Letters to the Editor: Jan. 8, 2016

No peace

Watching the armed takeover of the Malheur federal property brings back memories of the Obama administration’s first standoff with the Bundy family in Nevada.

It brings back memories of the administration’s weak-kneed response to the group pointing guns at federal agents and suffering absolutely no consequences. Shortly after the first confrontation, two members of Bundy’s group traveled from his ranch to Las Vegas, where they murdered two police officers in cold blood.

The failure of the government to respond to the threat had consequences for those two police officers and the families who loved them.
The failure to respond to this ongoing confrontation is likely to encourage other groups from all over the political spectrum to commit further acts of violence or the threat of violence.

Close to 80 years ago, the world responded to right-wing violence against the nation of Czechoslovakia by doing nothing. That didn’t work out well.

Maybe the administration should adopt the slogan used to justify that earlier lack of response to an armed confrontation: “I believe it is peace for our time.”

Fred Fawcett


Grateful workers

I manage a berry farm and depend largely on Latino workers for strenuous labor in all kinds of weather.

I just informed my seasonal workers of Oregon’s new law granting them paid sick-leave hours. I explained that time off to care for a sick child or parent, time to visit a health-care specialist in the city, time to reach out to counselors for domestic abuse issues and a few precious days to spend with a newborn can now be taken with pay.

They were not aware of this provision, and I was the one who got to witness their reaction of disbelief, then curiosity, and finally, joy as they began to understand the benefit. This law will positively impact their lives. I saw gratitude on each face. I was proud of Oregon.

Jeff Flake


Who is the real abuser?

Civil protection orders institutionally discriminate against men, make a mockery of due process and do irreparable harm to families and kids while offering no real protection.

Less than half involve any claims of physical abuse. Yet all of them carry the stigma of domestic violence, whether true or not.
They turn the legal system upside down by forcing a defendant to prove his innocence while showing little heed to his procedural and substantive rights.

We should have the standard of proof of an insurance dispute. We should not provide for a situation where false allegations cost the perjurer nothing. Those who are falsely accused have nowhere to turn. Clearly, in many cases, the real abusers are the ones bringing these actions to court.

Curtis L. Jensen


Chickens and roads

I recently purchased a whole chicken that was certified humane. Being a curious person, I wanted to know what was meant by a “certified humane chicken.”

I found that a certified humane chicken was raised with ample space with freedom to roost and access to the outdoors, fresh pure water while being subjected to limited stress.

No mention was made of it being dead and its head, entrails and feathers being removed.

Who my age was still in single digits, living in rural Kansas during World War II, my mom frequently would prepare a chicken for Sunday dinner. I will skip the details of what happened next, but the expression “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” came from someone observing such a process.

I will now explain where I am going with this letter.

If our society cares so much about a chicken’s life, why don’t we, for the purpose of highway safety, have certified human humane highways? Two highways that need that designation are 99W and OR18. How many time times do we have to read the headline, “McMinnville man dies in Highway 99W crash; wife injured”?

Imon Pilcher


Sally G

Dear Mr. Flake. We're so appreciative of your communication to your berry workers about the new sick-leave law. As you know, it is really important for so many families who struggle to earn a living wage, and haven't been able to take time off when they or a family member are ill. I thank you for your understanding of this situation, and your letter brought a smile and a tear. Find us on Facebook: Unidos Bridging Community

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