Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Reader’s opinions on socialism, new conservative columnist

In this July 24, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump, front left, gestures as former boys scouts, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, watch at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean, W.Va. As former U.S. Interior Secretary Zinke exits Washington amid a cloud of unresolved ethics investigations, he says he has lived up to the conservation ideals of Teddy Roosevelt and insists the myriad allegations against him will be proven untrue.
In this July 24, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump, front left, gestures as former boys scouts, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, watch at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean, W.Va. As former U.S. Interior Secretary Zinke exits Washington amid a cloud of unresolved ethics investigations, he says he has lived up to the conservation ideals of Teddy Roosevelt and insists the myriad allegations against him will be proven untrue. AP

Webster’s Dictionary defines “socialism” as a movement “advocating governmental ownership of the means of production and control of the distribution of goods.”

By this definition, Mr. Ed Bogusch (Tribune, Jan. 6) is correct. Never has worked, never will. But what do he and other “conservatives” today mean by the word? Is Universal Health Care as practiced in most all our peer democratic western countries socialism?

If so, then socialism does work. Citizens of these countries on average, live longer lives than we, are both physically and mentally far healthier. Are government-backed, affordable and often free education programs, as utilized in these countries, socialism? There again, socialism works. Their citizens are far better educated, with far less student debt. And also happier (measured by Gross National Happiness studies) and more sanguine, far less litigious.

Are more progressive tax programs aimed at both wealthy persons and, especially, corporations, ensuring each pays a fairer contribution toward federal proceeds socialism? If so, yet again, socialism works. This is how our peer countries consistently maintain a happier and healthier population than ours — all without ever remotely approaching the true definition of “socialism”!

Joe Whitaker, Arroyo Grande

New Trib columnist has some explaining to do

I read new Tribune columnist Ed Bogusch’s Sunday (Jan. 6) op-ed with great interest, and came away from it a bit confused. Mr. Bogusch writes, “l don’t necessarily expect to convince them to view conservatism as the best political governing philosophy (even though it is)...”

If Mr. Bogusch wishes to be taken seriously as a political commentator, he should explain just what conservative philosophy he espouses. I am fast approaching 75 years old, and have seen many conservative politicians — as well as liberal politicians — come and go. But I do not recognize the “conservatism” that the Republican Party practices in the age of Trump. And I doubt that Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan would either.

Please, Mr. Bogusch, enlighten us.

Richard Neidhardt, Los Osos

Moby Dick revisited

Our president has morphed into Captain Ahab. His wall has become the “Great White Whale.” Ahab’s obsession with the whale drove him mad. His search for the whale put his entire crew at risk, but he cared nothing about them. He had to have his whale.

Sound familiar? Trump is equally obsessed with his “Great White Wall.” And, for someone who claimed that he would “make America great again,” tell that to the federal employees who won’t be able to pay their bills, feed their kids and maybe face eviction. This is the damage his obsession is already causing.

And, just like Ahab, his wall is driving him mad. And we can all see it. Just listen to his press conference. Rambling, incoherent and mostly dishonest. The Whale eventually won, and Ahab died. Let us pray that it is not our democracy that will die because of this.

Trump promised a wall “that Mexico will pay for.” People voted for him because of that promise. Do they now understand that he has broken the promise and is now demanding that Americans pay for the wall? Shouldn’t they be angry about this? It is time to hold him accountable.

Tom Schaffer, San Luis Obispo

From the White House

Dear Mexico,

Subject: Urgent

Please send $5.6 billion.

Thanks,

Donny

John Hammond, Paso Robles

He can’t be serious, can he?

I always read David Brooks with interest. Sunday, I read him with incredulity. David Brooks, the author of “The Road to Character,” promoting attitudes of self absorption, narcissism, indignation and woke, and actions like posting meaningless yard signs and wearing silly t-shirts?

What the heck? Was this really him, or a ghost writer? Had he been hacked? Could he really have gone over to that side?

On rereading the piece “The virtues of self absorption” I decided it must be tongue in cheek. Maybe he's just teasing us; wants to know if we really pay attention to what he's saying. He cannot possibly be serious.

Right?

Gary Brennan, Arroyo Grande

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