Letters to the Editor - March 8, 2013

Militia intended to be armed

How many times must a truth be repeated, before it becomes cliche? Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This truth has been quoted and paraphrased millions of times, but the truth of it still remains.

Charles Strong (Readers’ Forum, Feb. 15) thinks my demonstrable fact is “vacuous.” Clearly, he has not studied history in any great detail, but his idea that my words are suitable for a bumper sticker is a great one. Look for them on a bumper, near you — soon!

Strong asks, rhetorically, what our Founders had in mind as a “well regulated militia.”

If Mr. Strong had read the Federalist Papers and other topical writings by the Founders, he would know that the thing they most feared was a “standing army” of full-time professional soldiers.

What our Founders did not and could not envision was the “militarization” of law enforcement and the creation of a potentially authoritarian police state.

Both the Militia Acts of 1792 and 1903 mandate that: 1. the militia encompasses all able-bodied males between 18 and 45, 2. all members of the unorganized militia have the legal requirement and 3. right to keep and bear arms suitable for any potential military need.

The only statement where Strong is correct is that taking up arms against government is called “insurrection.” Who is surprised that our Founders acknowledged the dangers from even the government that they were creating? They acknowledged that “vigilance is the price of liberty.”

In 1765, Patrick Henry compared Caesar, Charles I and George III, at which point he was interrupted by cries of “Treason!” by those who recognized his comparison of George to assassinated leaders. Henry paused, then calmly finished his sentence; “If this be treason, make the most of it.”

David Terry


Give thought to farmers

How often, as we shop for our groceries, do we consider from where and how this food comes to us? Not often, I’m sure.

But do give some thought to the farmers who grow the produce, the farmers who manage the herds of milk cows and meat cattle, and the flocks of chickens, to provide these treasures for us.

These days, the remaining farmers feed many more people than in the past. Agriculture has become a huge business with a few workers doing everything necessary to feed all the rest of us with little effort on our parts.

Some families have gone back to raising a lot of their food as they are able, but most of us rely on the agricultural workers to give us what we want and need.

March 19 is Agriculture Recognition Day. Let’s give thought and thanks to those who provide for us. Thank you, all you farmers and those who process, transport and distribute as well. Thank you, indeed.

Eleanor Plamondon


Need a volunteer Congress

If you are like me and think that Congress is a disgrace to our great nation, here’s your chance to do something about it.

Everyone is talking about the problem, but no one is talking about the solution. Here is a simple solution: We need a volunteer Congress. That’s how the Founding Fathers designed our legislative branch.

I think, with the current unrest in our voting body, we could get unity between what are now opposing factions. This is an idea that almost everyone, except entrenched politicians and special interest groups, can support. Imagine having the energy of the Tea Party and the Wall Street Occupiers combined in a common goal. Imagine Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Independents working side by side for the common good.

This would require an amendment to the Constitution and would need more thought and insight than I have.

Advantages of a volunteer Congress: 1. practically eliminates cronyism; 2. practically eliminates the influence of special interest groups; 3. practically eliminates partisanship; 4. practically eliminates the current gridlock in Congress; 5. practically eliminates the current power bases established over the past two centuries.

I know that this will be a long, hard battle because we will have to fight the current power brokers, but it can and should be done.

We are the 99 percent. We are the Tea Party, we are the Occupiers, we are the Libertarians, we are the Democrats, we are the Republicans, we are the 89 percent of Americans who don’t approve of the current Congress. We are the silent majority, we are united; and we are, forevermore, no longer silent. We hereby demand respect and honest representation.

Ivan K. Brewer



Don Dix

Mr. Brewer,

If 89% of Americans don't approve of congress, how do politicians stay 'entrenched'? Special interests! And since every member of congress has something to lose, they would never pass such legislation, or give up their positions of power and influence to do so.

If the influence of special interests could be curtailed and campaign 'bribes' outlawed, congress might be forced to represent the voters of their district or state.

The choice has always been there -- honesty and integrity, or money -- our politicians have always chosen the money. That alone say volumes about the character of those we send to D.C.

David Bates

I was pleased to see Mr. Terry quote the Militia Act of 1792, for it makes an essential point: "All" able-bodied males between 18-45 (life expectancy was considerably lower then) "have the legal requirement" to bear arms. The ownership of firearms, and indeed, the creation of the Second Amendment, was entirely bound up with one's civic and legal obligation to serve in a militia.

One hears it said all the time that the Constitution ought to be a "living, breathing" document. Unfortunately, some people seem to think that the Second Amendment ought to hold its breath until the end of time.

Michael Tubbs Sr


I'd read an interesting article in the Oregonian about a tax that had the overwhelming support of the voters.

Now that the voters got what they'd voted for, people are objecting to actually having to pay the new tax. One in particular stated in the article "I voted for it, but I'd thought I would be granted an 'exemption' from paying it."

Another wrote "I'd like to be allowed to die in my own home, and not taxed out of it and forced die on the streets."

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