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Letter to the Editor for Sept. 9, 2013

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 This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit my blog at http://philotheaonphire.blogspot.com.

Jay Boyd

Baker City

Letter to the Editor for Sept. 6, 2013

Glad to read about UV treatment plan

Hooray! Good to read the Herald headlines of  9-4-13. 

 I’m glad the UV water treatment can be in place in a year.  I felt the need to have “something” done by the city, so it pleases me that an early solution is considered.   

Thank you, in advance, to the Council members (whoever they may be) that plan to approve the plan. Let’s get a majority vote on this.  

Phyllis Badgley

Baker City

Letter to the Editor for Sept. 4, 2013

Bring our military home

Relative to the editorial in the Monday, Sept. 2 paper, I couldn’t agree more!

 We have been at war for 12 years and it is time for the American people to say “enough!” Who made us the judge and executioner for the world? Who gave President Obama the right to start shooting missiles at Syria? He has become so self-important he thinks he rules the world. Well, he’s wrong. He’s made the Constitution into a “suggestion” rather than the law of the land! If he doesn’t like a law, he tells his Department of Justice not to enforce it or changes parts of the law to agree with his thinking. If he doesn’t like the response from Congress, he says “We don’t need Congressional approval, we’ll just go around Congress.” He has become arrogant and dictatorial as if he were a king, instead of the president.   What ever happened to three equal branches of government?

 If we go ahead with this “limited” strike against the Syrian government, I’ll bet the response from them won’t be “limited.”  If Obama thinks he can go in and throw missiles around willy-nilly with impunity, he’s got another “think” coming.  The people who will pay the price for his arrogance are the servicemen and women who are on the firing line. We’ve got ships lined up in the Mediterranean like we did in Pearl Harbor in 1941, and we’re likely to get some of Syria’s 4,700 surface-to-air missiles right back at us. 

We’ve become the laughingstock of the world!

It’s time to stop this insanity and bring our ships and servicemen and women home NOW! Let the Arabs fight their own wars!

Alberta Bailey

Baker City

Letter to the Editor for Sept. 2, 2013

Struggle for true equality continues

Here we are in the conversation of race and opportunity once again — for one week at least. One cannot help but be moved by the recent commemoration of the Rev. Dr. King’s dream speech, and the remembrance it freshens of people united in support of equality. 

This was underscored by the words of the first African-American president, and others, reflecting on those times and inspiring the present.

It occurs to me to consider networking in relation to the topics of race and opportunity. It can begin in college or the workplace when individuals make important connections where they will gain support and camaraderie for their pursuits. In the sphere of Ivy League whites, those contacts can be as effectively powerful as a zoom drive into credentials and wealth. When “race” is recognized as culture, then the European-American propensity toward meetings with agendas, where the majority rules, can slam directly against the traditions of other races. By example, the culture of some African-Americans would often rather talk on the doorstep, or drop into a kitchen over food to discuss and conclude informally and friendly-like. The traditional ways of the indigenous nation-tribes would still rather meet in council, letting everyone be heard, sticking to the task until it’s done, or coming together yet another day till all are satisfied. On Earth, long before dictators and complex civilizations, communities came together to make decisions. Occupations, talents and strengths differed, but all were equal. While equality may seem relatively new, it is also very old ... it’s just been a long time that the rights of kings ran beyond reason, and the status quo trumped compassion.

How can equality live strong when a long-dominant race refuses to accept the other races’ traditions, and the dominant way is expected as the only way? How will equality look when the once-dominant becomes the minority, and tightens its already uncomfortable grip on banks, commissions and other realms of power? And what happened to consensus-building?

“Eternal vigilance is the price we pay for liberty,” wrote Jefferson. Yours, mine and ours. To my mind vigilance is more attentive than armed.

Linda Bergeron


Letters to the Editor for Aug. 28, 2013

Pointing out Catholic history is not bigotry

In a letter to the editor dated April 11, 2012, Jerry Boyd wrote that Dr. Barbara Tylka “is absolutely wrong when she states that a position regarding contraception is not part of Church dogma” and cites a Papal encyclical to prove his point.  Yet he admits that there are many bishops and priests who have “failed their obligation to show obedience” to the Pope’s position on contraception. 

In my letter to the editor of July 17, 2013, I guessed that based on his letter, if Jerry Boyd had lived in the time of Galileo, he would have agreed with the Church’s condemnation of Galileo, which I compared to Boyd’s poo-pooing global warming science as a “scam.”

Boyd’s wife, Jay, takes exception to the comparison and calls it bigotry in her letter to the editor of July 22, 2013. 

 I do not consider it bigotry when I criticize the Church’s sentencing of Galileo to home confinement for the rest of his life (eight years) for saying that the Bible’s concentric view of the world was bad science. Galileo was right and the Inquisition and Church were flat out wrong. It took the Church several centuries to officially apologize for its unfair treatment of one of the most revered scientists in history.

Jay Boyd admonishes me to “Do the research!” implying that I got the history and conflict between Galileo and the Church wrong. What’s wrong with her version of the controversy is that she conveniently leaves out the part concerning what the Inquisition and the Pope did to Galileo for speaking truth to power.  

Like her husband, Jay Boyd believes in following official Catholic doctrine. “That is the nature of being Catholic!”  Oh, really! 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 pole last year, 82 percent of Catholics (and 90 percent of non-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.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

Elk Creek rancher takes responsibility seriously

In regards to the Aug. 21 Baker City Herald article “Water boil order removed,” it seemed to me some basic information might be helpful. It’s stated in the article, “cattle roam Elk Creek area.” This is true. Our ranch includes Elk Creek from Highway 7 upstream to the city watershed boundary. If you drive roads in this area you will probably see cattle some time during the summer. We do not run cattle in the Baker City watershed. There is, and has been since 1982, a fence along the Forest Service grazing boundary and the city watershed. Prior to 1982 the fence extended only from Stub Ridge to Elk Creek. Now it includes Section 6 ridge to Elk Creek.

These are three-wire drift fences designed so game can jump then, but good enough to turn cattle. Maintenance is not the responsibility of the city or the Forest Service. It is the responsibility of the permittee — yours truly — who grazes the cattle. Being responsible for the fence maintenance, as well as the cattle grazing, I can tell you this: The fencing was done. The cattle, during the time of this crypto outbreak, were in the California Gulch pasture. They are now in the Blue Canyon/Auburn area with some that have drifted north to Elk Creek. While three pair did briefly enter the watershed last week below the diversion they were removed quickly since when I got the call I was nearby and horseback. The fence where they entered was fixed immediately. I have what I consider a good relationship with the city water folks. If they see cattle, or signs of cattle, I respond as soon as possible.

In 2012 the gate below the Elk Creek water diversion was left open by people. The pile of Keystone beer cans and garbage they left was the evidence. This happened around the Fourth of July and scattered cattle all over the head of Elk Creek to Washington Gulch. This manure would be white and dry this year. From what I understand crypto is spread by contact with wet feces.

My family takes our ranch duties and work seriously. It is how we make a living. We, like our town friends and neighbors, are concerned about this sickness and hope it never happens again. Finding the exact cause might be very difficult.

My two cents? The carrier is more likely a raven or predator than a ruminant animal, wild or domestic.

Don Foster

Baker City

City needs to set aside money for water plant

The city was telling us not to drink their water (good advice!) for the many months until they get either a UV or a filtering plant installed. But they are still billing us at the full rate for this undrinkable water.

In the normal manner of such things the city will continue billing at full rate for water we mustn’t drink until the plant is built, then lay a large levy on us to pay for the plant.

It seems to me that instead, the city (and we consumers) could and should prepay this plant (or a large part of it) by setting aside a portion of the city’s water receipts (nominally representing the water we don’t drink) through these months for that purpose. Doing this would, if not eliminate the need for a levy, greatly reduce the size and cost of whatever levy is still needed. And also make the aforesaid continuing full billing seem greatly more fair.

It may be this idea just needs to be taken up with the next Council meeting.

Dan Martin

Sumpter Stage Highway

Letters to the Editor for August 23, 2013

Community should work together to fix water issue

Thank goodness that we are finally out of a very difficult situation with our water.  Fortunately, our community came together, as we usually do, to make the best of things. 

I heard no complaints, only commiseration for those who became ill. Thanks to the quick response of the people at the City, County, and State to this emergency, we avoided a worse crisis. Now, let’s all work together going forward to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

We are blessed with wonderful water here.

Barbara Johnson

Baker City

Early Learning Hub is not what Baker needs

President Barack Obama has found a devious way to skip Congress and spend money on his obsession with early learning programs. Obama bypassed Congress using the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) to temporally Fund Universal Preschool, and birth to 5 Early Learning Hubs. Oregon HB 2013 gave communities an “option” to apply for these Hubs but left them unfunded and solely reliant on grants funded by ObamaCare. Following in the President’s footsteps the Baker 5J School District then bypassed the governing school board and submitted an application requesting a hub to be placed at the North Baker Building.

During an interview with The Daily Caller Rick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, cautioned about accepting Obamacare grants. “But if they do, they will find themselves having to raise the funds for preschool programs themselves after the grants run out,” Hess said.

One of the disturbing requirements about an Early Learning Hub coming to Baker County is the requirement of targeting “all” families in the name of ObamaCare.

 “(d) Target, at a minimum, all first birth families in the county prenatal families and families with children less than three months of age and provide services through at least the child’s third birthday” Oregon HB 2013 Section 6(3)d.

I am confident that families in the county do not want to be “targeted” by Obamacare, DHS and Baker 5J through an Early Learning Hub. Families are quite capable of raising their kids without government intervention.

As a retirement community with a low-birth population, we simply cannot afford services that are redundant to the services we already provide, and that are not in demand. We already have adequate private and public services for families that need extra assistance.

Bringing a hub to Baker County will damage our locally owned preschools and church programs by replacing them with a universal one-size-fits-all system under the shadow of the Obamacare. As a community we should encourage our local representatives to reject an Early Learning Hub from coming to Baker County by withdrawing the application to the state.  We can stop this. 

Kyle Knight


Baker 5J School District

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Letter to the Editor August 21, 2013

It’s a shame that plantings were allowed to wither

In the spring a group of individuals spent a goodly amount of time and money planting shrubs along the Leo Adler Pathway between the Kirkway bridge on up to the Hughes Bridge. In walking this route the past few months I’ve noticed that these plantings have not been taken care of. The cages that were to support the new growth have been overtaken by tumbleweeds and other weed invaders. A goodly percentage of these plantings have completely withered, turned brown and died. I have not seen evidence that these plantings have been watered or cared for in any way. It is such a shame to think of the dollars spent on plants and supplies only to be forgotten or left to their own devices.

 The only signs of healthy plantings are along the river at the park where watering is done on a regular basis. 

 Perhaps the money spent on this project could have been put to a better use  such as cleaning up our water supply.

Marcia Cook

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for August 19, 2013

Don Phillips has always offered to help others

Don Phillips is not a child molester! He should have gone on to the trial but felt enough time and money had been spent.

Don is a kind father and grandfather. He has always been a civic-minded businessman and family man, volunteering, donating and helping others always — not the cunning predator the “appalled” woman would have you believe.

June Bowen

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 14, 2013

Drinking tap water not the norm in the world

First of all, most of the world never drinks water directly from the tap. This is because it proves more economical to drink bottled water rather than treat, filter and chlorinate water that is going to be used for the garden, flushing toilets, washing clothes, etc. and of which only a small percentage will be consumed. If one doesn’t have sufficient cash for bottled water, one can boil water either to set aside or make tea or other beverages.

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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