Republican Party lacking true statesmen
The Herald’s political cartoon on Sept. 30 offers a good look at the state of today’s Republican Party, which is “stuck on (Senator Ted) Cruz control” as it drives our nation off a cliff in pursuit of unattainable ideological goals. Thanks to right-wing extremists, a manufactured state/fiscal crisis two or three times a year has become the new normal.
Senate Democrats and President Obama would be foolhardy to give in to unbridled, extortionist GOP demands. The fiscal year 2014 United States Budget has already been taken hostage in a futile attempt to overturn the law of the land. The likely next threat is even bigger. Failure to raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 will shake global financial markets, which rely on both U.S. Treasuries as one of the major sources of funding, and the U.S. dollar to conduct global transactions. Our once-proud nation could well be driven to its knees.
Should a statesmanlike choice be made, the House leadership and moderate House Republicans could actually join with House Democrats to pass a “clean” budget resolution and end the impasse right now. But there may be no room left for real statesmen and statesmanship in today’s GOP.
What the Herald’s political cartoon does not explicitly show is the Republican House majority leadership, including Representative Greg Walden, cowering in fear at right-wing threats. On one hand, there are tea party extremists within their own ranks who threaten to strip them of their leadership jobs if they attempt to compromise with Democrats. On the other hand, they face wealthy ultra-conservatives, like the Club for Growth, who threaten to fund primary-election challenges against Republicans who fails to toe the tea party line.
New polls indicate that House Republicans may lose their majority status in the next election as a result of their current actions. But that’s over a year away. Maybe we can change the game now. My fellow readers, please contact Rep. Walden, urging him to rise up and put the country first, and use his House leadership position to avert the severe damage that otherwise appears imminent.
Senior Center is a gem that’s open to everyone
Why I go to the Senior Center?
I guess the question should be why I didn’t go sooner.
My husband and I had retired and were doing the long-needed remodel on our kitchen. Food was getting to be a hassle so we decide to try the Senior Center. As we drove up we both looked at each other like really we are not ready to be in an old folks’ dining room.
To our surprise the group was a variety of ages laughing, having fun and enjoying life. The low price of the meals shocked us and the company was upbeat and interesting. We enjoyed ourselves so much we still go at least three times a week. I can’t cook a meal for what I get at the Senior Center.
But lunch isn’t the only thing they offer.
Join them for a large variety of activities. Line dancing, exercise group, tai chi, foot clinic, bingo, pool, books you can borrow. Don’t forget our best-kept secret is the clothing closet that has quality clothes for low prices.
But most of all it is about the people. They have great stories and boy do they know their history. Their stories make Eastern Oregon come alive for me.
Stop in, pick up a menu, meet new friends. Don’t let the word “senior” scare you — all ages are welcome.
The two of us are grateful for this rare gem in Baker City.
Ramona and John Creighton
Shoot out some car tires
All afternoon today we were barraged by news people telling us how marvelously well trained the capitol police and the other police officers were who reacted to the fuss today near the U.S. Capitol. If they are so well trained, why didn’t they do the right thing? What was the right thing? The right response would have been to stop waving their guns around so much and shoot out some tires on the woman’s car.
Carl R. Kostol
Demand law banning pit bulls
There doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming outrage over the pit bull death of a young boy. I blame it on the apathy drugs the government has been putting in the water. There seems to be no other explanation.
When I was growing up on the farm it was understood that if a dog even nipped a child someone was going to take it out behind the barn and shoot it. The Oregonian refers to the differences between how things are handled as the urban/rural divide.
About 10 or 12 years ago, after a rash of pit bull attacks, there were attempts to ban them is some states and cities. They got it done in some places. In others the airheads prevailed and assured us that not all pit bulls are evil. It is only the way they were raised and you can’t judge all pit bulls by what a few outlaws do and all that — the kind of thinking you get from those with hearts bigger than their brains.
The best example of this was the ones who were going to rescue and rehabilitate Michael Vic’s fighting pit bulls. Some lucky dad, mom or grandpa is going to get one of these rehabs as a neighbor and will have to keep the children indoors. The press was glad to cover the rescue and rehab but I wonder if any of those rescued psycho mutts have killed any children.
I wrote my letters to the editor. I testified in front of the City Council and urged the County Commission to ban the breed. No takers. No guts. What I said was going to happen did happen. If things follow the usual route, on Halloween night with kids congregated along Main Street there will be a couple of jackasses with some 60-pound pits on leashes in the middle of the kids.
Enough. I call on the men of this county to get in front of the County Commission and City Council to demand they pass laws to ban these monsters. If the County Commission won’t then there is the initiative petition route.
Pit bulls should be banned
Baker City has suffered, to my knowledge, two recent attacks by pit bulls. In one, an adult was seriously injured; in the second, a small child was tragically murdered. Like so many others I was saddened and heart-sick at the loss of the child’s life and outraged at the suffering he experienced during the attack.
My deepest sympathies go to the family at their loss in the wake of this unjustified death of their child.
It is inexcusable to allow as dangerous a breed as a pit bull to reside anywhere within the city; anywhere near small children. Even more inexcusable are the comments in defense of the breed following the death of the child.
No expression of remorse was forth-coming. How dare these individuals stand to the defense of a genetically engineered killing machine at this time immediately after this killing?
Examine the facts: Proportionally and historically small dogs have a higher rate of biting than larger dogs (USPS). Attacks by dogs are generally shows of aggression without a bite. Most dogs after connecting with a bite will break off and move away.
Pit bulls will not usually disengage without a strong response and have been shown to ignore pepper-spray and even having bones broken with a baseball bat. Killing the dog on the spot has proven successful in many cases. These are animals that once started are very difficult to stop, and therein lies the problem. Adults have been mauled to death by pit bulls, what chance does a child have?
Worse yet, all this is well known and documented. Yet the best the pit bull lovers can offer is strident yet vague defense of the breed. Sounds pretty delusional to me.
I believe the city should enact an ordinance banning pit bulls from residing within the city limits and require caged transport for the animals when passing through the city. The same ordinance should also rescind the state’s one-bite exemption specifically as it relates to pit bulls. They are an established danger to the community. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.
Promote congressional career for your kids
Attention Parents: “Encourage” your children to become members of Congress! It’s the only vocation where you still get paid for walking out on the job.
Treatment for addiction can be hard, but it works
Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover. September is National Recovery Month and New Directions Northwest would like to send congratulations to all of you who are in recovery for substance misuse and abuse. This year’s theme for National Recovery Month is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together on Pathways to Wellness.” Recovery may not always be easy but it is worth it, it works, and it is possible. Baker County has a generous network of persons in recovery who support people during the journey through recovery.
Addicts and alcoholics can become recovering addicts and alcoholics by seeking help, and knowing where and how to find resources. Research has found most people who are in recovery have been through a treatment program. Research has also found that 90 percent of those attending outpatient treatment and recovery meetings are able to maintain sobriety for extended periods of time, if not indefinitely. Lifestyle changes and supportive environments also significantly increase rates of sustained recovery.
This year’s theme for National Recovery Month encompasses the notion that there are many unique ways people embark on their journey to recovery. Recovery from substance misuse and abuse is possible and New Directions Northwest, Inc. celebrates those in recovery as well as those who have helped them achieve success. To find out more about how you can begin living a healthy lifestyle or for more support in maintaining your recovery contact me at
, 541-523-8364 or 541-519-5559.
Baker County Prevention Coordinator
New Directions Northwest, Blue Mountain Addictions Program
Crossroads special section is a keeper
History, fond memories, hard work, community involvement, money, money, money! Lisa Britton put it all together in the Crossroads special section in last Friday’s paper.
I’m not surprised when Lisa is the one doing it. Besides being a talented writer, she knows how to listen to others.
My only concern is how to preserve this special section — I know it will not go into my recycling pile!
Town deer are a joy to watch, and protect
Well it’s not uncommon to see mature mule deer in many or most Eastern Oregon towns. I took photographs on Sept. 20 in Baker of two bucks, one three-point and one four-point, that have rubbed summer velvet off and are now hard horn. Antler is the fastest-growing hair of animals or any beings that grow facial or body hair.
Bucks of this size are 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-year-old deer that would be considered trophies nowadays in Oregon where deer and elk numbers are low. It is well-known in the world of professional hunters, guides and taxidermists that 70 percent of the game is taken by 30 percent of the sportsmen, pretty much every year. The well-seasoned and top hunters have many years of experience and take the hunt experience very serious, and pass up small forked horn and even small three-point bucks in lieu of a respectable four-point or better trophy.
In the western states bucks’ antler points are only counted on one side, whereas in the East all points on both sides are counted. Overall scoring of a large buck or bull for Boone and Crockett rifle hunters or Pope and Young archery is a detailed and precise measuring process. This is done in inches and fractions by an official of these two respected institutions.
The taking of truly large, heavy horned trophies is very difficult, and in the upcoming fall buck season, true hunters work hard and travel to the higher elevations in the mountain ranges of our region. These true hunters also take proper care of the meat and know what they are doing. To waste such delectable wild game is not only against the game laws, but that of nature herself.
So these town deer are not only safe to stay where they are and enjoy parts of your garden, they are a joy to watch and to protect our future deer populations.
Residents need to be aware of Oregon’s open range law
By Curtis Martin
Several weeks ago six cattle were found shot in La Grande and the Oregon ranching community is pleased to hear that a suspect has been arrested for this violation. While still undoubtedly an injustice and crime, these occurrences (thankfully) are rare.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office, along with the owners of the cattle and the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association offered a $2,100 reward for information pertaining to this unwarranted shooting. Just last week the La Grande Observer quoted Union County Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen in a vow to “… vigorously pursue the person or persons responsible.” We feel this was precisely on point and commend them for a job well done. Non-destructive, legal alternatives of removing stray cattle are lined out in Oregon statute and enlist the expertise of Oregon’s Animal Identification Program.
Thanks to Phyllis, and to Baker’s teachers
A pat on the back to Phyllis Badgley.
As I am sure many did, I read with extreme interest the article “Preparing to enter the first grade” in the Sept. 9 Baker City Herald. I started at Brooklyn, but the North Baker scenario was the same for South Baker and Churchill too.
How fortunate we are to have a historian like Phyllis and a local paper who so readily publishes such articles of like interest from other historians. Phyllis’ narratives are most descriptive and so utterly detailed that she takes her reader back in time and puts a smile on their face.
City needs to consider all options for its water supply
For over a century, Baker City has enjoyed some of the best-tasting water of any city in Oregon. Collected on the slopes of the Elkhorns from pristine mountain streams, our water has long been a source of civic pride. Well, those mountain streams aren’t always pristine; sometimes they contain nasty parasites that sicken people, as we recently learned the hard way. And so the recent discussion has been, “How do we keep this sort of thing from happening again?” We are told that we have two options: a UV treatment system, which would cost $2.3 million, or a filter system, which would cost $17.7 million.
Catholic apostasy doesn’t make tenets less valid
Gary Dielman is wrong about Galileo, but I’ll address a more current issue he broaches in his Aug. 28 letter. In response to my comment that following Catholic doctrine is what makes one Catholic, he said, “When it comes to artificial means of birth control — condoms and pills — most Catholic women pay no attention to the Church’s teachings. In a Gallup poll last year, 82 percent of Catholics... considered birth control ‘morally acceptable.’ And 98 percent of Catholic women admit to having used a non-natural method of contraception on at least one occasion during their reproductive years, contrary to Church dogma.”
He is absolutely right. There is a mass apostasy in the Catholic Church today. Most of those who call themselves Catholic simply reject the faith. In politics we call this treason; in religion, we call it apostasy: the rejection of the tenets of your own faith. The majority of Catholics no longer believe in the precepts of the Church, which include the requirement to attend Mass every Sunday, and to go to confession at least once per year. And yes, the vast majority of those who call themselves Catholic do not believe artificial contraception is wrong; at least 50 percent of those who call themselves Catholic support “gay marriage”; and Catholics basically put Obama in the White House.
However, the fact that the vast majority of Catholics do not follow the tenets of their faith does not make those tenets any less valid; rather, it makes those “Catholics” wrong. The Church is right on those issues mentioned above, and there are good reasons underlying Church teaching. Anyone who wants a faithful Catholic’s perspective on those issues is welcome to email me at
or visit my blog at http://philotheaonphire.blogspot.com.