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Commentary this week included thoughts on political support for businesses, cross-gender athletes and the presidential candidates’ fitness for office. Other contributions addressed Edinburg schools, inflation and our governor’s manipulation of issues.

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

Economics gone too far

Some folks look at Donald Trump and see an orange Jesus. Others look at him and see an orange jumpsuit.

It used to be that Americans cared about the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, truth-telling and false witness. They did an evaluation of character to decide whether to vote for a candidate.

Panel one: “You’ve reached predatory capitalism…” Panel two: “…to pay up, press one…” Panel three: “to fork over cash you don’t have, press two…” Panel four: “…for monthly auto-siphon, press three…” Panel five: “…to give up your private info, press four…” Panel six: “…to speak to someone who’s not empowered to help you, press five…” Panel seven: “…for anything else, you’re pressing your luck!” Panel eight: “Please stay on the line for a short survey..”

Today people don’t think character contributes much to qualifying someone for office. What is important is the candidate’s power to bring the cost of groceries down.

Republicans have always been about protecting corporations and the wealthy, but isn’t this taking economics just a little too far?

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah

Groups addressed

Almost everyone born in the 20th century, including myself, was programmed/brainwashed to believe, among other things, that America is a constitutional republic, a democracy, the land of the free and superior to the other nations of the world. But are these things true? Maybe at one point in time they were.

I’ve learned/discovered over the last eight years or so that regardless of how well educated they may be, which or how many newspapers or magazines they may read, which or how many newscasts they may watch or which political party they may support, most Americans know little to nothing about the real world. What you don’t know will shock some of you.

Some very simple questions to test your basic knowledge of the real world: How many of you have ever heard of the Council on Foreign Relations (established in 1921), the Bilderberg meetings (established in 1954) or the Trilateral Commission (established in 1973)?

How many of you know that almost every GOP and Democrat presidential candidate since Herbert Hoover has been a CFR member? Many secretaries of state, secretaries of defense, CIA directors, many other Cabinet members, members of the media and many heads of financial institutions and even educators have also been/are CFR members.

As for the Bilderberg group, most European and Canadian prime ministers and Bill Clinton have attended meetings before becoming heads of state. Isn’t it just a little odd that most Americans have never heard that?

I encourage everyone to look up the Wikipedia articles on the CFR, the CFR members list and the Bilderberg meeting participants list for themselves. Dwight Eisenhower is not on the CFR members list but the Wikipedia CFR article states that he was a CFR member. Currently, Joe Biden, his secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin are CFR members.

How can America be considered a democracy when most presidents and vice president from both political parties are from the same “club”?

The Politburo, the top planning committee in the former Soviet Union was established in 1917 and all Soviet leaders from Joseph Stalin to Mikhail Gorbachev had been Politburo members. Can anyone explain how the political process in the U.S. is different from the former Soviet Union?

Attributed to Stalin: “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.”

Natividad Rodriguez


ECISD praised

Bravo to the Edinburg CISD for maintaining a balanced budget during our turbulent times of the current Texas Republican legislature/governor continuous underfunding the state’s public-schools during the past multiple special legislative sessions.

While neighboring cities are struggling, the Edinburg CISD and its elected school board have managed their Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds effectively and are providing enrollment choices including full-day pre-K programs, fine arts program and the newest UTRGV-Edinburg CISD Collegiate High, all of which draw kids from outside the district to enroll in Edinburg schools.

We applaud our dedicated Edinburg CISD schools/school board for their diligence, patience and expertise in today’s fraught landscape of ever-decreasing public school funding by the current Republican-run state legislature.

Isn’t it time that Texas public schools have better legislative representation than those currently in office?

Diane Teter


Genders in sports

The topic of transgender athletes arises from the decline in our education system and the degeneration of our entire culture through the legitimization or normalization of deviant behavior. It’s progressive liberalism. Because progressive liberalism requires the denial of reality, it is included in the broader disorder of dysrationalia.

In Universities during the earning of my MS degree, the teaching of psychology included that when a person believes himself to be what he observably is not or cannot be, that person has a mental disorder. It has been accepted in our education system since that time to teach our children that they can be whatever they choose to be to the extent that they are allowed to believe that one may choose his gender or possibly his sex to include not only the two previously accepted sexes or genders, but also any number of other genders one might invent.

This change toward personal sexual identity (gender) is by no means the only symptom that our education system is encouraging dysrationalia in our population, but that is possibly another topic. We should be educated sufficiently as a population to properly choose those who will be in charge of educating our children — especially those who will educate our educators.

The penalty or prohibition for the use of drugs or hormones for the enhancement of sports performances by those of the same sex indicates that we have long known that fairness requires avoidance of such practices. How is it then fair that we allow or promote the use of medication, hormones or even surgery in the competitive development of personalities?

The allowance or promotion of physical competition between those having natural or innate hormone advantages or disadvantages is immoral in fairness and cruel to the disadvantaged. The addition of artificially or medically imposed procedures only augments immorality or cruelty while failing to change the sex or gender of any individual. The suicide statistics prove that the encouragement of transgenderism is evil and must be eliminated. The teaching of tolerance and acceptance for naturally occurring differences does not require encouraging deviancy.

Jim N. Taylor


Deceived by Trump

This is not about Donald Trump. It’s not even about the sad souls seduced by him. The insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol to prevent the peaceful transfer of power were primarily guilty of being gullible. They merely fell for the big fraud. They did not do the defrauding. Many have been held accountable for their actions. Most of the ones who fooled them have not. Yet.

I refer to Republican Party leaders who cashed in their moral courage to ride a demagogue’s coattails to power. They have learned from their adored leader how to spew out coded calls to mob mentalities eager to vent their resentments. I used to believe that people had to be taught to hate. Trump taught us all you only have to invite people to hate. Let them know it’s OK. Normal. Join the gang. Have some fun.

Alien abduction: “They took me away to Mar-a-Lago and messed with my brain!”

Whom would you like to hate? It doesn’t have to be a race, religion or immigration status. People really want to hate “elites.” Who are elites? Anyone who may know more than they do. People want to feel like they know more science than scientists, feel more righteous than the devout. What better leader could they have than one who tells them what they want to hear? Someone who claims to “know more about the military than all the generals.” That injecting bleach might cure COVID. Forget evidence. Forget knowledge. Too time consuming. Too boring. All you have to do is what Donald does. Just “feel” you’re right. Personally, I’d rather lose with honesty than to win with lies.

They still call themselves something they are not: “conservatives.” True conservatives value character, civility and intelligence. Trump-pets reward arrogance, anger and self-delusion. “Alternative facts” is an oxymoron. Except in the minds of those who can’t face an uncomfortable truth. They’re just opinions masquerading as facts. Using partial truths is not just a way to fool others. It’s how we fool ourselves. If you embrace Donald, you embrace his lies and self-delusions. You become what he is: a fraud. You’ll make excuses, find scapegoats and rationalizations. But in the end, you will be a mere follower of a pathetic, narcissistic bully. I would rather be dead than that.

If you are one of those silent conservatives standing on the sidelines who still respect the Constitution, Democracy and the rule of law, but allow yourself to be intimidated by Trump trolls, the death of our democracy will be on you.

Jim Tweed

Ocean City, N.J.

Are you better off?

For those happy with the past four years, COVID, which was discarded as a Democratic hoax that would soon disappear, instead flourished and spread rapidly. It wreaked havoc over all nations, particularly our country. It bankrupted corporations, disrupted the workforce, building materials and goods were put on hold.

Donald Trump says, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” to a tombstone that reads “COVID DEATHS”

Just as bad sacrificed our way of life sort of house arrest as we couldn’t go out. Family gatherings and visiting sick family members or friends were non-existent.

Of course, gas was cheap as their was no demand. The worst recession was created that dug us deeper in debt as he raised our national debt only $8 trillion.

Are you happy now and back to normal?

Juan Gonzales


The attack from within

After reading the letters submitted by Hilda Garza DeShazo (June 22 July 2) and Sherwood Uhrmacher (June 20 22), I’m convinced these two are among those who strive to spread the disinformation that Professor Barbara McQuade mentions in her book, “How Disinformation is Sabotaging America: Attack from Within.”

Dis-informers deliberately inflame our passions and demonize their political opponents to artificially limit options to only two perspectives on an issue. (Debaters refer to this tactic as the “either-or fallacy.”) And when one side is portrayed as good and the other as evil, the choice is easy. You must be for either the Donald Trump-supporting right or the rivals they frame as the “radical left.” There will always be those who get taken by the P.T. Barnums and Bernie Madoffs among us. But now there is something more at work than simply gullible people falling for lies. A significant number of Americans don’t seem to care anymore whether a statement is true. What seems to matter instead is whether any given message is consistent with their worldview. If a lie supports their position, some people seem willing to go along with the con and pretend it’s true. When Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of illegally retaining classified national defense documents, for example, his defenders parroted Trump’s claims that he was being attacked for political reasons. On the day of Trump’s arraignment, Rep. Elise Stefanick, R-N.Y., said, “God bless America, President Trump, and all those targeted by Biden’s regime as we continue our efforts to end this corrupt political weaponization and stop the deep state.”

We are not just living in a post-truth world: we are living in a post-shame world. Trump and his supporters consistently turn the tables on his accusers, not to convince people that he is innocent but to suggest that everyone is corrupt. Integrity is for phonies and suckers, their thinking seems to go. And if everyone is corrupt, then you might as well choose the leader who shares your vision for America. Even those who don’t fall for this logic are harmed by it. The risk to the rest of us is that we become cynical about politics. It’s easy to grow weary of relentless arguments and aggression and simply choose to tune out. But when we disengage from public discourse, we surrender a piece of our power to the dis-informers. The ultimate result, over time, is a weakened democracy, diminished national security, and a threat to the rule of law.

America is under attack at this very moment, but not from any external enemy. The attack is from within.

So, the message is, “Let’s get ‘woke’ America!” Hoo-boy.

Italo J. Zarate


Comments about letters

Jamey Honaker’s letter to the editor, “MAGA more than Trump,” dated June 29 22, is a well-written, informative, accurate and very entertaining letter. I look forward to more of his/her posts. That said, his/her letter dated May 31 June 1 saying Joe Biden will win in 2024 can only happen if he is the Democrat nominee, and that the upcoming election is rigged (in my informed opinion) for Biden like it was in 2020.

Please keep writing, Jamey. Thank you.

Darrell Williams Sr.


Inflation addressed

Ms. Hilda Garza DeShazo, Hidalgo County GOP secretary, should do a little more research. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The United States was experiencing a period of low inflation before 2020. Then, in early 2020 the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) created various market problems, causing prices for goods and services to rise …. As the labor market tightened during 2021 and 2022 … workers bargain for better pay, firms begin to increase prices … the three main components explain the rise in inflation since 2020: volatility of energy prices, backlogs of work orders for goods and services caused by supply chain issues due to COVID-19, and price changes in the auto-related industries.”

Here are some overall inflation highs since the pandemic:

U.S.: 8%.

U.K.: 11.1%.

France: 6.2%.

Germany: 10.9%.

Italy: 8.2%.

Spain: 6.7%.

Australia: 7+%.

Mexico: 22.61%.

Brazil: 13.3%.

Ms. DeShazo, are you trying to tell me that President Joe Biden is responsible for these inflation highs in all of these other countries? A president really has little control over inflation, as the above supports.

As for Trump and all his legal problems, this “very successful businessman” seems to have gotten where he is by illegal as well as legal means. Also, did he or did he not tell his supporters to go to the Capitol and take back their country, an action that resulted in millions in damages and people dying? Did he or did he not have boxes and boxes of classified documents in his possession when he no longer was president? Did he or did he not say what you could do to women’s bodies when you are famous? Did he or did he not say that Vladimir Putin could do whatever he wanted to NATO countries and it was OK with him?

Gerard Pahl


Abbott bashed

Do Gov. Greg Abbott and the current Republican Party intend to privatize Texas government for their own means and aspirations?

Health care. Recently in the RGV, we see the exclusion of nonprofit health plans in favor of for-profit insurers as an approach to health care. The decision to exclude Driscoll Health Plan from Medicaid contracts risks destabilizing health care for low-income families in South Texas, Dr. Asim Zamir from Brownsville stated in a recent commentary.

Public school funding. Abbott is withholding billions of dollars from public schools because his “school vouchers or ESAs” did not pass in the last legislative sessions. Many of our local schools are now in budget deficits and struggling, and yet no special session has been called by our governor to alleviate this dire situation.

Is Abbott orchestrating an insidious dissolution of our state’s public health and educational norms as our tax dollars are awarded to private, for-profit companies and controlled solely by our own governor, his appointees and current legislators? Our tax dollars and needed public services will be going to private entities, contributors and cronies of the governor while the general populace lives without proper health care and without thriving public schools.

This is Texas nowadays.

The only way to change this is to vote the current Republican Party out. Vote this November!

Diane Teter


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].