Letters to the Editor for March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011

Divide and conquer

Cliff Mansfield ("Target equals goal," Feb. 5) saying liberals are imagining that the right-wing talking heads are targeting them is amazing. Here are two quotes from Glenn Beck:

"Charlie Wrangle (D) and other people I would like to see beat to death with a shovel," and here he's talking about liberals in Washington: "These people are communists and they will never change their minds; the only solution is to shoot them right between the eyes."

It takes a mighty imagination to think this is not targeting liberals for death. He talks about gun rights as "God-given rights."

Where was he when the Republicans pushed through the Patriot Act? This act stripped everyone of all rights; all the government had to do was accuse someone of being a terrorist and it could lock them up with no trial, no appeal, no jury and no guns.

The right said not a word and all of our rights were reduced to privileges. Your excuse was we were at war. Ten years later we are still at war and the worst parts of the Patriot Act were declared unconstitutional but our rights were severely damaged.

No one even seems concerned about the effects of such a long war on our military or their rights. Now the Republicans and Tea Partiers are going after even more basic rights: the rights of labor to organize and of all of us to breathe clean air and live in a clean environment. In Wisconsin and other states across the country, they are going after public sector unions.

The conservative plan is to give the rich and corporations massive tax cuts and then blame the unions for the massive budget crises that the Republicans created. Right now they say the worst are the teachers and they aren't going to go after other unions such as the firemen and police.

If you believe that, I've got some nice, clean coastal land in Louisiana to sell you.

Divide and conquer is their game plan. In Washington, D.C., the conservatives are out to gut the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and destroy the EPA using this same method. They've cut the taxes on the rich and the corporations and claim that deregulation of industry will save costs and make us competitive. Deregulation really worked well with Wall Street and the banking industry.

Now they would have Americans poisoned by the air and water around them. Where are the pro-lifers? All of these poisons being released can and will damage and kill the unborn. If you care about life, or just about not having the Columbia River polluted worse than it already is, you need to be contacting our federal representatives.

Gregg Morris

Hood River

What would you choose?

Suppose you drive there

To the county fair

In your 25 mpg SUV.

There are lots of things to see

But, suppose there is a booth

That sells just the truth

And you were asked to choose:

Clean air, no oil wars and a bicycle

Or your SUV?

Which would it be?

Anne Vance

Hood River

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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