Letters for July 13, 2017
Two on the cover
Re “The slow fall of the middle class” (Cover story, by Dennis Myers, July 6):
In reading the cover story of the nonexistent “middle class,” it was a good reminder of the economic changes that have broken apart the concept of family in America. Especially refreshing was the fact of equal responsibility of both political parties. People are starting to awaken to the lie of Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics—it does not work! I believe the reason we started this country in the first place was to get away from aristocracy and serfdom. The article is a great jumping off place for “Where do we go from here?”
Getting rid of ALEC-type [American Legislative Exchange Council] legislation and getting Citizens United money out of politics would be great first steps.
The cover story and “Read and resist” (Scene, by Rachel Leibrock, July 6) provide a great perspective!
I was born in 1941 and my family ate together, we lived modestly, my parents saved on Dad’s salary to buy a small home with a yard. My father’s government job paid for our health care. There were few homeless people.
What is happening now in our country is the culmination of decades of undercutting the “American Dream”—Democrats, Republicans and greed eroding a system that worked for many.
Power to the resistance movement energized in response to Trump. But Trump is just the horrible culmination of our recent history, and life needs us to take it further. Let this new activism be the catalyst for change down to the very foundation.
C’mon people now—in the streets, in our letters, with our wallets, in the voting booth—mobilize for a compassionate culture and demand no less from all our elected representatives. An honest day’s work deserves an honest day’s pay. No humans are throw-aways. Life’s needs, not guns and mega-corporations, must guide legislation. Stop militarism from sucking the resources needed for life to thrive. Our planet home and our children deserve no less.
Engaging on homelessness
Re “Views from the plaza” (Newslines, by Ken Smith) and “‘Role model’” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, July 6):
I appreciate the CN&R’s coverage of civil rights issues affecting the homeless in the public space—specifically Chico City Plaza. I have no doubt a battle is underway, as many in our city government and commercial sector seek to “take” the public space from “vagrants.” (Where they are supposed to go is never explained.)
While I was quoted as saying I was “surprised” that Teri DuBose and her take-back-the-plaza group provided “bottled water and Otter Pops” to the homeless, it was never my impression that the take-back group intentionally provided anything to the homeless. They don’t. Affirming homeless people in the public space is clearly not their mission.
On the other hand, during the last year and a half, Chico Friends on the Street has delivered many tons of food, clothing, blankets, tarps and toiletries to the street. Our involvement has made us ever more aware of the profound lack of support for the visible poor.
In that regard, the homeless are now shut out of public restrooms for 10 hours of every day, while public urination and defecation are crimes. People need restroom access 24/7; this is a non-negotiable human right. Anyone interested in engaging our City Council on this issue, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About that golf course
Re “Course closes … kinda” (Newslines, by Evan Tuchinsky, July 6):
Here we go again with another “golf course development.” They say they are going to build/renovate with a pro shop and 177 residences. This is the same old stuff being tried over in Oroville.
The Tuscan Ridge Golf Club is an environmental disaster. Just look at the geology. The entire area is on a volcanic plate. There is no soil! You can truck in soil, but it will not grow anything other than what is already growing there. Just look at what grows naturally—blue oak and seasonal grasses that are green for maybe two weeks before they seed and die off.
If you over water and add fertilizers (which is another disaster to the environment), the entire ecosystems could crash. Once the native trees are gone, they are not coming back.
This is another deal where investors who wish to remain anonymous will make money or declare bankruptcy—either way, they get a good return on their investment (just look how they treated Katie Guthrie about her wedding plans) and if they complete the project, the only jobs will be low-paying labor and service.
Two views on commentary
Re “Flowers for Lamia” (Guest comment, by Roland Lamarine, July 6):
Research suggests that a majority of Americans of all political persuasions agree with my friend Roland Lamarine’s call for a “sensible immigration program.” The problem is that we’ve not had such, but rather a chaotic “come if you can get here” system favored by an unholy alliance of conservative business interests seeking cheap labor and left-leaning groups seeking future voters.
Questions for Roland: First, how many people are enough? Shall we populate our state and nation until we reach densities similar to those in East Asia? What about our quality of life, land use and greenhouse gas emissions?
Second, who shall decide who comes in? Most nations of the earth have their government, not those desiring entrance, determine who and how many individuals are admitted each year.
Third, what percentage of new English learners can a given school system absorb before the positive aspects of diversity are overshadowed by the difficult and distracting task of getting everyone functioning in a common language?
Finally, how do we assure that, out of the many millions of the world’s poor who could economically benefit from emigration to the USA, we give everyone an equal chance?
Carl R. Ochsner
What do you think is better? We open our borders and let the illegals flood into our country and take the jobs of the poorest Americans, or we restrict illegal immigration and let the poor and recent legal immigrants benefit from those jobs? The specious argument pushed by the liberal media and illegal immigration proponents would have you believe that Americans don’t want and won’t do the jobs [those immigrants] take.
First, when my family moved to California, we picked cotton by hand, we gathered walnuts and picked peas. There was no easy unemployment and welfare. You worked or you starved, and childcare meant smaller cotton sacks that your 4-year-olds could drag. It was what it was and we kids loved it—it was our life.
Second, if there isn’t an adequate amount of labor, supply and demand dictates higher wages to draw workers to the jobs. Do you want your gay friends to be bombed or killed like radical Islam supports? Do you want females circumcised, denied education and our constitutional freedoms to believe in your god of choice, or none at all, to be denied? Instead of believing liberal media, look up, think, use logic and stand!
Re “Living nightmare” (Letters, by Ray Estes, July 6):
This is a shout out to Ray Estes. Thanks, Ray, for last week’s letter, in which you clarified what I suspected was happening for some time now. Let me explain by first quoting a few verses directly from Ray’s letter. First, “to appeal to his (Trump’s) so-called ‘poorly educated supporters’”; second, “‘Joe six-pack’ and his army of deplorable minions”; and third, “First-time hick voters, white female Hillary haters.” These are three phrases Ray uses to describe the millions of citizens who voted for Donald Trump.
Ray, if your view of Trump’s voters is representative (and I hope it’s not) of how Democrats feel about this election, then there has been a major shift between political parties. The Democratic Party was once the proud party of working men and women, and the Republican Party was considered the “elitists” party. However, based upon Ray’s total disdain for the “poorly educated,” for “hicks,” and for “Joe six-pack and his army of deplorable minions,” it now appears that the Democratic party represents the upper-crust “elite” in our society, and the Republican Party is now the party of working men and women.
Thanks, Ray, for crystallizing my thoughts. I owe you one.
Re “Just say no” (Letters, by Loretta Ann Torres, July 6):
Every time I read something by Loretta Torres, I just wonder what happened to educated dialogue in this county.
Many countries outperform the U.S. in education, literacy, social services, health care, workplace and retirement benefits and progressive business models. It’s true the U.S. has the No. 1 military industrial complex in the world, but like Rome it may prove to be our downfall. Try reading the Patriot Act and pondering the “God-given freedoms” it restricts.
While in Europe, my husband and I were impressed by how well-educated people were. In fact, a lot of people in the world know more about U.S. government and history than most Americans—many of whom would be hard pressed to pass the citizenship test we demand from immigrants.
Critical thinking skills are hardly unAmerican. In fact, the founders of this country were liberal arts educated. I highly doubt that this county’s Constitution would have been conceived and written by concrete thinkers who perceived the world in terms of good and evil. The very concept of the U.S. was based on educated, liberal and progressive ideas.
Educated thought and discourse should be valued in the U.S., not something to scoff at as unAmerican.
Save the wild horses
While Americans are celebrating our country’s freedom, America’s wild horses are losing their freedom at an alarming rate, and are now in danger of losing their very lives. A provision in the 2018 budget will allow the Bureau of Land Management to transfer “excess” animals to other government agencies for sale without limitation, and allow horses and burros in government holding “to be destroyed in the most humane and cost efficient manner possible.”
Every single one of America’s wild horses and burros are in danger of being shot or sold for the purpose of slaughter! The secretary of the interior is so confident the budget will be approved, BLM staff have been ordered to prepare horses in holding for shipping.
It’s not too late to change this, but you have to act now! Call your local House and Senate representatives. The U.S. Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121 can direct you to the right office. Tell them that you, along with 80 percent of Americans, do not support horse slaughter or the destruction of healthy wild horses and burros in government facilities or on the range. Tell them to oppose the 2018 budget language that would allow this to happen. Do it now before it’s too late!
Carlin knew his stuff
In the words of George Carlin: “Ever notice there’s no war on homelessness? … You know why? There is no money in that problem. There’s no money in that problem. … You could find a solution to homelessness when the corporate swine and the politicians could steal a couple million dollars each, you would see the streets of America begin to clear up pretty damn quick.”
Kenneth B. Keith
Party won’t change
In a recent SF Chronicle article, Bob Mulholland said that, for the 2020 presidential election, the Democratic Party will select “a governor who is not part of the D.C. establishment.”
Mulholland also said, “We don’t need bed wetters. We’ve only got room for people who believe in the party.”
Gov. Jerry Brown is the essence of the California Democratic Party, for whom Mulholland speaks. In a June 2016 letter to state Democrats and independents, Brown said he was endorsing Hillary because her lead was “insurmountable.” In the same letter, he stated that in 1992 he ran a campaign with a message similar to Bernie Sanders’ message of inequality.
Running to be the Democratic nominee for president in 1992, Brown seconded his own nomination, proclaiming, “Whatever nice programs we speak of, whatever dreams we share, unless the basic fact of unchecked power and privilege is acknowledged and courageously challenged, nothing will ever change.”
If Brown had Bernie’s courage, he could have “been somebody,” but he didn’t have the guts.
He followed the crowd, and the money.
And nothing has changed.
Bernie supporters, strategize third party, if necessary. The Democratic Party is unlikely to change.