Letters for May 18, 2017
Health care disaster
Re “Single payer for all” (Editorial, May 11):
Congressman LaMalfa’s vote for the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) gravely threatens the health of thousands of his constituents.
The GOP bill would take $880 billion out of Medicaid and another $312 billion out of subsidies that help working families buy private coverage through the ACA exchanges. Instead of helping people get care, this money would be diverted to give a tax-break windfall to people with incomes over $200,000, as well as big insurance and drug companies. The rest of us would get virtually no tax relief.
In LaMalfa’s district, the ACA has expanded Medicaid (which we call Medi-Cal) by 73,000 people and helped many others afford new coverage through the exchange. Under the ACA, the uninsured rate in our district went from 15.9 percent to 7.2 percent. This recent vote threatens to reverse this progress, could weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, boost premiums for people over 40, and take tens of millions of dollars from our hospitals and clinics.
The ACA is flawed. It left 28 million Americans uninsured and millions more with unaffordable premiums, deductibles and copayments. But the GOP plan would make things much worse. Instead of moving backward, we should move to a to a Medicare for All plan like the one proposed by Rep. John Conyers (H.R. 676).
Editor’s note: The author is a retired physician.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa, along with 216 other House Republicans, voted this month to repeal Obamacare. The Brookings Institution, when it reviewed the previous AHCA, estimated that 15 million Americans would lose coverage over a decade; at least 6 million losing coverage from the public exchange, 2 million from employer coverage and 7 million who are currently covered under Medicaid.
This bill is worse.
Doug LaMalfa and his cohorts just voted to kill perhaps as many as 40,000 Americans a year, every year, if the AHCA becomes law. This man is a traitor to the American people, as is President Trump and every Republican who voted for the AHCA.
Their desire ranks right up there with 1) Hitler, who killed tens of millions people from 1933 when he took office until Sept. 2, 1945, VE Day, and 2) The Khmer Rouge, who killed an estimated 740,000 to 3 million people, between 1975 and 1979.
LaMalfa and every man and woman who voted for the AHCA are enemies of the American people, hoping and voting to kill and injure hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, every year going forward.
Store or college?
Re “Left in the dark” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, May 11):
As a Chico State graduate and humanities major, I’m disappointed to hear that the College of Humanities and Fine Arts is under budget pressure. To say it’s “not in the black” sounds more like a convenience store than a college. If market forces determine what constitutes worthwhile subject matter, how long before universities are reduced to corporate training academies?
While universities prepare students for various careers, this isn’t their most important function. The most important function of a university is to encourage critical thinking. It is within the disciplines of the humanities—art, literature, history and philosophy—that students explore ethics and values. If ever there was a time for more exploration, it’s now.
On the ‘racism’ flap
Re “Classroom controversy” (Newslines, by Gabriel Sandoval, May 4):
Exaggerated outrage is in vogue in university circles. Witness the recent Chico State “racism” flap, and the self-righteousness of Tray Robinson, director of Chico State’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, who said “… people make an assumption that … just because you’re a faculty member, you know everything about how to teach inclusivity—but you don’t.”
Tray is a certified authority. It says so on his office door. He’d never prejudge. Or exclude.
“When a person tells you you hurt them, you don’t get to decide you didn’t.” That’s Louis C.K. “Never take offense when offense wasn’t intended.” That was my mom. Both quotes apply.
Dr. Rose didn’t decide he hadn’t hurt his student. He appeared anxious to understand how he had done something he hadn’t intended. His apology seemed genuine.
Nonetheless, the “victim” smeared an old teacher with a dreaded epithet; the director of the thought police pontificated on how privileged people (meaning professors, of course, especially white males) can’t know what he knows about being “marginalized.”
Fortunately, my opinion won’t be dismissed due to gender, age or ethnicity, stereotyping having been eradicated by academic bureaucrats.
Moral: When seeking bullies, look for those with the most clout.
Three on POTUS
Whether President Trump and/or his administration officials are guilty of anything remains an open question, hopefully to be determined through a just, deliberative and bipartisan process. But the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey (and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates) is significant.
At the very least it gives evidence of Mr. Trump’s hair-trigger temper that dominates his management style, most notably his anger at those who challenge him, his need to control people and events and his preferred action of firing (on display in his TV show) those deemed disloyal to him who he can’t tweet away. At worst it is a case of a desperate president doing desperate things and expecting to get away with it, as is his historical record in the private sector.
Most importantly, it is further evidence that in his decision to mock, deride and dismiss agencies of the national security state, in particular the CIA and FBI, President Trump doesn’t have a clue as to the permanent, entrenched power of those he has picked a fight with. Firing a few top officials will do nothing to undermine the institutional investigative/surveillance powers of those who hold his future in their hands.
As the minority base crumbles under the weight of its own stupidity, we see comparisons between the current chief executive and Richard Nixon. Such analogies are a low blow and insult to even ol’ Tricky Dick.
Kenneth B. Keith
Love Trumps hate, but what will Trump Trump?
Beware the bike path
I rode the bike path north recently for the first time in a few weeks. I could not believe the trash, graffiti and scary people hanging out in and out of the bushes.
At the intersection of Rio Lindo, a bicyclist heading south warned me to be careful because there was a group camped out and that one person was bothering people who rode or walked by. They did not bother me, but I can say that it was the first time I felt uneasy about the ride. I called the Chico Police Department and suggested they get a car out there for public safety. I used to think it would be unsafe only at night, but now it is true in the daylight.
I have a couple of suggestions: First, send the inmates who are contracted through the Sheriff’s Office to clean Bidwell Park out to the bike path to cut back the canopy of foliage so that the police and public can see where people are hanging out. Second, if the Torres Community Shelter and the Jesus Center want to see their donations multiply, get the healthy people that they care for to do cleanup around town. I will be the first to donate, and I am sure many others will follow.
Speaking of bikes
Re “Touché, times two” (Letters, by John Henry Lyons and Mike Preimesberger, May 11):
So, Mr. John Henry Lyons believes “complainers” should be railroaded out of the county? We can’t point out how we can make Chico better, but we must be content with the status quo, or leave? Sad. My purpose in writing was to draw attention to the situation and hopefully get needed action to improve it.
The number of car-bike accidents, injuries and deaths is just one indication that Chico’s bike lanes need upgrading. My hope is that Chico will deserve its bike-friendly rep.
As for riding on the sidewalk, as suggested by Mr. Mike Preimesberger, this is dangerous and, downtown at least, may get you a ticket.
Editor’s note: City municipal code prohibits bicycling and skateboarding on the sidewalks in the Downtown Central Business District—between First and Fifth streets, from Salem to Wall streets.
On the defense, again
Re “Berning the Berners” (Letters, by Walter Ballin and Corey Finnegan, May 11):
As usual, I will defend those who refused, finally, to be blackmailed into voting for the lesser of two evils, and I will criticize those who, in the primary, endorsed Hillary’s lousy judgment relative to her neocon foreign policy, as evidenced by her vote for the Iraq War and support for regime change in Libya and Syria, and her preference for military belligerence anywhere the interests of the global elite were threatened.
Unfortunately, most Democrats are oblivious to the U.S. role in creating death and destruction in the world while pursuing its plan for global dominance, and they will easily trade the lives of Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Yemenis and Afghans for better domestic policy.
I will not trade better domestic policy or Supreme Court justices for accepting the U.S. turning Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen into toxic hellholes of pain, death, destruction and hate, for which the U.S. added $6 trillion to the national debt, with absolutely nothing worthwhile gained, except profits and power for the military industrial complex.
If the Democratic Party continues to support regime change and geopolitical strategy that creates endless death and destruction, Berniecrats should go third party.
It is time to insist on a better foreign policy, not just better domestic policy.
Thanks a bunch
The Glenn-Colusa CattleWomen would like to thank everyone who helped with and participated in the 2017 Pathways to Nature field trip on March 31.
We would like to thank our snack, lunch and facilities donors: Lundberg Family Farm, Chet and Angela Vogt, Superior Products of Willows, Glenn-Colusa CattleWomen and Cattlemen, Casey and Angie Stone from Yolo Land and Cattle Co., Lannie’s Septic Service, Bubba from Nancy’s Elkhorn Family Lodge, Lynda Walter, and Jill and Steve Stoltenberg.
Much thanks and appreciation to our helpers and presenters: Justine Deb Smith, Lizabeth Lundberg, Brian Egly, Roy and Donna Palmer, as well as Western Ag Services’ James and Casey Rickert and Kasey Steward, Bar Y Cattle company’s Ben Azevedo and Logan Smith, NRCS and Point Blue’s Luke Peterson, Ben Martin and Megan Schroeder, U.S. Forest Service’s Monique Sanchez, Michelle Brown, Crystal Thompson and Linda Angerer, Bureau of Reclamation’s Jake Berens, Natalie Wolder and Jordan Gammon, Glenn County Resource Conservation District’s Ritta Martin and Greg Baker, and the Wood Ranch’s Bubba Kelley, Austin Prince and Pete Fracchia.