What does GOP say about real people?

To the editor:

As I read your account of the speeches at the Republican Party barbecue (August 21), I had a hard time relating. I found myself asking, andquot;What country and century are these people living in?andquot; Do they have the ability to come to grips with the concerns of this community in this day and age? How could these top leaders get together and not even mention real problems that confront regular people in our state and nation? I want peace and prosperity. How do government-crippling tax cuts and endless wars benefit me or my country? If these leaders prevail, what kind of world will we be leaving to our grandchildren?

I assume your reporter gave a fairly complete summary of their presentations. If so, where was discussion of the killing field that Iraq has become, or meaningful ways to resolve that tragedy? Why was there no mention of exported jobs, melting ice caps, our continuing dependence on foreign oil or our spiraling national debt?

Closer to home, how are we to maintain our roads and schools without long-term, full funding of the county payments by a solvent federal government? How can new doctors afford to come out here to practice, unless more people have health insurance and unless insurance claims are paid fairly and quickly?

Do they care about these issues? If they start talking about them out on the campaign trail, what will they actually do in office? Or will they continue to avoid them and base their campaigns on attack ads and wedge issues?

Our country needs a new direction. I say it's time to fully identify, and mutually solve, the real problems. We need wisdom and cooperation, not head-in-the-sand approaches based on narrow, go-it-alone ideology.

We're all in this together. Let's work together and harness our incredible creativity and can-do spirit. Let's recognize, and strive to meet, everyone's real needs. Your adjoining front-page article about Sen. Wyden's efforts on health care reform offers an excellent example. Let's elect people who represent all Americans and will help us find essential, long-term answers to the major challenges that confront us.

Donna Landon

Baker City

Poor city decisions

To the editor:

I support the city's closure of the Eltrym theater fire codes are a true safety issue and until judicial guidance occurs, the city is wise to err on the side of caution. But where does this wisdom go when the city council nears Geiser Pollman Park? The city has lately made three poor decisions about the park and its general area.

The first was the outright ban on dogs in the park. Assuming a non-dog-person was very frustrated, I suppose I can understand this. On the other hand, people walking dogs in a park are generally families or conscientious adults, not the swearing, knife-throwing teens who have shown up to fill the dogless vacuum.

Which brings up my second point: the rule banning andquot;obscene and abusiveandquot; language in a public park. Ignore for the moment the First Amendment problems. The rule for the park begs the question of whether the park is a public or private space. If it's public, then laws applying to public spaces apply to the park, the same laws that keep us safe in every other public area in Baker City. Why does the park need a special rule?

The third decision is so bad that it deserves little comment: the decision to cite and fine the owner of the Parkway Cafe rather than the owners of vehicles parked illegally. If our goal is to prevent illegal parking, surely this is an ineffective tactic. If the vehicle owners have no risk of getting a ticket, why shouldn't they park illegally?

One can at least question the logic of a city council that leaps to the most punitive position. Baker is a vibrant and growing community. Let's try not to strangle it with red tape. One good decision out of four is not nearly good enough.

Breanna Teintze

Baker City

Attention to cats

To the editor:

As a member of Best Friends Inc., an animal rescue group located in Baker County, I had the opportunity this week of taking telephone calls from individuals who needed to get rid of animals, who wanted to adopt an animal, get information about spaying and neutering or to learn more about Best Friends of Baker, Inc.

During this time of answering the telephone, to my amazement most calls happened to be about the large number of cats and kittens that people wanted to get rid of. On the first night I received calls about 14 cats and kittens. Of those 14 animals, five were living in an empty house and were right off of the highway. Seven were babies who barely had their eyes open, and the other two were young cats that wandered into people's yard looking for food. Most of these cats and kittens, if not all of them, will be killed by other animals, run over by vehicles, tortured, starved to death or euthanized.

Best Friends of Baker, Inc. is a volunteer organization that operates out of private homes and is dependent on donations from the community. We try to save as many animals as we can, but right now all of our foster homes for cats and kittens are full. We cannot shelter them all. Best Friends of Baker Inc. can provide food to people who are willing to care for the homeless cats and kittens.

Best Friends of Baker Inc. and Molly Atwater and Friends can provide vouchers to help spay and neuter dogs and cats. If you need help please contact these two organizations for more information about their spay/neuter programs. If you do not need financial assistance, then please be a responsible pet owner and spay or neuter your animal before they have more unwanted litters.

Best Friends of Baker Inc. is in desperate need of foster homes for cats and kittens, so we can eventually adopt these animals out to loving homes. If you can help please call Best Friends of Baker Inc. at 519-PETS.

Karen Skeen

Baker City

We must use the land for resources

To the editor:

The major issue facing our nation today is access and use of the land. The trouble is that very few people even recognize it as a problem. Unless we understand this situation and make major changes in some of our laws, regulations and policies our country is facing economic collapse, a breakdown of government as we know it and eventually a major loss of life. By now you are wondering what is this guy babbling about. This is America, it can't happen here. Our government won't let it.

It not only can happen, it already is and some members of your government are working as hard as they can to hurry it along. The end is much closer than you think. It is inevitable if we sit and do nothing or carry on making the problems worse.

This is all coming down on our heads because most of us have forgotten or don't know the basic facts of life. The most important is no life can exist on this planet unless we use the land. We must harvest its produce and resources. The second most important fact is that all wealth originally comes from the ground. There is no other source. We can expand this wealth by processing and manufacturing more useful products from these resources.

No other job or business can succeed without this money and resources.

To go on living we must have food, shelter protection and a few basic necessities. Most of us can no longer provide these things for ourselves so we need money.

In our need to protect the environment we have got so carried away that we have seriously damaged our basic industries that provide these things and make all jobs possible.

The oil and mining industries have been so restricted by land withdrawals and regulations that many have taken their jobs and business overseas, and we have to import most of these essential commodities.

Every time a piece of land is taken out of production, another bite is taken out of our economy.

Unless we re-evaluate and change our laws and policies, the chances that the young people of our country will survive are slim to none.

Kenneth E. Anderson

Baker City