Letters for May 22, 2008

Different eras, same mind-set
Re: “Are they patriots or fear-mongers?” (Newslines, by Jaime O’Neill, CN&R, May 15):

I found Jaime O’Neill’s article on the Minutemen most informative. Following it with David A. Kulczyk’s “Vigilante justice” [in the May 15 cover story] illustrates that some things just don’t change. Both stories illustrate similar sentiment, don’t they?

Floyd Stearns

Finally, somebody is standing up for White America! Dan Logue and Chris Simcox are to be applauded for making U.S.-Mexico border security a Northstate local-election issue.

Enough of this they are coming for jobs crap. As Logue rightly points out, they are coming to fire their backpack stinger missiles at us (and not just to celebrate the Fourth of July, no matter what they say); to sign up for our “go to prison—get free meals” program; to finally give the ACLU something to do; and to force a public spending shift from corporate welfare to welfare for the poor.

Hopefully, Logue will propose a security fence around our electoral district to protect us from terrorists and those coming for our local high-paying, freebie magnet programs.

Unlike the huge gaps in the U.S.-Mexico border fence due to Homeland Security’s decision to stop it at [specific] property lines, our American-flag-adorned fence with signs warning we’re “locked and loaded” should go through any property not owned by Logue’s campaign contributors (after all, they have the militias to protect them). And we’d better not let any illegal aliens build the fence, no matter how little of taxpayers’ money they will work for.

Vote for Logue and put white folks back in America’s fields, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, slaughterhouses and sweatshops.

Beau Grosscup

Editor’s note: Check out In My Eyes for more on the Assembly race. Meanwhile, professor Grosscup tackles another matter later in Letters.

Ensure your mastery of own domain
Re: “Vote values or viability?” (In My Eyes, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, May 15):

In your column, you speculated on the News & Review editorial positions on Propositions 98 and 99, giving a shoulder-shrugging check to 99 and labeling Prop. 98 as “broad.”

If you’re a private property owner, one would think “broad” is a good thing describing the protections of your rights against the government.

The fact is Proposition 98 is the only measure that prohibits the taking of all property—homes, rentals, businesses, farms and churches—by government via eminent domain for private use such as a strip mall, big-box store or auto dealership. It also prohibits government from setting the sales or lease price of property.

Conversely, Prop. 99 claims to protect only owner-occupied homes. However, even that is misleading. According to the non-partisan Institute for Justice, Prop. 99 allows public agencies to circumvent its purported home protections by merely rezoning neighborhoods from residential use to business/retail use, thus allowing homes to be replaced with other development.

Also, there is the “poison pill” provision in Prop. 99, which states that if both 98 and 99 pass with 99 receiving more votes, then it nullifies 98. This is deceptive politics at its worst, and voters must not be fooled by the Prop. 99 sham.

The choice should be clear for you and anybody who wants to support individual rights: Yes on 98 and No on 99.

Willie Preston

Editor’s note: “Broad” referred to the scope of eminent domain application—thus, the concern about protections from abuse. See Newslines for more about the propositions. FYI: The CN&R’s endorsements will come out May 29.

Rotten platform plank
Re: “Platform” (From The Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, CN&R, May 15):

His latest one-ply ramblings had a few good ideas, many bad ideas and one that is mind-boggling in its viciousness.

No handguns for anyone?

The most potent anti-rapist device ever invented, and A.P.P. wants to take them away from women? So women have the sole right to determine the outcome of their pregnancy, but they don’t have the right to determine the outcome of some scumbag’s brutal assault on them?


Why would you support anything that puts women or any other potential victim of violence in such a position, Porter?

Warren Tilson

‘Proxy’ fight …
Re: “Campus governed by proxy, not prexy” (Guest Comment, by Richard Ek, CN&R, May 15):

How many times is Richard Ek to be given the space to spew his venom about how bad faculty are now compared to his campus days? It’s getting tiresome and bespeaks of a man who is so enamored with his “time on campus” that he is out of touch with present faculty reality.

Having sat on committees for 20 years, I know that a lot of “thinking outside the box” goes on (Ek offers no examples). To me, faculty collective expert decisions are appropriate on educational matters and protect against an individual’s arbitrary power. Contrary to Ek’s [imparted] impression, no student sits on personnel committees.

Are there problems on campus? Yes. But maybe Ek’s considerable talents could be better spent on looking into the alleged dirt surrounding a dean’s recent resignation than reliving his past glories as he vilifies hard-working faculty.

Beau Grosscup

… and right
Emeritus professor Richard Ek writes a very intriguing guest column in that it is not quite transparent whether he is trying to tilt the scales in favor of the president of Chico State University or just venting about his perception of [governance] being cumbersome with so many committees involved.

As a past president of an Academic Senate and now a retired chemistry professor, it is not immodest to add the following to the otherwise illuminating column.

The general public should be apprised that the individual appointed to the position of [CSU campus] president must be fully qualified to be selected by a department of the university as a faculty member. This is a must, in the best interest of the individual assuming the powers of the office, as it gives the retrieval rights to be full-fledged, tenured faculty in the department in case the individual finds it necessary to leave the office.

In a nutshell, this provides the need to govern the university by various committees and not exclusively by “prexy.”

The Academic Senate plays a pivotal role in the shared governance of the academic setting. All Academic Senate committees must necessarily report to the Academic Senate for approval of the recommendations of these committees.

It must be stressed that it is the sacred duty of each faculty member to enthusiastically contribute services to the committee one is assigned to, at any level on the campus, [in order] to be a real teaching partner.

Brahama D. Sharma

Not futile
Re: ‘Perfect example of futile cycling” (Letters, by John Yaya, CN&R, May 15):

I was taken aback by Mr. Yaya’s scathing critique of the activities of Growing Resourcefully Uniting Bellies (GRUB).

I do not believe that the participants of the Boys and Girls Club would call GRUB’s efforts to establish their garden program futile. Nor would the staff and students of Mi Escuelita Maya Preschool, where GRUB has been instrumental in creating and maintaining a second school garden.

I do not see the picking of fruit from trees that would otherwise be left to rot as futile. I do not understand how the distribution of this fruit to BikeChico! Week and other worthwhile causes can be called futile.

As far as those four individuals who are “playing farmer,” in my mind they (and dozens of others) are doing an amazingly good job of it, as evidenced by the weekly box of locally grown veggies that my wife and I received this past fall and spring, which was, incidentally, priced at a rate that was more than competitive with other organic CSAs.

Yes, GRUB collects restaurant compost by bike and uses it in their farming efforts, and no, it is unlikely that by traditional economic standards this will ever be a profitable practice. But it does make a difference. And, more important, this and other GRUB activities set an example of what is possible in a society that has become troublingly ignorant of its food and food systems.

I certainly don’t find this futile. I find it essential.

Jeremy Miller

Democracies (plural)
Re: “Mention of milestone” (Letters, by Carol Peet, CN&R, May 15):

Carol Peet’s letter regarding Israel’s 60th anniversary wrongly states that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.

To one degree or another, the following Middle Eastern countries have democratic governments: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq (gee, maybe we should all know this one), Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Turkey. Palestinians have a democracy. Qatar, Tunisia and Yemen have some small degree of democracy as well.

Perhaps if we weren’t so ignorant of truth regarding affairs in the Middle East, we wouldn’t be in the mess that we are in today.

David Kensinger

His last word: lie
Editor’s note: Letters from Chad Wozniak have sparked lively debate in this section. Drawing this round to a close, here’s a final response:

Denying that negotiating with Hitler (at Munich) emboldened him and led him to start World War II is a lie.

Denying the Holocaust is a lie.

Denying Iran’s intention to destroy Israel is a lie (and is another kind of Holocaust denial).

Calling Israel a state sponsor of terrorism is a lie (and is anti-Semitic code talk).

Calling America a state sponsor of terrorism is a lie (and is terrorist code talk).

Filming some crumbled Styrofoam and calling it an Antarctic ice shelf (as in An Inconvenient Truth) is a lie.

Shifting the curves for temperature and atmospheric CO2 content over time, so that the increase in temps follows the increase in CO2 when the reverse is actually the case (as in An Inconvenient Truth) is a lie.

Denying that there are a large number of physicists, geologists, climatologists and meteorologists who have assembled mountains of compelling evidence against anthropogenesis of global warming is a lie.

Denying that tax increases act to suppress economic activity and GDP growth and eliminate jobs is a lie.

Oh, wouldn’t Goebbels have been proud!

Chad Wozniak

Intriguing notion
If we can bomb recalcitrant countries with explosives at will, why not carpet bomb Burma with food and supplies?

The third-world disaster has shown no sign of retreat, and there’s a tendency for renegade governments to thrive in such climes. Action now could temper world revulsion of our present regime and its attendant legacy. Why do we need to beg permission?

Anita Bouredo