'Cancerous ideas’

In response to “You Can Do It,” by Donald Rose published in the July 3 edition: First of all, I am a staunch defender of the right in this country to say what you believe, no matter how offensive or ridiculous. My message should not be interpreted as an attempt to silence you, but rather to voice my thoughts in complete opposition to some of the worst cheerleading I have heard in recent memory targeted toward homosexual (and I assume all other non-heterosexual) community members. Your comments are completely out of line with modern scientific understanding of the human condition on this topic as well as changing cultural norms, at least in our region. By far the most angering and damaging aspect of your message is that around the world, including our own country, those of minority sexual lifestyles have been (and continue to be) on the receiving end of torture, harassment, negative bias, exclusion, murder and the death penalty. This is an abomination and anyone who gives psychological refuge to these cancerous ideas still metastasizing on our planet needs to be firmly rebuked.

Nathan Smith

Hood River

Election protections

I think most engaged Americans are very concerned about the integrity and security of the upcoming 2020 elections. I know I am. It is confirmed and widely known that Russia attacked our elections in 2016 and 2018. U.S. national security advisers have warned many times that we can expect the same but worse in 2020.

Last week, Greg Walden voted against the SAFE Act. This would have required all federal elections machines to have paper ballots that voters could use to confirm their votes. It’s what we do in Oregon. It’s what helped him get re-elected. It’s a small but very significant step in preventing outside interference with our elections.

Besides voting against the bill, the published actions from the development of the bill show that Walden did not attempt to address or improve his objections to the bill.

So, Mr. Walden, why did you vote against having paper ballots which could be reviewed and confirmed like the basic and effective security measure we have here in Oregon?

If there were items in the bill you thought were problems, why didn’t you engage in trying to improve it?

I can’t think of any legitimate reasons for refusing a basic safeguard for our already threatened electoral process. I challenge Mr. Walden to convince us otherwise.

Cindy Allen

Hood River

Self-deception

As I write this on July 4, 2019, with our “dear leader” enjoying his military spectacle on the mall, national pride is drowned by national shame. The good old U.S.A. has not always been the beacon of democracy that we’d like to believe, but today we’ve reached new lows in benighted self-deception. While we celebrate the greatness of this country (with guns and fireworks and tanks), children sit in cages waiting for a microwaved burrito and cry out for their parents. The land of the free has become the home of concentration camps (again).

The really sad part is that this political spectacle has been going on for years: Caravans, gangs, migrants, oh my! It was bad under Bush, worse under Obama (the deporter in chief) and now the Donald has to out-do everyone. But why does this keep happening? Why can’t these people just work it out in their own countries? Being America, the indispensable nation, we have no need for context or history, or, frankly, fact or evidence, for that matter. We churn this political turmoil over and over and try and come up with “solutions” (“build that wall” or build bigger more comfortable detention facilities), all the while debating what the immigrants are doing to our economy, but we never ask why they flee their homes.

This is where it gets very hard because now, we have to ponder the effects of U.S. policy in Latin America. We have to admit that we control every country in Central America and have for at least a century. Every government in “our backyard” has been bought and paid for, installed by coup, harassed by U.S. trained death squads, palms greased with corporate greed, every nuance has been orchestrated by Washington to the benefit of corporations, banks and the military industrial complex. As just one relevant example, the latest overt coup, the 2009 overthrow of Honduras’ democratically elected president, led to the installation of a fascist dictatorship, the doubling of the murder rate and the quadrupling of Honduras’ national debt. These are the countries we’re helping!

Rod Krehbiel

Hood River

‘God Bless America!’

It was nice to see all the Fourth of July festivities in Hood River. The parade, the flags and the fireworks. It should be noted by all our anti-gun folks that Independence Day was made possible by normal folks with guns who demanded that we be free.

That is why our constitution first lists our basic freedoms and secondly ensures that the population has a right to keep and bear arms to guarantee our freedom. God Bless America!

Mike Farmer

Hood River

Fourth of July

What a wonderful day it was yesterday July 4, to witness so many people celebrating a day won by armed citizens.

Mike Monahan

Mt. Hood-Parkdale

Housing needed

In the past 10 years, there has been a decrease of low-income housing in the City of Hood River. Columbia View apartments (west of 13th St. on Cascade Ave.) now is privately owned and not for low income families. Avalon Apartments, which were rented by low income earners, have been turned into condos. Recently, I checked with Mid-Columbia Housing Authority in The Dalles, and they reported that in the City of Hood River, 537 families are on the waiting lists for the currently available low-income apartments. It takes an average of one to four years to get an apartment. How will we have an adequate work force if low income housing is not available?

The development of 2.78 acres of Morrison Park will provide 65 low income apartments. The remaining three acres of the park will be reserved for park uses. Please look at the site plan for the development of Morrison Park at midcolumbiahousingauthority.org/latest-lot-700. Pages seven and eight give two aerial views of how the park and housing will be separate but within the same lot. The lot is bordered by Wasco Ave., Jaymar Road, Interstate 84, and Columbia Area Transit station to the west.

Do we want to be a community just for middle and high-income earners? Do we care about the families who need housing but can’t afford the current rental rates? Do we want local children to have a home so they have the opportunity to grow up healthy and become a productive member of our community?

Mid-Columbia Housing Authority/Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation has done an excellent job of overseeing the current low-income housing in the City of Hood River. All of the complexes are maintained well and provide a healthy environment for children and their families.

I would like to thank Mayor Paul Blackburn and the Hood River City Council for their efforts and foresight to work towards a more inclusive community.

Nancy Johanson Paul

Hood River

Trump’s history

As we all were reminded in Trump’s Fourth of July speech, not only did the Continental Army defeat British General Cornwallis at Yorktown but, according to Trump, “They manned the air, rammed the ramparts, took over the airports. They did everything they had to do.”

Hmm, I wonder if the Continental Army were given the warnings that, “The green zone is for loading and unloading only and all violators will be towed away.”

Ron Yamashita

Hood River

Trump’s lies

In answer to “Politicians Lie,” (printed July 6): Trump in his first 10 months of office told almost six times more lies (103) than Obama (18) did in all of his eight years. I know politicians lie at times, but Trump’s frequency and numbers out strip all other presidents.

“Trump is different. When he is caught lying, he will often try to discredit people telling the truth, be they judges, scientists, F.B.I. or C.I.A. officials, journalists or members of Congress. Trump is trying to make truth irrelevant. It is extremely damaging to democracy, and it’s not an accident. It’s core to his political strategy” (Sunday Review: Trump’s Lies vs. Obama’s).

I do not see how you can compare over 10,000 Trump lies to Obama’s 18. That is like trying to compare the fire of a burning oil tanker to the fire of lighting a cigarette. It is neither about how big a lie is or who said it. It is about volume and the consequences of those lies. How is the media quoting Trump’s lies discrediting Trump? That’s what is silly. It is just telling it like it is.

With Trump’s federal government, there can be no public trust. But too many people trust everything Trump says to be the truth. The sad part is there is only one truth, irrespective of what any one of us think. Trump is the most lying president we have ever had and the most damaging to our democracy.

One of Trump’s latest lies is his saying Obama repeatedly begged Kim Jong-un to meet with him. Obama never once ask for a meeting with Jong-un.

Gary Fields

Hood River

Questions for Walden

At Rep. Greg Walden’s July 3 town hall in Cascade Locks, most of the questions asked of him had to do with immigration and the serious situation at our southern border; one question addressed climate change.

Many questions about other current issues, policies, actions and inactions could have been asked —hopefully, without resulting in the rambling, diversionary responses he is known for at his town halls. Here are a few:

1. Do you think it is appropriate for individuals to ignore congressional subpoenas?

2. Do you feel that spending $1-2 million on a military display at the Lincoln Memorial was appropriate, especially when the funds were diverted from the National Park Service, which has significant deferred-maintenance needs and is having to cut staff because of underfunding?

3. Is there anything — anything at all — in the Mueller Report that troubles you about President Trump’s behavior or his campaign?

4. At what point would you say we should move to carbon-free energy?

5. Is there any chance you will, at this late date, grow a conscience and a spine (or “a pair”)? Or is that wishful thinking?

Tom Kaser

Hood River

Open letter to Greg Walden

An open letter to Greg Walden:

As your constituent in Hood River, I urge you to visit one of the migrant camps near the border with Mexico and see for yourself how asylum seekers are being treated. Our hometown includes many people with connections in Mexico, and it is disappointing that you have not come out strongly against incarceration of people who are merely seeking a better life for their families.

Like many others, I am horrified by the abusive treatment of women and children in the camps, and I don’t understand why Border Patrol has been instructed to detain them rather than let them go with community supervision or even electronic monitoring. Both of these strategies have been proven to work to get asylum-seekers and refugees to show up for their immigration hearings. We can only assume that harsher measures such as incarceration are intended to deter people from coming here, a wrongheaded, hard-hearted strategy in a country that has immigration in its DNA.

If you could see conditions in the camps and come face to face with some of the people currently housed in the appalling conditions documented by many doctors, lawyers, and other members of Congress who have been brave enough to visit, perhaps you would agree.

Jennifer Hanlon-Wilde

Hood River

Bible Garden

In the Garden of Eden lived a serpent with a forked tongue. The serpent whispered sweetly to Adam and Eve as he fed them what turned out to be poison.

When I hear people say they love everyone, then proceed to demean and disrespect them, all I hear is hissss…

Steven Kaplan

Hood River

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