Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Why is Sandra Fluke complaining?

To the editor:

After reading numerous letters condemning Jayson Jacoby's article on why Rush Limbaugh statements about Sandra Fluke should not be national news, I feel the need to question some of his critics' logic.

First off, why go to a Jesuit school if you disagree with the fundamental principles of the school? Secondly, contrary to one letter, Ms. Fluke is likely speaking about her own sexual behavior. If she was waiting for marriage I don't think her lack of birth control would be an issue. Obviously we'll never know, as she is not likely to put forth any statements regarding her level of promiscuous behavior, but why would an unmarried woman go before Congress and essentially say that she is having sex and needs birth control? I would think a decent women would be a little ashamed.

There are a lot of "sluts" and "manwhores" around these days, but I find they rarely admit it. A 17-year-old girl can be with five 17-year-old boys, and it's OK, but when the sixth guy is a 40-year-old, her dad wants to rip his head off. Those first five were all honorable young men, the old guy was a predator. No, the girl is a slut. But we can't say that, it's too harsh. Instead we say she is spreading her wings, finding herself, and experimenting with life.

Sure there are rare cases that birth control is helpful to treat a condition, but let's be honest, most of those students are concerned about the loose living without getting pregnant, not treating ovarian cysts.

Ms. Fluke also "refuses to pick between a quality education and her health," finding it despicable that anyone would suggest she should have went to school elsewhere. Maybe she should sign up for the Marines because of the prestigious title and training and then demand that they treat her like she's in the Air Force next.

Micah Huyett

Baker City

Who's afraid of law-abiding citizens?

To the editor:

If you believe it isn't safe for law-abiding people with concealed handgun permits to carry guns in a school, consider what I sarcastically imagine a "Letter to the Editor" from a criminal would look like:

"I earn my living dealing drugs, robbing people and invading homes. I shouldn't have to worry about any gun but my own. How am I supposed to stay safe if I have to worry about people with guns? I haven't targeted a school yet, but I wouldn't rule it out. There might be a time when a rival drug dealer needs to be taken out, and if he's in a school, too bad for him. There might be my "nightmare come true," when I'm about to be sent to prison for a very long time, and I want to earn a headline, and go out in a blaze ofglory. A gun-free school is a good place to do it, since there isn't anybody who can stop me, before I make a big name for myself. "Criminal Killed by Armed Citizen" isn't a very good headline for me, but "Gunman Kills Students and Teachers before Being Killed by Police Gunfire" would make people remember me!

Everybody remembers the name of the kid who shoots up a school, but who remembers the poor sap killed by a homeowner? Some gun nuts claim they have the "right" to carry guns with the proper permits. Just because a "law-abiding person" gets a background check by the sheriff and has training, doesn't mean they should make my life difficult. What about my "rights" to be able to do what I want, whenever I want? Keep schools gun-free and safe, for me; like I'm going to follow your laws anyway, I'm a criminal."

The above is sarcasm, but it contains a lot of truth that won't keep our children any safer, but will put them at greater risk because of ignorance. Law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits tend to be even more law-abiding than the average person.

Jim Thomas

Baker City

Protect public, or fill the coffers?

To the editor:

I was at coffee the other morning at the local restaurant and heard a guy say that he got a $160 ticket for riding his 4-wheeler on the pavement. Word was that the state trooper wasn't real sympathetic to the idea that a lot of guys move cows, ride between fields while irrigating and such.

I have had a running fight with the justice court over seat belt tickets, mostly because of the state's new policy of raising fees and fines every time the Legislature goes into session. I always plead not guilty just to take some of the profit out what the state plans on making. I e-mailed Cliff Bentz about this last fall and he confirmed that the Legislature does factor in how much money they can take in with fines. His e-mail response to me, from November 2011:

"The Legislature did discuss the increase of traffic fines and did pass two bills (one addressing civil filing fees and one addressing criminal/infraction fees). I was not happy with either of these bills.I have been speaking with Justices of the Peace, Circuit Court Judges, District Attorney's, and others regarding this complex and challenging situation.

So, to answer your question, there was discussion and debate regarding these fees.I did argue for and support preservation of individual rights to hearings in traffic situation situations and I argued for reduced fees in certain other situations.

Unfortunately, because of the reduction in support from the General Fund, courts are having to look towards fines and filing fees as an additional source of Revenue. Unfortunately, there also has been a shift of this revenue stream away from these and towards the State (I opposed this also)."

The way I see it the state is using the police, not to protect and serve but as blue-clad tax collectors and is violating the constitutional prohibition against unreasonable fees and fines. With what is happening with the justice court, transferring revenue to the state, resulting in moving cases to circuit court I think they proved my point. Keep in mind that the seat belt law as an initiative petition and the fine was $20 when it was passed. It's now $142.

So how do you fight back? Plead not guilty. The ticketing officer has to attend the hearing. If he writes enough tickets he can spend half his time on the witness bench. The there are other things like support, or non-support, for the PERS retirement system, police funding and such in the legislature.

Of course there is another simpler way. Cops have discretion and ignoring a lot of what comes out of Salem could head off a political fight. It is Eastern Oregon after all.

Steve Culley


There's enough 'quiet recreation'

To the editor:

At the top of Bennet Peak where the road ends, aren't you at the edge of 361,446 acres (565 square miles) of Eagle Caps wilderness? Also, at the top of North Powder basin in the Elkhorns, aren't you very near the 121,352 acres (190 square miles) of the North Fork of the John Day wilderness? What about those areas for "quiet recreation?" I frequently walk into both and rarely see or hear a human, so I know that they are not overcrowded. In my opinion, they may even be underused.

It seems like every thread or article I read, all I hear is that it is the lazy hunters that don't want the roads closed. In reality, it is the people who want "quiet recreation" that are being lazy. These are the same people who wanted to turn out the lights on the farmers and ranchers for the night. Our councilors and commissioners saw how absurd that was. Please, commissioners, understand the absurdity of this proposal and stand up for the people that voted you into a position to do something.

Jeff Bond

Baker City