Letters for March 1, 2007

Give bank some credit, at least
Re: “Two banks, two visions” (Editorial, CN&R, Feb. 22):

I read with interest your editorial. Unfortunately, your treatment of Wells Fargo was not a fair representation of their contributions and investments in our area.

Back in 2002, Wells Fargo made a $500,000 investment in the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation loan fund. This investment has allowed our organization to make over $728,515 in small-business loans to companies located in Butte, Glenn, and Tehama counties. These loans have leveraged $1,858,153 in other private and public investment in addition to the creation of 21 local jobs.

We are pleased that Wells Fargo followed that initial $500,000 investment with a second $500,000 investment at the end of 2006. We fully expect theses investments will provide greater access to capital for local small- and medium-sized businesses. Wells Fargo has shown leadership and commitment to our growing business community.

Please give them the credit they deserve.

Marc Nemanic
Tri-County Economic Development Corp., Chico

Founding Fathers facts vs. fallacies
Re: “Revisionist History 101” (Letters, by Tim Edwards, CN&R, Feb. 22):

Tim Edwards’ response to Ishmael Raymon’s Guest Comment [from Feb. 15] was filled with pseudo-reasoning, illogic and non-sequiturs.

His first fallacy is that of the bad analogy. By arguing that to deny that the United States was founded on “Christian principles” is to commit as egregious an error as to deny the Holocaust occurred, Edwards compares a matter of opinion to a matter of fact; there is no rational comparison between the two.

Furthermore, there is good reason to take issue with Edwards’ claim that “Christian principles” underlie the foundation of the United States.

First, he points to the vague reference to a “Creator” in the Declaration of Independence. There is nothing implicitly or explicitly Christian in such a reference.

While no one would deny that the so-called “Founding Fathers” held particular religious beliefs, the underlying principles of our nation are more correctly situated within the context of the 18th-century intellectual and cultural movement in Europe and America known as the Enlightenment. One of its defining features was a critical stance against religious institutions and their attendant dogmatisms.

More to the point, the United States (as Edwards himself admits) was founded on Republican principles, which directly and consciously repudiated the notion of monarchs who ruled by authority of divine right in concert with the Christian churches.

Edwards’ other piece of evidence is the claim that George Washington “chose” to swear the oath of office with his hand on a Bible. More significant is the fact that when on his deathbed (i.e., in private), our first president refused clergy.

Patrick O’Connor

‘Nothing would surprise me’
Re: “The truth is out there” and “A worthy goal, I say” (In My Eyes, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, Feb. 8 and Feb. 15):

We are fortunate to live in a town with publications whose editors seem to be bent on stretching the thinking muscles of their respective target audiences. Evan Tuchinsky’s WTC-9/11 articles give a certain credence to what some dismiss as “conspiracy theories.”

We all know there are no conspiracies. The Gulf of Tonkin incident, which accelerated the Vietnam War, was no conspiracy. Nixon’s Watergate was no conspiracy, and of course the Iraq War is not the product of a conspiracy.

I am well past the half-century mark. The idealism and fantasies of youth have lately given way to stark realism. Likewise, as a people, we spent the past six decades in our comfort zone; meanwhile, our government enjoyed being the bully on the world’s playground.

As bullies, we got our shins kicked a time or two. On 9/11 we got our first flesh wound. There is little doubt, in free-thinking minds, that it was a self-inflicted wound. The remaining question is: Did our government merely thumb its nose at the perpetrators as they aimed at us, or did it also have its fingers on their trigger?

Absolutely nothing will surprise me.

Jorge Smirnoff

KZFR feedback
Re: “Truth consequences?” (Letters, by Dick Witman, CN&R, Feb. 15):

Thank you for publishing Dick Witman’s letter, in which he takes exception to a decision by the KZFR Program Council to not give him the program slot upon which he had apparently set his heart.

In one of my duties as a member of the KZFR Board of Directors, I was in attendance at this meeting. In accordance with our bylaws, I did not vote on anything in this meeting, but I witnessed and participated in all discussions to one degree or another.

I am very proud of the KZFR Program Council in general and for this decision in particular. Their job is to judge the best programming fit for KZFR and our audience, and they did so based on facts and not because of any person’s rhetorical determination.

KZFR is in the beginning stages of creating a strategic plan for the station. I am very pleased that some of the members of the Program Council will be on our Strategic Planning Team. We are seeking members of our community radio community to participate in this endeavor, whether programmers, listeners or underwriters. If this sounds interesting to you, please contact me (<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script>).

Dan Carter

VP defends her school
Re: “Shaky report card” (Newslines, by Meredith Cooper, CN&R, Feb. 15):

University of Phoenix is dedicated to offering curriculum with a flexible schedule to meet the needs of students. Our mission is to ensure that our students are equipped with the best tools to succeed in their careers by providing them a first-rate education and the support they need to achieve their goals.

Our learning model provides invaluable instruction to students by giving them rigorous curriculum and real world application. This education gives students unparalleled value throughout their academic experience.

Jo Hoffmeier
University of Phoenix

Not his favorite
Re: “Road to the White House” (Sifter, CN&R, Feb. 22):

Hillary Clinton was duped by George Bush on the Iraq War like a hayseed out of the Ozarks that just rolled into town on top of a turnip truck. She seems to believe that being duped by Bush qualifies her to be president. I think not.

Richard Shutt Jr.

Representing who?
Rep. Herger attempted to send more of Butte County’s young men and women to Iraq, where some of them may be killed. Herger voted with the almost entirely Republican minority of House members against a non-binding resolution to oppose the Bush administration’s troop surge. Herger must believe his constituency is from the “Know Nothing” party, because he voted earlier to prevent consideration of the resolution opposing the surge. Herger and the Republicans failed both times.

Herger, sitting on the House Ways and Means Committee, was successful in assuring that America’s wealthiest persons will continue to shelter tens of millions of dollars in uncapped executive pay deferments. Apparently a significant number of America’s wealthiest 1 percent live and vote in California’s 2nd District, because Herger increased their wealth immeasurably while making certain Butte County’s poorer citizens get a phased increase in minimum wage over a few years. People collecting minimum wage probably have no use for uncapped deferments themselves.

Send our children to Iraq to die and increase the wealth of the wealthiest while giving a pittance to the poorest: You gotta love how well the Honorable Mr. Herger is representing CA-2 voters.

John Omaha