Letters to the Editor: June 8, 2018

Paying price for moral rot

I don’t usually read newspaper inserts published in small print, especially if statistics are involved. But I actually took the time to read the 2018-19 Yamhill County  Budget, and was appalled by the amount of money and resources allocated to the criminal justice and health and human services functions.

Some 57 percent of the budget goes to these two elements, and they account for 74.2 percent of taxes collected locally by the county. The latter is justified by the fact that grants and other revenue sources support other county programs, but doesn’t disguise the fact that an enormous amount of money is being allocated to taking care of the product of a grand social experiment conducted the last 50 years.

The keys were disintegration of the family unit, a permissive society that applauded moral decay, lack of meaningful discipline, both in our schools and society in general, and a departure from God’s way. As the saying goes, “The chickens are coming home to roost.”

All of this comes at the expense of those who take responsibility for their actions, and work hard to provide for themselves and their families. Not only do we pay up front for these services, but we have to suffer accusations afterward that we aren’t sharing enough or caring enough to help the “less fortunate.”

When we are called on to pay for the poor choices others make, many of us willingly step up to the plate to help. The larger problems are: How do we reverse this tide of crime, addiction and lack of personal responsibility? How do we turn this sinking ship around?

It can be done. But it would be a painful transition, and I don’t think anyone at the helm is willing to do what it takes.

Steve Sommerfeld



Questions for council

As a downtown merchant, I have some questions for the McMinnville City Council:

If you can perform behavior modification on our town, by taking a paper bag out of a grocery store and mandating a nickel penalty for providing such a bag to customers, why would you think twice about stopping a small group of offenders from waving toxic sparklers in our faces in our iconic downtown trade district?  How many cigarette butts does it take to screw in a light bulb? 

Tim McDaniel



Policy ‘vicious, heartless’

This coming Thursday, June 14, a family march will be held in McMinnville to increase awareness of the plight of thousands of immigrant children being pulled from their parent’s arms at the border. Being organized by Yamhill County Awareness, the march will commence at 5 p.m. in the upper level of the McMinnville Parking Garage.

The children have committed no crime, yet are being emotionally tortured by this deliberate separation.

Our junior U.S. senator, Jeff Merkely, tried unsuccessfully, to view one of the many centers holding these unfortunate children. He was turned away and police were called!

This is what Sen. Merkley has to say about the situation:

“This cruel treatment of children and families arriving to the U.S. is completely un-American and unacceptable. Americans should be outraged by the fact that our taxpayer dollars are being used to inflict spiteful and traumatizing policies on innocent children.

“The Trump administration’s vicious, heartless family separation policy must be stopped. President Trump should end this policy immediately. Any Republican who claims to embrace ‘family values’ must step up to oppose this cruel anti-family agenda.”

To support our senator’s efforts and to make your indignant voice heard, join us at the march. Bring the whole family, with signs to display.

Kris Bledsoe




Hey Kim Bledsoe, how many illegal aliens live in your home right now? None! Yeah, I thought so....*face palm* Hypocrite.


Steve Sommerfeld - When we have a pathological liar as president who has no moral compass setting the standard for the nation there will be no "transition" to a more moral society....in fact, quite the opposite. With the election of Trump this country is rotting morally and ethically from the top.

Bob Z

Thanks for the heads up about the march Kris Bledsoe. I am appalled at how inhumane our society has become - as evidenced by supporters of this cruel punishment for people seeking asylum. Looks like it's going to be fairly close to home too - ICE is going to be putting detainees into the prison in Sheridan.

Don Dix

Mudstump -- this isn't a new thing (morality of leaders). Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, Warren Harding, Thomas Jefferson, James Garfield, and Franklin Roosevelt all had proven extramarital affairs. As well, it is common knowledge that many of the so-called 'founders' had numerous mistresses before, during, and after independence.

It's not to say Trump doesn't have issues with this subject, but to place total blame is ignoring the sordid 230+ year history of this country's 'leaders'.


Who wants to venture into the upper level of the parking garage? It's not exactly family friendly. I've seen the photographs.


Whatever may or may not have happened is between the President and his wife. Hillary was well aware of Bill's indiscretions and bullied the women involved and you don't hear the left saying much about that.

I choose to look at all the positive things that have been happening since Trump was elected. He was not my first choice but I and half the country feel the positive effects of this presidency. The morale is far better. There are more jobs than applicants, the GDP is higher than it's been in decades, communication between the US and other countries is far better, crippling regulations are begin dealt with and businesses are growing and many of them are coming back to this country. We have a President that actually cares about our military and this great country. People are actually more positive. Construction and infrastructure improvements are at all time highs. I will take this and four more years gladly over the America hating president we just had for eight years.


Kris - these are not Trump's policies. The children may not have broken any laws but the parents did and they are the ones who have put their families in this situation. What other country are you aware of that will allow you and your family to just come on in with no restrictions and apply for and receive government handouts in all different forms? We need to get a handle on who is here no matter which country they have come from. Keep the ones who have broken no laws and are contributing and give them a pathway. Remove the ones who are costing us money, breaking laws and clearly do not belong here. Many dangerous people cross primarily our southern border. It needs to be stopped. This is a highly complicated problem and will not be easy to fix. It has been going on for far longer than the length of Trump's presidency.

Your march will change nothing but it may make you feel better.


Finch- Right and Right again. I totally agree with both of your statements.


Do you guys really think that the only moral challenge for the president is with his infidelity with his wife(s)....?

Morals is about life values....one would hope that the leader of our country would understand what it means to put the country before self....


Thank you Jim.

tagup - there is no perfect person and even though I support the President we all know he tends to put his foot in his mouth. He is accepting no salary (except I think the $1 he has to take) and has stepped away from his companies in order to do what he is doing. He also ran quite a bit of his campaign out of his personal pocket. He in no way, shape or form had to expose himself and his family to the hate he is experiencing. The man has a long public history and anyone running for office knows how they will be torn apart and criticized. He's no idiot even though he is treated like one.


Your argument about his “selfless” act of taking no salary would be much more compelling if he had actually divested himself from his company ... which he has not..... I find it very interesting that the timing of his deal to save ZTE came coincidentally after his daughter was granted trademark privileges in China. His change of heart during the blockade of Qatar also seemed to be on the heals of a 6.5million condo purchase in trump tower ..no ....Mr. Trump is doing quite well for himself as president..... Aren’t you the least bit curious about how the recent tax changes affected him personally?.......or are you happy to stay uninformed?


I don't give a rip how it's affected him personally. I'm far more concerned about how the economy is booming and all the other positive things taking place. After eight terrible years I'm am thrilled. And, I am far from uniformed.


Ah, I see..... so as long as the economy is good, moral character doesn’t matter....i don’t agree, there is way more to the American way of life than a good economy.
You might want to check how much improvement in the economy & jobs happened during those “8 terrible years”....before the present administration took over....


Tagup I suppose you also believe Hilary would have had more ethics and moral compass than President Trump? If you do I hear there’s still ocean front property left for sale in Arizona.


Well you can enjoy your trip down Memory Lane where we had very low moral, high unemployment, more people on food stamps than ever before, a terrible economy with little to no growth, Fast & Furious, the Iran deal, a president with disdain for our police and military who bowed to and made buddies with our enemies and apologized for who and what we are. A president who literally made us feel like we should be ashamed of who we are. The list goes on and on. Enjoy the stroll.

I'm enjoying a booming economy and jobs like we haven't seen in decades. When my kids were getting out of college it was nearly impossible to find a job and that was during the last administration. Look at the opportunities now.


Finch- the last administration brought us out of a recession...remember?. Job numbers and the economy were improving long before the current leadership,but you won’t admit the facts. Your description of the previous administration’s issues sounds a lot like we have now.... especially the “made buddies with our enemies “ part. Maybe you need to pay closer attention to the presidential outlook and actions towards Russia.... you disliked the ethics previously, yet now, the current administration is acceptable for the same actions or worse because the economy...interesting point of view....

Jim- Hilary isn’t the President....


So what if the new American "leader" is eroding democracy, pitting citizens against each other, shredding the rule of law and the Constitution, putrefying our values as a nation? Why is it a problem if he insults our allies and praises his fellow autocrats as he sells out our national security to Russia and China? Who cares if he is blatantly enriching himself and his family by abusing the power and influence of the office? Should anyone be bothered by his corrupt cabinet “officials” who have created a tax-guzzling sewer to replace what he derided as a swamp? If a tax cut has made it that easy to overlook what is happening to America under his reign, I respectfully suggest that the jury is still out. His reckless trade wars have only just begun to hit folks in the wallet, and the Mueller investigation may well reveal some ugly undeniable realities. Time for answers. One can only hope that truth and fact will have the power to alter perspective. Until then it feels like Putin is getting a huge return on his investment and our dangerously divided nation is deteriorating daily.


"our dangerously divided nation is deteriorating daily." Yep, that's exactly what happened under Obama and all the crooks that worked for him.


Steve: Your rant on moral rot is pointless. Personal responsibility has ZILCH to do with a god! In fact, it is the exact opposite!


Don Dix - " this isn't a new thing (morality of leaders)."

We have never in our history had a president so morally bankrupt and corrupt as Trump. No prior president even comes close to his level of lying. I'm not a Bill Clinton fan, but Trump's womanizing and paying them off to keep quiet about his affairs is unprecedented. I don't know of another president in our history who has used the office to enrich himself and his family making deals with foreign governments for quid pro quo. He refuses to set up his businesses in a blind trust instead handing the business dealings to his kids...who are part of his administration. Trump has no redeeming qualities whatsoever as a human being let alone worthy of the office of our president. No, Trump is one-of-a-kind and he will go down in history as the worst of the worst....if this nation survives his term.


Finch - "our dangerously divided nation is deteriorating daily." Yep, that's exactly what happened under Obama and all the crooks that worked for him."

How many people from the Obama administration were indicted? Answer: One. General David Petraeus and those were for crimes unrelated to Obama. How many people have been indicted that were part of the Trump campaign, administration or related to Trump dealings and the Russians? Mueller hasn't even finished his work yet. There is no plausible case to be made for your comment.


The Mueller investigation is nothing but a taxpayer money waster and a cover-up for all the crap that went down during the Obama years including the dossier paid for by the Hillary campaign and the democrats.


Finch - Yet we have republicans in charge of the entire government....a Trump appointed DOJ that started this investigation and appointed the special counsel...why does a republican Dept. of Justice want to cover up something from the Obama administration? Why would republicans waste taxpayer money?


Finch you’re right on again. I love seeing the liberals getting all stirred up. Since President Trump got elected according to all the left wingers every Republican is either a crook or stupid. It just makes me laugh.


Thanks again Jim! What about JFK and all his women? Bill and Hillary threatened and bullied all the ones he assaulted. How did the Clinton's get so wealthy?

I love this. Now they know how we felt for 8 long and miserable years.

You don't get rich in politics unless you're a crook.


Finch answer Mudstump’s points! You just blow smoke that the Mueller investigation is a waste of taxpayer money and coverup of crap that went on in the Obama administration. Answer the questions and please give specifics of the coverup. True debates need facts


The easiest mark in a con game is the one that believes without proof!


Shorty - Finch can't be bothered with facts. It seems it's more important for him/her to declare "yeah, but what about".... and, that isn't a basis for a real debate. Nearly every Trump supporter I've met or talked with have beliefs that are free of many of the facts. Trump can't sell his crimes or keep all of his supporters with facts....he does what he does best...he covers his tracks with lies and his supporters believe him. You can take it from Trump's own words at a campaign rally..."I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters," How would these same Trump supporters feel if Obama had said something like that?

This is why our country is in trouble. We have a madman in the White House who has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). He has no idea what is in the Constitution or what democracy is all about.


Here's what I know. I have a very close friend who leans extreme left. This person is very dear to me and I value our friendship. We had some stern discussions during the last eight years. Anytime I tried to voice my point of view I was told that I got my information from the wrong places and I never could gain ground. We agreed to disagree and value the decades old friendship minus politics and it's worked well.

I could type for hours my viewpoint with three of you here and it would accomplish nothing.

Enjoy the rest of term one and hopefully we'll get a second out of it. It's not a cop-out it's the way it is when trying to express a viewpoint that differs from a liberal.


Finch- yes, you could type for hours and not change anyone's mind...particularly when you don't present any factual information or answer questions to support your point of view....
Complaining about the "previous 8 terrible years" while using inaccurate statements or using the "Hilary/Obama were worse" argument is not a persuasive line of reasoning for supporting the issues we currently see from the president. The fact is, trump has massive conflicts of interest, he has alienated allies and supported our enemies (just like you perceive Obama did) and by his lack of basic honesty and transparency has lost credibility as a leader of the free world.... I agree with you that the economy and stock market are good at the moment...but giving credit for that to any president is a major over simplification of the factors that drive the economy. Using a positive economy as a justification for the president's moral/ethical failings is a pretty sad statement of our own values as a country.....


Finch arguing with liberals is a no win situation. First and foremost they think they are smarter than anybody else,number two they wants facts because they have no common sense and their idealism’s should be for everyone not just them.


I guess if you can't address specific issues you can always fall back of vague generalizations.....


Finch and Jim—why do you assume everyone engaging in this discussion is a liberal? I see the comments being made here presenting facts. Facts that neither of you have given any reasonable argument. I am actually fairly conservative. If you examine the facts—Trump is bad for this country. Many Republicans agree. I’ve yet to see any common sense argument that can truly support any soundness of the Trump presidency.


People that hate Trump would hate him with no reason and no facts. We have many men and women through out our history that the public hated but made huge impacts on our society in a positive way. Railroad men,oil men,bankers,miners,lawyers and the list goes on. They were hated for one reason they were brash,successful,and made lots and lots of money. These type of people are easy to hate. Is it jealousy that drives your hate? I don’t have the answer to that question but in my humble opinion with no facts to back it I feel Donald Trump is making America Great again even over the blind,biased hatred he receives from parts of this country.


People do not dislike trump for no reason, he has given people plenty of reasons both moral and ethical to dislike him....and those captains of industry you refer to are not disliked because of their success or money...They are disliked because they lie, cheat, and steal to get it....


Jim - People don't hate the wealthy or envy their success...they dislike the way in which they use their wealth to influence public policy in a way that works in their favor. The rich and powerful are able to buy politicians who in turn propose and vote for laws that shaft the average American and line the pockets of those that put them in office. I don't dislike Trump because he claims to be rich...I dislike him because he is a rotten human being.

Do you understand now?


Jim - "People that hate Trump would hate him with no reason and no facts."

He gives people endless reasons to not like him. Is cheating on his wife a reason? Is paying off women to keep their affairs with him a reason? Is lying a reason? Is making despicable comments about women's looks or a reporter's disability a reason? Would giving the Russians classified info a reason? How about attacking the folks that protect this country...our intelligence agencies...is that a reason? How about his constant self-promotion and bragging..is that a reason? ...or that the man really doesn't know anything about American values or the Constitution?


I forgot to put on my list why you can’t argue with liberals is they also always have to have the last word. I’m out.


I suppose then that you feel the same way about Bill and Hillary Clinton who stole from the White House on departure, who threatened the women Bill assaulted, who left the White House broke and are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This Russia thing is not all about Trump - what about Hillary's involvement and all the cover-ups, bleach bit of computers and devices and deletions of tens of thousands of emails. The list goes on and on. There is good and bad all around us and to broad generalize is not right.

There are also many, many wealthy that use their wealth for the good like paying for and donating money to add to universities, hospitals, etc. Jobs are created to build the ships, boats, planes and whatever else the wealthy want.

We all have our opinions and there's no arguing. I'm with Jim. Waste of time.

Beautiful weather outside and it needs to be enjoyed. Half of this country is very happy with the positive things going on and opportunities throughout this country to work, get off of food stamps, and provide for families with some sense of pride. People are actually happier. It is not all doom and gloom with this President in office. I doubt you care but there is a website www.promiseskept.com if you care to see the things that have been done in the first 500 days.


Finch - The difference between you and me is that I can hold the Clintons and Trump to the same standard of ethics and honesty. Is there anything I said in my past statements that indicated that I am giving Clinton...or Obama for that matter a pass?

I know it may be hard to wrap you head around this concept, but my expectations of moral and ethical conduct don't change based on the party affiliation. I have never liked Bill Clinton because I didn't like his conduct and some of the policies he signed off on while in office .

Can you do the same?


In a perfect world elected officials would do the job the people elected them to do and put country and people ahead of party. I also agree that there is plenty of blame on both sides. I am against the progressive movement and the idea that everything should be "free" for all and I'm against RINO's. I do lean to the right as a conservative believing in fiscal and personal responsibility. I hate to see time and money wasted constantly fighting with the D's most always voting one way and the R's another. This accomplishes nothing. Unfortunately in most cases it seems that they continue to divide this country.

That being said, I still believe we as a country are more positive now than we have been in many years.


Finch - I agree with much of what you said except this:

"I am against the progressive movement and the idea that everything should be "free" for all"....

This is where your media sources are doing you and other conservatives a disservice. I'm am liberal and I don't believe everything should be "free." I don't know of another liberal that believes in free stuff for all. That is a lie perpetuated by conservative media. A hand up provided by the taxpayer should be efficient, effective and short term. There should be stringent checks in the system to weed out abusers.

When we come together to talk about our differences and the issues it is important that we start with the truth.


I get a lot of truth from my media sources. Thank you.


Just what I thought, Kim.


How interesting that "45" is constantly destabilizing national security, undermining the free press, shaming us on the world stage, running our country off the cliff and yet what seems most significant to some fellow Americans is “…..liberals getting all stirred up.” (Schadenfreude isn’t usually characterized by feeling smug while suffering the same consequences, awareness notwithstanding.) Ironic.

Ultimately it appears that perception of the current occupant of the White House is more about his supporters than it is about him. If we manage to survive the chaos, someday we will be rid of him, but his influence will continue to corrupt our values far into the future - our children are watching decency devolve. The malignant narcissist has promoted, and brought into the open, the very worst that human nature has to offer.

It provides me no pleasure to know that some were “miserable” during Obama’s 8 year term. (I certainly had some issues with his administration but did not feel ashamed, disgraced, and alarmed by his every action.) And at least you Obama critics didn’t have to wake up every morning to a barrage of insane tweets filled with lies, bullying, and hateful divisive intent. Lucky you.

p.s. The “promises kept” website appears to be one more example of dizzying spin, distortion, and outright falsehoods. But, as spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway informed us in no uncertain terms, this administration proudly operates on “alternative facts.” I do not understand how that could be acceptable to ANY American citizen, regardless of political leanings. Mudstump’s comment is spot on. We need truth and facts if we are to be able to resolve our differences. Our democracy is at stake.


Finch - "I do lean to the right as a conservative believing in fiscal and personal responsibility."

Really? The Republican Party can't claim to be fiscally responsible after a tax bill that adds between $1 to $1.5 trillion to the deficit. "Personal responsibility?"....when the president you support can't utter the words...I'm sorry? A man who never apologizes...or show remorse for the foulness he inflicts on others...never admits a mistake and says I'm sorry?...a man who has scammed people out of their hard earned money...a guy who is making millions off of the presidency? Is that the kind of personal responsibility you are talking about? Making such claims is laughable. What next?....will you claim republicans are all about morals and ethics?


Can someone please explain why separating kids from their parents is a good strategy? What is the purpose of this policy? Why is it better than leaving them with their parents? Seriously.


Mudstump, there is no “policy”, no “strategy,” only ruthless dictatorial power. There is no explaining this heinous national disgrace. Not even the compassionate coterie of First Ladies could create shame in the malignant narcissist. But we can be certain Putin and Kim and Duterte and Erdogan and are highly impressed and overjoyed as they watch American values being systematically purposefully dismantled. No need to worry that other democracies around the world might look up to, and draw strength from us anymore. I had hoped that revealing his true self would open some eyes and weaken his stranglehold on the disciples but this horrific child abuse only seems to validate his gloating declaration that he could shoot someone and not lose a vote.

Keeping the faith is getting harder every day. Let us hope there is strength in numbers, and our numbers will grow with each abhorrent violation of human decency.


I believe the point glossed over is Donald Trump exhibits clinical insanity, the Captain Queeg of the Oval Office.


Amen Lulu....AMEN!

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