Letters to the Editor for February 22, 2012

Don't speak for women, applaud enemies, our choices our responsibility, more...

Don't speak

for women

To all the male religious leaders who continue to speak about women's health issues without inviting any women to the table: Gentlemen, you make my life as a female priest that much harder. Surely you could find a qualified woman to at speak on our behalf.

I am tired of apologizing for you and the oppression that you have created which often represents "the church." Honor us. Honor our bodies, our minds, and our ability to speak for ourselves.

The Rev. Anna Carmichael

Hood River

Applaud enemies

Mr. Davis, I read your letter about our self-praising president (Feb. 18) and it brought a great smile to my face.

Just two things: First, show me any politician who does not tout their accomplishments. Second, remember "Mission Accomplished"? Enough said.

It is considered acceptable in society to applaud your enemies when they do well. Even professional athletes can do it. Certainly we can agree this is a group known for self-aggrandizing behaviors and sometimes lacking in social skills.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

Our choices, responsibility

The removal of Condit Dam has fueled a lot of finger pointing. But if one wants to place blame, shouldn't we consider placing it on all of us as a collective group? We all want electricity and have demonstrated through past history that we are more than willing to destroy natural environments around the country and decimate culturally significant areas with little, if any, thought of the consequences.

But it's not just electricity we want. As a consumer-driven society we want a lot of things and many of these things cause serious issues in our country and around the world. Yet we tend to blame "others" for these issues. Issues like polluted water, toxic waste, air pollution, clear cuts, extinctions of species, acid rain, etc.

But who are the "others" that are responsible for these issues? Is it corporations or is it you and I, the individuals who are buying products and services from corporations?

In today's fast-moving society we rarely consider how our actions contribute to these issues. All of today's environmental "woes" are due to our combined actions as individuals. If we want less pesticides in our water we can choose to buy local organic produce and not use pesticides in our yards; if we want less clear cuts we can choose to buy sustainably harvested wood; if we want robust fisheries we can choose to support actions that enhance fisheries.

I impact the world and my neighbors with the choices I make every day. I choose to use electricity and therefore I am partially responsible for the impacts of electrical generation and the current issues we face with Condit dam. In my own small way I try to offset my damage by supporting local organizations that are working on sustainable solutions to the larger issues we face as a society.

One fine example is the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (www.B-E-F.org). We are currently living through the impact of choices that people made 100 years ago when Condit Dam was built. Now it's our turn to make choices that will impact the generations that come after us.

Mike Gundlach

White Salmon, Wash.

PERS probs

Once again the PERS board is raising rates, 20-30 percent; the extra drag on our government agencies will continue for years to come as we wait for the retirement of tier 1 workers, and to a lesser extent tier 2.

The effects are felt at your city, your port, your county and the state. It's been devastating for most school districts, as well.

As PERS rates go up services must be slashed or income to the agencies must grow; and the cash flow to governments has slowed, not increased. Why does the PERS board continue to pay out so much when without legislative action it could go to a risk-free rate of return on money match which would then be in the neighborhood of 3-4 percent?

There are other things that can be done, such as the way the 6 percent is credited; the legislators know it and don't mandate it.

Why doesn't the legislature act on this; is it because most legislators will be PERS beneficiaries?

Rob Brostoff

Cascade Locks

'Princess Slob'

a don't-miss

The play Princess Slob is terrific! Mark Steighner has written another remarkable play, combined with outstanding performances by Hood River Middle School staff and students, and directed by HRMS' Rebecca Nederhiser.

The story is positive, the music is upbeat and engaging and the moral is a solid foundation for all.

This small group of talented performers is top of the line! One more weekend to see the play; you won't want to miss.

Ann Zuehlke

Hood River

Down the tubes

Many years ago there was an incident in my northern New England hometown which I will never forget. One of those formative moments.

It was a severe winter. An old man was found in his humble home, frozen dead in a rocking chair in front of his cold wood stove, teapot resting on his knee, with no firewood around. The good Christian townsfolk were deeply saddened and outraged. "This should not happen."

Today, I can hear people saying, "Someone should have the right to freeze to death in their home if they want to," or "In this socialist country we don't even have the freedom to do this." So this is what we've come to?

In the 1930s there was the "New Deal." In 1944 FDR offered a remarkable proposal for an Economic Bill of Rights. In the 1960s LBJ championed the "Great Society," a vision of full employment, decent wages and retirement, affordable higher education for those who qualified and healthcare for all. These were high political visions to help lift everyone up.

In those decades our sovereign people's government invested tax revenue from American citizens for the betterment of all. The World War II generation, and those immediately following, benefitted enormously from public programs of those times. There was a spirit of wanting the next generation to have a better life. Few politicians since the 1970s have dared speak in these terms.

Over the past 30 years the ethos of America has been selfishness and greed. This has been accomplished by well-funded think tanks and intentional indoctrination of the American people by corporate media. This, along with systematic political dismantling of government regulations, policies and programs for the 99 percent in favor of the 1 percent.

We have lost appreciation for the role of sovereign people's government. Read "Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present," by Jeffrey Madrick.

So how are we doing? All indications are that we are going down the tubes. Ill-informed people are hastening this direction in the name of individual fantasy "freedom"; the future be damned.

Keith Harding

Mount Hood

Support Sewell for DA

I am writing this letter in support of John Sewell for District Attorney.

I have been in law enforcement since 1993 and working in law enforcement in Hood River County since 1998. During my time here in Hood River I have brought various kinds of cases to John for prosecution ranging from violations to assaults, child abuse, sex crimes all the way to murder. For each of these cases John has given them his full attention.

His prosecution experience is above any I have worked with. He is able to negotiate what is best for our community.

On top of knowing the law, John is a personable man with compassion for people. He has assisted in helping to better the community by supporting causes like MDT and the Children's Advocacy Center.

This community has an asset in John Sewell as district attorney. Please join me in voting for John Sewell as District Attorney.

Anthony Frasier

Hood River

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