Letters for February 2, 2017
Re “Resist and reject” (Cover story, by Sasha Abramsky and CN&R staff, Jan. 26):
Our citizens (including CN&R readers) will naturally let their feelings be known without the media using words like resist, fight, reject, revolt, etc., to encourage them. Words like that just fuel the potential for nonpeaceful objection and general unrest in our city and across the country. We are a better nation than that. And providing instructions on how to get involved in the resistance to our president? Very poor journalism in my opinion.
It is my recollection that those who were opposed to the election of President Obama eight years ago did not stoop to such tactics as we see now in opposition to President Trump.
More on POTUS
Young Cassius Clay sat spellbound at ringside as he watched the notorious “Gorgeous George”—the wrestler—taunt the crowd with his “beauty, intelligence” and better-than-thou attitude. Such antics drew a chorus of jeers and boos from the sold-out crowd of deplorables in attendance. Saturday nights found millions of the same ilk sitting in front of their TV sets, beer in hand, yelling and screaming at the detested, peroxide-blonde, fake wrestler.
Cassius Clay made the decision to imitate the abominated wrestler: he changed his name to Muhammad Ali, dodged the draft, and was pinned with the appellation of the “Louisville Lip” by fans who hated him but never failed to watch his fights. He added resentment with his arrogant act and outrageous predictions, as he made millions and became famous worldwide.
Catastrophically, Trump has pirated the same devious P.T. Barnum sales techniques used by Clay and Georgeous George. Trump ran an estimated $3 billion unconventional TV advertising campaign and didn’t spend a dime. Trump even used WWE wrestling staging at the Republican party convention, and has hired Vince McMahon’s wife for his cabinet. Welcome to alt-right America, folks.
My mother and grandmother were registered and honorable members of the Daughters of the American Revolution. My father served his nation and the world as a physician in a field hospital during World War II. He was a lifelong (Eisenhower-admiring) Republican. My parents and ancestors would be horrified (as am I) at what the current president and his “henchmen” are doing to the ideals on which this country was founded.
Our country fought successfully against a monarch at its inception, against a cruel despot who wanted to rule the world in my lifetime, and we must not let this current crisis of democracy go unchecked. No one person can “fix it all,” but one person can certainly do a great deal to wreck it all.
On Jan. 30, local community members gathered to honor Fred T. Korematsu, who, as a 23-year-old Japanese-American, refused to be forced into the American internment/concentration camps during World War II. After losing his case, Korematsu vs. the Supreme Court, he was sent to a camp.
Justice was served on Nov. 10, 1983, when U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel vacated the conviction. Korematsu stood in front of Patel and said, “I would like to see the government admit that they were wrong and do something about it so this will never happen again to any American citizen of any race, creed or color.”
The timeliness, concern and similarities of Korematsu’s case as we enter week three of the Trump administration escapes few. Over this past weekend, an executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days was widely protested.
As I write this, I’m listening to the coverage of another courageous act by U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired for, as the White House put it, “refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.” This year is the 75th anniversary of FDR’s Executive Order 9066 and we must not allow this to happen again.
Scripture says: Love your neighbor as yourself. Trump’s decision to ban the entry of individuals who are citizens of specific countries is not in keeping with this teaching. Anne Frank’s family was denied entry into the U.S. and she died in the World War II Jewish Holocaust. Who will be denied entry this week and find themselves in a similar situation? I say, Mr. Trump: Love your neighbor, no exceptions.
In a pre-election letter to the editor, I suggested that we drop “home of the brave” from our national anthem should Trump close our borders to refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries.
In one of the most disgraceful, cowardly acts by any American president, Trump has done it. In response, lest we be hypocritical as well as cowardly, let me suggest this as one more action of resistance: Whenever the anthem is sung, we sit down in silence just before “home of the brave.” For those who are already protesting by sitting for the whole anthem, by all means, please remain seated. Please pass this on to your fellow resisters.
And more …
Isn’t it ironic that a man who recently settled a $25 million fraud lawsuit against his company (Trump University) and has admittedly filed at least four corporate bankruptcies would lecture you on the ethics and credibility of the media and free press?
The country now has its 45th president. In the last month, Trump’s outrageous behavior, from tweets (like a high school bully) to his attacks on Congressman John Lewis, has been nauseating for most Americans.
The Republicans now have control of all three branches of government, so there will be radical changes and mostly turning the clock back. They will dismantle Obamacare, which will hurt millions of Americans, including hundreds of thousands of veterans. Most veterans are not authorized by Congress to have access to VA health care.
A reminder: Those who did not vote for Secretary Clinton (who won by nearly 3 million votes) wanted Trump to be elected president, and now get ready for many progressive rollbacks.
When President Obama was first elected in 2008, I was fearful and angry. Did I wish for a different outcome? Yes! But, I accepted that he was our president and I prayed for him to succeed. When he was re-elected, I felt even more frightened for our country. Did I riot? Did I break things? No and no.
Then, I remembered: When I was a Democrat, I was just as upset when President Reagan was elected! (I was sure he would get us into a war!) Did that happen? No.
Based on my knowledge of the past, I know that all of us in our country (if we want it to survive) need to take it down a notch and pray that the captain of the ship we are all on guides us through rough water and we all survive.
Trump’s only been in office a few weeks. Can’t you all just wait a few months—see how his ideas pan out? Stop being used by the news outlets to go out and protest! Politicians, with the aid of the press, are giving you a false sense of what “may” happen. Let’s respect the office and calm down.
Loretta Ann Torres
Re “Two on Women’s March” (Letters, by Bill Monroe and Denny Royston):
With all due respect to the CN&R editorial staff, the only two letters regarding the local Women’s March in Chico were written by men. I marched in Washington, D.C., so I can’t speak to the local event, but posting exclusively male interpretations misses a major tenet of this worldwide event.
While the March was fully inclusive of people from all walks of life (including people with disabilities), it was a grassroots effort planned, organized and orchestrated by women in an effort to make our voices heard! We live in a world where women are still treated as second-class citizens and, as Denny Royston pointed out, there are many areas where women are specifically targeted for abuse. We marched for a number of reasons, but this was a women’s march and our voices should be included in the critiques.
If there weren’t any women who wrote letters to the editor immediately after the event, it’s likely because they were busy planning, executing and following up on the Chico March. A delay in publishing letters would have been appropriate. Holding off so that women could comment on their event would have been better than printing male-only reviews of one of the largest events in modern herstory!
Debbie M. Blake
Editor’s note: The two letters by men were the only ones CN&R received on the Chico Women’s March.
On phony facts
It’s quite impressive how students nationwide suddenly mastered all essential course curriculum by sneeringly echoing the new, innovative and deeply complex tenets of “alternative facts.” Common Core vanquished in a flash.
Kenneth B. Keith
‘Start the presses!’
I’m pleased to read the many reactions to the fake news phenomenon: news organizations pledging to scrutinize dubious Internet news sites, social scientists studying how people evaluate online content, educators reviewing how children use digital source materials.
With regard to schools, while I’m not against new lesson plans that help students discriminate between real and fake sources, a tried and true tradition can also be expanded: school newspapers. There is so much good that can come from young people learning the tools of journalism: learning to accurately report on an event; interpreting materials like reports and statistics; understanding the value of objectivity; and, of course, learning how to write concise, clear, correct prose.
Every subject taught at every grade level is pertinent; in my elementary school paper, I recall stories such as “What does the principal do?” and “Why are the elm trees being removed?” You need more than an inquiring mind to do those topics justice. For teachers who consider newspapers passé, and think a video or blog would be more relevant, I would say you could build journalistic standards into any media, but there are qualities about newsprint that make it special. Start the presses!
I think we can all agree that Trump is a thin-skinned, egotistical, petulant douchebag. While I am decidedly pro-choice, I and millions like me do not want our tax dollars funding the solution for reckless, irresponsible behavior. If you have an unwanted pregnancy and want to abort it, that’s between your conscience and whatever higher power you recognize. But should I, as a taxpayer, be expected subsidize it? Your unwanted pregnancy is your problem, not mine or the government’s. If you can’t afford an abortion, then you should have thought about that before indulging in irresponsible behavior.
More abortion talk
Re “Women’s rights” (Letters, by Ray Martinez, Jan. 26):
I’m always fascinated with the grasp of statistics that some of CN&R’s letter-writers provide when supporting their “points.” One that took my eye was the recent letter from Ray Martinez that stated that of the 60 million aborted fetuses in the U.S., obviously half—30 million—had to be females. He went on to indicate that the bulk (if not all) of these ladies would have turned out to be highly educated and successful citizens (even in only receiving two-thirds of what their male counterparts receive for like work and education) and that, in itself, was his viable argument against abortion.
Well, I don’t have a clue as to where Ray got his statistics, so I’m accepting his numbers. Hillary beat Trump in the women’s vote 54 to 42 percent, so from these women there would have been an additional 16.2 million votes for Hillary and 12.6 million for Trump garnering Hillary a 3.6 million vote advantage. Added to Hillary’s 2.8 million vote lead, there would be no question that she would now be our president.
The moral to this story, Ray, is that I’m sure you now must realize that an ill wind always blows in some good for somebody, in this case Trump.
My suggestion for repeal and replace of the ACA: Make the few necessary small tweaks to make it work better and call it Trumpcare. The egomaniac is happy, the few rational Republican legislators who may vote for it can take credit for it, and the white supremacists advising our new president can be happy about Obama’s name being taken away from what he made everyone realize is a human right.
‘Elephant in the room’
Re “Out of the black” (Healthlines, by Jessica Calefati, Jan. 26):
The suicide article fails to note the widely varying national rates of suicide throughout the world. The highest rate is in Guyana with 44.2 suicides per 100,000 population; in Saudia Arabia it’s only 0.4 per 100,000. What’s causing this vast disparity? Perhaps there are hidden answers here. Suicide is a national phenomenon.
The USA is 13 suicides per 100,000, with 75 percent of them being male. U.S. male adolescents commit suicide at a rate fives times greater than girls. The article barely touched on the vast prevalence of male suicides—in Lithuania it’s 52.5 males for 7.9 females, for instance.
The group most affected by the quoted 24 percent increase in suicide in the USA since 1999 is elders—people in their 60s started committing suicide at a greater rate when their retirement funds started disappearing.
Passing a bill to target high-risk youth is redundant since teachers are already well very schooled about suicides, steroid abuse, bullying, etc. That’s their job. The horrible stat that boys commit suicide at a rate five times greater than girls is the elephant in the room that is being ignored.
Morality, not money
The city of Chico is going to spend our taxpayer money on suing Councilman Karl Ory for his conscientious work to get the junkyard moved away from kids? Morality should be the guide, not money for campaign donations. I hope the CN&R investigates this injustice.
‘Whiny liberal’ talk
Re “Trump talk” (Letters, by Ray Estes, Jan. 12):
“Trump talk” was written by a whiny liberal who doesn’t tell the truth. What plan did the Democrats have for legal immigration? What plan did they have for homeland security? The answer is nothing! Also, Russian hacking and Julian Assange accomplished one thing: exposing DNC corruption. Hacking had nothing to do with Trump’s landslide election. Wake up. Democrats lost the election because of their corruption and failure to get things done, not from Vladimir Putin and Russian hacking.
Robert Knight, a person featured in last week’s Streetalk (see “Your weirdest job?”), was misidentified as Robert Dean. We regret the error. —ed.