Letters for December 8, 2005

Libertarians agree
Fearing the Chip,” the cover story for Dec. 1 was the best article you’ve ever published and possibly the most important. Many Libertarians have seen this coming for a while, and some, like Katherine Albrecht, and me fear the worst. Though privacy rights and private info can be violated by government and business, as was discussed in the article, the fear comes to play when every single Federal Reserve note is chipped, as will be your national I.D. card (coming soon) and your own body. Freedom will be at stake. Some people won’t believe this will happen until they get a government notice for their “free RFID service” with threat of punishment for non-compliance. Those that have been to prison know very well what an I.D. number is; they know surveillance and they know containment. I hope everybody rejects this citizen processing before it becomes law. Be you a private citizen that supports the idea, go ahead and get your whole family chipped, and your pets—I don’t care. Just beware the politicians who would make it mandatory.

Nice job, Devanie Angel. I hope you can do a followup on this article with a story about the public school in Sutter County that now forces the kids to wear a button with an RFID chip in it.

Casey Aplanalp

Editor’s note: The Brittan School District in Sutter County dropped its RFID-badge program in February 2005.

Voltaire vs. Voltaire
Anthony Porter’s column, which mainly provides reasons as to why the state should not execute Stanley “Tookie” Williams, somehow manages to compare American soldiers to this convicted killer [“Forgiveness,” From the edge, Dec. 1].

“We’d forgive a U.S. soldier who invaded Iraq and killed people for far less reason than Tookie Williams ever killed anybody, and we should forgive Stanley Williams as well,” he writes. Since Mr. Porter neglected to mention what type of murder Williams was convicted of I will. Williams, who also founded the Crips street gang, killed four random people with a shotgun.

Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are not in the business of targeting random innocents. In fact, they are battling terrorists and murderers who are in the business of slaughtering random innocents.

Porter uses a quote by Voltaire to take a shot at militaries in general: “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” What is highly ironic is the fact that the U.S. military is the only reason that Mr. Porter is free to make his ridiculous statements … and they continue to fight to keep it that way. Without the brave American “murderers” of WW II who knows what the world would be like. Mr. Porter, “A witty saying proves nothing.” That is also by Voltaire.

Gabe Garbarino Chico

Porter supporter
Just a note of appreciation for Anthony Porter’s column in the News & Review. I find it thought-provoking, funny, serious and very convolutedly human, not to leave out well-written. His column is the first thing I turn to when I pick up your paper every week. Thanks!

Richard Roth

Christmas correctness
While communities from coast to coast grapple with the hideously controversial word “Christmas,” choosing to rename the huge lighted pines in their community squares “Holiday trees,” Chicoans recently shopped and drank cider downtown at the annual Christmas Preview and then partook in our Christmas tree lighting.

Wal-Mart and Target had plans to eliminate the word Christmas from their advertising; my only guess is that they were worried that the offensive “Christ” part of the word would keep atheists and non-Christians away from their stores in droves this holiday season.

Fortunately, for the first time this decade the tree at the U.S. Capital is once again called a Christmas tree, and cities such as Boston are relenting on recent plans to use the word “Holiday” in place of Christmas. Despite the fact that this whole “Holiday Tree” issue has been hijacked by Jerry Falwell and the Christian Right in recent weeks, I think the vast majority of Americans would agree that political correctness has gone too far when the word Christmas is considered offensive.

The fact is that Dec. 25, Christmas Day, is a national holiday. As much as it is an important religious holiday for a majority of our population, it’s also a central piece of our cultural history. Not to mention the massive boost Christmas shopping gives to our economy. It may just be a word, but “Christmas” is worth preserving. Otherwise future generations may come to know Dec. 25 simply as the Winter Holiday, or my personal favorite, Holly Day.

Michael M. Watts

Air is leaking
We have bubblets to the left of us, we have bubblets to the right of us, we have bubblets all around us. Now, if you recall, about two-and-one-half months ago an article appeared in the Enterprise-Record regarding bubblets. Chico was regarded as having the largest bubblet in the country. As I recall the bubblet is the difference between the real value of you home and the bubblet (initiated value) of your home.

For the last one-and-one-half months I’ve noticed more and more homes for sale. I’ve walked in this same neighborhood for years and every once in awhile a For Sale sign would go up. Now I’ve noticed that there are more and more homes for sale. The other thing I noticed was that more homes for sale, and especially more being sold by discount brokers, Help-U-Sell and For Sale By Owner.

I surmise from that, that people are looking for extra money (leverage) if they have to come down on their homes selling price. Therefore, you have a bubblet leaking air—the sellers having to lower price of their homes. One other point is that homes are staying up for sale longer.

Michael C. Bertolini

Laughing matters
Often in thought, yet seldom in print do I question the true intent of a person who writes for the sole purpose of degrading a newspaper, its editor and its readers. After all, if the CN&R is so “laughable” as Mr. Rocco says it is, why does he bother to read it “Funny paper,” Letters, Dec. 1]? Does he not know that what he writes is a perfect example of a display of stupidity in the eyes of a lefty like me? Was he laughing all the while that he was reading the article about dildos? Or did he have his wife read that one and laugh, while he looked at the photographs and laughed? Or was it the other way around? Oh well, I think that I’ll go out and get myself a current issue of the Wall Street Journal. Anything for a good laugh, huh?

Joseph D’Amico

Wishful thinking
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the readers of CN&R could raise as big a stink about the war, poverty, the sorry state of health-care in this country or the $8 trillion dollar federal debt as they do about the story CN&R published on dildos?