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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor for Aug. 9, 2013

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 9, 2013


Appalled by Herald’s story about Don Phillips

I am appalled by the story on Don Phillips!  

I understand that Mrs. Phillips requested this article be written and provided the Herald with the photograph. This piece is a flagrant attempt to rehabilitate Mr. Phillip’s reputation following the sexual abuse he was recently charged with committing, and the plea agreement he reached with the court. 

Don Phillips pled guilty to harassment and is currently serving two years probation. He must perform community service. He has been fined and is not allowed to have contact with underage females without the supervision of their parent or guardian. Your article very conveniently omitted these important facts. Does the Herald believe that this is the kind of individual who should represent the best of Baker City?

The child he hurt is still hurting. She has continual nightmares and will no longer go outside to play. She is fearful of going to the store in the event that she might see Don Phillips. Perhaps this is the story the Baker Herald should have written:  It could be titled “The Damaged Child, What One Man Can Do to Damage a Child For a Lifetime.”

The Baker City Herald should represent the entire Baker community. It should provide all the factual information about a person they are featuring. I am stunned that you would write an article like this without looking into this person’s agenda or into their personal history.

Mother of the child

Editor’s Note: The writer’s name is withheld because the Baker City Herald’s policy is to not identify victims of abuse, including not naming relatives, which could make it easier to identify the victim. The writer of the letter also was not named in news stories about Phillips’ guilty plea.

Climate change dissenters don’t get fair shake

Nearly a century ago, Trofim Lysenko, a Russian botanist, disagreed with Mendelian genetics, which explain how the characteristics of parents are passed on to their children. He believed that parents could pass on acquired traits- when a man develops his musculature, his children will be born with stronger muscles. This is pure hokum, but it did fit in with the then-dominant Communist ideology, which had Soviet New Man building a socialist utopia. This being Stalin’s Soviet Union, opposing scientists often had a black police van filled with goons pay them a midnight visit; they were never heard from again. Other scientists took the hint, and for several decades, Lysenko’s quack biology was “settled science” in that great nation.

Careful measurements have shown that the world’s climate warmed up during the 20th century. The theory of human-caused catastrophic climate change, however, is based mostly on computer models. But in a world where the flutter of butterfly wings in Tokyo can significantly impact Oregon weather, the world’s climate is far too complex to be reduced to a simple computer model. Yet this shakily based theory is helpful to big government advocates. After all, if we believe the fate of mankind rests in the balance, we’re more likely to accept the next governmental power grab.

This is not the Soviet Union, thank God, and so dissenting scientists do not disappear into black police vans. But Climategate e-mails revealed how opposing opinion has been squelched. Dissenting scientists do not receive grants to continue their research; they are not invited to speak at prestigious scientific conclaves; their papers are not published in scientific journals; they are publicly ridiculed, such as Al Gore’s quip that those who disagree with him “still believe that the world is flat.” So scientists have learned to “go along to get along.”

It’s ironic that in a recent letter, Gary Dielman brought up Galileo’s treatment, as Oregon has its very own Galileo: George Taylor was removed from his post as Oregon’s climatologist because he does not agree with the theory of catastrophic climate change. Trofim Lysenko would have been proud!  

Pete Sundin

Baker City

 
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