Letters to the Editor for Dec. 7

‘Sunshine patriots’

Conservative principles do not contain a disposition of reform or radicalism. It is curious that the Tea Party does much hand waving and backslapping around the founding of this country and the people’s revolution. They demonize liberals with anti-patriotic slogans and memorized putdowns.

As we were taught in school, American Patriotism was invented to rally the colonies after a disastrous first year of battle with the British in 1776. On Dec. 23, 1776, a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine was read to George Washington’s troops before the first victory at Trenton — depicted forever, with “Washington Crossing the Delaware” (1851, Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze) in the bow of a boat on Dec. 25.

Paine’s words: “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

Going on he writes: “Every Tory is a coward; for servile, slavish, self-interested fear is the foundation of Toryism; and a man under such influence, though he may be cruel, never can be brave.”

Most Tories — Loyalists — sided with the British as their self-interest was with the British establishment. They fought to stop major political reform and the radicals in their towns and cities. They published scathing articles and helped sabotaged any and all efforts to create a new colonial government and financial system. They demonized anyone and everything involved in the Revolution. They feared the changes.

The American Revolution story has been hijacked by the Tea Party Conservatives, turned around, and plays on common ignorance of America History. In time the Tea Party followers will be defeated by their self-interested fear and will be exposed for what they are: sunshine patriots.

George Selleck


Laws protect insured

In response to “Positive side of affordable care” (Our readers write, Dec. 4) I just want to straighten a few things out, starting with implying that a person can be dropped if they use their healthcare or if they simply get sick. This is not true.

Since 1997 federal regulations have prohibited insurance companies from raising a person’s rates if he develops an illness, And no matter how sick a person gets, an insurer can’t drop them or refuse to renew their policy — provided that they didn’t lie on their application or move out of the state where their policy was issued.

And as for the insurance policies that were dropped: Just so that we are clear, you need to know that many insurance companies being dropped directly because of the new laws mandating that everybody pay for things they do not want or need, is no different than me buying a car and having the government tell the car dealer that I cannot buy the car unless I buy a car cover and some wax, a wash bucket a towel, etc. etc.

And while this is going on we have a large group of people blaming the car dealer?

Ron Morgan

Mount Hood-Parkdale

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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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