Letters for May 10, 2007

Beliefs (and disbelief) on 9/11 story
Re: “Truth believers” (Cover story, by Christine G.K. LaPado, CN&R, May 3):

Thank you for publishing your recent story about 9/11 Truth. It seemed like a very fair and balanced piece. I think it is wonderful that you published a story on this topic that seems to have been far underreported in the media.

I would welcome you and encourage you to continue to publish any future articles or editorials about this topic. According to a 2006 Zogby poll, more than 100 million Americans (36 percent) believe that the 9/11 attacks were in some way an “inside job,” involving the intentional complicity of at least one or more U.S. government officials.

J. Schwartz

We have seen over the past six years, from George W. Bush and his administration, a level of incompetence that is surpassed only by their corruption and political deceit. So when I hear from your local band of Sept. 11 conspiracy theorists (I say “your” because the CN&R has given them an extraordinary amount of attention and, what’s this now, a cover story?!) that Bush is part of the conspiracy, I have to chuckle. This guy couldn’t manage a taco truck, and he is supposedly involved in an incredible conspiracy that, to succeed, would require, if not divine intervention, then a government ingeniousness and secrecy not previously known in the annals of American history.

In the name of journalistic responsibility, stop giving credibility to this paranoid nonsense. Please.

Dave Waddell

Editor’s note: Professor Waddell is the adviser of Chico State’s student newspaper, The Orion.

It’s no coincidence that some “Truth believers” profiled are also religious. They are predisposed to imagine a world dominated by an omnipotent, unseen force whose mysterious ways are revealed to a select few. How gratifying it must be to shed all doubt and assume the mantle of the enlightened, to regard evidence that challenges our conclusions as another test of the true faith.

Yeah, 9/11 was a “conspiracy.” It was a conspiracy of scope and intricacy unprecedented in history. It required years of planning, tens of millions [of dollars] of investment, and the blind commitment, coordination, split-second timing and total secrecy of thousands of people ranging from right-wing American ideologues to Muslim fanatics.

Bush is an evil genius. Right. And the black helicopters are coming. And Elvis parties with space aliens in Area 51.

Kevin Quinn

I read online your article about 9/11 activism. I am personally agnostic when it comes to this issue, but I think you presented a fair and accurate accounting of some of the key issues.

I don’t see how rational people can openly trust this government, Democratic or Republican, so I would greatly like to see an open and public trial of the evidence in the case of 9/11.

I don’t know if certain elements of our government let it happen or were criminally negligent or what, but I tell you something, neither does anybody else in the general public, because the questions just go unasked.

So thank you for finally asking some questions. Keep it up!

David Hill
New Jersey

Case in counterpoint
Re: “9/11 case in point?” (Letters, by Anthony Watts, CN&R, May 3):

Anthony Watts claims the recent tanker fire and subsequent overpass collapse supports the “official” theory of 9/11. I not only don’t believe that to be true, I believe this fire and collapse actually supports points raised by the 9/11 Truth movement.

The fires in the World Trade Center buildings were very smoky, meaning they were oxygen-starved and therefore could not have reached the temperature of a tanker fire out in the open. Plus, once the original jet fuel—mostly kerosene—burnt off, the fire was burning carpet, office furniture and equipment, not gasoline. Plus, never in the history of steel-frame buildings has a building collapsed because of fire!

Look at pictures of the freeway overpass collapse. The upper deck collapsed on the lower, but there was no “pancake” collapse like the “official” 9-11 theory. In fact, engineers have said the lower deck is structurally sound and will not have to be rebuilt. In addition, look at the supporting columns of the freeway. They did not collapse like the massive steel columns in the core and exterior of the towers.

I do agree with Mr. Watts on one point: “The laws of physics are absolute.”

Paul Ellcessor

If Mr. Watts wants to talk about the laws of physics, he should mention that jet fuel burns at about 1,850 degrees Fahrenheit—not 3,000 as he would have you infer in his letter.

It is this type of distortion of the truth that makes many people not believe the government’s “hype” on what happened to the WTC.

Joe Smith

Budget priorities
Re: “Hemlines and bottom lines” (Editorial, CN&R, May 3):

I have followed your paper’s coverage of the fiscal challenges facing the City of Chico. Since running for local office last year and now proudly serving as a councilwoman for over five months, I’ve consistently articulated the need to fully understand the assumptions that drive the current budget projections.

With relatively new City Manager Greg Jones’ desire to develop a 10-year projected city budget, the City Council will need to understand how the assumptions driving his budget forecasts may differ from his predecessors'.

The City Council’s obligation will be to dig below the surface and study the underlying assumptions used to derive the 10-year budget projections. Clearly, if the assumptions used are faulty or outdated, then these assumptions, on both sides of the ledger, need to be examined and refined.

When I worked in the private sector, I helped manage a $40 million annual budget. I understand the importance of not just accepting budget numbers at face value, but to tackle the underlying assumptions that drive those revenue and expense projections.

I am confident that with leadership, determination, and solid financial stewardship our current City Council will be successful in protecting the city’s financial future.

Mary Flynn
Chico City Council

Having lived in Chico as a student without a car for the past nine months, I decided last month to purchase a new bike for myself to make getting around town a bit easier. It is on my weekly bike rides that I do happen to pick up issues of the Chico News & Review every now and then, and it is during one of those trips that I discovered the city of Chico is spending 80 percent of its budget on employee compensation.

This comes as no surprise to me, as only a week after buying my bike I was pulled over by a Chico Police Department officer on a Thursday night and cited. Granted, I was riding my bike down the wrong side of the street without proper lighting as many other bike riders do, but I was also cited for not having a bicycle license!

A few days later, I received my bill in the mail for over $320. Also, in order to receive a bike license, I am to pay $12 in fees at City Hall.

Is this how the city is making up for its lack of funds—by writing tickets out to poor college students and to the homeless on bicycles while there are countless of drunken drivers dodging through the streets? Perhaps the city of Chico should reconsider the amount of fines it charges the most harmless, vulnerable population.

Joshua Stewart

APP dissenter …
Re: “Transgressions” (From the Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, CN&R, May 3):

Pulling Don Imus from MSNBC does not mean he is deprived of the freedom to speak in other forums. I thought his remarks warranted public censure. Words are not just sounds— they have meaning, even when not expressed through sound.

Imus’ words encouraged the derogatory disregard of groups of women. The Rutgers players’ courageous expression of their painful feelings struck a chord of freedom for people everywhere. It showed people that they cannot humiliate others to aggrandize their own sense of power without risking the consequences of their own degradation.

Many people avoid painful feelings as problems around them mount and people keep getting hurt. It takes courage to say, “You hurt me.” Why? Because then the hurt people have to stand up to all the people who urge them not to feel. The right to feel is the ultimate human freedom. The only way to truly improve conditions for oneself is to improve them for people in general, because all people are connected.

Irene Cardenas

… and supporter
I always read Anthony Porter first. His last column was my favorite ever. Straightforward, unique and full of rhythm in its language. It sounded as good as it read. Thank you for writing and continuing to write.

Carla Maxwell

Gun-free zone-out
Re: “The cost of loving guns” (Editorial, CN&R, April 26):

When it was discovered that a student was carrying a loaded firearm on campus (with a legal permit), educators were horrified and rushed to correct this transgression. So, they created a state-wide policy for all their state colleges that made each a “Gun-Free Zone.” A bill was introduced just 10 months ago to reinstate the old rules to authorize adults and faculty with a permit to carry a concealed weapon; however, Virginia legislators defeated this bill in committee.

At the time, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker welcomed its defeat.

By the way, Chico State is a gun-free zone just like Virginia Tech. I’m no mind reader, but I bet a person intent on killing others on our CSUC campus probably won’t care a whole heck of a lot that he will be violating the gun policy while he commits homicide. However, it’s a safe assumption that all (unarmed) citizens entering the campus would be at a great disadvantage should they be confronted by an armed killer.

Jack Lee

Re: “Greener Pastures” (Scene, CN&R, May 3): The date listed for A Night of Culture was incorrectly listed. The correct date of the event is Fri., May 18. We apologize for any inconvenience.