Merkley is right on

The editorial in the Pilot (Feb. 4) accuses Sen. Merkley of “going off the rails.”

What has he done, pass notes in class? He is communicating with Americans.

Despicable Republican members of Congress’ first order of business was to abolish ethics rules.

Merkley is accused of encouraging citizens to protest. Will it soon be illegal?

The editorial condemns push-back against eight years of Republican obstruction. Republicans refused to speak to a qualified SCOTUS nominee.

Republicans’ new coordinated attack derides Democrats for not finding common ground with Republican members of the ‘do-nothing Congress,’ who show no inclination to participate for the common good, is advanced by corporate owners of small-town newspapers.

Is it outrageous that Merkley sides with citizens against a SCOTUS nominee who has ruled in favor of corporations over personal liberties of real people?

He’s “bashing” Trump, writes the anonymous accuser. Is it not our right as Americans, our obligation as citizens, to speak out against the president and Republican Party’s pathological pursuit of profit? If a corporation is a person, then it is a psychopath.

Deceitful Donald’s unconscionable un-American disparaging of our military and intelligence professionals, while staging “reality shows” to inflate his fragile ego, along with love and praise for thieving dictator Putin, is grotesque.

The editorial refuses to identify who Merkley should be representing. Corporations undermine our institutions, incite anarchy and push Americans to fear each other while they steal our commons.

Stress people enough, instill fear, and we’ll gratefully accept crumbs in exchange for our dignity and human rights.

Michael Fox

Brookings

Beautiful new roof

I am truly grateful for the beautiful new roof I received through a grant from Neighborworks Umpqua in Roseburg.

Also, grateful to Johnnie McCartt, the contractor who did a first-class job on the installation, dividing his time through our winter rain storms.

This is a wonderful program for seniors. Melanie Jackson, the coordinator, personally came to visit after I submitted my grant application and soon after called to say that I met the criteria and I would get the new roof.

This year they have a new program called Dreamsavers. Check it out.

Joyce Tromblee

Brookings

Anti-mErkley agenda

Concerning the Pilot editorial, “Merkley, Oregon’s anarchist senator” (Pilot, Feb. 4,) which alleges that Sen. Merkley has “gone off the rails,” it is the Pilot and partially-originating editorial which appeared in the Bend, Bulletin which have actually at least partially derailed themselves by engaging in their own contextually-distorting and stilted hyperbole.

The Bulletin editorial originated from their writer’s take on an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times, and both the Bulletin and the Pilot have successively placed their own spins regarding it, motivated by their own obvious anti-Merkley agendas.

We are on Merkley’s email list as well as those of our other political representatives of both major political parties, and have not received any “blistering email message” about President Trump, etc. from his office. At least these pieces have appeared as they should on their newspapers’ editorial pages.

Those were not quite as propagandistic as was part of Fox News Bill O’Reilly’s Feb. 5 interview with President Trump, also partially shown on ABC-TV World News (Feb. 6) in which O’Reilly unsuccessfully attempted to press his own anti-Russia, anti-Vladimir Putin agenda upon Trump while questioning Trump about Trump’s opinion of Putin.

O’Reilly repeatedly labeled Putin as a “killer” of his opponents, ignoring that the U.S. also supports Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as well as others who engage in the same activities. Despite that onslaught Trump basically and fortunately said that he will make up his own mind, refusing to surrender to O’Reilly’s prejudicial stance.

Jim Hansen

Brookings

Thank you Merkley

Oregonians are privileged to have Jeff Merkley as one of their U.S. Senators. Merkley has taken a strong stand on so many issues that are vital to us here in Oregon, and to our entire country. Among other issues, he has worked tirelessly to protect our environment and our health — two areas essential to our well-being.

Sen. Merkley knows that climate change is real, and that time is running out if we are to protect our oceans, forests, farmlands and cities from the increasingly devastating effects of climate change. He has proposed the Keep It In The Ground Bill, protecting our public lands and offshore waters from new leases to extract fossil fuels.

Sen. Merkley has always fought to improve healthcare quality and coverage for all Oregonians, and has worked to protect Medicare and Medicaid. As a senior with Medicare coverage, I’m so glad that our senator wants to expand our Medicare benefits and will fight against any threats of Medicare cuts.

As my parents struggled with health issues, I saw firsthand the benefits of their Medicare coverage, and I knew that our family would have been unable to bear the cost of their health care without these benefits.

We can all be proud that we have a U.S. Senator like Jeff Merkley working for us in Washington D.C.!

Linda Bozack

Brookings

Justic is unraveling

As I write this, the courts are debating the constitutionality of Trump’s travel ban. But there is an arguably greater concern that Trump’s rhetoric in itself violates the very intent of the Constitution.

From the beginning of his campaign, Trump has insulted minorities, the disabled, women and anyone else not like him. Trump’s continued refusal to show any respect for the dignity of the office he holds as well as his ongoing fueling of distrust, fear and hate among American citizens blatantly contradicts the opening paragraph, the Preamble, of the Constitution:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”

Under this administration, justice is unraveling, our antagonists further enraged, general welfare is only a dream, blessings of liberty are reserved for only those of a certain category, and domestic tranquility is less certain than at any time in recent decades.

Diane Blackberry

Crescent City

Trump will prevail

President Trump issued an executive order calling for heightened vetting of certain foreign nationals seeking entry into the U.S.

The order temporarily suspends entry by nationals of seven Muslim-majority danger zones. The U.S. Constitution vests the executive power in the president in regards to transaction of business with foreign nations. Congressional legislation and Supreme Court precedent gives executive authority. Section 1182 of Title 8, U.S. Code states: “The President by proclamation … as he shall deem necessary, the authority to suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens.”

President Trump’s executive order has been temporarily blocked by an activist Federal District Judge James Robart of Washington state, who second-guessed the president on the wisdom and propriety of the president’s executive order.

Activists on the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals are expected to deny the DOJ appeal. Their ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is now split four to four. A tie decision would send the case back to the 9th District to confirm its decision. President Trump’s temporary halt to immigration from seven countries will probably die in the courts.

By April or May it is expected Neil Gorsuch will be seated on the U.S. Supreme Court. President Trump is expected to pack the court with strict constructionist judges on federal benches and the Supreme Court.

In time, he will prevail in restricting unvetted immigrants from seven unstable middle-east countries. This is not a legal or political battle; it is a clash of worldviews or between moral absolutes and a postmodern worldview, which rejects absolutes.

President Trump may lose some near-term legal battles, but in the long term he will prevail.

Steve Johnston, B.S., M. Div., J.D.

Brookings

Not my president

“Describe someone who lies incessantly to get their way and does so with little concern for others. They are often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused — it is done to get one’s way — and has little regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others.)

They are often charming and charismatic, but they use their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways.” (http://bit.ly/2krvQom Can you say “Sociopath?”)

The grandmothers say, “The time you are living in is called the age of destruction, the Kali Yuga. This dark-age takes place just before the arrival of the incoming Golden Age.” (http://bit.ly/2ltRYi5)

Today’s editorial cartoon (Pilot, 2/8/17) “Feels sorry for me.” Well, I’ve waited long enough and heard enough. Time’s up. He’s not my president, so don’t feel sorry for me and the more than 11 million (not just 2.8 million) voting Americans including over 436,530 Oregonians who voted against Trump than voted for him. (http://bit.ly/2kQ91y4.) He did get 1,813 more votes in Curry County, though.

My message to President Trump: “If you don’t like our country’s message represented by the Statue of Liberty — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — and our system of three independent branches of government, (legislative, executive and judicial), why don’t you join Snowden in Russia or move to Slovenia, if they’ll have you.

For the rest of us, it’s time to stand up and be heard over the voices of alt-right appearing Fox, Breitbart and Wescom news (excluding The Pilot and Triplicate) and talk shows like Limbaugh and Hannity.

Work to minimize the destruction Trump is creating in our world.

Gordon Clay

Brookings

Who are the fascists?

Anti-Trump mobs have signs against “fascism” — a letter writer says “becoming more fascistic will not make America great,” clearly an accusation against our president.

But who actually are the “fascists” on our current political scene?

Dictionary definition: “Fascism is a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual, and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition; a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control and brutality.”

President Trump is a strong leader, but not a dictator. He puts our nation first, as does every patriotic citizen. He is breaking up the “centralized autocratic government” we now have to give more opportunity to the economy and individual citizens. He speaks against his opponents, but has never used force or brutality to suppress them. By definition President Trump is not a fascist.

Who are using violence in the “forcible suppression of opposition” to their views? The “protesters,” who are part of the Democrat party! “Freedom of speech” on so many college campuses? Only if you agree with their “liberal” views — otherwise shouting, violence and lies are used to suppress the “conservative” viewpoint. Now they are also advocating assassination, even a military revolution, to get their way! Those are the “fascists” among us.

We do not want a “fascist” form of government, so we must keep extreme Democrats out of government control, since they have become “fascists.”

Theodore Allwardt

Brookings

Change me!

Many people are standing up to protest unfair treatment and loss of individual rights, but unless the protesters can offer a plan that benefits everyone, our voices will go unheard.

For years, now the idea for the international government has been spreading, and with support from people in 85 nations, including Muslim nations, it has passed cultural review. It is the solution for the crises we are facing as a nation and as a planet. Now, with Congress so deadlocked, the time has come to make it a reality.

For the United States to participate in the creation of the international government, we must amend our constitution to create the additional layer of government over what already exists. Our founding fathers included in the Constitution the Article V constitutional amendment path — a Convention of States — for when Congress is deadlocked. Many constitutional scholars and judges believe now is the time for Congress to agree to convene a Convention of States, just as our founding fathers functioned.

It takes up to seven years for an amendment to go through the process. Before it can become law, two-thirds of the states must vote for the amendment, and then three-fourths of the states must ratify it. The president of the United States, no matter who it is at the time, does not play a part in its creation.

This is the voice that will be heard in Washington D.C. — and around the world.

Karen Holmes

Brookings

Circus distributions

I was saddened to hear that Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus is never to be again.

The news said the elephants were going to a large compound in Sarasota, Florida; the horses were going to farms and ranches and all the big cats were taken by the zoos.

This leaves only the clowns who migrated to Washington D.C.

John Morris

Brookings

Stand, resist, prevail

Last Monday’s editorial (Pilot, Feb. 4) blasted Sen. Merkley while complaining of “hyper-partisanship!”

And two opinion letters complained of the “stopolitics” of the minority party.

Well, look! It sure worked for the GOP, didn’t it? I strongly support Sen. Merkley as he leads the resistance to the fascist philosophies and values, which I do not share.

Give Trump a chance? Oh, don’t worry! The entire Congress and the Supreme Court is now in GOP hands, and the Donald will take credit for an economy now finally nursed back to health from the destruction of the George W. years.

Trump, the Republican, offers more military spending, more jailing, more tax rate cuts for the wealthy, less help for the poor and a careless attitude toward the environment and the rights of individuals. He has the school-yard bully attitude that Republicans seem to love.

The GOP has a winning formula — wave the flag and pump the cross and the most uninformed of Americans will stand in line to shoot themselves in the foot. Trump supporters should turn off the conservative talk shows and get the news from a greater variety of sources.

Under Republicanism, billionaires prosper while investment in infrastructure, people, education and science dwindles. The chances of this administration actually improving the lives of average Americans is near zero, in my opinion.

We have an opportunity now for America’s best and brightest to stand, resist and prevail over the internal fascist threat. That will make America great.

Tracy Rupp

Brookings

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