Letters for March 9, 2017
All about birds
Re “Murder most fowl” (Cover story, by Ken Smith, March 2):
Ken Smith’s article on the shooting of the long-tailed duck was well-researched and -written. I would like to clarify a couple of statements that I made: My statement regarding “seeing … a lot of birds migrating to different locations” was based on Audubon’s seven-year investigation into the expected effects of climate change on North American bird populations. You can read the whole report at: tinyurl.com/AudubonStudy.
Another statement—“In some ways, that ability to adapt is the best thing some species have going for them”—unfortunately did not refer to most species, which are generally not well-equipped to adapt to rapid change. Only humans are good at adapting to rapid change—we can put on a hat to keep from burning, wear a coat if we’re cold, turn on the A/C or pick up and move to another location. Animals don’t have those luxuries.
Scott Huber and others accurately portray the poacher as a selfish lowlife. Mr. Huber knows firsthand what drives a poacher, because as he jets off to view birds in remote locations, he is playing a role in indiscriminate killing of birds. Airports in Oakland, Sacramento and L.A. employ shooters to kill thousands of birds a year in order to keep aircraft safe from bird strikes. As Mr. Huber is likely aware of the airports’ policy, he must justify killing birds in pursuit of his selfish desires. I bet the poacher feels the same way.
Vice mayor’s backpedaling
Re “Slip of the tongue” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, March 2):
Like scores of Chico residents wanting a safe and inclusive community, I attended the City Council meeting on Feb. 21 to show support for the proposed Sanctuary City Resolution. I was one of a handful of people who personally witnessed Vice Mayor Reanette Fillmer sticking her tongue out at the citizens in attendance; when I contacted her, she attributed her universally recognized gesture of disrespect to her dental equipment. This bit of backpedaling further degrades her original, lamentable act.
Shocking though it was, Fillmer’s gesture is not the story of the evening. That story was told by members of our community, many of them undocumented students. These students’ bravery in coming forward, and how our community is enriched and strengthened by all its members, is the enduring message I took from that meeting.
Thanks to Councilmembers Ann Schwab, Karl Ory and Randall Stone for truly representing what makes Chico strong. We will continue to work together to protect and serve all Chico’s residents.
Ignoring the people
Re “No sanctuary” (Newsline, by Howard Hardee, Feb. 23):
There are avowed racists now installed at the highest levels of government, and unless resistance rises to match the extremity of that threat, we risk regressing to policies reminiscent of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ beloved pre-civil rights-era South.
The conservative majority of Chico City Council may only oppose risking the devastating loss of federal funds that sanctuary city status might cost them, yet to deny adding the discussion to a future agenda despite so many passionate requests and without public opposition is a miscarriage of democracy.
President Trump has adopted the attitude that he owes allegiance only to his supporters, the rest of us be damned. I hope that a similar philosophy of governance is not gaining ground locally. When elected leaders ignore the people, it is time to become ungovernable.
It was inspiring to see so many brave young people and their allies at City Council insisting Chico remain a safe and welcoming community, but I hope it’s only a beginning. Rather than relying solely on slow and unresponsive systems to facilitate change, let’s continue strengthening and broadening solidarity and demonstrating it whenever necessary so the forces of hatred will never be emboldened to emerge from the shadows here.
On the afflicted
Re “A good place” (Newslines, by Evan Tuchinsky) and “Homeless camp shut down” (Downstroke) March 2:
Two stories, side-by-side: a few words about the last days of Joel Castle’s homeless camp and an expansive story on Rabbi Sara Abrams—the new leader of Congregation Beth Israel. Castle’s photo is the size of a postage stamp and Abrams’ the size of an envelope.
The saga of the Castle camp is one of broken land-use laws, private property violations, free-running sewage and trash. All affronts to our middle-class sensibilities. But, since weather-related mental and physical stress bear heavily on the survival of unsheltered people, we ought to consider the possibility that Castle saved a life or two; exposure kills, every year.
Are these the kind of lives we care about? The kind Castle may have saved? Frankly, no. Castle would get no ticker-tape parade, regardless of his methods.
A fellow rabbi says Abrams will “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” She will have much to do. The afflicted are more numerous, as they are also more criminalized, rousted, shunned and ghettoized than at any time in my 30 years in Butte County. And, as Abrams may observe in any Chico congregation, the comfortable are very comfortable.
Why the resentment?
Every time I read the letters to the editor, the amount of resentment for President Trump baffles me.
Trump is a nationalist and puts Americans and their interests first. President Obama was a tax-and-spend liberal who spent more time apologizing for America’s greatness than making sure it maintained that greatness. Liberals had eight years to prove themselves, and in that eight years they proved that they’re incapable of leadership.
Keeping our citizens safe, maintaining the rule of law and putting America’s interests first is the president’s job. Americans want a leader who cares about American interests, not a liberal figurehead who’s good at speaking and does nothing to better the country.
You have a record, Democrats, and that record is full of half truths and failure. It’s time you start owning that record.
Another Trump ditty
Re “On Trump’s Isle” (Letters, by Dennis Bills, March 2):
I was inspired by Dennis Bills’ clever adaptation of the theme song from Gilligan’s Island. Here are a few of my contributions:
Drumpfland, Drumpfland, Uber Alles!
Springtime for Donald and Vladimir, Winter for Poland and France …
(To the tune of Mel Brooks’ “Springtime for Hitler”)
Dear Doug LaMalfa
A short note in response to your colleagues releasing a new federal health care plan to repeal/replace (depends on which Republican is talking) the Affordable Care Act—the one that prohibits insurance companies from denying anyone with pre-existing health problems, such as victims of domestic violence or breast cancer or addicted to smoking two packs a day, from being insured.
America’s plutocracy now resembles a relief pitcher taking the hill late in the 10th inning. Our resurgent club had already mounted a successful comeback until he selfishly blew the lead, ruined the team and nearly butchered the entire franchise again. Not yet spring training and forecasts call for another long, grueling season.
Kenneth B. Keith
Rep. Doug LaMalfa refused to hold a public town hall meeting despite many requests (I personally called his office in Washington, D.C., on four separate occasions). As a result, we’re left with unanswered questions about his stand on immigration reform and the ACA. Does he support the aggressive deportation of undocumented people or does he plan to push Congress to act on a reasonable plan to resolve the immigration problem? This is particularly relevant considering our agricultural needs in the North Valley. We risk a labor shortage with implications that reverberate throughout his district.
Regarding the ACA, many local farmers and their employees benefit from ACA health insurance. Does LaMalfa support improvements or does he support Paul Ryan’s plan to eliminate access for millions? We deserve to know how he plans to address the issue.
Finally, I am concerned that, like so many government officials, LaMalfa may be cheating the system by demonizing the “illegals” while he and his family hire them for farm labor and household help. Has there been a “fair and balanced” investigation of the LaMalfa business practices? I don’t know, but I believe his constituents deserve answers.
Debbie M. Blake
One at a time
It’s heartening to see Trump living up to his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.” However, it may take a while as he’s only doing it one Russian operative at a time.
Goodbye to health care
I don’t know what bill Trump will ultimately sign, but one can assume many of the 20 million who got a policy via the ACA will no longer have a policy. They will go back to their former “policy” of going, at the last moment, to hospital emergency wards.
Millions of veterans are under the age of 65, and thus not on Medicare, and many do not have health care through the VA. Some of those 20 million Americans are veterans. The VA Choice Program does help veterans who live in rural areas or cannot get to see a VA doctor within 30 days, but millions of veterans are not eligible for full VA care or any at all, and in emergencies, you go to the closest hospital.
I would urge congressional Republicans not to “accidentally” make veterans “collateral damage,” as you radically change the ACA.
And a suggestion: If the Republicans do not get a bill out of Congress, here’s a bill that would have big support—do a one-year test program for all members of Congress being removed from the ACA and each member can go out and get his or her own health insurance policy.
Local Bernie Sanders-supporting Democrats are a huge embarrassment [due to] their cowardice to call out the Democratic establishment for rigging the primary against Bernie. In being afraid to speak truth to power, they are ensuring that centrist/Hillary Clinton-type policies will dominate. But worse, they are complicit in the Democrats’ [efforts to blame] the Russians for the election result, and the ensuing anti-Russia hysteria.
Whatever the Russians did relative to the U.S. election, it is no worse than what the U.S. routinely does in elections everywhere in the world.
The media promoted Trump constantly, knowing that he was the one candidate that Hillary would definitely beat. Ha! Facts show that media coverage of Sanders was minuscule, compared with coverage of Trump or Hillary.
The stupidity of the Democrats gave us Trump. Blaming Trump on the Russians means no lessons have been learned, and has turned Democrats into Joe McCarthy-like neocons.
Are any local anti-war types speaking against this Democratic foreign policy? Those who care should protest at the local Democratic Action Club of Chico meetings.
Beware the scams
America is being attacked from all sides by international scams. I have been targeted personally and indirectly in these ploys. It represents an invasion of communication privacy by phone lines and emails. This nurtures such distrust that even valid messages are avoided.
The first scam was a trick to get me to send cash in exchange for a bogus check deposited to my account. Refusal to divulge the eight digits claim number for money to be sent by a MoneyGram saved me more than a thousand dollars.
On two occasions, friends whom I worked with 20 years ago were nearly [duped by scammers] using my name in reference. Both were saved from this ploy by contacting me. No, it was more sophisticated than bailing me out of jail in some foreign country. Fortunately, they contacted me just in the nick of time.
Then, I got an urgent call that my checking account was endangered as someone was trying to invade it, and to contact a number to protect it. Guess who was trying to gain access? Another scammer. I already heard the story about the fox guarding the hen house, and I resent both the analogy and the attempt to deceive.
To me, this constitutes a much more serious homeland security problem than immigration. Why are our leaders not focused on correcting this threat? Make America safe again. Stop these terrorists.
‘Ugly abyss of racism’
Seventy-five years ago (Feb. 19, 1942), President Roosevelt issued executive order 9066, which sent over 100,000 people to government-controlled facilities because of their ethnicity.
On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese military forces had attacked the United States base in Hawaii without warning, and more than 2,000 Americans died as a result.
The Supreme Court voted 6-3 [in Korematsu v. United States] that the government has the power to arrest and intern a man of that ethnic group who was hiding.
Justice Hugo Black wrote for the majority that “all legal restrictions which curtail the civil rights of a single racial group are immediately suspect” but that is not to say that all such restrictions are unconstitutional.
Justice Owen Roberts wrote for the minority: “I dissent, because I think the indisputable facts exhibit a clear violation of constitutional rights.” Justice Frank Murphy added: Such exclusion of Japanese people from the Pacific Coast area goes over “the very brink constitutional power” and “falls into the ugly abyss of racism.”
Trump’s to-do list
While ex-President Trump and the rest of the swine from his administration were awaiting execution by firing squad for treason, a to-do list was discovered embedded in a solid gold toilet seat in the West Wing of the White House.
Agenda for second term:
*Nuke the press
*Replace Statue of Liberty w/ highrise hotel
*Rename global warming “global springtime”
*Call for development of coal-powered cars
*Declare poverty illegal; deport the poor to the 51st state: Trumpexico
*Sell all national parks to Russia
*Buy the White House and convert it to a luxury resort: whites only
*Build walls around the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
*Dissolve the Union