Saturday, January 4, 2014
Fair treatment for all
People have asked me why I’m gathering signatures for the petition to put marriage equality on the 2014 Oregon ballot. They say: “You aren’t gay!” That’s true. But, like many of us, I have close family, friends and coworkers who are.
We live in a world that includes people with a different sexual orientation than ours. And, we live in a world with people who have different religious beliefs, and different cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.
We are all different and yet so much alike. We all want to be loved, to have family, to be emotionally and financially secure, to be an integral part of our community, to be accepted, to be treated fairly and with respect and dignity. The Marriage Equality initiative promotes all of these.
Same-sex couples should have access to the same benefits and responsibilities enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Marriage is a secular/civil institution which should not be limited by religious objections to gay marriage. In fact, under the Marriage Equality initiative, the existing right of clergy and religious institutions to refuse to perform a marriage would continue to be protected.
To sign the petition, go to oregonunitedformarriage.org, click on “Take Action,” and download an e-petition which you can print, sign and send in.
Liquor is value-added
So the Northwest Grocery association is planning to privatize the liquor business in Oregon with a proposed ballot measure.
I have a surprise for them. In Oregon there are now 249 small private business-owned liquor stores with over 1,000 employees and biannual sales around $350 million with almost all of its value-added going into the local economies.
If the grocery association wins this disingenuous ballot measure, a good share of the value-added dollars ends up outside the local economies in places like Texas corporate headquarters, where CEOs and stockholders pocket much of the otherwise local value-added growth.
Also Washington’s newly privatized liquor business has been a bonanza for Hood River’s privately owned liquor store with over a 30 percent increase in business in spite of a $2 round-trip bridge toll. There are two reasons; not only is there a significant increase in Washington’s liquor prices, but also selections are limited.
Privatizing liquor sales
Obviously this follows the successful campaign to privatize liquor sales in Washington.
The results of this passing in Washington: Prices actually increased for liquor. Sales increased in Oregon because many Washington residents started buying in Oregon.
Other problems abound.
We will lose our workers at the local liquor outlets.
Potential closures of many local distillers. After all, how can they compete with the large corporations?
For locals, this would include the potential loss of jobs at Hood River Distillers. If this closed, then we would lose many local jobs.
Gains would be primarily at larger outlets. In effect, we would be presenting out of state companies with a monopoly on liquor sales.
All you have to do is check who is sponsoring and paying for this campaign to see who the winners would be!
After years of relentless hollering conservative ideology, Democrats made concessions with Republicans and 47 million citizens celebrated Christmas by eating less.
The uber-wealthy Koch brothers are longtime libertarians and believe in minimal social services for the needy. No self-respecting demagogue would question them. Politicians pander and many citizens bobble their heads in a touchdown dance of glee to see someone else suffer — C-SPAN, the ultimate reality show.
We the citizens, not government, are responsible for this act of selfishness to others.
After the November election we will elect the same politicians. Show your patriotism, this time, and dance to “Born in the USA (Springsteen)” and wave a flag reading “Don’t Tread on Me.”
Try not to overexert yourself; your health care my not cover selfishness and a cold heart.
Train collision in North Dakota sets oil rail cars ablaze — Reuters, Dec. 30, 2013
Fiery explosions as train carrying crude oil derails — San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 31, 2013
Huge N.D. oil spill burns into second day; weather shift threatens Casselton —The Associated Press, Casselton, N.D., Dec 31, 2013
Accidents happen. If we stop the oil and coal trains, at least these catastrophes won’t happen on our beautiful Columbia River.
Stop the oil and coal trains.
Sense of community
I want to thank the Hood River News, and especially writer Trisha Walker, for their “A look back: Slice of Local Life,” in the recent Kaleidoscope.
I enjoyed reading about the people, from all walks of life, who make our community what it is. It gives you a fine sense of solidarity, of community.
Hood River Wrong then, wrong now
This letter is in response to a letter written by Gary Young in the Dec. 18 issue. (I know this is late in responding but living in Maui I don’t get the paper in a timely manner.)
Being a resident of Hood River for almost 50 years before moving to Maui I must respond to the letter titled “Right a wrong,” having to do with same-sex unions and marriage.
First of all, the writer stated that a “wrong” needed to be corrected on the issue of same-sex unions and marriage of same-gender couples. Over 6,000 years ago God told man through Moses in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 that the act by two same-sex couples coming together is wrong and it is a sin.
It was wrong then and it was still wrong when Jesus came into the world over 2,000 years ago and said He didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. And it is still wrong today and it will continue to be wrong when Jesus returns and deals with those who call His Word “wrong.”
The Apostle Paul also confirmed this as being a wrongful act in Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and 1 Timothy 1:9-11.
God’s Word can’t be changed by any legislature, any supreme court or by any vote of the people. God’s Word is unchangeable and no matter how much we want our loved ones to be happy, changing or compromising God’s Word will only lead to destruction.
We as a society instead of signing a petition to place a referendum on the November 2014 ballot legalizing same gender marriage, should open up God’s word to those and show them how God loves them and we need to pray for them.
Same-sex unions and same-sex marriages are and will always be a wrong choice and a sin in God’s eyes.
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Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest 2016
Kiteboarders in action during the pro competition Friday at the 16th Annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest in Stevenson. All photos by Ben Mitchell. Enlarge