Letters for April 13, 2006

Re: “Imbalance of powers” (CN&R Essay, April 6): In a passage about legal challenges to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, a watchdog group was misidentified. Public Citizen filed one of the lawsuits. This has been corrected on the Web site.

Forum for whom?
Re: “The Kutz Factor” (CN&R Newslines, April 6): I wasn’t surprised to see that not many people attended the recent Chico Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum for 3rd District supervisor. With a charge of $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-members, those who couldn’t afford the event were effectively and unfairly shut out from participation in a significant political event.

I don’t know of any other public, private or political organization that charges admission to a candidates’ forum: not the League of Women Voters, not the university students, not the Democrats, Republicans, Greens or Libertarians. The Chamber’s broadcast of its forum on KPAY radio station doesn’t substitute for seeing the candidates in person. Serious voters want to observe a candidate’s demeanor first hand and be a witness to when a candidate dodges a question or gives an honest answer.

The Chico Chamber of Commerce is a highly political organization that directly and indirectly has its hands involved in a lot of local elections. While there’s nothing illegal about these activities, it’s nonetheless clear that the Chamber’s political preferences are not representative of a broad spectrum of Chico’s citizens or even Chico businesses. Instead the Chamber caters almost exclusively to the big business and development industries in our town. Many of its members are concurrently members of the Hooker Oak Alliance, a big-business-focused political-action committee. I urge those voters opposed to the continuing spread of urban sprawl and big-box stores to scrutinize any candidate endorsed and supported by the Chico Chamber of Commerce.

Karen Laslo

Moving tale
Re: “New kid in town” (CN&R In My Eyes, April 6): On May 2, it will be one and a half years ago that I moved to Chico from New York. I heard about Chico from my cousin that moved from the Bay Area five years ago.

With all of his written descriptions, sending me copies of CN&R and the Visitor Guide to Chico, it helped me reaffirm my decision that it was time to move to Chico. As soon as I arrived, I knew (and felt) that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

The people are friendly and actually wait for an answer when they say “How are you?” I found a terrific-size apartment at a very decent rate. Employees are friendly in all the stores…. It is so clean. CAT bus system is easy to get around….

When I write to friends back in New York, my typical phrase is “I’ve found civilization!” CN&R is informative and personable. So nice to feel welcome, and I want to welcome others.

Cheriè Appel

Immigration machinations
Re: “Immigration blues,” (CN&R Editorial, April 6): Before my fellow liberals injure themselves as they rush to join the millions clamoring for less restrictive immigration policies, they might want to reflect on the progressive principles being shoved aside by our current sloppy practices in this area. Relaxing our position even further will only exacerbate these problems.

First, in view of the many stresses being placed on the California environment, it becomes clear that a statewide population stabilization plan is an absolute necessity. Given that almost all of California’s recent year increases in population are attributable to newcomers from other nations, no such plan can be effective without reasonable and effective controls on immigration. And, to be fair, whatever immigration is permitted would have to include economically needy persons seeking to emigrate from various nations of the world, not just those who happen to live close to our borders.

Progressives are rightly concerned about the lack of affordable housing in California. What they may not understand is that it is the relentless bottom-up demand, driven by rapid population expansion, which has pushed prices in to the stratosphere. Enforcing reasonable immigration rules, the kind found in most other countries (including those from which our illegal entrants depart), would do more to stabilize and bring down the cost of housing than any number of publicly funded housing plans could ever accomplish.

Finally, liberals frequently speak of the need for livable wages and decent job benefits. Here again, their infatuation with open borders and unrestricted immigration policies undermines this noble objective. It is no accident that our president and his corporate supporters are perfectly happy with their current look-the-other-way practices.

An unlimited supply of labor, willing to accept almost anything, has been critical to their plan to hold wages down even as profits soar. And, after all, the wealthy will not have to live in the many parts of the state which have become almost unlivable because of overpopulation.

Carl Ochsner

Fiscal insanity
Who would be willing to mortgage the future of their children and grandchildren? These children have no say about the hole being dug for them. The answer is you, if you helped elect any Democrat or Republican congressional free-spender who just went along with raising the debt ceiling another $781 billion. Federal indebtedness has now climbed to just under $9 trillion, not counting other trillions of off-budget debt.

The answer is also you, if you helped elect President Bush. Since he took office five years ago, the debt ceiling has been raised four times. He has yet to veto a single measure. It is amazing that anybody can believe him to be conservative.

The federal government will service all this debt by more borrowing, which will burden coming generations with the principle debt and also tremendous interest debt. Another choice they may use is to simply print more money, which is inflation. The true definition of inflation is simply printing more un-backed paper money, thereby lowering the value of all un-backed paper money.

Dennis G. Frelick

Final Jeopardy
OK, he’s made it to the finals, a lame duck surrounded each day by more and more signs that, like most endeavors he has taken on in his adult life, his presidency has failed. So one last chance, here is Dubya’s Final Jeopardy Question.

Is a president, on the eve of his reelection campaign, legally entitled to ward off political embarrassment and conceal past failures in the exercise of his office by unilaterally and informally declassifying selected—as well as false and misleading—portions of a highly classified National Intelligence Estimate that he has previously refused to declassify in order to cause such information to be secretly disclosed under false pretenses in the name of a “former Hill staffer” to a single reporter, intending that reporter to publish such false and misleading information in a prominent national newspaper?

The answer is “NO"! Such a misuse of authority is the very essence of a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United State of America. It is also precisely the abuse of power that led to the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon.

Think about it, fellow citizens.

Christopher Mehne