Letters for August 25, 2016

‘City slicker campus’

Re “Changing spaces” (Cover story, by CN&R staff, Aug. 18):

The Chico State campus has become a walled-in fortress with the completion of the new Arts & Humanities Building, much like the Sorbonne in Paris. I assume this is to protect the students from the big city crime issues that Chico now endures.

The new art center looks like a hodgepodge hospital design that somebody picked out of a catalog. The glassed side is seemingly derived from Mies van der Rohe’s 1958 Seagram Building—and, considering Chico State’s reputation for drinking, is an architectural bon mot if ever there was one. The side facing the bus stop looks like a county jail and is despairingly ugly for an arts building. I suggest a mural or mosaic to remedy this.

From our quaint Tobacco Road country college, Chico State has transformed into a big-time city slicker campus. This is not necessarily good—Chico State has more part-time professors than full-time, it drowns the students in cultural Marxism (yes, dad, you’re sending your daughter to college to become a communist), the acceptance rate is as high as 72 percent (Harvard is only 4 percent) and every time I take a book off the shelf in the university library, I have to blow a quarter-inch of dust off it. There are still many internal problems that have to be remedied.

Students and faculty make a university, not the buildings.

Mike Peters


‘Try a little reality’

Re “Rebuttal time” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, Aug. 11):

Patrick Newman sarcastically suggests that women “wanted” what they’ve gotten. In the 17th-20th centuries in America, apparently women wanted to be treated like chattel, without the right to vote or even a say in their own lives. Women also wanted their children killed in wars created by men in the endless quest for power and empire. Women wanted to be paid less, be given fewer opportunities and be routinely discriminated against.

One in six women wanted to be raped. Around the world, women wanted to be forced into marrying men decades older than they and to be exiled, beaten or stoned to death if they didn’t behave the way their religion/culture expected them to, even when victims of rape.

For hundreds of years, men have controlled most areas of business and government. Last year, women held only 17 percent of the Fortune 500 executive positions and only 19.4 percent of seats in Congress. For centuries, women have had little or no influence over any important decisions being made. Men have created most of the products available for human consumption, including ones that are creating “environmental Armageddon.”

Perhaps instead of bold displays of ignorance, arrogance and sarcasm, Mr. Newman should try a little reality and research.

Sherri Quammen


On toddler Trump

Fred and Maryann Trump: This conference week, it’s imperative to communicate that Donnie J. is way below grade level in English and history with a troubling inability to understand current events.

His failure to recall numbers is worrisome. He insists rudely that he’s the only student smart enough to qualify for class president. He constantly demands a “break,” but has not worked one second to improve education or anything else outside his own immature self-interest.

He bullies our girls and physically challenged toddlers unless they help shovel dirt for his castles. He refuses to let “losers” in the sandbox until they pledge allegiance to him—not the American flag—because only Trumpy can make school safe for all white children. Nobody can believe or understand his repetitive false claims against our great president and all others accused of treating him unfairly.

Donnie’s anger concerns everyone, and he insists his science project is construction of a wall—using our Mexican kids’ Legos. Hopefully, with his newfound affinity for non-Caucasians, we’ve found something positive to conclude our meeting. Normal children are taught respect and compassion. These characteristics are devoid in Donnie. Intensive consultation and tutoring are urgently recommended.

What the heck do you have to lose?

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos

Pot’s not dangerous

The California State Sheriffs’ Association claims marijuana seriously impairs driving and has other adverse consequences. Yet researchers find that while obviously inadvisable, marijuana only modestly affects driving (Journal of Drug And Alcohol Dependence, June 23, 2016).

Marijuana users know their performance is impaired and compensate by slowing down and being especially attentive. By contrast, inebriated drivers are seriously impaired. They merely think they are in control; in fact, they speed, weave across lanes, have lethally slower reaction times, and cause thousands of accidents (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 2015).

Moreover, illegality accounts for marijuana’s negative societal consequences, not its use per se. Incarceration soils reputations, deprives children of custodial parents, financially and mentally stresses families and society, blackballs one from employment, and puts one at risk for assault.

Violence results from gangsters killing other gangsters and passersby, not from discretionary users committing crimes of violence or going berserk. In fact, while alcohol precipitates, cannabis reduces aggression and is associated with less—not more—domestic violence (Psychoparmacology, July 15, 2016; Psychology of Addictive Behavior, September 2014). The California State Sheriffs’ Association’s false claims mislead the public and diminish law enforcement’s credibility.

William R. Todd-Mancillas