June 18, 2020, letters to the editor
Regarding the election
Karma is inevitable.
William D. McCann
Speaking of blame
This is in response to the recent letter of Eileen Cohen blaming Democrats for recent “riots” during the peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Specifically, she accuses democrats of lying, corruption, getting rich, and tearing our country apart. And I can’t help but notice that those behaviors are the very description of the man in the White House. He is known for lying, having told over 18,000 lies while in office. His political strategy has been to divide and conquer since his first day in office. He has been intent upon dividing America politically, culturally, and by socio-economic group. Anyone who disagrees with him is “the enemy” and this attitude has affected our daily discourse to the point that we no longer seem able to have civil debate.
In his letter of the same date, Peter Engles suggests that our society has “had enough of good Americans sitting quietly and not speaking out against what is happening to our country”. But wait, that is exactly what the protestors are doing—speaking out about police brutality, particularly against black men. The violence perpetrated on black men is the result of our history of racism, which not only still (gasp!) exists, but is ingrained in our society due to our history. In addition, our police departments all across the country have become militarized, utilizing wartime equipment and training. Ever heard of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a motivational speaker who calls himself a “killologist”? He is frequently used as a trainer for police departments and he teaches cops to use “superior violence” to deal with crime. How about teaching how to defuse situations, rather than simply relying on violence. Police should not shoot at anyone unless a life is in danger. And must we continue to burden cops by expecting them to deal with social issues such as the homeless, elder abuse, child abuse and the mentally ill? The police should not be the first responders in these situations. Unfortunately, social services to those populations have been cut severely, forcing us to rely on our police, who are not trained to deal with these problems.
Police brutality is of great concern in America, as evidenced by the enormous number of people protesting and demanding action by our representatives. They must pass legislation requiring that officers be trained in how to defuse hostile situations and how to use anxiety-reducing techniques. It would also be helpful to teach the history of racism in this country. Legislation must also include provisions to make it less cumbersome to fire a “bad apple”. And, lastly, increasing funding to appropriate social services would create a win-win situation. People would receive the services they need from appropriately trained professionals and our men in blue would get a break. And, fewer citizens would be killed by the very people we trust to protect us. I agree with Mr. Engles that we must communicate with our representatives in Washington. Share our wishes and ideas of how to maintain our democratic society and fulfill the Founding Father’s ideal society in which government is instituted to guarantee life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.
Believe in democracy
A democracy survives as long as its citizens believe in it. Our strength as a country comes from being united in our belief in the Constitution and the rule of law, our weakness from being divided. As former Secretary of Defense Mattis wrote, Trump has spent his time in office dividing our country. General Mattis also wrote that Trump’s willingness to divide us makes Trump a threat to our democracy.
Trump has shown his autocratic tendencies throughout his presidency. He has ignored the Constitutional authority of Congressional oversight, he ordered members of his administration (and former members) to ignore Congressional subpoenas, he has fired Inspector Generals at his whim, he is interfering in the justice system (Flynn and Stone), he used military actions (tear gas, rubber bullets, low flying helicopters) to disperse a peaceful group of protestors exercising their 1st Amendment rights for a photo-op and stationed military equipped personnel in Washington D.C. without insignias or name tags.
Trump talks about voter fraud yet the panel he commissioned to study voter fraud did not find widespread fraud. The commission noted that since 1948 there have been 1000 convictions for voter fraud. Over the past 20 years more than 250 million mail in votes have been cast and we have had only 143 convictions. Iowa’s Republican Secretary of State called their 2020 primary election a great success with record number of people voting, they used mail in ballots. Iowa’s Republican state legislators had a different take and passed legislation to restrict the number of mail in ballots allowed. Trump and Republicans are using the claim of voter fraud to suppress the vote.
Response to some of the letters to the editor of June 11th. We have 5% of the world’s population yet we have 30% of the world’s death from Covid-19. The lack of national leadership (Trump) is the primary reason for the high death rate that continues to grow. Had Trump listened to the warnings given to him and taken action a few weeks earlier we wold have less than half the deaths we have now. Given the current rate of deaths, it is estimated we will reach 200,000 by the end of August. I don’t find that number to be insignificant and should just be blown off. The CDC recommends the wearing of face masks in public settings to slow the spread of Covid-19. Trump refuses to wear a mask and is basically encouraging Americans to do the same, another example of great leadership. Trump’s actions with the Flynn case demonstrates he does not support the rule of law. Trump had the DOJ withdraw Flynn’s criminal case/charges (even though Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI twice). The former judge assigned to review the DOJ request found it to be an extreme abuse of power and the request was made solely because Flynn was an ally of Trump.
Racism is real and not limited to four Minnesota policemen.
The young have no perspective
I am 75 years young. The years and subsequent roller coaster ride have given me a perspective that some or maybe most under 30s don’t understand. The PC’s term is “life experiences.” It’s not that they are stupid, just ignorant of what living an additional 30-40- or more years naturally brings They are “newbies” to what happens in everyday real life. They typically have never experienced real loss, despair, or failure. A job they loved and depended on. A serious or total major financial loss. A truly close loved one sick, dying or dead. Those heart wrenching and devastating moments. They have instead learned to ignore history, truths and facts and instead swim in emotions and cynicism. It’s not their fault, they are innocent and up to a point that is OK. They are still learning and should be listening instead of talking.
The above helped me understand why I’m unable to generate enthusiasm, support, or respect for today’s protesters and supporters (e.g. politicians, academia, Hollywood characters, athletes, corporations, etc.). They demand change with few ideas or details, how to thoroughly formulate and implement, evaluate risk/benefit, and measure success or failure. They angrily complain but offer few well thought out solutions quietly and succinctly; they’re shouting so loudly I cannot hear them.
I have been called a racist, unable to understand someone else being poor, uneducated, ridiculed, attacked or discriminated against. Really? They don’t know my story. I have learned that there are always at least two sides to every story (tell that to the protesters and their enablers and you too will be labeled a racist). I see them as “whiners” and not “winners”, accepting themselves as victims of all manner, political, educational, institutional, the boss, the police, their home life, anyone but themselves.
Maybe you agree and may be you don’t. That’s OK. This is America where we supposedly can exchange ideas, respectfully and quietly.
75 years have given me eight simple but hard truths to live by. Think about them.
1. For Things To Change I Have To Change.
2. For Things To Get Better I Have To Get Better.
3. Lead By Example Judge By Results.
4. Do No Harm.
5. Extend A Hand And A Word Of Praise.
6. You Are Your Words. What Are You Saying?
7. Take Responsibility.
8. Never Give Up.
Enjoy! It is your decision. Proudly fly the American flag every day.
WEaring a mask
The Carson Valley is a pretty amazing place to live, but lately I have cause to wonder. This lovely community, that comes out to support all our local DHS graduates with complete enthusiasm, seems to think it is invincible. Here’s my take: Yesterday (Saturday) we made a quick stop at Smith’s in Gardnerville for a few grocery items. I opted to sit in the car, while my husband made a quick trip inside. He donned his mask and went in, while I watched customers come and go. Over 15 minutes, I noticed only one woman come out with a mask on… I asked my husband when he returned to the car if my observation of very few non-staff wearing masks seemed to be the case. He agreed that hardly any customers were masked. What about the essential workers keeping the shelves stocked, taking your money, don’t they deserve our concern and respect (ie. customers wearing masks).
I’m here to remind you that COVID is not the flu. Perhaps you haven’t heard about the 20-year-old woman in Chicago who recently needed a double lung transplant due to COVID? https://fox6now.com/2020/06/12/woman-in-her-20s-receives-double-lung-transplant-after-suffering-irreversible-damage-from-covid-19/
Maybe you are unaware that even if you get it and survive, you can be left with serious, long-term debilitating issues, regardless of your age, gender, etc. https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshuacohen/2020/06/13/report-suggests-some-mildly-symptomatic-covid-19-patients-endure-serious-long-term-effects/#2e20128f5979
This is not your average flu people! I understand some folks in our community have bought into the politics surrounding mask wearing. To this I say, please leave your politics at home, think of the vulnerable people in your life and just wear a mask when you head out to buy groceries. It is true we haven’t had a huge number of confirmed cases (let alone deaths), but California has, and we are obviously very close to California. US 395 is a huge pass through to people coming and going from all around the West Coast. Think of people stopping off in sweet G’ville to buy gas, pull a slot, pick-up a few groceries, let alone spend the night! COVID is easily spread through respiratory droplets (aka breathing)- I don’t know about you, but every time I go to a store, I find myself within the 6 foot social distance of others, no matter how hard I try to avoid it.
Some here may know me as a former science teacher or librarian in our local schools (and come from a microbiology background), some things don’t change. This is my teachable moment. I care about good outcomes for our beautiful little valley.
“Wear a cloth face mask in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas where there is significant community-based transmission. A cloth mask is not meant to protect the wearer from infection, but to slow the spread of the virus (if people who have the virus and do not know it wear masks, they may be less likely to transmit it to others).”