Letters for August 10, 2017

Insulting to constituents

I attended the Doug LaMalfa town hall meeting and was disgusted after only 20 seconds into the meeting. Mr. LaMalfa decided to open up the discussion with a holy prayer that ended with the often-used “Thank you, our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

How can he hold a town meeting to discuss federal policy and allow a religious prayer representing one dominating religion? I felt left out and insulted and feel there is no place for any one religion to dominate. The separation of church and state has become a sham.

We have separation of church and state for a reason. We must hold town hall meetings without religious prayer if one religion is favored. Paying homage to only one religion is an insult to all other beliefs.

Naomi Eisenberg


Editor’s note: Ms. Eisenberg isn’t the only one who felt insulted by Mr. LaMalfa. Read Ken Smith’s report on page 8 to get a fuller picture of the congressman’s town hall.

Struck a nerve

Re “Confessions of a reluctant racist” (Guest comment, by Jaime O’Neill, Aug. 3):

Jaime O’Neill is absolutely right. He is a racist! Racism by definition is “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.”

So Mr. O’Neill is judging all white people based on the misdeeds, avarice and detestable actions of a few. Using his logic, all blacks are welfare-dependent, gang-banging drug dealers. All Hispanics are MS-13 members and a societal drain. Of course, this thinking is execrable! As is Mr. O’Neill! He did get one other thing right, however. He should be ashamed to go out in public with his pasty white, melanin-challenged skin because he might be accused of of being “one of them … you know, an a-hole.”

You are an a-hole, Mr. O’Neill, but not for the reasons you think!

Michael Pulliam


A high-five for Jamie O’Neill’s guest commentary. O’Neill described the so-called millions of citizens who voted for Trump as a “horde of greed freaks, honkies, crackers, evangelicals, and high school dropouts.” Trump refers to the high school dropouts as his precious “poorly educated supporters.”

Speaking of racist, the Electoral College was designed to protect slavery, and was championed by James Madison as the infamous “three-fifths compromise.” To quote a famous philosopher, “The Electoral College is a disaster for a democracy.” This quote was made by none other than comrade Trump in a tweet dated Nov. 6, 2012. Trump is still whining about losing the popular vote by 3 million citizens, and insists it was voter fraud. Poppycock.

I applaud O’Neill for his veracious article. Like Harry Truman said, “I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth about them and they thinks it’s hell.”

Hopefully O’Neill hit some right-wing whacko nerves.

Ray Estes


Regarding Jaime O’Neill’s recent commentary, I agree with him. He’s a racist. To denigrate a whole segment of a population based solely on their race (i.e., “whites”) is racism. In his self-loathing, guilt-ridden catharsis (why so common in “liberals”?), he either ignores or is ignorant of the innumerable instances throughout history of groups of all color hues and varying religious ideologies committing atrocities against those not like themselves. But apparently Mr. O’Neill seems to believe this deplorable intolerance is restricted to the “white” genome.

Interesting phenomenon within his own diatribe. Even though several of the recent high-profile deaths at the hands of police were from nonwhite police, the blue uniform apparently turns these “bad cops” white. Another convenient distortion/omission.

I’m not particularly religious, nor did I vote for Trump, but I know many high-quality people who did. O’Neill would have you believe that all 60-plus million Trump voters are inherently evil “white” Christian fanatic Nazis. His brand of hateful rhetoric is no better than someone who espouses that all Muslims are jihadists or all blacks are criminals.

Thankfully for the U.S. education system, O’Neill is now a retired community college instructor.

Charles Wilhite


Although it is often amusing to read various rants from far-left liberals, Jaime O’Neill’s piece really takes the cake. His essay on why he loathes himself for being born Caucasian was utterly revolting, and exposed his deeply felt bigotry toward anyone who may have been born “white” or whatever that rather broad noncolor “category” might encompass.

Because O’Neill happens to be white, he fears going out onto the streets in anticipation of being labeled an “a-hole,” from which he then infers that all people of noncolor are simply some form or other of a sphincter (talk about divisive racism!).

I guess that his bigotry extends across the globe, even to the unborn children of, say, Lithuania, who by nature of their yet-to-be-expressed genetic code are also therefore “a-holes.” Outrageous. Since my sons are half Hispanic, one can only wonder in awe at what label the self-hating professor would deem fitting for them.

O’Neill’s essay was neither informative, useful nor interesting. It was simply another example of liberal literary self-immolation, and I was frankly surprised that it passed editorial scrutiny.

Mike Birch


Really, Jaime? You really believe the entire white race is a “lousy segment of humanity,” and that the millions who voted for Trump are a “horde of crackers, Nazi nostalgiacs, evangelicals, high school dropouts, and privileged plutocrats”? It’s obvious you’re mad, but please take a breath before you pop a blood vessel.

Actually, you should be mad. According to Obama, Hillary Clinton was the most qualified candidate for president in his lifetime. And her Republican opponent? A flawed reality show host with no political experience. Hillary should’ve won by a landslide. And yet …

Jaime, why besmirch Trump voters when the real blame for Hillary’s failure rests with the multitude of disillusioned Democrats and independents who preferred Trump’s vision? That blame rests squarely on the Democratic leadership: by naming Hillary their “chosen one” long before the primary; by losing faith with their working class base in favor of Hollywood elites, political correctness, etc.; by presenting no real vision except for bashing Trump; and whose arrogance turned the Midwest and its unemployed blue-collar workers into “flyover country.”

Be mad, but please direct your anger at those who’re really responsible. Continually blaming the winners for winning gets you and your party nowhere.

Bob Evans


Trying again

Re “‘Privilege, not a right’” (Letters, by Brad Pankratz, Aug. 3):

A letter to your newspaper indicated that I believe everyone should get free health care, or at the very least healthy people who don’t need it should pay for it for older people who do.

Nowhere in my previously submitted letter did I put forth such musings. What I attempted to point out is that an existing health care plan that currently helps protect more than 80 million Americans was on the brink of being dismantled by the Republican Party. This was an unconscionable action inasmuch as they had no plan of their own to offer in its place, thereby adversely affecting millions of people, many who are elderly or disabled, while creating chaos in the insurance market.

Health care isn’t a privilege; it’s something that every civilized industrial country in the world makes sure their citizens have. There were 643,000 family medical bankruptcies in 2013. The Affordable Care Act has its positives and negatives. Congress, working together for country, not party, needs to fine-tune the positives and fix the negatives. It is the decent thing to do. If my car breaks down, I don’t drive it into a ditch and walk away. I have it repaired and keep using it.

Roger S. Beadle


Protect the trees

Re “Trees and Ranger Bob” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Aug. 3):

I have been in Chico for 25 years and have seen a major change in our urban forest. Our great valley oaks are being replaced by smaller trees that do not have the greater canopy of the oaks and sycamores. I was disheartened to read Ms. Daugherty advocating for the cutting down of two pin oaks that I understand are healthy.

Please reconsider your stand. These great trees provide shade, clean air, habitat for various birds and will live for hundreds of years.

Bill Kurnizki


Book recommendation

I highly recommend the book Hamilton by Ron Chernow to anyone who would like to learn something about the founding of our democracy. Contrary to what many believe, politics in the United States has had differences of opinion since its beginning.

There is an excerpt from this book that I think everyone should see and reflect upon. It was said by Alexander Hamilton after he was accused by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison of wanting to destroy our fragile republic.

Even though Madison and Hamilton were originally close friends, Madison was concerned about the federal power being created by Hamilton in his role as treasury secretary. Nevertheless, the acceptance of vocal and written disagreement in the way of moving the democracy forward ceased when Hamilton was accused of wanting to destroy it. If he had wanted to impose a monarchy upon America, Hamilton said, he would’ve followed the classic path of a populist demagogue: “I would mount the hobbyhorse of popularity, I would cry out usurpation, danger to liberty, etc., etc. I would endeavour [sic] to prostrate the national government, raise a ferment, and then ride in the whirlwind and direct the storm.”

Hmmm … seems like someone describing the antics of our current president.

William Fisher


Speaking of POTUS

What goes up usually comes down—somewhat like the intellectual quotient of those wayward-yet-well-intentioned souls who still believe this deeply troubled and shamefully incoherent creep can actually transform their hopelessly fragmented nation into greatness.

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos