Letters for February 19, 2009

Wait, this story drew a complaint?
Re: “In the stars” (Love-Sex-Marriage issue, CN&R, Feb. 12):

In this day and age, and on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, to see in print the story [subtitled] “For Chico astrologist, successful matchmaking is a technical business” is the unparalleled height of denial. Humans have evolved far beyond the caves and believing an eclipse resulted from the sun being swallowed by demons.

The quote [by Alexandra Karacostas] “I can take two people’s charts and, through a mathematical process, combine them and come up with a third entity that reflects their relationship” is the best example of abysmal ignorance of knowing what a “mathematical process” entails.

Astrology is not astronomy. Yes, if one can make a living (either in part or in whole) by practicing astrology for any end, and there are individuals in Chico to throw away their hard-earned income, so be it; but for the CN&R to spend valuable time on this kind of reporting is an insult without redemption.

Brahama D. Sharma

Where there’s fire, there’s smoke
Re: “Fire it up right!” (UnCommon Sense, CN&R, Feb. 12):

There is nothing green or guilt-free about burning wood. Better to spend money on insulation and state-of-the-art clean solar, gas or electric heating. A new wood stove is an incinerator.

The hearth, patio and barbecue industry is responsible for illness and deaths wherever their stoves are put. The soot causes developmental damage to the fetus, lowers IQ, remodels DNA, remodels lungs, leads to shorter life expectancy, and infects our land with dioxins, PCBs, lead and many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke. Wood soot is contributing to climate change.

Putting incinerators in homes was banned in the 1950s. There is no clean burning of wood, just as there is no free ride with coal. To learn more, visit http://BurningIssues.org.

Mary Rozenberg
Point Arena

Editor’s note: Ms. Rozenberg is president of Clean Air Revival Inc.

Give change a chance!
Re: “Change? What change?” (Letters, CN&R, Feb. 12):

Three weeks! That’s apparently the performance deadline Ken Babbitt placed on President Obama.

At the end of those short weeks, Mr. Babbitt has declared the president’s efforts to be cataclysmic failures, based on some aborted cabinet appointments. The funny thing is, though, he characterizes first-time voters who supported Obama as clueless stooges who’ll become Republicans at some point between now and 2012.

Three weeks seems like a short time, and it is, especially compared to the twilight-zone eternity we’ve endured since George W. Bush took office eight years ago. That was the time frame when the “friendly news industry"—friendly to Obama, he means—failed to ask the administration a single tough question about the invasion of Iraq for fear of being labeled as unpatriotic. And if they had, well … so long, advertising revenue!

Finally, Mr. Babbitt invites us to see him “on the other side” four years from now. Gosh, the folks on the other side are the same ones who said there’d be tons of WMDs lying around Iraq, that our “liberators” would be greeted with open arms in Baghdad, that tax cuts for the rich would benefit every American, and that home prices and the stock market would rise in value forever.

Sometimes the grass isn’t greener. Better come on over to this side, Mr. Babbitt.

Edward Booth

Two views on account
Re: “Pakistani students decry U.S. bombing” (Newslines, by Katie Booth, CN&R, Feb. 5):

This is a very painful story to hear from young people who are very much looking forward to a better life than what is available now. No one should have to live life with such uncertainty.

When we as a people begin to understand that we are all connected, even as we are many countries throughout the world, and reach out to one another and begin to find solutions, that would end the injustices that we see today.

Our country, from its very birth, has always paid a heavy price, and in all cases there were casualties—for freedom from tyranny has always been won with the loss of lives of the ones that are dearest to us. We may not desire the price, but anyone who lives in the USA highly respects those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom that we are able to enjoy.

Steven Pasillas

It’s a little more complicated than one person crossing a border and the U.S. responding with bombing.

The major problem I see here is the fact that these foreign students come here and make Americans out to be villains, as they can plainly see we are not, and “Chicoans” jump on the bandwagon and agree.

Let them feel welcomed here and see how Americans are as individuals. I’m sure many Pakistanis, individually, are nice people, too. Neither case negates the fact that the Pakistani government is allowing their country to be used as a safe haven for terrorists and our government is trying to eradicate such groups.

And, to say that Americans are Islam is a slap in the face, no matter how complimentary its intention. Many of us have come to associate Islam with terror, violence and threats against our people and our way of life. I don’t see any Pakistani newspapers falling all over themselves to agree with that and make us feel welcome there.

I’m glad these students have the opportunity to study here, and I hope they enjoy their time here before returning to their own country. But, honestly, they speak out of turn at this early stage in their journey.

M.E. Grace

Stimulus-ing talk
In his recent speech, President Obama reminded the country that Abraham Lincoln understood how self-reliance and personal accomplishment are core American values. However, Lincoln himself, in 1854, reflected and decided that “[t]he legitimate object of government is to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they cannot, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, by themselves.”

Our recent Republican government has said that tax breaks to the wealthy were the answer to all our common problems. They were very, very wrong; the money did not “trickle down,” it just kept going up.

The wealthy do not need our roads, bridges, and infrastructure rebuilt—they have chauffeurs and private planes. They do not need our schools; their families go to private schools. They do not need affordable health care. They do not need energy efficiency.

We do need these things, and to get them we must work together in a common endeavor. Obama said that “only by coming together, all of us, and expressing a sense of shared sacrifice and responsibility can we do the work that must be done in and for this country. That is the very definition of being American.”

So remember, if you or your family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers are helped by the Reconstruction and Recovery Act at any time in the next two years, Wally Herger voted against it, twice.

Linda Mendoza

The day before last year’s first vote on the (first) $170 billion bailout, I called Wally Herger’s office in Washington and asked that he vote against that bill because it was written as a blank check (no congressional oversight) and it allowed rewards for CEOs. But he voted for it (twice!) because his president asked him to. Mercifully, that version of the bill was defeated.

Subsequently, in the two Wally Herger-Jeff Morris debates, when questioned on this issue, Herger squirreled out of admitting his irresponsibility by saying he had been against the bill initially and that then he finally had voted for it once it was fixed.

Fixed? By now, we all know how that first, and then second, corporate bank thievery bailout has worked—to preserve the status quo at the top while the middle class drowns.

Mr. Herger, your obstructionist slip is showing. Yes, we can allow this president to do what he sees fit to fix the economy that you and the previous administration broke.

Maria Phillips

Quick stimulus idea
I suggest we stop wasting billions of dollars in taxpayer money busting pot farms. Legalize pot farms and get billions of dollars in tax revenue from the sale of pot and hemp!

Inge Scott

Feb. 24 is the 14th annual Spay Day USA, a national campaign of the Humane Society of the United States to promote the life-saving benefits of pet spaying and neutering. Through the end of March, PAWS of Chico Spay and Neuter Program will participate by focusing its financial assistance on low-income owners of large dogs (weighing more than 40 pounds).

As a result of programs like Spay Day USA, the number of homeless animals euthanized in the U.S. has fallen from approximately 13.5 million in 1973 to about 4 million in 2008. These millions are often the offspring of cherished family pets.

To apply for financial assistance for the spaying or neutering of a pet, call 895-2109.

Ingrid Cordes

Re: “New flavor on the block” (Chow, by Rosemarie Zoilus, CN&R, Feb. 12): In the restaurant information for Petra Mediterranean Cuisine, the phone number was listed incorrectly. It is 899-9958. We apologize for the error, which has been corrected online.