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We must provide universal dental care
Re: “San Jose pop-up offers free dental care to hundreds at convention center clinic” (Page B11, May 21).
We all owe gratitude to the many dentists, dental assistants, and community members who donated their time and expertise to provide free dental care for 1,500 patients at this weekend’s free clinic sponsored by the Dental Foundation of Santa Clara County.
Poor oral health is costly. It is linked to heart disease and dementia. It’s painful. Children whose teeth hurt cannot concentrate at school. Missing teeth lead to malnutrition. They are ugly and often cost people job opportunities.
It does us no good to be unhealthy. It’s expensive and harms our national security and our economy.
Therefore, this commemorative article raises the question: how is it possible that in one of the richest countries in the world, we do not provide people with universal, adequate and affordable dental care?
Judith Hurleysan jose
Regulations protect us from greed, scorn
Re: “Room rate was $249, but the ad didn’t mention $90 in fees. The legislation aims to prevent this” (Page A1, May 22).
SB 478, which requires resorts and the like to disclose hidden fees, as reported by The Mercury News, is a reminder of why we have regulations.
While many think we overregulate or are part of the deep state’s grand conspiracy, they are there to protect the public. Many of these laws come about as a reaction to abuse. Many complain that this is government overreach, but it is usually due to greed, scum and companies’ inability to self-regulate. As a result of regulations, our lives become more complex, but we are safer for it.
I will not condemn our wards, but praise them. At best, they save lives.
Raymond Grzanmorgan’s hill
Florida shows that history can repeat itself
Re: “Civil rights groups warn tourists about Florida over ‘openly hostile’ laws” (Page A3, May 22).
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his ilk are after education. From banning books to “Don’t Say Gay,” to rejecting AP African-American Studies courses, to banning colleges from having programs on diversity, equality, and critical racial theory and inclusion, even going so far as to restrict race-based conversations in schools and business and thus prepare students/citizens for mindless obedience to authority and ignorance. Imagination, curiosity, originality, creativity and, above all, critical thinking are not valued.
This strategy was used in the early 1930s to install fascism in Germany. Each new government tightened constitutional guarantees and governed more by decree. Other familiar strategies included: deepening the worker/citizen divide, nationalism, racism, mobilization through rage and fear, and destruction of unions and newspapers. Many were convinced that as long as the democratic state existed, fascists could not seize power.
The lessons of history must not be ignored.
Karen Mandelsan jose
‘Mallard Fillmore’ little more than name-calling
Bruce Tinsley (author of “Mallard Fillmore”) runs a strip implying that the Bidens are part of some “venal and corrupt crime family” and The Mercury News thinks it’s okay to print. (Page B9, May 22)
This is the kind of gutter-level character assassination the right specializes in. There is no proof of anything. Just the same Trump-style swearing we’ve been hearing for years. If anyone has anything factual to divulge, let’s hear it. Let’s take a look at the laptop we’ve been hearing about for over 3 years.
I’m grateful for the good man I helped elect. I’m disgusted by the redneck crap Tinsley puts out there on a daily basis. And I’m disappointed in The Mercury News for publishing it.
Steve OrtizRedwood City.
Let’s not treat wars as a natural state
Ref.: “Russia: Wagner’s private army takes Bakhmut” (Page A4, May 21).War is complex and has existed throughout history. However, it remains crucial to fight for a peaceful world order, promoting dialogue and understanding.
In the United States, millennials may be under the impression that endless wars are natural. After all, they grew up watching live feeds of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Currently, our children are watching mercenary armies such as the Wagner Group undermine state sovereignty in Ukraine.
We must remember that mercenaries are motivated by financial gain. Therefore, they require international oversight. War is not the natural condition of a thriving ecosystem.
Akeem Mostamandasan jose