Letters to the Editor - June 28, 2013
Why severance package?
I would like to know why we taxpayers are paying former County Counsel Rick Sanai a lucrative severance package? Mr. Sanai was found guilty of blatant misconduct, which was upheld by the Washington Supreme Court, and was disbarred from Washington State.
Mr. Sanai resigned from Yamhill County on his own accord, and yet we pay him a severance package and we retain him on contract as well? Mr. Sanai showed no regard and abused the Washington Court legal system for his own personal gains. Our county commissioners praise him? Really?
Who is the enemy?
We have bipartisan agreement.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney says: “Snowden is a traitor.” Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein: “I think it’s an act of treason.” Republican Speaker of the House Boehner: “Snowden is a traitor.” Democratic Senator Bill Nelson: an “act of treason.” Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton: “Edward Snowden is a traitor who has committed an act of war against the United States.” Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss: “If he’s not a traitor, then he’s pretty darn close to it.”
But if Snowden’s deed was treason, who was the enemy he helped? Those most affected are not foreign spies. They know no communication lines are secure.
The people most affected by Snowden’s revelations are Americans. We’re the ones just now learning that we live in a police state. The NSA records all our telephone calls, Internet messages, and bank and credit card transactions.
The NSA may search electronically for anything, anywhere. Cheney, Feinstein, Boehner, Bolton, Chambliss, Nelson and their friends have revived the Writ of Assistance, the general search warrant of King George III — a primary cause of the American Revolution.
We the People are the ones who learned Democratic and Republican politicians, standing together behind Cheney, et. al., have shredded our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
We’re the people who Snowden helped.
Cheney, et. al., have made it very clear: Americans are the people they do not trust. Americans are people who must be watched, monitored and spied upon. Americans are the menace: the enemy.
But that coin has a second side. If we are their enemy, it must be the case:
They are our enemies. Cheney, Feinstein, Boehner, Nelson, Bolton, Chambliss and their establishment cronies. They’re the enemies of all Americans.
We need to correct matters with boxes that count: the soap box, donation box and ballot box.
Plans will damage neighbors
This is an open letter to the officers and members of the Nazarene Church on the Hill, our neighbors in McMinnville.
On May 15, the Rev. Jerry Moen met with well over 100 residents of our Hillside Retirement Community to announce plans to construct two indoor sports facilities quite close to the church’s east and north boundaries with us. We learned that these were to be enormous, industrial-type, steel buildings meant to accommodate indoor soccer fields. Each building would be 33,600 sq. ft. in area, would stretch 280 feet along our borders and sit atop earthen banks, towering 50 feet above our residences.
Following his presentation, stunned residents raised a series of objections to such plans. We felt your pastor’s responses to these objections were quite inadequate, and it was obvious he intended to push ahead with his plans despite our feelings.
Subsequently, residents have formed a task force to deal with this issue and have held a number of meetings. In addition, several residents have sent individual letters to the Rev. Moen detailing their concerns. We feel his responses to the letters have been unsatisfactory.
For 30 years, our two organizations have coexisted side-by-side with harmonious relations. We feel strongly that if the church proceeds with these plans, it will badly damage our livability and financial viability. Needlessly damaging one’s neighbors can hardly be considered neighborly.
Thus, we urge the congregation to abandon these plans for the construction of such huge buildings immediately adjacent to us.
Nylah K. Chilton and 68 other Hillside residents
Hope tolerance expands
I am very happy that my God, much too large to fit into human minds, does not require me to be hurtful to others or to restrict their happiness when it is absolutely none of my business.
I am very sorry that others have a God so small as to fit into narrow minds, requiring fearful, judgmental unkindness in the name of faith.
McMinnville is graced to have at least one church whose members’ God is large and kind. It is my wish that their tolerant attitude towards others survives, thrives and expands.
Lower health care costs
In searching for the Holy Grail of lower American health care costs, much attention is given to high-cost patients.
Understandably so. A study released this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that 70 percent of Medicare hospital and emergency room costs were generated by only 10 percent of Medicare recipients. If we could decrease that expense, it could produce massive savings.
The researchers then asked the obvious question: how much of the expense from these high-cost patients is preventable? The answer: not much. As they looked into the expense details, they found that only about one dime for every dollar spent came from problems amenable to prevention.
For example, heart failure is an area in which careful outpatient management could possibly prevent some admissions. Orthopedic problems, such as hip replacements and fractures, are generally not prevented by regular trips to the doctor. As it turns out, heart failure was the biggest-ticket “preventable” item, and cost Medicare about $60 million a year. Orthopedic conditions cost $300,000 million.
More disturbing still, regions with lots of primary care doctors, the ones who presumably could manage those “preventable” conditions, had higher costs overall than areas with fewer doctors. The same was true with specialists.
Other studies have failed to show that coordinated care organizations control expenses well in high-cost patients. A pattern is emerging. Don’t expect medicine to economize by managing patients better.
What’s left, then? For that, we have to look abroad. Other countries have shown that dramatic reductions in cost can be achieved by enforcing caps on how much can be charged across the medical ecosystem. When drug companies, equipment suppliers, hospitals, and practitioners all take a fee haircut, costs can plummet. The solution is achievable. Just add political will, and stir.
Scott Gibson, M.D.
Play’s language objectionable
With anticipation, I was looking forward to attending the performance of Theater in the Round on June 1 at McMinnville High School. I have enjoyed plays at the high school each time I attended previously — the students have shown great talent.
It was a strong disappointment when the second performance of the evening was full of language, throughout, that was offensive to me. The language was inappropriate for a school setting, even high school. In addition, there were young children in attendance.
These drama students are very creative. The use of the offensive language is even more disturbing, considering that these students are very capable of expressing themselves in a more intelligent, creative fashion.
I am looking forward to the next season of performances. Please clean up the language.
Civil unions are best answer
I’m writing regarding “God’s word calls it sin” (Readers’ Forum, June 21). For some, God’s word says the sabbath is on Saturday, while for others it is Sunday. For some, there are certain dietary restrictions. The role of the woman in a marriage, as determined by the word of God, has changed from being completely subservient to the will of the man to now more of a partnership in life with the man as spiritual leader of the family (and sometimes that comes more from the woman).
Some denominations have restrictions on birth control and divorce. Each denomination, and even each church, has the ability and the right to interpret the word of God as they see fit. Parishioners then have the right to leave or follow the teachings of the church of their choice, deciding if the teachings fit their belief system.
But I see all this as a moot point when it comes to marriage. In the argument for marriage equality, I have a different point of view. Civil unions are probably the best answer, but not in the way you may think. Religion and government are two separate things. So, civil unions and marriage are then two separate things.
Everyone who can sign a contract (because what is a civil union but a legal contract?) can then form a civil union. And I do understand that states will still set restrictions on this. States have the legal role of recording the union, setting a legal standard and facilitating dissolution if necessary.
The church has the role of sanctifying marriages before God. Then those in each church can decide if they will sanctify unions as marriages before God. But civil union will be the legal standard, available equally to everyone.
Sandra Ponto asked where the letters about gay marriage were. Here is one.
Marriage licenses are issued by the state and are required for a marriage to be legally recognized; the married people then receive various state and federal benefits attached to that condition. Religious marriage is not necessary to be so recognized, but the license is still required by law. To claim the word “marriage” as a religious word is not totally valid except in the minds of some religions.
Not all religious groups define sin as Ponto’s letter does. Increasing numbers of churches marry people of the same gender. They read the same Bible, but they read it differently from Ponto and they arrive at different conclusions about sin and its nature. Ponto says that they are wrong, but they say her interpretation is wrong. She says the Bible says this — they say the Bible says that.
Consensus on the definition of marriage and sin obviously does not exist. The solution is to recognize the existing status that the state authorizes for marriage, and the churches are free to marry whom they choose within their sanctuaries or not. I believe this is covered by the First Amendment.
Legalization of marriage of same-gender people is a matter of civil law and not religious law. Civil law affects people equally. Religious law affects only those within the congregation. There is a big difference here.
Marriage of same-gender people will be recognized in Oregon in the near future.
Micheal S. Groshong
God has room for all
We Christians give ourselves a cranky reputation when we demonstrate knowledge of the word of God by proclaiming our “correct” interpretations and insisting everyone agree. We forget Jesus’ two great commandments: “Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.” We also forget about “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”
We use the chapter in Leviticus to denounce homosexuality, forgetting that the same chapter tells us how a man should sell his daughter into slavery (besides other instructions we would now consider abhorrent), still claiming it all to be absolute, ultimate truth. We say “God is love” and then say God hates this or that.
We read that God created everything and proclaimed it to be good, but we exclude 11 percent of all humans for their sexual orientation (besides all the other arbitrary categories we deem wrong).
As for choosing to be gay: How many people do you know who would choose to be picked on, persecuted and discriminated against? Did you choose to be straight? I don’t remember making that choice. I just followed what nature gave me.
I have a very good friend who, throughout high school, begged God daily on his knees, “Please straighten me out.” He finally came to terms with who he is and is a gift to all who know him, but spent many anguished years of self-hatred and abuse before that.
Growing up on a farm in the ’40s and ’50s, I knew nothing of this. But I knew my young cousin preferred dolls to trucks from early childhood. He didn’t choose to be “different” any more than he chose his skin color. He simply was the child of God he was created to be.
My Father’s house has many mansions. There is room for all. All are equally loved. And it is good.
Small fees make sense
I miss the free online News-Register; however, I do understand the economy, and rising costs affect everyone.
I would like to note I visit Roseburg’s News-Review newspaper site once or twice a month. When you would like to read the rest of an article, it also comes up with a “subscribe” pop-up note.
The difference between the News-Register and News-Review is that the Roseburg newspaper offers, for a small fee, the option of purchasing the rest of the particular article.
I believe this would be a great option for the News-Register to offer its readers, with benefits to the News-Register as well.
Editor’s Note: The News-Register is nearing the launch of an online system to allow short-term, Internet-only access for readers with limited interest in news content.