Letters for January 3, 2008

Restaurant review turns his stomach
Re: “Experiencing lows” (Chow, by C. Moore, CN&R, Dec. 27):

I am appalled at the obvious attack against Broadway Heights. I have been eating there about 10 years and feel the food is great and only getting better.

I was eating there long before it became Broadway Heights. I remember Jasco’s as a dirty, café-like atmosphere where the only reason to go was its awesome foccacia sandwiches. Now it is a classy place where you can take a date, actually enjoy the downtown view, and get one of the best meals in town. I do agree that at times the food may be expensive and take a little long to prepare, but it is far from disappointing.

Broadway Heights is one of the best restaurants in town, and doesn’t deserve a negative review. I really get the feeling that the author of this article has something against Broadway Heights, and can’t believe you would publish such trash.

Vincent DuMond

Editor’s note: Please see In My Eyes for more about this review.

If appeasement failed then …
Re: “ ‘Nucular’ winter” (Editorial, CN&R, Dec. 27):

There is a huge difference between “every country with the potential to develop a nuclear program” and one that has already (a) begun production of weapons-grade nuclear material and (b) declared its intention, in so many words, to use that material to “wipe” another country “off the map.”

Nothing is more recklessly irresponsible than to conclude “Iran has no nuclear weapons program” when it continues to enrich uranium even after being offered supplies of ready-to-use reactor fuel. It is precisely statements like these that will let Iran think it can attack not only Israel but also Europe and the U.S. without fear of retaliation.

Israeli intelligence confirms Iran’s weapons program is accelerating. The NIE report is self-delusion. With racist fanatics like Hitler or Ahmedinejad, there is no such thing as “peace in our time,” no more today than in 1938. Deterrence doesn’t stop them, let alone appeasement.

Simply being allowed to get nukes, or even to destroy Israel, won’t satisfy Iran’s megalomaniacal ambitions. If it isn’t stopped, Iran will start a nuclear war. The only question is how soon.

Remember the saying “first time, your fault; next time, my fault"? When Iran does nuke Israel, I will blame the people who said Iran wasn’t seeking nukes.

Chad Wozniak

Editor’s note: A response to a previous letter by Mr. Wozniak on this topic appears later in Letters.

More historical insight
Re: “Peaceful war” (Reel World, by Craig Blamer, CN&R, Dec. 27):

I’d like to amplify Craig Blamer’s assertion [in his review of Charlie Wilson’s War] that Ronald Reagan did not defeat the Soviet Union.

When attending UC Berkeley in the late 1960s, I was at a seminar with Aleksandr Kerensky, the first president (premier) of Russia during the 1917 revolution. Kerensky said at the time that he was in touch with friends in Russia and fully expected the Soviet Union to collapse of its own internal problems in about 20 years. He was right on the money. Mikhail Gorbachev also agrees that Russia internally collapsed, that Reagan had nothing to do with it.

To believe that an egocentric grade-B actor caused the Soviet Union to collapse is irresponsible and farcical.

Michael M. Peters

Israel-Palestine divide
Re: “Parted like the Red Sea” (Cover story, by R.V. Scheide, CN&R, Dec. 20):

I was dismayed to see your somewhat one-sided coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian morass.

I do believe that there are many on both sides who would like nothing more than to live in peace. Meanwhile, how does the Palestinian Authority expect Israel to make peace while it broadcasts anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist children’s stories calling for “Death to the Jews” on television; and when they still overtly discuss renewing ties with Hamas’ terrorism? The Palestinian negotiator refuses to discuss the Jewish sovereignty of Israel or the explicit invocation for the destruction of the Zionist entity in the official Palestinian charter.

Why would any sane people even try to discuss the possibility of a Palestinian state at this time, considering this official Palestinian stance?

The charge of the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the present Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh have the very same agenda: the total destruction of the land of Israel and all of the Jews living therein. Abbas recently said that soon will be the crowning moment he only wished Arafat could partake in, that he was continuing the work of his predecessor.

The Palestinian people who do not believe the propaganda spewed by their leaders and are simply too afraid of their own leadership’s terror need to say that they would rather live in peace and prosperity side by side with the Jews. Then there can be dialogue.

The world cannot ignore the truth.

Peace, yes, but survival first.

Phyllis Cullen, M.D.

The cover photos on the 12/20 N&R are blatantly biased. Whenever the media talk about the Israeli-Palestinian situation, the blame always rests on the Israelis. Israelis, and Jews everywhere, are constantly having to justify the actions of the Israeli government.

Imagine having rockets from Mexico falling on San Diego every day. What do you think Americans would want to do about it?

What is actually broken in the Middle East is the Arab nations surrounding Israel, particularly the Palestinians who have done nothing positive for themselves in the last 60 years.

Rafi Segal
(“Israeli American”)

AIPAC is not the only group influencing the Bush administration in the area of Israeli-Palestinian relations. Another group—one that has received little attention in the American press regarding this issue—is the large number of evangelical Christians who have been very supportive of the West Bank Israeli settlements, including sending large sums of money.

This group, some of whom refer to themselves as Christian Zionists, is totally opposed to a Palestinian state in the West Bank because they believe that the Jews must return to the biblical land of Israel to bring about the second coming of Christ.

They voted very heavily for Bush, and made his election and re-election possible. It is probably no coincidence that the administration made no meaningful attempts to provide diplomatic leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process until very recently, now that President Bush doesn’t need to be re-elected.

For many years, many people have touted Israel as a rare democracy in the Middle East. There is some truth to this statement, but it is very incomplete. There are in reality two Israels. The Israel within the pre-1967 borders is very much a democracy. The Israel in the West Bank, however, is an apartheid state, maintained by the presence of a powerful occupying army for the benefit of the minority Israelis.

It is possible to be a Jew, a Zionist, and very supportive of the democratic state of Israel, and at the same time distressed by and opposed to the apartheid state of Israel.

Victor Mlotok

Only one Hitler
Re: “Adolph Ahmedinejad” (
Letters, by Chad Wozniak, CN&R, Dec. 20):

For Chad Wozniak and the Bush administration, Iran’s president is the new Hitler. And bin Ladin is Hitler. And, for a while there, Saddam was Hitler. That’s a lot of Hitlers.

Bush may be confused. When he’s not dubbing new Hitlers, he’s comparing Iraqi politicians to American revolutionaries. Remember how George Washington idled at Mount Vernon while a foreign superpower liberated him from British tyranny? How a superpower drafted a constitution for Jefferson and Madison while our ancestors slaughtered each other for ethnic and religious reasons?

Seems the more dubious the policy, the more likely its proponents are to cast it in heroic historic terms.

Chad would probably be surprised to learn that while the “old” Hitler was slaughtering Jews, Iran was giving shelter and safe passage to many thousands of Jews fleeing deportation to death camps.

Hitler was Hitler. Those who trivialize his destructive achievements with casual comparisons to the villain du jour are the moral and intellectual equivalents of those who trivialize him by denying the horrors of his Holocaust.

Kevin Quinn

Sub-prime factors
Re: “Keep feds out of the mortgage market” (Guest Comment, by Jim Wikey, CN&R, Dec. 20):

I must take issue with mortgage broker Jim Wikey’s recent commentary. He writes, “First of all, there really is no one to blame.” Really. I see plenty of people to blame, although mortgage brokers are only second on my personal list. They giddily dished out loans to folks they knew damn well couldn’t pay once the teaser rate expired. For a fee.

Of course, brokers couldn’t have done that without banks offering those ridiculous rates to begin with. For years, banks have been making car loans to poor folks who couldn’t afford new cars. The car is repo’d, and the bank gets a car that it sells at auction, plus fines and interest.

With such a winning business model, banks decided to go for the big nut. Little did they know that so many people would default that they’d end up owning tons of property that was not worth as much anymore, and they would then lack the capital to be able to make new loans. Not to worry: With China and Saudi Arabia investing so heavily in our banks and buying up our outstanding debt, they’ll be stuck with all our land and … hey!

Third on my blame list are the people who took out these loans. Not so much the poor schmucks who really didn’t know they couldn’t buy a $200,000 house for $300 a month for 30 years—the people who bought second and third homes to flip for a quick profit. They gambled and lost. Sucks to be them. And us.

Liz Merry

Irene times two
Re: “Chamber to city: Clean house first” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Dec. 20):

People love firefighters. They are heroes who save people. I also hope Chico’s firefighters offer to take lower raises and honor the trust in people’s hearts that has already been opened to them.

Re: “Misplaced article: the” (Letters, by Harold A. Maio, CN&R, Dec. 20):

I’d like to add to Mr. Maio’s points regarding stereotypes of “the mentally ill.” Based on statistics, people who have been psychiatrically diagnosed actually exhibit lower rates of violent behavior than the general public. Diagnosed people are more likely to be victims. According to multiple studies, mental health professionals are no better than chance at knowing who to lock up or release.

Psychiatric drugs result in brain damage. Doctors have been found to be in denial of this. Disease induced by medicine is the leading cause of disease in the U.S.

Perfect mental health is not common. Eating primarily cooked foods often leads to deficiencies of folic acid and vitamin B12, which are often responsible for neuropathies. A raw food diet is reported to prevent almost all diseases. It’s also what Jesus promoted in the Essene Gospel, which remained in the Vatican’s archives until the 1920s.

What we view as schizophrenia other cultures nurture as shamanism. What we see as psychosis other cultures nurture as awakening. This process can bring to consciousness all the fears that one has denied. During this confusing period of emotional growth, dominating sensitive people through force can desolate their fragile connections.

Police want to bring struggling people into good hands. Let’s invite healers into our psychiatric systems who are open to emotional awakenings. Let’s engage in more trauma counseling, therapeutic massage, acupuncture and natural medicine.

Irene Cardenas

Oh, Tannenbaum!
A short time ago, I read that the mayor of Chico spoke at the lighting of a community tree in the City Plaza. In my 70-odd years of living, I had never seen a community tree, so I decided to take a peek. When I arrived, all I could see was a beautiful, decorated and lighted Christmas tree. What happened to the community tree? Did someone take it away?

Frank K. Riley Jr.