Letters for November 10, 2016

Hit the bull’s-eye

Re “Fluffer in chief” (Arts Devo, by Jason Cassidy, Oct. 20):

For months I’ve searched for the language to convey the exact sentiments expressed recently by Jason Cassidy. This analysis of the current presidential marathon is suggested reading for all registered voters. Therein lies the exact bull’s-eye I’ve aimed toward but failed to hit as brilliantly and truthfully as Cassidy has. This rates among the dozen most gripping articles in America this year—several others coming from the CN&R staff as well.

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos

‘Make every vote count’

Although it doesn’t happen very often that the popular vote and the Electoral College do not agree, it does happen as it did in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote by 540,000 votes but lost the electoral vote. We will never know what would have happened if Gore had become president, but I can say that those eight years weren’t as good as we had hoped.

If the Electoral College ended in a tie, the House of Representatives would pick the new president. And yes, it has happened. With all of the bickering in the House, how many voters have that much confidence in them to make the correct choice?

Isn’t it time to do away with the Electoral College and let the voters decide who they want to be the next president and vice president? For the people and by the people. And to top it off, the voters on the West Coast won’t have to hear who won hours before their polls close and their votes can make a difference. Make every vote count and get rid of the Electoral College.

Don McCollough


President Snake Oil

The triumph of Snake Oil Trump is the worst thing for the country, in the short run. But the failure of the Clinton Juggernaut is the best thing for the Democratic party—and the United States, in the long run.

From the point of view of the American working class, the narrative of neoliberal elites may as well be the story of planet Zircon. A sickness runs deep in the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton is the poster child of this culture. The assertion of party insiders, that a candidate could win on a record of antipopulism, war mongering and toxic political machinations, was hubris indeed.

Operatives and voters in the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party scoffed at the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, never getting it that Sanders represented the soul of progressive politics. DNC arrogance cost dearly; Sanders would have won this election.

The work ahead is to go to the America where mortality rates are approaching third world levels. Places where the wounds are visible to anyone willing to see. To leave behind the neoliberals of the corporate lap dance; those who made Bernie Sanders irrelevant and limousine liberalism the scourge of America.

Patrick Newman


Leave the road alone

I’ve lived in Chico all my life; attended Shasta Union, Bidwell Junior, Chico High, Butte College and Chico State. The Esplanade is still fine. It works quite well. Drive around 26 mph and you hit most every green light. Cross traffic is fine. The roundabouts would have had traffic backed up and more accidents, so thank you for not making that happen.

Why don’t we invest the money in repairing our horrible roads around Chico. I travel quite a bit and our roads are falling apart. Do we need bike lanes on The Esplanade? It has one-way frontage roads on both sides going north and south. Repair the roads. That’s my two cents.

Bob Rice


More on The Esplanade

With all the campaign mailers that have been distributed throughout Chico, there have been local claims that have been exaggerated or are not at all true. Please allow me to clear the air. Back in the early part of the 1900s, Shasta Way (you know her as The Esplanade) had a bit of an absinthe drinking problem. This may have been unavoidable, given she came from a broken home: Broadway and Main streets.

The alcohol continued until she became out of control, much like Lombard Street in San Francisco. This is where I came in. Because of the old DeLorean and spare plutonium my uncle had in the shed, Doc asked me to spearhead a time-travel mission. I went back in time to perform a variety of street therapy sessions on The Esplanade. But nothing was working. She was in deep denial. It seemed that only a scared-straight approach would have a chance. Yeah, that’s right: skid row. But she got it together after she saw what that was like. And of course, I came back to the future. But I want it known that it was I, well, and Doc, who truly saved The Esplanade. You are welcome, Chico.

Jeff Straub


Thanks, voters

The League of Women Voters has proudly completed our work this election season. We hosted 17 candidate forums and 13 proposition pro-and-con programs throughout Butte County. Additionally, we managed the Voter’s Edge website, which provided in-depth information about candidates and propositions.

It has certainly been an easy election year to become dispirited. Yet, LWV members who had the good fortune to meet local candidates found them to be committed to our community and knowledgeable about local issues. Many voters were willing to study and listen to our information even though League members do not support or oppose candidates or political parties.

We are grateful for the ongoing support of the local press. Their information about the forums and our work was essential.

Numerous community venues welcomed the LWV events. We thank Chico Unified School District, Gridley Unified School District, Paradise Town Council, Durham Recreation and Park District, Oroville Southside Community Improvement Association and the city of Oroville for helping us host our election programs. We are grateful to LWV members and everyone who attends our annual wine-tasting benefit because it helps us earn the income to finance our voter education programs.

Thank you to all who attended.

Margaret Swick, League of Women Voters of Butte County president


Election poetry

Election Mutter Into the West

On election day in Brooklyn

an old back hoe scrapes around the lot

while a light-brown dog

runs back and forth

along the chain-link fence

barking ruprufruk

The Sun Sets on a Western Shore

“It’s always four years ago,” he said, sucking smoke from a frayed cigar, held by two loose fingers and a swollen thumb, which seemingly pointed to a place in the distance. Was it only a posture?

The still sky horizon enveloping the low rolling ocean offered nothing specific. Maybe he was simply gesturing to the whole scene. Because looking back four years, not much has changed.

trounce Trump, first lady President just over the next hil

Christopher Barry and C. Bradford Walker


Editor’s note: The authors retooled and combined their two poems for submission to CN&R.


He’s big and loud

and he loves crowds,

for they love his big head

and his small itty-bitty hands

because he’s got




this T-rump-a-saurus,

whose skin is very porous

(the Latin term: thin-skin-a-lite-us)

who’ll unite us, he will!

(with his great locker room skills!!!)

He has a lot of folks hoping

to bring back day long-gone-away

when large-tonsil-ed predators

feasted on big-breasted prey.

When the size of everything (meant everything)

to those in need of a Czar.

Oh, this T-rump-a-saur-aus

is the biggest, the bestest, the mostest

by any distance of far!!!

For he’s big, really big,

he’s a thesaurus of big,

as in big-a-licious,

as in big-a-me,

as in big-a-most-ous,

as in big-a-tree;

oh pick a big

and add a lot of fuss,

then you’ll have yourself you will

the hugest of them all, the T-rump-a-saur-aus!

Bill M. Hughes