Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Big government keeps feeding the fat cats

In one of his Texas stories, Elmer Kelton distinguishes between barn cats and house cats. Barn cats live in the barn where they are expected to keep the mouse population down. They are never fed, stay out in the barn, and pretty much have to fend for themselves. House cats, on the other hand, live pampered lives in the warm house with all of their needs supplied.

He then points out that for most of American History, its people pretty well looked out for themselves. They took care of their own needs and took pride in never accepting charity or handouts. Even the free land of the Homestead Act was purchased with several gallons of sweat.

People nowadays have no problem with accepting government handouts, only now they're called entitlements. One of President Obama's campaign materials last fall was how a woman named Julia had all of her needs met at each stage of her life by one government program or another.

But Julia is just an ordinary-sized house tabby; there are some tiger-sized felines out there. Wall Street bankers know that their institutions are "too big to fail," so no matter how badly they screw up, the taxpayers will bail them out. Al Gore and his renewable energy buddies are real gravy lickers. They receive huge subsidies from all levels of government, and enjoy mandates which require that their product is purchased no matter how inefficiently it is produced. Farm subsidies were enacted to help the small farmer survive the ups and downs of that way of life, but the great majority of farm subsidies go to "small farmers" like the Archer Daniels Midland Company and TV mogul Ted Turner.

These corporate fat cats much prefer Big Government to a smaller one, as big governments have lots and lots of goodies to pass out. And in our current setup, the bulk of those goodies go to those with good political connections. If we had a small government, as we did for most of our history, those house cats might actually have to work for a living.

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Blood drive is truly a community effort

In September Baker County held the Red Cross Blood Drive, which was a huge success. We exceeded our goal on both days.

I feel compelled to send a big thank you not only to the donors, but to the businesses and volunteers that made it such a success. As strange as it may seem, giving blood has become a social event. Gathering friends meet and visit and, due to the generosity of these businesses and organizations, can have a snack together.

Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut and Subway donate food. The Haines Mutual Improvement Club and the Haines Methodist Church Ladies bring cookies, and the Cattlewomen donate beef broth. But that's not all. The Calvary Baptist Church and Nazarene Church donate their facilities for the drive. Baker Sanitary Service picks up the trash and about 20 local people donate their time to help with registration and serving the food. And thanks to the Baker City Herald and The Record-Courier our advertising is free.

As you can see, the blood drive truly is a community effort for a very good cause. My heartfelt thanks to all who helped.

And now we have another blood driving coming on Nov. 18 and 19 at the Calvary Baptist Church at Third and Broadway. I assure you that you will have a good time and some good snacks if you come. And you will feel good about donating.

Call me for an appointment at 541-523-4650.

Colleen Brooks

Blood Chairman

Baker City