In response to Mr. Gary Fields (Letters, Dec. 9), I would like to say I feel it is doubtful he has ever had contact with a real terrorist organization if he feels the Republican party should be declared a terrorist organization. He cannot understand why a Republican would not prohibit someone on the no-fly list to purchase a weapon. The right to keep and bear arms is a guaranteed Constitutional right and as such, it is awarded great value by the American people. To take away a person’s Constitutional rights should require much more than having a name placed on a list by an unknown government worker in an obscure office building. That is something that needs to be done by lawful order from a judge in a courtroom.
Mr. Fields seems to think that the safety of the American public is somehow less important than the bottom line of the NRA. Not so. Without even having an organization like the NRA, Americans would still possess what has been estimated at 300 million guns and 13 trillion rounds of ammunition.
If guns were what made society dangerous, it would be much more dangerous than it is. If gun owners really were the problem, you would realize that in a hurry, Mr. Fields.
As a writing teacher, I sometimes find it difficult to convey the meaning of the term “irony.” Fortunately, there has been a virtual cornucopia of examples in the news recently. Prominent Christian lawmakers decrying assistance to desperate refugee families from Syria, even as they set out “living nativities” to celebrate the long-ago birth of a Middle Eastern refugee. Republicans who vow to keep Americans safe at any cost, but are so allergic to gun control that they won’t even restrict suspected terrorists — people on federal no-fly lists — from purchasing guns. But I think the gold medal in irony this week goes to Donald Trump. A presidential candidate and self-declared patriot of a nation whose founders were immigrants fleeing religious persecution, he wants to slam the borders closed to immigrants based on their religion. Thank you, Mr. Trump, for making my job as a writing teacher just a little easier.
As I read Dr. Rose’s letter, his assertion that global warming is a hoax fascinated me. Pope Francis warned about global warming in his encyclical. Since the Pope is a Jesuit-trained scientist, it would seem he is not particularly easy to fool with pseudoscience and to put his warning in his encyclical should raise it slightly above a hoax.
I also remember a prominent global warming skeptic, Dr. Robert Mueller, who was given funding from the Koch brothers to analyze the data to tell them the truth about global warming. He came away convinced that it is real and human caused; of course, they didn’t want to hear that and shut him down.
Right now, Exxon is being investigated for publicly acknowledging global warming while secretly funding the disinformation campaign that the good doctor quoted in his letter. Why would Exxon fund such a campaign? The oil companies have millions, perhaps even trillions of dollars’ worth of oil reserves in the ground. That money will be lost if we take steps to stop global warming.
I would urge people to understand the real nature of our environment. It is a dynamic, chaotic, buffered system. What this means is that no climate model will ever be completely accurate and that a small change in any part of it can have completely unpredictable effects. The best data I’ve seen says that CO2 has increased by 50 percent in a little over 100 years. CO2 is a major heat retaining component of this system.
If the interest rate on your credit card or mortgage increased by 50 percent, would you change your spending? If medicines or doctor malpractice insurance price increased by 50 percent, would you change how you practice medicine? If the price of printer ink increased by the same amount, would the Hood River News have to change their operations? You bet you would!
How can anyone really believe that the climate would not change too?
Right now, we are feeling the effects of a “Godzilla” El Niño, the largest in recorded history. This is just a minor preview if we completely destabilize the environment. We must take action ... NOW!
Once again, Gary Fields uses the Hood River News to blame Republicans for America’s woes (Guns for Terrorists, Dec. 9), blaming terrorism on Republicans for not supporting gun legislation restricting gun sales. Allow me to share one simple concept which seems to be lost on Mr. Fields and the left — TERRORISTS DO NOT OBEY GUN CONTROL LAWS! Mr. Fields suggests any congressperson be charged by the attorney general for “blocking or voting against any such (gun control) legislation with aiding and abetting terrorists.” Fine, I will get on board with that as soon as the following occurs: 1) Hillary Clinton is charged in a timely manner for security breaches from having her own server (the timely ship has almost sailed); 2) Eric Holder is indicted for perjury over Fast and Furious; 3) Someone is held accountable for the targeting of conservatives at the IRS; 4) Obama is impeached for the many lies he has told the American people — Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration due to a anti-Muslim video, if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it, ISIS is contained, etc., etc., etc. I’m not holding my breath.
Here’s one way to respond to a recent letter-writer’s ludicrous belief that anthropogenic global warming is the “greatest hoax in scientific history”: Every major scientific institution dealing with climate, oceans and atmosphere agrees that the climate is warming rapidly and the primary cause is human CO2 emissions.
Here’s a partial list.
NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), National Academy of Sciences (NAS), State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The Royal Society of the UK (RS), American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Meteorological Society (AMS), American Institute of Physics (AIP), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), American Meteorological Society (AMS), Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS), Royal Society of Canada Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil), Chinese Academy of Sciences Academie des Sciences (France), Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany), Indian National Science Academy, Accademia dei Lincei (Italy), Science Council of Japan, Russian Academy of Sciences.
I just read the “Our Readers Write,” Dec. 9, concerning gun issues. One, a seemingly well thought out letter entitled, “Discourse Needed,” asking for all sides of the gun debate to gather for serious discussion; the second, entitled “Guns for Terrorists,” written by someone who needs an education on just what the Second Amendment really means and the actual part the National Rifle Association has played.
There are some in this country who (are unaware of) the basis our nation’s founding fathers used in writing the Constitution. It was their many years of living under brutal societies where “the people” had no voice or control.
When the founders mention well-armed militias, they weren’t speaking of organized government armies, they were speaking of smaller groups who used their (weapons) as they did in the Revolutionary War. It was then they decided to protect the citizenry with laws that would allow the ownership of firearms in the event of some catastrophic government takeovers. Read some of Jefferson’s writings on this subject.
I don’t have a need for a tactical firearm but I can see why some people would like to own one. All my guns are for hunting and targets as those are activities I enjoy and there are some 100 million more NRA members who have never had an accident or been blamed for any firearms related felony. Ninety-nine percent of gun related deaths in this country are committed by people with stolen firearms, are felons with a rap sheet a mile long and some who are in this country illegally.
Those of us who use a firearm in the woods must pass a gun safety course prior to being able to buy a hunting license. We must also pass a safety course to qualify for a concealed carry permit. NRA does more to promote gun safety education than any other entity. Blaming all gun owners and/or the NRA for horrific crimes as the San Bernardino murders is an incredibly hateful and extremely ignorant view and proves there is a severe lack of understanding of the real problems facing this country.
Mount Hood Parkdale
Despite the busyness of this season of preparation, I feel compelled to write a letter to the editor to express my gratitude for those who support public education. I volunteered yesterday morning at our annual holiday breakfast PTO fundraiser. The parents who planned the event donated a tremendous amount of time and energy. Thanks to those who were involved in the organization of the event, to those who volunteered and to those who came out for breakfast.
My gratitude expands beyond this event. I am especially grateful for support of public education, whether or not you came to the breakfast last weekend. While I don’t know any educator who would claim that public education is a perfect system, it is a system that strives to serve all students. Horace Mann, known as the father of the common school movement, said, “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.” I am grateful to all those who have dedicated their lives to the mission of educating students in our communities, including those who are the most vulnerable among us. Mann also said, “We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause.” Therefore, I am thankful for those of you who trust us to do our best, with your help, in teaching your precious children. Our education system is made stronger by your involvement, energy, ideas and support.
I feel fortunate to live in a community with such strong support for our schools, and therefore all of our kids. Thank you!
4th grade teacher
White Salmon, Wash.
Before climate change denialist Don Rose M.D. (letters, HRN Dec. 5, 2015) gets any further out of touch with reality, I suggest he go to our library and ask for the Nov. 12, 2015, Oregonian. Turn to Section E, page 5, Dr. Rose, and read with care the article by Linfield College Chemistry Professor Jim Diamond. Hopefully it will illuminate your total unfamiliarity with what has really been going on in the oceans and atmosphere of planet Earth.
Climate change is real . . . denying it is wishful thinking.
George W. Earley