Letters for April 27, 2017
More conversation needed
Re “The people versus Doug LaMalfa” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, April 20):
Inequality has become a defining feature of our times, evident everywhere and tragically so in the disproportionate rates with which people of color are incarcerated or killed by police while unarmed.
The expanding extremity of inequality inhibits peace, social justice and sustainability because egalitarian cultures don’t pollute and exhaust their own resources, they don’t lock up large segments of the population for victimless crimes, and they don’t send their children off to die or be dismembered in avoidable wars.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa’s recent town hall response about equality sounded like the practiced answer of a seasoned politician adept at dodging challenging questions, but after further reflection, it’s not impossible that a certain progressive predisposition and that howling crowd of allies rattled my objectivity some. Let’s invite further conversation about the issue among our communities and especially with our congressman.
The congressman claimed support for equality of opportunity and not for equality of outcome, but he must agree that both are exceedingly rare anymore. Inequality has advanced unhindered so long that it plunges us now into an impoverished future. I support Rep. LaMalfa striving for greater equality of opportunity everywhere, especially in areas most impacted by its absence.
Re “The people versus Doug LaMalfa” and “Science affair” (Greenways, by Meredith J. Cooper, April 20):
It’s good to see the masses stirring, both at the Rep. LaMalfa town hall events and the Earth Day March for Science.
I’ve heard griping about the lack of civility at the LaMalfa gatherings. I applaud this lack of civility. It tells me there’s less settling for business as usual. The point of going to hear Doug is not so much to hear Doug. We know Doug is dug-in deep—Denial is his middle name. The point in going is to see who else is yelling! As Saul Alinsky said: Polarize first. Find your people. Find your power. Build solidarity.
As to science: I’m reminded that Germany was the most scientifically focused country in the 1930s. I saw a sign at the Chico march: “Science Made America Great.” Firstly, America is not great. Secondly, science, in its own right, never made anything great. Science is a tool. It can be used to design gas chambers or measure greenhouse gasses. What can be made great can only be made great through sacrifice and moral progress. Moral progress—as measured in the liberation of humans and other creatures—arrives on the wings of heresy; often in the most uncivil of forms.
Re “The long battle ahead” (Editorial, April 20):
What makes you think this con man fraud will last four years? Trump is in his last year in office. As such, he should also have been denied a SCOTUS pick. If Doug LaMalfa wants to back this incredibly unpopular president, he does so at his own political peril.
Don’t blame Berners
Re “Bernie = Nader” (Letters, by Ray Estes, April 20):
Ray Estes first attacks Ralph Nader for having run as an independent candidate for president in 2000. During that campaign, Nader was regularly criticized for running as an independent and, presumably, drawing votes away from Al Gore. We were told that he should instead have run in the Democratic presidential primaries, where he wouldn’t have negatively impacted Gore’s campaign.
Now along comes Estes, who suggests that the Democratic Party should not have allowed Sanders to run in the Democratic primaries, and that he should instead have run as an independent. So which is it? Should insurgent politicians run in major party primaries or as independents? Or should they (and their supporters) just shut up and go away?
Had Sanders run as an independent, he would have drawn votes away from Clinton in November and might plausibly be accused of having contributed to her loss. Instead, he endorsed her and campaigned for her.
I am a left-wing Democrat. I was an avid Sanders supporter, as were most of my family and friends. We all voted for Clinton in November and, after she had secured the nomination, many of us worked in her campaign. We can discuss the reasons for Clinton’s loss and reasonable people might disagree. However, neither Sanders nor his supporters are to blame.
‘Stop being spineless’
Nor Cal liberals are so up in arms about Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. Even though they can’t come up with intelligent reasons why they hate him, they just do. Words like Nazi, racist—all liberal jargon for their anti-Trump agenda.
Trump in 100 days has given this country backbone, as well as strength and respect from our enemies.
Spineless, nonconfrontational liberals are not worthy of leadership, just like their hero Barack Obama wasn’t worthy of leading this great nation. North Korea, Iran, Syria and the rest of the terrorist dictatorships never respected liberals like Obama and his pacifist garbage.
Those countries looked at the U.S. as a doormat for the last eight years and now we have someone with some backbone who will actually defend our interests in the world. Hey, liberals! Spoons don’t make people fat and guns don’t shoot people.
You want to make a difference in the world? Then stop being spineless and stand behind a real leader with resolve. Stand behind your president, Donald Trump! Other leaders in this world don’t respect liberal apologists. They never did and they never will.
What’s the solution?
On your walk to work each morning, you pass a vicious puppy tied in a yard by a rope. It races toward you, snapping and biting, but the rope holds and you ignore it. As months pass, the puppy grows into an adult dog but never ceases to race at you, teeth bared and snarling, hitting the end of its rope. However, as time goes on, you not only note the dog continues to gain strength but also that the rope is beginning to look frayed. You pray it continues to hold.
At some point, you realize the size and strength of the dog and the weakening of the rope will result in the dog breaking free and attacking you. What to do? You can sneak in while the dog is asleep and replace the rope with a chain, but it is likely you will wake it. You can remove the dog’s food dish in hopes its owners won’t notice so it will starve and grow weaker. You can shoot the dog before it attacks, but you may only wound it and stimulate it to break free and attack. What is a logical solution? I can’t think of one, can you?
BTW, the dog’s name is Kim Jong Un.
As a member of a family that has contributed to the establishment of the Museum of Northern California Art, I think we can all be extremely proud of the incredible job that the volunteers who put this project together have done for our community. While the museum remains a work in progress, a major portion of the facility was presented to the public this past weekend and we saw what a gorgeous piece of work the Monca crew has pulled off.
A fine museum is a monument to the art that it houses and my late wife, Maria Phillips, would have believed that that is what Monca board of directors President Pat Macias, major art donor Reed Applegate, and a host of financial donors have given to us all. A beautiful job. What a gift. I also thank the CN&R’s Robert Speer for the fine pieces he’s written about our new museum.
Editor’s note: For more on Monca, see “Art finally blooms,” by Carey Wilson, page 26.
I dropped my cellphone in Upper Bidwell Park this past Sunday. Chico Fire Division Chief John Kelso was leading a group of firefighters in a training there. He lent me his phone to call my phone; no luck, no answer just then.
Have you ever lost your phone? Then you know how I felt. After I left, but before John left the park, he called my phone and that time someone answered, said they had found my phone, and gave it to John.
To add to my luck, my sister happened to call my phone and John answered and explained what had happened. My sister gave him my address, but mistakenly said Fifth Avenue instead of Fifth Street. When John couldn’t find the house, he called my sister back, got the address corrected and then drove to my home with my phone. A short string of luck and a man who went above and beyond the call of duty.
Thank you, John Kelso, you nice, nice man!
I would like to thank the cast and crew of Monty Python’s Edukational Show performed this past weekend at the Blue Room Theatre. What you did was provide the community with some truly spontaneous and talented entertainment. Tomorrow’s Broadway talent has to start somewhere and giving this youthful cast a chance to shine was a Blue Room moment. The fact that the theater was fully sold out is an indicator we are ready for more comedy at the top of the stairs. And thanks for reminding me to “look on the bright side of life.”