Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Ignoring the warnings about the real fiscal cliff

The writer of a recent letter to the editor claims that the current economic travails of Greece somehow validate Keynesian economics. Actually the reverse is true. Keynesian economics - governmental spending, spending, spending, spending - has brought fiscal ruin to that nation. The Greek government would now be bankrupt had it not been bailed out by more affluent European governments.

The United States has already progressed far down that same road. In 2011, the federal government paid out more for entitlements than the taxes it took in. Even if all nonentitlement spending had been reduced to absolute zero - education, transportation, defense, etc. - the government would still have run an annual deficit. Yet in the recent negotiations to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, President Obama and congressional Democrats adamantly refused to consider any sort of entitlement reform. Our entitlements are fiscally healthy, they assure us. But as things currently stand, our fiscal situation will only get worse as the huge Baby Boom generation retires.

When the Soviet Union disintegrated, Americans gave a sigh of relief. An enemy which had the capacity to obliterate us with nuclear weapons no longer existed. We relaxed, even as another implacable enemy was gearing up to make war on us. The first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 was one forewarning. During the 1990s, our embassies in East Africa were bombed, our naval ships were attacked, and still we didn't worry. After all, "it can't happen here" andhellip; but then it did, and 3,000 people died.

We've had warnings about our precarious fiscal situation. The Chinese government has wondered out loud just how solid are the U. S. bonds it holds. The federal government recently lost its coveted AAA bond rating, and was downgraded to AA. We have the examples of Greece and the other so-called PIIGS which have overspent on entitlements.

Cassandra is a tragic figure in Greek mythology. She correctly prophesied to the Trojans that comprehensive doom was headed their way, but her warnings were ignored. We have been ignoring our current fiscal Cassandras as well. After all, it can't happen here.

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Give me Secret Service, and then I'll give up my gun

Once again, Americans are debating gun control; and, once again, the opposing argument lacks logic. Each time some nut-job goes on a killing spree, socialists push for abolishing the Second Amendment. Nothing is more frustrating than debating with a person who has not thought out the theory of their position.

First, the Constitution was enacted to protect America and her citizens. The right to bear arms was given to protect self, family, business and country. Who will protect the individual from the evils of society if not themselves; the Government? They won't protect our borders. Dependency on Government is a fool's bet.

Secondly, gun control only controls the lawful - not the lawless. Socialists and Marxists will never have the power to prevent killers from obtaining guns. If anything, they will only empower the lawless, and turn decent citizens into criminals. What is more, it's hard to control guns when those whose job it is to enforce gun control (Justice Department) are literally handing guns to drug cartels.

Thirdly, previous amendments to gun rights have proven ineffective in eradicating violence. If indeed these amendments worked (background checks, three-day waiting periods, limiting ammunition sales), the recent mass shootings in Colorado, Portland, Sandy Hook, and Wisconsin could not have happened. The fact is, gun control is impossible to enforce. There will always be black markets where criminals can purchase or barter for firearms. What are needed are stronger deterrents and sentences for those who commit violent acts.

Knives, bows and arrows, automobiles, alcohol, sports, some foods, and a plethora of other things kill people; shall we ban those items as well? Guns are no different. Guns don't kill people, people kill people - you can't control that!

Gun control is an egotistical attempt from the left to falsely pacify the fears of the ignorant and simple-minded. The day Obama stations the Secret Service in front of my property, is the very day I will consider relinquishing my firearm. Until then, security to this American is knowing if a robber, rapist, or murderer breaks in my home, I have a .44-mag to welcome them!

Stephanie Ann Kinzel

Baker City

Using First Amendment to destroy the Second

Is this a great country or what? Where else in the world could a foreigner use my citizen rights under the First Amendment to destroy the Second? CNN's Peirs Morgan is on a rampage and he has been effective in convincing the left that the Second Amendment has something to do with hunting. He's a tabloid journalist who was extolling the virtues of British royalty one day and the next was trying to sell British and Australian gun control to the American people. He backs up his position by having guests from Australia and Ariana Huffington with her thick foreign accent telling me how bad I am because I believe the Second Amendment guarantees the nine other Bill of Rights. A great country or what? Nowhere else could people who were freed from Nazi and Japanese, Chinese and Russian threats with American guns be allowed to do their best to ban them.

The attack is well-orchestrated. The timing is perfect. Football season is on, and not enough gun owners are putting pressure on their congressmen. They could wake up after the Super Bowl to a brave new world. I wrote Ron Wyden and his response was less than encouraging. They don't call the Willamette Valley the left coast for nothing. Biden's commission will report in time for the president to use the State of the Union address bully pulpit to push his agenda and Fox News' owner, Rupert Murdoch, has sided with the banners and Bill O'Reilly talks about AR 47s and AK 15s. Who could be so gun dumb as not to have heard about Mr. Kalashnikov's rifle?

All might not be lost if pro-gun Republicans and a few Democrats in the house will stand their ground. If they do we might have an executive order banning guns. Then we will see what happens when Caesar crosses the Rubicon.

Steve Culley