OUR READERS' OPINIONS - 06/12/11

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Move ninth-graders to middle school?

I graduated from high school in 1958. The school supported kids from four other towns. The school had been there for sometime before I went.

In 2008 I went back to New Jersey for the 50th reunion. The school was still there and, in fact, was just as I remembered it, and is still in use.

Middle school (junior high ) was seventh to ninth grade. Maybe moving the ninth-graders to middle school would solve many of the perceived problems at Walla Walla High School.

Every time the powers to be think we need more taxes for this or that, remember that there are many of us who haven't had a cost of living raise for two years. At the same time, prices everywhere on everything are rising. Let's let good sense prevail and stop spending money no one has.

Frank Coghill

College Place

Be green - please clean

I am concerned. When I went to the Jefferson Park I saw a lot of garbage lying all over the floor and inside the lake.

There was a lot of poop. It made me very sad to see all that. One week before I had a bag and a grabber and picked up a lot of garbage and by the creek.

People should be careful where they throw their garbage.

I'm a third-grader and I saw dog poop everywhere. I almost stepped on the poop.

Be green - please clean.

Vanessa Beltran

Walla Walla

No need for nasty, caustic letters

As we eased into the new year, I was elated to see the conclusion of a nasty and often caustic 2010 Reader's Opinions period. The caustic submissions were replaced in 2011 by comprehensive, well-constructed opinions that shared a wealth of local and historical information with untold instructional and entertainment value.

However, as the year progressed and we were into the second quarter, the nastiness and caustic trend in the opinions began to emerge again. The absurdity of a few local and out-of-town/state opinions featured displayed some very elementary and pseudepigraphal reasoning in order to amplify their faulty premise or rebuttals of well researched and academically correct opinions.

Several weeks ago, I came across a paragraph in a book penned over a century ago that, in my estimation, is still quite appropriate and relevant in today's society. It states, "The prevailing spirit of our time is one of infidelity and apostasy - a spirit of avowed illumination because of a knowledge of truth, but in reality of the blindest presumption. Human theories are exalted and placed where God and His law should be. Satan tempts men and women to disobey, with the promise that in disobedience they will find liberty and freedom that will make them gods. There is seen a spirit of opposition to the plain word of God, of idolatrous exaltation of human wisdom above divine revelation. Men have allowed their minds to become so darkened and confused by conformity to worldly light and darkness, truth and error. So far have they departed from the right way that they hold the opinions of a few philosophers, so-called, to be more trustworthy than the truthworthy than the truth of the Bible. The entreaties and promises of God's word, its threatenings against disobedience and idolatry - these seem powerless to melt hearts. A faith such as actuated Paul, Peter, and John they regard as old-fashioned, mystical, and unworthy of the intelligence of modern thinkers."

Hopefully, we will see an increase in the quality of opinion submissions, discussions and rebuttals in our better-than-average-quality editorial pages when compared to most other leading news publications. The pervasive propaganda and political venom spewed in undisciplined, recalcitrant manner must cease!

It is fortunate for the U-B to have such stalwart local contributors as Steve Singleton, Vern Filan, Jim Thorn, Barb Dickerson and Roberta Bardsley, just to name a few of the regular contributors who are often rebutted on a regular basis.

This seeming character assassination, to me, resemble's incomprehensible "left-wing" babble, which does not make a whole lot of sense, even when closely analyzed.

Reuben T. Tsujimura

Walla Walla

Deep yearnings fuel revolution

Regarding the ongoing Second Amendment discussion:

I would like to say that Mr. Singleton's viewpoint on the Second Amendment is well-written and his points have a wonderful aura of his conviction about them.

I was just wondering if, perhaps, there might be a small ray of light that would filter through as to the good viewpoints of those who you do not see eye-to-eye with. The men who wrote views opposing him are good, upstanding Patriots and they love this land as much as he does. I sure like his passion of argument, but it certainly does not boil down to just three remedies - ridicule, violent opposition and acceptance.

If we the people cannot work together to solve the massive problems ahead of us as a country without this "personal bias of ideas," we are doomed to defeat. I think Lincoln thought the only way we would be broken as a country is from within and he saw this almost happen with the Civil War.

I probably don't share Mr. Singleton's viewpoint on all things, but we could have a great conversation. My coffee pot is always on please come by for a cup.

In the end, freedom or liberty has little to do with arming the multitudes or what the United States Constitution says and more to do with a purity of thought/conviction. The people in the Middle East are going through a "spring time of craving for Liberty, Justice and Freedom" and for the most part are completely unarmed.

Yet it is these deep yearnings that fuel the fire of revolution over fear of death itself. Look at Syria and the brutal hand of a dictator upon them and yet in the face of extermination these brave people are standing up to fight their persecutors down unarmed. Syria will not have liberty, justice and freedom quickly but with their purity of thought/conviction they will have it in the future. No doubts!

Steven Leroy Rusch

Walla Walla

Wind turbine decision seems political

The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners said it wanted science to make its decision on changing the industrial wind turbine siting amendments. Unbiased science was given to it by the Umatilla County Planning Commission, made up of members appointed by county commissioners to represent citizens.

This information can be found on the county website. The planning commissioners took 33 months to gather and understand all of it before making their unanimous decision.

The rules the Energy Facility Siting Council must follow are worse than inadequate. If you read the East Oregonian article on the EFSC hearing dated May 21, the members themselves were uncomfortable with the decision they had to make allowing an amendment to the Helix Wind Project. It more than doubles the original project size without any more study, adding 134 new turbines to the original 60. It also takes an additional 13,000 acres, most of it high-value farm ground.

EFSC rules are deficient when it comes to protecting you and your neighbors for two reasons. They were developed in the early days of turbine development for much smaller turbines. Second, the rules have been constantly reinforced they are adequate in the media by the wind developers and our own green agenda-driven state government officials.

Are we really willing to risk our water resources, the life-blood of our county's main economy and our communities? Is the building of more turbine projects honestly the only way to put money into our budgets? Are there no other businesses worth investing in to create real, permanent jobs? Has anyone even tried?

It's time to stop the whispers in the ears of our elected leaders by the wind industry, "But what about the money?" It's time to stop putting our hard-earned tax dollars into the hands of the industry that is contributing to the demise of our education system, our safety net for the elderly and disabled, and the disintegration of our once close-knit rural communities now divided.

I haven't heard of anyone being asked if they want to live next to an industrial power development. Who would have dreamed in rural Oregon we would be faced with the possibility of such a development being allowed?

For the decision on the wind siting amendment to be such a tough sell to the county commissioners, it looks more politically motivated than scientifically based.

Debbie J. Kelley

Milton-Freewater

Two-thirds majority allows minority to rule

The U-B Editorial Board recently reminded us that they endorsed I-1053 that passed by a slim majority of yes votes, but requires tax increases in the Legislature to receive a two-thirds yes vote.

The U-B frequently complains about the high cost of tuition at state universities and community colleges.

The U-B is rightly concerned that the Department of Corrections isn't getting all the funds required to minimize the threats to safety faced by prison personnel. Let's not permit the U-B to hold with the hares and run with the hounds.

Guess what? You can't have reasonable tuition that a middle-class student can afford, let alone a student of parents challenged by low wages or unemployment, unless you have tax revenue to reduce tuition to bearable rates and prevent the erosion of support for higher education generally.

Increased tax revenue is required to properly fund the Department of Corrections. The U-B has looked at life from both sides and has decided to be on both sides simultaneously. The U-B has freedom of the press because it owns one, not because their editors are required to be consistent, to be congruent and to make sense.

Why should a mere majority of voters be permitted to handcuff the Legislature with a two-thirds supermajority requirement to raise taxes? Why not get completely righteous about it and require unanimity before taxes can be raised?

Or let's put the shoe on the other foot. What if it took a two-thirds vote in the legislature to stop a tax increase, and only 34 percent of the legislators to pass one? Put that way, how can you not see the tyranny of the minority involved? The war on the younger generation has to stop. Or not.

Washington state is on its way to destroying its college and university system. The system is on the path to privatization. If the mess requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes isn't straightened out, the public school system will be right behind.

Taxes generally are lower as a percentage of GDP than they have been for 50 years.

Public education is the chief responsibility of state government. Without legislative ability to raise revenue by majority vote in order to properly support public education, the young suffer first while the integrity and prosperity of the entire society suffers.

Charles Potts

Walla Walla

Wa-Hi theater teacher would be thrilled

For the theater patrons of the Walla Walla area, another theater that we can go and enjoy - the Shakespeare theater.

If Marshall Alexander were still with us, he would be very pleased about this. He taught for many years at Walla Walla High School. The theater was such a joy to him. I took classes from him as many others did.

Shary M. Jackson

College Place

Questions just raise questions

Mr. Meyers suggested 13 questions to consider when voting. Attempting to understand them has proved to be very interesting, especially when some of the questions are of the form - when will you stop beating your wife?

I know I cannot give answers to them all in 400 words, so I'll have to address the unanswered ones with a follow-up letter. I'm going to pick the easy questions first. Besides, most of the questions simply raise questions about their meaning.

1. What policies does the administration allow to exist that results in raised gas prices? I thought that the so-called "free market" determined gas prices.

2. "Conservative" and "socialistic" are not terms that are opposite in sense, and how can anyone claim that the U.S. is going "socialistic" and that the rest of the world is going conservative. The question assumes something that cannot be even close to being true.

3. This is amusing. I assume that Mr. Meyers is stating that the U.S, is not like every other country in the world. He is right. In some cases things are better here, in some cases things are worse. No country is like every other country in the world. By the way, when did "our leader decry America as being just like every other country in the world?"

4. To which faux pas is Mr Meyers referring? At least he hasn't yet thrown up on anyone at a state dinner.

5. How many more unelected "czars" does this administration have than previous administrations had?

9. Health care is not totally government controlled. It is totally controlled by insurance companies whose object is profit, not medical care.

10. Unemployment is high because there are no jobs. The private sector, awash in cash, is outsourcing them all.

What does he mean by the phrase "real figure" in his question? He should define "real." Imagine what the figure might be if we didn't have a million or more personnel in the military!

12. I am not better off today than before Bush came to office. It's been all downhill. He did mean before Bush, didn't he?

I could not include here the exact questions asked, otherwise I would have run out of words long ago. Perhaps Mr. Meyers could provide specific data when he next asks questions and avoid words like "more," "better," etc., and also provide specific examples.

Dick Swenson

Walla Walla

Thought of Obama re-election spurs sinking feeling

When it comes to Barack Obama's performance as president, some people say that he doesn't have a clue.

Is it possible that Obama just doesn't realize that his policies hurt America? Perhaps. However, I'm concerned that Obama does realize that his policies hurt America, and he's haughtily fine with that.

Based on what I've seen, before and since Obama moved into The White House, I'm just not convinced that he has America's best interests at heart. As a matter of fact, I'm not convinced that Obama even respects America! The president should defend The United States of America, not apologize to our enemies. The president should work to preserve our freedoms, not try to take over every aspect of our lives. The president should make it his goal to keep this country strong, not weaken it with policies that restrict and punish, and persistently accumulate a mammoth national debt!

According to Obama, anyone who criticizes his agenda is just trying to use scare tactics. He insists things are improving and we just need to be patient. That's like the captain of the Titanic telling the passengers that the iceberg didn't damage the ship, and everything is fine ... the ship is imperishable and oh ... don't worry about all that water and that sinking feeling!

The captain of the Titanic chose to go down with the ship. He knew the ship couldn't be saved.

The United States can be saved, but only if we have strong, wise leadership. However, if Obama stays at the helm, I believe America is headed for the depths of despair and ruin.

Unfortunately, Obama still has supporters who are determined to re-elect him. I find that frightening! Talk about that sinking feeling!

Roberta Bardsley

Walla Walla

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