Letters for November 12, 2015

Commentary criticism

Re “Banners equal blind nationalism” (Guest comment, by Jimi Gomez, Nov. 5):

I have no idea how old the writer was on Dec. 7, 1941. Permit me to refresh his memory. The Japanese bombed Pear Harbor, Hawaii, on that day, which is now noted on only a few calendars.

In the Bay Area town in which I was born and raised, virtually all of us who were 16 years of age or older immediately went to the nearest recruiting station to enlist. We did so because we believed it was our duty to protect our freedoms. We didn’t need banners, and certainly knew nothing of a military-industrial complex, or any corporate strategy to entice us to serve our country.

I have never met a single fellow sailor, soldier or Marine who enlisted with the idea that he would become a hero, nor any who felt coerced or tricked into volunteering for service, and we certainly had no knowledge of war profiteering. As a matter of fact, we were well aware that we could possibly be killed while serving. I lost two good high school friends in that war.

If Jimi Gomez wants to help returned vets readjust to civilian life, the least he can do is support the City Council banner project, which will at least show honor and respect for those who did serve.

Maurice Picard


He says it’s ironic

Re “Overcome with emotion” (Editorial, Oct. 22):

Calling our military banner program a “vanity project” is rich in irony. We at chicomilitaryheroes.com are happy to show our thanks, along with many other Chicoans who respect and appreciate the sacrifices made for all Americans by patriots who are voluntarily serving our country. It is because of our military and those who serve in it that publications like yours are free to make light of and question the motives of those who do not conform to your liberal philosophies.

The irony is that you feel that those who have fought and died for your rights to openly criticize those who are trying to show some appreciation and respect for their service apparently don’t deserve the little bit of thanks and recognition this program will provide.

I do agree with one part of your commentary regarding the treatment of our veterans. It is shameful that our defenders, especially our wounded warriors, who have bravely fought for our country and its allies, are being treated so poorly by an inefficient and overloaded Veterans Administration. It should be one of our nation’s top priorities but some of our leaders seem to be good with only giving it lip service.

Chris Nicodemus


Thoughts on homelessness

Many of us are concerned about homelessness, especially with a wet, cold winter ahead. I have pondered a possible solution. In the Army in Germany for three years, we went on maneuvers in the forests in rain, sleet and snow. We lived in squad tents housing six to eight men on cots and sleeping bags for many months.

I could envision a tent city near Horseshoe Lake with portable toilets and shower facilities. Each tent has double walls and a heater. I am sure the Army has surplus tents and sleeping bags. Each tent would elect a leader to maintain order and keep the area clean. An agreed upon overseer would have management of all the tent areas. A large tent for food service, like a “mess hall,” with food served cafeteria-style by and for the homeless.

Folks, what do you think of this idea? Of course, details need to be worked out by social workers and other concerned citizens.

Hugh Rhodes


‘It’s time to give back’

Re “The cost of being sick” (Arts DEVO, by Jason Cassidy, Oct. 29):

In reading through the CN&R, I came across “The cost of being sick” article tucked away on page 33. Although the coverage was comprehensive, it just seems that the article was misplaced in the issue. Lisa Kelly has been one of our own here in Chico for many years, and to hear of her situation was saddening. For those of you who missed the article, Lisa has pancreatic cancer, “for which she is about to undergo an invasive and complicated surgery that will require much recovery time.”

There is an online fundraising campaign at www.gofundme.com/rd754ud4. Lisa has given us in the North State great rock ‘n’ roll for nearly three decades. It’s time to give back.

Ken Mack


Life and death issue

Most would agree that there are a lot of serious problems in the world. You can probably rattle off 10-plus in a minute or two. But at the top of the list sits climate change. All the other issues are about quality of life. But climate change is about life itself.

The rapidly warming planet (90 degrees in Chico in the middle of October!) is on course to wipe out most life on this planet within the next 50 years, according to some climate researchers (Google “subsea methane”). Food simply won’t grow in the conditions they’re forecasting and most humans will starve. Then there’s the fact that the oceans are warming and acidifying, chemical runoff is poisoning our rivers, pollinators are dying off at alarming rates, etc., etc., etc.

The problems are numerous, the situation dire. We have only a short time to act if we are to save our (and most other) species. That’s why we’ve started Chico 350. We will work personally, locally and nationally in an effort to save this thing. I hope you’ll join us. The stakes truly couldn’t be higher. We’re on Facebook at Chico 350 or email Chico350.org@gmail.com. Thank you, friends.

Jake Davis


Let’s talk dispensaries

There soon will be opportunities as the new cannabis market shapes up. There will be needs to be met in the growing, processing and distribution of cannabis. The distribution will be accomplished through dispensaries. Well-regulated dispensaries are necessary to distribute the cannabis to the thousands of users in Butte County.

Without a good local dispensary, people would be forced to obtain their cannabis on the illegal market. The whole point of legalization is to eliminate the problems caused by prohibition and minimize the illegal market. We need local dispensaries if we expect to secure these goals.

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Chico City Council will decide whether to agendize discussion about the need for local dispensaries. Public input will be taken. Please come if you want a functional dispensary ordinance for Chico. Bring your information and ideas about why Chico needs local cannabis dispensaries.



The Fed’s a fraud

If you are middle class, poor or dependent upon Social Security, I suggest the Federal Reserve is stealing money from you. It is encouraging you to borrow with its low interest rates and to gamble in the stock market. Its low rates also discourage savings as you are actually losing money on any money you have in banks.

By printing unlimited amounts of money, it has decreased the value of the money you have and made it harder to sell U.S. treasuries. It has redefined the CPI (consumer price index) to make inflation look less than it is for you and me. They thus allow the government not to provide an increase in Social Security payments because they are based on CPI. It has redefined unemployment rates, making them less than they actually are and this gives them an excuse to keep interest rates low and benefit banks and large financial corporations. Low rates also create bubbles in investments, which eventually burst.

I suggest we abolish the Fed!

Norm Dillinger


Bernie’s her guy

Strangers ask me why I have a Bernie Sanders for President sticker on my car. Some say, “He is a socialist.”

Yes, he’s is a Democratic socialist. Not a communist. Sanders sees first-hand that our government is being run by corporations. Sanders thinks that it is not OK for CEOs to make over $10,000 per hour and then hear them whine that they can’t pay their employees $15 an hour.

Sanders believes we should close tax loopholes on billionaires who built their fortunes on this country’s infrastructure and labor, then hide all their profits overseas. Billionaires have paid for laws allowing them to cheat our tax system.

Almost everyone inside the Washington, D.C., bubble does not see how we are suffering. Are you tired of spending 47 percent of our federal taxes on wars we had no voice in and then being told we don’t have enough money to adequately care for our wounded veterans? Are you tied of seeing people you know struggling every day to pay basic bills? Millions of people always one financial hit away from not making it, while billionaires select the interior of their next behemoth yacht.

Sanders says enough is enough. I agree.

Heidi Stand


‘Think, Chico’

We have pretty much overcome a “party town” image. Now, for a new image. The role booze played in Japan’s “Economic Miracle” of the ’50s. And Silicon Valley networking; start-ups.

Think, Chico. Imagine.

John Larson