Letters to the editor: Dec. 20, 2019

Amazing community

A little more than three years ago, my wife, Carol, and I relocated to Oregon. After quite a bit of soul-searching, we decided to make our home in McMinnville.

Time and again, our decision has received an A in our books. Recently, an experience put an emphatic stamp on that.

I was tasked with putting together the program and social for our December meeting of the Band of Brothers, a local veterans group that meets on the first Thursday of the monthly. The program was to have our veterans recount a Christmas story from their service time. The social was to feature some holiday music and a buffet.

I was given a modest budget for food and drink, so I enlisted my wife to bake pumpkin pie, cookies and pumpkin bread. To supplement that, I decided to contact the local grocery stores for donations.

I met with managers of Roth’s, Albertsons and Safeway and was amazed at the support I received. From their generous donations, we were able to have a better start to the holiday season.

To add to that, some of the stories told of a 19-year-old at the Battle of the Bulge, a sailor on the Rhine at the same time, a helicopter pilot receiving a real Christmas tree in Vietnam and a soldier visiting a Vietnamese orphanage.

We are blessed to live in an amazing community. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Merry Christmas.

Bill Hall



Perverting democracy

What distinguishes the United States as a nation is our Constitution and the rule of law. Our founders risked everything for freedom of religion, freedom of speech and a government based on laws instead of rule by a capricious king.

We require those we elect, including the president, to take a solemn oath to defend and protect the Constitution and faithfully execute the law. But under this president, our Constitution is under attack.

Our president ignores or subverts laws he finds inconvenient. And Republican leaders like Sens. Graham and McConnell openly refuse to perform their constitutional duties to preserve the rule of law, even under oath.

Laws and institutions are trashed through threats and lies, Twitter tirades, executive fiats and malicious attacks. Judges and courts are labeled “the enemy,” along with the free press. Hardworking civil servants are abused, ruined and discarded at will.

Trump exhorts us to “lock up” political opponents. “I can do whatever I want,” he claims. “I am president.”

The Republican Party tolerates no dissent and remains silent in the face of dubious presidential claims of executive power. This Trump personality cult is the very antithesis of respect for the rule of law.

This nation and its Constitution were created to protect people from tyranny, religious or otherwise.

When Mr. Wozniak writes a letter to the editor equating the United States with Nero’s Rome, and yearns for a Second Coming, he places his religion ahead of the Constitution. He condones Mr. Trump’s base character and the damage to the rule of law as part of “God’s plan.” He apparently does not understand that his first duty as a citizen is to the Constitution, not to his religion, his pocketbook or his political party.

The Constitution is the only document between him and some other religious or political group or individual claiming an “ordained” or absolute right to rule. To see religion used to undermine our Constitution is appalling.

Margaret Cross



Settling on time standard

I am pretty sure most people want to abolish the semi-annual time-switching we endure in the spring and fall. The way I see it, the challenge at hand is which way to go — stay on Standard Time or Daylight Savings Time.

As the winter solstice comes upon us — Saturday, Dec. 21 — please observe when daylight arrives in the morning.

This time of year, most people complain about how soon darkness comes in the evening, so they wish Daylight Savings Time were still in effect. If that were the case, light in the morning would come an hour later.

If the daylight savings switch never happened, we wouldn’t know the difference. Driving home from work in the dark would be normal.

On Daylight Savings Time, normal would mean driving to work and taking the children to school in the dark.

Yes, I am aware the Oregon Legislature voted to stay on DST. But a lot more has to happen before that becomes reality.

First, California has to get on board, joining Oregon and Washington. Then Congress has to approve.

Maybe our Legislature will reconsider permanent Daylight Saving Time if enough people offer reasons why that might not be in our best interest.

Linda O’Hara



No medical justification

During the last decade, ECT or electroshock has come into much greater use, even at such leading providers as Kaiser Permanente. As a result of receiving this untested, uncertified procedure, patients are suffering from traumatic brain injury outcomes and worse.

Electrical trauma affects all body systems, so it raises other issues as well. This has been proven in the California courts, yet facilities are still administering it.

Providers have a duty to warn, protect and avoid causing harm. But this has been enveloped in an oppressive silence.

Those standing by silently, in complicity and collusion, are equally responsible. We need practitioners to intercede on behalf of vulnerable patients.

The consent form warns only of temporary memory loss, expected to resolve in six weeks, and typical anesthesia risks. Yet research shows actual structural brain changes may occur.

Electrical trauma can extend foryears and facilitate ALS and CTE. This is a great betrayal of patient trust.

Sadly, those of us suffering from repeated brain injuries from electroshock don’t get the support other traumatic brain injury patients have at their disposal. Doctors will not address the issue in referrals and testing, as that would implicate peers and peer facilities.

We are greatly suffering and need extensive rehabilitation. But our complaints are written off as psychiatric, serving to protect the guilty.

This is trauma, pure and simple. And it serves to double the suicide rate.

Creating temporary euphoria and memory loss for underlying difficulties results in brain injury, not better mental health. See the ECT Justice site at www.ectjustice.com for more information.

Deborah Schwartzkopff

Founder of ECT Justice




What a beautiful account about our generous community, Mr. Hall. We are indeed blessed to live here and I appreciate that you shared your experience with us. The true spirit of Christmas!

Ms. Cross, in this time of division and chaos it really helps to read observations like those stated so thoughtfully and factually in your letter. Many of us are struggling to maintain optimism as we watch our country being degraded and worry about our Constitution THAT under assault. It seems that, aside from our vote and maintaining contact with our representatives, all we can do is continue speaking our truth, which you have done here. Thank you!

Re the farce that is daylight savings time, I implore the powers that be:

Finally – Ms. Schwartzkopff – I used to work in a large mental hospital in Southern California. Shock “therapy” was very common and the results I witnessed first hand were as you have stated in your letter. I wish you great success in your quest for justice.

Don Dix

Margaret Cross-- The president isn't the only threat to our Constitution --I would add that the entire Congress is the 'poster child' for creating term limits in both chambers, and some time limit placed on SCOTUS, whether it be age or years served.


I just want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of the forum contributors and staff moderators. We may not always agree, but we are all Americans that care about the country. I appreciate reading the comments and I learn something new each time....even if some do ruffle my feathers..lol.

Here's to wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous new year and a great 2020!

Don Dix

Right back at you, Mudstump! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who read or contribute, as well as the many at NR for providing this platform.


I add my voice to Mudstump and Don, and repeat my earlier comment:
We are all blessed to be a part of this community.
May 2020 be a year of peace and good health for all.


Thanks for that kind and generous post Mudstump! Same to you and our other digital friends here in the comments section.
Like you say, we don't always agree but I think over the months and years that we've all been here commenting, we have forged a pretty neat bond. I know that often I can be very dogmatic and opinionated, but I must admit that I've benefited from reading and thinking about and considering views here on the NR that are different from my own. I am grateful for all of our fellow posters and the NR for making this possible.
Wishing everyone a happy and blessed New Year!!

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