Letters for November 4, 2004

Indubitably speaking
Am I the only one to find people who are out to impress themselves with their own vocabulary annoying? Would someone please tell your movie reviewer Juan-Carlos Selznick that language is supposed to be used to communicate, not impress. What’s with this guy? Does he have a trusty dog-eared paperback next to his desk titled, “Adjectives to Shock and Awe"?

Kathy Smith

Red ribbons, red flags
I’m writing to express my shock and disappointment at the Paradise High football team play-by-play announcer. At the game on Friday, Oct. 29, with two minutes left, he announced, “If you’re wondering what to do after the game, there’s all kinds of things going on down at the Cantina,” a reference to a local Paradise bar. I was appalled at the inference to “go down a few” after the game.

I thought this was in extremely poor taste given, one, the advertising of a drinking establishment at a high school event with the prevalence of alcohol and other substance use/abuse in teens and, two, the fact that it was announced during Red Ribbon Week, when much energy is devoted to increasing awareness of drug and alcohol abuse in our schools. What’s next, a halftime show sponsored by Marlboro?

Donna Jensen

Another victim
I have just read the article in the News & Review, “A matter of survival” [Cover story, Oct. 14], and I have a few problems with the way this was written. In no way am I a journalist, so I’m not too sure of the rules of writing articles, but I was under the impression when you used someone’s name that you need their permission and you also have to get their side.

As a person that was also at LaSalles the night of this incident, I do know that the way that the article was portrayed was completely biased. You used someone’s name in the article but did you question her?

You never gave her a chance to not look as bad as you portrayed her. Now she has to defend herself as a person due to this article. I have known Christi Leach for over 13 years, and she is not a person of the “streets” as you put it. I’m not saying that what the victim is alleging happened did or didn’t, but I have witnessed her and how she has interacted with people at the bars in Chico. But that is neither here nor there, but the fact that Christi’s name was put in there without her permission at least deserves some sort of apology.

Obie Kast
via e-mail

Editor’s note: Christie Leach’s name and the information about her appeared in and were attributed to court documents, which under California law are considered privileged, meaning the information they contain is legally protected and available to the public.

Hear me roar
The CN&R cover story “The Killing Game” by Gary Webb [Oct. 21] kicked me in my grizzly bear mother instinct gut. Still gasping for breath from the content, I notice I also have a bilious taste in my mouth from the flippant tone in which it was written.

Thank you, Gary Webb, for the appalling but inevitable news that our own government is imbedded in the creation and implementation of a neurologically addictive mercenary training and tracking program designed to transform young children into “unflappable killers.” The casual way you followed a graphic description of a twitching “kill” by the line, “It may not be everyone’s cup of tea,” was an extremely effective way to incite my passion, much more so than an appropriate presentation would.

“Sometimes your kills … cry in pain with human voices. Their bodies lie there for a while so you can feed off them if necessary, restoring your own health.” How does this look exactly, this feeding activity? But, Mr. Game Designer, you forget. Before “grabbing their weapons and setting off to find another victim,” the player is required, for each kill, to witness the grief of the kill’s family, to hear them cry in pain with human voices, and to look its mother in the eyes until health is restored. Now that’s entertainment.

How does one bring parents the news that the humanity of millions of our children has been taken hostage by the Entertainment Software Association? More to the point, how did parents let their children be taken in the first place?

Lisi Walsh

Nation confusion
In reading the article “Healing or hooey,” written by Shannon Rooney [Backbeat, Aug. 5], I find several distortions and the outstanding sense Rooney has not done her background homework.

It is quite apparent the writer does not know what she is talking about. One distortion that is quite flagrant is when one speaks of Inupiat people (referred in the fifth paragraph, first sentence, as: “Inupiat tribe"), you are speaking of Eskimos. There is a fundamental difference between the two “first nations.”

Another distortion is found when the writer inferred that Greywolf was “Indian,” in the sixth paragraph. Greywolf is unequivocally, without a doubt, four-fourths Inupiat Eskimo.

The author throughout the article implies disdain and outright skepticism of Greywolf. What authority does Rooney have to question the moves, philosophical ideologies and statements made by Greywolf? Is Rooney Inupiat, or is she a direct descendent of the Inupiat? Has Rooney studied, lived or searched the principles and teachings of the Inupiat? What qualifies Shannon Rooney to make judgments regarding “Native American” customs? Statements relating to “new age” or “new age-like” lead me to believe Rooney has not completed a background study before writing her own prejudices and beliefs about the way Greywolf moved.

Distortions such as the ones in the article lead to misconception and ignorance of the beautiful customs in the Inupiat culture. There is a difference in the customs, beliefs and language of Eskimo and Indian people. Not all Caucasians are German, are they?

Doretha Amouak
Granddaughter of Oliver and Olga Amouak. Niece of Ralph Amouak (Greywolf)

Testing, testing
It is surprising how many employers in Butte County require drug testing. This is a distressing indication of the extent to which people have accepted infringements on their liberty and privacy in the name of the “war on drugs.”

The Fourth Amendment to our Constitution guarantees us freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. If the police want to search your home or your car they must prove to a judge that there is a reasonable need to do that. One of the basic tenets of our system of law is that a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. How do these ideas connect with this outrageous invasion of privacy, which is enforced by the threat of loss of income and, ultimately, poverty and homelessness?

Drug testing is part of a definable trend toward an unacceptable degree of control by business and government over those they regard, not as citizens, but as “human resources.” Any person, employer or employee who participates in this practice is participating in the destruction of the principles this country is founded on, and they need to seriously think about that.

Nelson Kaiser