Letters for January 3, 2013

Let’s try a lawsuit

Re “No on 37’s fraudulent campaign” (Guest comment, by Don Taylor, Dec. 27):

I strongly supported Proposition 37. But your comments go far beyond Prop. 37.

It should be illegal to blatantly lie. But is it? I could point to dozens—perhaps hundreds—of statements made during the last election that are out and out lies.

When did “winning” become more important that ethics and morality? The political landscape should be about truth and honor and decisions made to benefit We the People instead of We the Corporations. If a class-action suit would bring us to an honorable place, then by all means it should be pursued.

But will it? I’m afraid that mainstream media (I do not consider the CN&R as mainstream media—it’s too honest and balanced) would show this type of action in three sentences on page 11. So even a decision in our favor would carry little weight. Perhaps we need to try anyway.

Mary Carlisle

A ‘community icon’

Thank you for including information in both The Greenhouse and Arts DEVO columns about The Bookstore on Main Street needing donations at www.indiegogo.com/ilovebooks to stay open. I hope all of the “Chico is my Hometown” folks and my neighbors will pitch in generously to save this community icon as well as the livelihood of Josh Mills, who has served it so well for 22 years.

I am looking forward to seeing the results of the combined creativity of Josh and his wife, artist Muir Hughes, who have plans to make The Bookstore an even greater community resource.

Knowing what a book lover I am, my son generously gave me a Nook for Christmas, but I graciously asked him to return it. He thought it “cool” that you can use it to read in bed and even in the dark, but I explained that I find it much more satisfying to be able to lend my “real” books to my friends. I also feel “greener” when I buy used books and pass them on.

Long live The Bookstore, and God bless the Mills family!

Renee Renaud

Chico State’s drug problem

President Zingg, more Chico State University students have died from prescription drug overdoses in the last seven years than alcohol. Why is your primary focus now on binge drinking, with not one word about prescription-drug overdoses?

Kicking the can down the road by not addressing Chico’s drug-abuse problem by cherry-picking one drug of concern is definitely your style. You like taking the easy way out, even when students’ lives are at risk.

Jim Bettencourt

Drones create terrorists

Re “The killing of innocents” (Letters, by Emily Alma, Dec. 20):

Thank you to Emily Alma for her letter. This may be the defining moral issue of our day, so I am compelled to add a bit more information our mainstream media have chosen to omit.

That our drones are killing innocents is not an idle statement. Those interested might look at the research recently completed by the Stanford and NYU schools of law, including evidence that since 2004 high-value militants’ deaths as a percentage of civilian deaths is 2 percent. (Go to http://livingunderdrones.org to check it out yourself.)

We’ve killed scores of innocent children in the attempts to murder a few suspects. These attacks are backfiring. See the report from Peter Kuznick, director at American University and distinguished lecturer: “When we [the United States] started our drone attacks in Yemen, there were 300 members of al-Qaeda there; now there are 700 or 800 members.”

We send billions of taxpayer dollars to Israel’s military and seem to blindly accept mainstream media’s version of the Palestinian situation, yet the U.S. and Israel are almost totally isolated in the international community on this issue. The last vote at the U.N. was 138 to 9. Our traditional European allies did not stand with us.

Charles Withuhn

We’ve got a militia

Re “NRA goes over the edge” (Editorial, Dec. 27):

The militia of today is our National Guard, and it is well equipped and capable of suppressing any tyranny. The only other groups claiming a need for assault weapons are survivalists and secessionists, neither of which warrants constitutional protections, in my opinion.

Richard Mazzuchi
Los Molinos

Teachers with guns

Re “Satire or sincerity?” (Letters, by Rich Meyers, Dec. 27):

Well, yes, here come the whiners out of the woodwork!

Mr. Rich Meyers: Do you comprehend the choice you make with your argument against educators carrying guns? Do you comprehend that you are saying we should humor your irrational hatred of guns instead of taking the only effective step to protect schoolchildren from people like @#$%&*!!? What does this say about your priorities? Which comes first, your feelings or their lives?

Several states are already arming teachers, Utah and Oklahoma among them. Teachers and administrators are the real first responders when a @#$%&*!! comes into a school. The police can’t get there in time. And what do you think the police will bring into the school when they get there? Their guns. Isn’t that why you call them? Or do you wish the police didn’t bring their guns when they come?

As for Australia’s gun ban, my information comes from many conversations I had with ordinary folks in Australia during a month-long trip there. I’ll take their word over that of consultants in bed with an out-of-control, tax-and-regulate-everything-to-death government.

Chad Wozniak

‘The beautiful whole’

The atheist billboard controversy story got me thinking. The skeptics can’t really be blamed. God has been given a bad name. All those wars, and the Holy Books, the old and new books of the Bible and the Koran, while inspired collections of wonderful stories with much to recommend them, lead us to believe that Yahweh or God or Allah is generally kind of jealous, vindictive and in quite a few cases just plain mean.

Almost all religions have at their foundation the idea that our days spent here on Earth are only waiting for the time when we will be spirited away to that “better place.” (Unless you’re a Hindu, in which case you might come back here as an onion.)

The unfortunate result of our perpetrating the myth that, while we wait helpless in our sinfulness, we are powerless, while thinking that what we have here is a temporary layover on an expendable planet. This is thinking we can no longer afford.

Here is a quote from the book The Humboldt Current, by Aaron Sachs: “What he suggested was that we would ‘worship’ not whatever force might have been responsible for the cosmos, but the cosmos itself. Not so much a relationship with the Creator, but with Creation. The beautiful whole, the overall community in nature of which humans are a part. The mutual interdependence and the connection of the magical and mysterious relations of all things. Everything in relation to everything else.”

Want to be a part of something? Guess what, it’s your lucky day.

R. M. Speer

China’s ‘bloody harvest’

For many years China has admitted to using executed prisoners as a source of organs for transplant. Some people might not have a problem with that, if the prisoners were executed for real crimes. However, what if that prisoner was put in jail for being part of an unregistered church, performing the meditation exercises of Falun Gong or having dissenting political views in opposition to the one party state? What if the organs were sold to whoever was willing to pay for them, and that “prisoners’” execution was performed for the sole purpose of selling their organs?

This is exactly the type of organ “donation” outlined in the book Bloody Harvest, co-authored by a prominent human-rights lawyer and former Canadian secretary of state. It states that China’s organ-transplant industry expanded rapidly when China outlawed the popular Falun Gong practice in 1999. It documents how these prisoners were used as a massive organ donation bank for China’s organ tourism industry. The information in the book has been validated in reports by the U.S. State Department, the United Nations and the European Union.

Please help stop this crime by visiting www.organpetition.org and signing the petition.

Michael Courter

What kind of ‘surgery’?

Re “‘It’s just a rifle’” (Letters, by Donny Pauling, Dec. 27):

In his letter, Donny Pauling comments, “Passing new gun laws would be like placing a Band-Aid over a wound that needs surgery.” Please continue, Mr. Pauling: What might be the “surgery” that is needed?

Ira Heinrich
Ocean Park

Where’s Wally?

Tonight, I wanted to contact our U.S. representative, Wally Herger, for a last-minute push for more cooperation with regard to solving our current fiscal crisis.

Twice, I tried pulling up his email page from the House website for a brief communication and found it was not available.

He is still our representative for a few more days, and I feel his lines of communication should remain open until his term of service is completed. I feel shut out by this move to shut down communication with his constituency before he is finished with the work he owes us.

Carlos Valencia
Forest Ranch