Letters to the Editor - Feb. 15, 2013

Street is a near-highway
I must express my concern.
Having lived in northwest McMinnville for more than 50 years, I have a few observations that I wish to express.
I have watched Michelbook Lane turn from a cow trail to a residential street. As McMinnville has grown, the city decided to link Baker Creek Road on the north, to West Second Street on the south. I am sure that eases traffic on Adams Street.
After this change, Michelbook Lane has been transformed into a near-highway for many drivers. But it is still a well-marked residential street at 25 mph.
I’m without a means of tallying, but I would guess that seven out of 10 drivers exceed the limit and even beyond. What can we do? Some drivers don’t think, and others just don’t care. I ask those who use this route, “Which are you?”
Victoria Charbonnier

Anyone can pay it forward
Before we moved here just a year ago, we had a strong suspicion that McMinnville would be a great place to raise our children. After all, as one of our new friends recently told us, “McMinnville has always been one of those places where the grass is greenest.”
This phrase has already borne itself out many times over, but there is one particular show of this community’s welcoming spirit that I will never forget.
Picture us as newcomers, just six months ago, with a tiny newborn and a 2-year-old, running our small business and trying to enjoy the small pleasures of very small people on a laughably small amount of sleep. We were in that stage when you just can’t get it together to get a full meal on the table.
A local parenting group we’re involved in on Facebook signed us up for Take Them a Meal. Now, it’s common practice to take meals to people who have babies, but strangers with babies?
In the aftermath of our son’s birth, a dozen mostly complete strangers made us dinner: whole roasted chickens, enchiladas, quinoa soup, turkey casseroles, blueberry cakes, cookies galore. They came bearing fresh salads plucked from their gardens. One had edible flowers in it.
I was so moved that every time I hear about a new baby or a family with an illness coming over the transom, I have felt compelled to double our dinner and feed some new friends.
Anybody can do this. Every day, people in Mac are teaching us how much paying it forward helps you live a great life in a small town. We are excited, big time.
Emily Grosvenor Diesburg

Nostalgic for ‘66 Nova
While reading the paper last Saturday, I ran across an ad that saddened me.
It simply stated, “Sherie’s Turquoise ‘66 Nova for sale.” I knew the car immediately, and though I didn’t know the lady’s name who drove it, she and the car were very familiar to me and my family.
We have always been fans of the Chevy Nova. I can’t recall the very first time I saw that sweet lady and her car. I’ve been in McMinnville since 1989 and have seen this beautiful lady driving around town, running her errands.
It seems everybody knows of her and that car. She appeared to drive with obvious pride and confidence. Seeing her was a wonderful moment of nostalgia. Her hair was perfect, and the car was always immaculate. It was a pleasant reminder of days gone by.
I had the pleasure of talking to her once in the grocery store. “You’re the lady who drives the ‘66 Nova,” I said. That brought a big smile to her face and some very pleasant conversation in the checkout line.
Sherie, thank you for many years of “the lady in the turquoise Nova.” I hope wherever you are and wherever you go, another classy set of wheels is taking you there.
Cheryl Presley

Finding new reasons for hope
“Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again.”
These chilling lyrics from Les Misérables have resonated over the past few years as my government invaded Iraq, Wall Street manipulators threw our country into economic turmoil, predatory lenders duped vulnerable home buyers, an oil company’s shortcuts led to an environmental disaster, Congressional “leaders” focused on political gain and gridlock rather than on our country’s well-being, and our nation by the people, for the people was hijacked by wealthy individuals and corporations.
I’ve wondered if my angst has taken root in the seedbed of oppression.
But recently, I found a ray of hope. I participated in a 10-week study and discussion: Challenging Corporate Power – Asserting the People’s Rights. This group led to the formation of two local organizing groups: Move to Amend Yamhill County, which joins the national grassroots movement to pass a Constitutional amendment stating: Corporations are not people. Money is not speech. The second group, Community Rights Yamhill County, joins hundreds of similar organizations across the country taking action for the health of their communities.
This past weekend, I attended a two-day Community Rights training, led by Pacific Northwest community organizer Paul Cienfuegos. I was enthralled and appalled at the historic rise of corporate power, which now influences almost every facet of our lives and has tremendous congressional, executive and judicial influence. But I was also encouraged to hear that 150 communities in the country have passed a Community Bill of Rights and ordinances addressing corporate power.
Gretchen Olson
Letter clever but incorrect
David Terry’s letter (Readers’ Forum, Feb. 8, “People deserve right to arms”) concludes with a vacuous bumper-sticker sentiment: “When only the police have guns, it is called a police state.”
This is a straw man, for no one argues that only the police should have guns; in fact, guns are very much more tightly controlled in all of the democracies of the West than they are in the United States, and none of these countries is a police state. But it is a cute little zinger: “police … police” makes it sound as if it makes sense, so it is a nice substitute for any real thought.
What underlies his argument but is barely mentioned is the bogus NRA notion that the Second Amendment was intended by the Founding Fathers to arm the citizens so that they could overthrow an anti-democratic government.
The first 13 words of the amendment provide the reason for its existence, and it is the only one of the first 10 amendments that is not simply stated as a self-evident principle. What did the Fathers mean by a “well-regulated militia?”
This is made clear in the Militia Acts of 1792, which specified the equipment that every able-bodied, white, male citizen between the ages of 18 and 45 was expected to possess and permitted the president to call up the militias to protect the country from invasion or insurrection. The Militia Act of 1903 established the National Guard as the direct successor to the Militias. By the way, taking up arms against the government is called “insurrection.”
Terry’s letter is a sophistical tissue of nonsense — rather dangerous nonsense.
Charles Strong
Second Amendment questions
After reading all the pros and cons and various interpretations related to the Second Amendment, I still have some questions.
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Did you know that there are several versions, the difference being punctuation and capitalization? Aside from that, the amendment clearly refers to “a well regulated militia.” Where is this “well regulated militia”? Could it be the Founding Fathers’ version of a militia has evolved into the U.S. military that is there to protect the United States from outside entities that would take away our “free state”?
Others argue the Founding Fathers meant that the defense of our “security as a free state” is actually from our own government. The United States has, by far, the largest, most well equipped and deadly military to ever exist. We spend more on our military than the next 12 nations combined, and that includes China. So, who’s going to fund this “well regulated militia”?
What’s the relationship with gun ownership and militia membership? Can anyone who owns a gun be part of the militia? Is the only criteria gun ownership?
“The right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” -- relates to whom? Hunters, target shooters, collectors? Oregon has a five-bullet clip limit for hunters of large animals and three on birds. Why does anyone need 100-bullet canisters, even 10-bullet clips, unless your targets are people?
Tony Hartford


David Bates

I am still waiting for someone to explain, with a straight face, how one's Second Amendment rights will enable them to take on a government that has at its disposal weaponry capable of vaporizing entire cities.

Michael Tubbs Sr

Something to ponder, David. No doubt some ex-grunts would pool their resources together along with some active duty grunts, and finger out just how to accomplish what you might think to be the un-accomplish-able.

That I know of, no weapon capable of vaporizing an entire city has yet been used in Afghanistan. So, what would lead you to believe weapons of that nature would be used on our own soil against our own citizens, and who exactly would you think would follow orders to use them on their fellow citizens?

Michael Tubbs Sr

"....with a straight face...."

David, this morning I added my two cents to today's poll question over on the NRO website. The question of the day was---> Does Obama play too much golf?

I checked (No) My own reasoning being, that, the more time he spends with his fingers wrapped around the handle of a 9 iron, means less time he'll spend thumbing through launch codes.

Apparently 20% (if you can read such things into polls) of respondents think the same as I do, and 80% do not.

Don Dix


I don't think anyone is proposing to overthrow the government. And if so, I can't imagine an armed charge on D.C.

The 2nd Amendment was a reasonable response -- written by people who had just fought a war to free themselves from an overbearing, tax-hungry government (British).

As 'straight-faced' as it gets ----- Those who don't own any firearms have made that choice, and I respect their decision. But that respect needs to travel both ways. I can guarantee my home is made safer (to me) with the presence of firearms, and the ability to use them. So I'll be keeping mine, thanks!


Golf may not be the safe-haven either.

Today's Oregonian editorial page had a cartoon showing Obama and Tiger on the golf course. Obama asking a perplexed Tiger, 'Have I told you of my views on redistribution of strokes?'

David Bates

You shouldn't have any difficulty imagining it. Overthrowing the government -- or more precisely, overthrowing an "oppressive" government, or defending one's self from such -- is one of the main reasons, I hear gun rights advocates cite when they talk about the supreme importance of the Second Amendment. If I had a buck for every time I've seen or heard some variation of that (ridiculous) argument since Newtown, I'd have a small fortune. So I'm waiting. I'd like some clarification. I want to know how the Second Amendment protects the populace from a government that has the power (as all "nuclear states" do) to murder millions of people with the press of a button. Or the power to park a camera-bearing insect-sized drone in your living room. Seems to me the ideal protection from the latter, at least, would be a good eye and a fly-swatter.

Michael Tubbs Sr

"You shouldn't have any difficulty imagining it. Overthrowing the goverment....
....bla....bla..bla, bla bla....bla....."


Please don't put words in my mouth. Never have I implied or advocated for any overthrow of our government at any level. Those are your own words, not mine. There have been acts of civil disobedience in our country, some have been much more grander in scale than some others.

Typically, your more raucous un-lawful acts and/or grand gestures such as full-blown rioting in the streets, rage against the machine anarchy crowd, tend to think more like you do, and not such like a conservative thinker such as myself, would tend to.

David Bates


I am not putting words in your mouth. I am referring to an argument that I have heard and seen made repeatedly in the weeks since Newtown -- in print, online, in the blogosphere, on Twitter, etc. I've seen it here at the Newsregister online forum. Those that I'm thinking of were not made by you.

And as long as we're on the subject of putting words in others' mouths, please do not presume that the "rage against the machine anarchy crowd"(a description so vague as to be meaningless) thinks like I do, or that I think like they do, whoever "they" are.

Michael Tubbs Sr


Then I owe you a sincere apology for having placed my own thoughts into your mind. Never been good any at mind reading, I'll make a point to refrain from doing so from here on out.

I am going to take at least a month, possibly longer, hiatus from commenting.

Good night.

Don Dix


When you stated, "You shouldn't have any difficulty imagining it.", I presume you were referring to my not 'imagining' an armed charge on D.C. I still don't!

The citizens of this country may be mad as hell at the government from time to time, but most would rather live here than any other country.

As for 'pressing a button to murder millions', that's a dictatorial style of enforcement, and never witnessed in the U.S., to my recollection. Sensationalism, at best.

Lastly, those who don't own or haven't used guns will always have difficulty understanding the mindset of a gun owner and his/her rights. And there is no substitute for the experience.


Frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing some rioting in the streets if it would stop these stupid, pointless, criminal wars encouraged by graying politicians, most of whom weaseled out of combat, while kids my age were ordered to the front lines in Vietnam based on a lottery.


"In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions officially establishing this interpretation. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home within many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession listed by the Court as being consistent with the Second Amendment."


David Bates


You are basically, making my own point: To listen to the rhetoric of the gun rights constituency (which, I realize, comprises a range of opinion) you would think that they think that an "armed march" on Washington D.C. (an insurrection, in other words, regardless of where it occurs) at some point in the future, under certain conditions, might be necessary. And so long as that's a possibility, the logic goes, we all need to have our guns so we're prepared for battle ... with, obviously, the most powerful military machine on the planet.

This is a ridiculous argument, and to say that you literally can't imagine it bodes well, I think. I can't imagine it either. It's laugh-out-loud absurd.

As for my point about obliterating a city, I wasn't necessarily suggesting that the government would resort to such measures. I was only alluding to the exponentially vast military superiority (to lay down an 'armed march,' for example) of the U.S. government by referring to its most powerful weaponry.

Even so: It isn't necessary to have a "dictatorial" form of government to "press the button." I refer to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


At the same time, I think it is a sad commentary on the American life that there is felt a need by so many to protect one's property with guns. Too much freedom is proving to be too much freedom.

Don Dix


Protecting one's property is only one issue of gun ownership.

When my friends and I cut firewood, weapons are present (cougar). Yes, a chainsaw is quite a formidable form of protection, but not all duties with our work require the saws to be running. And being in the woods when a nearby cougar lets out a scream, the adrenaline stream is quite impressive and immediate. Hairs you never knew existed raise and tingle on the back of your neck. So being armed is not only comforting, but somewhat necessary.


Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- not domestic unrest, but foreign war -- and no 'button'. A bomber(s) with mission instructions was the delivery system.

But your are correct on gun ownership. The reasons vary by individual, and cover a large range.

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