Letters for November 20, 2014
Re “The mysticism of light” (Cover feature, by Robert Speer, Nov. 13):
Thank you for your article on Elizabeth Devereaux and her remarkable work in architectural glass. Elizabeth, the artist and person, brings a beauty and spirit to glass that leaves me breathless. She is one of Chico’s treasures!
The root is divorce
Re “Scapegoats” (Guest comment, by Dean Carrier, Nov. 13):
Dean Carrier’s guest commentary was one of the better editorials I’ve read recently on education. Many people don’t realize that the well-behaved classroom used to be the norm, then the divorce rate shot through the roof in the 1970s and we started getting the children of divorce in the classroom in the 1980s and the “disruptive classroom” became the norm.
Teachers have become policewomen and social workers as a consequence (91 percent of all grade-school teachers are women). A stable family unit is the basic building block of civilization and without cohesive families we’re going to have all kinds of sociological and criminological problems.
Indeed, over half of American women don’t have husbands and the USA has the highest incarceration rate of any nation on earth. Special education deals with children who have learning disabilities typically associated with birth defects due to the mother ingesting drugs, alcohol, etc., while pregnant.
Pregnant mothers should not even smoke tobacco or have caffeine. The answers are clear—we’re going to have to make it difficult to get a divorce and all high school girls should be required to pass biology so that they understand that they can seriously damage their children without proper prenatal and postnatal care.
Re “Praying for sanity” (Letters, by Rod Caudill, Nov. 13):
I would like the writer to know I do not consider him a depraved person that I would pray against, as he stated. As a Christian I always pray for people. He also stated that he is not a Christian but that he is going to pray for our country. I am a little confused as to why a non-Christian would pray.
Rent-a-cops and Jesus
Re “Seasonal security” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, Nov. 13):
As the holiday season approaches, I see we are once again “beefing-up” security in the downtown area—more Chico police patrols, along with armed, private security guards.
The now annual irony of celebrating the birth of Jesus with more weapons on the street—to provide a theatrical sort of security to shoppers—is very rich. Wasn’t Jesus a penniless, homeless man himself? Didn’t he ask humanity to serve the poor and cease from violence? Yes, this is all very impractical, but Christianity is not a practical belief system.
Beyond this, we have a Bill of Rights. In theory it protects the broken-down old drunk and the mentally ill panhandler as much as it protects the richest man in Chico. Enlightenment philosophers came up with this ideal of the “Rights of Man” and we’ve been trying to implement it ever since. Let’s keep trying.
I don’t think there is a man or woman in the police department or in these private security patrols who wants to randomly “roust” law-abiding homeless people and make their lives even more difficult. They will do so only if they are pressured by the community. No real Christian and no real American can justify applying that pressure; it’s unchristian, unconstitutional and inhumane.
Re “Dark side of a commercial empire” (Cover feature, by Jim Hightower, Nov. 6):
Such a powerful article by Jim Hightower exposing the evils of Amazon. Thank you, CN&R, for choosing to print this!
My dear 99% friends, Hightower’s article gives us no choice—we must boycott Amazon. Sure, you can save money purchasing through Amazon. Now we know why. Vote with your dollars, my friends. Otherwise, we are supporting the evil we deplore (to adopt Barbara Lee’s famous words).
‘An exercise in futility’
Re “Anxiety in academia” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, Nov. 13):
[Chico State President Paul] Zingg is quoted as saying, “Staff receives increases when their jobs increase in responsibility ….” Receiving an increase in compensation for an increase in responsibility at Chico State—in my experience—is an exercise in futility.
It took human resources two years and seven months to deny an IRP (in range progression), which would have addressed a significant increase in my job responsibilities and job scope back in 2010. The IRP was fully supported by my supervisor, director and VP, and yet human resources unilaterally denied the IRP without factual cause. It should be noted, Chico State’s Human Resources is not autonomous and under directive, which gives the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Response to knee-jerker
Re “Bird-lover’s bite” (Letters, by John Neal, Nov. 13):
If it weren’t for the fact that John Neal’s letter was so typical of a high percentage of this country’s voters, I might think it was a joke.
Mr. Neal publicly admitted he had no knowledge of the candidates or the issues nor had he any interest in educating himself on them, and instead had to take a copy of the CN&R’s recommendations to the polls and vote against all of them (obviously, he has a standing grudge with your paper).
I’m pretty sure the framers of our Constitution had no inkling our democratic process would end up like this.
CN&R threatens newbies
Re “Welcome to public service” (Editorial, Nov. 6):
I found it rather pathetic you felt it necessary to threaten the newly elected conservative members of the City Council that you would be doing your job by “watching” them. Too bad you weren’t doing your job by watching the previous liberal council members who spent the city into its current financial mess. It doesn’t appear that the CN&R is ready to “put aside [its] ideological differences and work together for the greater good of the community.”
Editor’s note: The CN&R has been reporting since 2007 that the city had a structural deficit. We’ve also reported on numerous occasions, including in cover stories in 2007 and 2014, that the city’s financial woes stem from overly generous employee salary and benefits packages approved by both conservative and liberal councils.
Re “Ebola’s a gift” (Letters, by Nathan Esplanade, Nov. 13):
I am appalled at the callousness of Mr. Esplanade. How many people, with even the slightest amount of compassion and empathy, could possibly agree that Ebola is a blessing?
In this day and age, at least 24,000 children die every day from malnutrition (aka hunger). In 2010, there were over 2.5 million deaths from causes including heart disease and cancer. Are those “blessings”? In China, there is a rule of one child per family, which results not only in the deaths of more than 400,000 but also is creating a huge gender imbalance.
Mr. Esplanade posits that “[t]hese survivors could then determine the Earth’s optimum population size and execute a comprehensive plan for maintaining it.” Who is he to wish ill upon any population, especially in Third World countries? So, are his comments part of a God complex or just race-based?
If Esplanade had control of the “red button,” I wonder if he would push it—sending off an atomic bomb to destroy certain parts of the world for the sake of maintaining population size. Yes, that is an extreme example, but his statements are extremely offensive, and I’m certain that there are more who feel the way I do, as opposed to his cruel solutions to population growth.
A novel idea
To accelerate multiculturalism, our next president should be a Jewish lesbian.
Stephen T. Davis
Our water is imperiled
I was pleased and disturbed watching the recent 60 Minutes piece on the worldwide groundwater crises—pleased that it was being exposed, disturbed by the unconscious and unsustainable way humans worldwide are depleting our aquifers. And nowhere is it more disturbing than right here in the Central Valley of California.
The increased overplanting of water-thirsty crops and the lack of any kind of meaningful regulation has taken us to the brink of an environmental crisis. And this is not just in the San Joaquin Valley. Satellite tracking systems, which have been proven very accurate, show that aquifers in the North State are also declining at an alarming rate.
Short-term thinking about short-term profit can not continue. We should demand that our lawmakers take immediate action by monitoring and regulating all groundwater pumping. There also should be mandatory conservation measures put it place for both farmers and urban users.
Historically, there have always been and will be periods and cycles of drought—nature can handle it. But now with the exploding human population and the enormous demand of inappropriate agricultural practices and mindless urban usage, even a historically average drought cycle is a disaster. Please contact lawmakers to voice concern and support groups such as AquAlliance.
More on population control
The U.S. Census Bureau reports the current population of whites, Hispanics, and non-white, non-Hispanics is 63 percent, 16 percent and 21 percent, respectively, and is projected to be 43 percent, 31 percent and 26 percent by 2060.
Whites will shrink by a third while Hispanics double, for a total U.S. population of 420 million. For the first time ever, whites will be a minority and in many states, Spanish the prevailing language.
This growth and its devastating effect on America’s food and water supply, culture and quality of life will only occur if America fails to take immediate and unprecedented action. Besides saving America, such would influence other countries to reduce their populations.
First, America should follow China’s lead and provide significant tax breaks and other social privileges to those having one or no children. Second, it should stop all immigration. Finally, instead of spending billions forcing public participation in disease-prevention programs, it should step aside and let nature do its work. Like forest fire, disease is a natural mechanism for strengthening populations. Reducing population numbers enables natural resources to recover and dependent species to thrive.
For more on the gravity of the world population explosion, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_overpopulation.