Letters for September 30, 2004

Family ties
As a veteran myself (U.S.M.C. 1953-55), I can sympathize with the feeling of those veterans who declare themselves insulted by Sen. Kerry’s stand upon his return from Vietnam.

However, I feel compelled to point out that a fighter who became disillusioned with that war can in no way be said to have insulted American veterans as grossly as a coward who hid behind his family connections to avoid risk.

Franz Cilensek

I would like to make a suggestion that the Bidwell Ranch issue be placed on the ballot for the voters of Chico to decide what to do with the land that was given to us by Annie Bidwell. What would she want done with the land? Let the people decide. Vote.

Sharon Chambers

Publishing rights
John Neal of a long line of warriors repeats the old saw that we have veterans such as those buried at Arlington to thank for our ill-deserved freedom to publish attacks against our government [“Censor sensor,” Letters, Sept. 23].

Aside from the fact that Mr. Neal does not sound like much of a friend of freedom at the moment, the record indicates that freedom of the press resulted from such developments as the failure of Parliament after 1695 to renew the Licensing Act and the gradual relaxation by 18th-century courts of the laws of seditious libel, as in the famous Zenger case of 1735 in New York.

Since the United States did not then even exist, these developments can scarcely have depended on the valor of American arms. In fact they look to be much more the work of civilians than of soldiers. This may help explain why in wartime, far from flourishing as Neal seems to think, freedom usually takes a beating.

Militaristic bombast like Neal’s puts me in mind of Civil War Gen. John Pope, so full of self-importance that he often dictated dramatic dispatches from his “headquarters in the saddle.” Lincoln once tellingly observed, “Gen. Pope’s headquarters are where his hindquarters ought to be.”

Carl Peterson

Beer break
Shame on you, Chico, for letting there be one empty seat at the John Prine performance at Laxson Auditorium. What, you can’t spend money on a show unless you can have a glass of hometown brew sitting in front of you?

Shame on you!

Lisa Smith

Good old days
Every time I see one of Doug LaMalfa’s campaign signs—"He’s One of Us"—I am transported back to the sweet, sacred days of my boyhood in the deep South. Oh, those were simpler times. The blacks sang in the fields as dusk fell over the cotton. God-fearing folk of all races kept to their own. Women baked and men worked and children played in the lush grass, and everyone knew their place.

If you read his political statements, Doug understands the old ways perfectly. Too bad he is just one lonely voice in Sacramento. No race quotas on his watch! No tree-hugger laws crippling agriculture and industry. No regulations emasculating American cars.

Doug longs for the old days, when a man could hop in his 357 Boss Mustang after work, take Mary Jane for an evening ride by the levee, and only pay 25 cents a gallon for this basic American right.

Today, we have to invade dinky towel-head countries to keep them from extorting American dollars for oil. Homos want to get married. Federal agents want to take our guns.

I’m grateful to all the Butte County farmers and ranchers willing to put up his signs. Who’d have thought I’d move to California to find God-loving, hard-working white plantation owners who have resisted the mongrelization of blood and values that has so weakened our country.

The last time I saw anything like it was 40 years and 2,000 miles ago. The memories are still strong, though—thanks, Doug, and God save America!

Eric Lucas

Not another ‘One’
I am confused by Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa’s campaign signs, which proclaim that “He’s One of Us.” Excuse me? Us? Does he mean the handful of federally subsidized millionaire rice farmers in our district? He’s definitely one of them.

I realize running a rice empire is time consuming, but the lack of legislation introduced by LaMalfa over the past two years is breathtaking. He authored a few amendments to existing bills, like redefining a pick-up truck as having either an open or closed bed under 9 feet. Vitally important. He also wrote an amendment making it a felony rather than a misdemeanor to burn a cross on someone’s lawn. I guess it proves he’s not a sheet-wearing KKKlan member, but it’s hardly a deterrent for the monsters who do such things.

Here’s one he wrote all by himself. ACR 189 renames a five-mile stretch of Hwy 99 the Bernie Richter Memorial Highway. Liquor-store-mogul-turned-Assemblyman Richter, who died in 1999, also happened to be the father-in-law of David Reade, Doug’s campaign manager. What a coincidence!

Oh well, at least LaMalfa votes. Against the environment. Against women’s issues. Against working folks. Against “us.” Vote McIver in District 2.

Liz Merry

Split decision
Normally, about this time of year the Chico Unified Teachers Association would be active in endorsing candidates for the Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees. This year, however, CUTA has chosen not to endorse any candidate.

This should in no way be construed as a vote of no confidence in any of the candidates.

We sent questionnaires to all nine candidates. Six of the candidates responded and then came for face-to-face interviews with a committee made up of teachers from elementary, junior-high and high schools. That committee’s charge was to attempt to reach consensus on which candidate(s) to recommend that CUTA endorse.

The committee felt that all six of the candidates interviewed (Anderson, O’Bryan, Davis, Reed, Penne, and de la Torre) had strengths and were people we could likely work with. Unfortunately, the committee was unable to come to consensus on supporting any particular candidate or candidates for the two seats available.

Therefore, CUTA will not be actively involved in this school board election. Individual teachers, however, have been encouraged to support whichever of these candidates they prefer. We also encourage everyone in the public to get to know these people and to make sure that you go to the polls.

George Young