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Re: Letters, Aug. 13, 2020, “Putin’s Puppet”

While I share the outrage of letter writer, Jake Pickering, regarding Trump’s inept and divisive performance as our president, I would refrain from name calling. It’s better to stick to facts, figures and deeds. Those are truths that cannot be denied or refuted.

Trump does a lot of name calling and it’s tempting to follow suit. But that’s not who we should be. As Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high.” Last night, she clarified that. It doesn’t mean we meekly turn our cheeks. We will fiercely defend our rights, freedoms and common decency. And we’ll do it without name calling.

Tally Yee

Culver City

Re: Letters, Aug. 13, 2020, “Putin’s Puppet”

Why are you publishing such a vulgar, mean-spirited and nasty letter? Even if someone doesn’t care for the President it could be said in a civil way. Is that your opinion, too? Disgusting.

Jutta Romero


Re: Letters, Aug. 13, 2020, “Putin’s Puppet”


Guy Shulman

Playa del Rey

Re: Letters, Aug. 6, 2020, ‘Kneel for Law and Order, Not Anarchy’

The Letters section of the Argonaut is not a conducive forum to discuss matters of such importance, but Linda Ryan’s letter titled ‘Kneel for Law and Order, Not Anarchy’ published in the last Argonaut, warrants a response. I hope to address all of Linda’s points.

I too support the Santa Monica Police Department and I think they did an excellent and professional job especially when looters and vandals ran amok during otherwise peaceful protests. I think it’s great that Linda had a friendly interaction with a police officer, however, one person’s personal positive experiences with police do not outweigh the fact that the entire criminal justice system is built on institutionalized racism. I agree that, as Linda says, “the rule of law is extremely crucial to our health and well-being as a community,” but there are numerous examples of police not abiding by the rule of law. These non-law abiding police are getting away with murder.

Linda believes police should get raises because “not only do they have to suit up physically for battle, but mentally every time, like going into a potential war zone.” This is the attitude that is the problem. The truth is, Linda, there is no war zone. Statistics are showing that a large majority of police calls are non-violent, so why do we need responders who are physically and mentally ready for battle?

Linda asks, “What’s happening to our society where it seems police are being hunted, facing down potential enemies and combatants? Are we next when there’s nobody around protecting us?” What Linda “seems” to be real is not fact. I don’t know where this is happening to police. But I do know this has happened to protesters in Portland, Oregon. So to answer her question, yes, we are next when there’s nobody around protecting us. But the perpetrators were not fellow civilians.

Linda says “the fire department cannot do their job without police.” Can she imagine a world where they can? Again, do we really need responders who are physically and mentally ready for battle?

Linda says “Getting caught up in the latest frenzied political movement to defund/remove our precious police does nobody any good in the long run.” First of all it’s a frenzied political movement because people have been dying at the hands of police for a long time with little to no repercussions. Second, defunding the police and removing the police are two very different things. Linda needs to understand that, but the tone of this sentence makes me think she doesn’t.

I urge Linda to do some research into the matter. Consider defunding as reallocating funds away from military-style, battle-ready police tactics into other solutions such as community-based watch programs and mental health wellness agencies, etc.

I don’t think people are kneeling for anarchy, in fact, that’s a ridiculous and ill-conceived notion. I believe people are kneeling for justice.

Jonathan Cargill

Ocean Park, Santa Monica

A Note from Congress: On the 85th Anniversary of Social Security, Trump’s Plan to Defund the Program is ‘Shameless’

It is ironic that on the 85th anniversary of the creation of Social Security (Aug. 14, 1935), Donald Trump is trying to defund this essential program. Donald Trump’s order to defer payroll taxes from September through December of this year is a shameless attempt to undermine the entire Social Security system while distracting attention from his failure to stop the spread of the coronavirus and save our economy.

Social Security is a bedrock of American society. Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, the Social Security Act has provided economic stability and retirement security to millions of hard-working Americans. Prior to the passage of this landmark law, many American seniors were forced to live in abject poverty, and many slept on the streets.Social Security is financed by the payroll taxes seniors paid during their working years, and it provides financial security to 65 million seniors and disabled workers. Social Security keeps a roof over their heads and food on their tables.

Cutting or deferring payroll taxes weakens Social Security and endangers the benefits that seniors have earned. Trump’s shameless order is opening the door to cutting or eliminating Social Security’s dedicated financing and jeopardizing the future of this important program.

Deferring payroll taxes for four months will do nothing to help struggling families or stimulate the economy. It will not help the 30 million Americans who are unemployed and no longer have a payroll, nor will it help those who are self-employed. It might not even help the workers whose taxes are intended to be deferred. Some employers may simply keep the money rather than pass on the benefits of a deferral to their workers. Other employers may decide that the logistical challenge involved in reducing payroll tax withholding and then increasing it four months later is simply not worth the effort, and consequently, these employers will continue collecting and paying payroll taxes to the federal government as before.

For those employers that do take advantage of a payroll tax deferral and pass on the benefits to their workers, they – and their workers – will still have to pay the taxes, possibly in a large lump-sum payment at the end of the four-month deferral period.  Getting a bill from the federal government for a lump-sum tax payment at the end of December is like getting a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking!

When Donald Trump campaigned for president back in 2016, he promised he would not cut Social Security. This promise was just another bold-faced lie from a dishonorable man who has lied more than 20,000 times since his inauguration.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

California’s 43rd District