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Contributions this week included assessments on history, support for international biotech relations and protection of local wildlife habitat.

Other comments referenced chaos in Congress, tax abatements for natural gas facilities and efforts to acquire a special marker for a military grave.

As always, we welcome your thoughts, and thank those who have shared their views with their fellow readers.

Comment criticized

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., recently told an audience, “We were faced with destruction as a nation after Pearl Harbor.” The threat to the wheat fields of Kansas and the harbor of Charleston, S.C., apparently was so bad that we were forced to flatten Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Historians of World War II say America went abroad to come to the rescue of democracy in Europe and in Asia, not because armies and navies were bearing down on our homeland. And many say we could have kept our nukes in our pants.

Hamas soldiers crossed the border on the morning of Oct. 7, 2023, killed and grabbed up civilians, then ran back home before lunchtime, suggesting this was somehow like Adolf Hitler occupying France in 1940 or Emperor Hirohito knocking off the Philippines in 1942 is crazy talk.

Mr. Graham is teaching the same kind of fabricated history Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu is teaching young people in Tel Aviv to justify his budding dictatorship there. I’m guessing he’d be fine with the same thing in America in 2025.

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah

Info wanted on tomatoes

You had a fine article on tomatoes by Barbara Stolz on May 4. Alas, she does not mention what varieties she favors, nor does which ones are resistant to that white fly disease. Go to her Facebook site as recommended and there is not much, she hasn’t updated it in a year. Tried her email and got nothing.

Sidney Beckwith

Los Fresnos

Summer jobs remembered

Looking for a job as a 15-year-old was a challenge, out of my comfort zone. Growing into adulthood was like cutting the cord after you are born, out of the safety zone on your own. Summer school vacation became a venture to keep busy.

Working for a shoe store assisting customers on their selections at times was overwhelming during heavy customer traffic. When traffic was slow, I found that I preferred heavy customer traffic rather than not at all.

A neighbor friend and I went downtown to spend time in the stores looking at books, cameras, etc., and decided to go to a nearby theater and apply for jobs as ushers. It was the lowest entry-level job you could get there. We were hired for the summer and worked two summers there. We got to see new movies that premiered for the first-time. We looked for mistakes, like from one scene to another a lamp would be down on the floor and next scene it would be in place as if nothing had happened. Or different shirts from one scene to the other, stuff like that.

Last summer I went to the neighborhood grocery store and was hired for my last summer job before graduation. Work was more intensive than my previous jobs. I compared bagging groceries to cross-country running, non-stop during heavy customer presence. We would fill brown heavy-duty paper bags with the heaviest items at the bottom, medium in the middle and lightest at the top.

Working overnight filling the empty shelves with no customers at all was the most satisfying. It was hard work to be completed before store opening hours but was very satisfying.

Summer jobs experience prepared me for the full-time work I was to face after high school graduation. Better prepared than not.

Rafael Madrigal


Article praised

The Monitor’s story of May 11 about UTRGV’s University Transportation Center for Railway Safety deserves front page coverage. It’s a refreshing break from victimhood stories. Success-inspiring stories motivate those who want to accomplish too. It’s contagious and inspiring for everybody’s success.

Deserved accolades go to UTCRS Director Constantine Tarawneh for his brilliant leadership in developing career-serious engineering students.

Constantine Tarawneh, a mechanical engineer professor at UTRGV, explains the programs function the railroad safety Monday, May 6, 2024, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

These young students are real warriors for engineering technology advancement. This 2013 $4.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation has been put to great use, providing valuable educations for these young leaders.

Kudos to these great contributors to STEM studies. They leave a great roadmap to those who aspire.

America is in very good hands. Let’s keep it going by providing them with the deserved research grants that deliver great results.

Imelda Coronado


House antics

In a House Oversight Committee meeting regarding Attorney General Merrick Garland’s contempt of Congress resolution, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene began her questioning by asking her Democratic colleagues if any of them employed the daughter of the Judge, Juan Merchan.

Baffled by the bizarre question, Texas Democrat Rep. Jazmine Crockett asked, “Do you know what you’re here for?”

Not expecting anyone to respond to her question, MTG replied, “I don’t think you know what you’re here for. I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

The rules of the House dictate that members can’t “engage in personalities,” meaning they are not allowed to make offensive remarks about or toward another member. When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez moved to have Greene’s rhetoric struck, calling it “absolutely unacceptable,” the Republican committee chairman disregarded the request.

“Governing” is marked out and replaced with “Clowning by crisis and chaos”

Not one to meekly lie down when attacked, Rep. Crockett replied, “Mr. Chairman, I’m just curious. Just to better understand your ruling, if someone on this committee starts talking about somebody’s “bleach blonde, bad built, butch body,” would that not be ‘engaging in personalities?’ If the chairman can’t follow the rules, I will have to fight for myself.”

And boom, that’s when the chaos erupted, and “oops,” time to take a break!

MTG get what she wanted, to disrupt the meeting and do nothing? But why? Is it because male MAGA morons cowardly let her get away with it? But why? Ask Liz Cheney, and she’ll probably tell you, “That’s who they are!”

The Republican National Committee referred to the Jan. 6 investigations as “the persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.” Since Cheney and Adam Kinzinger served on this investigation committee, the RNC accused them of engaging in “behavior which has been destructive to the institution of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republican Party and our Republic ….” Huh?

Cheney courageously responded and she was right on target: “The resolution reflected a political party that had lost its principles and frankly they seemed to be led by morons.”

And, Ta-da! The MAGA Moronic Saga continues. Hoo-boy.

Italo J. Zarate


Plaque requested for soldier’s grave

We are in very sad times in America when an Army combat medic killed in action in the Vietnam conflict is not able to have a grave site military plaque at his gravesite in Raymondville.

I am referring to the following efforts to acquire PFC Joe A. Sauceda, who was killed in action in Vietnam on March 23, 1967. Since Dec. 8, 2023, I and the Sauceda family have been soliciting the assistance of our Willacy County Veterans Service Organization to get Joe A. Sauceda his well-deserved burial site military plaque. Director Frances L. Najera of Willacy County Veterans Services has helped us as much as she could. After receiving a denial letter and documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, she suggested we ask for the assistance and intervention of Congressman Vicente Gonzalez.

“We remember”

I sent Congressman Gonzalez’s office all the paperwork and leg work that I had done through our Willacy County VSO. On April 23, we received an email with attachments describing the VA National Cemetery Administration position and explaining the reasons for the denial and possible options. Here is where our sadness hits our hearts, not only for PFC Sauceda, who paid the ultimate price to defend our nation but for countless other veterans who have been denied or will be denied the honor of a military plaque at their burial sites.

(The request for a plaque was denied because a grave marker already has been placed at the burial site. By law, the Department of Veterans Affairs may furnish a government headstone or marker for eligible individuals buried in private cemeteries, who died prior to Nov. 1, 1990, only if the grave is unmarked.)

How disloyal, unfair and stupid is this law to all veterans who served our country, especially during a national crises or war and those who lost their lives?

I hope this touches the hearts of all military families, the VFW, the American Legion, the Veterans of Vietnam and others. We need to have this law repealed or stricken off the books in honor of all our veterans!

Joe L. Longoria

Stafford, Texas

A child of trauma

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Is a child of trauma. His famous uncle was assassinated in full public view when he was 9 years old, and his father was assassinated as well when he was 14 years old. A child who has experienced trauma can react in different unhealthy ways as an adult.

The rematch… “Stop breathing on me, man!” “It’s not me.”

Childhood trauma changes a young, developing mind. They later in life may manifest challenging emotional and mental difficulties. Some of these may include depressions, addictions to alcohol or drugs, oppositional behavior, rages, beliefs in irrational ideas. RFK Jr.’s mother’s (Ethel) emotional and mental decline and her alcoholism after her husband’s murder is well documented.

RFK Jr.’s upbringing was left to others. His struggles with drugs and alcohol are well documented as well. The public should know more about children of trauma and their lifelong issues.

Joe Ontiveros

Rio Hondo

Why people love Trump

Trump supporters are being criticized for supporting him, considering the charges against him in court. Why do they support him so much? Don’t they see the writing on the wall?

“Let me get this straight… Biden is incapable of standing trial, but capable to lead the country?..”

They see a greater threat to America if he is not elected. They see the end of America if they fail to elect him this November. They are motivated to support him when they see the deterioration of America on the daily news. The attack on our college campus by radicals who support Hamas and hate Jews and America. These same radicals support the democratic vote because it is good for them, their ideology, not the nation.

The voter feels cheated in this election.

Rafael Madrigal


Roads lead to Roma

Caesar Augustus said he found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble. Good thing his great-uncle Julius wasn’t around to call him out on that: “Et tu, Augustus?”

The Pax Romana and the rebuilding of Rome are owed to the incredible expansion of roads and the empire as a whole. But how big is big? Through ekistics, the study of human settlements, academicians have developed a typology classifying settlements from a single-family house to megacities. The smallest unit actually is an anthropos, a single person; for example, Henry David Thoreau living in his one-room cabin on the shore of Walden Lake. A calm breeze rustles forest leaves. Listen.

We then move to a house, travel to a hamlet, then a village, a neighborhood, and navigate to a city or polis. Most cities in the Rio Grande Valley, from Rio Grande City to Weslaco, occupy this category.

As we truck along this ekistics continuum we next arrive at metropolis, a megalopolis, an eperopolis, and finally an ecumenopolis, with more than 50 billion people. Think May the 4th, in a galaxy far, far away — Star War’s Coruscant. “One city, the entire planet it is,” baby Yoda says in his Mandalorian syntax.

Back on Earth, the entire Rio Grande Valley is but a metropolis, continuing the build from brick to marble. Our cities compete with one another and with bigger Texas metros. But again, how big is big in Texas? Big D is a big, big beta. This according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, which ranks cities based on their international connectedness of four metrics: accountancy, advertising, banking/finance and law. The real alpha cities are New York City, London, Mexico City and Washington. Houston is beta, and Austin is a gamma city.

You know who’s been to Houston, though? “Listen, I’ve traveled every road in this here land … I’ve been everywhere, man,” Johnny Cash crones. He’s on Pandora.

Whether traveling from the Bayou City to Dallas on I-45 or the Via Appia in Augustus’ time, humanity continues to place brick on brick on brick then marble. Yet, is there not more?

Yes, Augustus has bragging rights, but conquered Grecia conquered Roma. Greek culture, religion, art and language transformed Rome. Ekistics is a Greek word, as are academicians, typology, category, alpha and beta, Pandora and Coruscat. OK, Coruscat, early Mandalorian it is, but syntax is Greek!

Whether brick or marble, big or small, there is value (axía) all around us. It’s universal. Urbi et Orbi. “… I’ve been everywhere.”

Leonardo Olivares

La Joya

Editor’s note: We welcome your letters and commentary. Submissions must include the writer’s full name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters of 200 words or fewer will be given preference. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar and clarity. Letters may be mailed to P.O Box 3267, McAllen, Texas 78502-3267, or emailed to [email protected].