Local Politics

I haven’t paid much attention to politics the last few years. Actually I’ve avoided it more often than not, but local politicians’ shenanigans interest me, and I went to the candidates’ forum done by the League of Women Voters in the Chico Silly Council room last week. The place was packed.

I went to see Heidi Hall and Dough LaMalfa, who are running for the House of Reprehensibles, and I accidentally hit the jackpot. I didn’t know about any other participants until I got there and found that the League of Women Voters had included candidates for the Chico Unified School District board and the Chico Silly Council. Mark Twain allegedly said, “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.” He said that a long time ago, too.

I got to sit for three hours listening to mostly blather, and even when it wasn’t blather it sounded like blather—and now and then, drivel—because everybody used the same frame of reference and agreed on the basics. Some of them seemed sincere, which I know can be practiced, and some of them were obviously full of it, or maybe themselves. They all believe in the essential goodness of the system although they think it’s broken in some way that they can fix. My kind of politician is anybody who supports eliminating the body to which she wants to be elected.

Three candidates for the Chico Unified School District board showed up, as did seven candidates for the Chico Silly Council. What a bunch. There had been four candidates for the CUSD board, but one of them withdrew her candidacy, perhaps the wisest of the lot.

Dough LaMalfa is not one of us, unless you’re him. He said, “I’m from the neighborhood.” but I don’t think he was talking to me. He’s fine with fracking—never mind all the water used and the poisons involved, it makes us less dependent on foreign sources. Saying that Dough LaMalfa might be simple might be libelous, so I won’t.

LaMalfa’s also not so sure about this global-warming flap, temperatures have always varied, et cetera. I can’t argue with that last bit. Some talk about climate-change deniers like heretics and, like Ms. Hall, cite numbers to back up the notion that people have made the Earth hotter. I don’t put much stock in numbers on a little screen, no matter what they’re supposed to mean. I think that’s part of my fogeydom, and I’m delighted.

I don’t care whether the Earth is warming up or not. Nor do I care what role people played, and I definitely don’t care that an organization of Catholic bishops has agreed to blame global warming on us, which Ms. Hall thought worth mentioning, along with the concurrence of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. It must be so. All the experts say so. What flavor is the Kool-Aid?

I think the adjustments thought necessary to counteract global warming make sense and seem mindful of the effects of materialistic capitalism and capitalistic materialism. That’s why I recycle and don’t let the water run while I brush my teeth. I don’t care what Catholic bishops think, or ninety-seven percent of the scientific climate-change experts in all of Creation, for that matter.

You want to be careful voting for the candidates for the Chico Silly Council, because a couple of them are a little loose around the edges, not quite tucked in all the way. They would liven things up, though, which would be worth the risk, and they can count on my support.

Where the hell are the socialists when we need them? Or any other “-ist,” for that matter, including communists—communism didn’t fail; the Soviet Union failed—though no damned “-arians,” except vegetarians. I’d vote for a vegetarian.

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