Wolves important to restoring natural balance

Why the hatred for wolves? Did they take down a deer that was in your gun sights or did they kill a cow or sheep because their normal prey has been hunted and trapped relentlessly, replaced with a much easier one? When did self importance become so askew? It was humans that killed all the buffalo (many times just for sport). It was man that trapped the beaver and a multitude of other furbearing creatures into near extinction. The balance of nature in North America, along with our native wolves’ reliable food sources, was undeniably disrupted. With the introduction of non-native livestock it was all out war on wolves, further disrupting the balances and controls that had been in effect for centuries. It is impossible to go back and change history but we can learn from the past mistakes of our ancestors. No argument a wolf is a killer and predator, so are mountain lions, bears, raptors… Shall we start exterminating all of them? It is not the wolves’ fault that their territory and food supply was taken and, if we have learned anything from our forefathers, it is not up to man to decide what parts of nature are good or bad.

If we have any possibility of restoring a semblance of balance to an eco system that has been historically trashed then the wolf conservation and management plan is a good start. Rattlesnakes, yellowjackets, sharks, alligators and wolves are all scary creatures but the impact of their extinction and the unknown to follow (to me at least) seems much scarier. The deadliest killer/predator on earth is far from a wolf — it is man.

Mike Meyer

Baker City

Sexual assault scandal reflects declining morals

Here we are in 2018 after a year of “me too” and claims of sexual impropriety and assaults that has not only swept through Hollywood, but through our political ranks as well. If you didn’t see this coming, you must be living in a cave. For years now, our society has not only encouraged this behavior but supported it financially. Just turn on the tube. Most TV shows, movies, commercials and video games have lewd, sexual behavior that leaves little to the imagination. We seem to devour the mindless perversion that has crept into our entertainment viewing and our children’s minds as well.

People desperate to be successful in the media have lowered their standards in order to become famous. Then they are stunned when these proprietors of flesh make advances or sexual suggestions to them. Is it right? Absolutely not. Is it surprising, no. Now before you get your hackles up I’m not suggesting that all these victims are not just that. But anyone with common sense would see that playing in a rattlesnake den will probably get you bit.

We are teaching our children to seek their own identity in their own time as to who or what gender they are. That is ruining our morals and unravelling the basic threads of our society’s fabric. Anytime our “choices” include a lifestyle that directly conflicts with God’s design, we are headed towards a cliff and destruction. Our heads-in-the-sand attitude is placing our stamp of approval on all of this and we will live with the consequences. That’s a word no American wants to hear. We love our freedom without consequences or cost. We don’t like hearing “no” in any aspect of our lives. Hence the problem we are in. Money equals power and absolute power corrupts. Turn off that questionable show and send a message to those who prosper from it. Stay off websites that you wouldn’t or shouldn’t allow your child on. Become parents and monitor your child’s time and input. Live like you’d want your child to live. Remember, garbage in, garbage out.

Thomas Wilcoxson

Baker City

No on Measure 101: Force the Legislature to act

The one thing both sides in the Measure 101 debate agree on is that this is a complex issue. While few outside those creating this legislation can understand the inter working of funding state government, we can know facts on which we can base a decision.

• In the last legislative session, the governor gave out $100 million in new raises. One-party rule in the Legislature also allocated $10 million additional state monies to pay for abortion while shorting the veterans budget $3 million.

• Also, it is a fact that voting No will not keep anyone from receiving healthcare. Voting No will simply put this back into the hands of the Legislature to fix during the session that starts Feb. 5.

• The state bureaucracy in charge of running state Medicaid has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars, including $186 million that may have to be repaid to the federal government for signing up those not eligible.

If passed, Measure 101 will tax small business and those obtaining insurance in the individual market (the political nobodies) to fund state Medicaid. At the same time corporations, big business and powerful special interest are exempted. To date those being exempted have pumped almost $3 million into convincing voters to pass Measure 101.

A No vote will send this back to the Legislature. Our elected officials can, if we hold them accountable, structure equitable funding.

Annette Lathrop

Wallowa County

Our country works better when we are together

Our country’s uplifting and inspiring motto is E Pluribus Unum — Out of Many, One. To me, this speaks eloquently to the power of our creative, collective minds to solve worldly problems, and to the power of our joint will when we stand united.

We function best when we work together, as symbolized by the deep wagon ruts in the Oregon Trail. No one can do it alone. We stand on each other’s shoulders.

Thus, my hat goes off to Gretchen Stadler for her letter (Dec. 27) offering a vision of what we as a nation should aim for together, in effect extending the fruits of real freedom to each of us to pursue our heart’s desire. Examples included free education, a stable climate, universal healthcare and livable incomes.

The false image of rugged individualism only goes so far. The law of the jungle does not serve us well. As she also pointed out, our current direction is toward concentration of great wealth in a few, while most of us are just scraping by.

This need not be. We are borrowing from future generations, robbing them of a sustainable future.

There is no doubt in my mind that we can restore balance and fairness to our economic dilemma by rejecting the barren myth that we can survive by going it alone.

For the good of our nation and the world, I urge my fellow readers to affirm and advocate Ms. Stadler’s call for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for us all.

Let it speak deeply to us.

We came close to her vision during the 1950s and 1960s and, together, we can do so again.

Marshall McComb

Baker City