Readers’ comments: April 19, 2024

Are taxes really inevitable?
Dear editor:
A reminder of the inevitability of death and taxes: death is surely inevitable, but are income taxes equally inevitable?
According to Scott Andrew Smith, we have two economies in the United States, and one is not taxed at all. The economy you and I and most people belong to is the economy of goods and services, and is the one that is taxed all the time. The other economy, the money economy, is never taxed and according to Smith if it were to be taxed at only 2% per transaction, the rest of us would not have to pay any income tax.
Last year The Agenda for a Prophetic Faith, one of many organizations created by John B. Cobb Jr., brought Smith to Claremont. He was quite approachable and answered all questions in a clear and understandable manner. The sad thing is that no one from the money economy was presented to rebut Mr. Smith’s claims. Invitations were issued but people from the money economy didn’t come.
We have an opportunity in Claremont to hear, or read, the other side. Mr. Donald Gould, a frequent contributor to this publication, could help us understand whether or not there are in two economies, if it’s true only one economy is taxed, and if it’s true that if money transactions were to be taxed at the 2% rate, as Mr. Smith proposes, income tax would be unnecessary. It’s my hope that Mr. Gould will explain.
Ignacio Castuera 


City should repeal utility tax
Dear editor:
Are Claremont residents paying too much for utility tax? The bottom line answer is yes!
This month California utility users received a California Climate Credit. My gas bill and Edison electric bill showed the credit, but the City of Claremont taxed that credit at 5.5%.
It is time to revisit the city utility tax law and adjust to make living in Claremont affordable.
I recommend repealing the Claremont utility tax on all utilities.
Gerald J. Collier


The mysteries of water
Dear editor:
Several community members in the City of Claremont who live below the San Antonio Dam have filed a lawsuit against multiple water agencies and cities as a result of flooding and property damage to homes that occurred as a result of a 2023 rainstorm.
Included in the lawsuit are the cities of Pomona, Claremont, Upland, and La Verne, as well as Golden State Water Company, Pomona Valley Protective Association, and Six Basins Watermaster, an appointed board representing all above. Six Basins’ mission is the spreading of water in the Claremont hills below San Antonio Dam and conducting water studies.
Six Basins’ president is water resources director for Pomona, which makes the city’s ratepayers liable for legal fees connected to the lawsuit. The same can be said for Claremont, La Verne, Upland, and Golden State ratepayers.
In 2023 a family impacted by the flooding attended a Pomona City Council meeting asking for help resolving the damage to their property. They were ignored by the mayor and city council. In 2023 community members impacted by the flooding attended a Six Basins meeting and again were ignored.
At a recent Three Valleys Municipal Water District meeting the appointed member to Six Basins Watermaster representing Division 3 of Three Valleys, which includes Claremont and La Verne,  commented that Golden State General Manager Ben Lewis had discovered a perched spring (a body of water separated from the main groundwater source) below San Antonio Dam in an area near Claremont’s Pilgrim Place.
How is it possible to discover a perched spring in a city as big as Claremont and have no answer for a water leak that caused property damage below San Antonio Dam?
Transparency is a word often thrown around to get elected.
John Mendoza


Courier ‘editorial straitjacket’ is a mistake
Dear editor:
I am extremely disappointed to read that Mick Rhodes’ recent op ed piece on the war in Gaza [“There is no justification for the horrors in Gaza,” March 29] has prompted the Courier to limit its political pieces only to city politics. What happens in the world and on a national level impacts all of us in this town, and I have appreciated the Courier’s precedent of Claremonters sharing their diverse viewpoints. It especially helps me as a voting citizen to read opinions I do not agree with so I can learn more about differing perspectives in a civil format. I think if the Courier wants to flourish, I maintain that it shouldn’t put on an editorial straitjacket. The paper will lose much of its current vibrancy.
Clyde Derrick


Rhodes is our own Donald Trump
Dear editor:
Courier Editor Mick Rhodes is like Claremont’s own version of Donald Trump when it comes to humility. Editor Rhodes published 12 letters to the editor all using the exact phrase “we need more voices like Mick Rhodes.” Eleven of the 12 letters came from outside Claremont and some from foreign countries, so this was clearly an organized astroturfing propaganda effort, but a very successful one. Who said flattery gets you nowhere?
So to that end, I’d like to nominate Editor Rhodes for a Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Peace Prize and the Adult Video News Award for Most Virile Male on Earth.
Rhodes’ anti-Israel advocacy is well-trod territory at this point. He says Israel’s response to Hamas’ October 7 attack is “disproportionate,” but never says what would have been proportionate to an attack that even he admits was “barbaric.” He just keeps moving the goalposts in his analysis to ensure that his position remains “on the right side of history …” at least as defined by our humble editor.
Jonathan Brown


It’s not Trump’s fault
Dear editor:
The cowards and hypocrites protesting at Pomona College [“20 masked protesters arrested after occupying Pomona College president’s office,” April 12] realized wearing masks and hiding their identities/politics would help in finding future employment. After all, who would hire someone who embraces the goals and propaganda of a terrorist regime whose 1988 charter blamed Jews for both world wars, and explicitly demands their death? These same people will probably swallow whole and then parrot the Iranian’s excuse for targeting Israel last week.
The Courier helped flame the terrorist’s claims with Mick Rhodes [“There is no justification for the horrors in Gaza,” March 29] inexplicably drawing a moral equivalency between Israel and Nazi Germany when he stated powerful Israel was trying to impose its will on the minority population of Gaza through bombings, shootings, and starvation. This after acknowledging Hamas targeted Israeli civilians, which of course is very different than Palestinian civilian deaths as a result of Hamas using them as human shields.
As a former civil rights and anti-war protester myself, I too was enamored with the emotional progressive/Democrat arguments and blithely gave my vote to a party that didn’t think twice of sacrificing more than 3 million lives in Southeast Asia when it defunded the Vietnam War, leaving a power vacuum. Helping Democrats gain power at the cost of freedom and peoples’ lives are not my values, so I learned (and taught) how snake-oil merchants, used car salesmen, politicians, and “journalists” hide the truth.
Will I continue subscribing to the Courier, reading Mick Rhodes and the various sections? Absolutely! Reading the comments sections’ emotional, illogical, non-factual, and costly reasons for voting our nation into its current negative condition with evaporating civil rights, the poor economy, a multi-tiered justice system, and our last two Democrat presidents supporting terrorists through cash payouts and allowing nuclear development is illuminating, especially if I can show them that “this didn’t and wouldn’t happen under Trump.”
Leslie Watkins

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