Letters to the Editor for Sept. 11-15

October 09, 2006 11:00 pm

Iraq invasion akin to fascism

To the editor:

Bush and Rumsfeld lately are using a well-known term of World War II. They are calling countries and critics opposing their Iraq invasion "fascists," the term used after Hitler overtook Austria and Poland, bombed England, then further occupied Europe. What strikes me about using the wrong term is their invasion of Iraq. If that wasn't Hitler similarity, what was it? Iran and North Korea may be next.

Several news accounts recently state that the Bush Administration had to know that Saddam Hussein didn't level New York City Twin Towers and it was al-Qaida's Osama bin Laden.

We have no choice but to change the course. For one reason, we cannot afford Bush's war ventures. The billions spent there could well accommodate our baby boomers' social security. Of course, don't forget he wanted to cancel all social security.

Not consistent are tax cuts for the rich who don't need them. He has done nothing for the middle class, poor and less fortunate.

Supporting illegal immigration is another kick in the teeth designed to keep wages down for the working class.

Congress ashamedly deserve lots of the blame. Locked in step with the Supreme Court and Bush, they have allowed him to convert the presidency into a dictatorship. How many offspring of the rich and members of Congress are militarily serving America the beautiful, land of the free and home of the brave? You know as well as I, the number is practically zilch!

Also we citizens are to blame, asleep at the switch, allowing all this to happen.

Under all circumstances, we must have paper trail accountability of our voting process. No more fraudulent garbage canning opposition votes, the highest degree of gangsterism. With a paper trail, the Supreme Court will never again appoint another George Bush to trammel our constitution, demoralize our people, our county as the most hated worldwide!

We don't want our troops stationed in Iraq as long as Bush is president. We want troop ships bringing them home tomorrow! We want political change!

Ron Chaney

Baker City

California's bipartisan solution

To the editor:

It has been a breath of fresh air to read of a recent positive collaboration between California's Democratic Legislature and its Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Between the two, they have made a major advance in capping and reducing emissions of global warming gasses, one of the crucial issues of our time. Going far beyond election-year rhetoric, they have agreed on strong legislation that addresses global warming in a meaningful, practical way. The editorial you reprinted on Sept. 6 outlines important economic benefits that can also come from this. Saving our planet can benefit business and jobs, if we do it right.

California is the sixth-largest economy in the world, so this can have a big impact on our environment. It is, to me, an inspiring example of what can be accomplished when we lay aside partisan differences and narrow ideology, and focus instead on the real needs of real people (and our only planet). Instead of blindly following the dictates of corporate lobbyists or other special interests, the goal can be to treat all the people as a very special interest group. That's great!

In striking contrast, I look at the federal government and its abject failure to take productive action. There, a Republican President and a Republican Congress have been hog-tied by the powerful oil/energy and automotive lobbies, among others. And where the lobbyists leave off, the Bush Administration's neo-conservative policies of aggressive war and radical "starve the beast," government-strangling tax cuts for the rich take over.

And we, the people, and our planet are left out. In the face of these and many other problems, our U.S. Congress does virtually nothing (except rubber stamp the administration's radical policies).

I believe that we are long overdue for a change at the national level. For starters, in November we have a chance to replace our incumbent congressman with a strong candidate who will meet the issues of our day head-on. I urge my fellow readers to vote for Carol Voisin, www.voisinforcongress, a voice for positive change.

Marshall McComb

Baker City

Needed: Answers

to questions

To the editor:

Several years ago — like about 18 years, and them some — I made my return back to my hometown of growing up and going to school, etc., and later married into a good family.

Something that I would like to bring up that hasn't been brought up is our population sign never changing. I would like to hear why that never seems to be changing, if we are growing in leaps and bounds! I have been told and given several good reasons, but all that would do is stir up a can of worms!

In my observations of having my morning coffee at some of the local restaurants, etc., it is a way of life for some to have something to look forward to before their day begins. We all want to see something new and different come to Baker City. When the Parkway Cafe opened, a customer came through from Seattle and really enjoyed the service he got. He said if he came back through he would remember this place. Well, what now? Why do we have to go to places like Boise, La Grande, etc., to do our shopping, at the high cost of gas these days, just to get what we can't get here, and/or on the Internet?

I have been fortunate enough that the people I work for have given me clothes, etc., without having to do much shopping.

Lately, I lost a neighbor who was a good neighbor and who had a life of walking to the mailbox, walking their dog on a leash. I have noticed many dogs at times loose up and down the street, and it is a busy street. What happened to our dogcatcher? My neighbor will be sorely missed!

When I first came home, no espresso! Now look — they are all over the place! I hope I never have to give up my morning coffee break to enjoy hearing people's conversations, etc!

Brenda Dickison

Baker City

Voters guide

To the editor:

If you can name the seven dwarves in Snow White but have no idea who the Supreme Court justices are, register to vote but don't. Nothing bothers a politician more than people who don't vote for them.

All western U.S. senators need to be gone. Turn the rascals out. Unfortunately Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden are not eligible for voter term limits this time but they need to go for their votes on George Bush's open border policy. Wyden has been good for standing up for Oregon's state rights but bad for the United States' right to defend its border. Smith is good looking and has enough money to buy a Senate seat, but other than that there isn't much to recommend him. Larry Craig of Idaho deserves every gun owner's thanks for his fight against the banning bunnies but he has caved in to corporate interests on stopping the southern invasion.

In the House, Rep. Greg Walden should go back one more time with the warning that if he flip-flops and goes with the Senate comprehensive amnesty bill and legalizes 20 million people who came here illegally, he's out in 2008. If you agree with George Bush's open border policies, vote for Carol Voisin. If the Democrats take the House, they will compromise on the Senate bill and the invasion continues and accelerates.

Ron Saxton is going to reinvigorate education and add a whole bunch more state police to the highways and cut taxes at the same time. Typical Republican spin. The United States has gone from about 250 immigration agents in the interior under Bill Clinton to 100 under George Bush. These agents are supposed to enforce the workplace to make sure illegals aren't working there. It's a joke for a nation with 300 million people. States like Alabama have started to use their state police to enforce immigration laws since it is plain that the federal government has no intention of doing so. How do the candidates for governor feel about changing Oregon policy and having the state police arrest illegals? Ted Ferrioli and Tom Butler, how about you?

Steve Culley

Baker City

It's back to street racing time again

To the editor:

Residents, children, dogs and cats of Baker City, street racing season 2006 has officially begun.

Race days are Monday through Friday. Race times are 7:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.

Admission is free.

Please, stand well back, off the streets and sidewalks. The life you save may be your own.

The 7:45 race starts at any given point within the school district and ends at the high school.

The 11:45 race starts at the high school and goes to many points within Baker City and back to the high school.

The last race of the day begins at the high school and goes to any given point within the school district.

A first place win could result in loss of the racer(s)' life or that of someone else, or jail time.

Second place winners could lose their drivers licenses, get judgment to pay for property damage and/or fines.

Third place winners could receive big tickets and higher insurance premiums.

Seriously, teen drivers, you need to slow down.

The consequences are just not worth the few minutes saved by speeding.

Jim Brashler

Baker City

Would Honest Abe invade Iraq?

To the editor:

The article in the Aug. 21 Baker City Herald reporting on the GOP fund-raiser held in Baker County states Senator Smith made a rousing speech defending George Bush's performance and his place in history.

Smith said, "I told him (Bush) just the other day in the Oval Office he'll look better in history than he does on the six o'clock news."

Smith went on to praise Bush's leadership, courage and backbone, and to quote Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War: "If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything."

This is strong stuff, even for an election year. Backbone, courage and firm determination are the traits that founded the West. They bore our forefathers over the plains, the Rockies, the Snake River and beyond.

While the Baker City Herald didn't report it, it's quite possible Smith's audience clapped and even cheered.

But it's also possible that his audience's reaction was more muted, in the understanding that something's wrong here.

Would "Honest Abe" have done what we have done in Iraq?

Would he have attacked a country that had not attacked us?

Would he condone all the death and destruction in spite of not finding WMDs or a connection to al-Qaeda?

Would he try to hoodwink Americans by telling them that this is a war against terror?

I don't believe that Abraham Lincoln would have led us down this path. I think he would have kept his focus on the ones who perpetrated the crime and not been misled by those around him.

I believe that history's judgment will be that our trust and our safety were betrayed.

We need to change what we are doing and that is why I am supporting Carol Voisin, the Democrat for Congress.

"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have." — Abraham Lincoln

Tyler Bowling

Baker City

Five days? Get real

To the editor:

Is a car "abandoned" if it hasn't moved in five days?

OK, what about the case of a family gone on holiday for two or more weeks? Their car normally parks on the street in front of their house. Are they now going to come home to find their car stolen?

Let's get real. There are many reasons why a car could remain in one place for more than five days without being moved. As an example, a few years back a friend's car was snowed in (after being covered by snow and ice by the city snow plow). The police placed a warning notice on the car. Two days later after a huge amount of shoveling the car was moved at the cost of two tires that were frozen to the ground.

If there are clear and unavoidable reasons that a car has not been moved, and it is obvious that it is not abandoned, then leave the car alone.

Simon Clowes

Baker City

‘Unsafe buildings' abound in Baker

To the editor:

OK, I've had enough. I've picked up my husband's "Poison Pen" and want to have my voice heard.

There has been a lot printed about the Eltrym Theater and how dangerous it is. I think it should have sprinklers, better handicap access and better exits, but the owner has a valid argument because the building inspector said "the building doesn't need sprinklers" and he obviously didn't have a problem with access and exits. If someone believes the building inspector when they are doing remodeling, and then later another inspector has a different opinion, shouldn't the original building inspector and the city have some amount of liability? I would hate to have people feel they are foolish to listen to city officials and that they better get a second and third opinion! Does the city really want to leave people with that impression?

If you start looking around for "unsafe buildings," look no further than Baker Middle School and Brooklyn, North Baker and South Baker elementary schools. The big difference is that you can choose to enter the Eltrym or not, but the law frowns on not sending kids to school. Only Baker High School has sprinklers; maybe they learned something in 1989 when a big part of it burned. It would be very expensive to install sprinklers in the schools, and it's not that important — it's only our children's lives!

The Senior Center has no sprinkler system other than in the kitchen. They were told (by the same inspector) that since nobody sleeps there at night and since they have a fire hydrant, that sprinklers weren't required. Maybe they need a second opinion too!

Jodi Thomas

Baker City