Letters for September 1, 2016
Re “Fuera Trump!” (Cover story, by Bert Johnson, Aug. 25):
After reading and enjoying the Chico News & Review for many years, today was a first for me. After picking up my weekly copy, I got home, reviewed the cover and headline stories, and, without even opening the edition, threw it in the garbage.
Let me start by saying, I’ve been witness to American politics for over 50 years, from the Kennedys to the Obamas and everyone in between. And it is without reservation that I say that the current two presidential candidates are, far and away, the worst two candidates that this country, and voters, have ever been witness to.
Now, CN&R, if you choose to trash and bash Donald Trump, understandable and no problem! But do not delegitimize yourself as a reliable and resourceful political reference by not providing equal time to Hillary Clinton and the very dark history of undisputable lies, crimes and cheating that both she and her husband have lived.
Voters who took part in the ’90s elections, and followed the Clintons’ rise to power, know exactly which instances and events I am referring to.
More on Trump
The choice between Trump and Clinton is not one of bad versus good. It is a case of an especially bad candidate versus a competent, unpopular candidate. I am one of those who dislike Clinton. I find her inauthentic, grating and manipulative.
Still, of the two candidates, she is the more experienced and knowledgeable, and she is not nearly as likely to put her foot in her mouth. Trump’s gaffes are extremely worrisome. One might be forgiven, a series cannot. In fact, his gaffes may not be gaffes. They present as something other than silly, spontaneous expressions of sloppy thinking. They seem indicative of deep conviction, which people worldwide find frightening.
Trump is worse than the bad he appears; Clinton is not as nice and straightforward as she would have us believe. Nonetheless, Clinton is the preferred choice. We dare not risk electing a president whose bizarre exclamations are antithetical to the First, Fourth, Fifth and Eighth amendments. Furthermore, if elected, one shudders to think of Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip responses to international disputes. Do we want more failed, hugely expensive, prolonged, unnecessary wars? I don’t think so.
I know school has started and many English teachers are preparing assignments for students for the new year. I suggest a compare and contrast assignment of significant countrymen in the last century. Perhaps “I have a dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. versus “I have no imagination” by Donald J. Trump would be a consideration. Have fun, kids!
‘Even more corrupt’
Re “On toddler Trump” (Letters, by Kenneth B. Keith, Aug. 25):
Mr. Keith is wrong that this country is doing so much better under President Obama and under Hillary Clinton’s same policies. The GDP, which is the rate of real economic growth under Obama, has never reached 3 percent. In fact, it has just averaged 1.32 percent under Obama.
Recent data from United States Department of Agriculture show that 43.3 million Americans receive food stamps and that the median household income is a mere $53,657, which has remained about the same for the last two years after years of decline. The poverty rate is steady, with 46.7 million Americans in poverty compared with 46.3 million in 2013. More than 1 in 5 American children are born into poverty. Seven years after the Great Recession, based on the GDP, the recovery is the weakest of the post-WWII era!
A vote for Clinton will be more of the same, yet even more corrupt. It’s been more than 266 days since she’s done a press conference.
Clinton allegedly used her position as secretary of state as a pay-to-play for her Clinton Foundation, taking money from foreign donors including Saudi Arabia—a country that treats women as second-class citizens and kills gays!
Even more Trump
Re “Three on The Donald” (Letters, by Renee Renaud, Aug. 11):
Ever since you printed my last letter about Donald Trump in which I said, “Donald makes me laugh,” people have been asking me how I can laugh about him.
My answer: “It’s easy, just say out loud, ‘Donald Trump for president?’ Then take a deep breath while raising your arms over your head, bend over and go, ‘ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!’” Keep doing it a few more times until the absurdity of it has you laughing for real.
Mark Twain said, “The human race has only one truly effective weapon and that is laughter.” Subversive laughter has been used against demagogues and dictators in many countries. Let’s use it to counteract Trump. I think we need to start Donald Trump Laughter Clubs all over America and maybe the world.
Re “It’s called social responsibility” (Guest comment, by Beau Grosscup, Aug. 25):
Wow. Professor Grosscup’s column brought back painful memories. His analysis reminds me of the PC movement that was running crazy in the 1980s by the Reagan administration when it referred to its nuclear weapon delivery systems as “Peacekeepers,” “Minutemen” and “Patriots.” And who can forget all those “communists” in Central America when the CIA trained their “freedom fighters” to butcher farmers (and their families), teachers, students, health workers, doctors and nuns!
The doctor says
Re “Anaphylactic sticker shock” (Heathlines, by Howard Hardee, Aug. 25):
I applaud the CN&R for covering how pharmaceutical companies gouge patients on life-saving medication.
The article raises another issue about using resources on hand. Obviously, I am happy the author made it to the hospital safely and received the treatment he needed, but I want to point out he was very fortunate.
A person is in anaphylaxis when at least two physiological systems are affected by exposure to an allergen. The distinction between “severe” and “full-blown” is descriptive versus medical; perhaps he meant he was not in anaphylactic shock.
Either way, getting behind the wheel during anaphylaxis poses a serious risk. The driver’s condition could escalate with the vehicle in motion. A loss of consciousness and ability to control the car can lead to an accident causing injury or even death, yours or others’.
If you start experiencing an allergic reaction and don’t have someone to take you to the hospital, always call 911—and if you have an EpiPen or epinephrine, don’t hesitate to use it as directed. Paramedics may be able to treat you; if they have to take you to the hospital, you’ll get treatment there that can save your life, without putting anyone else’s life in danger.
Editor’s note: The author is a pediatrician.
Pet helpers speak up
Paradise Animal Shelter Helpers (PASH) would like to raise awareness about the recommendations from the 2015-16 grand jury regarding animal shelters in Butte County.
The grand jury noted that all of the Butte County shelters have capable, dedicated staffs, and most shelters were adequate in relation to need. However, they did find several things lacking in the Paradise shelter: 1) the Paradise facility is small and in need of renovation and expansion, 2) there needs to be greater separation between cats and dogs, 3) sick animals need to be quarantined more effectively, and 4) the hours the shelter is open to the public are inadequate compared with other facilities.
As a longtime volunteer at the shelter, I know that these are critical issues that need to be addressed. I have seen first-hand the stress endured by cats who are continuously exposed to the sight and sound of barking dogs. I have seen disease outbreaks in which large numbers of cats had to be euthanized. PASH recognizes that there are many competing priorities for funding, but surely the town of Paradise can find ways to address the critical needs of the animal shelter.
Ellen Michels, PASH board member
‘More Feminism 101’
Re “Try a little reality” (Letters, by Sherrie Quammen, Aug. 25):
Female supremacist Sherrie Quammen just ain’t gonna peek at rabid consumerism and its role in environmental collapse; it doesn’t square with her dogma. Instead, we get more boilerplate Feminism 101 and a claim that it’s a dearth of women in high places that’s our real problem: If/when this is remedied, we’ll be on the good green road to eco-salvation.
In 2008, we had a chance to put Sarah “Butterfly” Palin within a wingbeat of the presidency. Sadly, we got Obama-Biden. Two years later, it was Jerry Brown vs. environmental paragon Meg Whitman. More weeping, we got Testosterone Brown. In the current presidential election, what if Carly Fiorina and Bernie Sanders emerged as the two nominees? How tragic would it have been if Sanders took the presidency, when we might have had our first dragon lady, denier-in-chief? But, no worries: remember the joy we all felt when XY Sanders lost to XX Clinton?
With more time, we could delve into the legacy of the deeply compassionate Margaret Thatcher. Or, the wonderful influence of Ayn Rand on the architecture of Reaganomics.
But, I’m not saying one gender has a monopoly on evil or stupidity. I’ll let Quammen make that case.
This election, now centered on personalities, will ultimately be decided on issues. Who can lead us forward in the ensuing years? By history’s measurement, we choose the Democrats. Most recently, President Obama led us out of Bush’s deep recession into a period of stability. Steady economic growth has characterized Obama’s term, in which financial markets steadied, heavy industry is recovering and unemployment is diminishing.
These huge Democratic accomplishments have proceeded largely unpublicized. In foreign affairs, Obama’s administration took a smarter approach, reversing the clumsy and disastrous Bush policy in the Middle East. Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry have targeted enemy leaders (Bin Laden, etc.), and infiltrated their organizations. Domestically, we’ve had no major disasters such as 9/11.
Challenges, including climate change and restoration of the middle class economy, remain. Again, Democrats are best equipped to overcome these pervasive problems. All 17 Republican presidential candidates (and LaMalfa locally) deny the existence of climate change, and offer only trickle-down economics.
As we move toward Nov. 8, our best guideposts are historical. Who has accomplished most in preceding decades? My perspective says it’s the Democrats, who’ve given us the Marshall Plan, voting rights, the Great Society, and the last president (Bill Clinton) to balance the federal budget.
Vote down pot
Re “Medi-pot measure moves on” (Downstroke, July 14):
Fool us once, fool us twice, but please don’t be fooled again. We need to pay attention to the details. The rights of patients to have access to medical marijuana are protected. Measure L is not about patients getting medical marijuana. Measure L pretends to be about the need for regulation and taxation of the pot trade, but it is really about the vast explosion of the use of Butte County as a center for huge indoor and outdoor grows, dispensaries every 1,000 feet, honey oil labs and the destruction of our environment, water, wildlife and pets—a virtual domination of our economy and landscape.
Not to mention the social damage to our youth and family environment. Don’t be fooled. The peace, safety and protection of our families, children, wildlife and environment are at stake here. Vote no on L or we’ll soon be wondering how we could have let it happen to us.
Don’t fear Walmart
Re “Walmart, the job-killer” (Letters, by Roger Beadle, Aug. 18):
When peddling fear, facts are often ignored. Those spearheading opposition to Walmart’s expansion plan claim that the project’s draft environmental impact report (DEIR) concludes that the project will lead to business closures. Nothing could be further from the truth. Compared to the project that was rejected in 2009, the latest project is smaller in size and proposed uses, and so is the current economy and retail market.
The DEIR concludes that the project poses no risk of urban decay. Second, the project alone will not cause any retailers, restaurants or grocery stores to close (see DEIR-retail 3.12-16 and Grocery 3.12-28). What Walmart opponents are citing to support a false narrative is the “cumulative” impact of the project combined with other development that may or may not come to fruition in the future.
Anyone practiced in land-use issues knows this portion of the analysis is not to be interpreted as a “prediction.” If Walmart threatened local business, the Chico Chamber of Commerce, the community’s leading small-business organization, would not have endorsed the project. I have confidence that our City Council members will cast their votes according to the facts and not baseless hysteria.
Suicide nets ill-conceived
San Francisco’s about to install steel-cable suicide nets on the Golden Gate Bridge. At three of the world’s most notorious jumping locations, suicide nets or fences have already been installed at a combined cost of $18 million. Amortized over 30 years, this amounts to $25,000 per jumper.
However, San Francisco’s about to spend $142 million on its nets, or $135,000 per jumper. That’s over five times what the other cities paid. Moreover, suicide nets don’t prevent suicides—they only redirect jumpers to other methods (e.g., by jumping from a different structure or by asphyxiating, poisoning or shooting themselves instead).
Clearly, this project isn’t to save lives—it’s to enrich contractors at taxpayer expense.
It’s also at the expense of suicide victims. Jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge is an extremely effective way to die. In its 1,687 known jumps through 2013, only 1 in 50 survived. Forcing suicide another way could add hospital bills, disability, pain, and embarrassment to victims’ problems.
Instead of installing nets, the city should post bridge signs advising jumpers to Google “suicide methods” for appealing alternatives.
An editorial in the Aug. 25 issue (see “City shouldn’t play favorites) incorrectly stated that the city of Chico had previously allowed community groups to use council chambers for free. In fact, the city charged a nominal fee of $29 per hour, plus ancillary fees. We apologize for the error, which has been corrected online. —ed.