Letters for September 8, 2016
Ask the cops more
Re “Cop talk” (Cover story, by Ken Smith, Sept. 1):
Chico Police Officer Jim Parrott stated that 75 percent of his day is sometimes absorbed with “transient” issues; this opened an opportunity for a more substantive line of inquiry:
Why use the word “transient,” when most homeless people are permanent residents?
When the U.S. Justice Department has called criminalization of sleeping (aka “camping”) a violation of the Ninth Amendment, how do you reconcile your oath to “uphold the constitution” with the anti-homeless statutes enacted by the Sorensen/Morgan/Schwab City Council?
How does it feel to roust a destitute person from a doorway, during a rainstorm, as required under ordinances enacted by the Sorensen/Morgan/Schwab Council?
How do you feel about issuing citations to indigent, brain-injured people who momentarily leave their carts/packs, thereby illegally “storing” them on public property? (How does it feel to seize these possessions, knowing they are needed for survival?)
How do you feel about issuing citations to the homeless for urinating/defecating in public, when restroom access is routinely denied by the city?
How do you feel about indigent mentally ill citizens clearly lacking adequate mental health services prior to arrest, languishing in Butte County Jail—which currently functions as a slipshod mental hospital?
Flip the border talk
Re “Fuera Trump!” (Cover story, by Bert Johnson, Aug. 25):
Now that we know a little about some Mexicans’ opinions about Donald Trump and his ideas for restoring sovereignty to the border, I would like an article in your paper about the laws for Americans entering Mexico. (Remember our citizen who was locked up in a Mexican jail for months for mistakenly entering Mexico?)
It is my understanding there are many stringent laws Americans must obey to live in Mexico.
Jo Ann Mondon
Editor’s note: Your wish is our command. See this week’s cover story (“Gone to Mexico,” by Catherine Beeghly, page 22) about a longtime Chicoan’s move south of the border.
‘Because we say so’
There is no better example of circular reasoning than that given by the California Correctional Supervisors Association (CCSA) for justifying its opposition to Proposition 64 (Fang, theintercept.com, May 18): “If marijuana was not a dangerous drug, the federal government would have made a change, but the fact remains it’s still a federal crime.”
In other words, marijuana is bad because the government says it’s bad, and the government says it’s bad because it is. The easiest way to dispute this specious reasoning is to cite the government’s other false claims: water boarding is not torture, Saddam Hussein has WMDs, derivatives are safe investments, banks do not need to be regulated, we have no intention of invading Cuba, mandatory sentences deter crime, Just Say No discourages drug use, Contras are freedom fighters, promoting abstinence is sex education, we are winning the Vietnam War, we respect Cambodia’s neutrality, the Patriot Act does not violate the Bill of Rights, trickle-down economics works, climate change is in dispute, we do not trade guns for hostages.
Unfortunately, this list is not exhaustive. Certainly CCSA’s lobbyist, Paul Curry, can devise a more convincing argument, although given the association’s patent self-interest, doing so may be nigh impossible.
Two views of ‘garbage’
Re “Garbage issue” (Letters, by Ken Mack, Sept. 1):
I have lived and voted through those same 50 years and am so tired of the lies about Hillary Clinton’s “very dark history of ‘undisputable’ lies, crimes and cheating….” This election is about Hillary—not Bill’s lie about a blowjob, the only indisputable lie from either of the Clintons. I know Republicans have wasted almost $5 million on eight Congressional witch hunts, and have to keep repeating their lies and innuendo about Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and emails; but really you have to have some proof. Just repeating a lie doesn’t make it true.
After hiring the white nationalist Stephen Bannon, the Republican candidate has hired David Bossie as a deputy campaign manager. Starting with his lie about why a woman committed suicide, through getting fired by the then-rational Republicans for doctoring an interview tape (H.W. Bush rejected his tactics as “filthy”), to Hillary: The Movie (that brought us Citizens United), he has made his living off the ridiculous fabricated “scandals” Republicans love to cite as fact. More “undisputable facts” soon!
A tip o’ my hat to Ken Mack for pointing out the noticeable lack of anti-Hillary material. Why am I a Trump supporter? While some may find his “gaffes,” “deep conviction” and his “shoot-from-the-hip” demeanor troubling, I find it a nonissue. We need a president who isn’t going to let ridiculous PC issues get in the way of doing what this country needs more than anything: making us economically viable again.
How can we hope to project a commanding presence on the world stage when we are indebted to countries like China that aren’t exactly our allies? The solution is obvious: Reopen our factories and begin producing our own goods that we export, thereby putting Americans back to work and building our economy on something tangible and real. Yes, I understand it is not quite so cut and dry, but it can be done and Trump seems to be the guy who can do it. So he’s loud, obnoxious, crude at times, whatever. It cannot be denied that he is a helluva businessman. I’m willing to gamble a mere four years to find out if he’s got what it takes. Trump! Why the hell not?!
Drug costs out of control
Re “Anaphylactic sticker shock” (Heathlines, by Howard Hardee, Aug. 25):
The EpiPen scandal has highlighted what those of us in medical practice already know—that drug prices are rising beyond affordable levels, driven by likely illegal copycat behavior if not outright collusion among drug companies. The rising prices, some up 600 percent since 2008, have no economic justification and represent gouging of the consumer, government and the health insurers we depend on.
The EpiPen equivalent costs $40 in Europe. Unfortunately, they are hard to import unless one travels there as they must be shipped temperature-controlled. Many other medicines can be safely and legally imported from Canada, Ireland or the UK, at a fraction of U.S. prices, and I encourage patients to do this if they have to. Some formerly cheap generic drugs like Digoxin, in use for 400 years, have shot up in price from $4 per month to $200, as drug companies buy generic manufacturers and then coincidentally start to raise prices simultaneously.
Generally, I support a free market, but in the case of abusing consumers, a Fair Trade Commission antitrust investigation and Congressional action to introduce European-style price controls are needed.
Roy L. Bishop, MD
Editor’s note: Dr. Bishop is a local family practitioner.
Back and forth
Re Re “Try a little reality” (Letters, by Sherrie Quammen, Aug. 25) and “More Feminism 101” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, Sept. 1):
Ladies and gentlemen, for your entertainment … in this corner, weighing in on hefty criticism of her-storical assertions … standing up for all things male-gone-wrong and not a little short on stream-of-consciousness dogma and willing to let you know the pain of it—Sherrie “The Query” Quammen! This is not her first roller derby! We have seen her, toe-to-toe, skate rings with her opponent over matters of change as the nonsense remorse of “… if I had to do it over again, I would-a, could-a, to a what to do-a when it’s too late-a” get-them-wagons-in-a-circle banter!
Challenging her every contentious move, weighing in on all things environmental, standing on the near bitter edge of planetary desecration, zombie nation apocalypse and disgust of anything that gets in the way of an activist’s new world order —Patrick “Iron Chef” Newman! His recipe of 1 cup double entendre condemnation, a heaping tablespoon of constructive Nihilism; mix in the venting of a dozen thrown eggs and let the mixture rest for eternity; preheat oven to global warming standards (the new room temperature) and bake, will continue to entertain readers of future issues if they survive.
Re “Even more corrupt” (Letters, by Jess Furtado, Sept. 1):
I might be “wrong” on occasion, but not recently.
Statistics are misleading. For swindlers like Trump, the Bush years were a dream. For friends like Ramon, who plunged from a grain silo in Wyoming, those days were not quite as jubilant. We painfully lament the sweet, generous people who could no longer see even a sliver of light in the distance that would make living worthwhile. Had they not been so thoroughly crushed by the bursting bubble, loss of career, medical, home, farm, retirement, savings, family and the unacceptable horror in Iraq, they could still be here to witness the sincere but gradual improvement in our country since the Democratic Party recaptured the White House.
For many Americans, most especially the thousands like veteran bro Ramon, our nation could not have possibly been better off before Obama except that—at least back then—they were still alive.
Kenneth B. Keith
Time to leave
It is time to bring our troops home immediately from Afghanistan. After spending billions of dollars that could have been used for education, we have to admit that the military option has been a disaster.
Our meddling has not made that country better off or the world safer. Please send a postcard or call the president and our elected representatives and ask for an orderly withdrawal now! Thank you.
Grandmothers for Peace, Chico