Letters to the Editor - April 19, 2013

Stop causes of climate change

Karl Klooster’s informative and somewhat frightening article on the impact of climate change on the wine industry was masterfully written (News-Register, April 12, “Time to face the music”). He artfully avoided any discussion of the causes of climate change and, as a result, placed the burden on the wine industry to take steps to accommodate it.

I believe the main reason for the decline in the number of Americans taking global warming seriously is the fact that so much credence and visibility has been given to the view of climate change deniers that man is not responsible for it and, therefore, nothing can be done about it. We seem to be so driven by our need for balance that even though fewer than 5 percent of climate scientists deny man’s role in climate change, that position gets much attention.

So long as the possibility exists that we are responsible for global warming, we should be doing everything we can to diminish our contribution. This means we should leave the remaining fossil fuels in the ground where they have been for millions of years. We should stop fracking, stop the Keystone XL pipeline, stop burning coal and move as quickly as possible to renewable energy sources.

Perhaps it is too late, and climate change is unstoppable, as suggested by Mr. Klooster. However, public attitudes can change rapidly as evidenced by the sea change in opinions about same-sex marriage. This, in itself, gives me hope that such a change can occur with regard to attitudes toward climate change.

But in order for that to happen, we need to put the issue openly on the table.

Les Howsden



Our tolerance is increasing

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, addressing potential conservative donors and supporters for his planned 2016 race, confidently opined that legalized gay marriage — despite ominous indicators otherwise — isn’t a nationwide inevitability.

Even if the Supreme Court rules against state and federal laws mandating that only “one man and one woman” can marry in America, the senator reassured supporters that the American people won’t stand for it. If tolerance and diversity seem to be gaining steam lately, conservatives will lead a course correction: backward, of course.

Santorum also believes that any wavering — for example, a Republican politician allowing that “maybe, just maybe, gays and lesbians should enjoy the same rights as other consenting adults” — must be considered political suicide. He urges conservative voters to punish politicians if they deviate from the hard line. Since most Republican voters still oppose gay marriage, any rogue moderates are duly forewarned.

A March 2013 Gallup poll indicates that 53 percent of Americans favor same-sex marriage. Many of us have switched from opposition to full support. When asked to explain their change of heart, six in 10 responded that they personally know someone who is gay or lesbian. Perhaps it’s difficult to advocate denial of a civil right to a friend or family member.

As a specially-privileged heterosexual (the state of Oregon let me marry and divorce three times, so far), my own views are rather consistent with what Abraham Lincoln replied when asked for an explanation of his moral views on slavery.

“As I would not be a slave,” he counseled, “so I would not be a master.”

While ignoring this simple logic, conservatives remain confident that they’re on the right side of history. Frankly, I’m not averse to the prospects of Santorum’s audience heeding the call and continuing to herd their chosen representatives into such a conspicuous corral.

Kevin C. Nortness



Kerry promotes old ideas

When John Kerry was confirmed as Secretary of State last week, his first promise was to bring new ideas to the job.

So what was Kerry’s big new idea on Syria? Drag the United States further into the conflict by promising to send the rebels an additional $60 million in aid. Only among the Washington foreign policy establishment could a promise to redouble efforts in an old idea be repackaged as a new idea. New ideas, old ideas, new approaches, improved approaches — they always seem to be the same thing: calling for more U.S. intervention in conflicts thousands of miles away that have nothing to do with us.

The Kerry plan is to overtly provide more medical and food aid to armed insurgents seeking to overthrow the Syrian government. In directly assisting rebels with material that will help them fight more effectively, the United States is signaling its new role as an open participant in the conflict. Can U.S. weapons and troops be far behind?

The administration hopes that none of the aid it provides to U.S.-backed rebels falls into the hands of other groups such as the radical Islamist al-Nusra Front, which the United States has designated as a terrorist group. Yet, according to press reports, there is little separation on the ground between the various groups. It seems unreasonable to believe that assistance provided to one group will not wind up in the hands of another group.

Kerry’s new ideas are actually old ideas. Over and over, they have proven to be bad ideas. Just as President Obama has shown that his foreign policy is more aggressive and war-mongering than that of his predecessor, the new, more moderate Secretary of State shows us that he has every intention of furthering the notion that diplomacy flows from the barrel of a gun.

Robert Swift



Court decisions limit rights

The Second Amendment does not confer the right to own military-style assault weapons and large capacity clips, and it does not prohibit background checks on the sale of weapons. This radical claim is in keeping with what the Supreme Court said in 2008 in its District of Columbia v. Heller decision.

The court used Heller to clarify that “the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.” Justice Scalia, writing for the court, goes on to explain that this individual right has limits. The Second Amendment does not confer “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Those of us who favor a ban on military-style assault weapons believe that they fall outside the reach of the Second Amendment. It is not a right “to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever … .”

My position here is strengthened by another limitation endorsed by Heller. Justice Scalia explains that there is a “historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’”

Gun control proponents believe that military-style assault weapons and large capacity clips should be classified as “dangerous and unusual weapons.” They are dangerous because they have the capacity of killing a large number of people quickly, and they are unusual outside the context of a battlefield.

Regarding background checks, Justice Scalia suggested that the court may look favorably on their expansion. “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

The upshot is that the Second Amendment does not confer an absolute right “to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever,” especially “dangerous and unusual ones.”

Robert E. Mason



Greed takes from others

In response to 9-year-old Emma Grace Linder’s letter (Readers’ Forum, April 12, “Homeless people need shelter”).

Know the meaning of the word greed: Simply put, it is the wanting and taking of more than one needs.

It was greed that took the jobs from the homeless people on the church steps.

It was greed that took their homes.

It was greed that took their pride.

It is greed that prevents existing abandoned buildings from being used as shelters.

Pray for the homeless sleeping at the church, that they might get back what they need.

And pray especially for the greedy, that they might be satisfied with only what they need.

A.K. Cardinal





happy slap

"Our tolerance is increasing"

Will two brothers engaged in an Gay (active sexua)l relationship, in what currently would be defined as an incestuios act be allowed to Marry once same sex marriage is allowed or codified into law?

If not, what would be the legal basis for denying those brothers their equal protections under any same sex marriage act? If neither is capable of becoming impregnated, what would the argument be? That most of us can't or won't accept that 'Lifestyle' because it's...well...just too plain-old-fashion deviant, just too darned pinchie-me-hoot-by-golly-gee-goin-straight-to-hell, sick-o ..or.. what?

happy slap

One should really take look deeper into the details that may, or will be released upon the full opening of this Pandoras box


Nortness, It was not a majority of Americans that enabled the GLBT to "marry". The people in the states that allowed the vote, including Oregon, voted it down. It was some Clinton appointee judge that overturned the will of the people. Other than that I would see no reason why bigamy might be okay, incestuous relations to marry or even one of each for everyone. Where does this insanity stop? Lastly, it is hard to believe you have been divorced 3 times. I would hope you would make better decisions.


Les, don't you think it is a bit arrogant to think the United States has the power to change the climate? Even if I believed it is manmade I would protest first against China, India, Russia, England and other nations that have done almost nothing to stop the carnage against the environment. If those countries will do nothing to help we could outlaw the real source of environmental pollutions and this is volcanos. Personally, I am thankful for global warming periods of the past. If not for the warming of the planet millions of years ago we would be living on ice. I don't know who started that warming but I would surely like to thank them.


Part 1
With all due respect, I must disagree with Mr. Mason’s assessment of the October Term 2007 Heller decision and the 2nd Amendment. The only “radical claim” I have observed, is in your letter sir. It appears very obvious that you have deliberately misquoted, reorganized and distorted Scalia’s narrative to fit your own purpose.

Your assertion: “The court used Heller to clarify that “the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.” Justice Scalia, writing for the court, goes on to explain that this individual right has limits. The Second Amendment does not confer “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”” will not to be found in this context anywhere in the decision. You have taken different quotes from two different sections of the decision and combined them in you attempt to distort the decision.

Let’s break this down. Your quote from Paragraph 1 of the decision: “The court used Heller to clarify that “the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.”

The correct quote: “1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.Pp. 2–53.”


Part 2
A very important sub paragraph (f) of 1, which has direct bearing on your next quote is as follows: “(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpre¬tation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.”

Your next sentence / quote is from Paragraph 2, skipping over and omitting six (6) subsections to get here: “Justice Scalia, writing for the court, goes on to explain that this individual right has limits. The Second Amendment does not confer “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

The correct quote: “2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.” Please note the very important words “in common use at the time”.


Part 3
Once again you forgot to complete the quote Mr. Mason, and in doing so you have deliberately changed the entire context. “Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.” When the quote is complete it changes the entire meaning of your “abbreviated” quote. “3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.”
I would also submit that any attempt to ban semi-automatic rifles would also be further encumbered by the fact that the semi-automatic rifle is a very popular hunting rifle and recognized as a standard requirement in competition by the Federal Civilian Marksmanship Program. Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) Matches, CMP Games Events (Garand, Springfield, Carbine, Military Rifle) and other CMP-sanctioned competitions. Created by an Act of Congress, the CPRPFS derives its mission from public law (Title 36 USC, §40701-40733).

Just as a point of interest to your reference of "clips" the largest "clip" made only holds 10 rounds!

Don Dix

Mr. Howsden wants to put the issue of climate change openly on the table.

How about we start with global warming wannabe god, Al Gore. Al said (in his slanted movie), "The Earth is warmer than it has ever been". And yet the Romans were able to grow grapes in England during their dominance. And as late as 1350, the southern region of Greenland was free of ice and had been farmed for 400 years. Question: How could this warming occur without man driving SUVs all over the place?

How does Al answer that? -- Simple -- He unequivocally states, "The debate is over" -- and thus avoiding the prospect of answering anything.

So all we need to begin an open discussion is the recording of that debate. Oops! It seems there was never any debate, Al just made that up. And making up facts has been about the only strength Al can claim (remember, he said he 'invented the internet').

Doesn't it seem odd that studies of ice core, tree rings, and ocean sediment tell a story much different than Al's? The fluctuation of temperatures has been occurring throughout the history of the Earth, and today is no different.

When someone states 'the climate is changing' they are correct. When they attempt to blame (or credit) man, proof must match up. And with all the evidence to the contrary, blind allegiance isn't a very strong position from which to argue.

troy prouty

If you hold the belief that we are granted (in the U.S.), Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. (Basically the rights of Menm created from France and twisted to America style). Then you would seem to to acknowledge anything legal that doesn't affect someone else's "Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness" Many of the laws we have today are enforced or deemed legal on this basis. Ban on Gay Marriage is not one of them.

What happens is some people take their common belief and push it on others, in the real world the others can shrug it off and do their own thing, but when this happens in the poltical world (we can't) sadly, thus laws that really don't affect the majority affect the few in a negative way.

Wouldn't be great if we could get to a place where everyday citizens could vote via computer on issues that come up and based on those results, Our leaders (if you can call them that) could only respond to how and what the people actually want?

Personally I'm happy Washington passed the law.


troy prouty

One other small point that I didn't address, but I think about is the arguement marriage is between a man and woman who can conceive a child.

I took this college class on this topic, they didn't take the life, liberty and pursuit approach. But I think it's interesting though to use it, because there are severfal facts that make this difficult to establish law. First of all not all people that get married (man and woman) can have children, so does that mean the marriage is void? Second is do we know in the future that two man can't have a child? where does it play in if a person hasd sex and a child out of marriage?

There were other additional things, but if I posted them I would be banned for life..

Another point is I remember when Gay Marriage failed in California people acted out in violent nature.. And people responded "I can't believe they would do that".. but what people tend to forget when people get oppressed, they get angry.. and they act out.


happy slap

"There were other additional things, but if I posted them I would be banned for life."

Not everyone has the ability to view an abstraction from the same perspective, Troy.

happy slap

Tibetan 'sky funeral's come to mind. A persons desire to leave this life and enter the next through an act of self-immolation would be another.

As recently as the year of our Lord, 1973, homosexuality was a mental illness. What has changed since that time. I would argue that what had actually changed, was a demographic shift that had occurred over the prior two to four decades, in whom was going to medical school to earn Ph Ds in the science of Psychiatry.

Just my opinion, not that my opinion matters.

happy slap

What came first, the mental defectives, or the Psychiatrist that deems them not?

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see."

--Arthur Schopenhauer

Life will imitate art, and the genius that is Hollywood knows how to hit that target better than anyone.

Michael Tubbs Sr
Grand Ronde, Oregon

troy prouty

posted "homosexuality was a mental illness"

I think they may have listed it a personality disorder, but I'm not sure. I think a lot has changed in psychology, but I also think that maybe at that timie period, people kept in a closet. The more people came out I think they changed their stand and changed criteria in bahavior, and certai characteristics still falls into those new persomality disorders.


happy slap

Kinda like the 'saggy trousers' thingy, whereas once considered an unfashionable faux paux, not so much anymore, huh?

troy prouty

yeah. However I've never hit the fashion thingy.. I'm always unfashionable.


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