Letters for February 10, 2005

Rickie Lee Wasted
My wife and I attended the Rickie Lee Jones show; what I want to know is what substance was Rickie Lee abusing before her performance? My best guess is that 20 to 30 percent of the audience walked out. I spoke with several people who were also at the show, and they were of the same opinion that “it was the worst performance at the Paradise Performing Arts Center.”

Rickie Lee was mumbling her lyrics, and her behavior was erratic. I, along with numerous others, walked out after about four songs. A woman working the lobby asked us if it was just her, or was the performance really bad. The answer was obvious. It was lousy. Christine LaPado must be the ultimate “fanatic,” if she thought it was such a touching performance [“Coolsville, CA.,” Jan. 27].

The biggest disappointment was that we had to wait nearly one and one-half hours before Jones came on. Garrin Benfield was good, but we didn’t pay to hear him play, and we could have left earlier had Rickie Lee started at the time stated. Never again will we waste money on her.

Paul Fisher

Social insecurity
The future of Social Security is being debated. President Bush is claiming a crisis and proposing privatization to phase benefits out, in whole or part. The Democratic Party is denying a crisis exists and mounting a campaign to flood Congress with letters demanding that Social Security be saved, suggesting removal of the cap on income subject to tax to fund future increases in benefit costs.

I do not trust the leaders of either party. Their positions are based on vote gathering, not the future of our society. One way to ensure that the decisions of Congress on the future of Social Security are for the common good would be to terminate their exclusive retirement plan and include them in the same Social Security system as the rest of the nation. Then, you may be sure, Social Security will be actuarially sound and provide a safety net for all, as it was intended to do.

But who is going to bell the cat?

Bill McCord

Boxed Rice
As the bile left my throat following W’s tasteless display of conspicuous consumption and otherwise undeserved second inauguration, I was bracing myself for the Senate confirmation of the bungling Dr. Rice as secretary of state.

I was grateful that the “irascible” Senator Byrd had the guts to force a debate on the issue but had resigned myself to having to stomach yet another love fest among “esteemed” Senate colleagues.

As it turns out, the incompetent Condi didn’t have the easy go that her smirking boss had hoped for. In fact, one senator had the spine to point out Dr. Rice’s shortcomings and lack of veracity regarding everything from 9-11 to the nightmare in Iraq.

I am so proud of our own Barbara Boxer that I could bust a button! That brave woman is a shining example of leadership and patriotism. I hope that hers is an example of a new strategy among the Democrats. A strategy that values speaking truth to power and does not stand for the delusional double-speak and unvarnished horse manure that we have to look forward to from Bush and the Republicans for the next four years. Thank you, Sen. Boxer!

Dan Carter

China takes a cue
The government of the Peoples Republic of China has announced that, now that it knows the standards of a free and fair election, it will be holding free and fair elections in Tibet immediately. The free and fair elections will be held under the following conditions:

1. The rules of Chinese occupation will remain.

2. The estimated 300,000 Chinese troops will provide election security.

3. Martial law will be enforced.

4. Candidates for office will not reveal their names.

5. Voters will not know whom they are voting for.

6. The borders and airports will be closed and the country in security ‘lockdown.’

6. The elections will be paid for by the Chinese taxpayers.

7. The international election observers will monitor the election from the monitoring center set up by the Chinese military in Nepal.

8. The elected government will write a constitution with the “L. Paul Premier Wen Jiabao Orders” as its framework.

The Chinese Government wishes to thank the United States government and Fox News for clarifying the meaning and criteria of free and fair elections and how to bring freedom and democracy to a long-suffering people.

Beau Grosscup

El Rey dreams
How about instead of turning the El Rey into office space, I buy it and program an incredible repertory lineup of classic American and foreign films (avoiding the Pageant’s turf, of course), and my rep house is a huge hit with all Chico and people come from miles around and we start a North State Film Festival and hobnob with international film directors [“El Rey’s days may be numbered,” Newslines, Jan. 27]?

Of course, I probably won’t win the Lotto, so how about, instead of me buying the El Rey, a consortium of civic-minded local cinephiles with deep pockets buys it and hires me as the programmer? And if that’s not practical either, at least PLEASE PRESERVE THE MURALS! Just an idea.

Alicia Springer

Save the El Rey
Everything I’ve read about the El Rey indicates that it actually is the Majestic Theater, built in 1905 and renamed the El Rey after a devastating fire in the late-40s. I find it remarkable that there is not more of an outcry to preserve such a historic building, especially considering what is planned for it—offices and a parking structure.

Yeah, there’s a real burning need for more offices downtown. Maybe we could tear down Bidwell Mansion and put in a Super Wal-Mart while we’re at it.

Perhaps Chico should start taking its cues from Redding and try to preserve its historic theaters while they still exist.

Michael Kuker

Loaded questionnaire
Dear Wally Herger,

My wife and I just finished another of your surveys. I love the way you pose some of your questions. They are not quite on the order of, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” but close. Also, you’ve been had! The story of the principal preventing the teacher from showing the historic documents because they mention “God” is a Christian/Republican urban myth. Give me the source of your information and I’ll track it down for you and expose it. But perhaps you already knew that. Perhaps there’s some truth to the story. If so, I’d like to hear the rest of it.

Francis X. Farley