Letters for December 6, 2012

Editorial is a mess

Re “New faces, new council” (Editorial, Nov. 29):

I was truly startled by your editorial because it contained far more factual and substantive errors than readers expect from the News & Review.

Bob Evans is not the only councilmember who will be honored upon leaving the City Council. Andy Holcombe is also leaving, as is Jim Walker. Both have served for more years than Mr. Evans. Mr. Holcombe has been mayor and Mr. Walker vice-mayor. How could you have omitted any mention of their names?

Tami Ritter and Randall Stone are joining the council, but not Andrew Coolidge. Sean Morgan is the third new council member. I know you know the outcome of the election. How could you have gotten this information wrong?

Finally, I am hopeful Ann Schwab is re-elected mayor. She has performed admirably in this role, and there is no need for a change in that position. Why would having three new council members be the reason to make a change in the mayor’s position? Frankly, it is an argument for keeping an experienced leader in the role, and that person is Ann Schwab.

The editorial was simply beneath the standards of the News & Review. How it passed muster is beyond me.

Jim Peck

Editor’s note: How it passed muster is beyond us, too. Election fatigue, maybe? Editor Robert Speer discusses Mr. Peck’s criticisms in his From This Corner column next door.

Missed opportunities

Re “How special it is” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Nov. 29):

Had [Tehama County] District Attorney Gregg Cohen allowed the 2009-10 and 2010-11 grand juries to investigate my complaints and the presiding judges not managed the authority and the duty of these grand juries, allegations that Jim Nielsen had committed perjury would have been settled.

Other elected Tehama County public servants including the following failed to obey their oath of office: Sheriff Clay Parker, Sheriff Dave Hencratt, and Election Registrar Beverly Ross. We need to include Doug LaMalfa in the equation. He is the No. 1 culprit who orchestrated the musical chairs to keep Jimmy Nielsen in the game.

Tehama County residents will now eat an estimated cost of $100,000 for this special election. I hope this time the voters will send Nielsen home to Woodland. Oops! I mean Gerber.

Donald M. Bird
Rancho Tehama

Zingg’s fallacious logic

Re “Déjà vu” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, Nov. 21):

Paul Zingg, Chico State’s president, and Drew Calandrella, a vice president, might benefit from taking a basic logic and critical-thinking class at Chico State.

A 21-year-old student goes out to the bars on his 21st birthday, drinks 21 shots, dies, and somehow the fraternity he belongs to is responsible for his death. Zingg and Calandrella then decide that all like student organizations are equally at fault.

From your article: “He [Dr. Zingg] gave an analogy of airlines having to ground all planes if even one is suspect.” That is like stating that Ford Mustangs may have defective brakes, thus all cars must be recalled. This is a fallacy, an argument based on incorrect demonstration.

Calandrella states, “Many of you are exemplars of what Greek life and Greek organizations are supposed to be.” But even those of you who are exemplars are hereby suspended, as the university finds that other, like organizations may have violated university rules. Again, an example of a fallacy, an argument based on incorrect demonstration.

As an alumnus of Chico State, I find the lack of intellectual vigor displayed by President Zingg and Vice President Calandrella to be disturbing at best.

Charlie Preusser

Who’s the ‘taker’ here?

Re “He’s not a real ‘taker’ ” (Letters, by Tom Dowd, Nov. 21):

Imagine my sense of relief to learn that Tom Dowd of Durham does not consider me one of the “takers” in the Republican world view that sees our populace divided between those who take and those who make.

According to Mr. Dowd, the real takers are only those who “have never contributed and yet have been able to live off government programs their whole lives.” I wonder if that definition would include the Walton family heirs who are so heavily subsidized by the government as it picks up the difference between what they pay and what working families need in order to live.

And I wonder if [Goldman Sachs CEO] Lloyd Blankfein is a “maker” or a “taker,” as he cashes big bonuses for pushing paper, then pays less than half of what wage earners pay in taxes on that money he’s “earned.”

Or how about former VP Dick Cheney, who got wealthy peddling government influence as he shuttled back and forth between the private and the public sector, and busily “made” a phony war that cost lots of lives, or ruined other lives of those who now “take” from the government because they’ve been disabled and can no longer “make” stuff.

Thank God Mr. Dowd has given me the dispensation that keeps me from being among those “takers” who don’t contribute much while costing the noble “makers” so much money.

Jaime O’Neill

Taking money from kids

Re “Child support” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Nov. 22, about newly elected Councilman Sean Morgan’s accepting campaign donations from children):

Anyone taking money from children must be a real creep! I think he must only care about his family. Anyone in their right mind wouldn’t take money from kids. Really?

Cap Miller

Why Obama won

Re “Why Romney lost” (Editorial, Nov. 21):

It’s not why Romney lost, but why Obama won. The months leading up to and after Obama’s inauguration [in 2009], our country was hemorrhaging 750,000 jobs a month. This was not only due to the Bush administration’s destructive economic policies, but also the result of the tidal wave of corporate and private-equity firms outsourcing jobs.

In the last three years more than 4 million private-sector jobs have been created. Imagine what might have happened had the Republicans supported the president’s jobs bill, rather than declare their intent to make him a one-term president, filibustering every bill that would have helped America’s economic recovery.

To the critics of Obamacare: It will prevent millions of Americans from unduly suffering illness and injury without proper medical care, family savings being depleted following prohibitive medical costs, and saving many who would have been left with no option but to declare personal bankruptcy.

Additionally, President Obama took action to see that the present budget included two wars, the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, and the Bush tax cuts. These previously unfunded remnants of the Bush era will account for almost half of the $20 trillion debt that is projected for 2019.

As for the right-wing code words, “wealth distribution,” the fact that the 400 richest families have the same combined wealth as the bottom 150 million Americans speaks volumes to the problem our nation faces. The irony to those who pay attention is that 150 million Americans represents a little over 47 percent of our population.

Roger S. Beadle

Congress needs compromise

House Republicans seem determined to sabotage our government even if it means destroying our nation. Don’t they realize that if we all go down, it includes themselves, their families and friends? How many of them have the wealth of the 2 percent to save themselves?

Most Americans, of any political persuasion, are in the 98 percent. It’s time for Congress to put “compromise” back into its vocabulary.

Barbara Ortiz


The credit was missing for the photo of author Carson Medley and his family that accompanied his cover story last week, “To catch a thief.” It was by Kristen Privett Photography.—ed.