Letters for June 24, 2010

Should we be afraid?

Re “The fear factory” (Cover story, by Jaime O’Neill, June 10):

Jaime O’Neill’s article demonstrates exactly why Rush, Fox News and Michael Savage are critical to our country’s survival. Jaime has been enjoying the good life, living off of the taxpayers, spending his entire life in academia, while polluting our young with his liberal, money-grows-on-trees, socialist propaganda.

Jaime, open your eyes. Read the recent report by the International Monetary Fund and look at the statistics of our country’s financial situation. We are bankrupt. Our deficit, thanks to your ilk’s bleeding-heart social policies, along with your refusal to accept hard financial facts, is going to cause a financial collapse of our system.

With Bush’s and Obama’s spending, by the year 2014 our interest on the national debt will equal our gross domestic product. We will be spending more on interest than all of our welfare, retirement, education, environmental programs, unemployment, and medical care combined! Our debt will be around $125,000 for every man, woman and child.

This year, wages paid by government will surpass those paid by all small businesses, and now more government workers are represented by unions than those in the private sector. Wages paid for comparable jobs, including benefits, are more than double that for the private sector.

Our country is in real trouble, and our only hope is to unite against all the people sponging off the system, including you teachers and other government workers, illegals, and the rest of the “money-grows-on-trees” liberal idiots that you and your ilk have nurtured.

Garry Cooper

It’s depressing (scary!) to think this is what the American Dream has come to—but just look at the faces around you, especially male. If the guy doesn’t have a total “ultimate fighting grimace,” he at least is sporting a James Dean disaffected pout.

Maybe we don’t have enough to smile about, but whose fault is that? And why do we seem to enjoy fear and its toady, anger? When I smile at someone I feel like Alfred E. Neuman!

Fear seems to define today’s men, creating all the absurd macho posturing, strange anti-social cults and gang-like behavior. No wonder the kids behave the way they do.

It’s a lot like comic Louie Nye once said when asked how he felt about hate groups: “I hate those groups!” I fear also, but it would be a mistake to get me too scared.

Wick Humble

You keep printing stuff like this and I will start having respect for the printed word again. Unlike the writer, I am no fan of Obama, since he is only another corrupt office holder (think campaign contributions), but otherwise this was the greatest article in the 10 years I have read this rag.

R. Sterling Ogden

Jaime sounds just like the paranoid Glenn Beck he condemns. Look up common fears of paranoid people: The enemy is invincible, and everywhere, and even in disguise, defenses are porous, etc. The recent article on the Tea Party, “Tea Party Talk” (Cover story, by Tom Gascoyne, April 29) was much more level-headed.

So you know, I don’t watch Fox News, or any TV, so I can’t defend it or Glenn Beck (not a fan, don’t like what I’ve heard). I currently get my “news” from the CN&R while eating my burrito at the taco truck, the Drudge Report, friends, and Google News. Happy are the peace makers.

Jon Talley

Learning from chickens

Re “The plight of backyard chickens” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, June 10):

The article regarding the Schriebers’ two chickens was lovely. I would like to add that, in addition to the fact that Sammy has become attached to the chickens as pets, Brad and Shannon have a large vegetable garden and are teaching Sammy where food comes from and how to honor and care for the planet.

Sammy does not have to go to a museum to learn about sustainability; he lives it daily when he reaches into the roosting nest that Brad lovingly built, picks up an egg and says “Thanks, Bert and Ernie.”

Carolyn Farrell

Paradise, indeed

Re “An illegal paradise” (Newslines, by Shannon Rooney, June 3):

I read the article about the Rev. Robert Seals and his church, The Goddess Temple, near Chico. I have been to the temple for a birthday party. I saw Bobby there and he showed me around the property. He was very cordial and welcoming. I felt at ease. The place had a family atmosphere, very wholesome. I don’t understand why his neighbors won’t come over to meet him. I would love to have him as my neighbor.

I hope that the Butte County Department of Development Services approves his use permit soon. Bobby Seals’ Goddess Temple is a real asset to our community. I recommend that everyone so inclined come and visit him there. He has created a beacon of light in our area.

Dr. Susan Eissinger

No room to grow

I would like to call attention to the June 2010 issue of Mother Jones magazine, which is chock-a-block with important information regarding the population crisis. Of particular note is this statement by journalist Julia Whitty in her article “The Last Taboo”: “The trail ahead is to strike the delicate compromise: between fewer people, and more people with fewer needs … all within a new economy geared toward sustainability.”

We must accept the reality that sustainability is not possible until global population growth is stabilized. Each of us can make a difference by our awareness and daily actions with the goal in mind: a stabilized population and living sustainably, or perhaps it could be stated, “living within ecological limits.”

The need is to explore a new economy, one no longer based on growth. I suggest this Mother Jones article as a start: “Nothing grows forever. Why do we keep pretending the economy will?” by Clive Thompson.

We’ll be making true progress in this regard when these subjects become mainstream topics in the media, educational systems, and in our homes. The time to start is now.

Tanya Henrich

It makes you wonder

Interim county CAO Greg Iturria sent a memo to [Supervisors] Jane Dolan and Maureen Kirk last September. He said, “If the Board is going to consider changing salaries for the elected department heads, then it should probably be done at the December Board meeting, before the filing period starts for the new term.”

He attached a list of Butte County salaries for the elected staff, including district attorney and county clerk, comparing those salaries unfavorably to salaries from counties like Placer and El Dorado.

Those salaries were subsequently raised—[District Attorney] Mike Ramsey’s salary, for example, went from around $170,000 a year to around $200,000 a year.

Why was it so important to raise salaries nine months before an election? So the voters will forget?

Second, why would they compare counties whose median incomes are as much as twice those of Butte? It sounds like they wanted to raise salaries, and wanted it to look as though they did some homework to justify a completely impractical decision.

Juanita Sumner

‘The elegance of yielding’

Thank you, Chico City Council, staff and workers, for your foresight, wisdom, dedication to purpose and artistic attention to detail in re-imagining and remodeling both the Manzanita corridor and East Eighth Street. They are an elegant and delightful way to bike, walk or drive through these integral parts of Chico.

I traverse these road/bikeways daily and have looked forward to every new development, be it hundreds of new native trees and plants, sensuous and safe bike trails, or roadways and roundabouts where we learn peaceful negotiation and the elegance of yielding to our neighbors.

Leslie Mahon-Russo