Letters for September 15, 2011

Comments on 9/11 stories

Re “An American blindness” (Cover story, by Tom Hayden, Sept. 8):

Publishing this article was in bad taste. Such an anti-American rant was inappropriate at a time when we remember 3,000 innocent lives snuffed out by a group of zealots who want to kill us, not because of a blindness of “privilege and hubris,” but because we do not believe as they do.

Theirs is a creed of religious bigotry that stands against what we believe in. We do not consider ourselves to be justified in killing others to make a political point, and we do not justify murder in the name of religion.

Whether your views are right or wrong is beside the point; such an article at this time shows your blindness to decency and civility. It is hubris that you believe you are so much smarter than the rest and that we want to sit at your feet and hear this bitter bile drool from your lips.

One thing is a positive, though: By publishing this you show your true face, and people will notice and be repelled by you. Thank you for such a self-inflicted wound. No one but yourself could have done it as well.

Bill Rowe

I was disappointed that on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 the CN&R did not have an investigative article on the mountains of scientific research and evidence that has come to light since the official story of 9/11 was released—evidence that could warrant a new and independent investigation.

A good start would be to Google the videos Blueprint for Truth and 9/11 Mysteries, or better yet come to Chico State (PAC 134) Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. to listen to Richard Gage, a Bay Area architect who founded the organization Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. He will be speaking along with author and theologian David Ray Griffin on how the WTC buildings 1, 2 and 7 collapsed. The presentations are free.

I believe American blindness to the long wars that ensued as a result of 9/11, which Tom Hayden speaks of, cannot be reversed until we are willing to open our eyes to the evidence and our hearts and minds to the task of seeking the truth regarding 9/11.

Marybeth Wuerthner

Tom Hayden makes some excellent points, especially about the USA being in a “Long War”—after all, Britain and Russia were involved in the “Great Game” in Afghanistan for more than a hundred years. So yes, Americans should be aware we’re in for the long haul, and it does get expensive.

I must disagree with Hayden about the Phoenix program being a failure, though—North Vietnam lost 37,800 killed or captured during Tet and later, of the remaining 80,000 Viet Cong who survived Tet, 65,000 were killed, captured or accepted amnesty, with thousands more fleeing to Cambodia due to the Phoenix program. This left South Vietnam mostly free of Viet Cong, forcing the North Vietnamese to rely on conventional warfare.

If we want the current War Against Terrorism to end, we have to stop tromping over the cultures, economies and religions of foreign nations with our hobnailed boots and make an effort to understand them, rather than trying to convert them to our own dubious capitalistic endeavors.

Mike Peters

This “story” or commentary is not really about 9/11; 9/11 should be focused on the 3,000 people who died and never went home again. Just try reading the “story” to a family who lost a mother or father and see what they think. It’s unfortunate that people hijack 9/11 for others issues.

John Bradford

Put more work into ‘Labor’

Re “Labor” (From the Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, Sept. 8):

Don’t you agree that listing quotes (particularly an eclectic mix) is relatively easy, and possibly meaningless? Give the topic some significance by stating which of those quotes, if any, you agree with, and why.

With the issues of labor, unemployment, rich vs. poor and the shrinking of the middle class currently of great concern to many people, why not use your column to foster some thinking and healthy debate?

Julie Harris

Let them party

Re “Farewell to the float?” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, Sept. 8):

Local law enforcement should learn a lesson from Isla Vista. UCSB is a very popular party school, and local law enforcement understands this. In Isla Vista the law enforcement works to protect the masses, without wasting large sums of taxpayer dollars trying to prevent the inevitable.

It is not the government’s job to stop people from drowning in a river, any more than it is the government’s job to make you wear your seatbelt or tell you to quit smoking. The fact is we have much bigger problems much closer to home.

I wonder how much methamphetamine is manufactured in Butte County. How many kids try it for the first time every day? Stop wasting our resources on foolish efforts and start actually doing something to make my community a better place.

Paul Davis

A chuckles factory

Re “Democratic lies” (Letters, by Stephanie Taber, Sept. 8):

I hope you continue running Stephanie Taber’s letters. In a time when we need all the chuckles we can get, she certainly provides plenty of those, as she claims to be a purveyor of “truth” and “facts.”

Her latest spew purports, among other things, that the Chico Tea Party is all about “fiscal responsibility.” Yet, that claim just doesn’t square with the $151,000 cost of the special election three months ago, just so a bunch of angry people like Stephanie could attempt to deny a significant bloc of voters the chance to shape local races.

What could $151,000 do for the city? It could pay the salaries of a couple of laid-off cops, and it could repair a huge number of potholes. The “fiscally responsible” thing to do, Stephanie—indeed, the right thing to do—would be for the Chico Tea Party to admit its egregious error and give the taxpayers their money back.

The biggest laugh, however, came by way of Stephanie’s claim that the City Council progressives who opposed Measure A will pay for their stance. “Their position will not be forgotten come 2012,” she warns ominously—as if her battered followers will somehow reverse Chico’s political demographic in 14 short months.

Opponents didn’t just beat Measure A—they boogied in its end zone.

Face it, Stephanie. Your antiquated image of America with its white, male, conservative power structure is rapidly fading. You certainly aren’t going to find your nirvana in Chico. You do provide us progressives with some good entertainment, though.

Edward Booth

Nielsen’s illegal residency

Re “Nielsen goes Bird hunting” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Sept. 8):

Good luck to Red Bluff activist Don Bird on his “day in court” Monday, Sept. 12, regarding Assemblyman Jim Nielsen’s residency issue. I am concerned the Tehama court officials will not let Mr. Bird even broach the issue of Nielsen’s residence, but will instead focus strictly on the restraining-order “threats” issue.

According to Article IV, Section 2(c) of the California Constitution, “A person is ineligible to be a member of the Legislature unless the person is an elector and has been a resident of the legislative district for one year, and a citizen of the United States and a resident of California for three years, immediately preceding the election.”

The dictionary definition of a “legal residence” (according to the law) is that residence where you have your permanent home or principal establishment and to where, whenever you are absent, you intend to return; every person is compelled to have one and only one domicile at a time.

Despite what Jim Nielsen (and apparently the Tehama County District Attorney’s Office) may think, owning a piece of property in Gerber that is occupied by a tenant, while living permanently in a gated community in Woodland, does not—in any way—constitute a legal residence for eligibility for serving in the 2nd Legislative District.

Mark S. Gailey

Editor’s note: For a report on Mr. Bird’s court appearance, see Newslines, page 9.

Yes to healthful foods

Re “Moderation, not extremism” (Letters, by Scarlett Rhoads, Sept. 8):

If childhood obesity continues to increase at its current rate, children today will live shorter lives than their parents. Yet unhealthful products are heavily marketed everywhere to children, including in our schools. I applaud the CUSD school board for their leadership in promoting policies that protect the health of our schoolchildren.

In her letter, Scarlet Rhoads states that our schools are in dire need of financial support and rely on fundraisers that include the selling of unhealthful food. While I don’t think anyone would argue our schools need financial support, I believe that the marketing of unhealthful foods like cookie dough, candy and soda has no place at school.

The future health of our children is in our hands. Although changes like eliminating unhealthful foods from fundraisers might seem like a small step, it’s important to remember each small step leads to big health improvements. It is time for us to think outside of the cookie-dough box and start embracing a movement toward healthful change.

Please contact the school board and tell them that you support their efforts to protect the health of our children.

Gina Sims
Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion
Chico State

I am writing to say a big thank you to CUSD for standing up for healthful foods in the district. It is so important for kids to be getting positive feedback about setting up healthful food patterns for life from the caring adults around them—and junk-food sales, for lunches or fundraising, are sending the wrong message.

While Ms. Rhodes clearly cares about supporting our schools, I feel her anger at the district is misplaced. There is much we can do as community members to raise money through awareness of supporting healthful eating.

Blue Oak Charter School and others in Chico are now working with the Healthy Lunch & Lifestyle Project, a nonprofit organization based in Redding. It was founded by Bridgette Brick-Wells and her husband, Jesse, who is a physician board certified in emergency medicine. He treats an increasing number of children and adults suffering from diseases directly related to overweight and poor nutrition.

The lunches they provide are simple, nutritious, locally sourced when possible, and available for $2.75 each.

Please know that there are many of us working toward what the CUSD board is setting in motion to keep our district healthy. It takes all of us!

Rebecca Daun-Widner
Blue Oak Charter School parent

Obama’s ‘cowardly decision’

I was saddened on Friday to hear President Obama repeating the Tea Party line, suggesting that protecting our environment will hurt our economy.

Improving environmental standards is actually good for the economy. Requiring stricter pollution standards compels companies to invest in technology and infrastructure, creating badly needed jobs. In addition, health-care costs will go down, since people will be breathing cleaner air and drinking cleaner water.

By leaving in place Bush’s smog standards, which are so lax that Obama’s own EPA chief said they are probably violating the Clean Air Act, up to 12,000 people per year could die from asthma and other lung and respiratory diseases. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to pollution-related asthma.

It is especially disconcerting that he announced this cowardly decision on the Friday before Labor Day, so most people wouldn’t even hear about it.

Our environment is too important to be mistreated by our government! The president needs to be held accountable for blocking updated smog standards.

Stricter standards are good for our families, and they are good for America.

LaDawn Haws

Paul is the man

With the economy, unemployment, national debt and the wars bankrupting our country, I cannot believe every American isn’t voting for Ron Paul.

Congress has become a self-severing, elitist gang of millionaire criminals. If the massive bank bailouts and Fannie/Freddie crime syndicate don’t wake you up; if you still think that either the GOP or the Dems care one wit about you or me, then I am afraid you have already ingested too much Kool-Aid and I will pray for you.

Wayne Rice

Why are Dems so nasty?

As Democrats are usually really nice people who are open-minded to other viewpoints, I’ve had a hard time understanding why they’ve resorted to such nastiness and name-calling lately? Republicans have hardly changed our viewpoints: We still stand true for freedom over government intrusion, low taxes over government waste, and job creation over empty political posturing. So why are they suddenly calling us terrorists, bullies, traitors, etc.? Did they all run out of Prozac at the same time?

Then I remembered there’s an election year coming up, and Barack Obama is at a low point in the polls due to his pretty complete failure as a president. The people are fed up with the Obamaconomy and no longer believe government (socialism) to be our ultimate savior. His record would be even worse if it weren’t for states like Texas and Wisconsin, and their Republican governors, actually putting people to work.

In other words, all the hate mail from Democrats is just another political show. It’s to distract us from their pathetic economic performance. When the election rolls around, ask yourself if you or your neighbors are doing better now than you were four years ago. If the answer is no, it’s time for Obama to go.

Steve Thompson

The author directs the Chico district office of Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Linda).