Letters to the Editor: Feb. 3, 2017

No media like old media

Regarding the Jan. 27 letter chastising the News-Register for its coverage of a local event and not providing more news about the inauguration, I thank our local paper for carrying that local news.

I didn’t see anything on TV news about our local women’s protest event. However, the inauguration was well-covered over and over again.

The women’s marches were held around the world and included men who understand the importance of freedom and equality for all. Freedom and equality for all means including the disabled, those of varying faiths, those beyond our borders who are downtrodden in various ways. Freedom and equality are not just for the rich and famous, the so-called “beautiful people.”

If covering local news that is important means the News-Register is “old media,” well, old media is fine with me.

Anita VanDatta



Marching is my right

Thank you for printing the articles about the recent political marches. I was concerned, however, when I read some of the comments online.

One comment described the freedom of assembly as an “exercise in futility.” This dismissive attitude toward the power of public assembly is troubling.

The right to freedom of assembly exists to allow large groups of passionate people to raise their voices in unity and take to the streets to be heard. I will always remember the feeling of solidarity at the march; I was one of more than 1 million to march worldwide. It was humbling. Public assembly satisfies a very basic desire of all humans to belong to something greater than themselves.

There is an opinion that protests and marching are pointless endeavors, only serving to annoy local citizens and shop merchants, and that they don’t accomplish much for social change. I heartily disagree. Freedom of assembly is a powerful, necessary tool of any democracy which should be used and protected by all citizens, regardless of political views. The Founders believed the freedom of assembly to be an inalienable right, going so far as to even debate its inclusion into the Constitution. When practiced freely, history tells us that the power of protest can alter the course of a nation.

No matter your political or social views, you have benefited from the power of protest and freedom of assembly. This is one of many parts of America that has always been great — our respect for each other’s right to raise our voices when we strongly believe we need to be heard. Please do not deny me the right to use my voice. I deserve to use it just as much as you.

Elizabeth DeVisser



Paper deserves credit

While Gary Beard in his Jan. 27 letter seems perplexed about the News-Register’s coverage of the local version of the international Women’s March Jan. 21, as a resident of McMinnville, I’m glad our local paper covered this event.

When more than 1,000 community members turn out to exercise their constitutional rights, this is definitely worthy of coverage in a town the size of McMinnville.
Beard further suggests that the News-Register should have ignored this event to cover “local” news, which he indicates is the “peaceful transfer of power.” Presumably, he’s referring to the national (not local) event of President Trump’s inauguration.

I suppose in these days of alternative facts, it’s better for a regional paper to ignore local protests of national events in favor of painting a rosy picture about the peaceful transfer of power on the national level. I, for one, am thankful that the News-Register reported on this event as it played out in our community. This is what a “local paper” is for!

Thank you, News-Register.

Adrianne Santina



Concerns in the bag

I read with interest the report of the McMinnville City Council initiating an ordinance banning one-time-use plastic bags. I quite agree with limiting and/or eliminating the use of the flimsy little things. They are the singular cause of “plastic-bag disease” in goats (and probably other creatures). I do have a couple of concerns, however.

1. I do not live in McMinnville and have no direct electoral influence. However, 90 percent or more of my retail purchases are made in McMinnville. Does the council have an understanding of the impact these kinds of decisions have throughout the market area?

2. The article reports an assessment of a nickel per paper bag will be included in the ordinance. I object. Any costs to the seller and buyer in the purchase transaction should be between them.

If the council wants to initiate a “paper-bag tax” of 5 cents, this should be in a separate ordinance and only for residents of McMinnville who are the electors of the council.

Vyrle Owens



Luxury at whose expense?

When I first heard about the new luxury hotel being built, I thought, “Great, but how many of our local residents can afford $400 a night, let alone afford reasonable housing?”

Today I read the editorial page with one opinion touting the new luxury hotel. Right next to it was an article about prevention of homeless issues. I noted the irony.

Perhaps, with the new income coming into our town, a portion of profits could be devoted to an affordable housing project. This could be a win-win situation.

Emily Kerrigan



Drain the swamp

With a $1.8 billion shortfall for Oregon, I think it’s time to drain the swamp.

Ron Morton



Media deserves criticism

I read Jeb Bladine’s Jan. 27 Whatchacolumn and am compelled to respond. I understand his concern regarding the freedom of the press and the unprecedented friction between the press and the new administration, but the administration’s concerns about being treated fairly are warranted.

I did not vote for either of the two main candidates in this election, but numerous instances of inappropriate activities by some in the media were revealed this past election cycle. Among some notable accusations: At least one debate question was fed to the Clinton campaign prior to debating Bernie Sanders, the Clinton communications director was allowed review power prior to release of a story; and, a debate moderator choked up election night on live television when President Trump won. This is just a small sample by members of mainstream national news organizations.

These are not the actions of an objective press. Since it is purported that more than 90 percent of the media do not support President Trump, his concern is understandable. Many in the media are guilty of pushing a narrative and screen and spin what they report in support of that narrative. A September 2016 poll by Gallup measured a record low in Americans’ trust for mass media in a poll that goes back 45 years. Biased journalistic practices like those from the past election cycle need to stop so Americans can once again trust what they hear from the news media.

Robert Wilson



Facts not debatable

Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, recently said to the press, “Sometimes we can disagree with the facts.”

The dictionary defines “in fact” as “in truth.” Therefore, facts cannot be disagreed with. There is only one truth. Opinions and interpretations can be disagreed on. Is this kind of uneducated, misleading language we can expect from the voice of the president?

Aldous Huxley said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Is 2017 a “Brave New World”?

Trump accuses journalism of “fake news.” Consider his strident statements that the election was rigged. True news or fake news? On Nov. 7, he must have asked, “Which lie should I tell now? Was it rigged?”

In any case, let’s consider a subject of far greater importance than U.S. politics: human-caused climate change. Here, the future of our entire species is at stake.
Ninety-seven percent of credible scientific organizations agree global warming is real and is nearing irreversible. But Trump claims climate change is a hoax. Check out the other 3 percent of “scientists,” and their “facts” are really opinions.

The brilliant astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was more succinct: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe it.”

In humble speeches, President Nixon said, “… with God’s help and your help, we shall surely succeed.” President Reagan said, “I ask you not to simply trust me, but to trust your values -- our values -- and hold me responsible for living up to them.” President George W. Bush said, “… I know the presidency is an office that turns pride into prayer.”

Trump says, “I alone can fix it.” He apparently does not need God or any of us.

He is unfit as president, but he would make a dandy demi-god. Or is this fake news?

Robert Porath


Obama provided the ammo

Government attacks on journalists and whistleblowers didn’t begin with Trump, although they’ll probably get much worse now.

Obama waged a relentless battle against both journalists and whistleblowers. He threatened journalists with espionage charges for doing their jobs. Other powers Obama handed to Trump include the 2012 Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens Act.

This law stripped U.S. citizens of every single protection that protect free people from government tyranny. Questioned as to why he enacted this, Obama said, “Don’t worry it will never be used.”

Tell that to Trump. Obama also claimed the new power to order the death of U.S. citizens without due process. On his word alone, four Americans were killed by drone strike. They were making pro-Al Qaeda speeches. Last I heard, we have the freedom to speak even when what’s said is revolting and offensive. It’s what allows Trump to say the things he says. Thank you, President Obama, for arming Donald Trump with these terrible powers.
I’m sure he’ll put them to good use. We aren’t losing our freedom. It’s already gone.

Fred Fawcett




"We aren’t losing our freedom. It’s already gone."

Very convenient, this preemptive pessimism. It's the refuge of cowards. After all, what's the point of defending our freedoms if they are already gone? Best to just settle in and spread doom. No point in sticking your neck out.

Of course, comparing Obama's aggressive attitude against whistleblowers (which I did not approve of) with Trump's and his acolytes' war on reality is not just comparing apples and oranges, but apples and a rusty bucket. Whether or not certain facts should be public or what actions should be legal against certain terrorists can and should be debatable; a wholesale remaking of reality, including the inauguration weather, is something else entirely, especially when it is accompanied by a campaign to vilify and deligitimize any media not playing along.


Well said, Rumpelstilzchen. (especially enjoyed the rusty bucket analogy!) FACTS will help us find the route out of this rabbit hole. As mentioned in another post, Nixon tried to create an alternate reality too. Eventually the mountain of undeniable facts became too steep for even his most devoted disciples. Can't keep lifting a leg on folks and convince them the smelly yellow liquid is holy water forever.


When looking at media bias try comparing Washington Post with Briethart or New York Times with The Drudge Report or Reuters with Fox News. The subjects they look at, the tone of the headlines, and the suggestions on how the reader should respond. Go to Facebook, look at those sites (they're all there) and look at the comments of the readers. The divide in America is right before your eyes.


Mike, I must admit that I am completely out of the loop. I have never read the "Washington Post, Briethart, New York Times, The Drudge Report, Reuters or watched Fox News except when scrolling through the channels. Once in a while I'll read an article from the Times or the Post. There is a reason why many of these media outlets have ratings lower than President Trump.

Don Dix

Mr. Porath -- Before attempting to chase a trace gas (400 parts/ million), you should read the following. It's not an opinion, but scientific fact.

'Water vapor is the only radiatively important atmospheric constituent that is sufficiently short‐lived and abundant in the atmosphere so as to be essentially under purely natural control.'

So, since the scientists cannot chase or control water vapor, CO2 becomes the villain. 5% of the CO2 in the atmosphere is contributed by humans, the rest is natural. Which makes the theory of humans causing warming questionable, if by anything, simply reason.

Mr. Porath, humans are a carbon-based life form. Humans do not exist on this planet without carbon. Humans exhale CO2 and plants absorb it and release oxygen. The 'cycle of life'. A rather important fact, wouldn't you say?


Elizabeth DeVisser wrote, "One comment described the freedom of assembly as an “exercise in futility.” This dismissive attitude toward the power of public assembly is troubling".

It is nice that there are people reading this forum. The “exercise in futility" is not an "attitude", but a statement of fact. The public assembly in McMinnville will have zero effect on national politics. It will make the liberal/progressive/Socialist/Democrats in the local area feel good about themselves so I guess that is a positive for them. I think so many are still in shock for what they thought was a "slam-dunk" election.


treefarmer, you seem like a person who has given the elections of the last eight years across the United States. Why do you think there has been such a resounding rejection of the liberal/progressive/Socialist/Democratic platform? In the Presidential election, Donald Trump was a pathetic nominee and still he became President Trump. The cumulative effect of all of these elections did not happen by accident.


Lots of folks across the country get their news (and their opinions are partially shaped there by) from national media like Washington Post and Briethart. Kona your strung out label for Democrats would fit right in with commenters on Briethart and Drudge. That you do not partake of those perspectives is exemplary. I have no idea about rates for media sites and the current POTUS. You find such ratings where?


The public assembly here and across the US will have no impact if that all it is. Walking around holding signs is an expression which could signal organization to get people energized enough to take action and vote. Even in those state which are now controlled by the Rs, they might find out others can get as energized and organized to win elections. Nothing lasts forever. The Ds fell asleep, were apathetic, and out of touch. Will the Ds or another party organize and become a political force? The energy is there for something to happen.


Mike, the latest Gallop poll. "WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' trust and confidence in the mass media "to report the news fully, accurately and fairly" has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year".

The latest CNN approval poll for President Trump has him at 47 percent (which is low).

Every poll I have seen on the internet by news organizations are about the same.


Mike, you said " Kona your strung out label for Democrats would fit right in with commenters on Briethart and Drudge".

That "strung out label comes primarily from Bernie Sanders who self described himself as a progressive Socialist Democrat and he had tens of millions of followers. I admit to having trouble deciphering the difference between "progressive" and "liberal" so I include them together. Some people really get their feathers ruffled when labeled liberal. They insist on being called "progressive" as though "liberal" is a derogatory term. Maybe you can help me become politically correct when using the terms.

Are you suggesting that most (perhaps almost all) of the people protesting/marching/disrupting do not fit under the umbrella of liberal/progressive/Democrats? Many lean heavily toward Socialism.


Kone Thanks for the poll numbers. I'm not sure what is included in "mass media". There are all the TV and papers around the nation, Madison, Wisconsin, Kansas City, Dallas Texas, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Portland, our local News Register, as well as the TV and Cable networks.
And. I don't know about 'political correctness' except it is one of the buzz words used extensively by Fox News and Briethart followers, which you say you do not participate in. From what I can tell there are 'liberals' and 'progressive' who seem to be different from one another. I'm not sure what is liberal and what is progressive. There are folk who call themselves Democrats who belong to a political party of that name. There are folks who call themselves Democratic Socialists. Others who say they are Socialists. There may even be a few who say they are Communists. You like to lump them all together in one big words. Good for you. Truly great. Really.


Mike, I really don't like polls. As we all know, they can be manipulated so easily by how questions are asked and whether they are a "push-pull" questions. As early as my first years in high school we were taught to pay attention and recognize the political leanings of the different news outlets. These news outlets are greatly influenced by money/revenue and the leanings of their audience. It is something I can remember well from that class.

The only reason for "lumping" them together is for convenience. I don't think it is conservative Republicans who are involved in these marches/protests against President Trump and everything associated with Republicans. There is a distinct separation between the political ideologies and the gap is getting wider.


Kona you are likely correct, at the present time there probably no conservative Rs in the demonstrations. There were few conservatives Rs or traditional Ds against the Vietnam War, but that changed. Those who are familiar with Steve Bannon's views regarding the 'forth turning', his stated lust for a major war, a religious war, might be concerned especially conservative Rs who love America. Steve Bannon is on record as wanting bring the government down and establish a new order. Of course I am getting my information for sites like 'Business Insider', Reuters, Washington Post, which might be making up and completely fabricating Bannon's words and what he says in his interviews and in his writing. Everyone is focused on "the so called" POTUS. Yes I went negative by repeating how he referred to a Congressional appointed Federal Judge. But I'm much more concerned by Steve K. Bannon and where and how he is consolidating power. Bannon has a very Dark vision.


How times have changed. Take a look at this Bill Clinton speech from 1995 about illegal immigration.



Kona. When Billy said. "Our civil life is suffering in America today. Citizens are working together less and shouting at each other more. The common bonds of community which have been the great strength of our country from its very beginning are badly frayed. What are we to do about it?"
Or one showing Billy to be a fiscal conservative. I think like his wife Hilly, he was really a R in dressed up like a D. Billy goes on to say, "More important, I think we all agree that we have to change the way the Government works. Let's make it smaller, less costly, and smarter; leaner, not meaner. [Applause]" He did leave with a balanced budget and a surplus.


Kona. You probably meant when Billy said. "All Americans, not only in the States most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That's why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens. In the budget I will present to you, we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it." What has changed?


Mike, the significant change has been the blurring of the definition of an immigrant by the liberal/progressive/Democratic Party. The "sanctuary cities/states" are presenting an image that all immigrants, legal or not, should have nothing to worry about and they will protect these people from our federal government and federal laws.

Yes, Bill Clinton "did leave with a balanced budget and a surplus" that resulted from the "dot.com bubble" which as we know did burst shortly after he left office.


Kona. I think they are saying they do not want to use their police and local resources to do the Federal Government's job. Earlier I'd talked about the conditions which Americans of a certain profile might face walking down their town's street and having local police stop and question if they were legal. You talked about borders, and illegals. We talked around each other. Still are I guess.


I am not referring to "profiling". I am referring to giving sanctuary to those known to have illegally come into our country. My (and almost everyone including our President) primary concern is for those who enter our country illegally then commit crimes and are then harbored by these "sanctuary" locations. Rather than being cooperative with our federal laws and federal officials these locations are doing whatever they can to shelter these lawbreakers.

I guess the simple question is, "should we do every thing reasonably possible to prevent people from entering our country illegally?" Or, do we harbor anyone/everyone who can sneak into the United States?


Kona. First let me respond to your Dot-Com Bubble crash. What cased it. Was it the 1997 Tax Payer Relief Act which lowered Capital Gains from 29% to 20%. R controlled Senate & House put the Act in front of Billy. Him being a get along kind of guy signed it. Most authorities point to the lowering of Cap Gains as the reason for the outrageous bubble because the tax reduction meant the gamblers could keep more of their winnings. The over evaluation was the Wall Street gamblers fault.


Kona. Here we go again. I know you are talking about boarders and keeping out the Irish or Canadians or English as well as those folks from Egypt or the Saudis. And I think you know when I say a certain profile I'm referring to the reason for the Southern Wall. We've had this discussion. I know where you are coming from. You should know by now I'm concerned about living in a police state. We are talking across topics.


Mike, I keep asking this question and you keep saying we are talking past each other.

The question is a "yes" or "no". Then perhaps we can move on.

"Should we do every thing reasonably possible to prevent people from entering our country illegally?"


Kona. I answered your question several discussions ago. You remember I said yes. And I see Fox News found that quote of Billy C speech to Congress about immigration. Coincidence that you pointed it out just the other day. So the we have walls all around America and swarms of gunboats in the ocean because we are doing everything we can to keep people of all races and religions from sneaking in. Once in awhile someone still sneaks in. Darn. What to do? Now we come to the issue I'm concerned with. You've got your long walls and the mote. Still someone gets in the castle. How do you know once they are in and walking down your street if the are legal or not? And you have answer that question in one our previous conversation of this issue.


Mike, you asked "How do you know once they are in and walking down your street if the are legal or not?"

You don't know and that is a problem that should concern everyone. We should not have sanctuary cities/states that will protect these people in violation of our immigration laws. Why have these laws if they are not enforced? If they are caught when committing any crime and it is found that they have entered our country illegally, they should be immediately deported rather than be sheltered. People don't accidentally enter the United States illegally.

Just to note, my brother-in-law sent me the President Clinton speech. Do you agree with his speech?


Kona. Billy's speech 20 years ago compared to what? In my opinion it was a better Presidential speech that the most recent speech on 1/20/17. Do I agree with everything Billy said? No.
The difference for me is not using local police and jails to do the Federal job. Not have local police doing ICE's job of checking for and rounding up suspected illegals. Someone gets arrested, checked for who they are, they're illegal call the Feds, and the Fed come and get them in a short time. That is how it is now. You assume the sanctuary means cities actively hiding criminals from the Federal Government. (and I know you want to focus on protecting the border - walls south, north, gun boats - anything to keep the rascals out). It has been a nice round on this topic. You're a last word kind of person, so I'll say 'until the next topic'.


Mike, you said "Someone gets arrested, checked for who they are, they're illegal call the Feds, and the Fed come and get them in a short time".

We are in complete agreement. Especially the idea that the sanctuary cities/states need to cooperate with the federal government when crimes are committed rather than hide the criminals. That is the difference between Pres. Clinton's speech and the present stance of Democrats and the sanctuary areas which are mostly controlled by Democrats.


Mike said, "The difference for me is not using local police and jails to do the Federal job. Not have local police doing ICE's job of checking for and rounding up suspected illegals."

We need an example of where this has occurred? McMinnville? Newberg? Carlton? Maybe Sheridan or Willamina? Yamhill County?

As far as I know it hasn't in anything resembling recent history. So what's the argument? Even back in the late 80's and early 90's there was such a problem with illegals that they actually put a four man Border Patrol team in Roseburg. In no way shape or form were the "locals" expected to do the Feds job.


Biscuit. My statement about not using local resources was in context of the discussion with Kona. We have been going around and around about immigration and sanctuary places. He seems to think sanctuary means hiding illegals when they commit crimes. He wants the borders to be sealed as tight as can be. I'm fine with that. My concern is having local resources and police be used to find and arrest illegals and what that does to the citizens who may look just like an illegal because of skin color or ethnicity. The argument is the climate of intensity to find and the throw out illegals and the suggestion by those at the federal level that local resources be used to do it, makes me worry about living in a police state right here in our little town. For a local community to say we are not going to use our local resources to locate illegals does not seem to be unreasonable as some have suggested. That it hasn't happened to the extent I fear is because the America I grew up in and lived in for over 70 years is a good place. I voice my concern because that is the American way.


"The argument is the climate of intensity to find and the throw out illegals and the suggestion by those at the federal level that local resources be used to do it, makes me worry about living in a police state right here in our little town."

Still waiting for examples of a Police State hunting down illegals at the local level and WHO at the Federal Level has suggested it? Sounds a little paranoid to me to me. Kind of like a preemptive strike.

And, if the Feds did pass a law changing the Federal Immigration Enforcement Laws, the resolution and the State Law would be null and void under Federal Preemption anyway.


Biscuit. You're right. Couldn't be more true. Thank you for your clear thinking and optimism. Thinking everything is as it has been and cannot change for the worse is clear and excellent. True American. And considering anyone who has an opinion that America could reflect what has happened else where in the world as possibly being paranoid is very perceptive. Your optimism is a beacon of hope. It's true.


And, Mike, I'm very privileged to have spent so many years in the service of our country defending your right to have such a wonderfully bright view of our Country and the people who think we are so much better than that.
You are welcome.


Biscuit. Good to hear from a brother vet.


Then I was with both of you. I spent my time in the jungles of Vietnam, infantry, Americal Div.


"Yellow Brick Road" - MAP 309 Vietnam, Off the coast of China, Kamchatka Peninsula with additional visits to Pakistan, Thailand and Iran...among others.
Hand Salute!


I would point out how we lost the Vietnam War.


Lulu, I know the answer. We lost the war because I asked too many questions and used too many parentheses.

The Vietnam War should have never been started and promoted by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Once started, they realized their mistakes and couldn't get out of it comfortably. One of the greatest mistakes in American history.


I must admit, your explanation about the parentheses and quotation marks was quite droll and made me smile, Kona. On the other hand, our final departure from Vietnam was anything but comfortable; that war was a fiasco from the inception, exactly like the ones currently in countries with tribal histories and grudges originating from before the founding of Islam. No one ever has the last word.

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