Interesting comments from readers

21 Jun

I get comments from people that deserve another look sometimes.

Yvonne asked me what I think about Newsom’s mask order and “other dirty deeds.” Thanks Yvonne, a quick search led me to some answers to questions I already had, and then more questions.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-20/gavin-newsom-n95-masks-byd-chinese-company-california-legislature

The question it answered for me is how California went from a $5.6 billion budget surplus to a $54 billion deficit just over the span of about three months of shut-down. Remember folks, we’re talking BILLIONS here. I don’t think most people could count to a billion in three months, but here Gavin Newsom went through $60 billion plus faster than prune juice through the guts of an 80 year old man. A billion off to China for substandard COVID masks, sheesh, I’d hate to see the governor’s credit card bill.

https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2020/05/07/california-faces-54b-budget-deficit-1282926

Legislators are asking Newsom’s staff for the details of the deal, but they won’t tell. Furthermore, the KN95 masks manufactured by the Chinese are not exactly top rated. In April the FDA updated their recommendations, “limiting the use of certain KN95 masks as suitable NIOSH alternatives in a healthcare setting…” The reason is that these masks have the over the ear straps instead of the tighter fitting around the head straps.

So, Newsom spent a billion dollars ($1,000,000,000) on masks that are not the first choice of the FDA, and then won’t tell us the details of the deal.

I’m not sure how to feel about that. I’m still processing the new order that we all have to wear masks. I’ve read all the recommendations, and the N95’s are the only ones I would trust if I were truly afraid of this disease or thought I was in danger of spreading it. In fact, if I believed that, I would stay home. But I don’t believe it. I think this order is more about controlling people than controlling any disease. I will wear a bandana around my face when required to get into a food store, but I can shop online without a mask and that’s going to stick.

I got a comment from Robyn, who took offense to my use of the phrase “bum camp” to describe a place where people who do not contribute anything to society sleep, defecate, urinate, and accumulate large piles of trash, despite laws to the contrary.

I was appreciating this page until I read your term ‘bum camps.’ That’s horrendously insensitive towards human beings. Poverty is not a crime. Stigmatizing our most impoverished only fuels crimes against them.

I think it’s horrendously insensitive to trash the park and other public spaces that are supposed to be for all of us. Transients stigmatize themselves – their stigmata is their absolute refusal to comply with norms the rest of us have agreed to live by. Like, don’t shit and leave garbage on the ground next to a water way. Don’t leave needles on children’s playgrounds. Don’t set up camp in my neighborhood and then creep up to my house in the middle of the night to steal my catalytic converter or rout out my recycling bins.

Crimes against them? The only crimes I hear about against the transient population are assaults and robberies perpetrated by other transients.

Somehow she relates all this to racial injustice and police brutality.

By the way, a 1 or .5 percent sales tax, which is a highly contentious issue for so many people of privilege, is not the issue at hand nationally or globally. Racial justice and police brutality is. It would’ve been nice to see something about that here. Absence is silence, which is complicity with racism and white supremacy. But your “bum camp” comment already indicated your stance.

Here this nice lady is telling me what I’m supposed to talk about on my blog. Do I go to her house and tell her what to write in her diary? She tells me I’m racist because I want to discuss what’s on my mind. I’m a white supremist, because I don’t like people shitting on the ground in the park? Where does she get that?

It’s not okay for me to talk about a tax on “Chico Taxpayers Association” but it’s okay for her to tell me my concerns are not important because my skin’s not the right color – okay Robyn, I get it. When will these people learn how NOT to start a conversation?

Joe sent me some good comments related to the current unrest.

Is defunding police how streets are repaved? Don’t think so.

Good question. From what I understand, these people are not calling for the elimination of police services, but want a portion of the public safety budget to go to other agencies, unspecified. I don’t think the protesters understand how public agencies budget money. They don’t see how much money is poured into these public agencies – the Butte County Behavioral Health Department, for example, gets almost $100 million a year, but we still have old, mentally ill people and drug addicts dying on the streets, and we have a problem with police who don’t know how to handle either. The protesters need to come up with more creative answers than “throw money at it!”

Like Joe says, these agencies just use this angst as the basis for tax measure after tax measure, threatening to cut services if they don’t get more money, more money, more money. “Council’s dog/pony show, sales tax 101, promotes an immoral, unfeasible and regressive grab for people’s money, regardless of timing. “ Yeah, people are hurting right now, including local businesses – hardly a time to encourage people to shop less or shop online.

Here Joe suggests a harsher course than I’ve suggested so far, but I agree when he says, “California Rule be damned.

Best course of action: ALL city workers take a 50% pay cut and totally fund their retirement. California Rule be damned. Money would then be there to REPAVE the streets and address homelessness, lighting and crime.

The California Rule is a blatant taking. It’s like having some bum walk right in your front door and stuff his mangy fist in your cookie jar, take all your cookies, and then declare you have to buy more. The CA Rule says, point blank – the pension deficit will be paid before anything else. That’s what’s happened to our public programs, our streets, our park, The California Rule.

According to Joe Matthews in Zoccalo, “The California Rule is the misleading moniker we’ve given to our most troublesome legal precedent: public employees are entitled to whatever pension benefits were in place when they started work.” Matthews adds, “By requiring ever-escalating retirement benefits that force cuts in public services, the California Rule has effectively made a lie out of every significant guarantee in the state constitution, from balanced budgets to speedy trials.

In other states, Matthews says, “only pension benefits already earned by actual work are protected. California is one of only 12 states that have protected the right to earn future pension benefits for work not yet performed.”

 Joe expresses the frustration I feel, especially when I talk to a person like Robyn. “What’s a citizen like me to do? I don’t protest, pillage, rape, burn or kill!

Robyn, I wonder if you have an answer for Joe? Let him eat chocolate, you say?

6 Responses to “Interesting comments from readers”

  1. bob June 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm #

    Anyone who can’t figure out that the California Rule means we work for the government, the government doesn’t work for us, would probably be better off not voting. Just look at all the local and state tax increases and bonds the voters have passed since the California Rule.

    What Robyn doesn’t get is this is not about race, it’s about class. But the elites want everyone believing what Robyn believes, that it’s all about race. In the mean time, while we are divided the elite class (and that includes special interests like the local government bureaucracy) walk off with more of our money. It’s the oldest trick in the elite book: divide and conquer the masses. I am sure Robyn will agree that Orme’s sales tax increase will hurt poor blacks AND poor whites. And we all know Orme wants that money in the general fund where it can be funnelled into his and others’ unsustainable pension and other benefits.

    • Juanita Sumner June 22, 2020 at 6:20 am #

      I get it – I was just reading a quote from, of all people, George Carlin. I remember he became a cranky political pundit at the end, not funny, but smart. He said something about how we don’t really have “rights”, we have privileges, and they can be taken any time. So if we want to keep those “privileges,” we have to fight for them. I never saw myself joining the military – I don’t belong to a club unless I can run it – but I felt like I was defending my community when I was arguing with Robyn.

      Yes, this sales tax measure is a slap at EVERYBODY, but especially the people to whom an extra penny means they don’t make the purchase. The other day my son had to make a decision – gas in his car to get to work, or lunch. Of course he bought the gas and ate chips for lunch. That’s how it is for a significant portion of our local population.

      I don’t know if Robyn is really listening to what’s she’s saying, I think she’s carried away by the movement.

    • Robyn Engel June 23, 2020 at 7:08 pm #

      Exactly, Bob. It’s about class and privilege, which are similes. The fact is, Whites, especially White men, are disproportionately in positions of power and extreme wealth. BIPOC’s and those who are viewed as “less than” are disproportionately victims of racism, violent crimes, and police brutality. A review of Chico Police shootings proves this. Mental illness is the one demon that randomly hits us all regardless of class, race, and privilege. Thus, yeah, I don’t believe in demeaning or shunning people because they can’t afford housing with a bathroom, and because people like some of those here (with enough privilege to afford more than one home) believe that those without money don’t even deserve to have water or a toilet, or anything but to be further traumatized.Yes, I agree about Orme. Thank you for being respectful. Cheers. (PS Funnily, Juanita claims I annoy her regularly. This is my second and final visit. I guess she’s confusing me with other bleeding hearts. Kumbaya.)

      • Juanita Sumner June 24, 2020 at 5:45 am #

        Hi Robyn, I want to correct you – I said you OFFEND me regularly, not annoy. Get it right when you quote somebody, okay?

        You offend me by calling me rascist, white supremist, WHITE WOMAN. I asked you if you had any proof of that last one, cause you don’t Robyn, you have never met me, you know nothing about me beyond what you read here.

        Yes, I demean and shun people who willfully break laws, and I demean and shun members of the Homeless Industrial Complex, who make a shit-ton of money masturbating the situation. What do you do for a living Robyn? Know what I do? I provide housing for people, and they pay their rent and bills on time, they respect the law, and they respect me and the neighbors.

        There’s “welfare” for people who don’t have money, there’s housing, but these people have to respect the laws, the neighbors and the landlord. You give respect to get respect.

        I won’t thank you for being respectful, because you haven’t been.

  2. Yvonne Johnson June 22, 2020 at 5:28 pm #

    Thank you for your response. Drilling this down to a local level; it caught my attention today that CHAT has an abundance of free masks and they are organizing an event. CHAT operates totally on donations . I am rather curious where their “donation” of masks comes from.

    • Juanita Sumner June 23, 2020 at 10:48 am #

      I’m not sure where they get all their donations – I found this page with their financial documents but have not had time to review it.

      https://www.chicohousingactionteam.net/financial-documents

      I do see some interesting programs on their website here. A lot more interesting than stupid feel-good stunts like handing out free masks.

      https://www.chicohousingactionteam.net/overview-programs

      For example, “Housing Now. We rent rooms in houses or apartments to individuals and families at no more than 30% of their income, and we provide access to services. We provide property management and maintenance for the residences that are leased through this program, and many properties become in better condition under our management than they were prior to being leased. This program covers the majority of the people we serve.”

      Of course this would involve finding landlords who are willing to allow such a situation – this would require ALOT of management. They say “many properties become in better condition under our management” – I’d have to see that, or hear from neighbors. But, if they really do manage their tenants and keep up the properties, I’d say this is a good service. I’m a landlady, I know how hard it is to manage tenants and make neighbors happy.

      They also have rentals for families and work with the university to house low income students. Again, rather than taking their word for how it’s working, I’d like to hear from clients and neighbors.

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