Letters to the Editor: May 19, 2023

Proud of Georges

Your front page article on the George family political donations, which came out just four days before the election, was written up like a major expose. I read the article twice, but couldn’t find anything illegal, immoral or shocking.

The Georges have always been a conservative Republican family.

They have for decades donated their time and money to making Oregon and Yamhill County better places to live. They have worked hard to make their family business a success, and have in turn given back to the community that has been their home.

There is nothing underhanded or devious about a PAC. Political action committees are common among both Republicans and Democrats for making donations.

Anyone can go online and find the lists of owners and donors and uses of the money, just as, I am sure, the News-Register did to research this article.

I am proud that we have families like the Georges in Oregon. I am reminded of another group of men nearly 250 years ago who were willing to pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to a cause they believed in.

Craig Pubols



A proud tradition

I am a writer of poetry and stories.

I have attended the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County’s Paper Gardens book release and celebration almost every year for last couple of decades.

The contest is an invitation for writers in local schools, and adults as well, to submit their stories and poems, and I am continuously amazed at the talent in Yamhill county. There is nothing as good as seeing young people reciting their creations and catching the gleam in their eyes when the audience shows appreciation with applause.

In this age of divisiveness, and endless streams of bad news, I want to remind everyone of the goodness that surrounds us.

I also want to thank the volunteers who work so hard every year on making sure this is a strictly top-shelf endeavor. The judges who pick the prose and poems and stories are of the highest quality.

I want to remind everyone that next year, around this time:

Give yourself a treat and attend the celebration. Listen to some really great stories and poems. Celebrate local talent.

Michael Wade Paull



Evil twins?

I’ve been reading a lot about artificial intelligence lately.

One of its abilities is using a short recording of your voice, maybe a sentence or two. It can then speak in your voice and say what it’s directed to say.

I recently watched a news video where a woman spoke for a couple of seconds.

The AI then called her family and a co-worker and had conversations with them. They thought they were talking to the real person.

Similarly, AI can take a short video of you and then make your image do whatever it’s told. The result is real looking enough that you think it depicts the actual person.

In one case, a woman’s voice was used by thieves to call her family and say she had been kidnapped. They demanded a ransom.

Her family called her number, got her on the phone and found she was fine. She had no idea what was happening.

Articles about AI sometimes imply that it will turn on us like a movie Terminator. I think that’s unlikely, but it does pose real danger.

AI will become an extremely powerful tool for con artists and thieves. They will come up with endless ways to use its power to separate the rest of us from our valuables.

Fred Fawcett



Restore faith

The recent news about Clarence Thomas’s financial entanglements with GOP megadonor Harlan Crow should be alarming to every American. This is what happens when the highest court in the land is given free rein to police itself.

Clarence Thomas isn’t the first justice to engage in unethical behavior. And if Congress continues to ignore the need for a Supreme Court code of ethics, he won’t be the last.

Of the nine justices currently on the bench, four have been called out for unethical behavior and connections in the last year. Neil Gorsuch sold property to the head of a law firm with cases in front of the Supreme Court. Samuel Alito dined with anti-abortion activists and allegedly leaked decisions on reproductive health. John Roberts’ wife has earned millions of dollars from law firms with business before the Supreme Court.

Congress has a constitutional duty to act as a check on the Supreme Court and restore faith in our judicial system. It’s time it enacted a Supreme Court code of ethics.

Nancy Carl



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