Saturday, March 1, 2014
The “Chained CPI” which would significantly reduce Social Security payments is not in the president’s budget. That is the good news. The bad news is that his offer is still on the table. It is an offer from the president in exchange for closing tax loop holes.
But “the second you bring up the prospect of closing tax loopholes, Republicans walk away,” says White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Social Security is not welfare; it’s an earned benefit that workers pay into all their working lives.
If you are reading this and it concerns you (it concerns all workers, past present and future) I’m asking you to write a note to President Obama asking him to take it off the table but to keep pursuing ways to close the tax loopholes instead. It’s the right and fair thing to do.
Here is the address and telephone number to call or write:
President Barak Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Today a man told me he had never been accosted so he had never had to pull his gun. “Why do you need to wear a gun?” I asked. He retorted emphatically, “Because it is my right.” I wondered what he thought his responsibilities were.
It is incumbent upon us as conscientious citizens to recognize that just because we have a right does not necessarily make it a moral and just right.
Not long ago people had the right to own people. Having that right never made slavery morally right. Not long ago husbands had the right to beat their wives. Having the right to beat a woman does not make beating her morally responsible. Florida jurors decided Zimmerman had the right to kill an unarmed teenager, but that terrible verdict did not make it a moral and responsible Second Amendment right?
The very presence of guns threatens harm. The reason sheriffs of the old west required gunslingers to check their guns for the duration of their stay in town was to protect communities from the dangers of bullies with guns itching for fights.
There is a serious element of unpredictability when guys come into the grocery store or library with their handguns brashly strapped on in full display. It is difficult to know their intentions. Guns in inappropriate places are intimidating at best. I know banks feel alarmed by the presence of guns. Schools, too.
How is somebody like me supposed to know the difference between a bullying gunslinger and a responsible gun owner when both claim to wear their guns simply to boast their rights?
The intent of the gun wearer often seems more to be intimidating than protective, making it impossible to believe that it is a moral or responsible exercise of our Second Amendment rights.
White Salmon, Wash.
Not a sales kid
It was brought to my attention that I am one of the kids participating in the 51st Annual Kids Subscription Campaign for Hood River News.
For the record, I am 48 years old and I am not participating in this contest; although I admittedly act like a kid sometimes when snow is in the forecast.
I would, however, like all the children who are in the contest to be assured that I am not canvassing Hood River and trying to sell subscriptions while they are studying hard in school. I believe this would be a gross violation of sportsmanship and quite an unfair advantage.
I am, of course, assisting my daughter Lauren by driving her to various neighborhoods to sell subscriptions and she seems to be doing a fine job.
I do enjoy reading the Hood River News as it keeps me and my family informed of all that is happening throughout our town. And since my phone number is published in the paper I invite anyone to call me if they would like a new subscription or a renewal. I’ll pass the phone over to my daughter Lauren.
Gary T. Tichenor
Relay for Life
Last week I attended the kick-off meeting for the annual Columbia Gorge Relay for Life. This is the signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.
The theme this year is “Fight to the Finish.” Since 1997 our community through this event has raised $1,607,254 in the fight for a cure.
Last year this event raised $61,942. This event brings the community together as we recognize survivors, remember those who have died from cancer and work together toward a cure for cancer. A lot has been accomplished, but there is a lot left to be done.
The relay committee needs your help. We need help breaking this project down to bite-size, manageable pieces. We need people who recognize the need and are willing to help.
If you have lost a family member, friend or loved one why not honor them by getting involved? The event this year will be July 19-20 at Hood River Valley High School. For more information contact committee chair Veronica Moline at 541-490-1722 or myself at 541-386-1288.
Hood River Equality
It is painful to watch from afar what is apparently about to happen in Arizona: They are on the verge of enacting laws that would make it legal — and presumably thereby moral in their eyes — to exclude, or discriminate against, a certain class of people, the LGBT citizens in their community.
For those of us who feel that “equal under the law” means exactly that, and is important, such legislation would set us all back a long way. It certainly will make life in Arizona less equitable.
Our country has made great but still incomplete progress in removing barriers to the full rights of citizenship. Ending slavery did not make blacks equal; they still struggle in many areas to have full voting rights, equal justice and equal access to employment. Women still are not as well represented in all strata of the employment ladder. But at least we are systematically trying to make things less discriminatory as we go forward.
We in Oregon have an opportunity to take one further step in the never-ending work of removing inequalities when we see them: It is the proposed amendment to our constitution which would allow all citizens to marry the person they love and wish to spend their lives with.
Whatever our respective religious beliefs, we cannot fail to see that civil marriage is the only way to remove the barriers that exist to fundamental rights such as inheritance, tax equality, guardianship of children, visitation to and care of a sick partner, and a whole string of other life details.
No one will be forced to do anything they don’t want to do, anything against their religious beliefs, but at least everyone will have the same rights to all administrative and public treatment. That would help a lot of Oregonians.
To those who believe in “voodoo economics” and unfettered spending habits, relax, take a deep breath, remove the needle from your Greg Walden doll and either disregard this letter and skip to the next one or, at least listen to another voice.
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., District 52, represents a large district made up primarily of rural communities in eastern and southern Oregon. This area has long been a more conservative voting populace than that of the west side and especially the I-5 freeway corridor and Rep. Walden has voted favorably most of the time for his constituency. Get over it.
Instead of our senators and representatives playing “small ball” working on peripheral rules and regulations stifling prosperity in this country, they should be developing simpler and fairer tax laws. Fighting over an increase to the minimum wage is small potatoes compared to the real problem in this country: high unemployment and underemployment of American workers.
For over 25 years, this country’s good-paying jobs have been moving to overseas countries where wages and taxes are dramatically less.
It is obvious that many people in America believe what they are being told by President Obama (POTUS) and the liberal media, especially espoused by MSLSD (formerly MSNBC).
POTUS claims to be supportive and protective of the middle class and the huge disparity in earnings between low wage earners and those at the very top; yet his actions tell otherwise.
It is time people open their eyes and look around to see for themselves what the real story is. Fighting over a higher minimum wage and finding more ways to feed and clothe the less fortunate won’t fix the problem.
I believe in a safety net for those truly in need of assistance, but a robust economy driven by high employment would cure most of the ills of this country.
Congress should tackle the difficult but necessary job of creating a more desirable atmosphere to create jobs. It would lessen the money spent supporting assistance programs and would extend the longevity of programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.
Medal must be earned
Pam Smiley is wrong (“White is golden,” Our Readers Write, Feb. 26): Shaun White failed; he did not give the gold medal away. It was not his to give; it was there to be won and unfortunate as it was it is disrespectful to the athletes who did their best and won a medal.
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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