LETTERS: US prisons, border wall, in-house elections, letters, conservative republicans, guns down, Sen. Merkley

US should take a look at its own prison system

Fine, go ahead United States’ offi cials, point out North Korea’s considerable human rights’ violations.

But why not take a look at — and change — the United States federal, state and local prison situation with hundreds of thousands incarcerated for non-violent crimes and millions unable to vote thanks to their court convictions.

Solitary confinement in a federal prison (special housing unit) is equally as horrible as a North Korean prison camp.

And while on the matter of human rights, isn’t it time for the United States to condemn Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Russia for their harm to human dignity?

Many other nations could be added to the list, yet it is long overdue for the United States to look in its own mirror and then change the image.

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, Brownsville

Border wall may ease apprehension of smugglers

Bob Price wrote an article regarding an incident where a Border Patrol agent was attacked on duty for trying to do his job. The agent was not able to catch the four smugglers. I believe Donald’s Trump idea on building a border wall is beneficial for border patrols.

Building a border wall might not stop all the drugs coming from Mexico or stop smugglers from attacking a Border Patrol agent, but it will make it easier to catch smugglers before they can flea back to Mexico. The border wall we have in Brownsville, as of now, is not high enough to where the smugglers have trouble getting back across to Mexico, where they are unable to be touched yet able to throw rocks at Border Patrol agents doing their job.

Having an uncle who works as a Border Patrol agent, I fear for his safety. I know the border wall will not stop all the drug smugglers, but at least make it easier to apprehend the smugglers who cross over and are seen by the Border Patrol, not just confiscate the drugs.

Building a border wall will not have a negative impact in any way toward the United States. I do not believe you can jump a 30-foot wall as quick as a 6-foot fence.

I ask my fellow Americans to open their eyes and not allow these smugglers to escape so easy and give the idea a chance.

Leandro Balderas, Edinburg

In-house elections idea doesn’t pass smell test

There is a distinct fishy smell in the air over in my hometown.

When politically powerful people want to take over the running of an election, and are willing to spend a lot of taxpayer money to do it so they can then decide where the polling places will be, it should raise alarms and lots of questions.

How many other school districts in Texas or the U.S. do this?

Is it good governance or wasteful spending, or subject to a taxpayer lawsuit to set things right?

Edinburg school board: You’re stinking up the town with this deal.

Robert Ramirez, McAllen

Impose limitations on ‘obnoxious’ letters to the editor

I have noticed that a coterie of 10 or so individuals feel obligated to share their every thought with the readership ad-nauseam.

We are continually bombarded by their often extreme and usually hostile world views. Using bully tactics like name-calling, shaming, selfrighteous indignation and insulting language, they approach every letter from a position of inflexible justification of their holy opinion. I am disappointed that these people are provided a soapbox to harangue and harass those with whom they disagree like propagandists.

So, perhaps The Monitor could limit these folk to a monthly or bimonthly, or even quarterly tome in which they could spew all their pent-up poison in one disgusting shot, rather than subjecting the rest of us who subscribe to the paper to their almost weekly diatribes.

Even worse, we now must read their continuing responses to each other as if The Monitor was Facebook. While I appreciate the publisher’s commitment to printing most, if not all letters received, I hope that some guidelines regarding these obnoxious serial posters be put in place, and quickly.

Frankly, I would rather see a follow- up story or even an advertisement, that way The Monitor could generate more revenue, and the subscribers could read something much more factual, informative and entertaining than the repetitive agenda of the same few individuals.

John Pandos, Mission

Conservative Republicans then and now

As the 2018 national election season is now upon us, I want to try to inform as many of my fellow Americans as possible about how the 2018 national Republican Party is different from the one that I grew up knowing in the 1950s and 1960s.

The major difference is that back then, “conservative” Republicans wanted the federal government to spend less than it was on social programs intended to help people, including Social Security.

Today, however, there are a larger number of“conservative” Republicans (especially in the U.S.Congress, in the conservative media and in conservative “think tanks”) who go far beyond this and who are, in effect, modern-day coldhearted “survival-of-the-fittest” social Darwinists whose goal and plan is to eliminate and abolish all federal government social programs including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and college student loans.

However, they do not want to admit this to the public. Eventually, they will set their sights on unemployment insurance benefits as well.

Stewart B. Epstein, Rochester, New York

Put the guns down and your dukes up

I strongly believe that all guns and weapons of any sort should be banned from public view and being in public even as concealed or openly carried, but believe that it would be OK to have them at home or in our car glove compartment for emergency use only.

Guns should be used for protection of family at home only as we live in an open society and should leave guns to responsible police and military, as I have never been assaulted in public by any criminal nor at home, so that assaults are not common to all of us on a regular basis.

It is not OK to walk around armed and dangerous and then have an argument with someone over anything petty, and then bullets start to fly and someone will die. Then someone will say, “I feared for my life, so I killed this person over an argument.”

Tell me, why not have an old fashion fist fight and settle whatever score needs to be settled like that, where no one usually dies. You see guns are intimidating when you are eating at Luby’s or walking out in public, and I don’t have a gun with me as I refuse to be a showoff or to scare anyone.

All I know is that we are not back in the cowboy days and don’t want to meet anyone at the O.K. Corral at sundown for a gunfight. Let’s just duke it out, OK. Be safe.

Jaime Gonzalez, McAllen

Sen. Merkley succeeded where Texas counterparts failed

Many Valleyites will already have seen the viral YouTube video of U.S. Senator Jeffrey Merkley’s attempt to inspect the Brownsville immigration detention center, and probably most are by now familiar with his description of the conditions at the McAllen immigration screening station.

Senator Merkley had the guts to do what no Texas congressperson dared or cared to do. And he had the political shrewdness necessary to quickly get this crucial information out to millions of citizens, even forcing some of the reluctant media to give it some notice.

With more representatives like Senator Merkley, this representative democracy of ours could possibly function. In fact, I think I’d vote for a guy like that for president. Sure wouldn’t vote for the Texas politicians who said nothing, did nothing — not for dogcatcher.

Terry Church, McAllen