Letters for February 9, 2017
Help for addiction
Re “Healing journey” (Cover story, by Howard Hardee, Feb. 2):
If an opioid-addicted person’s life mission is to find out how to pay for their addiction, why shouldn’t we make it public information as to where they can seek and obtain treatment and financial support for programs that provide Suboxone treatment. They need to know that this is out there and that there is financial support for programs and prescriptions if they qualify.
In Butte County, there are medical programs like Medi-Cal and the County Medical Services Program (CMSP). Do either of these programs cover the cost of Suboxone prescriptions? This information should be available; if it’s not available, that addicted person will turn to finding opioids and not a medical way to free themselves from addiction.
What about free programs available for the cost of Suboxone? There is a program called Medication Outreach Prescription Assistance Services. It covers the cost of prescriptions for those who qualify. I am not sure how many individuals the program supports, but this service is out there.
More information needs to be provided to the public than what was shared in this article. Our community needs help.
“An omnivore’s dilemma” (Greenways, by Alastair Bland, Feb. 2):
First, I would like to thank Alastair Bland for offering important counterpoints about the environmental impact of the cattle industry. That being said, it’s a disservice to the vegetarian lifestyle to follow with “… some argue swearing off meat altogether isn’t the answer.”
What Peter Gleick says within the article is true: asking people to change their behavior isn’t popular as it threatens the relative ease and comfort they have enjoyed. But it will be necessary, as we will increasingly feel the impact of deforestation, habitat destruction, species extinction, pollution from fossil fuel usage, animal methane, effluent waste, and water and land consumption, not to mention increased drought and famine brought on by climate change.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as humanely raised meat. There is no USDA enforcement of laws defining “grass-fed” or “free-range” standards, and the production of meat is harmful down to the treatment of workers putting their safety on the line in meat-processing factories. There may be a comfort in paying extra for a grass-fed, free-range or organic label, but the reality is it is a hollow comfort.
Megan Thomas Melly
Alastair Bland is foodie-focused on wines, beers and cheeses. And Bland’s approach to meat consumption, as an environmental/ethical issue, was formulated atop our Mt. Olympus of foodie consumerism. That’s the seat of our popular culture gods of gastro-hedonism: Gordon Ramsay, Oprah, Martha Stewart, President Trump-Steak, Anthony Bourdain, etc.
Hence, Bland begins his exploration of the ethical implications of meat consumption by meeting with an “omnivore” chef. Chefs are the high priests of hedonism, so why not? And, in order to baste the ethical chops of said priest, why not immediately highlight chef’s “nod” to the California drought: providing water only when requested. Inconveniently, production of one pound of beef requires enough water to fill 16,000 glasses. One paragraph in and already I’m smelling a rat—maybe behind the Molteni range.
Anyway, is it nobler to suffer the arrows of grass-fed beef? As opposed to what? The feedlot beef consumed 99 percent of the time? If you are one of the elite, with access to the niche food markets of restaurateurs, etc., you have access to an array of life-sustaining plant foods. Is “conscious omnivorism” really a moral crucible? Or a game, played on the road to Le Delicieux?
Re “Chico: Allow dispensaries” (Editorial, Feb. 2):
Open letter to Butte County Board of Supervisors and Chico City Council: The city of Shasta Lake, population 10,350, is located within the boundaries of Shasta County, population 177,000. Currently, Shasta Lake has three medical marijuana dispensaries, their business tax is 10 percent. The previous fiscal year generated $365,000 in revenue and this year the city expects revenues to rise to $450,000 in the next fiscal year.
While population demographics change from county to county, I believe it is safe to surmise that the licensing of three dispensaries in Chico would generate over $500,000 based on the extrapolation of the aforementioned figures to the base population of Chico and Butte County. Based on continued revenue and budget shortfalls in the city of Chico, additional revenues could go a long way in relieving the budget constraints facing additional funding for firefighters and police.
Medical marijuana has been legal for years, and this past November, 53 percent of Butte County voters voted in favor of Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Doesn’t it make fiscal sense to allow properly regulated, licensed dispensaries to operate in the city and county?
Beware the plutocrats
Re “Autocracy in the making” (Editorial, Feb. 2)
“My country ’tis of thee; Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing; Land where my fathers died; Land of the pilgrims’ pride; From ev’ry mountainside, Let freedom ring!”
Great lyrics we’ve all been brought up to believe. Sadly, in our new oligarchy, freedom only rings for the plutocrats, “an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth.” Some estimates of Trump’s cabinet’s wealth round out at $35 billion.
Let’s take Jeff Sessions, the new attorney general. He entered the employ of the U.S. government two years out of law school and has remained a public servant ever since. I entered the government right out of college, too, so it’s amazing to me that a career government employee could amass a net worth of $6 million (unless, of course, he had some really lucrative part-time night jobs). The same goes for Gen. James Kelly, who Bankrate magazine indicates is worth $4 million and that “A government pension is responsible for most of his wealth, according to Forbes.” Then there’s Betsy DeVos ($5.1 billion), who inherited her wealth and married into money.
As my Trump-loving acquaintances keep telling me, “Get used to it.” I wonder when they’ll discover it’s not something they really want to get used to.
Speaking of autocracy
As national politics descend into chaos and we drift toward autocracy, the Chico City Council just demonstrated that it’s on board with the new program.
The council acted shamelessly by initiating a lawsuit against Move the Junkyard. At considerable taxpayer expense, the lawsuit seeks to ignore, derail and kill the intentions of 9,200 Chico voters.
Legal complaints about the referendum petition (and my responses below) are threefold. The city says:
1. A legal technicality in the text of the petition disqualifies the petition. (Really? We’re going to disregard the will of the people because of a minor technicality?)
2. Amendment of the Chapman/Mulberry Neighborhood Plan is an administrative, not legislative, matter, thus not subject to referendum. (In the principled pursuit of justice, who cares?)
3. The petition would result in an unreasonable, arbitrary, and unlawful ordinance that would cause irreparable harm to the city. (Oh, come on. Sanctioning noncompliance of the city-approved neighborhood plan is truly arbitrary and poses real risk of irreparable harm to residents and children.)
These obstructionist concerns about Move the Junkyard’s petition are unconvincing and unacceptable. But I guess “you know what” rolls downhill, and apparently, it’s arrived in Chico.
Sadly, so much for democracy!
James P. Aram
For more on this subject, see Ken Smith’s report on page 8.
No waiting, no way
Re “And more …” (Letters, by Loretta Ann Torres, Feb. 2):
Ms. Torres’ Feb. 2 letter to the CN&R asks, “Can’t you all just wait a few months—see how his ideas pan out?” The answer is clearly “no” if you keep up with his unconstitutional actions. Already, Trump secretly wiped out over 100,000 people’s visas, harming the universities, tech companies and other organizations where they work and study. He removed funding from global health centers that merely mention to a woman she has a right to an abortion. He insulted key allies, including Australia and Mexico, hanging up on the former’s prime minister and threatening the Mexican president with sending U.S. troops into his country after “bad hombres.”
He appointed Steve Bannon to be his chief strategist, nominated an uninformed billionaire who has never stepped foot in a public school to be secretary of education, and nominated a climate change denier to be head of the EPA. He lies frequently and has denuded consumer protections and many more harmful executive orders. Isn’t that enough evidence that a narcissist is harming our country? You might want to follow current news on the NorCal Progressives page on Facebook.
To do what, precisely? Prove that he has any intention of acting like anyone but what we already know him to be, an autocratic malignant narcissist? In a matter of days, he has proven to the shame of America and to the shock of our allies that he is incapable of coherent, rational governance.
During the last week, Sen. Castro of Texas, among others, has suggested impeachment may soon be in order for this, the least-popular president since Nixon. I am old enough to remember all too well what happened to this nation in the Nixon years, leading up to his resignation, and the damage to the credibility of the Republican Party for decades after. I fear we may be about to go through a national trauma like that again, with dissent, violent protest, and even, dare I say it, removal from office by force. No president, no matter how many nor how few voted for him, is worth the price we seem to be paying for Trump’s frolic in the Oval Office. To my fellow Americans I say, protest, resist, defy, and when necessary, monkey wrench every executive order this charlatan writes until Trump gets the message: You have had your chance and you have already blown it. Resign or be impeached!
Millions voted third party
Re “And more …” (Letters, by Bob Mulholland, Feb. 2):
Regarding Bob Mulholland’s somewhat hectoring letter blaming all non-Clinton voters for electing President Trump, perhaps he is unaware that millions of people voted for a third party candidate. Citizens registered as Independent voters cannot have their vote expected or counted on by either major party candidate, and some voters were so disgusted by both presidential candidates that they did not vote at all. Ergo, not all non-Clinton voters elected the current president.
Valerie Shaw Flynn
Tony St. Amant
Jogging some memories
Re “Fueling unrest” (Letters, by BT Chapman, Feb. 2):
Before and after President Obama’s election, there were protests and also violent attacks, mostly directed against minorities. Recall Kaylon Johnson, an African-American Obama campaign worker who was attacked by white men shouting “F--k Obama!” and “N----r president!” They broke his nose and fractured his eye socket. The number of times Mr. Obama was burned in effigy was vast. Republican lawmakers publicly disrespected the president, one in a joint session of Congress (“You lie,” shouted Joe Wilson of South Carolina).
Trump denied the legitimacy and citizenship of the legally elected African-American president and was given a public forum for such nonsense. In the last three weeks, there have been many protests, most of of them peaceful. A few have caused property damage. However, most true violence since the election has been directed toward minorities (again) by Trump supporters.
We will continue to protest Trump because of what he says and does. You didn’t like Obama because of who he is. It’s very different. I hope this helps your recollection because this resistance is not ending any time soon. The First Amendment gives this right to individuals as well as to the press, whose participation seems to have been the catalyst for BT Chapman’s complaint and subsequent memory loss.
Where babies come from
Re “‘Your problem’” (Letters, by Michael Pulliam, Feb. 2):
Mr. Pulliam wrote a letter last week affirming that while he is pro-choice, he does not want tax dollars funding abortions. He goes on to say that if you have an unwanted pregnancy, it is “your” problem. My question to Mr. Pulliam, and others who hold this position, is this: How did “you” get pregnant? Are there free-floating sperm in the atmosphere that attack vulnerable uteri and impregnate them? Or is there a Mr. in the picture?
How about this: Let’s freeze sperm of all boys at about 14 years old, sterilize them, and hold the sperm until they are in a stable marriage, have completed a parenting class with an A, and understand the science behind procreation, the responsibilities of procreation, and the life-long commitment one makes to a child.
Oh yeah, and remember that funding birth control keeps people (men and women) from getting pregnant.
Amazed by the left
Re “Reject and resist” and “Revolution now” (Cover story, by Sasha Abramsky, Jan. 26):
I find the statement that we as Californians have a moral obligation to civil disobedience rather interesting. I thought the left supposedly embraces diversity and free thinking and yet those who don’t agree with your views and “resist” the presidency are immoral.
Also, for the gentleman who referenced the “uneducated” white males who voted for trump, I’m sure it feels very nice to peer down on the masses from the perch of enlightenment you call higher education. The fact is, though, that the cavalier, holier-than-thou attitude of the left toward what represents a rather large segment of the American public is exactly one of the reasons the left lost the election.
Lastly, roving deportation squads? Vigilantes? Really? The only actions I’ve seen lately that in any way resemble vigilantism are the actions of some of the people protesting the presidency. The duality of the left never ceases to amaze me. But what do I know, I’m uneducated and immoral.
More on POTUS
Second-graders on “notice!” District dunce decrees no rules until sixth grade! Unregulated bullying and obliteration of the playground with penalties enforced upon transfer students of color only. Smaller schools prohibited from picking on “poor us” again. Bad baby hombres and suspicious radical infant terrorists to be quarantined and their “behavior” modified through enhanced interrogation and spineless drone attacks, while Anglo Evangelist youngsters awarded daily with unlimited medical, recess, dining, oil revenue and, of course, security. Have at it—long before junior high most families will be howling for more regulations again. Ball leave me.
Kenneth B. Keith
Super Bowl LI was played on Feb. 5, 2017. I realize that the Patriots won the game, but something is amiss. The majority of Americans wanted the Falcons to win. I believe that there should be a rematch. Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady voted for Trump. There may even have been Russian interference.
Better vetting needed
I can only hope that the Republicans vet Trump’s cabinet members better than they did with Denny Hastert, their five-term speaker of the house.
Editor’s note: Mr. Hastert is an admitted serial child molester.
Welcoming our Muslim neighbors
On Monday afternoon, upon hearing of the Muslim immigration ban, followed by the shooting at the Mosque in Quebec City, I felt compelled to visit the Chico Islamic Center. My heart ached as if it had been my own community; my silence could no longer be maintained.
A colleague came with me and we briefly waited out front, sitting on a bench. Within minutes, we met the Imam who, while cautious at first, was friendly and gracious. He wore a radiant smile, which grew as we spoke. I gave him a small trinket, a Guatemalan friendship bag. I told him that I wanted to make sure he felt welcome in our Chico community. I also shared that we believe there are truths in all religions, and we have many things in common.
We offered assistance in watching over the parking lot, should they ever have a special prayer session and want to feel more secure during that time. I believe this is not only what good neighbors do, but also a duty of spiritual beings. We are all one, we stand up for people who are marginalized and persecuted.
‘An offensive oversight’
I went to my first Keep Chico Weird Talent Show. My friend and I had a great time, and I think it safe to say Chico is in no danger of losing its weird! One thing I want to bring to your attention is my one and only disappointment of the night, and I’m sure it came from a lack of understanding versus any malicious intent.
It was not one person’s fault but an offensive oversight by many. First, someone thought it was OK to dress up in traditional Muslim women’s garments as a costume. Then, this “costume” was nominated to be a part of the “freak” show costume competition (I use “freak” only because it was used during the event).
Lastly, by audience approval, this person moved quite far along in the competition. These actions are how a community overlooks small measures of xenophobia and ignorance. My intention is to bring awareness to this distasteful and potentially offensive oversight. Keep Chico Weird was such a fun, inclusive, and diverse event that I will be sure to attend again in the future. But in these tumultuous political times, it makes me think there is always room for improvement.
On the wagon
Following are notable public figures who, according to Wikipedia, are or were teetotalers. That is, they either stopped or never started drinking.
Buzz Aldrin, Muhammad Ali, Prince Andrew, Alec Baldwin, Joe Biden, John and Annie Bidwell, Pearl S. Buck, Warren E. Buffett, George W. Bush, Eric Clapton, Tom Cruise, Frederick Douglass, Neal S. Dow, Robert Downey Jr., Thomas Alva Edison, Craig Ferguson, Henry Ford, Mahatma Gandhi, Janeane Garofalo, Kathy Griffin, Adolf Hitler, Anthony Hopkins, Crazy Horse, Ice-T, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Thomas Stonewall Jackson, Elton John, Stephen King, Robert E. Lee, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Abraham Lincoln, Rob Lowe, Norm Macdonald, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Phil McGraw, Eddie Murphy, Carrie Nation, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bill O’Reilly, Kelly Osbourne, Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond, Al Pacino, Jimmy Page, Natalie Portman, Prince, Christina Ricci, Anne Rice, John D. Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers), Mitt Romney, Linda Ronstadt, George Bernard Shaw, Sarah Silverman, Gene Simmons, Ringo Starr, John Travolta, Donald Trump, Henry David Thoreau, Shania Twain, Mae West, Malcolm X, and Frank Zappa.