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Letters to the editor: Nov 1, 2019

Language makes a difference

Scott Gibson’s Viewpoints column of Oct. 18 describes very important changes needed in treating people with serious mental illness.

Scott points out that prisons and jails have become the all-too-common alternative to proper medical interventions. I agree with and appreciate everything Scott is writing about except one thing — his blanket use of the term “the mentally ill.”

In the first paragraph, he also calls the son of his friend “a schizophrenic” rather than “a young man struggling with the serious disorder of schizophrenia.”

Does language really make a difference? Is there a difference between the language, say, of “institutions for the mentally ill” and “medical facilities treating people for serious mental health conditions”?

Just ask my brother, who avoided treatment for 38 years because he did not want to be placed in an institution for “the mentally ill.”

The stigma was enormous. So, as a result of untreated bipolar disorder, he spent time in and out of jail.

He and others with the disorder do not want this to be their identity, any more than people without a home want to be lumped into the vast, faceless pool of “the homeless,” as if that were the sum total of their identity. So in my experience, yes, this does make a difference.

As an active member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 503-434-6350 locally and 800-343-6264 on the state level, I would like to point out we are trying mightily to end the persistent stigma associated with mental illness. That way, individuals and their families, like mine, can pursue treatment without feeling ashamed or dehumanized.

I think most people now realize that it’s just plain wrong and infinitely insensitive to talk about sending “a crazy person to the nuthouse.”

Let’s take the next step in changing the way we talk about “the mentally ill.” Let’s start talking about productive ways of investing in people doing their best to live with serious mental health challenges.

The NAMI Yamhill County information phone number is (503) 434-6350. NAMI Oregon is (800)343-6264.

Rob Schulman

McMinnville

 

Climate crisis demands action

On Oct. 19, more than 130 people gathered at McMinnville Cooperative Ministries for a dinner and fundraiser to support Our Children’s Trust. It consists of 21 young people from across the country who are suing the federal government for failing to address climate change.

Our government has known the causes and dangers of climate change for more than half a century, yet continues to promote and protect the major driver of the climate crisis: our fossil fuel energy system. Actions of the executive branch have endangered young Americans and put future generations at risk.

During the dinner, we heard from two of the 21, as well as members of the trust staff. We also heard from local students active in the fight against climate change.

Their energy, passion, and commitment to action was heartwarming and inspiring. We adults could, and should, learn much from them.

The goal of the fundraiser was $10,000, but we almost doubled that. And with matching funds, the total came to more than $46,000.

If you would like to support Our Children’s Trust with a tax-deductible donation, you can find details on its website, found at www.ourchildrenstrust.org.

Most importantly, take the time to learn about the reality of climate change. Then, for the sake of those who will come after us, get involved.

Rick Hammond

Amity

  

Climate change hysteria

Climate change hysteria has moved front and center in McMinnville. Using students to promote this agenda are “educators” such as Laura Syring, who has taken it upon herself to steal the joy of living from her students.

Her irresponsible fear-mongering regarding man-made climate change is shameful. Her assumptions regarding the extinction of the human race are preposterous.

As the debate rages on about whether or not humanity will meet its Armageddon by 2030, consider this: How arrogant can humankind be to think it can alter the course of climate?

Instead of engaging in fear-mongering, causing angst in students, how about being proactive and encouraging creative thinking? That goes for the city as well as Syring.

Banning single-use bags was a feel-good stab at placating those who think they have to do something, no matter what. Those plastic bags had multiple uses, most of you would agree.

Instead of rolling over to appease those affected by the hysteria, Councilor Sal Peralta should encourage everyone to take a deep breath and look for common-sense environmental solutions not requiring government control, taxes or crippling restrictions. It’s folly to pursue “science” based on computer models and assumptions, when we can’t even accurately predict what kind of winter we are going to have until El Nina/Nino manifest themselves.

Climate change has morphed from ozone hole danger, to global cooling, to global warming, to extreme weather patterns, yada, yada, yada. It’s become just a catch-all.

Deadlines for disaster have come and gone since 1989. Climate change in now a multi-billion dollar industry that will do most anything to stifle disagreement.

One last word to all of you students filled with dread regarding your future, from Matthew 6:34: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Steve Sommerfeld

McMinnville

 

A matter of conscience

In watching the president talking about the impeachment inquiry proceedings, I am convinced he doesn’t understand the gravity of the charges, of the crime he is accused of committing against our democracy. As usual, all of his thoughts seem to revolve only around himself as he continues to lie to protect his interests so he can weasel out of trouble and possibly make money while doing it.

When the time comes, let’s vote in a president who is centered on the preservation of our hard-won democracy. We need someone who displays kindness and compassion, respect for fellow human beings and all living things.

It seems to me we are much, much better than the administration we have now.

The representatives in Congress who are investigating the crimes Trump is accused of committing must be given clear and accurate information without having to deal with continual roadblocks. The president has made and continues to make ridiculous statements, ones that are so confusing it would appear he’s trying to divert the investigation and make it difficult to get the facts of the matter.

As citizens, we owe a debt of gratitude to the whistleblower for his actions. We need to honor and respect his courage, and above all, protect him and his family. We need to always have citizens who are willing to speak out when their conscience tells them it is right to do so.

Janet DeWith

Yamhill

 

Unfair fees, fines

I have previously not had an interest in politics. I am writing to ask for a yes vote on Measure 36-202.

Oregon is ranked No. 4 in the nation for care for seniors. Please vote yes on repeal unfair fees and fines to seniors in our community.

Mary Meeko

McMinnville

 

Stick to plant-based

Halloween zombies, witches, ghosts and goblins don’t scare me. They aren’t nearly as frightening as the meat industry.

This industry deprives, mutilates, cages and butchers billions of cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens — animals that feel joy, affection, sadness and pain, just like us. In the process, it exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages, and exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating market prices.

This industry contributes more to our epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer than any other, then bullies health authorities to remove warnings from dietary guidelines. It sanctions world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals instead of people.

This industry generates more water pollution than all other human activities, spews more greenhouse gases than all transportation, and destroys more wildlife habitat than all other industries.

Fortunately, our local supermarkets offer a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies.

According to the meat industry publication Feedstuffs, sale of plant-based foods doubled from 2017 to 2018, and have jumped another 20% this year. That’s what gives me my courage and hope.

Milo Nakamura

McMinnville

 

All about oil

Oil rights trump human rights in Syria.

American military surrounds and protects Kurdish oil, not Kurdish people. Shameful!

The pink tank may be Jared and Ivanka’s.

Robert McNamee

McMinnville

 

Truth on the way

Now that the Democrats’ coup attempt has failed, after dragging the nation through the rabbit hole of three years of “Russian collusion” fiction, they have moved on to invoking the 25th amendment against a sitting president and harassing his staff in public places — all for an impeachment that has no chance of succeeding.

Here we are, left with the rubble of distrust, dishonesty, secrecy and downright hate and abuse by the Democratic Party, thanks to a coup attempt by Obama, Clapper, Comey and Page.

What used to be called a conspiracy theory is now coming true. What the Democrats have done and continue to do is hurtful to America.

There’s no doubt that the offenses Democrats are accusing the president of were actually committed by these very Democrats. This is not how CNN or NBC want it, but the truth is on the way.

Dennis Carmody

Sheridan

 

Call to resistance

We apparently fell short of the required number of petition signatures for an election to recall our governor.

Meanwhile, more taxes are being proposed. And I heard on the radio that we’re buying a new building, probably to enable more bureaucrats waste our hard-earned money or help the influx of refugees our state has approved.

We need to band together, just as the seniors did to oppose the Clintons’ Catastrophic Health Care Bill. As a result, this predecessor to Obamacare was stopped in its tracks.

Just what does the government have to do with health care anyway? We’re not a totalitarian government yet. It smacks of overreach.

We are all guilty of allowing this erosion of our rights and freedoms. It’s time to take the blinders off our eyes and resist.

Mary Novak

Yamhill

 

Follow the money

Ask yourself, how is the blizzard of TV ads, mailers, yard signs and phone calls urging voters to vote yes on Measure 36-202 being funded?

By the deep pockets of the for-profit corporations who stand to benefit from having taxpayers pick up the tab for essential services — services they should be providing for the patients in their care.

And make no mistake. If this measure passes, McMinnville taxpayers will see increased taxes to fund more EMS personnel to cover the non-emergency services these corporations are happy to offload.

Follow the money and vote no on Ballot Measure 36-202. 

Gretchen Freeman

McMinnville 

 

Comments

Mike

rick hammond. "Our government has known .... yet continues to promote and protect the major driver of the climate crisis: our fossil fuel energy system" Don't blame the government, the government reflects who we are. Our fossil fuel energy system is a wonderful and fantastically obscure way to say you, I, and all of us who love our cars, comfortable homes, and various conveniences are to blame for demanding the energy for our easy lives. I do not contest we are fouling our home. Our collective behavior is definitely affecting where we live. Many who comment about the climate are optimists and are sure we 8 billion humans are having no impact on our earth and climate change is all an evil conspiracy to redistribute wealth. I'm not so optimistic. We will continue to consume and soil our earth. Like so many civilizations before us our excesses will destroy us. Our creations will be overgrown piles of rubble. It is nice the younger generation is taking what we are doing seriously and it is great they are so optimistic something can be done. I hope they have enough time to change our culture.

Scott Gibson

Regarding Mr. Schulman's observations about use of language regarding mental illness and those who suffer from it, I would agree he has some good points. Referring to a "mental health condition" rather than "mental illness" may be easier for some people to accept. We certainly should avoid any pejorative language relating to people with such problems or conditions. At the same time, I think it is important for people to be clear eyed about the fact that these "conditions" are true illnesses. Indeed, they are such serious illnesses that they are fatal for nearly 45,000 Americans each year. In the article, I tried to make it clear that I was referring to those individuals who suffer most severely from diseases like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. To refer to these illnesses as mere "conditions" would beg the question of why some who suffer from them would need compulsory treatment. Having an illness, sadly, does sometimes carry a stigma. We call people with diabetes "diabetics," generally without stigma. It should be the same for schizophrenics, but that is not always the case. Whether a circumlocution like "a person struggling with the serious disorder of schizophrenia" would eliminate stigma or simply look like an attempted end-run around a straightforward illness is open to discussion. For myself, I would be most satisfied if we could de-stigmatize the names by giving the mentally ill the treatment they deserve so that people would recognize that one can have schizophrenia and be a functioning, positive member of society at the same time.

Don Dix

Steve Sommerfeld -- nice to see that there is individual thought out there, no matter the herd mentality. Well said!

Mike D

Steve Sommerfeld. I agree with you that thinking the end of the world as we know will happen in 2030 is silly. To bad you have to dismiss the young people's concern for their future. I'm amazed at the absolute power, super power, to a teacher. To me thinking teachers today have that kind of power is as silly as thinking the earth will end in 2030. Yes it is arrogant to think we humans can do things to this home of our that changes it for the better or for the worse. We are an crafty, inventive, and arrogant animal very able to improve and or destroy where we live. We humans have enough nuclear weapons to annihilate this world. We Americans and others are working furiously on how to defend against chemical and biological weapons. To defend against them we have to also possess them. That you think we humans are not capable of altering our environment is very naive.

RobsNewsRegister

> Those plastic bags had multiple uses

Yeah - my family used them as trash bags and wastebasket liners. We are going to have to buy those from now on.

Don Dix

Is there anyone who does not think Laura Syring has pushed her opinion of global warmimg/climate change onto her students? And have those students studied any geology & history of the Earth, or the manipulation of data by NOAA and NASA? They also may not be aware that Gore and Obama (major global warming proponents) have purchased property near the ocean (now why, if the seas are actually rising so fast, would any sane person do that if they really believe in the 'science'?).

Making conclusions and assumptions based on incomplete study, dismissing factual evidence, and creating fear is not education -- it's indoctrination.

Finch

Don - this is why I really don't like when students are subjected to opinions that don't always apply to the subject being taught. My kids experienced it big time in college and it was offensive. They flat out told me they couldn't voice their beliefs because they would be marked down.

You asked if the opinion was pushed onto the students? They go with what they hear and in today's climate it doesn't take a lot for these kids to get emotional and anxious. I was standing on Third Street with friends at cruising McMinnville. Two beautiful high school girls dressed in their cheerleading outfits approached my friends and I with an envelope trying to raise donations for school. I asked what the purpose of the donation was. They stammered with any type of response looking at each other trying to come up with a reason for why they were asking for money. What I got out of them basically was that they were raising money to help kids go to school. I reminded them that K - 12 was mandatory so why were they raising money. They couldn't answer the question. I told them they needed to basically find out for sure what they were doing so they could intelligently answer the question.

Also, they've been saying we have 11 years left for about a year and a half so I think we're down to 9 1/2 now.

Rob - Newberg still uses plastic bags. I find it amazing that the straw is an issue but not all the plastic cups, spoons, forks, knives, take out containers, ziplock bags -- you get it.

Don Dix

Finch -- See, I think these students are intelligent enough to come to their own conclusions. But any study that selectively presents only opinions from one view cannot be considered complete.

That's what appears to be the case here, just as those whose questions change the dialogue of the AGW concept are ignored. Doesn't the message ring a little hollow when one side eliminates any dissent? Hitler anyone?

Basically, 'settled science' is non-existent -- science, by it's nature, is never settled. Has that fact ever been presented to these kids?

Frankly, it would be a surprise if the students knew the whole story, or were even aware of the difference between hypothesis and theory (AGW is not anywhere near a theory). All inclusive seems just a hope, which are not the vibes coming from this demonstration.

gophergrabber

Rick, Does your McMinnville Cooperative Ministries teach any faith based argument against your sky is falling theory? Why is it we never hear the other side? There are as many scientists who say man made GW is non-existent. Do you ever espouse that possibility?