Letters to the Editor: Dec. 3, 2021

Reopen meetings

I urge the city council and county board of commissioners to resume meetings the public can attend in person.

I completely agreed with the remote format before we had vaccines for COVID. However, now we have vaccines, and understand the importance of masking and distancing to help keep us all safe.

Most public meetings are not Astroworld events. Ask for proof of vaccination, require masks and distancing, even limit attendance numbers, but please give us the option of attending in person.

Civic engagement suffers when everything is remote only.  

Margaret Cross


Keep it kind

Every Friday, I look forward to reading the letters submitted to the Readers Forum in the News-Register. The letters are about the latest issues in the county, with some of them being written in a bland, informative manner.

In the Nov. 19 edition, I was pleasantly surprised by a different type of letter, submitted by Steve Long, manager of Habitat Humanity ReStore in McMinnville. His letter came in response to some of the customers complaining about having to wear masks in the store.

Steve’s cleverly written letter was a classic in satire, as he used descriptive colorful phrases in response to their complaints. The following are excerpts from his letter that stand out: “We just sell used toilets and such. We are mostly old people trying to do good work. We aren’t asking you to donate a kidney, just wear a mask. And by the way, it’s the law.”

Steve ended his letter with a request: “Be polite.”

That was right on target. In the chaotic world that we live in today, we need to be kind and polite to everyone we meet on the streets of life.

Thanks, Steve, for your timely needed message to all of us.

Sam Sweeney


Rhetoric vs. reality

You may have noticed recent calls for an American commitment to fighting China in defense of Taiwan. But official U.S. policy for more than 50 years acknowledges there is only one China and Taiwan is part of it.

In the past 70 years, we have intervened in Asian wars twice. In both Korea and Vietnam, we intervened on the side of one half of the country against the other half. Having touched that hot stove twice, you’d hope we wouldn’t do it a third time.

China now has a modern, well-trained, well-equipped military that includes a nuclear arsenal. It’s a far cry from the peasant army we faced when China entered the Korean War, and it counts about 1 million active duty soldiers.

If we fight China to protect Taiwan, the first order of business will be to destroy missile sites and airbases that China is launching attacks from. This requires destroying targets in China, and it’s hard to imagine China not responding by attacking U.S. supply lines and destroying West Coast ports, airports and factories.

The population of China is five times that of the US. For every soldier we can field, China can field five.

An even bigger advantage would be a Chinese willingness to absorb casualties that the U.S. public would never consider. Unlike the last two Asian wars, when and how this ends wouldn’t be our decision alone.

Once committed, we would almost certainly have to bring back the draft. There’s no way a volunteer military would be able to produce replacements quickly enough.

Let’s hope the people who want to resurrect the domino theory fail in their efforts to drag us into what could be our worst mistake ever.

Fred Fawcett


Misplaced priorities

The Build Back Better bill being debated in the U.S. Senate includes money for young mothers to stay at home for a month or so to care for and bond with their newborn child.

Critics decry this as socialism. Yet in the infrastructure bill just passed, there are several billions of tax dollars going towards construction of electric car charging stations, generating not a peep out of the same “anti-socialists.”

I don’t remember tax dollars ever before being spent on gas stations to help GM and Ford sell cars.

Our priorities are misguided. Socialism is highly prevalent in our society, just not for the little guy or gal.

Larry Treadwell


Impressionable minds

In reference to the News-Register article on demonstrations against the Newberg School Board:

Just why is the board being troubled with the LGBTQ and BLM forcing their flags and banners on impressionable young minds of children in the district?

The board is compliant with its role in teaching these children the degree of skills needed to advance in later life. These kids do not need any distractions to hinder their learning skills, nor does the LGBTQ or BLM have the right to force their agenda on them.

Such overt indoctrination of impressionable youth needs to be addressed by our government officials, who have sworn oaths to enforce the laws and maintain order, including the rights of the parents and their children.

Children in the U.S. have the right to a safe school environment where they can learn and grow intellectually, unencumbered by current social zealotry. That way, they can make intelligent and informed decisions when they become adults.

Childhood is short. Let children be just that — children enjoying their childhood. Let them decide later what path to follow in life.

The literal forcing of any type of group social agendas in the schools is wholly unacceptable and overtly radical. Bullying of any kind or form is against the law.

We should be applauding the Newberg School Board for standing up to the LBGTQ and BLM activists and thereby protecting the children. It is upholding the rights of every child and parent in the district — even the LBGTQ and BLM members.

Let the children enjoy their childhood without the fetters of radical ideological social agendas being stamped on their young minds.

Mary Novak




I don't fund myself often agreeing with Fred, but in this case he makes some good points, we must be VERY careful about getting into some type of shooting war with the PRC. These past six years we foolishly abandoned the Kissinger principle (keeping Russia and China separate and when possible, driving a wedge between the two) for partisan political purposes. Russia and China are now in some type of military alliance and this past summer demonstrated 'NATO level interoperability' during military exercises in western China. We can expect this integration to progress (see story).


The years of tit-for-tat retaliation between the USA and Russia during the Trump-Russia Collusion Delusion histrionics happened as Trump cracked down on Chinese trade and human rights abuses decades in the making. Taken individually we may have gotten away with it. These events occurring simultaneously resulted in what we see now. So be it. We've made our bed and now must sleep in it. My point is, do not assume you will get one without the other if you engage either militarily going forward.


That said, I want to be clear that I strongly support Taiwan (free China) and hope one day the people of the PRC enjoy the same freedoms as we in America. I went to engineering graduate school with individuals from both Taiwan and the PRC (my friend from the mainland immigrated to the US becoming a citizen). I just point out that we must be very smart in how we support the ROC (e.g. defensive, asymmetric warfare weaponry and training) as supported by the previous and present administration and must be very careful and big-picture in how we progress forward geopolitically. Some things are bigger than either partisan and/or establishment vs. outsider politics.

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