Letters for October 4, 2018

Faux eco gov

Re “Delta Dan” (Greenways, by Scott Thomas Anderson, Sept. 27):

I could not agree more with the article about Gov. Jerry Brown being a fake environmentalist. He has taken millions from the oil and gas industry and is in cahoots with big ag and pharma to rape our state’s water on their behalf.

His bullet train from San Francisco to L.A. is nothing more than a way to pay unions for their support of his Democratic party in the elections with billions in taxpayer money. When it is all done, we will have a slash of land, probably fenced entirely, that restricts the movement and interaction of wildlife through half the state.

But, his Sites Reservoir project in the hills west of Willows and the Delta tunnels is a complete environmental catastrophe for our state. The idea is to suck water out of the Sacramento River during rainfall periods in the winter and transport it to the corporate farms and voters in the L.A. basin. These rains flush our watershed of pollutants and feed massive nutrients to the near shore fisheries, which are the beginning of the food chain for our entire ocean. The Sacramento River and Delta will be destroyed. His groundwater sucking plan is also in full gear.

Garry Cooper


‘National disgrace’

Re “Today, it’s time to make a stand” (Editorial, Sept. 27):

After reading your editorial, one thing is clear: you haven’t the first clue what constitutes a “constitutional crisis.” You state that Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein have unimpeachable credentials, but Brett Kavanaugh is a serial rapist? Based on what evidence?

You’re right about one thing, though—Kavanaugh does represent a decisive vote on not just Trump’s unproven collusion charges but every SCOTUS decision. This is why the Democrats have engaged in this disgusting character assassination. It is a national disgrace and anyone who supports this kind of behavior is complicit in tearing down the fabric of our democracy.

Additionally, if the NYT story on Rosenstein is true (he denies this story), then this is tantamount to “fomenting insurrection.” That, my dear Ms. Daugherty, would be a constitutional crisis. Rosenstein should be fired for withholding evidence in the form of redacted documents that were requested by the institution that makes and reviews the laws of this nation, Congress.

City Plaza was the scene of a protest of Kavanaugh’s nomination with the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors. I prefer the hashtag #IbelieveFactsandEvidence, but facts and evidence apparently are not required when destroying a man’s life, especially when that man has been nominated by a president you don’t like.

Michael Pulliam


Editor’s note: Nowhere in the aforementioned editorial was Brett Kavanaugh referred to as a “serial rapist.” We did note that the Senate Judiciary Committee last week was to hear testimony on the sexual assault allegations against him.

On that SCOTUS pick

If a judicial nominee ever committed a sexual assault or lied under oath, he’s disqualified.

What standard of proof should we use in evaluating these things? Proof beyond reasonable doubt? “Beyond reasonable doubt” permits seating a nominee even if it’s probable he is guilty. The “presumption of innocence” and “proof beyond reasonable doubt” apply strictly to criminal cases where liberty is at stake, not a “job interview.”

Should Congress use a “mere probability” standard: Is it more likely right than wrong that Judge Kavanaugh is guilty? About one-third of Americans are unsure if he was telling the truth. Can we take a 50/50 chance—a pure guess—that we might seat a guilty man on our highest court? A 10 percent chance?

We must use a “full confidence” test for Supreme Court nominees. If there is a “substantial chance” he’s guilty, he should be rejected.

A Supreme Court justice with a lifetime appointment must be beyond reproach. Each justice has absolute power to vote on what is the “Supreme Law of the Land” and the rights of 330 million people. Americans must have “full confidence” in their Supreme Court.

Ralph Slater


Kavanaugh’s years at Georgetown Prep highlight the problems of male-only organizations. For decades, San Francisco’s Bohemian Club has vetted prospective presidential candidates at its summer “camp” in Sonoma County (except, obviously, Hillary).

Bohemian members who are CEOs, elected to represent us, or leaders in academia and the arts should all quit. Pope Francis is known for fairness, yet the Catholic Church is the only major Christian denomination with no female ministers. What would Jesus do?

How about the Masons? Cops and lawyers are well-represented in that secret society, which has the reputation that a Masonic judge will favor any fellow Mason in the dock.

Boys-only groups are probably a big reason why we have too few elected women, female presidents of universities and corporations, and female judges. Professional women have been too busy with household chores and parenting to set up secret female-only societies.

Although de facto racial prejudice still undercuts justice, blatant bias against people of color is now unacceptable. So why do we still tolerate this notion of male superiority?

Lauren Ayers


No judge in the U.S. would permit witnesses to behave the way Sen. Chuck Grassley permitted Brett Kavanaugh to during his “testimony” before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

That a man supposedly steeped in the law since Yale, who spent years as a jurist in the American system, chose to talk back to examiners (apologizing to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, but according the same malign treatment to all Democratic senators), refuse to answer proper questions, argue with examiners (think of the objection, “argumentative, Your Honor,” in every TV courtroom drama you’ve seen), provide narrative responses, question examiners (“Do you like beer, Senator?”), indulge in long diversions into irrelevancies (“The pitcher that night was….?!”), and lie unabashedly demonstrates not only how unfit this candidate for the Supreme Court is but also how unlike a genuine investigation last week’s Noh play—elderly Republicans the perfect indignant 14th-century kyogen—was.

Kavanaugh’s evasive exegesis of obvious adolescent boasts in his high school yearbook entry were as visibly transparent as the playground excuses of a naughty kindergartner—and utterly unworthy of a Supreme Court justice. If Kavanaugh’s appointment is approved, faith in our judicial system will be undercut so seriously one wonders if that is the Republicans’ objective.

Norman Beecher


The upsell

Re “Let’s consider facts” (Letters, by Rich Meyers, Sept. 27):

Murry offers $10 tire rotations. But 13 out of 100 are “upsold” an $800 set of tires. That’s $11,400 and the $10 tire rotations bring in $114 per. Murry’s business is selling tires.

Planned Parenthood (PP) performed 321,000 abortions for 2.5 million customers in fiscal year 2016-17. Thirteen out of 100 customers of its low-cost reproductive services were upsold an expensive abortion. One in eight customers bought an abortion. They’re very good at the upsell.

The right and wrong of abortion is above my pay grade. I find a culture that would force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term as horrific as late-term and partial-birth abortions.

But my observations of PP’s business model is that it is pro-abortion because, as Dillinger said, “That’s where the money is.” In my opinion, Planned Parenthood is an abortion agency.

As to your statement, that “one cannot impose their beliefs on others,” civilizations impose one’s beliefs on others via the social contract. Try hiking naked, self-medicating with an unapproved drug, choosing for yourself when to die, or refusing to pay confiscatory taxes, and you’ll find out very quickly how the will of others, religious or otherwise, is imposed upon you.

Peter Bridge

Ord Bend

An odious letter

Re “Council’s mega meeting” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, Sept. 27):

Why must you publish self-anointed St. Patrick Newman’s every pontificated thought? His latest, on the day of the Kavanaugh hearing, is even more odious than usual. His response to being called out by Sherri Quammen on his Brock Turner defense—with a comparison of “what if they were lesbians?”—is a new(man) low.

Tom Malolepszy


Pull out the mat

My definition of those who are homeless is people who, through no fault of their own, have lost their home. The reasons for this could be anything from job loss, illness, injury or fire. People who have tried to work, have tried to take care of themselves, who contribute something to the community they live in.

Then there are the mentally ill. We see them downtown, wandering the streets with their belongings. These are people who should be helped in whatever ways are necessary.

Then we have the transients and vagrants. These are the people who refuse to look for work, who prefer to beg for money, who hang out downtown day after day, who live creekside in our parks and leave human waste and garbage. Not to mention the theft, robberies, burglaries, vandalism and murders created by them.

It’s time Chico rolled up the welcome mat to everyone and started taking care of people who deserve it rather than those who have contributed nothing and expect it. I looked at council candidates and am going to vote for the ones who advocate for the citizens of Chico first.

I support Andrew Coolidge, Matt Gallaway and Kasey Reynolds

Don Walker


Naming names

Wealth has become so concentrated that just a few high-return financial investors are now responsible for virtually all war and climate change—199 to be exact. These few are also part of the largest public relations companies and account for 80 percent of all corrupting campaign contributions worldwide. They are the owners of corporate media. Fascism is distracting violence while the wealthy rob us all.

And they have names.

Sonoma State professor Peter Phillips, author of Giants: The Global Power Elite, will be telling us those names at 4 p.m. Friday (Oct. 5) at the Pageant Theatre, which will undoubtedly sell out. You will be able to talk to Peter at his book-signing Saturday at The Bookstore from 10 to noon.

The book is an invaluable reference for those doing direct action or those joining in class-action lawsuits against these violators of our public trust. This book will be in every Earth First and Greenpeace activist’s backpack.

Come out to learn and help us stop these few individuals from destroying all that is good in society and the very environment we survive in. We have a clear target, now let’s organize!

Sterling Ogden


Answers required

I attended a city of Chico Finance Committee meeting. The topic was a revenue measure for a future ballot. A staff report was ordered by council last spring and then Finance Committee meetings were suspended for the summer, giving the public no chance to get into the conversation.

I expected a discussion of road funding options. When I asked about funding for the recent road improvements around town, I found out $6 million in RDA funding was used to put in streets at the Fogerty subdivision on Highway 32. As I questioned staff about this, committee Chair Mark Sorensen became very angry, and cut me off, saying I’d used four minutes of staff time and that was all I got.

Other attendees were allowed to speak at length, including a rant about how “the liberals” had spent all our money. As I held my hand up, he called on others who’d already spoken, because they all supported his revenue measure. Sorensen has become increasingly hostile to anybody who questions his intentions. He’s created a hostile environment for citizens who want to participate. Asking questions is not uncivil. More people need to ask questions.

Juanita Sumner


Celebrate peace, justice

All are invited to the Chico Peace and Justice Center’s annual dinner celebration and fundraiser. This year’s theme is Honoring Indigenous People with keynote speaker Ali Meders-Knight of the Mechoopda Maidu Tribe.

The event includes community awards, a raffle, dinner and music. It’s taking place Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Chico Masonic Family Center at 1110 W. East Ave. Doors open at 5 p.m., program starts at 6. Tickets are available online, at Stonewall Alliance Center, or at the event. Find more information on Facebook.

This event is planned for the day before Indigenous People’s Day and CPJC will be making a declaration in support of IPD. For the last 26 years, cities and states around the U.S. have moved to replace Columbus Day with a recognition of indigenous people. The holiday was first instituted in Berkeley in 1992, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. As we strive to end wars and create peace abroad, we must also recognize that we live on stolen land and must seek reconciliation with the Original Peoples at home and abroad.

Rain Scher


Dangerous jobs

Re “Ambush on Mangrove” (Cover story, by Ken Smith, Sept. 6):

The tow-truck driver history story was a good read. I would love to see more stories about our neighbors who have jobs that put them in the line of danger or otherwise are stressful and they have to endure trials for the service they provide us. Preston Noe has now retired but served this community as a tow-truck driver for many years; I would like to thank him for his service.

Carol Peet


Thanks, Chico foodies

I want to thank all the people who shared their Taste of Chico tickets with the people in the City Plaza who are homeless. Several of the people told me how appreciative they were to talk with the crowd and to have the opportunity to eat the delicious Chico food that they rarely get to eat. Again, thank you.

Sandra O’Neill


Think of the children

I believe we aren’t doing enough to preserve our children’s innocence or foster their positive moral development.

Each day, I read the major stories and am confronted not just with a new mass murder, but also a new scandal overshadowing the mass murder and scandal that was news yesterday. Tragedy and disgraceful behavior blanket every headline, and children are being exposed to a flood of human calamity and exploitation.

I once thought the morally doubtful statements and mocking actions of those in influential positions weren’t as important as legislative bills being pushed through Congress; but, there’s been an unprecedented level of abhorrent behavior that I believe could poison the developing minds of our future caregivers.

Maybe not all our kids have social media accounts. Maybe they aren’t worried about discrimination or school shootings. Maybe they don’t know that their president has said things like “grab them by the …” or paid for prostitutes to be quiet.

Maybe they don’t know about the charges levied against a Supreme Court nominee. I don’t know how many children are aware of such things, but we must ask what happens to the moral development of a child who sees influential adults ignore/excuse such violence and vulgarity.

Kasey Gibbs