Wednesday, November 22, 2017
What kind of culture/economy would you create if you were obscenely wealthy and you wanted even more money? My answer would be one full of unhappy, unhealthy and ununited people. Does that sound familiar? Why do you suppose we have a food industry in which the most profitable diet is also the most unhealthy? We are designed to crave sugar, fat and salt, coincidently the primary ingredients of fast, cheap food. Why do you suppose our “health” care industry makes all its money from sick people? What would happen if they only made money from healthy people? How much stuff do happy people buy? They are already happy. What would happen if ALL the people in the country struggling to provide their families with food, clothing and shelter were united in their shared belief that the primary task of their country was to take care of those struggling to provide their families with food, clothing and shelter, not mansions? This is not rocket science, people. This is simple. Nothing will change as long as we live in a culture full of unhappy, unhealthy ununited people who desperately want to be rich. One mansion is not enough.
Excited to read that there is interest in replacing our bridge through an outside private company (United Bridge Partners; Hood River News, Nov. 15). We are disappointed that Mr. McElwee returned the proposal from this company unread, perhaps missing an opportunity of replacing our bridge sooner rather than later. Projected $51 million over 15 years in bridge upkeep on a structurally compromised bridge by its age and current loads is irresponsible. United Bridge Partners, for instance, suggested a start date of three years and keeping the tolls at $2. It would behoove the port commission to explore all available funding avenues and options for rebuild ASAP.
I’d like to remind District Attorney John Sewell that he works for the people of Hood River County, not the parents of the Vancouver, Wash., boy accused of starting the Eagle Creek fire.
“I know, without a doubt, that this boy’s parents have suffered psychological injury due to their son’s actions,” Sewell wrote in a letter to The Oregonian/OregonLive. “This includes an inordinate amount of stress, anxiety and fear concerning the wellbeing of not just the accused, but also the other children in the family home.”
I wonder how much “stress, anxiety and fear” was, and continues to be, experienced by the firefighters, homeowners and business owners and employees in the Gorge. This boy and his family don’t need a lawyer, they have John Sewell.
This letter is directed to my neighbors in Oregon’s Second Congressional District who, like me, have been supporters of our Representative Greg Walden. We all need to pay attention to Greg’s vote last week on support of the House tax restructuring bill.
The truth is that this bill will harm many of us in order to pay for permanent, hefty tax cuts for the small handful of our Second District neighbors with very high income and/or net worth.
It will do so on ways which we will notice, and which we will not like, such as:
• Raising taxes outright for about a quarter of us;
• Eliminating deductions for state and local taxes, medical expenses, child credits, adoptions, higher education tuition, and interest on student loans;
• Triggering automatic, deep cuts to Medicare; and
• Relying on tens of thousands of us cancelling our health insurance, which will raise premiums for the rest of us.
Greg Walden voted for a radical, awful, unpopular bill which he helped ram through the House in two weeks without a hearing. He needs to hear from his constituents who will be hurt by it.
Call his office at 202-225-6730.
For gun reform, vote out Walden
Congratulations to the National Rifle Association, whose resistance to a rational gun control policy is fast-tacking our country to catch up with Somalia in terms of lawlessness, death and disorder.
Some headlines about the Sutherland Springs Church massacre asked how the gunman got his weapons, since he had a domestic violence record and had been hospitalized for mental illness. The real question is, “Why does anyone outside of the military or law enforcement have access to these types of assault weapons?” Owning assault weapons is not a “right.” Yes, according to the Second Amendment, citizens have the right to “bear arms,” but that right is limited. For example, citizens may not own automatic weapons, rocket propelled grenades, flame throwers, etc. The Second Amendment reads, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” What “well-regulated Militias” (except the NRA) do these various killers belong to?
Regarding the NRA slogan that we need more “good guys with guns” to control “bad guys with guns,” I ask where were those “good guys” in Las Vegas? Surely there were individuals in the audience of a country and western concert who were carrying weapons. Yet as far as I know, no one other than the police returned fire. Both the killers in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs killed themselves, as did multiple killers before them.
The only way we will be able to establish an effective gun control policy is to vote out any politician who accepts money from the NRA, as for example, Greg Walden. Rep. Walden is a co-sponsor of SHARE, a NRA bill to make purchasing silencers easy. Wouldn’t that be great for any of these people planning massacres? Imagine how much more efficient the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary could have been with a silencer! Walden is the only Oregon co-sponsor of this legislation. If you communicate with him, ask him to give back the $38,250 he has received from the NRA or better yet ask him to donate that money to funds for victims and their families.
Ken Serkownek, Ph.D
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