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Bridge missed

Who was the idiot responsible for tearing down the La Vista bridge over the drainage ditch to Bicentennial Boulevard? Was he the same witless wonder responsible for blocking off the Highland Street bridge over the same ditch?

Wouldn’t it have been a fine idea to ask for opinions from people who live in the neighborhood before tearing down the bridge? I think the city of McAllen needs an entirely new government, starting from the mayor and the city manager and working down.

J.P. Harrison


No vet ID on license

Last week I was finally able to renew my driver’s license after waiting three months. I asked to have my veteran ID put on the card but was told my retired military ID did not say I was honorably discharged.

It is hard for me to believe the state of Texas thinks you can retire from the military and not think you were honorably discharged. Yes, the DD214 form proves that, but a retired military card along with Veterans Affairs ID card should be all the proof you need.

Someone at driver’s license management needs to be educated. I have my new card but without a VA stamp on it. I am amazed.

Gregory Dozier


Racism apparent

Jake Longoria claims there is no systemic racism (Letters, Nov. 2). Psychology Today has done numerous studies on race and its effect. Children as young as 3 have developed a preference for lighter-skinned people.

Look at the Mexican soap operas and movies. The light-skinned Mexicans are the upper crust and the darker Mexicans are servants. During my decade in Mexico, I noticed the difference every day. Light-skinned Mexican women were in sales, banking and legal. The darker-skinned were the street sweepers, maids, and servants. Men fared no better. A light-skinned man drove the garbage truck and dark-skinned men put the garbage on the truck.

In the USA, there is little difference. I remember segregated schools, neighborhoods and shopping. Today, in many white neighborhoods, a black buyer can drive the real estate prices down and still cause white flight. How many African Americans are in upper management in major corporations?

How many African Americans are in Donald Trump’s Cabinet? Why do whites seldom vote for black people? Remember Reagan’s welfare queen? She was fabricated by the GOP. When a federal judge ordered the Democratic Party of the south to integrate, the voters switched to the GOP.

Yes, Jake, systemic racism is rampant throughout the under-educated masses. It is caused by a poor self-image. To deny it is to deny science.

Hank Shiver


Pandemics of he past

In the midst of a pandemic there have been several magazine articles on pandemics and plagues. The October Texas Co-op Power had a short article on the Spanish flu. According to the article, about one-third of the world’s population became infected. Gov. Bill Hobby survived the infection, but thousands of Texans died.

The June BBC Music had a longer article comparing COVID-19 to these diseases. One section of the article discussed the Black Death. It killed almost half of Europe’s population. Luckily COVID-19 is not like that. The main part of the article is about how famous composers were affected by the Spanish flu. In the U.S., three of the most famous Russian composers were touring the U.S. Sergei Rachmaninoff and Igor Stravinsky both contracted it and survived. Sergei Prokofiev never contracted the flu. Rachmaninoff was so desperate for money that he continued his preparation for his 36-city tour. In London and New York theaters and concert halls were allowed to stay open.

An article in the 2017 Smithsonian magazine, written by John M. Barry, discusses the Spanish flu. The author believes that it actually started in the plains of the U.S. The flu killed between 50 million and 100 million people.

Perhaps the worst outcome of the flu was the Treaty of Versailles. President Woodrow Wilson opposed the reparations that France wanted to impose on Germany. He came down with the flu and that is why he gave in to France’s demands.

The book “When Money Dies” by Adam Fergusson details the slow destruction of the Deutsche Mark, which eventually became worthless and helped make it possible for Hitler to arise.

At the present, political parties are causing the debt to explode and will cause inflation.

Surry Gillum


‘Conners’ economics

Layoffs, home eviction notices, job hunting, bankruptcies, immigration deportation fears and depression. These are just a few of the things that millions of Americans are going through because of our own stupid government’s COVID-19 response and a defective capitalist economic system.

The ABC-TV show “The Connors” had a very good, eye-opening, educational show that reflects how millions of Americans are facing many difficult kinds of hardships. Dan Conner is the homeowner and is facing eviction because he can’t make the home mortgage payments. His daughters Becky and Darlene offered to help with paying a portion of the mortgage — that is, after they find a job. Dan had a small construction company crew but had to lay them all off so he could make the extra money doing the work himself.

Becky talks about becoming a hooker to make extra money and Darlene blames herself for not making better life decisions in prior years. This show is a good example of what millions of Americans are going through and feeling.

The point is, nobody wants to be poor, but the rich people need, want and like poor people. Why? Because the more poor people there are, the more money and power for the rich. The lower the wages paid, the more profit is made for the rich and corporations.

If you don’t understand something then YouTube it. I believe that things are only going to get worse for many more months or years if something doesn’t change soon.

This country needs new and smarter leadership. We need to “vote all of the bums out” of Congress in order to have a chance of a better way of living.

If you have a chance go to and search for the “Conners” episode dated Oct. 21, so you can see and feel what I saw and felt.

Tomas Cantu


Offensive statement

The Monitor’s Winter Texan Weekly section would better serve its readers by reminding Winter Texans who are “not concerned about COVID” that they are putting local residents and themselves at great risk.

The Nov. 1 Winter Texan Weekly section of your publication quotes a returning Winter Texan: “We’re not concerned about COVID, … not when we got snow this deep (measuring about a foot with her hands). It’s about 10 to 18 degrees back home!”

This statement is distressing and insulting to residents and transplanted residents. First, it fails to recognize the severity of responsible behaviors and lockdowns we have had to endure since the end of March in order to flatten the curve of this deadly virus in the RGV. Comparing that to “an amount of snow” is insulting.

Secondly, “not being concerned” implies the same naïve and reckless attitude that precautions, such as wearing masks, social distancing, etc., are not important. As the scientists and medical community reiterate daily, “It’s not only about you.” Following the CDC guidelines protect the people you love, the people you interact with, and the strangers you meet.

Hidalgo County public health officials have identified Winter Texans among the factors that will contribute to a second wave of COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths this fall and winter in the RGV.

The attitude of the Winter Texan quoted is disrespectful and a callous disregard for the people of the Valley. New cases, and sadly deaths, are still occurring in “Winter Texan territory.” We cannot afford to let our guard down.

Local residents recognize Winter Texans’ contributions to the Rio Grande Valley and are accordingly good hosts. Conversely, Winter Texans should be good guests.

Dianne McPhaden


LETTERS — Limit letters to 300 words; all letters are subject to editing. Mail: P.O. Box 3267, McAllen, TX 78502-3267; Email: [email protected]