Makes no sense

In the Nov. 10 edition of letters in the Pilot, a reader wrote in his belief that President Trump was responsible for the attack of Jews in the Pittsburgh synagogue. Not the madman who committed the murders, but the POTUS. This reader believes President Trump supports, “…the white nationalist segment of America” and then calls these people, “White supremacists.”

News Flash: I’m a nationalist, and because I’m causation, that makes me a white nationalist. That does not make me a white supremacist. A nationalist is simply someone, by definition, who puts his own country’s well being ahead of any other country. It has nothing to do with race or racism. A nationalist is a patriot, and does not believe in the agenda of neo-Nazis.

For whatever reason, most likely to smear the POTUS, some have tried to show a nexus between being a nationalist and attacks on Jews. As there is none, they try to equate being a nationalist with being a supremacist. Anti-Semitism has been increasing for the last couple decades, each year getting worse worldwide. Hatred and attacks on Christians has been increasing worldwide also. Blaming the current administration of what is a worldwide phenomenon is disingenuous.

Blaming President Trump for the attacks on Jews makes as much sense as blaming President Obama for the riots in Ferguson and the shooting of Michael Brown. After all, Obama showed racial bias for years, starting with the arrest of the black professor Henry Gates by a white Police Officer in 2009, when Obama sided with Gates before he knew the facts.

Was Obama responsible for the rioting in Ferguson or the killing of Brown? Of course not. Was Trump responsible for the murders of the Jews in Pittsburgh? Of course not. People are responsible for their own actions.

It’s time we stop pointing fingers and start to at least make an effort to get along.

Mike Wiley

Brookings

Stop game playing

In his last town hall meeting, I stood up and explained to Congressman (Peter) DeFazio about a misunderstanding in our legal system that allows our government to constitutionally justify playing power games that are oppressive to the people.

Plans that benefit the few over the whole cause chaos. Many Republicans have put their faith in Donald Trump to make America prosperous, but the truth is, the backbone of any economy is small business. Cutting Social Security and Medicare to pay for Trump’s tax cuts is oppressive to the people.

At that same town hall meeting, I gave DeFazio a proposal for our Lift the Public Plan. It allows any business to become partially tax exempt, and the benefits can expand to their vendors. It benefits everyone, including those of us on fixed incomes and the homeless.

It will take everyone working together to solve our homeless crisis, because the root cause of homelessness is that the person believes he or she has no home, and the issue of where to sleep is just part of the problem.

Crises occur on every level. The refugee crisis down at the border is a larger example of homelessness, and any plan must also address conflict resolution. Wouldn’t it make sense for Trump to help end the conflict in Central America? There is a plan for that, too, and it must come from the people when the people are ready to demand their government stop playing the games.

Karen Holmes

Brookings

Gifts needed

Elks Christmas Basket Program in conjunction with the Toys for Tots will be on Dec 15 at the Elk’s downstairs in the Wisner Room. We are asking for help from the community to help feed our families in need. The Elk’s Christmas Basket Program has been feeding less fortunate families for over 18 years.

On Dec 15, we will be passing out Food Baskets and Toys to our community that just need a helping hand this year. We will start at 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. These two organization work very hard to make sure that everyone, especially the children, receive a full meal and toys for the children.

If you are looking for a way to make a difference this is a great way to do it. You can make a monetary, food, or unwrapped new toy donation at the Elk’s office between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays in the office.

We need help with our food drive on Dec 1-2 at both grocery stores.

Food we need:

Frozen turkeys; canned cranberries, sweet potatoes, and fruit, cookies; and candy canes.

If you would like to help or have a question please call Sharon at 541-412-8968 or 541-429-1382.

Sharon Hitzman

Brookings

Save the tree

Please save my tree.

I donated this tree to the Brookings-Harbor Community Helpers Food Bank 15 years ago. It was a scrawny 3-foot tree. Now it is 8 feet tall and a drop-dead gorgeous red leaf maple.

We are putting a storage container in and my tree has to go. They are going to cut it down.

Please contact the food bank — 539 Hemlock — and save the tree.

Mary Boshart

Brookings

School mission

It was with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I read the column by Boyd Allen in the Nov. 24 Pilot. I agree completely with Allen that it is the school’s most important mission to teach values, morals, principles, history, and human interactions and relationships.

As I remember high school, a major part of my high school curriculum was devoted to social studies, including American history and (American) psychology. In the 1980’s when I taught at Cedar Park Middle School in the Beaverton School District, there was a vibrant and focused curriculum on health, family, community relationships and interactions. Yes, of course, emphasis was on the basics of reading, writing and math, but not for their own sake, but as they might apply to making our children better Americans, citizens and yes…human beings.

Today we live in a world that demands on a increasing level, more and more of us technologically. But to what end? I suggest this modern curriculum is focused on how to succeed fiscally; to avoid trouble; to avoid taxes; to make money; to litigate; to get elected; etc.; where does it end? Our schools need to help our kids figure these issues out, and to let them do it their way. Our schools serve nobody’s best interests with this approach.

Thank you for your column. May we all take heart and support our kids, and demand that schools abandon this fool’s errand of teaching to academic benchmarks and to start teaching to how we are all involved and participating in this process called life.

Russell I. Oelheim

Brookings

Hateful fire

I wore a Trump mask and held an American flag while campaigning for the midterms in front of our red tent. I got to experience some of what it feels like to be him: the rude hand gestures and screamed obscenities from the angry left. They have no agenda other than hatred of Trump and the right.

Then I attended the city council meeting on Nov. 13. Despite all the background negative chatter against Mayor (Jake) Pieper and Councilman (Ron) Hedenskog, the council’s 3-2 decision, with a Democrat breaking the tie, sent the indivisibles walking.

Several things happened that were not reported by the Pilot’s reporter. It seems that exercising the First Amendment only applies to the left as Councilman (Dennis) Triglia exploded and rudely interrupted Jean Soderman’s testimony. She was recalling how Triglia exploded with anger at her at a Blue Zone project meeting. She also recalled that she and her wheelchair-bound husband were accosted by members of the Indivisible 97415 group after the meeting. She reported this event to the police. Jean is a good Christian with no reason to lie.

After the vote Candice Michel left the chambers along with many of her supporters. I stepped outside to listen to a phone message and I heard women screaming so loudly that I couldn’t hear my message. It appeared they were following Maxine Waters’ instructions to get in the faces of people who don’t agree with them. When I caught sight of the disturbance I recognized Candice and her supporters viciously screaming at the mayor’s father, Bob Pieper, as he walked away from them. The indivisible group and hateful left have shown the nation that they can’t handle defeat. I commend the council’s decision that evening and their composure under hateful fire.

Lou Costa

Brookings

Ethics needed

Through experiences, I see some of our local nonprofits in need of ethics training. Some use gaslighting tactics. Gaslighting is a term that is most often used to describe mentally abusive intimate relationships; re: nonprofits, gaslighting is a form of abuse that is meant to bully person(s), power grab rather than serve in obedience to the nonprofit mission — controllers often bend or break the rules to maintain control.

Whether or not a nonprofit allows gaslighting, largely depends on the backbone and heart of the board of directors and, whether or not individual board members are committed to being ethical. If a board member makes a false board report, for example, then how do local nonprofits handle that? Many do not take the time to sift through the misinformation. Gaslighters know this and use to their advantage.

What does nonprofit gaslighting look like?

• Hostile work environment (due process mishandled/nonexistent). Ignorance of/ ignoring best practices.

• Misapplication of resources, abuse of power.

• Maledictions: False board reports aren’t allowed to be challenged.

• Malfeasance: Mismanagement of designated donations. A recent example: a theft of funds was called an accounting decision. This is beyond a whoopsie daisy — an honest mistake. Designated funds shouldn’t have been dispersed to do anything except as funds were designated.

• Modus operandi? Marginalize people who have discrediting information regarding bully board members. Targeted rumor-spreading/misrepresenting the truth.

• Favoritism for those who fall in line and denial of due process for others.

• Nonprofit becomes a weapon rather than a service organization.

Connie Hunter

Brookings

Schools have failed

I want to give my thanks to Boyd Allen for his article “Moral Vacuum Being Taught in Schools.”

I have said that the schools do not teach children to think especially in terms of history, the just drill a hole in your head and fill it full of dates and events. While in my senior year, I had a social studies teacher who in 1963 made three pages in the Saturday Night magazine because at the same time one group was applauding her for her patriotic teaching and another group was accusing her of her subversive teaching. She taught her class about Communism because she believed that to fight it you had to understand it. The school board stood behind her and I have wished that I had paid more attention to her when I was in her class.

Another example of how our schools failed when it came to teaching kids to think was brought home to me during the last 24 hours of the Naval survival school. During the last 24 hours, all of the students were thrown into a mock prison camp that at that time was based on the Korean War experience. For the entire 24 hours the loud speakers played propaganda at us. One of the items that the North Koreans used against the American prisoners of war said that “Thomas Jefferson once wrote that there was nothing but taxes and death in America.” If you asked them to prove this, they could show you a copyrighted book with this comment. If you did not know enough history to realize that Jefferson wrote this prior to the revolution, it would be a step toward your disillusionment, which is what the North Koreans were trying to do.

Allen’s article was right on. Our schools are teaching our kids to accept, not think and unfortunately this has been going on for decades and now we have the “me” society that does not care what is happening in Washington, D.C., as long as they still have theirs.

John Bischoff

Brookings

Obese pets

In 2017 an estimated 60 percent of cats and 56 percent of dogs in the U.S. were overweight or obese according to www.petobesityprevention.org. Why is excess fat bad for pets? Excess fat cells can cause the following: reduced life expectancy, diminished quality of life, skin disorders, chronic inflammation, joint disease and pain, kidney disorder, cancer, respiratory disorders along with disorders like diabetes.

The prevalence of obesity in American pets is the worst worldwide. We have all seen pets at the dog parks, on the streets and veterinary clinics that are so fat they can barely walk. Those pets have been disabled by overfeeding by well intentioned, but uninformed pet owners. We all love to give our pets treats, but we don’t factor in the calories of those treats.

Obese pets are not leading quality lives and will undoubtedly have a long list of medical issues in their futures. All of which are preventable.The most common obesity-related conditions for dogs are: arthritis, bladder/urinary tract disease, low thyroid production, live disease, torn knee ligaments, diabetes, disease disc in the spine, fatty growths, chronic kidney disease and heart failure.

In cats the most common obesity-related conditions are: urinary tract disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, liver disease, asthma, arthritis and high blood pressure, heart failure, gall bladder disorder and immobility of the spine.

Following the manufacturer recommended feeding instructions may be one of the worst things a pet parent can do. Those guidelines are often based on very active pets. And of course the more one feeds their pets the more one buys.

Here are five questions you should ask your Veterinary: 1. Is my pet overweight? 2. Is my pet at risk for medical issues due to excess weight? 3. How much weight should my pet lose per month? 4. What types of exercise should my pet do? 5. How many calories should I feed my pet?

Local veterinary clinics have readily available handouts on pet obesity that can also help you calculate the proper weight for your pet. Even five excess pounds on a 50-pound dog can be significant to their health.

Judy Shafer

Wild River Shepherds

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