Readers comments 10-12-18
Well, I’ve written several letters to the editor over the 57 years I have lived in Claremont, but I have never before gotten hate mail in response. So, today, a letter from “anonymous” arrived by someone who was really ticked off by my letter (COURIER, October 5) in response to Ms. Mahoney.
The rather incoherent letter says that the “Democratic Party is actually the party of the rich,” which is news to me, having grown up as a Roosevelt Democrat. (I don’t remember even mentioning the Democrats in my letter).
It goes on to suggest that I “despise the rich” and that I am “really a socialist-communist and [I ought to] move to Russia. Better yet how about Venezuela.” The latter reminds me of the ‘60s when Vietnam protestors were universally invited to leave the country.
What I find remarkable about all of this is the prevailing hatred that has erupted into the political life of our country. And anonymous hatred is worse yet. Whether one likes or dislikes the current presidency is a tiny issue compared to what seems to have happened to public life and discourse in this country.
[Editor’s note: I was beyond disheartened to learn of the cowardly attempt to insult Mr. Beckman at his home. This has happened two or possibly three times over the years. I cannot stress to our readers the seriousness of respecting one another’s privacy. Residents have every right to submit letters for publication without the consequence of infrignment on privacy. The tenor of the hate mail suggests that the writer is most likely a conservative, an ideology that consistenly espouses support of freedom of speech. The irony here is plentiful. If you have something to say to a letter-writer then have the courage to respond in print. To Mr. Beckman, please accept our most sincere apology, and thank you for helping make Claremont a community rich with energetic, and open, dialogue. —KD]
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reacted emotionally to the accusations of sexual assault leveled at him. If he were a woman, some people (mostly male) would be saying that she showed she was too emotional for the office.
As a result of his highly emotional and angry reaction to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony and his slanderous attacks on Democrats, I have no confidence that he will judge cases without partisan bias.
To minimize partisanship, confirmation of a Supreme Court justice and other federal judges should require 60 or 67 votes to ensure that, if confirmed the nominee will have respect and support by all parties and will be less likely to have emotional bias when on the bench. The senate should reinstate the 60-vote “filibuster” rule.
To prevent a future senate leader from blocking a vote like Mitch McConnell did, it needs to be accompanied by a rule that a vote will be taken within a given period of time and before a subsequent nominee can be given a vote, unless the original nominee has withdrawn or has been withdrawn by the president.
If further investigation of the nominee is still needed at the deadline, the senate can vote to postpone the decision to a time certain and vote when it’s ready, but it will have to vote something within the deadline.
Even more reliable will be a Constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority to confirm and a deadline to vote.
If introduced, it may have difficulty getting through our polarized congress, but if it gets through, I am optimistic that the necessary majority of the states will ratify it for the good of the country.
Prop 6 negativity
Bob Gerecke has obviously not read the SB 1 details. [“Voting yes on Prop 6 means worse roads,” October 10].
In addition to raising the cost of living for all Californians who drive, and the cost of living for all Californians by raising truck transportation costs thereby driving the price of all products up. A minimum of 40 percent of the revenue from SB 1 goes to public transportation, not roads. And the taxes will escalate over time to new heights, including the bullet train that is floundering due to lack of funds and cost overruns.
What the proponents of Prop 6 want is (a) a vote for any future tax hikes, (b) a conscious effort on the part of the legislature to focus existing funds toward vital projects like road repair, (c) a conscious effort on the part of Caltrans to perform efficient, cost effective work instead of feather bedding any and all projects and, (d) eliminate funding for the bullet train which is a total fiasco and which most Californians now wish to eliminate.
Don’t let threats to further road deterioration fool you. Vote yes on Prop 6.
In response to “Trump’s Achievements” [September 28].
I’ll give Donald Trump credit for creating the most divisive and mean-spirited presidency in memory. (Forget the blue and the gray of the Civil War and think of a new kind of civil war between the blue and the red!)
His real achievement has nothing to do with the non-stop controversies and distractions; rather, he’s stocking the lower courts with very conservative judges and has filled one Supreme Court vacancy (robbed from Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland) and has a second seat to fill. (Stay tuned on that one.)
Even Richard Nixon, at his most unguarded on those infamous tapes, seemed to have more style and eloquence, especially when in public. But let’s look at the economy: When Mr. Obama took office in early 2009, he inherited a horrific recession. A series of corrective steps were taken and the ball started rolling. The stock market began to climb from the 54 percent drop suffered from October 9, 2007 through March 9, 2009, when the DOW slid from 14,165 to 6,547. While everything was not perfect, we did dodge a bullet.
Mr. Trump, then, inherited a pretty good economy. On November 8, 2016, before the final election outcomes were known, the DOW closed at 18,332, a 180 percent recovery, and a sore spot for those who panicked and sold everything in early 2009 and never got back in the market. On Mr. Obama’s last day in office, January 19, 2017, the DOW closed at 19,732, a roughly 200 percent gain from the March 2009 basement. (This is one reason I find the recent massive tax cuts odd, apart from the benefits that accrue to certain targeted groups. Economic stimulation seems better saved for when the inevitable downturn occurs.)
As for immigration: Earlier this year, I saw David Frum (no liberal, he) speak at the Athenaeum at the Claremont Colleges. He pointed out that a very large number of “illegals” come by airplane and overstay their visas; no wall would take care of that, but tough talk about walls sounds great at campaign rallies. (Once again, those darn simple solutions to complex problems.) Immigration reform requires intelligent and bipartisan solutions, not slogans and cheap theatrics.
Who was it that commented on the wisdom of speaking softly while carrying a big stick? Now that I like.
Debt at the dining hall
Do local restaurants know that the meal plan for students of the Claremont Colleges is incredibly expensive? In an article written by The Forum, it was noted that students on the eight meals per week plan, the minimum meal plan allowed at Claremont McKenna College, pay more than $24 per meal.
With such a huge premium to the amount someone would pay for an average meal eating out, maybe there will be an increase in college students supporting Claremont’s local restaurants.