Letters for March 17, 2016
Out of context
Re “Biblical-sanctioned abuse” (Letters, by Sherri Quammen, March 10):
Sherri Quammen’s letter claimed the Bible instructs men to abuse women, which is not true. Yes, the Bible includes stories of all kinds of people doing all kinds of hideous things, but that does not mean God approves of these actions. Many of the stories in the Bible are examples of how failing to follow the law of God results in ongoing problems. You cannot pick just one section out of the Bible and take it out of context. The Bible needs to be read in its entirety in order to understand God’s desire and plan for humanity.
Re “Bridal show” (Calendar, March 10):
Guns. Did you see it? On the calendar pick on page 24 of the CN&R, there’s a photo caption for a country club bridal show where the accompanying photo shows a woman dressed in a bridal gown, smoking a cigarette (yuck) and holding an AK-47.
All across the United States, there’s this litany of horrific assaults in movie theaters, shopping centers and cafés, where dozens are shot dead. Police militarization generates death.
Here in Chico, we’re adding fuel to the fire of gun violence when we advertise weddings, yes weddings, by displaying a woman with a gun. I can hear some of you saying, “Oh, get a grip; it’s just a photo.” Yes, but can you really say that, in the face of our ongoing pervasive glamorization of guns, we can brush this aside?
What about you? Do you not see how this pervasive gun culture leads too many to think that the path to conflict resolution is from the barrel of a gun? What this gets us is escalating acts of gun violence throughout the country. This wedding gear image is fun, this is cool, a bride holding an assault rifle? I feel sick.
Re “Nowhere to go” (Newsline, by Howard Hardee, March 3):
At the City Council meeting that extended the criminalization of homelessness and postponed the day when Chico will have bathrooms for the entire public, the word “compassion” was bandied about a number of times. I sincerely want people to stop talking about how compassionate they are. We are making people live under the most humiliating and uncomfortable, downright miserable conditions—and we call ourselves or other homed people compassionate? That is a sham.
We are human-rights abusers. We are neglecting to notice that others lack the most basic elements of what is needed for sustenance. How can we have stooped so low? How did we become immune to feeling? What was that Second Commandment again?
I put part of the blame on the military budget and corporate greed. We have the money but not the political will to care for our own. Those who are expropriating our labor and tax dollars have also managed to redirect our common sense and send our moral compasses adrift from true north.
For the short run, stay human. Get to know the people who are being maligned and dehumanized. Demand services and housing. Don’t stop until the travesty of homelessness ends!
We’re all immigrants
“The first step” (Letters, by Paul Smith, March 10):
I am responding to a letter suggesting that to reduce fossil fuel use in America, the U.S. should reduce legal immigration to this country. All of us (except Native Americans who arrived 15,000 years ago) are immigrants of the last 600 years. Since Christopher Columbus, people have demanded that the plank they just walked on, arriving in America, should be pulled up.
About a half-million immigrants served in the Union Army in the Civil War. Immigrants are still joining the military. I am proud to see dozens of our troops, on many occasions, serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, being sworn in as U.S. citizens. As a result of the war in Vietnam, tens of thousands of Vietnamese, Hmong and Cambodians moved to the U.S.
Alexander Hamilton (on our $10 bills) was an immigrant. Some other immigrants: Albert Einstein, Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google, born in Russia), Dr. Samia Yaqub (president of Butte-Glenn Community College), Gov. Jerry Brown’s great-grandparents, and millions of others who have made big contributions to our country’s greatness.
On reducing the use of fossil fuel, Governor Brown, President Obama, universities and industries are making great strides. Immigrants have been part of that.
‘Our community cares’
Re “Selective charity, by Patrick Newman, Feb. 25):
Patrick Newman’s condemnation of Joe Montes and Michael Madieros is pure cow flop.
The evidence is overwhelming that our community cares for the homeless. Witness the outpouring of money donations, volunteer work and the opening of churches and faculties for emergency shelter. It may not always be enough, but it is great enough to prove that we are a town full of compassion and caring.
Anyone who fails to see that is either ignorant of reality or suffering from a hunger of the ego that feeds on the delusion that they are the only one who cares.
It is said that all humans are made in God’s image and we are all connected, therefore to care for others is basic to our humanity. However, if anyone, whether in the top 1 percent or in the bottom 1 percent, treats another with disrespect or acts in a way that is disgusting and beneath the level of human dignity, we should not accept it. If we accept and tolerate such conduct, we then define that person by this conduct and degrade and insult them.
I was at a meeting of several homeless folks when a beautiful lady said to the group, “You know that I love you, but you have to quit leaving your trash on the sidewalk.”
Stop being sycophants
The usual sycophant Democratic letter-writers have all chimed in with their “we know what’s best for you” rants, complete with their usual anti-Donald Trump fictitious facts made up by the their Supreme Democrat Party leader, Porky the Pig, and passed down the line as talking points.
Porky the Pig? Oh, I meant George (I’m a billionaire socialist) Soros. He now is funding the MoveOn.org, whose members have intentionally disrupted Trump rallies. As an independent voter, do you see any of Hillary Clinton’s or Bernie Sanders’ rallies being disrupted by Trump supporters? Nope.
Meanwhile, those progressive (socialist) liberals here in California got their students demanding a free college education at the same time that CSU faculty members are demanding higher wages or they go on strike. How do you teach our children to demand a free education, if you yourselves want a raise? Oh, I get it, the taxpayers foot the bill.
Meanwhile, the progressives submitted a bill to tax cookies and snacks in California. It’s directed at the middle class they all lie about protecting! These people are tax-aholics, folks. Enjoy your milk and soon to be taxed Oreos! When will California voters stop being sycophants themselves?!
The end times
During recent moments of delirium, when habit dictates and the temptation to reach for the bimbo box takes control, I have become convinced of one overwhelming certainty. That is, when witnessing the facial gyrations and verbiage of the current leading candidate for the presidency, I see only one thing: The end. And all the wayward sheep who have sworn their oath of loyalty and sipped and digested the highly infectious “Fool Aid” can proudly have their grimy hoofprints on the horrific and long-dreaded “goodnight switch”—because lately you can truly feel it coming.
Kenneth B. Keith
Singing Brezsny’s praises
Re “A-plus astrology” (Letters, by Stephon A. Bodenhamer, Feb. 25):
I was so pleased to read that another respondent sang the accolades of Rob Brezsny’s astrological horoscopes. There have been quite a few times in my life that I would cut them out and to this day have still saved them, as they were pivotal moments in my life.
Free speech, part two
Re “Read the entire text” (Letters, by Paul Cella, Mar. 10):
In response to my own Feb. 25 letter arguing against the election and appointment of religious government administrators, Paul Cella wrote, “I would suggest [Esplanade] read the entire First Amendment, which states that Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise of religion.”
Barring religious people from public office doesn’t prohibit their free exercise of religion—it protects it. That is, by precluding officials from using governmental power to force citizens to comply with their own religious beliefs.
A classic example of such is Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis’ recent denial of marriage licenses to gay couples, saying in doing so she was acting “under God’s authority.”
Cella also said, “I would also suggest that [Esplanade] read the last sentence of Article 6, which states that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public trust under the United States.’”
This clause was meant as a further safeguard to exclude religion from government—not as a back door allowing it in. In so doing it aimed to preclude government from discriminating against constituents on the basis of their religion.