‘Battle’ flag

It would seem that people would do a little checking before writing and chastising a person for a parade display.

The Battle Flag of Northern Virginia was never a national flag, so how can it represent racism and hatred? It was a flag to distinguish Southern troops from Northern troops since the Confederate flag so closely resembled the Stars and Stripes and caused “friendly” fire from other Southern regiments.

Those that wish to destroy American history have jumped upon a ship that seems to be sinking.

The flag was adopted by hate groups, who have stolen a piece of history, but heritage groups such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans battle daily to stop the damage done to the Southern people and Confederate soldiers who fought under the flag and the perverse agenda that those groups stand for.

Before getting on the band wagon please do at least a little research a before ridiculing another person.

Alan Bailey

Hood River

‘Bigoted’ flag

Once again, Hood River put on a great Fourth of July parade.

Unfortunately, I have to say the event was almost perfect. The celebration was marred by the blatant display of the Confederate battle flag on a big, black, pickup truck in the parade by group of young men.

It must be pointed out that the Confederate flag is a symbol of what the rebellion was fought over — the institution of slavery in the USA. Some will say it is just celebrating our heritage, to which I say hooey! Were that the case, I guess we should have had groups of white robed marchers in pointy hats leading the parade alongside the American Nazi party.

The Confederate flag must be seen as what it is, a symbol of racism, which has absolutely no place in our “free” society. The organizers of the parade and the City of Hood River owe a public apology to the diverse citizenry of our community for allowing this bigoted display of racism to parade through town.

Brian Robb

Hood River

Walden works hard

It is no secret that we are living in a time where the political climate is very divided, and a lot of time all we can focus on is the bad. I wanted to take some time to focus on the good.

I am proud to have Greg Walden representing us in the U.S. Congress. I have known Greg for years, and I can tell you from experience that he is a no-nonsense man of integrity that works hard for the people of the Second District of Oregon. While many may have been squawking about nonsense, Greg has been quietly working to fund children’s health care, fix our state’s forestry problems, get better care for our veterans, and clean up the dangerous Hanford site. Greg works diligently for the people of Oregon and I am thankful to count him as a friend and representative. Keep up the great work, Greg.

Doug Arnell

Hood River

America shamed

This nation has been shamed like no other time in history. The current administration and it’s supporters are to blame. They have pushed this country back to the Germany of the World War II era. Trump has acted like a Hitler with I.C.E. as his Gestapo filled with Nazi-like troops. And all of this with the support of regressive voters on the right. I’m glad I have no plans to travel outside our borders any time soon, because I am too embarrassed to do so at this time in our history.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Get the turkey back

My mother recently related to me the parable of the turkey, a Bedouin legend that, simplified, goes something like this: In an effort to restore his virility, an elder leader purchased a turkey and began feeding and raising it. One day, the turkey was stolen. The elder’s sons ignored their father’s wishes that they find and retrieve the turkey, and a month later, the man’s camel was stolen.

The boys asked, “Father, what should we do?”

“Get the turkey back,” he replied, but the boys did nothing and a month later the elder’s daughter was assaulted.

“This is all because of the turkey,” the father said to his sons. “Once they saw that they could take my turkey without consequence, they knew they take everything.”

Donald Trump refused to release his taxes, and Congress did nothing.

They failed to hold him accountable to the standards and expectations of the office. They failed to get the turkey back.

Since then, he has alienated and insulted allies, made friends with dictators, and in a cynical attempt to consolidate power, has courted and emboldened the most toxic subculture of the American character; he has repeatedly attacked the fourth estate, is planning closed door meetings with Vladimir Putin, and has overseen the separation of children from parents, with fewer than 2 percent of children being returned to their families.

I wish I could say that this were an exhaustive list of his scandalous behavior, but it fails to even scratch the surface. Congress absolutely must hold Donald Trump accountable for his actions. That is their jobs. It is never too late to get the turkey back.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

‘Who spoke for me?’

I was a Dreamer. I am the forgotten immigrant child. I was not allowed to reach my destination. You said I would have been an unwanted alien in your midst. You made me sub-human, untermensch, calling me by other names, but not child. That’s how you denigrated me, by using other words to describe me. I would be an inconvenience and a drag on your economy. It was the wrong time, you weren’t ready for me.

I was the wrong color — what would people think? You said I’d compete with your other children and lower their wages. I didn’t fit in with your culture. I wasn’t part of the plan. It would have been best if I’d waited for a better time to come (but the time was now), and you killed me before I had a chance to speak for myself. Where was my asylum? Where was my guarantee of protection? Who was my sponsor? I was vulnerable. Who spoke for me? When did you march for me? Did you hold up a poster in my name? Did you have strong, angry words in support of me at the post office? Did you support my mother as she carried me? I would have been a hard worker in your country. I was the female for whom there was no feminism, but I didn’t look the way you wanted me to look. My eyes didn’t look right you said — they were too far apart and slanted and my neck was too short. I could have been an American. I was a poor huddled mass yearning to breathe, but you made me wretched refuse and you threw me away. I was terrorized. I was poured out as a sacrifice to your selfishness into a glass baking dish, and a lamp was lifted, but only so they could be sure I was all accounted for — limbs, torso, fingers, toes, head. No one took my picture as I waited at the fence and I was buried in an unmarked grave.

Where is my dad? Where is my mom? Where are your tears?

Mark Lutz

The Dalles

Hardline cruelty

One of Mother Teresa’s favorite texts in the Bible, which she often quoted to support her ministry, is, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, 45).

Keeping children safe and healthy is a most basic human instinct. Almost certainly, any parent who risks the abuse and uncertainty LEGAL asylum seekers face at our southern border is doing so because the alternative for their children is worse in their own country. It is a true horror that children have been taken from their parents at our borders under the Trump administration’s “No Tolerance’” policy. Many were told they could have their children back if they go back whence they came. Many seekers signed deportation papers just to get their children back and were deported without their children anyway.

Most Americans do not approve of this policy regardless of political affiliation. Oregonians are fortunate to have two Senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, who advocate humanely for these families. Senator Merkley was the first Senator to go to the border to find out what was going on. Even a U.S. Senator could not get into a privately managed but PUBLICLY financed Deportation Center. Think about that for a moment.

Just to be clear, last month Rep. Greg Walden voted for a hardline immigration bill, which failed, opposed by 41 Republicans and every House Democrat. I support a sane immigration path to citizenship. But when a diapered 1-year-old appears for his/her hearing without a lawyer because under No Tolerance, “unaccompanied” children cannot have a court appointed attorney to help them through this process, and by law a judge has to ask the child, “Do you understand your rights?” there is nothing sane about this “hardline,” cruel approach to our current Immigration policy. Jamie McLeod-Skinner is running for Congress. I believe she is capable of moving us toward an immigration policy that respects healthy due process, law and order, and the notion that a family’s strength is a country’s strength.

Sheila Shearer

Hood River

Lip service

I’m asking for answers from Congressman Greg Walden on two questions about healthcare.

Does he oppose the Texas lawsuit suing the federal government to undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

Does he believe the Trump administration should defend the ACA lawsuit so that people with pre-existing conditions won’t lose their health care?

Since the Texas lawsuit is against the U.S., it’s the job of the Department of Justice to defend the lawsuit. The Trump administration has refused to defend it in an effort to ensure that — with no opposition — the ACA protection for coverage of pre-existing conditions will automatically be declared unconstitutional.

This is a clever, easy-to-understand, totally legal, and totally devastating tactic to eliminate pre-existing condition coverage. Now, months after the lawsuit was filed, Mr. Walden finally said he “supports” coverage for pre-existing conditions. But he has actively refused to comment on the lawsuit, let alone take any action to challenge this blatant tactic.

It appears that Walden wants to fool us, his constituents, by giving lip-service to “supporting” protection for pre-existing conditions coverage, while standing back so the lawsuit can proceed smoothly.

My healthcare is at stake. I want to hear Walden say he opposes the Texas lawsuit. I want him to demand that the DOJ defend the suit.

Mr. Walden has been cheating us constituents over healthcare for far too long. Unless he answers yes to my two questions and acts accordingly, I will assume this is more of the same. Fortunately, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, the Democratic challenger to Walden, supports affordable, accessible healthcare for all.

Cindy Allen

Hood River


There’s a really thought-provoking definition of the Deep State that I found in Newsmax magazine: “Deep State (noun), a clandestine network entrenched inside the government that controls state policy behind the scenes, while elected officials are merely figureheads.”

I wonder, could this include the swollen swampified Washington Deceivers who hate the president because he is an outsider … because he is unswampable?

I think it’s time for all of us unswampables to increase our support for President Trump. Hey! Did I just see an Unswampable bumper sticker?

Bill Davis

Hood River

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