Letters for January 8, 2015

Toxin-free options

Re “BPA back on toxins list” (The Pulse, Dec. 31):

Concerns about the plastic additive BPA are in the news. Dental sealants are very important to help kids avoid cavities in their adult molars (which grow in at ages 6 and 11). Fortunately, sealant is available in BPA-free versions. And we use the BPA-free dental sealant to help kids avoid cavities and the need for shots and fillings.

Michael Jones
doctor of dental surgery, UCSF, 1989

Looking within

In 2009, the nation was $11 trillion in debt. Today, it’s an astounding $18 trillion. California’s debt, as best can be determined, was $67 billion and has soared to $92 billion. Sadly, we seem too willing to pile more debt upon future generations.

Unfortunately, elected officials seem incapable of stopping the insanity. The corrosive effect of special interest groups is too powerful to overcome. Senior citizens, teachers, businesses, unions, lawyers, bankers, farmers, military, ranchers, pharmaceuticals and environmentalists, to name a few, all have fingers in the government cookie jar.

Messing with these rice bowls can lead to political suicide and outright hostility. On one hand, we blame politicians for not doing anything to solve our debt problem. On the other, we criticize when they try. Perhaps it’s time we looked to ourselves for the answer. An old saying suggests, “When you point a finger of blame at someone, you have three fingers pointing right back at yourself.”

So, let’s each identify one thing we’re willing to give up. For starters, as a veteran, I’ll give up veterans’ homes. They’re costly to operate, serve relatively few veterans, are not an earned entitlement and the same services are available through MediCal.

Dare I ask, what are you willing to give up?

Pete Stiglich

Don’t praise the prez

Re “Obama’s late-hour gains” (Editorial, Dec. 31):

In the Dec. 31 editorial, President Obama is praised for his decision to provide a mechanism to avoid the deportation of millions of unauthorized immigrants.

Neither the editorial writer nor the president apparently took United States demographic fundamentals into consideration in the process of making such a decision.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1950, the U.S. population was 151 million. In 2010, the U.S. population was 308 million. By 2050, the U.S. population is due to reach about 400 million with no end in sight. About three-fourths of the population increase during the last several decades has been due to immigrants and their offspring.

In spite of this dramatic population increase, with all of its causes and consequences, President Obama and certain members of his party have continued to advocate inflationary immigration measures such as the one mentioned in the editorial.

It is interesting to note that the editorial neglected to mention the fact that 25 states—most, to be sure, with Republican governors—have now joined together to sue the president’s administration. The suit submits that by issuing the executive action deferring deportations, the president is exceeding his constitutional authority.

Paul Smith

If I was a progressive liberal I would be very unhappy with the president. He went to China and made a back-door deal that would require the largest gross producer of greenhouse emissions to do nothing for the next 16 years. U.S. companies will be at a huge disadvantage and this will cause more jobs to move overseas.

As far as foreign policy goes, Obama has demonstrated that he is the weakest U.S. president since Jimmy Carter. The Russians know it and have exploited his weakness several times with their expansion in the Crimea and beyond. The president prefers drone strikes against suspected terrorists to boots on the ground but can anyone name a time in history where airpower alone worked?

Dick Kirby

Pure propaganda

A map is circulating—on social media, in the Enterprise-Record—that has lines converging on Chico. Each line represents the path of a homeless person. The map is meant to demonstrate Mayor Mark Sorensen’s assertion that Chico is a homeless destination city.

As a piece of propaganda, the map is quite ingenious. But it fails the science test and it fails the civics test.

In order for the map to have any “truth-value,” it would have to be put in context. How many lines, from Chico, have gone in the opposite direction? A former foster kid, now living on the streets of Santa Cruz? Anyone think that doesn’t happen? And, secondly, the map is meaningless if not compared with other cities—allowing us to see that they have very similar patterns. Why don’t the homeless-haters make an honest argument that we have more homeless per capita? Because we don’t—and many cities have more.

Secondly, homeless people are being questioned by the Chico police. These are not arrests, mind you. These are law-abiding people being asked where they came from; this information is being sent to police dispatch and plotted. Where in the Constitution does it say that police can map the travels of citizens?

Patrick Newman

Stop the purge

Residents should be alarmed and outraged by recent U.S. Forest Service actions that have further removed evidence of certain existing roads, trails and historic locations from the latest printing of the Lassen National Forest map.

The public is losing knowledge of, and access to, legitimate outdoor recreation sites within the LNF. The incremental purge of these traditional and historic sites from the map greatly reduces the likelihood of future public access to them.

Hunters, fishermen and outdoor recreationists contribute million of dollars in taxes, fees, licenses and related purchases to the local economy. This is often done to pursue outdoor recreation opportunities located within the national forest.

There is apparently a law enforcement component related to the elimination of map sites that impacts future public access to those sites.

I am greatly disappointed that area legislators have turned a blind eye to the genuine danger arising fom the public’s loss of access to national forest sites (public lands) by the actions of the forest service.

The serious consequences of our legislators’ inaction on this issue will result in further loss to the public as more sites disappear from future maps. This practice by the U.S. Forest Service needs to stop.

Douglass G. Laurie

Hope during the holidays

Re “The holidays aren’t so bad” (Weekly Dose, Dec. 11):

The reasons to have depression during holidays are as many as the ones to be happy during these special dates. You may remember a lost loved one, but you may go visit the loved people who live far from you; you may feel guilty for not having done your best during the year, but you have a symbolic date to restart your life.

Personally, I choose to enjoy the holidays, not only to celebrate, but also to recover strength, hope and peace. It’s a time to donate some time to hear that relative who I do not get along well with. It’s a time to hand out some material things I do not use anymore.

The Daily Misery Index of 2014 showed that the lowest rates of searches occurred during holidays and the numbers found at the end of this year tended to follow the average. This fact made me think that the time of induced depression can be also days to fight against it.

If people’s searches on the Internet are suggesting a more positive mindset toward holidays, it seems to me that this is a first step to beat depression, anxiety and stress.

Melissa Gomes