Trumped up hate biggest thing to fear Undocumented students and others are anxious

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by Kate Sheehy

Across the country Wednesday morning people woke up to face the unexpected. It’s fair to say that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters alike were dealing with shock.

It seems all along there was a “silent vote” for the former reality TV star that gave him the edge he needed to beat Clinton. Pollsters were not aware. Political pundits were not aware. The best research a campaign could buy could not identify the hidden resentment harbored by thousands who were not visible among the raucous Trump base.

So on the morning after the election as people turned on their radios and TVs and opened their newspapers, they were reminded that the United States is not the country they might have thought it was. For millions of Americans it was a terrifying wake up call. read more

Trickle-Down Meanness Shapes Attitudes Toward Homeless Local Election Outcomes Matter

photo by Dave Waddell

Sign that replaced a homeless man’s rest site

By Dave Waddell

While waiting for coffee recently, I became fixated on a mentally ill homeless man. He lay on his side in the shuttered entrance to what last was a Walgreens at East Avenue and the Esplanade. Every few seconds, the old, bearded, agitated man would flail his arms toward someone or something that was tormenting him but wasn’t really there. His situation – common across our country – struck me as just so sad and seemingly hopeless.

Yesterday, upon my return for coffee, I noticed that some sort of contraption covered by a blue tarp had taken the man’s place in the entrance.  Attached to that tarp was a message, hand-lettered in pencil with more anger than planning: “Stay the Fuck out or else Little Bitches.” read more

Family Stories, not Census Forms, Explain Ethnic Identities

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 by Gail Lemley Burnett

“Are you Hispanic?” isn’t supposed to be a tough question. Yet every time I meet it while completing a census form or medical history, my pencil hovers between “Yes” and “No” and my eyes search for the most accurate answer, which is never there: “Sort of.”

I’m one of the millions of Americans who occasionally change their ethnic designation. It’s complicated. My mother’s father emigrated with his family from Mazatlán, Mexico, when he was in his teens. He married my grandmother — not Hispanic — in Los Angeles in the late 1920s, and they had two daughters. My grandfather’s family was big, noisy, and still firmly tied to the Mexican state of Sinaloa. When my curly-haired Aunt Gloria was a little girl, the family took her there at festival time and dressed her as an adorable señorita. My mother and Gloria grew up in southern California in the 1940s and ’50s with a Spanish surname and were sometimes told, in those racist “good old days,” that they were “not like the other Mexican girls — you’re clean.” How could that history not be a part of our heritage? read more

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Tax Cuts, Job Growth and their Mythic Relationship

by R.G. Rich

Do tax cuts for the wealthy create new jobs? In fact, the exact opposite is true, and well illustrated in recent history.

Raising tax rates for the wealthy creates new jobs.

Why? When rates are raised, the value of a tax deduction is increased in real terms. Hiring a new employee or buying a new piece of equipment is a new business expense. At higher tax rates, the wealthy, and businesses small and large, look to offset taxable profits.
When rates are low, there may be little incentive to hire or replace older equipment because taxes are not perceived as a burden. When rates are high, those same increased expenditures provide a bigger economic benefit through tax savings, thereby creating an additional incentive to spend. High tax rates provide an incentive for expansion, in order to shelter profits from taxes. Higher rates provide an added benefit for risk-taking. read more

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Undocumented Students: Illegal but not Criminal

Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown
Gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown

by Dave Waddell

Given the nauseating, demoralizing politics that overshadow the complex family issues of illegal immigration, I was heartened to read of the Obama administration’s intentionally laissez-faire treatment of students who were brought to the United States unlawfully as children.

To me, the best way to counter the demonization of all illegal immigrants, including these students, is to put a human face to their plight. So I’d like you to meet “Alicia,” my student.

I put quotation marks around the name because it is an alias. I would prefer to use her real name, but she fears being identified, despite the fact that students like her are increasingly stepping up and speaking out. Alicia was conditioned by her family to not “rock the boat.” That’s understandable when a wrong move could result in detention and deportation. read more

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What’s In a Name?

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Chico writer Alexa Valavanis wrote the following column in response to the Aug. 4, 2010 ruling by a federal judge overturning California’s gay-marriage ban.

by Alexa Valavanis

Judge Vaughn Walker doesn’t know my name. I’ve never written him a letter or rang his smart phone. We’re not colleagues or acquaintances or even Facebook “friends.” In fact, there’s a strong possibility the judge and I would defy the theory of “six degrees of separation.”

Which is a long way of saying the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in California, nominated by George H.W. Bush, doesn’t know anything about me. He doesn’t know I value my family and faith above all else. He doesn’t know how deeply I cherish being an American and the individual rights and freedoms both of my grandfathers fought for. read more

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