Letters for December 1, 2016
Why the optimism?
Re “Congrats, Trump, from a Hillary supporter” (Guest comment, by Chris Verrill, Nov. 23):
I’m all for optimism when guided by reason. Chris Verrill, in his guest commentary, encourages us to all come together and “give Trump the benefit of the doubt as he starts his administration.” What, I wonder, does Verrill find that merits optimism in Trump’s post-election actions that include Twitter rants and choosing an adviser with a hate-mongering history?
An informed, active opposition is necessary to strengthen the United States as a democracy. I’ve just sent a donation to the nonprofit American Friends Service Committee. It is dedicated to nonviolent means of working with immigration, pipeline, security and prison issues.
I was very puzzled by his statement, “It’s time for us to do our best to work together with [Trump]. To do our best to help him succeed.” Whoa! Wait a minute! What does a successful Trump administration look like to you?
Does it include walling off Mexico, banning Muslims, calling Mexicans rapists and murderers, reversing Roe v. Wade, jailing Hillary Clinton, open discrimination by calling for the “frisking” of our African-American citizens, registering our Muslim citizens, easing gun control legislation, using federal law to stop the cultural acceptance of marijuana usage medicinally and for recreation, reversing the world’s attention on global warming, outstretching a hand to Russia, and on and on?
Check out Irish Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin’s speech about what the election of Donald Trump means. Also, I suggest listening to the end of John Oliver’s last show suggesting the ways in which we (those who see America as diverse, inclusive, welcoming and protective) can work to have Trump’s vision of America not be successful.
I intentionally waited to write about the election to see how the left and progressives would respond to defeat of their candidate. As a senior citizen and Vietnam veteran, I remembered the late ’60s and ’70s, when it was common to protest and march against the Vietnam War.
I recalled a Saturday when I, after returning home after losing my roommate and 31 others in a Viet Cong attack, being very much against the senseless war deaths, marched down Broadway, saw a Viet Cong flag, borrowed it and marched peacefully and waited. Finally, it happened. A senior woman called out to me and called me a traitor to my country. I went over to her and said, “Ma’am, if anyone here has the right to protest this war, it’s me. I am a Vietnam veteran and I served my country.” With that, I watched that woman watch me walk over to a sidewalk trash can, where I broke in half and deposited that flag.
My point: You don’t see veterans burning and destroying other citizens’ property just to make a political point over an election result and an imaginary, unfounded fear.
Good Trump, bad Trump
I’m extremely grateful that strong, visionary Trump won the election over accommodating, myopic Clinton. I pray he’ll make it clear that California and other states’ federal funding will be revoked if they’ve legalized marijuana.
I also hope he’ll walk the walk by imprisoning rather than welcoming those who’ve invaded our country illegally and are wrongfully undermining our wealth, language and culture. Then, that he’ll make them work off the cost of their imprisonment to be released.
I pray he’ll institute election reform. That is, require citizens to prove through testing that they have sufficient knowledge and intelligence to competently vote or hold public office. Finally, I hope he’ll compel all citizens to stop allowing their dogs to pollute the peace, harass other animals and undermine people’s quality of life. That is, by requiring that all dogs wear electronic antibark collars.
Our beloved community is now powerfully affected by America’s recent catastrophic decision to elect Donald Trump. Families are in turmoil with consternation mounting daily. We are reminded of the undeniable Noam Chomsky, who wrote, “The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.”
Regrettably, the incomparable Dr. Chomsky’s reflections have shone accurately once again.
Kenneth B. Keith
Trump is just as bad as we think he is. He’ll be a disaster as president.
How did that happen? I can only speculate. We just had two terms of a Democratic president and many people are still hurting and frustrated from the effects of the recession, which the Democrats did not cause.
And, the Democratic Party neglected to adequately address working class America. I’m a Democrat, and in retirement I still have my union card. Most of the people in this country are working class. It is this demographic that Trump addresses. I don’t think he cares about them. But they have a lot of votes.
The Democratic Party does care about working Americans. That was me before I retired. But we didn’t make it clear to that very large group. We didn’t address them adequately, and we were shocked when they went over to the other side and took a flyer on a mouthy charlatan.
Most Americans work for a living. If we don’t talk directly to them, they are going to stop listening. And then they are going to vote for the flashy candidate who tells them that he is on their side.
Remembering a vet
Re “Farewell to a friend” (Newlines, by Meredith J. Cooper, Nov. 17):
I want to thank CN&R for your story about the passing of Wes Shockley at the young age of 40. I first met Wes, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, several years ago at the Chico headquarters of the National Guard when the unit was returning from Afghanistan.
It was a happy occasion for the troops and their families. Wes was a VA counselor, and he told me that he and other professionals had been meeting with family members over the previous several weeks to help the families with advice (don’t ask the Guard member immediately to do house chores, etc.) and prepare them for a returning mother or father who will be different than the person they kissed goodbye a year before.
I told Wes how this was a big improvement over previous wars. I ran into Wes several more times with veterans. I was pleased to see several dozen people at the memorial for Wes at the Chico Veterans’ Center on Cohasset Road. Thank you, Wes.
Re “Righteous indignation” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Nov. 17):
I have to laugh at your ridiculously lame attempt to demonize everything Trump and Republican. Usually, people who cry racism are the biggest racists themselves. You cannot tell me that all the protesters, who are out there beating people up and destroying property, are justified in their actions. To enforce immigration laws in your country does not make you a racist.
I think you should look at the real reason Trump ran away with the election. People are tired of liberals and their hypocrisy when it comes to racism, environmental extremism, and attacks on their Christian beliefs and morals. Liberalism is a movement of cry babies who have no answers and are only happy if they get their way. Liberals lost the election because their policies don’t adhere to common sense. Put your globalist views aside and start caring about the country you live in: America!
Editor’s note: The column in question noted the fake immigration notices given to Redding school children as well as instances of white supremacist propaganda, including swastikas, that have been reported locally since Trump’s election.
Now that the dust has settled from the November election, I would like to thank all the voters (all 10,372 of you) who voted for me for Chico’s City Council. I want to assure you that I’ll continue to attend every Finance Committee meeting and City Council meeting to keep an eye on how your taxpayer dollars are being spent.
Our city has an amazing staff; one that’s open, transparent and diligent in its focus to spend our limited funds in ways that make fiscal sense.
I encourage you to regularly visit the City Council website, click the left-hand column where you see videos (this will take you to the current agenda at the top, next page.) Click on that and look over the upcoming council’s work. It’s important that citizens take an active role in what’s going on in our town. Don’t just go when you have a “hot button” item you’re riled up about!
Loretta Ann Torres
Bravo, women’s choir
On the evening of Nov. 18, our North State community was treated to another wonderful night of music and yes, hope. “Synergism: women together for beauty” was professionally co-directed by Daun Weiss and Mary Lou Lim, and the production treated the audience to a night of music, poetry and hope. All the singers put their hearts into their songs and thus touched mine as well.
I left with a sense of gratitude for the energy the group imparts to its yearly performance, and much can be attributed to the directors and their “hearts,” for surely it is a labor of love. To paraphrase one poem from the program, “Their songs called forth the courage in other’s hearts to sing their own song!”
Proceeds were again raised for a local community charity. This year’s recipient was 6th Street Center for Youth, a program for homeless youth in Chico. I was shocked to know there are many homeless kids on the streets in a community as wealthy as ours. Finally, we all need to remember the line from Elizabeth Chase: “Hope is not pretending that troubles don’t exist. It is the hope that they won’t last forever.”
Asking for votes
My name is Richard Roth, and I am running for perhaps the most important local election position this election season, a place on the Butte County Farm Service Agency Committee. Ballots were mailed out Nov. 7 and are due postmarked no later than Dec. 5.
I am asking that you write my name in on that ballot, check-mark it, and mail it in. The health, backbone and muscle of our community rests in our agriculture, but we will be thunderstruck by the tsunami of change rolling toward us unless we prepare now.
The ag offices on Chuck Yeager need to be moved to the complexes along Nelson Avenue and RCD & FSA meetings streamed and archived online. Local oversight of cannabis needs to be moved from law enforcement into ag. Homelessness and mental health are log-jammed in the politics of cities, as is carbon sequestration, local production of foods served in our schools, hospitals and other institutions, to name a few. Local ag is the answer. Let’s go.
A story in last week’s issue (see “Stony resolve,” Newslines, by Howard Hardee) incorrectly stated that the old rock walls in Chico’s foothills have not been recognized as historical sites and aren’t protected by law. In fact, they are listed in the Butte County general plan as historic resources and may be considered for protection on a case-by-case basis under the California Environmental Quality Act. The error has been corrected online. —ed.