Letters for August 14, 2003

Playing grownup
Children are not supposed to walk into school with guns or knives. They are not supposed to plot out the killing of their fellow classmates and neighbors. We adults tell them not to lie, cheat, or steal. Yet when they do any of these things, we adults stand around with our mouths open wide asking why they are doing it. It totally shocks and baffles us. Why?

We give kids Easy Bake ovens so one day they can cook like adults. We give them plastic shaving kits so they can one day shave like us. They play house and pretend to be teachers and pilots. We also give them Army men, plastic grenades and “toy” guns. They are surrounded by violence; they see and hear about death and destruction every day. (Shock and Awe and pictures of Saddam’s sons shown over and over.)

Bottom line: kids pretend to be adults. They copy everything we do! (Ever let a bad word slip in front of a 2-year-old?) So why, then, are we so amazed when our kids go around killing each other? They’re just copying what they see us adults doing. We put people, who order the killing of other humans we deem our enemy, on pedestals. Is it any wonder why the Columbine students killed their enemies? It’s what we adults do to ours. And it doesn’t matter whether our enemies are “justified” or not.

Maybe when we adults take some responsibility for the actions of our society and stop acting insane, then our kids will follow in our footsteps.

Frank Brockerman

Real choice
I consider this recall election to be California’s first democratic election. Because it challenges the monopoly of the Democratic and Republican Parties they are against it. The person with the most votes will win.

I am voting for Arianna Huffington. She is an intelligent, compassionate activist well-connected to people with knowledge and has a sense of humor. She is a writer of seven books including Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption are Undermining America and a weekly newspaper column. Being born in Greece she can’t run for president. To learn more go to www.runariannarun.com. If you are independent you have a real choice in this election. Vote!

Norm Dillinger

Trees be gone
We mourn the loss of nearly 180 oak trees and 89 sapling being cut down on five acres between West Eleventh and Twelfth avenues (cross-street Fern), by local developer Greg Webb. A local arborist stated last February, “It was unusual to find this many trees in such good condition on a relatively small site.” Some 132 of these tress were rated in either good or excellent condition. Only one was rated poor.

We were awakened by the intrusive sound of a chain saw at seven a.m. each morning last week. Gone were the birds, the shade (as if it isn’t hot already) and the natural native landscape. Before long, Chico will be just another Sacramento.

Margaret Nordeen
David Odabashian

Share the blame
Half a century ago, English economist John Keynes advocated contra-cyclical government spending to moderate the business cycle. During depression the government should borrow money through bond issues to stimulate the economy with public works projects. During boom times the government should postpone capital expenditures and use surplus revenue to retire bonds and build cash reserves for the future.

Politicians of any party vote for what will please the most voters. Projected surpluses are spent on new, permanent programs, counting on future revenues to continue. Bonds are approved for capital improvements such as schools and roads, instead of paying as we go, imposing long-term costs for payments of principal and interest. When the economy sags and tax revenue drops, the state must cut staff and social programs to meet mandated commitments such as bond payments, pensions and unemployment benefits.

Blame for the California budget crisis is not limited to Gov. Davis nor to our legislators but is shared by all of us voters. Budget crises are built into the democratic form of government.

Bill McCord

By any other name
Correct me if I’m wrong, but did Ms. Claudia King [”Shameful Shrew,” Letters, July 31] call William Shakespeare, the leading romanticist of the Elizabethan Age, a male chauvinist pig?

Michael M. Peters
Red Bluff

Political fallout
It’s pronounced “recoil.”

Stephen T. Davis

Scorched Scot
As a Scot, I am baffled by exactly what your census folk are up to [”If it’s not Scottish …” Sifter, CN&R, Aug. 7]. In the census form there is a category for “Irish/Celtic” and a separate one for “Scottish.”

In my little village school in Inverness (Scotland) we were always taught that the Irish and Scots were the same people—Gaelic speakers, living in clans, sharing a common mythology, costume, metallurgy, following a matriarchal line of succession in their royal houses, with a genetic predisposition to red hair and freckles.

I’m even more perplexed by that dragnet “Irish/Celtic.” To whom does that “Celtic” add-on refer? The Welsh? The Bretons? The inhabitants of the Isle of Man? The Cornish?

If the census takers of Chico are going to continue with this obsession with the genealogy of the British Dark Ages where will it all end? Will there be categories for Anglo Saxons, for Picts, for Jutes, for Orkney Vikings?

Even as I e-mail this Conan the Barbarian may be examining the voters’ role in Chico for his run at the governor’s office.

Richard Sutherland
Received via e-mail

Natural selection
Could we please cut down those palm trees too? They always looked kinda sick to me, know what I mean?

Mark Wilpolt
Received via e-mail