Letters to the editor: Aug. 2, 2019

Division threatens democracy

In contrast to a recent letter to Viewpoints that complained about the “same old liberal drivel,” I am thrilled to be able to read liberal drivel. For me, it beats Trump’s drivel, which, so far, includes 4,229 false statements and counting, according to The Washington Post.

I’m a Democrat, but I don’t hate president Trump. What I do hate is the division he has caused — that and the indication he enjoys perpetuating this division, which undermines and threatens our democracy.

This is a president who has put his family in positions of power in an effort to increase his standing and provide personal benefit. Are we going to trade democracy for personal greed and embellishment?

The solution, in my view, is to make sure our current president is not re-elected in 2020.

We all need to participate in the democratic process. We must educate ourselves on the issues and vote!

Most of all, we must pay attention to what we believe to be facts, check them for accuracy and act accordingly. Democracy can still prevail, but the further we go with our present administration, the harder it seems to get.

Janet De With



Hypocrisy knows no bounds

Sen. Brian Boquist’s political hypocrisy knows no bounds.

First, he violated his elected civic duty to vote among his peers. He deliberately absented himself from the chamber so he would not have to cast his vote.

Second, he threatened law enforcement officers with physical harm if they carried out their legal responsibilities to return him to the chamber.

Now, he conflates his First Amendment rights to include the right to disregard his elected duty and the right to threaten law enforcement officers in their line of duty.

He also claims secret meetings were held against him, and that he was prevented from exercising his religious rights, all without supportive documentation. The secrecy claim amounts to blaming the media for failing in their duty, which is a typical red herring with those wishing to divert attention from themselves.

I live in Sen. Boquist’s district, and never as an Oregon citizen have I been subjected to such crude political hypocrisy by an elected official supposedly representing me.

Sen. Boquist’s political words and actions do not adequately represent me in Salem. He has shamed his political office with behavior on a par with a Barnum & Bailey clown. He is thus not fit for public service.

At the next election, my hope is that the good people of this district will remove him. If Sen. Boquist is the best Oregon’s Republican Party can offer, it’s no wonder we have a single-party government.

Michael Groshong



Freedom of choice

As the presidential race moves along, there’s been lots of discussion about Medicare for All.

Getting healthcare coverage for every American is important. It should be something we demand of our leaders.

Those leaders all have good coverage themselves, paid for with our taxes. We don’t.

The only disagreement I have with the Medicare for All proposal is the version where it’s mandatory. I prefer the version where American citizens have the option to sign up for Medicare if they choose to.

If it works out that people are really satisfied with their current coverage and cost, fine. Over time, more and more people will choose to sign up.

If full coverage turns out to be a combination of Medicare and existing plans, that’s still full coverage. Rather than fostering a divisive battle over participation, any plan should allow people to have the freedom of choice.

Fred Fawcett





Three really interesting letters this week, appreciate the authors taking the time to share their perspectives. Refreshing to see someone pointing out the blatant Boquist hypocrisy instead of defending it. Also agree with the need for CHOICE in the health care arena. Re the idea that those who see the person in the White House for what he is must hate him, (I have been accused of that here in this forum) I suggest that approach is not more than an easy way to ignore the facts. I don’t actually hate this vulgar illegitimate “leader” either. However I DO abhor that he has so maliciously damaged our democracy and government, I loathe that he has managed to dangerously restructure the values of those who trust him. I am repulsed that he cares NOTHING for anyone or anything that doesn’t serve his own deranged craving for power and adulation, I am horrified that our national security teeters on the edge of his bloated ego every day. As a former mental health professional I can recognize that he is not well. Pathological Narcissistic Personality Disorder is classified as a mental illness, (“Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”) and as such, an ill person merits not hate, but instead at least some degree of sympathy. Still, it is a huge challenge to maintain a compassionate perspective when the illness, combined with dictatorial abuse of power, creates world-wide carnage that is being carried out in America’s name every single day. Many of his faithful seem proud to be represented by such a person. Some of us are sickened and shamed by it. We can have hope though because, as mentioned many times before, history proves that eventually Nixon’s most duped die-hard supporters came to recognize that he too was morally bankrupt and dangerously unfit to govern. They could no longer tolerate – or feel safe - being represented by a documented criminal.


p.s. The inquiry is in motion. We will soon find out if the cunning lapdog Barr can continue to sabotage and subvert the rule of law, or if a foreign enemy will be allowed to corrupt our elections again. Ms. De With is spot on: “… we must pay attention...” Nothing less than the future of America hangs in the balance.


Tell us how you really feel treefarmer. Same story-- different day.


Trump has caused zero division. Take a look at the D's if you want to look at what division looks like.

So hypocritical to preach acceptance etc and yet not live by those same standards.

PS. Loved the County Fair this year and the Republican booth with lines waiting to sign the recalls.


Actually, seeing how so few people care about the Trump campaign being spied on in 2016, I have reset how serious I think Watergate must have been. No one seems to care that the Democratic party in power used CIA, FBI, State Department, and NSA assets to spy on the other party's campaign with human sources, sophisticated electronic eavesdropping, and foreign intelligence (FISA) warrants with their own opposition research forming the basis. It appears now that the shenanigans started all the way back in March 2016 with the Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud. Comparatively, a few guys trying to plant a wired bug to spy on the DNC was utter buffoonery and a complete "nothing-burger".


Finch - I suspect that your issues are not actually with this old treefarmer but rather with the conflicts that arise from the “alternative facts” and deplorable lies that saturate the current political circus. Genuine facts often get buried in the excrement. But as our national Reality Show progresses, even Fox anchors have begun to call BS on the daily doses of absurdity originating from this despotic administration. And some Republicans in Congress are “retiring” rather than having to constantly defend (or even be associated with) the madness, while others have left the GOP because they do not want to be identified with ineptitude, divisiveness, immorality, and toxic bigotry. We just witnessed an attempt to appoint a know-nothing sycophant to the critically important DNI post. Even the most zealous fan must have a tipping point - surely the efficient coordination of our intelligence agencies is something we should be able to agree is essential to national security? (We are, after all, passengers on the same imperiled ship of state.)

By all means continue characterizing facts and opposing opinions as “hate” if that helps reconcile cognitive dissonance. But I will not stop sounding the alarm as long as America continues to be corrupted and defiled. It would feel cowardly and unpatriotic to do otherwise.


Stella – I don’t pretend to understand it but do accept that those who support the current occupant in the White House do not view him as a divider. (American minorities might have a valid cause to disagree?) Sincerely curious - what are you referring to when you opine: “So hypocritical to preach acceptance etc and yet not live by those same standards.”

Rob – What textbook irony that you come here and choose to use the paper’s name to identify yourself when you post false statements. To characterize the attack on the DNC as “…a few guys trying to plant a wired bug…” is beyond ludicrous. The files were hacked, stolen, and weaponized. These CRIMES were well-documented, but I suspect you knew that and the facts simply don’t support your “opinion.” And re your hero being spied on, you might want to do some research. The intelligence agencies were doing their jobs, investigating the Russian attack on our election. (Another area of well-documented crimes.) Evidently you think they should have ignored and given a pass to the one who was encouraging, using, and benefiting from all that hacking and kompromat? And what about now? Do you also subscribe to that often quoted Nixon theory of the Constitution: “If the President does it, it is not against the law.” Might want to be careful what you wish for?


treefarmer. a word of encouragement. you are balancing the darkness. Thank you.


Treefarmer - The Obama FBI claimed the investigation started July 31st 2016 after an Australian diplomat overheard George Papadopoulos talking with Stephon Halper in a bar in London. We now know that Halper was an FBI asset. Halper invited Papadopoulos to meet with him, and even paid for, the flight to the UK. How then did the investigation not start BEFORE July 31st? Regardless of how I or anyone feel about a presidential candidate, it is a BIG DEAL to spy on a presidential campaign during an election.


Just like the Roy Cohn clone AG Barr, some will characterize the legitimate investigations into that last campaign as “spying.” Many of us believe it should be accurately described as due diligence. Regardless of the date something was designated “official,” when do you suppose the FBI became aware of Russian intentions and actions? What do you imagine they have had on file for years about associations between the candidate and Russia? Given the bigotry and suspicion surrounding our last President, I would be willing to bet Obama was investigated too. Fortunately he wasn’t in bed with the enemy so there weren’t 446 pages of evidence to bring an inquiry to our attention.


If the investigation was really about Russian interference in the election then why wasn't the Steele (Russia) dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign and DNC investigated? Money changed hands (over a million dollars) and Christopher Steele went to Moscow and met with two Russian intelligence agents.


Rob – Do you really expect another batch of “alternative facts” will support right-wing propaganda that has already been debunked? (Then again, no doubt somebody around here is going to be very happy to see it in print, so there’s that.)


Hello Mike – I very much appreciate your words of support. (Although you should probably stand by for incoming now, the voices of the faithful in this forum tolerate no deviation from their leader’s version of reality.) Thanks right back at you.


Feel free to point to any factual error in anything I've posted and I'll gladly correct. Please be specific, I find the vagueness in discourse today often difficult to follow. I believe in your earlier post you may have confused my reference to the Watergate break-in and attempt to plant a wired bug to what happened with the DNC in 2016.

In regards to the DNC and 2016, note that the FBI was not granted access to the DNC's server and the Mueller report uses the word "appear" when describing the hack. After there was no conspiracy between Trump 2016 campaign associates and the Russian government, why do the goal posts of the original outlandish accusation keep moving?


Rob – Apologies. I went back and reread your post about the “bug,” and I stand corrected. The reference was not clear to me (mea culpa) but I get your point now and agree with your observation that the bungled Nixon-directed burglary was buffoonery in its execution. The fact that the highest official in America ordered and paid for criminal activity (and believed he was fully entitled to do so) is in a different category though…..no humorous adjectives apply. I also agree with you that the Clinton servers should have been turned over for examination. I imagine it would have exposed plenty of additional embarrassing information, but it also could have helped the intelligence agencies better understand and counter the Russian attacks. Bad judgement and wrongful priorities are neither “D” nor “R,” just bad and wrong.

But I do not agree that goal posts have been moved. I don’t see how hearing the Big Lie (“No obstruction!! No collusion!!") repeated over and over has changed the original concerns or criteria for evaluating them except to provide additional alarming documentation. Your post suggests that you have, unlike the majority of our fellow citizens, actually read the Mueller report? If so, I salute you. Many of us found that the report revealed a national nightmare of unethical, unlawful, un-American activity from someone who ultimately took an oath to defend the Constitution. It is past time for some unobstructed sunlight and let the chips fall where they may.


Treefarmer - I thought that might be the case after I reread the post. It was one of those that was clearer in my mind then on paper.


Tree farmer. I don't pretend to understand how people wanted the Clintons in the whitehouse again after what he did in the Oval Office or what she did after she was requested to produce emails.

D's preach acceptance and claim they want to unify yet they preach resistance and fail to do their jobs. The party (I was once a part of) has splintered into radical groups and, unfortunately, their biggest challenge seems the inability to unify even within their ranks.


Stella – good to find your response to my inquiry. Just for the record, I did NOT want the Clintons in the White House. Tragically in 2016 our choice was between the devil and the anti-Christ, the only option available was to decide which was worse. My own personal preference in 2016 was Jon Huntsman, an intelligent experienced diplomat, a man of decency and honor, a devoted family man, someone I was sure would not prey on his interns, or need to pay off porn stars. Sadly, Mr. Huntsman did not make the cut, evidently primary voters did not value any of the aforementioned qualities?

No argument that the Dems are having unity issues, the talking heads keep making references to “herding cats,” and “circular firing squads.” But since we are by no means a monolithic nation, some diversity is necessary if we ever expect anything even close to representative government. A Congress filled with crusty old white guys who have the “My way or the highway” attitude is not acceptable either. All we can do is keep the faith……..which becomes more challenging every day.

I remain unclear as to your observations about hypocrisy and preaching acceptance. Given the fact that you do not find the rhetoric from the White House divisive in any way, would you be inclined to cite something specific from the other side that would help me understand your point of view? Considering my assertive opinions you may not believe it, but I do try to see the big picture and am sincerely interested in how others interpret the status quo.


Some of the divisiveness comes from the way he and his words are oft interpreted in the worst possible manner. One example would be Charlottesville and his "Good People on Both Sides" comment. Ivanka Trump and his grandchildren are Orthodox Jewish, so he's clearly not referring to Neo-Nazis carrying anti-sematic signs but that is how the comment is portrayed. His use of Twitter permits a multitude of ways of interpreting short comments and his carelessness with words contribute as well. My guy was John Kasich; but he is way too boring and cerebral for today's soundbite age.


Sorry... meant Semitic....



“Watching Sleepy Joe Biden making a speech. Sooo Boring! The LameStream Media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy. It will be over for them, not to mention the fact that our Country will do poorly with him. It will be one big crash, but at least China will be happy.”

A very special tweet – reflections from the heart of the nation’s “leader” - as he traveled from meeting with the victims of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio on his way to meet with the victims of the terrorist attack in El Paso, Texas.

Please feel free to share your thoughts about the compassion, inspiration, grace, and priorities someone can identify for me in this contemporaneous “communication”…….oh, plus some observations about the comfort and sense of empathy this must have provided for those in mourning waiting to bury their dead? (Seems even more transparently vile than usual to me but I’m probably just misinterpreting his words and deeds again?)

Don Dix

If Joe Biden becomes the D nominee, the 'liberal drivel' will explode. At that point, both candidates will have to deal with their respective sordid past. Should be very enlightening!


Fir Tree

I'll repeat what I said:

When you preach acceptance but condone resistance you are hypocritical. Name calling, lack of respect = poor loser.

The D's (all of them with their extremely different ideas) need to find someone better and win an election vs trying to impeach. They should look into a mirror and ask themselves "are we causing divide by disrespecting the President and calling for resistance vs doing their jobs.

Funny story: I had an acquaintance question how I can support Trump "as a woman".... while she campaigned for the Clintons... really - wow 👀


These ARE various ideas the D's have said publically to win:

1). Give illegal immigrants the right to drive (driver's license needed to register to vote)
2) Open borders (helps #1)
3). Let people in prison vote
4). Let teenagers vote (lower age limit)
5). Impeach... (searching and spending zillions on bogus investigations

Why not try to find someone decent that you can be proud of to get er done?


Ps. It's obvious all the non profit wrap around services or grants etc don't seem as workable with a Trump in office ... all those out of work campers have endless jobs available and services gallore (except drug treatment in house services that would alleviate their problem)


Stella - also what about George Soros and all of his money trying to manipulate elections. Busing in people to highly democratic districts to sign up and vote. Why do most of these "found" ballot boxes in close elections seem to be in favor of Democrats as well as areas that have many people over the age of 100 voting. Voter fraud comes in all shapes and sizes within our own country.


To be clear, I did not post that puerile tweet to make a point about a candidate. I selected it at random from at least ten other foul insult-rants also launched during the disgraceful ego-driven “Pretend to Care Tour.” I think Joe is a good ol’ guy who has a mostly decent record and I wish him a comfortable retirement.

Stella - Re the Dem candidates: “find someone better” is something I have wished for myself, and I am also with you on two of the five “ideas” from your list. But it appears we may have a problem with semantics. If I read you right, you find resistance to be hypocritical and disrespectful, specifically if someone has claimed to be generally accepting (or is “preachy”) in other areas? I don’t view resistance that way. While you may strongly support the way our country is being run, it appears to me that America is being destroyed. What kind of person - given that it is an honestly-held belief - would stand idly by and allow corruption to continue without speaking up/resisting? Our Founders valued dissent, it is guaranteed by the First Amendment for good reason. I stand by every observation I have posted about my perception of the sick and dangerous person at the helm of our nation. (Can it be dismissed as “name-calling” if negative commentary and opinion is derived from facts?) I will say it again: I accept that you (and others) have reasons that you feel proud and happy and safe to be represented by this “leader.” I hope you can accept that I (and others) also have reasons we feel shamed and violated and endangered by nearly everything he has done.

Could this be like the parable of the blind men trying to make sense of an elephant? The one examining the tail declares the beast is like a rope. Another explores the animal’s leg and determines it is like a tree, whereupon the notion of a rope OR a tree seems absurd to the person who is scrutinizing the ear. Shall we go with that? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


EGAD Finch – where do you get this stuff?? We have a MUCH greater problem in our country with voter suppression (mainly in GOP-controlled states) than voter fraud, and none of it has anything whatsoever to do with the unjustly maligned Mr. Soros. If you can cite a credible source for this bizarre concept I will certainly re-evaluate my comment and publish a retraction. If not, I will continue to question how you felt confident to assert such a thing. (I noticed you never responded when I supplied indisputable facts related to your “theories” about Presidential golf statistics. I hope that meant you checked it out for yourself and simply weren’t inclined to re-address your original post.)

Rob – go figure! The other “John,” (Kasich) was my second choice. I will have to support your opinion about the gentleman’s personality issues. In spite of all his common sense, experience, and honorable conservatism, he just couldn’t hold his own in the bloody cage match. Primary voters seemed to have no appetite for boring respectability or old-fashioned ethics.


Treefarmer -- so typical that only you are right and anyone who disagrees with your almighty facts is wrong. I don't need to be lectured by you.


I have to side with Finch on this one. We really don't know how bad illegal voting is because Democrats keep blocking audits. I say do full and comprehensive audits and let the chips fall where they may. You can't say there is no exhaustive data but at the same time block said data from being collected and analyzed.



FYI - the effort to audit was later blocked. I presumed that was known.


Message received Finch - You do not like facts and find them quite irritating.

Rob – I consider NPR to be a dependably credible source and appreciate the cite. After reading the article it looks like Kobach & Co appeared to have ulterior motives and were denied data for that reason. One Secretary of State is quoted, “……. participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach" It would be “….. laying the groundwork for voter suppression.” is another opinion quote from the article. (I didn’t see any suggestion it was only Dems who were skeptical about the real agenda for seeking the release of all that personal data.)

It appears that a view of this issue, as with so many others, is in the eye of the beholder. Some are concerned about the failure of the attempt, some are grateful. But the article does provide a reminder for me as to why a person might buy the idea that info was being hidden or denied for nefarious reasons. (You won’t be surprised that I consider the “voter records-denial controversy” totally bogus?)

p.s. Is that your letter in the Friday N/R ?


Yeah - the phrasing in it is a little flippant but I hope to wake up some of my civil libertarian brethren on the left. We've got to nip political surveillance during elections in the bud. Especially given the awesome power of modern technology. I am dreaming of a bipartisan commission being formed to setup strict guidelines regarding the necessary predicates and oversite requirements.

Prior to Watergate, using the FBI to spy for political reasons was actually fairly common. Please recall the FBI and CIA are both in the executive branch of government. The Kennedy's famously wire tapped MLK, and Lyndon Johnson wire tapped both the Goldwater campaign and his own Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, out of concerns about Humphrey's stance on the Vietnam War. The Watergate scandal put an end to that type of thing (at least I think it did) until 2016. I'd like to get that genie back in the bottle if at all possible.


Rob- I am with you re weaponized spying – very bad, very VERY dangerous. But I still think we need the protection of investigation/intelligence gathering that is legitimate and ethical. So, where’s the line and who is drawing it? Therein lies the rub.

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