Letters for November 8, 2012

Christian Science healing: another view

Re “Healing through prayer” (Healthlines, by Christine G.K. LaPado-Breglia, Nov. 1):

I was raised a Christian Scientist from birth until the scales dropped from my eyes during my college years. In retrospect, I never heard of a CS healing that couldn’t be explained, usually much more believably, by other reasons.

My sister died at the age of 9 of pneumonia because my devout parents relied solely on CS prayer, which is the only way a practitioner (a paid CS healer) will agree to pray for the afflicted.

My best friend’s sister relied on CS instead of medical care and died a horribly painful death from cancer at the age of 56. CS does not allow for palliative care either.

I am of course happy that the subject of the story is free of cancer, but my experience with CS makes me question whether she ever had it in the first place. CS anecdotes like this one are often full of misrepresentations and wishful recall.

But assuming the situation was as she describes, a reasonable reader should know that remission or misdiagnosis are far more likely explanations for the “healing.” At some point in the future, this woman may need medical intervention again (indeed, it is odd that she says the doctors could not help her inasmuch as they brought her through the self-induced coma), and I hope she does not refuse it.

Kenneth Stringer
Santa Monica

Firefighters backed Schindelbeck?

I find it perplexing that the Chico Firefighters Association has seen fit to endorse local Tea Party activist Toby Schindelbeck for the Chico City Council, especially when two of the planks on the official Tea Party Platform are as follows: “Labor unions have no place in the public sector” and “No union shall be allowed to control or directly influence public policy.”

Since when does a professional labor union endorse a candidate who is intent on dismembering that same union? Someone on the Chico firefighters’ candidate interview committee apparently neglected to do his or her homework on Schindelbeck’s background check.

Mark S. Gailey

‘The holocaust of animal suffering’

Re “What’s the beef?” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, Nov. 1):

Dean Jennifer Ryder Fox claims that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has an anti-agriculture-industry agenda. She criticizes as na•ve the HSUS picture of “acceptable animal agriculture” because it does not conform to “animal agriculture as we know it.” However, what Ryder Fox fails to mention is that “animal agriculture as we know it” involves the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals that our best science confirms are cognitively complex, social, sentient beings.

According to the USDA, 1.02 billion cattle, 1.2 billion pigs, and 40 billion chickens are raised for food worldwide. Of this total, over 90 percent are raised in “concentrated animal feeding operations,” or “factory farms.”

Cattle raised for beef are castrated, dehorned and branded, all without anesthesia. Sows live out most of their short miserable lives in individual gestation crates. Male piglets have their testicles removed, their tails and ears docked, and their teeth clipped, all without anesthesia. Laying hens live out their lives crammed into tiny battery cages. To prevent stress-induced aggression caused by overcrowding (such as pecking cage mates to death), baby chicks have the ends of their beaks cut off with hot blades (a process known as debeaking), without anesthesia.

The views of HSUS merely reflect the proper moral and rather uncontroversial view shared by most of our fellow citizens—namely, that animals should not be made to suffer such cruelty. If the anti-cruelty agenda of HSUS turns out to be an anti-agriculture-industry agenda, then so be it!

The tide of public opinion has rightly turned against factory farming, and folks like Dean Ryder Fox, Associate Dean of Agriculture David Daley, and those “upset stakeholders” and “others in the agriculture industry” can either join the rest of us in publicly condemning such ag-industry practices or fight tooth-and-nail to defend an industry that requires the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals.

Robert C. Jones
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Chico State University

Readers doubting that the Humane Society of the United States has a legitimate issue—concerning the rampant torture of livestock—might want to spend three minutes on YouTube watching “Undercover at Smithfield Foods.” This is a small glimpse of the holocaust of animal suffering that now characterizes the vast majority of animal food production in the U.S.

In addition, over-consumption of animal foods contributes heavily to numerous human health problems—along with being the No. 1 driver of catastrophic global warming.

Chico State’s “Meatless Mondays” program was—before it was destroyed—a small gesture toward raising awareness of the problems associated with meat consumption. That the dean of agriculture could dismiss this kind of program with a series of flippant remarks is a pretty good indicator of systemic failure at Chico State. In a system with any real social conscience, no one as glib and seemingly ignorant as Dean Jennifer Ryder Fox could ever have risen to a highly paid position of authority.

The word “sustainability” is thrown around the Chico State campus with abandon, but there is little evidence that this institution can provide students with any idea of what the word actually means.

Patrick Newman

Dean Fox is recalcitrant. As each day passes, her credibility is sinking, and ultimately this means the credibility of Chico State is sinking too. A team player takes one for the team; a team player doesn’t ask the team to take one for the individual.

Can you imagine if President Zingg made these comments? This would clearly be unacceptable, but Zingg’s political acumen would result in an immediate retraction. Why hasn’t Dean Fox been forced to retract her biased and factually inaccurate statement?

Curtis Peldo

125 years of service

This year Chico State has been celebrating its 125th anniversary. We are very proud of our university and its legacy of service to Chico, Butte County and the North State.

Service has been a hallmark of Chico State dating back to its founding in 1887, when the generosity of John and Annie Bidwell, with the support of local citizens, brought the Normal School to Chico. That tradition continues, and I want to publicly thank the many alumni and community volunteers who have helped us throughout the year put on 125th anniversary events and programs.

These special people are too numerous to name here, but I do want to list the volunteers who serve on our 125th Anniversary Committee: Tim Colbie, Jim Gregg, Nancy Hodges, Matt Jackson, Heather Keag, Sheryl Lange, Verda Mackay, Ralph Meuter, JoAnn Morgan, Cathy Norlie, Bob Pentzer, Sharon Salcido, John Sutthoff, Audrey Tennis and Marilyn Warrens.

It’s truly a privilege to be president of a university that enjoys such outstanding and steadfast support from its alumni and friends. Thank you.

Paul J. Zingg
President, CSU, Chico

What’s up, Chief Trostle?

Re “Budget woes” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Oct. 25):

On Friday, Oct 26, at around 10 p.m. I was walking on Main and Third streets when a teenager pointed at a police SUV and started saying “PO-PO, PO-PO.” In an instant the driver of the SUV hit the brakes. Two officers got out. One of them was none other then Chico Police Chief Kirk Trostle. I recognized him because I had just read the article “Budget Woes,” which included his picture.

They both drew out their large clubs as if they were going to give the kid a beating, and the other officer (I didn’t see his nametag) said, “What, you got something to say? Yeah, that’s what I thought, weakass.” I was surprised by the machismo attitude of this cop, especially right in front of Chief Trostle.

Chief Trostle, if you are going to talk about budget woes and how you are understaffed and need more police for your department, it had better be so you have more officers to protect and serve, not for them to stroke their egos and intimidate.

Rory Anderson

The way to keep kids safe

Re “Keeping kids safe” (Newslines, by Shannon Rooney, Nov. 1):

The only way to keep our kids safe from drugs is to re-legalize and regulate all drugs. The biggest risk kids face is criminals selling drugs. In a legal market, black-market dealers are eliminated, as they cannot make the huge profits they desire when competing with legal retailers.

The fact is our kids can buy drugs easier than they can buy beer or cigarettes. Legal retailers will not risk losing their license by selling to minors. If adults want to use drugs, they will find them, and it is better that they get quality-controlled drugs with accurate dosage information. The only reason to keep drugs illegal is so that criminals and the police can make a lot of money.

Dave Lane
Santa Cruz

She’s glad to be here

Re “Way to go, Enloe!” (Pulse, Oct. 18):

I would like to thank the staff at the Enloe Medical Center for their efforts to reduce the number of people waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. I work at an elementary school where many of the students’ parents work as doctors, nurses and social workers, and thanks to this article I have been able to applaud them in person and express my appreciation on a higher level.

After reading this article I had an overwhelming sense of the community that I am lucky to be a part of, even if it’s just during my college years. It’s not every day that I stumble upon local stories that have national relevance here in Chico.

Enloe Hospital’s being among only 399 other recognized for this achievement truly made me think twice about how special the city and people of Chico can be. The simplicity of being aware of my surroundings thanks to articles like this are what drive me to be a better person. I am proud to pass on the news about Enloe Medical Center receiving a Bronze Medal for its hard work at saving lives.

Laura Martinez