Letters for May 11, 2017
One on the cover
Re “Shadow’s war” (Cover story, by John Lasker, May 4):
Another example of the many women in the military who’ve been victimized twice—first during the sexual assault, then by the male military leaders who ignore or ridicule them. In this case, Shadow McClaine was murdered near where she was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., after months of reporting she felt threatened.
I was in the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell before we flew off to Vietnam. Back then, there were 15,000 men in the paratroopers’ division and no women. I follow news on military service and veterans, and probably 90 percent of the time when female troops report a sexual assault, the military’s male leaders will side with the system of ignoring the assaults.
Over the decades, as young people have asked me about joining the military, I have not discouraged them. But now, if a woman asks me about joining, I will discourage her. I don’t see the good old boys changing their attitudes.
And with a commander in chief who brags that he can grab the groin area of women and they won’t complain, it certainly sends the message to the military “boys” that female victims of sexual assault should be told to shut up.
Re “Classroom controversy” (Newsline, by Gabriel Sandoval, May 4):
I was both surprised and not when reading this article. The lack of empathy that professor Rose displayed is sad commentary that there is much work to be done in the area of learning and enacting empathy in our society. It seems he just didn’t get it. I want to say on behalf of those who do get it that I am sorry to the student who had to endure the trauma that she did.
Empathy is not just standing in someone else’s shoes but also feeling what they feel and seeing what they see. Empathy is accessible to most of us, but we must utilize it and “have the courage to display it,” as Maya Angelou said.
I’ve witnessed babies crying in response to hearing another baby crying—that pure form of empathy has really touched my heart.
Many have accused our current president of possessing a lack of empathy. I envision a world where leaders will be encouraged to exercise empathy and kindness along with the other traits of strong leadership.
Gee, I thought playing the race card was passé. I ran a movie theater in Oakland, so I can understand the young Oakland woman’s culture clash—being away from home in a white-bread culture can be overwhelming. Incidentally, I did some post-grad work at Chico State in the Education Department and was threatened and harassed by the feminazis. And I’m a UC Berkeley Regents scholar and a white male. Bigotry takes all forms.
Touché, times two
Re “Not bike-friendly” (Letters, by Charles Holzhauer, May 4):
Mr. Holzhauer laments the sordid and unspeakably un-urban conditions afforded to bicycle riders here in Chico, and I must shamefully concur: Our inability to create the biking Eden he experienced in Berkeley is hard proof of our narrow, selfish vision and Country Bumpkin Hickdom.
My amends to you, Mr. Holzhauer, are thus: At your earliest convenience, I shall hitch my plow mule to the buckboard and transport yourself and all your carpetbags to the county line. Of course, you’ll miss out on the Prize Hog Parade down Main Street that caps the Butte County Opossum Festival scheduled for next week. Maybe some other time, perhaps?
Oh, and should you have a load larger than I can accommodate? Why, just ask some of your neighbors who have come to know you so well for their assistance, because we want you to leave happy. Have a nice trek.
John Henry Lyons
Since personal safety can never be outsourced and sharing the roads is usually undeniably dangerous, Charles may find his lost love rekindled by way of a sidewalk adventure of rediscovery.
So long as it is legal (99 percent of the time is my guess) and strict deference with cheerful acquiescence when yielding to each passing biped, any walkway can become a shared bikeway of meet-and-greet bliss. Soon an ever-growing avalanche of people-powered mobility will synergistically sweep away any madness of motorheadedness upon adapting one’s modality of mobility. Shift your mind to see that a motor behind a wheel is just a pathetic prosthetic.
Just as a wise man once said, “If God gave my grandmother four wheels, she’d be a wagon.”
Re “Revealing” (Letters, by Loretta Ann Torres, May 4):
Being deemed “mean-spirited” by a Republican—in this case, letter writer Loretta Ann Torres—is as ironic as it is vague. But, okie dokie, if it’ll help, I’ll be Mr. Meany-pants.
Torres also says I’m “angry.” Guilty as charged! There are mountains of stuff to be angry about and I ain’t no Buddhist! Though, I do like this quote from the Buddha: “If you are angry, because your latte isn’t hot enough, you are an ass.” I also like this not-so-Buddhist quote from me: “If you are NOT angry about the state of our consumeristic, predatory, self-serving and life-annihilating American culture, you are a dumb-ass.”
Next, Torres calls me “critical.” True, but he who is mean and angry will likely growl and grumble. The task is to bitch with conviction. Anyone can whine, but a fine whine takes years to perfect.
Hosed by the House
The GOP-controlled House of Representatives passed a tax cut—that will go to the top 2 percent of Americans—that its members are calling health care. Health care in the U.S. is 17 percent of the economy. Republican House members passed their version of health care without a score from the Congressional Budget Office.
They voted for a bill that not many of them read. A bill that will have dire consequences for 24 million Americans. A bill that will reduce Medicaid by 23 percent. A bill that is a moral and intellectual dumpster fire. They had seven years to craft something, yet they had no hearings, no expert testimony, no public input, nothing but ramming it through.
Donald Trump even said to the Australian prime minister after passage of this bill that Australians “have better health care then we do.” Also, Donald is going against so many of the people that supported him in November. The poor and the elderly will be hammered by this bill if it gets through the Senate. Thousands will die or go bankrupt. Hopefully the Senate will realize that Americans pay twice as much in health care as countries like Australia, Canada and Sweden and give our citizens universal health care.
Let’s see. Ryanrepubucare. Health care. Exact opposites.
Sexual assault care per this rich people’s Congress is now a “pre-existing condition” and insurance companies don’t have to cover it. Pregnancy care is now “optional” care—for an additional premium, of course. If you’re old, you’ll pay five times as much. If you’re working-class, you’re out of luck.
But somebody’s good news is the $500 billion in tax giveaways to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries and their CEOs.
Mr. LaMalfa voted “hell yes” to all this.
Some letter writers want me to be more civil and not to protest (or otherwise get out). I say to them, sit through just 10 bankruptcy proceedings and 20 funerals, which will be among the outcomes of this. Thaw out your hearts. Better yet, let’s all stop this antihuman bill.
As for our “representative,” bad, bad Dougie, go home to your room. Stand in the corner. No rice pudding for dinner.
Editor’s note: See our Editorial, page 6, and Second & Flume, page 7, for more on this topic.
Tony is loved
Re “Never welcomed” (Letters, by Tony Nicosia, May 4):
We feel saddened that our brother Tony feels unwelcomed by Bidwell Presbyterian Church, and that he doesn’t remember the visits in the hospital and the meals we took to him when he was released. We are continuously thankful for his presence in our church. Our staff and members who have the privilege of knowing and serving him had dinner with him as recently as the week before last. We hope that he knows we have a place for him here and that we wish to care for him. Tony is one of us, and not the least of us!
We love Tony, and we are richer because he’s a part of our church.
Editor’s note: The author is senior pastor at Bidwell Presbyterian Church.
Everyone’s welcome here
I read last week’s letter from Tony Nicosia, about his experience at a church in Chico, and it really touched my heart. I want to extend an invitation to Tony and anyone else to come join the Skyway Assembly of God congregation in Paradise. We are a Pentecostal church (no, we don’t roll in the aisle or march around the room), we welcome everyone regardless of status and invite you to become a part of a church family that cares about its members. It’s not that far and it definitely is worth the trip. I think you will really enjoy it because we have a lot of fun while worshiping and learning about the Lord.
More Bernie talk
Re “Burning the Berners” (Letters, by Ray Estes, May 4):
Ray Estes is wrong in stating that Bernie Sanders only “sheepishly” campaigned for Hillary Clinton after he lost the Democratic nomination. Bernie endorsed and campaigned for Hillary and actually did so to the dismay of some Bernie supporters, and he did the right thing. This was very well-known, and I don’t care what article Estes referenced. Sanders ran in the Democratic primaries and, unlike Ralph Nader, did not run as a third-party candidate.
The fact is that Hillary Clinton lost people who voted Democratic going as far back as 1988. She lost states that went for her husband and for Barack Obama both times. Some of those people voted for Trump. Some voted third party, and some simply did not vote. In order to get elected, Democrats must give people a reason to turn out and vote for them. You don’t get people to vote the way you want them to by slamming them. That’s pretty dumb politics, if you ask me!
To those who blame Bernie for Hillary’s loss, perhaps you were too busy arguing with Internet trolls to notice that Bernie ran one of the most positive, uplifting campaigns in modern political history—quite unlike Hillary’s 2008 primary campaign, which didn’t miss an opportunity to deride, dismiss and undercut Obama.
Bernie’s campaign evoked passionate feelings in his supporters because it was more than a campaign—it was, in fact, a political movement to take back the Democratic Party and our country from the Wall Street-friendly political establishment, of which the Clintons were a name brand. The fact that the deck was stacked against us courtesy of Hillary’s friends in the DNC came as no surprise. Yet despite the DNC’s duplicity, the vast majority of us, led by Bernie himself, understood the need to vote for Hillary in the general election. And most of us did.
Did some Bernie backers stay home or vote third party? Sadly, yes—and they deserve our criticism. But their angry cynicism and frustration with politics as usual did not begin with Bernie Sanders, and to blame him for it is like blaming the doctor for the disease.
A note of thanks
On behalf of the Sons of Italy Bellini Lodge No. 2519, I would like to thank CN&R for allowing us to be a part of your monthly wine-tasting fundraiser. What you do is a wonderful benefit to the community and we hope that you will be able to continue them. The coordinator, Brian Corbit, was friendly and professional, a great person to work with. Thank you, Brian.
The event was a success and all proceeds will go toward local high school scholarships. The venue, Bidwell Bar & Grill at Bidwell Golf Course, was the perfect setting and many enjoyed the outdoor patio and beautiful weather. Some of us will come back and enjoy a breakfast, lunch or happy hour and/or host an event.
We can’t thank Ray’s Liquor enough for their generous donation of being able to taste six nice Italian wines. I’m sure that those who found a favorite will be dropping in to purchase them. Also a thank you goes out to Altum Wealth Advisors for sponsoring, and to all of our members who volunteered their time to work the event. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We would like to thank Chico Sunrise Rotary Club for giving all of the third-graders in Chico a dictionary of their own to use and keep. The third-graders of Little Chico Creek school appreciate Chico Sunrise Rotary Club for giving us dictionaries.
The students of Little Chico creek use the dictionaries to find definitions of words and how to spell them. Dictionaries are an important part of education. The dictionaries are very helpful every day. Some students don’t have dictionaries to help them, so the dictionaries are a thoughtful and helpful gift. They will help us learn about new and old words. We are happy to have dictionaries to help us write, spell and to improve our education.
Athena Agbuya and Lillian Richards
Editor’s note: The authors are third-graders at Little Chico Creek Elementary School.
More on health care
It’s sad but not surprising that Congressman Doug LaMalfa drank the Republican Kool-Aid and voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamamcare. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that, if Republicans get their wish to replace the ACA with Trumpcare, 24 million Americans will lose their medical insurance and millions of others will see coverage of any kind increase in cost.
I thought Congress’ job is to make our lives better. LaMalfa is not making life better. The Republican replacement for Obamacare is a nasty replacement. It places many of our family members, neighbors and friends in serious trouble as medical expenses covered by Obamacare will now be replaced by a plan that punishes you for being sick or by having a pre-existing condition. AARP calls this legislation an age tax because more than 25 percent of seniors have a pre-existing condition and will therefore see premiums increase.
We need to elect a congressman who works to improve the lives of those in his district and not one who just wants to be a good old boy Republican puppet. Having a beer in the White House rose garden to celebrate the repeal of the ACA is going to make the rest of America sick again.