Letters for June 19, 2003
Kucinich for prez
Which presidential candidate do I like? Dennis Kucinich! Even though this congressman from Ohio was recently covered in our own CN&R ["The liberals’ liberal,” May 29], I see from last week’s Streetalk ["Which presidential candidate do you like?” June 5] that he does not yet have name recognition locally, much less recognition for his uniquely progressive platform.
Kucinich is strongly and unabashedly working for a more peaceful world, protecting workers’ rights, universal health care, preserving Social Security, educational opportunities for all, a clean and safe environment, human rights and a full-employment economy. If you agree with these stances, I encourage you to check out Kucinich’s Web site, www.Kucinich.us.
If you like what you see, he could use our support. Someone like Kucinich, who has the integrity to buck the corporate interest, the WTO and NAFTA in favor of people and the environment, must rely heavily on donations from people like you and me to get his name and his message out.
As for last week’s “Streetalk” interviewees: I believe that Kucinich does carry the moral high ground with the environment, the economy and people. Compare Kucinich’s stands to any Green Party candidate’s stands. I think you’ll find them at least comparable. And Kucinich, as a Democrat, could actually win the November 2004 election.
I agree that we need a Democratic candidate who can win. He’s a bright, articulate, impassioned speaker who can draw people in. He has a history of upsetting Republican candidates.
On June 6, I joined a group of concerned citizens to lobby Assemblyman Rick Keene to support a real solution to California’s huge budget deficit. Sponsored by California Church Impact, Congress of California Seniors, Health Access California and Working Assets, six of us met at Keene’s Chico office.
Republican lawmakers’ adamant refusal to consider any new taxes would mean devastating cuts in education, health care and public services. Parks, schools, libraries, museums, police and fire stations would be forced to close. And even then the reductions would not be enough. California could shut every state university and open every prison door and still face a budget shortfall.
The governor has proposed to cut $14.9 billion from programs and public services, including more than a billion dollars from the Department of Health Services and Medi-Cal, the program that provides health coverage to 6.5 million California children, parents, seniors and people with disabilities, another $1.5 billion to K-12 education and more half a billion to the university and college systems. In 2001-02, California ranked 32nd in the country in per-pupil spending.
Keene’s representative in Chico listened to our concerns and assured us that Keene, too, was looking for a solution. But Keene is adamantly opposed to any form of a solution that involves a tax increase or a new tax.
Our elected representatives must do the math and raise revenues. Citizens must do the math and decide whether California will continue the deterioration of services and quality of life or do their own lobbying.
This city cracks me up. The utility-users-tax refunds require you to provide your monthly bill receipts in order to be eligible for compensation. Who, besides people who itemize deductions, save utility bill receipts? I’ll bet only 10 percent of otherwise eligible users can produce receipts. It sets up a convenient scenario for hanky-panky, though.
Politics and patriots
It seems to me that in the passions of war many of us have forgotten the difference between politics and patriotism.
Politics is simply the way we operate our government a proper subject of ongoing, lively discussion. There is a stereotype in some parts of the world that Americans can find an argument in anything. I believe that is the result of more than 200 years of practicing our First Amendment right of free speech. In essence, we have a license to argue, and we do it well.
Patriotism is entirely different. This is a person’s love and devotion to his or her country. My personal opinion is that people on opposing sides of political issues can all be ardent patriots, acting on what they perceive is best for the country they all love.
There is so much more to patriotism! Obviously, the first question is, if you are over 18 years old, are you registered to vote? Do you carry it out and actually vote? You can serve as an election officer, one of those hundreds of people required to make it possible for others to vote.
It goes far, far beyond that, and you don’t have to wait until you are 18 years old. When you picnic or go fishing, carry a big trash bag and haul out the garbage that’s there when you arrive. Observe existing laws and regulations so law enforcement personnel can spend their time on real crimes. Drive a little slower even if you can afford the gas; just a couple of miles per hour will help kept the air cleaner and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Bring jobs home to America by purchasing items “Made in America,” even if they’re a little more expensive.
I think that by now you get my train of thought. Almost any thoughtful action based on love for our U.S. of A. is patriotic. Personally, I think voting is the greatest thing you can do for our country, because we cannot have a government “of, by and for” the people if the people do not participate.
Penninah R. Sartain
Will it be televised?
All these Americans who are waving flags saying the war is over, I’ve got news for you: The war is just beginning. The war is in this country. All those thousands of people protesting the war haven’t all been arrested and haven’t all just disappeared. They’re regrouping, and things will get a lot worse before they get any better.
George Bush shall stand trial for crimes against humanity. He’s not going to walk away from this one. Someone should design a flag for the planet Earth, and that’s what we should be waving, because the people of the Earth are coming to take back what the likes of Bush and the people who control him are stealing from us.
received via e-mail