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Letters to the Editor for the week of 10/30/19

Guidelines for letters

All letters must contain an address and phone number. Only one letter per week per person will be published; only one letter per person per month regarding the same topic will be published. Feather Publishing does not print third-party, anonymous or open letters. Letters must not exceed 300 words. Writers responding to previously published letters may not mention the author by name. The deadline is Friday at noon; deadlines may change due to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing’s offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to [email protected].

Why Christian leaders apologized

In response to an Oct. 23 letter to the editor, “why should Christians apologize to the LGBTQ+ community?” Following are a few reasons. People who are LGBTQ+ have been hurt by the church at-large in many ways: they have been shunned and kicked out of their faith communities, they have been told by pastors they “will go to hell,” they have been denied leadership positions and worse. A friend of mine who is gay was forced to go through “conversion therapy” by his father who was a pastor. The “therapy” left him scarred for life — mentally and spiritually. When the conversion therapy did not work, my friend was disowned by his father. I have listened to young adults tell stories of how they tried to “pray the gay away” or tried to pretend they were not gay to the detriment of their mental health — many have attempted suicide.

As Christians, we are taught the greatest commandments are to love God and love one’s neighbor as oneself. Loving someone means accepting them for who they are — who God created them to be. Straight people do not make a conscious choice to be straight and the same is true for people who are LGBTQ+.

Fundamentalist Christians will point to Bible passages, which say a man lying with another man is a sin. There are also passages in the Bible, which say people should not wear clothing made of two different materials (Leviticus 19) or sow a vineyard with a second kind of seed (Deuteronomy 22). Most Christians no longer believe these second two are sins, so why is the first one still considered a sin?

Finally, Jesus never condemned people who were gay. If more Christians truly followed Jesus’ example of loving one’s neighbor as oneself with compassion and grace, rather than condemnation, our world would be a much better place.

Reverend Kendrah Fredricksen

Plumas County Gay-Straight Alliance Project Lead

In response

In response to a letter written to the editor in last week’s paper …

You stated that you are “tired of the endless attacks Conservatives and Christians” and ” opposing opinionated people.” Take a look in the mirror. You are the pot calling the kettle black.

To another writer, you (continually) write a bunch of vitriol stating how wrong the Democrats are, including claiming Trump is not a liar.

Burp all you want. He is a liar.

Full. Stop.

Crikit Smither

Portola

We need new voices

It never seems to end. The Trump White House careens from one catastrophe to another: the unconscionable desertion of our Ukrainian allies in a quid pro quo scheme to benefit the president’s campaign and his friend Putin; the abandonment of the Kurds, our long time Middle East allies, to face slaughter and displacement while increasing Russia’s and Turkey’s power in the region.

In our own country, the Trump Whitehouse is responsible for the gutting of cabinet level departments; the promotion of unqualified individuals to head those departments; the unprecedented use of the Justice Department to protect the president from investigation; the use of the Executive branch to promote the wealth and interests of the Trump clan.

The Trump Whitehouse has unleashed a level of dishonesty and immorality never before seen in America. We now cage children, more than 5,000 of them according to the ACLU, insidiously depriving them of compassion and caring. Trump, a self-proclaimed (White) Nationalist has precipitated an explosion of new “Hate” groups bringing totals to 1,020 according to SPLC. He has eliminated regulations that protect our health and our environment. And through it all, the GOP continues its efforts to invoke a stranglehold on Democracy by promoting the interests of the rich, engaging in tactics to facilitate voter suppression, and passing redistricting laws that deny voters a real voice at the ballot box. Republicans have deserted the basic premises of our Democracy.

Dahle, Gaines and LaMalfa have had their chance to deliver for our district. They have failed. It is time for a change. Our district needs new voices — voices that view integrity and honesty as essential in politics; voices that are unbought by corporate entities and work for our local common good. Vote for Elizabeth Betancourt AD1 November 5, and both Elizabeth and Audrey Denney, November 2020.

Faith Strailey

Quincy

Enemies within

Paraphrasing President Lincoln, the USA will never fall from outside forces, but only from those within our own country. There are many enemies of the U.S. within America. What’s heinous about these enemies is that they actually love America. What?

They love that they are given America’s natural resources for exploitation and export. They love that there are no restrictions or requirements for pollution controls and poisons. They can trash the environment and then have Americans pay for the environmental cleanup.

They love that America is filled with lots of stupid, ignorant, and complacent people who will ‘shut up’ and work for slave wages, and who are easily bamboozled into believing nearly anything they are told including giving these enemies the US Treasury.

These enemies love how they have economic and management control in everything critical to individual American lives. They control healthcare, utilities, transportation and food to name a few and skim copious profits off the top. And they love paying little to no corporate and personal taxes.

They love how they infiltrated America’s judicial system and can get away with any crimes they commit. They love how easily they can rig elections thru gerrymandering, voter suppression and outright election fraud. They love how they can implement almost any ‘law’ they want without consequences. And these enemies love America’s military and police forces.

Yes, they love America, but it’s that US Constitution, the rule-of-law and the government they despise. They also despise the people (but they love that they are passive and obedient, and will work for slave wages).

So, who are these enemies? Simple. They are the ones who are obsessed with accumulating (hoarding) as much wealth and power as possible. They are the corporate executives and the purchased corrupt Republican politicians who carryout the will of these psychopaths.

It’s class warfare and they are winning. They own politicians and the news media. We have only one chance to save America and our Constitution and that happens in November 2020.

Mark Mihevc

Graeagle

Stoddard v. Du Bois

Lothrop Stoddard might have been somewhat naïve, but he clung to his beliefs and was courageous in standing up for those beliefs.”In March, 1929, the Chicago Forum Council, a cultural organization that included white and black members, announced the presentation of “One of the Greatest Debates Ever Held.” The topic was “Shall the Negro Be Encouraged to Seek Cultural Equality.” Taking the “yes” stance was W.E.B. Du Bois, the twentieth century’s leading black intellectual; the “no” side was represented by Stoddard.

Estimates of the crowd ranged between 3,000 and 5,000 thousand, and the crowd was described as “predominantly colored.”  Du Bois made a very strong opening argument. Stoddard’s reply was reported as, “The more enlightened men of southern white America … are doing their best to see that separation shall not mean discrimination; that if the Negroes have schools, they should be good schools, that if they have separate train accommodations, they shall have good accommodations. (laughter). Stoddard apparently had no clue as to why the audience was laughing. “Blacks who had moved to Chicago from the South knew the Jim Crow cars. The absurd notion that Jim Crow cars were anything except horrible-dirty, crowded, inconvenient, degrading-got a huge laugh.”

 Keep that description of the rail cars in mind for next week.

(Material for this first section is taken from an article in “The New Yorker,” volume XCV, No. 24, August 26, 2019, entitled, “Old Hatreds,” written by Ian Frazier.)

Gene Nielsen

Crescent Mills

Who is paying?

“Science is the concerted human effort to understand … the history of the natural world and how the natural world works, with observable physical evidence as the basis of that understanding.” (University of Georgia)

“Science consists of observing the world by watching, listening, observing and recording.” (NASA)

“Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.” (Wikipedia)

Figuratively, science is like fifth graders on a field trip. One turns over a stone and finds an insect. Everybody gathers around to see. They count legs, antennae, eyes; is it fuzzy or smooth, fast or slow, big or little? What does it eat, does it poop, how does it have babies?

They build a classroom home for it and observe its behavior.

Then they each write a report on their observations and conclusions.

Surprise of surprises — they don’t all agree.

No disrespect to the academics, scientists, actors and politicians of the world, but science works that way.

Talcum powder was treatment of choice for diaper rash, now it is considered a carcinogen.

Pluto was a planet, then wasn’t a planet, now is a planet again.

Scientists, et al, are influenced by their own preconceptions and biases, as well as changes in scientific discovery.

Consequently, developing “testable explanations and predictions” is not an absolute.

So it goes with climate change.

Environmental “experts” have messed with animal migrations, diverted waterways, torn down dams, and more, without measureable improvement of the perceived ailment.

Climate change is their newest victim.

Most academics, scientists, researchers, etc., survive on government grants.

Makes you wonder if the “explanations and predictions” of these pompous, self-righteous, elitist climate “experts” are trustworthy or are they simply cozying up to the moneylenders.

Lynn Desjardin

Portola

On paleoanthropology

Although our species began to separate from a common ancestor at least six million years ago, so also did many other forms of pre-humans. Most of them never made it to our pretentious designation as Homo sapiens. But several did, including the Neanderthals and the Denisovans (who interbred with both Neanderthals and modern humans). In recent years, Svante Paabo and his staff at the Max Planck Institute have actually gained limited access to viable DNA from fragments of ancient bones. Surprisingly, a small amount of Denisovan DNA seems to be most prevalent in Papua New Guinea.

When I first studied paleoanthropology, many years ago, there were at least a dozen names ascribed to various bone fragments. Many proved to be alternate names for the same species. Whether any one of them is our direct ancestor is debatable. Recent finds, such as Australopithecus sedipa and Homo naledi in South Africa, and the diminutive island dweller, Homo floresiensis (nicknamed Hobbit) are adding bits and pieces to our understanding, but always more questions than answers. Many of us object, reasonably enough, to a comparison of our DNA to that of a chimpanzee (usually rated at 99 percent). However, all living species go back to common ancestors. Our own species could evolve into a new species, or it could simply join our ancient cousins after we too become extinct.

Although our expanding research into the past hundreds of millions of years of earth’s history has thrown new light on paleontology and geophysics, it can also create fear and insecurity in those whose minds remain closed. New knowledge should be appreciated rather than feared. We live in the past, but we are just beginning to appreciate its vast depth and scope.

Wallace B. Eshleman

Quincy

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