Letters for March 6, 2008

Really practicing what’s preached
Re: “Church offers addicts a home and hope” (Newslines, by Toni Scott, CN&R, Feb. 28):

Amazing article! I am so proud to be part of a church and a community that really helps others like this. These [Orchard Church] recovery houses really make a difference in the lives of the people who live there and, therefore, make a difference in our community.

How great is it that we have a church in our town that actually does what it preaches.

Berry Hulen

Bush success(es) undervalued
Re: “Bush’s singular success” (Editorial, CN&R, Feb. 28):

I will argue that the president has done much more than help Africa. GWB, his advisers and his courage to stay on the offensive have prevented any attack since 9/11. No USS Cole, no Khobar Towers, no embassies in Africa, no WTC.

My friends, hope is a wonderful thing, but you cannot hope away a fanatical enemy that wishes us all harm. They will not lay down arms if we appease them.

Gary Lapple

… or maybe insignificant
In 1994-95, I visited 10 Western European nations, meeting people on the streets and in cafés, pubs, factories and homes. Most (90 percent) viewed America favorably.

My 2004-05 tour expanded to 14 nations. My former warm welcomes turned frigid. U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan; Abu Ghraib; Guantánamo; kidnappings; torture; election-rigging; wiretapping; and political and economic chicanery caused shocking contrast.

Europeans saw through the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Powell-Rice litany of lies about WMDs; atomic bombs; terrorism “alerts"; New Orleans’ hurricane fiasco, and the sick Terry Schiavo spectacle. Most (88 percent) now viewed my country as the world’s No. 1 aggressor and “terrorist.” Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Denmark, then England replaced pro-American leaders.

None believed Bush’s premise of “spreading democracy in the Middle East,” nor his claim that Muslims “hate and envy our freedoms.” What Muslims (and others) actually abhorred were our world No. 1 ranking in crime, worship of drug-dazed “stars” and athletes, pornography peddling, sick rap music, church sex scandals, and Bush tax policies delivering deficits and depression.

Last month, I completed an 18-month trip to New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Polling results were similar: Nearly everyone (92 percent) opposed U.S. violations of international treaties and environmental agreements; military expansionism; jingoistic arrogance; both current wars; and corporate domination of the administration, Congress and media.

New Zealand and Australia ousted pro-American leaders; Japan and South Korea rejected pro-U.S. parties.

I returned home sadder but wiser.

Henry Van Amburg

Lambert is legit
Re: “Political fodder” (In My Eyes, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, Feb. 28):

The District 4 supervisor race will give the voters a pretty clear choice.

Do the voters want a Butte County rancher who will be passionate about preserving our county’s agricultural heritage; a business owner who understands serving the public and having to make payroll each week; and a family man with kids in local schools and sports, and involved in 4H and the local community; or the political opportunists who see the chance for a supervisor seat they have coveted?

Prior to his family moving back to its ranch in Thermalito six years ago, I served with Steve Lambert on the Paradise Town Council when he was mayor and a local business owner. The voters of District 4 will have an easy choice for the supervisor to fill the big boots of Curt Josiassen. I would advise the outsiders that their visit to District 4 will be over on June 4.

Scott Lotter

Editor’s note: Mr. Lotter still sits on the council.

Another endorsement
Re: “Dems line up to take on Herger” (Newslines, by Bryce Benson, CN&R, Feb. 28):

As a former resident of Trinity County, I can say that the Morris family is the gold standard when it comes to community service. To see Jeff Morris on the ballot brings me great joy and pride, and I know that he would give [Rep. Wally] Herger the toughest fight of his life!

Brady Knight
Santa Barbara

‘Man up’ about women
Re: “Hmmm …” (Letters, by Michael M. Peters, CN&R, Feb. 28):

I obviously hit a big nerve with Mr. Peters. I am not by any means a feminist, but I am sick and tired of women being blamed for all of the “evils and wrongs” of the world.

As far as his “need for accurate data to address societal problems,” here in Oroville, the majority of problem-child households are two-parent households. And in watching the news, I see that most of the kids who go around committing crimes, like shootings at schools and such, are from two-parent households as well.

Blaming women for all of the issues of society is irresponsible and perpetuates a caveman’s mentality. Children grow up a mess nowadays because people choose not to truly parent their children. Man up and stop blaming women, Mr. Peters.

Lareina Reyes

Responsible by proxy
Re: “Twenty-five years on death row” (Newslines, by Amy Runge Gaffney, CN&R, Feb. 21):

Thank you for giving us this fine article. It is imperative that we as citizens of this state and country understand fully what we are allowing to be done to other human beings in our name and with our money. These are people who may (or may not) have committed terrible crimes, but how we treat them says more about us than it does about the people on death row or in the death chamber.

In the words of Alexander Solschenizyn, “The line which separates good and evil doesn’t run between nations, nor between classes, nor between parties. It runs through the middle of each human heart—and through all human hearts together.”

Marylyn Felion

Darwin debate goes on
Maximus Peperkamp [in Feb. 21’s Letters] stated that all scientists, professors and teachers who do not accept Darwin “should be fired.” This is, of course, exactly what is taking place in the United States. Darwin may be freely criticized overseas, even in totalitarian regimes, but may not be challenged in our country.

Here, a scientist who dares to question Darwin risks having his funding sources dry up. Any candidate for a doctoral program in the hard sciences risks rejection if she/he does not swear fealty before Darwin’s image. Almost all who work in the hard sciences risk being passed over for promotion if they dare to raise even the most obvious of questions that challenge Darwin’s theory.

I understand Darwin. I also understand the difference between scientific theory and scientific proof. Darwin and his apologists fail to sway me. The answer lies elsewhere.

Larry Carmichael

In Jason Reisinger’s letter [Feb. 28], he incorrectly states that we religious believers continue to attack science.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as we in the intelligent design camp want more teaching on evolution, not less. Serious students of evolution are fully aware of the shortcomings in the “sacred theory.” To discuss them shouldn’t cause fear or lead to scientific censorship by [evolution’s] proponents

Let’s stick to the scientific facts, though for some I suppose there is comfort closing ones eyes tightly and singing a Darwinian kumbaya.

Gary Rayome

In order to place the discussion of Charles R. Darwin into some context, readers of the Chico News & Review might be interested in the following information:

Considering how Darwin was attacked by certain clergy during his lifetime (and continues to be vilified today), it is interesting that he once intended to become a clergyman and that he is buried in one of the most symbolic religious structures of the British Empire, Westminster Abbey.

One should read what Darwin himself wrote concerning a potential supreme being in The Origin of Species:

“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely the production of the higher animals, directly flows. There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”

One additional point: Darwin did not write about human beings in Origin; all he had to say about man was the following, taken from the 1872 conclusions of the last edition:

“In the future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be securely based on the foundation already well laid … of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.”

Charles F. Urbanowicz
Professor emeritus, anthropology, Chico State

Comparison contrast
The truth is out: Enloe’s administration compares its standards to lower-level hospitals. That’s per the bargaining update e-mail stating industry standards by union definition don’t include Oroville, Feather River, Fremont Rideout and Shasta Regional hospitals.

The latter may be an oversight—it’s union[ized], with those high standards of safe staffing, fair wages and benefits plus job security that are touted by Enloe execs. Our bargaining team has requested just such a list.

Does this mean our [hospital] leadership surveys Shasta Regional to determine patient-staff ratios and wages? Even if so, are the Oroville, Paradise and Marysville hospitals Trauma 2 [-level centers] like Enloe? No? Then why compare us to them?

What about administrative standards at Enloe? They must be pretty expensive—our leadership found the cash for themselves and [the care model] Planetree, though the ‘Tree seems useful.

Are Enloe employees less important than others'? I think not. So, do the right thing, Enloe administration: Respect us enough to lift up standards. We’re a bargain at twice or thrice the price, just like you, fearless leaders.

Peter Calo

Just say no
Don’t bring another box store into our city. Wal-Mart is ruining our city.

If put in the north end of town, it will mess up our whole area. It will cause too much traffic, interfere with a school and lower the property values of many homes.

One Wal-Mart is too many. Please prohibit the building of a Wal-Mart in the north end of town.

Muriel Parinella

Debt collecting
Regarding the ominous 3 a.m. phone call to the White House: Heaven forbid the frightening scenario of one of our creditor countries demanding immediate repayment with the proviso that declaring bankruptcy is unacceptable and off the table!

Is unplugging the phone and hiding under the bed a viable option?

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff

Re: “Biking 101” (School of Thought, CN&R, Feb. 28): An item stating that bicyclists can get DUI –or “BUI"–tickets on highways made an incorrect distinction by excluding streets. Under the vehicle code, “highway” means any road. This has been corrected online.