Letters to the Editor

Capitalism and opiod crisis: Letters to the editor, Oct. 6, 2019

Members of P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) and Truth Pharm staged a protest on Sept. 12, 2019 outside Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut over a recent controversial opioid settlement. Participants dropped hundreds prescription bottles of OxyContin while holding tombstones with the names of opioids casualties and banners reading “Shame on Sackler” and “200 Dead Each Day.”
Members of P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) and Truth Pharm staged a protest on Sept. 12, 2019 outside Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut over a recent controversial opioid settlement. Participants dropped hundreds prescription bottles of OxyContin while holding tombstones with the names of opioids casualties and banners reading “Shame on Sackler” and “200 Dead Each Day.” TNS

Capitalism, without greed, can happen

Capitalism: You go into business and promote your product. You decide to overlook some obvious problems. Your product might put others out of business, be harmful to people or the planet. Perhaps it causes addiction such as Oxycontin. No problem. You’re making money.

If you’re the Sackler family of Purdue Pharma, you may be making billions. They are capitalists. If you become addicted to the drug, it can ruin your life and you become homeless. In Fresno County you may soon be called a criminal. I assume your crime will be refusal to adapt to capitalism.

If you’re the Sackler family, you may be fined, possibly $3 million. But when your fortune is $31 million you probably won’t miss the money.

True socialism, unlike a recent ad targeting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is not a system promoting death, contrary to the grim photo of skulls and bones. A more accurate photo would be of Denmark, where the citizens are said to be the happiest on Earth. Socialism there, as in other Nordic countries, means supporting its citizens by giving them health coverage, new parental support and child care. It means giving them the best aspects of capitalism, minus the greed.

Kay Tolladay Pitts, Fresno

What 2nd Amendment does not say

The Second Amendment is 27 words in one sentence separated by two commas: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

It’s important to note that “well regulated” and “militia” are right up front, also that there is a difference between “the people” and the individual. If any individual has the right to any arm, then where is my personal nuclear weapon. Ridiculous? Yes, because the people of the United States have this right, the individual does not.

If the authors of the Second Amendment meant to say what its fanatics believe they did say, the authors could have been a lot clearer. Is that sacrilegious? If indeed they meant this, they could have written this: “A unregulated person unaffiliated with any States’ sanctioned security, being necessary to forcefully restrict a constitutionally elected government, the right of all individuals to keep and bear any and all arms shall not be infringed.” Why didn’t they? Maybe that’s not what they meant to say, and what they did write is what they did mean.

Don Smith, Fresno

Ban facial recognition? That’s beyond dumb

It is beyond dumb to ban the use of facial recognition technology. What will be next? Banning the use of photographs? The ACLU claims that the way we look to others is somehow private. If that is the reason for banning the use of facial recognition technology by our law enforcement folks, it must certainly be the case for photographs. As I said ... beyond dumb.

James M. Spitze, Sanger

Homeless need help, not legal fights

Of all the disgusting news covered on the front page of the Sept. 13 Bee, none turned my stomach more than the story that Fresno County Board of Supervisors wants to overturn a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal ruling that does not allow cities to criminalize the homeless for living outside.

Are you kidding me? (Supervisor Nathan) Magsig’s disingenuous arguments in favor — so their hands are not tied and they can find solutions — would be laughable if I thought people would not be fooled.

What exactly would criminalization look like? There is no housing and there certainly is no room in the jails. Is Fresno County planning on opening a concentration camp for the homeless (they haven’t yet built a shelter for stray animals)? Will we be trying to attract a private prison to the area to house them? Lots of jobs! Will homeless youth go to Juvenile Hall or into foster care? What about honoring our homeless vets suffering from PTSD?

Supervisors, quit pretending this is about helping the homeless or that you have any understanding of the homeless problem. Quit pretending you are trying to solve it. Own your truth!

Marilyn Watts, Fresno

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