Letters to the Editor for Aug. 22, 2012
Women should vote to preserve their rights
Women of Baker County — you do have a vote! That right has not been taken away from us (as other rights are threatened) — so use it!
Those other rights are threatened by Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential hopeful.
Paul Ryan would ban common forms of birth control, would eliminate a woman’s right to choose, voted to end funding for Planned Parenthood, and voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
So use a right you do still have — vote!
Solutions, not ideology, needed in economic debate
Our dear country is in deep economic distress. Sound, evidence-based solutions are desperately needed. But we’re often sidetracked by misleading information and rigid ideology.
We’re once again hearing a story about President Kennedy that’s been twisted to justify ruinous tax cuts (Letters, Aug. 15 and 17). Kennedy actually wanted spending increases to stimulate the economy, but, like Obama, was obstructed by Congressional Republicans. To put things in perspective, the top marginal tax rate (the rate paid by the wealthy) had been at over 90 percent since 1950, during the golden years of middle-class growth. Kennedy reluctantly cut the top rate from 91 percent to 70 percent. That’s twice today’s top rate, but we still prospered!
Reagan cut the top marginal rate from 70 percent to 50 percent and then to 28 percent, and wound up tripling the national debt. Clinton raised it to 31 percent and then 39 percent, and we had prosperity and even ran a budget surplus. Bush then cut it to 35 percent, and doubled the national debt. There’s a pattern here. Those calling for even more tax cuts for the wealthy are selling from an empty wagon.
And what’s this about government repressing private enterprise? An army of corporate lobbyists and hundreds of millions in campaign contributions are actually keeping wealthy folks in control. Obvious results are the 2008 financial collapse caused by unregulated investment banks, confusion about global warming promoted by the fossil-fuel industry, and wrenching dislocations caused by NAFTA and other “free trade” treaties sponsored by international corporations.
Perhaps less obvious: we’re struggling through a new kind of recession. Many of our good-paying, middle-class jobs were eliminated over the past 30 years by off-shoring, accelerating automation, and union-busting. The middle class has been drained of its purchasing power, while the 400 richest Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together.
We need real, innovative solutions. Two locally produced and maintained websites can enhance our ability to reason using facts and positive approaches: www.progressivevalues.us and www.ccbc.us I urge all my fellow readers to join in the much-needed, well-informed debate.
A dog-lover says thanks to considerate drivers
A huge thank you to all drivers on 10th Street on Aug. 20 around noon. My shar-pei escaped from her collar while leaving the vet’s office and was running loose up and down 10th. Thank you for stopping and letting us cross the street to try and catch her. A special thank you to Dr. Matt for leaving his vet practice to help us. And also thanks to the gals in the yellow car for helping the entire time. Although it was just 15 minutes it seemed like a lifetime to this dog lover!
I support school board recall effort, and will sign again
The statement in Jim and Mary Tomlinson’s letter last Friday that the majority of registered voters don’t support the recall is deeply flawed. I’m sure petition circulators, knowing they had to gather 913 signatures plus a surplus to cover invalid signatures, did exactly that, thus the 1,066 signatures turned in. No reasonable person would attempt to gather signatures from every registered voter in the school district. And if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t Jim Tomlinson appointed to the 5J budget committee by Lynne Burroughs – resulting in a letter from the Oregon Department of Revenue instructing the board to follow state law by having the entire board, not the chair, appoint committee members? And doesn’t Mary Tomlinson work for a company that has a contract with 5J?
I keep seeing letters against the recall from the same group of friends (good ole boys’ network) related to the District. On the other hand, I see letters from the pro-recall side who are just voters; these letters state facts. My signature was invalidated because the County Clerk marked me as an inactive voter without my knowledge during a study abroad program for college in Australia during the summer. As a 2009 Baker High School graduate I know firsthand what happens in the Baker 5J School District as a former student. I will sign the petition again. I, like my friends and neighbors, support this recall effort.
Don’t miss the ceramics display at Crossroads
The current exhibition at the Crossroads Art Center “Persistence in Clay” is still on display through Aug. 31. This show is a must see. This is a unique opportunity for Eastern Oregon to see a collection of leading edge contemporary ceramics sculptures.
Through the continuing diligence of the Crossroads staff, this art work has been brought to Baker City. The pieces on display continue the exemplary tradition of the clay work being done in America. This is a traveling exhibition from the Missoula Art Museum that celebrates the 60th year anniversary of the Archie Bray Foundation. The Bray has served as the seminal birth place for internationally know ceramicists such as Peter Voulkous, David Shanner and numerous other great American talents. The work on sale is very reasonably priced, and a great investment for would be collectors. I bought a piece for my collection and wish I could afford more. A show of this caliber is seldom available in this rural of a setting.
Retired ceramics professor, Eastern Oregon University