Friday, January 6, 2012
No thank-you letters?
Dec. 21 Hood River News letter policy states, "We will no longer publish 'Thank You' letters." In that issue and on the same page, a letter appeared with, "Thank you City Council."
Then again on Dec. 24, another "thank you" for the same cause, and again in the Dec. 28 issue, "thank the City of Hood River…"
Applying that ol' military explanation, "It depends on the terrain and situation," or is it, "Different strokes for different folks?"
Walden is here
I noticed someone in the News was complaining about where Greg Walden was ("Where's Walden?" Dec. 31). This is from his email letter I received: "As 2011 comes to a close, I want to thank you for your support and counsel. This week I completed three more town halls and fulfilled my personal commitment to get to each of our 20 counties at least twice a year."
Apparently he's not hiding out, afraid. He's finishing his personal commitments for the year. A man of integrity.
In response to a Dec. 24 letter from Sam Dunlap: Mr. Dunlap, I feel sorry for you as you must be having a very bad year. You live in Home Valley, which isn't that close to Hood River, and yet you are trying to shame our elected officials because they don't think the way you do.
Who in our town has done wrong by you? I'm sorry for that wrong. Are you as involved with your own town council as you are trying to be with ours? If you aren't, maybe you should be. I don't know what to say to you that will help you through whatever problems that you are having. Because to be as vicious as you are being there has to be some kind of underlying reason.
Considering that the only corporation that you are going after is Walmart I'm going to take a wild guess that the wrong was committed by Walmart. But if you are going to discriminate and not include all corporations, then sir, you have absolutely no room to holler.
I'm not telling you to stop writing and voicing your opinions; I'm saying do it fairly.
You thought secret wiretapping was bad? Now the government has secret drones for surveillance of suspected adversaries - that could be anybody, even you - as well as for killing suspected terrorists anywhere in the world - even here.
A recent study by the Congressional Budget Office (as documented by Greg Miller of the Washington Post) counted 775 Predators, Reapers and other medium- and long-range drones in the U.S. inventory, with hundreds more in the pipeline.
Dennis Cutler Blair, who served as United States director of national intelligence, was fired by President Obama in May of this year for trying to start a debate about the use of drones. He is the only known official with the courage to do so. He now publically speaks out against unilateral attacks against targets in Pakistan, but now as a private citizen.
The use of drones in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for antiterrorism operations started a multibillion dollar industry. The apparatus involves dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents.
My objection is not to the use of drones but for the secrecy involved and for unprovoked, unilateral use of them in other countries and for possible unlawful surveillance of American citizens. We are supposed to be an open society. Wake up! Ask questions! It is our right and our obligation to do so.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge