Letters to the Editor: June 22, 2018

Longing for dad lost to war

I read a letter to the editor about Memorial Day and decided I needed to write.

I consider it Dead Vet Day. I do not celebrate it. I do not buy a red flower. I ignore it.

I know what the day means. I have been reminded of the day my whole life.

My father was killed in Sicily in 1943, during World War II. I was just 3.

My mother always said my father gave his life for our country. We argued viciously when the Vietnam War came along.

I would rather have had my father stay in this country and perhaps become governor of the state.

He was born in the U.S., but his family was from Syria. Before war broke out in the Middle East, not much thought was given to my heritage, though people would say “Bit-ter” rather than “Bi-tar.”

I had to learn how to spell the word “deceased” in the second grade. I found a note on the playground when I was very young referencing my lack of a father.

My mother served as secretary to the commanding general at Fort Lewis. She got a flag and medals when my father died, and the second most important street at the base was christened Bitar Street.

My mother would not let me go to a girls’ school in Tacoma because she felt I needed more male influence in my life. And male teachers I had in high school and college did serve as protectors and mentors for me.

I loved men because I did not have a father. I felt they could do no wrong.

But my father was more important to me than any war.

Helen Bitar



Things amiss in DA’s Office

So, there’s yet another person from the Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office charged with a crime. It should make any intelligent mind wonder what’s wrong over there.

It’s been obvious for quite awhile that it’s the DA, Brad Berry. So I wonder, why would anyone list DA’s service on their résumé for public office? For that matter, why would anyone be so ignorant as to vote for someone with that kind of background?

I have no dog in the fight.

However, I have served as a juror, getting a chance to witness first hand the legal philosophy of Lisl Miller. I would be terrified if I were to ever go on trial in her court.

I hope voters remember this months down the road.

Dale Lux



No reply from Oregon reps

I was asked by U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bomamici and U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to share my concerns about our government with them.

I did so in good faith, thinking they were being sincere. But it’s been more than two months since I mailed those letters, and, to date, the representatives have neglected to afford me even the common courtesy of a polite acknowledgment.

In the letters, I offered a solution to the problem of homelessness, which is becoming an open sore in every city, county and town in America. Apparently they refused to listen to a reasoned argument.

I put a lot of thought and time into this. I’m sure that if the basic components I described were implemented, the results would be in the best interests of all Americans.

Other letter writers have said they too have gone without a reply.

What good is democracy if elected officials choose to ignore their constituents? I’m beginning to think democracy in America is just an illusion.

Dan Hilbert



Our own King George

The Declaration of Independence began by declaring that “all men are created equal,” having been “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” This bedrock of America has given hope to every immigrant seeking refuge here. 

The declaration went on to brand King George a tyrant and enumerate his offenses against the colonies. Some are no longer germane, but consider:

n “Governments are instituted among men,” deriving their just powers not from divine right, but from “consent of the governed.” The Trump administration claims we are ordered by the Bible to submit to government, as compliance is “ordained by God.”

n The king “has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.” Trump threatens vetoes of anything he doesn’t personally favor, and is willing to shut down the government when thwarted.

n “He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance.” DACA? Immigration reform? Health care?

n “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these states” by “obstructing the laws for the naturalization of foreigners.” Today, Trump is suspending our asylum system.

n “He has obstructed the administration of justice,” making “judges dependent on his will alone.” Trump has expressed a desire to dissolve the special counsel investigation and fired law enforcement officials without cause. He has demeaned the authority of judges not ruling in his favor and issued political pardons mocking the rule of law.

n “He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people.” Trump has stacked his administration with lobbyists, corporate billionaires and party loyalists.

n “For cutting off trade with all parts of the world.” Trade wars? Punitive tariffs?

President Trump is a liar and bully. He has expressed a desire to destroy our free press, employed mob-like extortion, demonized opponents, usurped the authority of Congress, committed acts of war and praised dictators while trashing allies.

Margaret Cross



Blames the Democrats

To all you people who feel sorry for the Mexican people who are separated from each other, and blame Trump, I’m sorry for you. You’ve been sold a bill of goods by the liberal press.

The Democrats put an immigration bill through Congress back when they had control of the government. Trump is just using that bill to secure our borders.

If you don’t believe me, just look it up on the internet. It’s all there.

Quit being misled by just one side. You are smarter than this.

And, Mr. Bladine, you should be ashamed of the one-sided views you print here.

Rich Chandler



Caging kids un-American

On May 8, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new policy regarding  people seeking asylum in the U.S. They would be imprisoned, and their children would be taken from them.

According to our Sen. Jeff Merkley, this appears to be an attempt to hurt children enough to discourage people from seeking asylum here.

On June 3, he attempted to visit a holding facility for hundreds of children in Brownsville, Texas, but he was denied access. Earlier that day, he visited a processing center in McAllen, Texas.

No pictures were allowed at McAllen, but he described children being kept in large cages on concrete floors, with only space blankets to keep them warm. This is consistent with what was observed by others in 2014.

According to the website of the private company providing the warehousing in McAllen, a trio of ICE facilities are housing a combined 2,607.

On June 11, Sessions announced asylum would no longer be granted to those fleeing domestic violence or gang violence.

How can this be? What happened to America being a beacon of freedom from tyranny?

If you disagree with what is happening to refugees coming to this country, please check the facts, call Sessions, support a bill aimed at reversing separation policies and access-blocking, and donate to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Lynn Crowell



A stain on our flag

Parenting is the most difficult job most of us will ever do.

Worldwide, children are our greatest resources. So we should never underestimate the importance of early childhood development and education.

The importance of the symbiotic relationships of parents, grandparents and siblings is rarely transferred to nannies, childcare workers or people outside the family network, even in the best of situations. In those first formative years, a child develops a conscience, trust or distrust in other humans and a myriad of other physical, psychological and emotional skills and traits.

What our government is doing by separating these already desperate families at the border is outrageous!

Children “being well cared for” in abandoned Walmarts means what? Three meals a day, a tin foil blanket, a bed or mattress on the floor, having to mourn  separation from their families amid strangers.

Who holds them and reads them beloved stories? Who offers smiles and coos while changing diapers? Who kisses their “owies,” checks feverish foreheads, praises achievements, lovingly disciplines when necessary and tucks them in at night? Who involves them in appropriate learning and play environments?

Many of us can recall a child’s heartfelt sobbing during an early separation anxiety moment, featuring hot tears and a heaving chest, not easy to soothe or calm. You can read about historical anguishing separations during and prior to WWII, or better yet, talk to someone like Ted Lopuszynski, our former county commissioner, who lived the experience in Poland in 1940 at the age of 2.

Come on, America. This is not who we are.

We are kinder, more compassionate than this. And we value families.

Currently we are fueling fear, distrust and hatred in the families of future generations.

This will not be forgotten. This is human abuse of innocent families, and it is leaving a major stain on the American flag.

Sharon Scoltock



Not worthy of our nation

The abducting, detaining and imprisoning of babies, toddlers and older children by the Trump administration is a major atrocity that has already inflicted irreparable harm to the children, their parents, our nation and our world. This totalitarian and inhumane action must stop immediately, and all the children must be quickly reunited with their parents wherever they may be.

The press, trusted elected officials and child advocates must have full access to all the children, and to the facilities where they are being warehoused. Legal procedures for fair asylum hearings must be provided for all those caught up in this heartless and mindless cruel net.

This immoral strategy traumatizes the children and their families. And it was developed to reduce the rich diversity of our nation’s culture.

We as a nation must put on the brakes as we appear to be several stages into a totalitarian administration that has no respect for democracy, truth and long-held national values. This terrible ongoing episode in our nation is neither who we are, nor who we want to be.

Walt Parry




According to Trump's own Justice Department...they have been directed to suspend the General Legal Orientation Program which costs only 8 million to run. This program provides legal advice for undocumented immigrants.

Locking these people up and not allowing them to understand their legal rights is un-American. That's something Trump's buddies Kim Jong Un or Putin would do. It's against our Bill Of Rights and the protections given by the Constitution. This action is akin to what happens in dictatorships around the globe....you know, the dictators Trump admires so much.


“We cannot allow these people to invade our County,” Trump tweeted. “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.”

Trumps tweet today. He wants to do away with due process under the law. Who will be next?


Oh, the hypocrisy.

People who say they want sanctuary cities and states and open borders seem to be those same people who, concerned for their personal safety, close and lock their own doors at night.

Am I the only person who sees the hypocrisy of this? Control of our borders is imperative for national security and retention of our sovereignty over our own country. Yet these people, so concerned for their own safety, are willing to compromise the safety of the public at large.

For those who did not follow the news, Kate Steinle was gunned down in San Francisco in broad daylight "accidentally" by a man who had illegally entered our country no fewer than five times. Where was your outrage then? And why should her death be in vain?


You are correct Actual. Walking with her father in broad daylight and shot in the back. Her last words were "help me Daddy". And the guy basically got off with time served. So many cases of Americans murdered and where is the outrage? Unless and until it happens to one of the bleeding hearts this is the way it will continue.

Keep sending over these trafficked individuals and we need to shut up and open our wallets to take care of them. Where else can you just wander in and be supported? NOWHERE!


actual - Who wants open borders?...Who says we shouldn't control our borders? Who says they don't want border security? Who says these things?


Finch - "So many cases of Americans murdered and where is the outrage?"

Anytime someone is killed it is a tragedy. I don't know of a single person that doesn't want to stop murderers from carrying out their evil acts. We have a judicial system that takes care of that. Do you also feel the same about James Alex Fields Jr. who killed a woman with his car? He was a member of Vanguard America. By your logic....should we deport all members of Vanguard America? Are they all bad? Or, Sean Urbanski a member of Alt-Reich Nation who killed a black student at Bowie State University? Should we deport all of the people that belong to that group?


actual - Still waiting for you to tell us who wants open borders. Who said this? Where did you get your information?

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