Letters for January 13, 2005

Correction: Contrary to information in the Dec. 30 Calendar section, Stormy’s on Broadway is still under the ownership of Dean and Terry Kaveney and will remain so until further notice. The News & Review regrets the error and apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Progressive bunk
The Jan. 6 issue of the CN&R contains examples of why I and possible tens of millions could never be good progressives, or even just plain-Jane members of the Democratic Party.

The guest comment of Brad Sundeen [”Repairing American democracy"] points out failings in our past, but he spends most of his column elevating his position to that of the traditional educated elitist while painting anybody that disagrees with him as wrong, uneducated and there for [sic] a stupid and manipulated majority. Ironic that he doesn’t believe our system to be using the majority rule, but thinks we should follow the lead of “most people in the world.”

While the News & Review editorial [”The Social Security scam"] takes a somewhat factually accurate shot at Social Security reform, it falls into the same trap that most do. No acknowledgment of any problems or inequities whatsoever and a complete distortion of any fixes/reforms proposed by the opposition. If the risks and costs of a supplemental system are as it states, then why is the outcome so dramatically much more positive for the individual? Actual private account costs can be anywhere from near 0 percent to 15 percent, yet the return is many multiples of the actual return of SS, yet it will never be admitted.

Rodney Jenkins

Wonderful Wildcats
It is unfortunate that the Chico Outlaws choose a controversial team moniker over more clever options. Hopefully a quality program and heroic performance on the field will overshadow the negative name.

For those who cannot wait, there is a wonderful wholesome alternative. A national-caliber team of young dedicated champions who work hard off the field and consistently play great on the diamond. They are led by one of the top coaches in the country, they have a beautiful stadium with all the trimmings and offer an exciting season of action-packed games against spirited rivals.

Best of all, we already love them as our own, because they are. Chico State Wildcat baseball starts in February, and the tickets are cheap enough to bring family and friends all season long. Catch a few games and you’ll be hooked.

Fred Heath

Phantom fan
Dear Mr. Blamer,

You show yourself to be an idiot, and you should quit your job to become a wiper of pig troughs. One must have a tad of experience and knowledge to criticize art; you are a witless fool. If you hate film and theater get out! Please!

Julie Barrett

Bless Wal-Mart
What’s to dislike about Wal-Mart? As the largest private purchaser of Chinese products, they are part of the process enabling hundreds of millions of Chinese to cross the bridge from rural poverty to a post-industrial-age economy. Overpopulation is the root cause of most environmental problems, and the economically advanced countries worldwide have negative net birthrates. Education and economic empowerment of young women is the key to sustainability.

At home, Wal-Mart enables America’s working class to acquire technological marvels reserved for the upper classes less than a decade ago. There is a great synergy underway to the mutual benefit of former peasants in China and America’s lower classes.

Indeed, Wal-Mart should be held to decent worker safety standards, and their stores should meet community architectural design aesthetics. But perhaps there is a deeper reason for the chattering class’s antipathy.

It is our privilege to witness the liberation of China’s peasant girls from a barefoot and pregnant life down on the communal farm. The astonishing deflation of prices provides a portal by which America’s proletariat can access goods and, most important, information technology formerly reserved for well-to-do. I think America’s elite find this a threat to their collective local and global social standing. And if they don’t, they should.

Michael R. Jones

The booboisie
Two recent letter writers have objected to my statement that the electorate may have been ill informed and emotionally stampeded by last-minute appeals from a celebrity governor and a well heeled union (prison guards) in making a startling turnaround to defeat Proposition 66, the three-strikes reform initiative [”Judges should take action,” Guest comment, Dec. 9]. I respect the opinions of everyone.

I’d like to add several points: First, I’ve been referred to as “seemingly well educated.” The word seemingly can be dropped. Also, please call me progressive, not liberal.

Second, I didn’t originate the idea that much of the electorate is ill informed, which is the reason why barrages of usually misleading 30-second TV political ads often prove effective.

Third, I didn’t call the voters ignorant, as did H. L. Mencken, the famed early 20th-century social critic, who coined a name for the majority of Americans: the “booboisie.” He’s the same person who said nobody ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

Fourth, one writer asks: “Why don’t we just make it two strikes?” The California three-strikes law already contains a little-noted two-strikes provision. The commission of two felonies allows doubling the sentence with no parole eligibility until 14 years rather than the usual seven. The prestigious Justice Policy Institute reports that California has 34,000 inmates serving long two-strike sentences plus 8,000 three-strike inmates. Also, California houses more “strikes” prisoners than the other 22 three-strike states combined.

Richard Ek

Silent treatment
I am upset, as an article you wrote about the Butte Alliance for Medical Marijuana (BAMM) had some misstatements in it [”Medpot co-op gets growing,” Downstroke, Jan. 6].

BAMM will be growing collectively for its co-op to provide no-cost medicine to members rather than “distribute low-cost cannabis,” as your article stated. This county does not allow a dispensary, and we are not forming one.

The patients BAMM grew for collectively in 2004 were not charged anything for their medicine; they were charged a $5 fee for the year, which was waived if someone was too poor to join the collective, which didn’t even cover the cost of fertilizers over the season, and they got anywhere from a half-pound to one and a half pounds, depending on the amount called for in their recommendation. I can provide many patients to testify to that.

Please print a retraction of your errors. Unless that is done, this is the last time anyone from your paper will be spoken to by anyone from BAMM.

Sushie Rose
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