Letters for October 3, 2013

Real jobs are needed

Re “Harvesting hope” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Sept. 26):

People experiencing homelessness are often desperate for money and eager to work at a fair wage. Having a source of income has profound sociological effects including pride, sense of belonging and—most of all—hope.

Continuing to propagate the mentality of cheap labor, or tactlessly propping up stereotypes that homeless people can’t handle money and will just buy drugs and make fools of themselves, needs to cease. Offer potential workers paying jobs and save carrots for meals at the Jesus Center.

Bill Mash

The armory around us

Re “America’s sick fascination” (Guest comment, by Dean Carrier, Sept. 26):

Thank you, Dean Carrier, for expressing your concerns about the “sick fascination” some in this country have about their guns. I have no interest in restricting weapons for hunting, or for personal or family protection, but the weapons of choice for the new members of the NRA are for killing people—lots of people.

When I get them to talk frankly about their concerns, they talk about some kind of “out-of-control gangs,” eventually maybe the desperately poor, or even needing to fight our own military. They’re arming themselves to fight their government. Does anybody remember the Weathermen of the 1960s?

These new enthusiasts carry around their pocket Constitution and say it gives them the right to shoot somebody. They’re in my neighborhood. They say they’ll protect me “when it all comes down” (like from the poor drunk guy walking down our quiet street the other night). They have no diagnosis.

When these “good guys with a gun” open up with their AR-15s in my neighborhood, the bullets are going to come through my walls. Does it sound like a good idea to arm this mentality with powerful weapons? I don’t feel safer.

Jim Lawrence

‘A cave full of baggage’

Re “Raising cave girls” (Healthlines, by Howard Hardee, Sept. 26):

Unless we are unconcerned about human health, animal welfare and the environment, promoting the “Paleo” diet is indefensible. Using animal foods as a primary source of calories leads to high saturated-fat intake, along with excess protein and ingestion of substances such as carnitine and heterocyclic amines that are clearly damaging to human health.

It may be possible to source animal foods very carefully and avoid purchasing the 98 percent that are now produced on nightmarish factory farms, but how many Paleos actually do this? (This brings up the central question of why anyone with more healthful alternatives would want to exploit animals in any way.)

The carbon footprint and resource demands of an animal-food-based diet are 10 times those of a plant-based diet. By global standards, the Paleo diet is an ethically bankrupt form of overconsumption.

The Paleo diet is probably more healthful than the standard American diet—as almost anything would be. And, the subject of the story lost 25 pounds—wonderful indeed—but this is a result of lower calorie intake. A well-executed plant-based or vegan diet would achieve the same result, without the cave full of baggage described above.

Patrick Newman

Man of the (rich) people

Re “A heartless House” (Editorial, Sept. 26):

Today, as I write this, is payday, and I checked my bank to make sure my SSI payment was in place. It was. Food stamps would have been a great assistance here, but in California, SNAP and SSI are contradictory terms, so they are not available to us.

Every month is a challenge to make the SSI allotment stretch out throughout the calendar. To get around, I ride the bus or my single-speed tricycle. Have to make sure my waterproof clothes are ready for the winter, and I will—boots, duster, hat, gloves.

I am used to the cruelty of being below the federal poverty standards, and every word I read about our new congressman confirms what I fear—that he will be absolutely no help for those of us who deal with this struggle every day. Clearly Congressman Doug LaMalfa was elected by the rich to serve the interests of the rich, and the rest of us be damned.

Gary Brune

Editorial sound off cont’d

Re “The Anarchy Express” (Editorial, Sept. 26):

Let me correct some blatantly false statements here: First, a huge majority of Americans do not support Obamacare. There is no such poll indicating support for it—except in the imaginations of totalitarian ideologues.

Even traditionally Democrat constituencies, like labor unions, don’t want it. Tellingly, the only people supporting it in the government are those opting out of it—Congress, the federal bureaucracy, even the IRS union people enforcing it, and der Führer himself.

Congratulations, CN&R editors—I hope you enjoy the IRS deciding what doctors you see, what medicines you get, or whether you see any doctor or get any medicine. I hope you enjoy “navigators” not subject to background checks having access to your Social Security number and financial information.

“Far-right extremism”: What could be more reactionary than going back to failed socialist models of the past? You like Canada’s or Britain’s health-care systems? If they’re so great, why do Canadians and Britons who can afford it come to the United States for specialist care?

Defending personal and economic liberty against a fascistic money- and power-grab by an unrepentant dictator is not “far right”—it’s simply right.

Chad Wozniak

Looks to me that the editor doesn’t know that the government has been shut down twice before: once in 1995 and again in 1996. The essential functions such as public safety, etc., remain in place. The world didn’t end twice before and won’t end this time either—if it happens.

Maurice Picard

Editor’s note: A government shutdown has occurred 17 times since 1977, according to the Congressional Research Service. While essential functions will remain in place, a shutdown for any significant amount of time will further burden the nation’s finances. The 1995 and 1996 shutdowns cost an estimated $1.4 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

It is ironic that, after a national surplus under President Clinton to our massive deficit today, the very same interests who financed two wars and bailed out the banks—all on the national credit card—now don’t want to pay the bill. Ayn Rand must be smiling, wherever she is.

F. Wylie

Re “The Anarchy Express” and “A heartless House” (Editorials, Sept. 26):

The current fiasco is not about the debt ceiling, it is about the continuing budget resolution to fund the government at the unconscionable levels set by the sequester—an argument that the Republicans already fleeced the country with. The Affordable Care Act will not be affected by any defunding amendment to the continuing resolution because it is a program with “mandatory funding.”

As to the coming showdown about the debt ceiling: The Far Right is playing with the world economy for an untenable political posture. Somehow we have come to the position of the sequester as a starting point on budget negotiations and things like Social Security and Medicare being on the table. These positions are ridiculous!

On Doug LaMalfa’s SNAP vote: Even if the bill is knocked back to the cuts already passed by the Senate ($4 billion instead of $40 billion) the Republicans have won by separating SNAP funding from the “corporate-farm welfare” it has always been tied to.

Rich Meyers

Truth is subjective

Re “Mayoral rebuttal” (Letters, by Scott Gruendl, Sept. 26):

I am somewhat relieved to know—when I read in Mr. Gruendl’s dutiful letter to the CN&R—that “the truth matters.” It has a certain pertinent ring to it, possibly in anticipation of an enlightening prelude of a surprising revelation, forthcoming, dangling off the tip of the tongue that may be difficult to pronounce with bated breath.

Yet wherever I see a phrase with “truth” utilized, it somehow seems predisposed to build you up only to let you down, leaves you feeling the kind of way a hangover does. This and Mr. Gruendl’s summary paragraph’s continued attempt at backhanded sarcasm in the he-said-she-said sound bite imploringly use the word “truth” several times to support his incriminating declarations.

Alas, my nemesis leaves me feeling either like I have a hangover or wishing I was working on one: the crux of two sides to every story. Remember, Mr. Gruendl, there are also other names difficult to pronounce after soliciting a vote of confidence for elected office. Please leave truth, like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder.

Rick Vagts

Letter shows ignorance

Re “Notes on fracking” (Letters, by Roland McNutt, Sept. 26):

I assume the asinine comments concerning an “old Jew” writing in the Bible as the harbinger to greed, megalomania and capitalism were printed for the reason that I must take umbrage! There’s too much of such ignorance in Butte County.

I’m a Jew, and a squalid hippie with a preference for animals, and I’m no anomaly. New York and L.A. (where I lived) are filled with blue-collar, non-materialist Jews, despite Tarzana. What about the Essenes that broke from a dogma compiled by numerous writers and goy translators who nixed a huge chunk? Do Christians always emulate Jesus? Usually not. How much dominating mischief did they achieve?

Dan Cohen

A deadly loophole

The execution Sunday morning, Sept. 22, by Chico Police of a young unarmed woman on East Eighth Street is an embarrassment to this town. Using the “a car is a deadly weapon” loophole, Chico police have once again riddled a young person with bullets simply for trying to drive away in a car.

Do you remember the Arco station incident on East and Esplanade? DA Ramsey rubber-stamped that assassination as “a use of justifiable force,” even though the young man was unarmed and shot dozens of times. His crime? Trying to drive out of that station in his car.

If local news is to be believed, this young woman on Sunday morning had already wrecked her compact car into a pole but officers on scene were so terrified for their lives when she tried to back the junker up that they shot her full of holes.

Could it be that after the [Kristie] Priano case—where Chico cops took heat for being involved in a pursuit that ended with a dead teen—they simply decided that the way to avoid pursuits is to shoot the suspects dead on the spot before they drive off? Guilty or innocent; armed or unarmed; man, woman or teen? I know what Ramsey will say about the incident after the police investigate themselves (convenient to say the least) before he even says it.

What do you say, Chico? Is trying to drive off grounds for assassination? Only public outcry will shift the political winds enough to force this madness (and those who cover for it) to stop.

Galen Thompson

Downtown needs cleaning up

As I longtime resident and taxpayer in the city of Chico, I am fed up with what our downtown and parks have turned into. It stinks! As a local businessman I talk to a lot of people who used to love to frequent downtown and now avoid it because of the filth and panhandling, not to mention the danger of being there after dark.

What about the restaurants and other businesses that are struggling? It is time for the City Council to get busy and put some ordinances in place to clean it up or you can bet you won’t be getting any votes from me and many others. How long do you intend to keep not doing what is right for us, the taxpayers?

Steve Kasprzyk

A note of thanks

Thank you very much to all the supporters of the Jesus Center Golf Foodraiser, which occurred on Sept. 21. Though the rain dampened the event, it did not dampen the spirit of those involved.

Thank you to our sponsors: Granicher Appraisals; Ray Morgan Company; JBond Corporation; Storybook Schoolhouse; Edward Jones Investments—John Winn; Chico Knights of Columbus; M. Brooks Houghton; Deromedi and Associates Real Estate.

Thank you to Skypark Golf Course, volunteers from the Health Professionals Association at Chico State, and to all the golfers who participated and believe in the mission of the Jesus Center. We are founded in God’s love, showing respect for human dignity, a hope for and commitment to transformation, and a servant attitude.

Paul Weber

Another thank you

The Air Force Memorial project recently hit the jackpot thanks to the Redding Rancheria/Win-River Casino. But, it wasn’t the typical jackpot one might normally expect. No royal flush at 5-card poker. No successful big spin at progressive slots. Not even a winning hand at blackjack.

Actually, this was a jackpot earned not as a result of some rare lucky streak, but from the altruistic generosity of organizations only wishing to give back to their community in some small way. Specifically, the Redding Rancheria Community Fund (RRCF) and the Win-River Resort & Charity Bingo are recognized for their support of the Air Force Memorial project and numerous other good causes in the local area.

Over the past several months, the Air Force Memorial Project was the recipient of two major cash awards. The RRCF approved a grant of $8,000, which was then followed up by a $1,935 donation from the Win-River Resort & Charity Bingo. Combined, this was the largest donation to date in support of the memorial project. In 2012 alone, the RRCF donated $168,000 to 62 local organizations.

Since its inception in 2002, it has given away over $2 million. Also, the Local Communities Benefit Committee just granted over $259,000 to our local governments, giving over $2.5 million since the fund was created in 2004. The Air Force Memorial Planning Committee salutes the Redding Rancheria Community Fund and Win-River Resort for all they do on behalf of their community and, specifically, to honor America’s veterans.

Go to www.usafmemorial.org to learn how you can help support the Air Force Memorial Project which will honor all those who served in the United States Air Force.

Col. Pete Stiglich