Letters for September 25, 2003

World gone mod
Tom Gascoyne suggests that a “moderate Republican … could just as well be a moderate Democrat.” [“Close enough,” Inside view, Sept. 11]. Just what is a moderate, anyway?

In many cases “moderate” seems to mean “agrees with some people in their party on some things, but (horrors!) also agrees with people from that other party on some issues.” Other definitions could be “an individual,” “an independent thinker,” “open-minded,” “a maverick” or “a rogue.” Considering the predictable, lemming-like world of party politics, all of these definitions might just be good things.

Republican or Democrat, if a candidate can think outside the party box and is closer to the middle than the hysterical extreme on issues, it’s a promising sign. Democrat or Republican, be afraid of candidates who agree with the party platform on every issue.

People say that moderates are wishy-washy. I say what we need are passionate moderates!

Scott Huber

Stupid hypocrites
In your column [“Close enough,” Inside view, Sept. 11], you seemed to be rather proud of your criticism of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s accent, particularly since Gov. Gray Davis has joined in the fun. Fair enough. I’m all for free speech, but thanks for showing the world just how hypocritical you liberals really are. If a conservative were to find fault with Nelson Mandela’s mangling of the English language or Hillary Rodham Clinton’s screeching voice, you guys would be all over him like a bad smell. Such is the double standard by which liberals live.

Political correctness is nothing more than an attempt by liberals to limit freedom of speech under the guise that, rather than have people be responsible for what they say, a novel approach, it would be much nicer to simply limit what they can say in the first place. Hitler, Stalin and Lenin would be very proud. But here’s the funny part. When given the opportunity, liberals are rarely capable of practicing what they preach. They can’t sell a book without some sort of name-calling in the title (Al Franken comes to mind), and their attacks on political adversaries are usually incomplete without some sample of demagoguery and and/or epithets and personal attacks. Typically, liberals make up the rules as they go along and then thumb their collective noses when the time comes to abide by those rules.

In your case, it’s surprising how quickly you were able to jettison your liberal PC nonsense in order to take a cheap shot at a political enemy. But I’m not surprised; I’ve read your column before.

Of course, we conservatives are used to this. We know that when logic and common sense are applied, the liberal position on most issues falls flat on its butt. And we’ve always known just how phony liberals are regarding political correctness. But it’s fun to watch you display such a glaring example of that hypocrisy, especially since you apparently didn’t even know you did it. Or, perhaps you did know and you are, in fact, a hypocrite. Either way you proved what we always knew.

I don’t call attention to this because I support Arnold Schwarzenegger. I don’t. But, in defense of him I must say this: Arnold Schwarzenegger may someday lose his thick accent while you, on the other hand, will always be ugly.

Blake Driver
Received via e-mail

Gov. Robot
You say Arnold is a moderate Republican; that’s baloney. Anyone who raises funds for Orrin Hatch has got to have about half Nazi blood in him, which Arnold really does, doesn’t he? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. That might explain why Arnold has never renounced his Austrian citizenship, as required for all naturalized Americans.

In fact Arnold is an American for his convenience. He came to America because that’s where the money was. He never served in the armed forces or in a war even though he was certainly young and strong. He only voted two times in 30 years.

Arnold is an actor. He pretends to be a school teacher; he pretends to be robot; he pretends to be qualified for governor, and he is none of those things. The only thing Arnold has for California is a monumental ego and the pretend solutions of a snake oil salesman.

Richard Shutt Jr.

Don’t buy Prop. 54
In accord with one of its core values under social justice in the Ten Key Values of the California Green Party platform, the Green Party of Butte County recommends voters to vote “no” on Prop. 54, the Racial Privacy Initiative, or more aptly known as the Information Ban. The author of this initiative is Ward Connerly, the UC regent appointed by Governor Pete Wilson who also authored California Prop. 209, which banned affirmative action in the state.

The attorney general rejected the title of this initiative, and we should do the same due to its misleading and deceptive nature. This initiative is not about protecting our privacy rights—it’s about barring our access to crucial information. If this initiative passes, California will keep track of every form of discrimination except for discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity. It would damage our ability to address disparities by race or ethnicity in health care and disease patterns, educational resources and academic achievement, and hate crime and discrimination.

“The post-209 college entry statistics for people of color have plummeted,” said Peter Camejo, Green gubernatorial candidate. “Now, Prop. 54 would hide that decline by banning the data which show the problems we now see in health, education, and governmental programs.”

Diane Suzuki

Block party
At age 69, female, with a fair complexion, I fit into Michael M. Peters’ category of “The single largest voting bloc in the country” [“Reagan redux,” Letters, Sept. 11].

As I think back over those many years, I’m convinced that on broad social and political issues four generations of my family have fared far better under Democratic Party leadership. My grandparents, parents and my generation have FDR to thank for Social Security and LBJ for Medicare.

During the 13 days of the Cuban Missile Crisis I lived on the East Coast in daily fear for my children’s lives should one of the missiles be aimed at D.C. or N.Y. That crisis had a political solution courtesy of a Democratic president, JFK.

I am most disturbed by dishonest use of issues and language. I am convinced that when Republicans talk about saving Medicare their real intent is to destroy it, and their intended removal of a democratically elected governor makes me furious.

I hope others in my “voting bloc” agree and vote “no” on recall. Keep elections in the hands of the voting population and away from those who can purchase what they couldn’t win in a normal procedure.

Carole Eberling

Power crisis
Are the lights on in the White House and is no one home? The latest idiotic executive order released was to loosen the air pollution controls so that power companies can produce more electrical energy. This is the Bush/Cheney/Rove response to the major power outage in the northeast of the U.S. and parts of Canada?

Get a grip.

It wasn’t a lack of generated power that caused the outage. It was the lack of adequate transmission and distribution facilities that caused the power failure.

The Bush/Cheney/Rove administration now wants to open up drilling in the North Slope in Alaska to provide more fossil fuels to generate electricity and run our SUVs. The recent price gouging of the oil companies for gasoline is blamed on a broken pipeline in Arizona and old refineries. The oil industry says that they haven’t built new refineries in a long time. What have these oil companies been doing with all their billions of dollars of profits these many years?

This Bush/Cheney/Rove administration and its cronies have bilked Californians out of billions of dollars. While Bush was in California during the Northeast blackout he said he would have his administration do everything possible to get the power back on. What did he do during California’s and the other Western-states power crisis? Nothing! What a slap in the face.

It is time for impeachment of this appointed president.

Gary C. Shallenberger

Honor and preserve
As part of the “No Way San Jose” uprising, I always felt that protecting the opening to Upper Bidwell Park was only part of preserving Chico’s size/environment ratio. Unfortunately, councils, planning commissions, chambers and developers took to biggering with a “greedence.”

Chico provided large number profiteers with fertile pasture. Now, left with the residues of traffic, air quality, crowds, noise pollution, crime and on and on, our papers banter the growth as if Sherwood Forest could be saved. The mantra that “overgrowth is inevitable” blinds any effort to preserve. Preserving is all that’s left.

Jerry Olio