Letters to the Editor: March 25, 2016

Reaction was not slow

Newberg High School’s averted tragedy draws slow reaction? Hardly.

We have two grandchildren attending Newberg High. It was a paralyzing experience for all of us, a horror film brought into out homes. What Jeb Bladine (in his March 18 column) terms no reaction is in truth a mental stupor of nightmare proportions. There is nowhere to turn. It was overwhelming. The troubled teen years are like a roller coaster, full of highs and lows of the emerging adult. The troubled child has found that this is one way to solve his problems and this has found good press. High school officials report that they have returned to normal, and I am sure they would like to think that true.

It will take a long time for the fear and horror of the possibility disappears. So the challenge is what are we going to do about it and where we start.

This story had a happy ending without funeral notices. We also are grateful beyond measure for the young person who came forward, overcame the fear of peer pressure, and let their conscience be their guides as they contacted police. That took thought and courage.

We can make blanket statements about cleaning up the violence on TV, movies and other broad pronouncements. What saved the day was the cooperation between school officials and police.

As our granddaughter said the day after, “The place was crawling with police, and I was glad to see them.”

Encourage the school district to have plans in place and encourage students to come forth with troubles. It is in the local area that we can make a difference and we each are responsible. Gun control anyone? Thank you, Newberg High School, for your fast response and thank you, Newberg-Dundee Police Department, for being up to the task.

Donna Jean and Jim McDaniel



Senate shirks its job

It is the sworn duty of the president of the United States under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution to nominate and appoint judges to the Supreme Court.

President Obama took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and he is adhering to that oath by nominating a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia. Every U.S. senator also took an oath to uphold the Constitution. It is the sworn constitutional duty of the Senate to advise and consent on any Supreme Court nomination.

If the Senate withholds consent after holding confirmation hearings, that is its prerogative and another nominee must be put forth for consideration. By refusing to consider any nomination, Republican senators are not only refusing to perform their constitutional duties, they also are obstructing the president of the United States in the conduct of his constitutional duties. The Founding Fathers knew very well that when one party controlled all three branches of government, the outcome would likely be tyranny. Thus they instituted our unique system of checks and balances. The Supreme Court, with its lifetime appointments, is the ultimate check against the tyranny of popular opinion and is the nation’s defender of the rule of law.

The Supreme Court was never intended to reflect the latest poll or election. It is bizarre and sad that the party of Lincoln has taken the position that the great constitutional principle of checks and balances — and the Constitution — can be ignored for political purposes.

When Franklin Roosevelt tried to create a captive court, the outcry was universal — as it should be now. The tendency of both parties over the last 30 years to elevate political gain over service to the nation has created the current poisonous climate and contempt for the institutions of government.

Shame on those politicians who view the Constitution as simply a piece of paper and shame on the people who vote for them.

Margaret Cross



Olson deserves your vote

A vote for Allen Springer is a vote for another four years of bully-style management on the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners. Vote for Mayor Rick Olson as our next commissioner. Olson will honor all who come to meetings, respect everyone’s right to be heard, and he will use his considerable experience and skills to work with the county staff and county finances. He will be fully focused on his duties to the county and will not be running a family business while being paid by the citizens. That is because he has integrity and focus.

Kris Bledsoe



Don Dix

Margaret Cross -- Have you heard about the 'Biden Rule'? Let's look back to 1992, when the present VP, Joe Biden, was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman. His advice on SC nominees to Pres. George H.W. Bush went like this:

“Once the political season is under way,” Biden argued at the time as a senator representing Delaware, “… action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. That is what’s fair to the nominee and is central to the process.”

Of course, now Biden, like all politicians, is attempting to walk back on that statement. The presidency in 92 was occupied by an R, and today it is filled by a D, so it's different?

When can one expect the public to realize that ANY politician, no matter the affiliation (D or R), will say and do anything to promote the agenda of their respective party? Whether the lean is left or right, a highly partisan attitude is also accompanied by a lack of conscience, faulty memory, and a quirky blindness that amplifies whenever necessary.

It appears the shame (of supporting and electing poor reps.) is spread around quite equally, from this view.


Don Dix. Yes. We elect senators and representatives to represent us. Elections matter. Currently, our senators are protecting us from at least one of the many desires of our current President. His public campaigns began in the living room of Bill Ayers and he has gone downhill from there. Once again this weekend, he scolded Americans against thinking that when radical Muslim terrorists kill while giving credit to Allah it has anything to do with Islam. He rides into Cuba giving a boost to its dictators while dissidents are rounded up, beaten and jailed so he won't see them. From his seat at the baseball game in Cuba he says ISIS can only threaten us and could never hurt us. He throws a fit when anyone suggests that the government stop funding the murder of babies. As you might imagine, I could go on. Thank you, Senate, for not allowing this man to place another justice in the Supreme Court. He


No offense to Kris Bledsoe, but I am thankful she was not elected to the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners. Rick Olson would not be as liberal as Mrs. Bledsoe, but he would also stand for little. He would continue to be a pushover for those who want us to be more "progressive," just as he has done as mayor. Allen Springer makes the liberals furious because he stands for the values upon which America was founded. Springer has my vote. Elections matter. If you don't want McMinnville to become a little Portland, elect Springer.


God forbid we should be characterized as "progressive" in this county. Springer is the proverbial big bully frog in a small pond. Too bad he can't pray his way into a lake like Salem. Starrett is irrational and hysterical. And Roe vs. Wade was settled a long time ago. Who endorses lurching blindly "patriotic" into the past--complete with the "White" and "Colored" drinking fountains? You consider that nightmare part of the good old days?


Lulu, you once again confuse things. Your demagoguing words sound good until you actually think about them. No one said anything about racism. I am glad that you brought up racism in regard to abortion. The abortion industry targets minorities. Margaret Sanger, the evil founder of Planned Parenthood, while speaking to a women's meeting of the KKK in 1926 in Silverlake, New Jersey, revealed that she wished to control the black population. Yes, Roe vs. Wade was tragically decided years ago. 58-million murdered babies later, the rights of those who have no voice demand that voting citizens do something.


Oh, B.S.


2Smart2BeDemocrat - Maybe you are too smart to be a democrat, but you don't seem to be smart enough to educate yourself beyond the talking points of right-wing talk radio or Fox News.


What an extraordinary message is communicated with a screen name like 2Smart2BeDemocrat. Really? Those “opinions” certainly do read like chapter and verse from the propaganda arm of the GOP. (Referring to Fox “News,” of course) Looks like the author has even shared some direct quotes from that prolific purveyor of misinformation, Bill O’Reilly. (Someone else who is a legend in his own mind.) Assuming the writer self-identifies as “2smart to be Independent" as well, does that proclaim the majority of his/her fellow Americans ALL worthy of such contempt? Actually, some of us are simply not susceptible to the 24 hour diet of toxic Fox lies and spin, and we choose instead to form our opinions from actual facts. What a concept!

FACT: (As Margaret Cross so perfectly outlined the issue in her letter) Obama has followed the Constitution. (“The President SHALL nominate…….”) The do-nothing obstructionist Republicans in the Senate are indeed shirking their Constitutional DUTY to “Advise and Consent.” Obviously they are willing to honor their oaths only when it suits their disgraceful political agenda. I doubt they will feel so “smart” when they pay the price down-ballot in November.

And if someone is SERIOUSLY inclined to evaluate the “smarts” of a political party, we need look no further than the two top contenders for the Republican Presidential nominee. How horrifying and repulsive it is to contemplate a future immersed in Twitter wars and macho juvenile mud-slinging about such crucial issues as who can best slime the other’s wife, who has the biggest private body parts, or whether we should carpet-bomb or nuke the entire Middle East on a whim. If one of those two makes it to the White House, we definitely do not need to worry about saving ourselves in the next election, there won’t be anything left to save. I have faith that thoughtful intelligent American voters are way 2smart to let that happen.


I love it. That is the reason I chose that username - I knew it would drive some of you bananas. Actually, I am more conservative that Fox News and Bill O'Reilly. I wasn't using talking points. Just facts. I hate to disappoint you.

Refer back to what Don Dix pointed out. Biden's quote was from the exact same scenario we are now facing. President Obama just can't stand it when he faces a situation where he can't rule unilaterally.


If It was wrong for Biden, why is it ok now? That is the argument of a 5 year old.


Who said it was wrong for Biden? I just said it was the same. Actually, Democrats have the childish argument - it says, "It was right for Biden and wrong for Republicans now."


Bottom line: it' s the elected Presidents Constitutional responsibility.....what's the justification for waiting? If the nominee is not satisfactory then don't confirm him. But to do nothing out of hand is shirking the duties of the office. You think that's ok?


Yes, President Obama should nominate someone. Go for it. As afar as the Senate, whether they hold hearings and fail to confirm him or just refuse to hold hearings, it doesn't matter to me as long as they don't confirm him. However, my preference would be no hearing at all. They shouldn't play a game with him and that gets too close to caving in and confirming him. I know you don't agree with that. No problem. But you asked. Have a good night.

Horse with no name

... reading some of these comments is like watching a Republican debate. Teabaggers thrashing around demonstrating what happens when a brain is fed a straight diet of FOX "news". Margaret & Kris you nailed it, thanks! Really... the Biden rule... "advice to H.W. Bush" trumps the Constitution on how we are suppose to run the government. No wonder some folks can't tell the difference between D's & R's.


I would suggest it is more like watching a Democrat debate - all demagoguery and no substance. I love the one where you just accuse the person of listening to Fox News. Sorry. Not true.

The Constitution does not demand that the Senate act. Elections matter. And if the people are not happy with the Senate for refusing to hold hearings, the electorate can vote them out. I'm not asking you to like it. But the discussion is about facts, not trying to change the subject by using slurs.


The Constitution doesn't say one thing about the "Biden Rule," but it does clearly spell out that the President will nominate someone qualified to fill a vacancy. Don't we believe in the Constitution?


Evidently, only when it suits our political goals.....


I never said anything about the Biden rule being in the constitution. You guys are funny. All I said was that the constitution does not demand that the Senate hold the confirmation hearings. You keep telling me things I said that I did not say. That is a clever tactic.

Read what I said. Yes, the constitution says the President is to nominate someone. He did. Great. I'm happy. Everyone has fulfilled what the Constitution demands.


So, who are we voting for? Are any of you voting for Hillary or Bernie, and why?


Oh snap – looks like there might be a genuine troll among us. LOL

Urban Dictionary:

One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.


treefarmer - that's a nice change of subject. But then again, maybe you are correct. A troll sabotages a group that has its own plan or agenda - like a liberal sabotaging a conservative forum or a conservative sabotaging a liberal forum. So, I guess you are correct. Rather than this being a news forum on a newspaper site where all sides are supposed to be represented, this is the NR, which is left of center. So, okay, got me.

And I guess it is true that I am just playing with you all. I know I won't change your minds and you won't change mine. By the way, you guys should support Bernie. He is the honest socialist of the two. And then start giving your money away. After all, you do have more money than someone else out there and that's not fair. And why not free food for everyone? And free gasoline?

I'm really not a mean guy, by the way. I'm just having fun with you all because I have seen what the Democrat/liberal/socialist policies have done to Oregon's economy and its culture (how's that tourism boost from the marijuana stores going? That's gonna be lovely).


Right, it's a much better world when people go hungry, get rid of those silly food stamps cause it just makes people lazy....we should take away that silly medical care too. Those Christian morals will be met by the "trickle down" won't they?


Wrong again. Conservatives believe we should help the helpless. But the Democrat notion that those who have earned some money must be penalized and the "Bernie sanders Free College" and on and on actually backfires and hurst everyone. The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money. Then everyone is sunk, especially the ones who truly needed the help.

Liberalism looks at emotion - this is what I want to be true, therefore let's make it true. Conservatism looks at the facts. Facts like even if we took 100% of the money the "rich" make, we still would be sinking into irrecoverable national debt. Conservatives say, we must cut back on the plethora of entitlements and waste so that we have enough money left to help the truly helpless.

It has been fun, but I must check out for now. I'll be back someday.


Cut back to "help the helpless"....more like increase the defense budget....


Nice jab. Your freedom isn't free. Islamic terrorists hate us. The Koran teaches it. You and I are the infidels the Koran teaches to kill. That doesn't change if we are nice to them. One of the president's duties is to defend us. This president, who won his Nobel Peace Prize 7 years ago for giving a speech, has not fulfilled his duty. We will pay for it. We already are. May God intervene and protect us and may we elect a president who will take his duty seriously. Defending the nation from those who hate us and caring for the truly helpless (in a way that enables them to get off of welfare and work again for their own dignity) do not need to be at odds with each other.

Horse with no name

"Conservatism looks at the facts" can anyone make a broader generalization... probably so. If you're good, those not like you have to be bad. The self-righteous are 100% confident by definition. Too bad they are closed to any facts that my cause them to gain a little knowledge so they can deal with all those facts. Here's a tidbit for ya, how about socialism in the NFL? You gotta like that kind of socialism right?


I think our military is funded very well, certainly better than any other country in the world....and capable of defending our interests. Your paranoia of the Islamic threat is directed at a significant minority of Islamic people, and is a great tool to advance your agenda. I know full well the price of freedom, but we have some bigger fish to fry right here in the US.


Do a search for highest homeless per capita and see the results and then ask yourself whether that state is run by Republicans or Democrats and whether it usually votes Democrat or Republican in the presidential election. Its a good way to cut the rhetoric and see the end results of the two world views.

I'm out of here for good. I won't be reading what you say. I need to get on with life. Say what you wish, I won't see it. I'll be back on another thread someday just to pester you folks.


Good technique....lose on one point and quickly change the subject and move on.


I pray the door does not hit 2Smart on his way out.


I'll ask again, who are all of you voting for President among those still running? And why? My vote will be for John Kasich, the most honest and qualified.


Hi Kona

I am looking at Sanders or Kasich. Bernie appears to be the most genuine, transparent, and uncorrupted politician in recent memory. I am in total agreement with his determination to get the money out of elections before it further degrades our democracy. I am not too worried about his “pie in the sky” ambitions because the congress would have no problem keeping that in check. Re Mr. Kasich, he does have an impressive record of governing a big state with the right combination of fiscal responsibility and genuine concern for his citizens. I also believe he is the only one who can salvage the Republican Party. At the end of the day though, ANYONE BUT TRUMP.

How do you see it?


kona - only Sanders for me.


treefarmer, I would agree with the "At the end of the day though, ANYONE BUT TRUMP". But, I am equally suggestive to "Anyone but Trump, Sanders and Clinton. I just could not endorse any of them. I guess "that's what makes a horserace". It will be the most difficult vote in my life. I am attracted to Sander's personality. The attraction of both Trump and Sanders is that a large majority of American citizens are completely disenchanted with the leadership in the U.S. There is really no other valid (in my opinion) reason to vote for Trump.

1) I agree with you (and Sanders) when you say, "I am in total agreement with his determination to get the money out of elections before it further degrades our democracy".

2) I really struggle with, "I am not too worried about his “pie in the sky” ambitions because the congress would have no problem keeping that in check". I don't think a Democratically controlled Congress (if ever elected) or a liberal Supreme Court would keep him in check to the degree necessary. But I have the same concerns with Hillary. We would head down the same path as Oregon which I believe is a disaster. I am troubled by Oregon's failing education system, individual's economic status (we are now 33rd in per capita income, the lowest in more than a half century), our leadership in drug use, our leadership in food stamps, our leadership in pornography, our lack of large corporations willing to headquarter in Oregon and the dismal outlook by the liberal populous toward business in general. I struggle with the enabling attitude of a Socialist government ("let's be like Europe").


Mudstump, why Sanders? Do you endorse his strong stance toward Socialism, and why?


Kona - I believe he would build on and improve the social programs we already have. He has a long record advocating for veterans and working people. I think he is an honest man and he doesn't need to stick his finger in the air to see which way the political winds are blowing before taking a stand on an issue. He is a fierce proponent for working class people. Imo, he is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate and I feel he would be a breath of fresh air back in DC. Unlike Trump, he is intelligent and is well-versed on policy.


Mudstump, I agree with you that he is a dedicated proponent for Socialism. I am just not sure that is best for the U.S. The reason all of the candidates claim the U.S. is the "greatest country in the world" is not because of Socialism.


Kona - Sanders is a democratic socialist. There is a difference.


Mudstump, are you trying to suggest that a "democratic socialist" doesn't believe in Socialism? Please tell me your reasoning. I'm here to learn.


Kona - I'll let those that are much more articulate than I explain:



Mudstump, this just doesn't sound appealing. From your link, "While having almost the same principles as that of socialism, democratic socialism believes in a socialism through the ballot box. It states that any change in government and society should be through fair elections".

So we can vote to change "society" and the 51 percent rule for how the rest of "society" acts/behaves?

From the link, "Socialism can also be stated to be a society where all people work as equals in cooperation for the common good of all." Which countries have made this work well? And, do they have as diverse citizenship as the United States? I am pretty familiar with how a business has to operate. There is no way a successful business (or country) can operate when "all people work as equals in cooperation for the common good of all". Please give me examples of this.

Are you one of those who believe that "all people are created equal"? You know that is a myth. Aren't we suppose to cherish diversity?


Mudstump, that link gives so much to be critical about. It seems difficult to adhere to the suggestions in your link that would entice someone to vote for Sanders.

From the link, "Noel Babeuf, Charles Fourier, Robert Owen, Karl Marx and Engels are some of the great thinkers of this theory who believed in the application of modern technology for rationalizing economic activity through the elimination of capitalism. They were also critics of private ownership."

Really, this is what you believe is the correct way to run a country?


Rick Olson is truly a very good man,and my choice until I started seeing Kris Bledsoe bombard social media with her unsubstantiated support. On Facebook she is slamming Springer with a video of him discussing prayer..while at the same time she proclaims herself to be a "Hospital Chaplain".??? She also claims she could not defeat Springer in the past elections (x2) because voters were stupid and "Uninformed". Sorry, I make it a point to educate myself on all issues. I'm sorry Ms. Bledsoe but having a big ego and rushing out and signing yourself up for every committee in a small period of time is not impressive and does not fool the public, you stepped on a lot of toes on your way to make a name for yourself in a short period of time. I am certainly not a fan of Allen Springer in any way but he was the lesser of 2 evils when it was a choice between Kris Bledsoe or him.
Now I had my mind made up from the beginning to vote Rick Olson but it seems Ms. Bledsoe is his worst enemy..causing me to stop and rethink..

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