Letters for January 4, 2007

‘Extreme measures’ for extremists
Re: “Read carefully” (Letters, by Loretta Ann Torres, CN&R, Dec. 28):

Loretta Ann Torres did not offer a solution to the “radical Islam” problem. I know what I’d do.

First, before I offer my solution, we have to call a spade a spade. The Jihadists, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, the Wahhabis and any other “extremist” group of Muslims are, by American standards, gangs. When gang members commit a crime, they receive enhanced penalties if and when convicted. Also, another person who assists or harbors them has also committed a crime and is liable for punishment.

The United States has been attacked by these radical extremists on numerous occasions, not just on 9/11. Now it is time to put an end to it. Here is how:

First we negotiate with the governments of Libya, Palestine, Syria and Saudi Arabia. These are the countries where the biggest concentration of terrorists exists. We put them on notice that they are harboring known terrorists (gang members) and as such, they are equally responsible for the crimes committed against the U.S.

They will be given six months to arrest, incarcerate, expel or somehow eradicate the menace from their lands. If they fail to do so, their means of livelihood will be systematically bombed (destroyed) until such time as when they remove the fanatics.

The other countries, which have smaller amounts of extremists, will also be put on notice that they will be next. If the radicals who are expelled from one country try, or do infiltrate another Muslim state and are allowed to remain, then they too will experience the same fate as the larger countries.

Extreme times call for extreme measures.

Richard A. Douglas

Build a mine? They mind
Re: “Rolling rocks” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Dec. 21):

We read with great interest your informative article on the proposed gravel mine off Chico River Road. This project of incredible magnitude seems to be flying under the radar of our community consciousness and, in doing so, has the frightening prospect of being approved.

This ill-conceived operation will at once destroy prime agricultural farm land, increase the risk of flooding, reduce air quality and have tremendous traffic impacts. It’s one thing to read about these traffic impacts, but quite another to experience these disruptions. The thought of large gravel trucks traveling our inadequate roads—every four minutes on Chico River Road, and every six minutes on Ord Ferry Road (an average of 90 truck trips per day)—for 20 to 30 years is unfathomable at best.

Take a moment to imagine this and ask yourself if this is what you want for our beloved Chico. The dust and air pollution would be a serious health issue for our residents, not to mention the precedent an approval would set for future projects in inappropriate areas such as this one—all for the gain of Baldwin Construction.

It seems that we are continually losing precious pieces of our cherished landscape; certainly our present quality of life is at risk. We need to protect, not destroy the agricultural legacy of Chico for our present and future generations. We ask you, the citizens of Chico and the surrounding areas, to add your voice in opposition to this destructive project.

Jennifer and George Young

Stop your engines
Re: “Start your engines” (Winter Guide, CN&R, Dec. 21):

Your recent article made my heart ache. Whatever pleasure these people find in clinging to their beloved vibrating machines is subsidized by others. We pay a high price: the sacrifice of our fair share of public space.

Noise travels, invades, dominates. Gone are peace, quiet, birdsong, rustling leaves and moving water sounds. Communication among animals is disrupted. Snowmobiles, like jet skis, rob our commonwealth.

Macho men and women use force to display themselves. They love their machines, and the rest of creation be damned!

Yvette “Eve” Robida

Fiery passion
I would like to bring your attention to a book that tells the story about the Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894. This may not seem like the appropriate time to be worrying about forest fire, but I live in the Sierra foothills east of Chico, and I worry all the time. We are in a heavily forested area on a two-lane road-one way in and out.

Magalia and Desabla each have one volunteer fire department. They do a fine job, and we can’t do without them here. We have a CDF fire camp at Stieffer Road that was once an honor camp, and more recently a CCC camp. Last year, CDF offered a possible honor camp crew for the Stieffer Road site, but some of our local people object to a fire camp manned by honor inmates of the state prison system.

I think that is too bad for us. I can visualize a situation like the Hinckley fire here, with a mountain population of 18,000 all trying to get out on a two-lane road, over a dam across the reservoir, and someone decides to stop their vehicle and get in the water to escape the fire. Really, there is no escaping a big fire for us.

I recommend anyone who wants to know what the likely scenario will be to read this book: Under a Flaming Sky by Daniel James Brown, published by The Lyons Press. I dare to imagine that anyone now against an honor camp in Magalia might have second thoughts after reading this book. I certainly hope so. I think we should be begging for an honor camp fire crew up here.

Alice Duncan

A better message
So intricate a part of our lives, from the cradle to the grave, is the propaganda presented by the corporate hucksters and denizens of Wall Street in an effort to enamor us of their products and services. Yet this is within the realm of one’s choosing or rejection.

What really should have the Liberty Bell chiming is that such methods are being used to package U.S. hegemony in the same manner, by describing attacks on other countries, who never posed a threat to us, as “Just Cause” (Panama), “Enduring Freedom” (Afghanistan), “Iraq Liberation"— hardly acknowledged by the citizenry, who have lost their innate ability to distinguish between truth and lies.

Who remembers the unbelievable tugs at the heartstrings of America with such slogans as “a kinder gentler nation” and being “a compassionate conservative"? The fact that neither promise has been kept seems to have eluded public scrutiny just as much as the elder Bush’s call for the “thousand points of light,” which is an insult to the needy, who have been relegated to beggars and the whim of others.

Let there be peace on earth … and let it begin with us, the biggest threat to it.

Josef Bahlke
Red Bluff

Hmmm …
Bush’s sacrifice of 3,000 American troops killed and 25,000 wounded together with 650,000 Iraqis killed has clearly earned him the title “War Criminal of the Century,” and he should be tried as such. He rationalizes that this slaughter is a reasonable reaction to 9/11, which of course it is not, since Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that Bush and his neo-con associates were accessories to the attack on the World Trade Center. A recently published book, 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (Olive Branch Press, 2007), written by several well-respected experts, adduces that evidence, which has been hidden by the administration under the bogus assertion that it is top secret.

Let’s hope that the Democratic Congress ferrets out this information from the administration by investigative hearings and subpoenas. This should provide the necessary evidence to impeach Bush, which appears to be the only way to stop the insanity and prevent him from getting us into another preemptory quagmire.

Victor M. Corbett