Socialism, capitalism

Regarding the Faith Forum (Pilot, Nov. 11): There are several statements that should be questioned in the forum —starting with the first sentence.

Perhaps the youth of today have more intelligence than those of yesteryear, as they see what current “capitalism” is doing with the rich getting richer and the poor….

Second sentence belies the fact that President G.W. Bush sent US troops into the Middle East and Afghanistan resulting in the deaths and injuries of thousands of U.S. soldiers.

Undoubtedly, not meaning to but still, they died as a result of his actions. The writer intentionally or through lack of thought easily omitted explaining that several countries have well-developed/functioning socialist or near socialist governments like Denmark and Sweden. Well, actually, most of Western Europe, i.e. Socialism, may work under certain circumstances. It may be it’s not the system but the people in charge.

There are a number of successful communes in the U.S. and worldwide that try to follow very socialist/communist ways. It is not for all, but it works for some.

I certainly agree with one of the writer’s main points — we are doing a lousy job educating our youth and our citizenry on the pros and cons of political systems.

J. Benson


Trees and trust

Monday’s experience at the Brookings City Council meeting left me angry and shaken at just how little our elected representatives value their constituents. Many sound arguments for adhering to arborist French’s recommendation to only cut down eight trees in Azalea Park apparently fell on deaf ears.

Councilors Hamilton and Thompson had clearly made up their minds on the issue, and dug in their heels, both citing the lack of attendance at the September workshop with arborist French as a true indication of the lack of public support. Never mind that we were in the middle of a wildfire of epic proportions at the time.

Mayor Pieper called us “late to the party,” as if that somehow diminishes our concern that the city is irreparably altering the “jewel in the crown” of city parks.

Nevertheless, without even knowing which trees they were condemning, the council voted 3-1 to cut down 35. Is it any wonder that we don’t trust our elected officials?

If you haven’t walked through Azalea Park in a while, it’s a rude shock. It no longer looks like the beautiful place I fell in love with when I moved here 13 years ago. Just two years ago, more than 30 trees were taken down on Lundeen Lane, healthy and robust, all because one tree uprooted in the midst of a torrential downpour.

Two years later, the promise to plant new trees hasn’t been fulfilled. I’m thankful Elmo isn’t around to see what’s happened to our beautiful park. It would make him sick.

Candice Michel


Blind Allegiance

Jim Schultz’s Faith Forum expresses fears that help drive a majority of American Christians into blind allegiance (Pilot, Nov. 11).

Schultz is shocked that our youth have lost faith in capitalism and he’s afraid of Bernie Sanders’ democratic socialism. “We are close to losing our freedom,” he exclaims. Fear not. Our youth see more clearly than many who have lived through the 50-year argument of the Cold War.

They see that they are already less free. Burdened with education expenses, they are also in debt for years to come for ill-conceived constant waging of war that has killed millions of peasants and many Americans.

The gap between rich and poor, already greater here than in most countries, is increasing more rapidly all the time. America’s tax systems, both state and federal, favor the wealthy.

Just now, the GOP wants to raise the national debt to pay for more tax cuts and military spending. The GOP continually does this with the promise that it will boom the economy. It never happens because it is a false economic philosophy that no reputable economist believes anymore. With wages flat nationally, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos acquired the same wealth as half of Americans.

Our youth see a GOP that, for want of more gold and silver, threatens their future, their children’s future and the future of life on Earth. They see that the majority choice of white Christians has no problem using the office of the president to enrich himself and lie about it.

Tracy Rupp


City lacks wisdom

Perhaps certain members of the Brookings City Council should find other things to do with their time. They appeared to have no interest in the subject of last night’s meeting: the issue of removing certain Douglas Fir trees from Azalea Park. The outcome left the audience in an emotional turmoil.

I cite these words of wisdom from one council member, “It’s called Azalea Park, not Douglas Fir Park.” If he had spent time thoughtfully considering the issue, it was not in evidence.

Another council member expressed an unbelievable conclusion that, if nine trees could fail this year, then another nine might fail the next and then another nine, and on and on. It reminded me of the man who went to the dentist complaining of a cavity and the dentist advised pulling all his teeth because he was bound to have another cavity or two down the road.

Although one council member was absent and another declined to vote based on a lack of good information being presented, the council voted to remove at least 30 fir trees.

Such serious matters as tree removal in the major city park should be considered by people truly interested in the subject matter. When it is time to fill council seats, I sincerely hope people with a true interest in the community at large will step up.

Shirley Hyatt