to lend the illusion that fighting fires is high priority, by shifting from fire suppression after eight hours to siphoning funds from the preparedness part of the budget. The budget also accounts for the sale of 3.2 billion board-feet of timber by the Forest Service from 1.7 million acres of national forest lands. That represents only a small percentage of total forest lands to be “thinned.”

When people start casting aspersions about mismanagement without looking at the budgetary picture, they tend to discredit their own arguments. For me personally, when Mr. Denham said “Trump was right”, the jig was up because Trump has not been right about much of anything, let alone forest management, which he knows absolutely nothing about. The whole Trump budget for USFS and state forest management is yet another smokescreen by the Trump administration, where he can justify putting the blame on the agencies asked with oversight, while de-funding the entire process!

I think Mr. Denham’s heart is in the right place, but he is getting his facts wrong, and is hitching the premise of his argument to the wrong donkey.

Timothy McKeever, Fresno

  Comments