Like many in this great land of ours, I’m frustrated, discouraged, and yes – divided in my thoughts about our federal government.

And I’m like others – I want our government to work. For the sake of the world, it needs to work.

But we are a divided country experiencing for what may be the first time some serious challenges to our way of life. Let’s start with the most serious.

A certain percentage of our citizenry feels our current president has a penchant for uttering falsehoods. In other words, he doesn’t always tell the truth. We even have one major newspaper, the Washington Post, that is keeping score on his falsehoods. In just over two-and-a-half years, the Post claims, President Trump has spoken untruthfully about 10,800 times.

Has a major news source in the United State ever previously kept public tabs on presidential truthfulness? Not to my knowledge. And if we can’t believe our president, who can we believe?

Then there’s our country’s relationships with our European neighbors. Past administrations have gone out of their way to cultivate and continue strong ties and friendships with those nations who last century bore the brunt of two world wars. Yes, we twice came to their rescue and in doing to, kept axis powers at bay. We didn’t experience battlefield action on U.S. soil, and have since used Europe as a buffer against communism.

Has this policy of ours changed? We seem to have increasing spats with our European friends – enough I’m sure to make them uncomfortable about where we do stand on efforts to assure world peace. I know it makes me uncomfortable.

Then there’s the trade issues with China, which many of us don’t understand. Raising tariffs on certain products will surely increase the price of those goods, and if the president forces U.S. companies in China to return home, won’t that do the same while financially hurting those industries? I’m no economist, but common sense tells me it would. So who gains on tariffs?

The continuous passing the blame on urgent issues such as immigration and gun control to the Obama administration is simply unnecessary and divides us even more. And relationships with North Korea, Iran and Russian President Putin make many of us uncomfortable – adding to the divide among Trump’s constituents.

And recession talk divides us even further.

And then there’s concern over the environment. Are we going to be a willing participant in seeking solutions? You might also ask, as do I: is this country making headway on any of these problems? Are we?

I’ll admit to being old-fashioned. I’m not a Twitter participant. The info I receive about our president’s tweets comes from news channels. The points he is attempting to make aren’t always precise and don’t allow for questioning. My opinion is that his tweeting does him more harm than good. He obviously doesn’t agree.

And thus we are deeply and uncomfortably divided. Sometimes shamefully. And it’s very troubling.


Word has been received of the death of Paul Snider, 92, of Elk Grove.

Paul started his career in the automotive business at his uncle’s dealership in Turlock. Then in the late 1950s he purchased the GM dealership here in Patterson before selling it to Chuck Thompson in 1965. The business was then located downtown on South Third Street. The building later housed the NAPA auto parts store.

Paul then moved to the Sacramento area, expanded, and at one time owned seven dealerships and numerous franchises in Northern California and Nevada. Longtime Patterson residents remember him as a mover and shaker who began his meteoritic business rise in our little town.


Yes, Patterson is about to begin its busiest season – probably even busier than spring when we celebrate with the Apricot Fiesta and the end of the school year.

We’ve already sent the kiddies back to class and now await the following events: the annual Farm to Fork downtown dinner (unfortunately not on the community calendar), two consecutive weekends of fund-raising golf tournaments, a western-style BBQ put on by the Masons, Sacred Heart School’s Octoberfest, the Fire Department’s annual pancake breakfast, a tri-tip dinner sponsored by the American Heritage Girls, the Friends of the Library semi-annual book sale, the Lions Club’s annual fall dinner and auction, and Trunk or Treat downtown on Halloween.

All of that packed into a couple of months before we slow down for the holiday season.


Our Persons of Maturity remember when squirt guns ruled.

Except at school where the stodgy principal thought they were a no-no.


It is interesting that Patterson High sports have returned this fall to the Modesto Bee’s sports pages.

Many of us Pattersonites appreciate learning whether our Tigers have won or lost on the playing field, and early this week I let the Bee’s prep sports writer personally know of our appreciation.

And congratulations to the Tigers on their resounding opening win over Tokay. Keep up the good work.


An email reminded me that I am only 25 – plus shipping and handling.

Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at

PI editor/publisher emeritus

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