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Letters to the Editor: July 12, 2019

Democrats running rampant

As the power-hungry Democratic supermajority in Oregon runs rampant, Republicans are standing up and waging a fight.

GOP Sen. Brian Boquist is one of the few legislators working to expose how deep the corruption spreads in the Oregon Legislature, and for that, he’s come under fire.

He has been bullied, his words have been twisted and his side of the story has yet to be shown in full by the media. He and his family have been threatened.

When Sen Boquist spoke up to defend himself, saying he would not be made a political prisoner in his home state, his statement was taken out of context. It was blasted all over the newspapers and social media, a classic case of gaslighting.

I attended the July 8 public hearing and work session regarding Sen. Boquist, held by the Senate Conduct Committee. The even balance of four legislators on the committee, two Republicans and two Democrats, forced the members to work together to come to an agreement on a motion that passed unanimously.

This shows bipartisanship is possible at the Oregon Legislature. It should be incorporated more readily during all legislative sessions.

During the hearing, members of the committee and their hired attorney spoke in circles for more than an hour. In the last four minutes, Sen. Boquist gave testimony, stating he has filed a civil suit against Senate President Peter Courtney and other legislators (Case No. 19CV29374).

The suit is based on initiation of disciplinary action with a complaint being lodged first and a failure to follow due process. These missteps decrease the legitimacy of the proceedings entirely.

Sen. Boquist has worked tirelessly to expose deeply rooted corruption in Oregon government.

As a constituent, I look forward to seeing how this all plays out. I am standing with Sen. Boquist.

Lesli Lucier

McMinnville

 

Doing all he can

A local Republican legislator stood up at the Capitol during the HB 2020 proceedings to scold the governor and Democratic legislators for “trying to scare the people” about climate change.

This man’s thinking must be taken in context. He’s a political conservative and a Republican.

Such powerful individuals currently control the federal government and the majority of our state houses. Their leader is Donald Trump, who reassures his political base that actions to address our global climate crisis aren’t needed because, “It’s a hoax.”

Trump says scientists are wrong when they tell us we are approaching an irreversible tipping point. And his base believes him.

When he says, “We are withdrawing from the Paris Agreement,” Republicans cheer. When he appoints climate change deniers to head the Environmental

Protection Agency, they offer congratulations. When he weakens protections for clean air and water, they say, “He’s making America great again.”

I have seven children. Someday they might have children of their own, by which time I will be gone.

How will they remember me? What will they say about me?

If I haven’t done all I could to end the tyranny of ignorant and corrupted Republican rule, “To hell with him” might well be justified.

Kevin Nortness

Willamina

 

Justice should be restorative

American author and spiritual writer Richard Rohr says in one of his Daily Meditations:

“When people on the news say, ‘We want justice,’ they normally mean that bad deeds should be punished or that they want vengeance. Our judicial, legal, and penal systems are almost entirely based on this idea of retributive justice. This much bad deserves this much punishment; this much good deserves this much reward.

“There are many early passages in the Bible that present God as punitive and retributive, but we must stay with the text and observe how we gradually let God ‘grow up.’ A sole focus on divine retribution leads to an ego-satisfying and eventually unworkable image of God, which situates us inside of a very unsafe and dangerous universe.

“The biblical notion of justice, beginning in the Hebrew scriptures with the Jewish prophet, is quite different. If we read carefully and honestly, we will see that God’s justice is actually restorative. In each case, after the prophet chastises the Israelites for their transgressions against Yahweh, the prophet continues by saying, in effect, ‘And here’s what (He) will do for you: God will now love you more than ever! God will love you into wholeness. God will pour upon you a gracious, unbelievable, unaccountable, irrefutable love that you will finally be unable to resist.

“God ‘punishes’ us by loving us more! How else could divine love be supreme and victorious? ... God’s justice is fully successful when God can legitimate and validate human beings in their original and total identity! God wins by making sure we win, just as any loving human parent does. The little ‘time outs’ and discipline along the way are simply to keep us awake and growing.”

So what are we doing? Spitting in God’s face when we treat the homeless like criminals, throwing them in jail instead of assessing each individual for particular needs.

It seems we haven’t come very far in millions of years.

Sheila Hunter

McMinnville
 

Human role widely accepted

In last Friday’s News Register, a letter writer claimed scientists agree that global warming is not the result of human activity. But her claim is wrong. Studies of the consensus among climate scientists that global warming is largely man-made always peg it above 90% and most often around 97%. This is also the view of such scientific organizations as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society, the American Chemical Society and many more.

The American Geophysical Society sums it up this way: “Human-induced climate change requires urgent action. Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years.” And nearly 200 international scientific organizations support that conclusion. In defense of her argument, the writer cites a petition, composed in 1998 and signed over the ensuing 10 years by 31,000 self-described “scientists,” claiming there is no evidence for human contribution to global warming. She doesn’t mention that the minimal qualification for a “scientist” to sign this petition was a bachelor of science degree in any field, and that only half of 1% of signers have abackground in climatology. On one point, at least, I agree with the letter. That’s when it concludes, “I tend to trust the scientists.”

So do I. That’s why I accept the reality of human-caused global warming.

Jane Kristof

Yamhill

 

Time for some explaining

For the second time in the 2019 legislative session, Republicans went missing.

Tails between their legs and consciences locked up in a Capitol shut down by threats of violence from their own, they didn’t just turn their backs on the cap-and-invest program they’ve opposed for six sessions now, HB 2020. They also waved their backsides, mooning what real conservatives hold dear, at family, fiscal responsibility, international security, real science and even faith — behavior we teach our children to be ashamed of. I don’t speak in a vacuum. As a faith leader, I help organize people from McMinnville churches.

We’ve met with Sen. Boquist and Rep. Noble numerous times about HB 2020 and other bills. We disagree often, but always with great respect.
Their actions in walking out demean our patriotism and humanity.

Unlike many who monger fear with unstudied forecasts of job losses and skyrocketing fuel prices, we’ve actually studied HB 2020. The bill seeks to ensure revenue from pricing emissions will equitably benefit forestry and agriculture, communities of color, rural areas most impacted by global warming and native  tribes. The quantifiable evidence actually shows steady fuel prices and skyrocketing job creation in the long term. Republicans say they’ve been excluded. Yet the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction has held monthly public meetings since April 2018 to hear from scientists and stakeholders, and I’ve been there.

Scientist Philip Mote of Oregon State University’s Oregon Climate Change Research Institute warned that carrying on business as usual will make Salem a saltwater port by 2100. So where do our GOP friends place their trust?

The Pentagon calls global warming our biggest international security threat. Boquist and Noble, both military men, know this.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund will no longer fund investment in fossil fuels, saying that results in “stranded assets.” Yet our lawmakers continue to shun fiscal responsibility, trusting the advice of the fossil fuel lobby.

Where faith is concerned, both men are Christians. Do they believe rising seas are a sign of the end times, so why worry? Are the rest of us going to hell while their people are saved?

All of us need to either start acting like grown-ups or begin investing in beachfront property in Keizer. It’s time for Boquist and Noble to hold a town hall and explain themselves truthfully.

Rev. John Pitney

McMinnville

 

Where is the empathy?

To many of us, the cruelty involved in the horrific conditions existing on our southern border — overcrowding, lack of adequate food, water and soap, separation of small children from parents, requirement to sleep on cold concrete floors — seems incomprehensible.

Then I remembered reading “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt, subtitled, “Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.” And I had to go back for another look.

The book explores the application of moral psychology to explain politics and religion. One of the psychological principles he identifies is empathy for others.

While this characteristic is certainly prevalent in both conservatives and liberals, it manifests itself totally differently. Extensive surveys, detailed at www.yourmorals.org, indicate liberals display empathy for everyone, but conservatives reserve theirs almost exclusively for individuals like themselves.

This could explain why we have such a divide between Republicans and Democrats on the immigration issue, especially the cruelty that is tolerated, even encouraged, by this administration through the Border Patrol and other agencies.

While some of us assumed simply bringing the terrible conditions to the awareness of the public would result in corrective changes, that has not occurred.
Obviously, Trump supporters don’t really see anything wrong with treating immigrants and asylum seekers this way. They don’t care.

This is very puzzling to me. It is believed 80 percent of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump. This group, which I assume endorse the teachings of the parable of the Good Samaritan, could not endorse child separation and other policies of this administration.

Trump’s polling has persisted in the low- to mid-40% level throughout his presidency. How can we explain the fact that it has not fallen significantly?
If the empathy difference between conservatives and liberals really exists, it does not bode well for finding a bipartisan solution to the immigration “crisis.”

Les Howsden

Amity

Comments

tagup

C’mon Lesli- Sen. Boquist said “ send bachelors and come heavily armed”...his words weren’t twisted by the media or anyone else. When asked to clarify his statements as thinly veiled threats he stated that “ nothing is thinly veiled”.....nothing was taken out of context.
While I understand his frustration with how things are going in the Oregon Senate and that His family has received threats, he doesn’t get to theaten law enforcement or Sen Cortney personally no matter how he feels about the situation. He is in a leadership role for the state of Oregon and if he can’t handle the responsibility he should resign...His comments were out of line even if you don’t feel he was serious about his statement, others may use his words as an excuse..........his statements were wrong and showed poor judgment......it’s sad he still doesn’t recognize that....

Don Dix

Jane Kristof -- the scientific method is never decided or driven by consensus. You must have science confused with politics.

Don Dix

House Bill 2020 is nothing more than another grab at money by the legislative Ds and fostered by environmental lobby Renew Oregon, and includes other environmental lobbies. It is 'estimated' that the first year would raise $550M.

Does anyone really believe Oregon's reduced CO2 output will make a difference (it won't), or that the 'new revenue stream' will actually be spent for the benefit of Oregonians? Dim, at best!

treefarmer


Ms. Kristof – Really appreciate your letter, and your perspective on this urgent global crisis. The deniers will continue to argue their curious “logic” but it does seem that facts and science are beginning to stimulate significant progress in the right direction. And our youth, who stand to lose the most if nothing changes, seem to be paying attention and becoming more active. Very encouraging!

Don Dix

It always seem to amaze when individual belief systems are adjusted based on who is speaking rather than exploring to find the truth. When Al gore stated on video, "the world is warmer than it has ever been", most Ds took it as fact (laughably however, not even close).

On the other hand, if President Trump were to jump on the global warming/climate change bandwagon, most Ds would likely jump off.

How does that make any sense? Associating beliefs with 'the face speaking' is a totally illogical approach, as is not considering all the factors at work that make this planet inhabitable (for our life forms).

Carbon based life forms (all life on Earth) need CO2 to survive -- start with that premise and study the effects of a world with reduced carbon, and find the truth behind the hype. Otherwise, one can believe all the BS spewed and be at the mercy of those who collect the tax. Choices!

Lulu

Then why are the polar bears in trouble?

Don Dix

Polar bears -- First know that Polar Bears have been around for over 200K years, which cites their adaptability (many climate swings within that time frame). In the 50s and 60s, the world population was estimated anywhere between 5,000 - 10,000. Today, estimates range from 24,000 - 29,000. They were put on the protected list in 1973, which is the foremost reason numbers have increased.

This is just another example of skewed numbers and frightening rhetoric to further advance the hypothesis of global warming. And it's a perfectly valid reason to study the facts rather than quietly accept what one is 'told' to be the truth.

Lulu

Then why do we see them hopping onto tiny floes?

Don Dix

Manipulation of conscience is a powerful tool -- Polar Bears on ice floes --similar to filming a glacier breaking off into the sea and claiming it as proof of melting. In both cases, it's a normal, natural occurrence.

Lulu

They look fairly desperate to me. What about the photo comparisons of the Arctic sea ice from the '80s to the present? The white parts are demonstrably much smaller. Is this trick photography? And to what end?

Don Dix

A 'desperate looking Polar Bear' -- really? Did you know that they regularly swim 30 miles?

Arctic sea ice reached its summertime low in 2012 (since 1979 when satellites began measuring). It since has expanded every year since. Incidentally, Arctic sea ice was supposed to be gone by 2016, but since Mother Nature didn't cooperate (again), the prediction is now 'gone by 2050'. How convenient!

Look up the Washington Post story about the actual eyewitnesses reports of the disappearance of Arctic sea ice -- in 1922. And then ask yourself, did human CO2 cause this?

"to what end" you ask -- if you read the IPCC statement in 2010 by United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) official Ottmar Edenhofer: "One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole."

'The end' -- it's all about the money (redistribution of wealth), and the IPCC talking heads have publically admitted that is clearly the plan.

Lulu

Well, they probably have to swim 30 miles because there are fewer places to stand.
What I don't quite comprehend is the degree of vehemence in your discussion of climate change.

Don Dix

If someone came along and told you from their studies (supported by 'experts') that 2 + 2 was no longer 4, but 5, would you just let it be and acquiesce, or question?

When the 'experts' now state that 'human CO2 is causing global warming', and prop that claim because CO2 has been stable around 300ppm for thousands of years and now is rising -- thus global warming -- red flags dominate the landscape.

For that 'claim' to be true, several up and down temperature swings in the historical record must be explained, or it's bogus. The fact is, there have been 78 temperature swings in the last 4500 years. How? is the question.

During the Little Ice Age ((1350 - 1850) temps bottomed out around 54-55 degrees. This drop coincided with decreased Sun activity (low number of sunspots) know as the Maunder Minimum. Since, the Sun has recovered, warming gradually to todays temps. And CO2 was fairly stable during this entire swing (and previous changes up or down).

So, today we are told that taxing CO2 emissions is the only way to fix the problem? Sorry, when history proves that CO2 didn't cause other swings, but now it has, I find there seems to be other factors with much more influence, the largest being the Sun (where Earth gets it's heat). And coming from extreme cold, the Earth naturally warmed many times in the past (apparently with no CO2 increase, according to the claims of stability)). That premise, and the political divide over the causes of the recent warming trend (150 years), leads me to believe it's all about the money, and not 'settled science'. Pay attention, but verify!

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