Letters for June 30, 2011

Democrats’ long odds

Re “Will changes help Democrats defeat Herger?” (Newslines, by Leslie Layton, June 23):

It is true that white heterosexuals in most rural areas and in the South vote Republican. Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court decisions and the civil-rights legislation of the 1960s, white voters in the South voted a straight Democratic ticket. All the congressional members were Democrats for one simple reason—Abe Lincoln was a Republican. Today there is only one statue of Lincoln in the South, in Richmond, Va., and that only went up in 2003.

However, there were many protesters there, including some with signs: “Lincoln, Wanted for War Crimes.”

Outside of the South, up until the 1950s congressional seats went 3-1 for Republicans.

Today the South is almost solidly Republican in federal offices. A few years ago it was reported that only 7 percent of white males in South Carolina were registered to vote as Democrats. Up until the 1950s more than 90 percent were Democrats.

Flash to the 21st century in California, and 34 of the 53 congressional seats and 77 of the 120 legislative seats (64.2 percent) are held by Democrats. Last November, when Jerry Brown won California by 13 points, he lost the white vote. Every Democrat who has run for president since Johnson in 1964 has lost the white vote nationally.

Today’s Democrats in California and in much of the country are elected by single white women (urban areas), minorities, gays and youth. The overall future of Democratic candidates in the U.S., especially in California, is very favorable for two reasons: the 2010 Census showing the growth of minority communities and the hostility of the national Republican Party to immigrant communities.

However, rural areas, such as the North State, are still overwhelmingly made up of white, heterosexual voters and thus tougher for Democrats running for partisan office.

Bob Mulholland
DNC member


Slick people online

Re “A new republic” (From the Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, June 16):

Anthony Porter’s column got me to thinking that what we need in Chico is more radical reporting of what is really going on in Chico and the whole country, not forgetting the world. I took a radical idea, “Give people some real meat in the news.” We are not doing this, and that is why print journalism is on its last legs.

I and other likeminded folks in Chico, San Francisco, New York and Atlanta started slickpeoplemagazine.com just three weeks ago. We already have a core readership of 500 hits a day. This will triple next month. Why can’t the news media in Chico do the same?

Jerry Harris
San Francisco/Chico

Cut moms some slack

Re “Growing Green Kids” (Greenways, by Claire Hutkins Seda, June 23):

It’s wonderful that some parents have the time to use cloth diapers, make their own organic baby food and sew reusable lunch baggies. For the rest of us who work to earn money—the single parents and full-time breadwinners—the value of our time makes these practices prohibitive.

The allure of cloth diapers is understandable—no chemicals and reduced landfill waste. However, Seda fails to account for the time it takes to wash all those diapers. Not to mention your increased utility bills. Cloth diapers are realistic for a small segment of the population. Mothers do the best they can with the resources they have. Let’s try not to be judgmental about other parents’ choices.

Beth Presleigh

Roadblock on the sidewalks

I am unemployed, collecting unemployment insurance, and a person who wants to work.

I wanted to volunteer my services for no compensation to help the city of Chico in the way of cleaning up the downtown area. I asked the city if they had a steam cleaner for me to steam clean all the sidewalks in front of the stores. They are disgusting, very dirty, among other things.

They told me that I would have to get the permission of each store owner to clean their sidewalks. This would be impossible.

Here is an unemployed person, collecting benefits, willing to volunteer, hitting roadblocks. This is why the government has no money to operate.

David Yorkowitz

Rudy’s ‘coruscating smile’

Re “Remembering Rudy” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer) and “A message to you, Rudy” (ArtsDEVO, by Jason Cassidy, June 23):

I just want to share my sadness over the loss of Rudy [Giscombe]. I didn’t know him personally, but at the same time, felt I did. His coruscating smile was a reflection of who he was. He made me feel special and loved instantly.

When he was helping with the KCHO pledge drive, I’d listen with such pleasure for his laughter, which came so easily to him. He was, and always will be, a special part of Chico that those of us who were fortunate to cross his path will never forget. I will truly miss him.

Tanya Henrich

Too many of us

Re “Face it: Oceans are dying” (Editorial, June 23):

The situation in the oceans, on land and in the air is desperate. It is valid to ask how long it’s going to take before we finally recognize what’s happening to our planet; and admit that we humans are causing it.

Even more important, once we face the reality that human activity is the prime cause of the wholesale degradation of our planet and mass extinctions, compromising our—and even more so our children’s—futures, what are we going to do about it?

Sure, there are many efforts relating to employing technology, fuel efficiency and the like to try to get a handle on things, which is worthy and should continue. However, until we admit that the sheer number of humans on the earth is what is causing more damage than what we do, our efforts to arrest the downward spiral will be futile.

How do we expect to achieve a peaceful world order, increase living standards and halt the wholesale destruction caused by uninhibited human population growth and greed if we refuse to identify ourselves as the problem and do the most logical thing there is to do: get a handle on the out-of-control growth in human population numbers.

The question is not only: How much longer are we going to remain in denial about what’s happening to our planet? The question also is: How much longer are we going to remain in denial about the fact that what’s happening to our planet is first and foremost caused by too many people?

Mader Visagie
Cape Town, South Africa

Energy is universal delight

It breaks my heart to see what mankind has done to this once beautiful country and world. With all of man’s technological advances they have succeeded in destroying what once was the beauty of nature: the flowers and animals, along with their natural environment and habitat. The pollution is poisoning the forests, water and the soil, and no one really seems to notice this.

When I ride my bicycle all over Chico, I cannot help but notice the ever-changing environment, and to hear the spirits of life crying out for mercy. My great-grandfather and many of his elderly friends used to tell me stories of the spirits that are trapped in our Earth because they have nowhere to go.

I dared to spend three years in the deserts of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah and learned to hear the ancient spirits of my ancestors and of other people who were here before them.

One truth I discovered: If you do not evolve into a conscious human being fully aware of the spirit that created you in your mother’s womb, you shall devolve into an animal mentality and become trapped on Earth for eternity. This was very hard for me to accept and believe, but I did my best to grasp what these trapped souls were communicating to me.

In the teachings of Krishna, which is the Hindu religion, this is exactly what is revealed by Arjuna, the student of Krishna! How ironic that Abram, who later became Abraham in the Israelite teaching, came from that region, and his name in Hindi means “son of Bram (God).”

No one really focuses on the religions of this world and how they are connected in spirit, if one is willing to listen to all life around them, from the birds and animals to the trees and rocks. Everything has living energy in it!

Michael Philip Piña


Due to an editing error, our cover story last week, “Who owns the Internet?” mistakenly stated that Sen. Al Franken represented Wisconsin. He is from Minnesota. The error has been corrected online.—ed.