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Letters to the Editor for Dec. 23



Rich stay rich

Though sometimes rude, Alan Winans often shows intelligent regard for facts and logic, and this is why I am often sure he knows better than what he says (Our Readers Write, Dec. 16).

I will stipulate that there is Medicaid fraud. How could such a huge program not have some? Our tax system is even more rife with it, especially since Mr. Walden and company keep slashing the budget for IRS investigators. Every $150,000-a-year investigator recovers millions that would not be paid otherwise; for a business-minded party, hiring more is seemingly an obvious winning strategy to fill the treasury, but the (Republicans) are actually cutting back on this function. Why? Because this “benefits” tax cheats, the largest of whom are among their base and reward the favor very generously.

I have a sister and a brother in wheelchairs and on Medicaid, and they are often investigated, very thoroughly, every year.

The deal is this, and I know Mr. Winans is this smart: The new Tax Heist borrows a huge amount of money to give almost all of it to the rich, while hoping to buy off non-rich with some modest (and expiring) tax breaks. These guys are preparing to make big cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security in order to make up for their big hit to the national debt.

They seem to believe needy people will work harder if they don’t have as much. On that theory, the “job creators” (rich) should have caps on their take home so they will work harder and produce more and better jobs. But the more the rich get, the amount coming to us gets no larger.

It is just that simple, and, oddly, nothing the (Republicans) say tries to contradict this. The shameless (Republican) party is totally about cutting taxes for the rich. It always comes back to that. Talking of comparatively minor amounts of Medicaid fraud is just taking our eyes off the grand theft that is going on shamelessly, out in the open.

Again, what would shame Walden and the (Republicans) would make a horse leave his oats.

Bob Williams

Hood River

Bark on

I grew up in a rural area, like Mr. Alan Winans, a native Oregonian (Our Readers Write, Dec. 16). I have always had dogs as companions. Sometimes people or other animals appear as threats and they bark. Being pack animals, other dogs in earshot often join in.

The loyalty shown to the current administration leaves me shaking my head. Discrimination against others based on race, sex, or group is rampant. Let’s cull all the bad apples, right and left. No one should be representing us if they aren’t trustworthy and unbiased in their decision-making. No votes or solidarity should be given based on potential personal gain.

I am concerned about climate change, taxes, immigrant rights, net neutrality, public land protection, and transportation safety, to name a few. I want the basic needs of all beings to be met: nutritious food, safe water, medical care, and a place to call home.

Getting back to dogs, yes, they bark to communicate their emotions. I know my canine best friend is saying something. Should I listen to her and figure it out or kick her in the face to make her stop?

Maybe we should emulate dogs more; speak up loudly and raise our hackles when we see injustice and bullying based on skin color, gender, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, or other group. Right now, Congressman Walden and the GOP are threatening the livelihoods of many people with their actions. I am not going to shut up, no matter what time it is.

A line from a Toby Keith song comes to mind: “Oh justice will be served and the battle will rage. This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage.”

Julie Wilcox

Hood River

Bark, bark, bark

There are two types of dogs. There are guard/protective dogs and faithful dogs. I have encountered both types. The first are protective of property, women and children, etc. The second are the dogs that will do anything to please their master. That type will be faithful no matter what the master does: scold, starve, beat or just ignore. It is this second type I feel sorry for. They are ignorant to the actions of their master when outside of their presence and will love him unconditionally. I think there are people that act in this same second way.

I will never quit pointing out Greg Walden’s failures to protect and serve his constituents, his state and his country. Not while he puts politics, the super rich and corporate profits before the people he was elected to serve. I will bark, I will argue and I will write letters both to Walden and to newspapers. I will never quit barking and I will never shut up, irrespective of the time of day or night.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Right, fair, truth

To whom it may be a concern: With all the confusing commentaries floating recklessly about, the citizens of Hood River County, et al, should welcome the truth as sincerely written by our U.S. Congressman Greg Walden himself.

In my opinion, its only right and fair that our elected officials, regardless of party affiliation, be allowed time and space to share their accomplishments and goals with we who elected them!

Attached, please acknowledge the attached “Greg Walden speaks for himself.” Personal letter to me sharing his hitherto published accomplishments and goals.

Alan Winans

Hood River

Editor’s note: The writer attached a copy of a letter he termed “campaign promotionally orientated.”

Four-star diamond?

Seeing the story about the Navy pilot who saw a UFO a few years ago has made me want to tell this tale. Maybe someone else saw what I saw.

In 1967, I was a 19-year-old grunt in the Marines in Vietnam. I was the squad leader and we had the ambush that night down off our hill about 30 miles or so from DaNang. There were eight of us and at about 21:00 hours on a half-moon night, and we were all sober, no dope, no Tiger beer, we looked up and saw what appeared to be four stars with a line of faint white light connecting them in the formal shape of a diamond. They had to be thousands of miles apart, maybe more. And then, like someone or something threw a switch, there was a second diamond to the left of the first one. Then a third one and then a fourth. We watched them for quite a while and then they all disappeared at once. The guys back up on the hill saw it, too.

Years later I was in L.A., where a theater was doing one of my plays (I’m a playwright). A guy was working on the roof during the day. I was outside and we started talking and since my play was set in a foxhole in Vietnam, he said that he had been in Vietnam, too, at the same time. I brought up the four diamonds and he had seen them as well. What the hell was that? Anyone else see them?

Al Brown

Hood River

Fair is fair

Stu Watson’s letter to the editor on Dec. 16 gives me a feeling of socialism. He leaves out the fact that the folks earning the most are paying the most taxes, they in a very high tax bracket.

Does he believe that everyone should get the same amount!

Stu, the reality is everyone is getting their fair share!

You left out the fact that the new tax bill will probably not add to the deficit because new companies and companies who will come back from other countries will create more jobs for us. More jobs and new and returning companies equal more people paying taxes. Greg Walden is doing a fine job. He cannot please everyone all the time.

Jerry Petricko

Odell

Dangerous GOP

Where have all the decent Republicans gone?

I am a lifelong Democrat who has voted for Republicans who have exhibited genuine concern for the wellbeing of their constituents.

There were some I didn’t vote for, but later found them intelligent, reasonable and respectable representatives.

However, today’s Republicans are a different beast. They are cruel, greedy, ill-informed and often times just plain stupid. They show little concern for anybody beyond their wealthiest donors.

Under Trump, Republicans have shown disdain for the most basic of protections for our children and the environment they will inherit. They care little about the fate of our laborers, working poor, women, the elderly, justice or democracy.

In display of Republican party “family values,” they voted to repeal healthcare while tearing parents from children to deport them. They cut education funding while selling punishment for profit to private prisons. They have rescinded safety standards on railcars and in the work place and have rescinded consumer protections from the banking industry.

Republicans are working to gut protection of our public lands, allowing oil, coal and mining interests to despoil millions more acres, threatening our water quality and exacerbating climate change further. As an added bonus, they are transferring cleanup costs to taxpayers while industry pays little in taxes.

The Republican tax plan, conjured behind closed doors and pushed by party loyalty, funnels billions to the 1 percent while cutting services like sewage treatment, disaster response, scientific research, disease control, higher education and infrastructure for the rest of us. And let’s not forget the specter of a ballooned deficit.

And as if racism is not enough, these Republicans in their unprincipled, well-financed party loyalty, chose to embrace (alleged) child molester Roy Moore for Senate.

Republicans want the dangerous pledge of “my party, my country, right or wrong” to rule the day. I want a governing body that stands up for what’s right and stands against what is wrong.

Are there any decent Republicans left? If there are, why aren’t they standing up?

Chris Connolly

White Salmon



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