Have you experienced this? You read an article in the Herald and News that bothers you so much that you sit down and write a response — a letter to the editor or an online post — and nothing happens. It is as if your response was not worthy to be printed.
Well that happened to me, and I was quite infuriated (I am using the polite word for my feelings). So rather than taking it lying down, I decided to stand up and publish everything here. If this has ever happened to you or you feel the same way, then please help me by spreading the word to others in your social circles. The Herald and News will continue their arrogance and only print one-point-of-view as long as they can get away with it.
What made me post a response?
The other day I read this article about the KBRA by Dennis Linthicum in the online version of the paper. Linthicum’s article was in the “Opinion” section. I then saw that this article about Dennis Lynch (associate regional director of the U.S. Geological Survey), was posted twice in the “Agriculture” and “Enviornment” sections. It was an article reporting on Dennis Lynch’s seminar at Crater Lake and referenced several quotes by Mr. Lynch.
Much has been written about the mass killing in Roseburg last week. A great piece on the topic was penned by Dennis Linthicum at the Dirt Road Economist. Dennis does an excellent job describing exactly where we ought to place the blame for such a horrific event. Be sure to take a few moments to read it.
I’d like to take a different tact and have us see if the socialist’s view of gun-control is the answer to these kinds of tragedies. If you would, close your eyes and imagine a place where there are no guns. A place where there are no knives or weapons of any kind. In this place all suspicious activity is monitored and scrutinized by the authorities to ensure everyone’s safety. To enter this “paradise” it requires walking through metal detectors, showing photo ID and surrendering any weapon of any kind.
Sounds beautiful right? Sounds just like what President Obama is promoting. That is until you realize I am describing our maximum security prison, the Oregon State Penitentiary, located in Salem, Oregon. This all male facility does not allow weapons of any kind. If you are caught with one the punishment is severe. It is one of the most gun-free zones in Oregon and yet one of the most dangerous places to live. Now, was this the safe place you imagined as I was describing this prison in the paragraph above? What you were imaging does not exist in the real world, now or ever. It is an illusion, a dream — a violence-free society because there are no guns.
Here we are. We have finally arrived. Nirvana for the left — Pot (er... marijuana) is now legal in Oregon. Well that is not entirely true. There are some strict guidelines around the production, distribution and use of marijuana. However, if you ask the average person on the street they will tell you “Pot is legal”. However if you asked them a different question, they may give you blank stare, or fumble a bit and then say “sure, why not,... it doesn’t hurt anyone”. What is that question?
Is Legalized Pot Good for Oregon?
You see, making something legal doesn’t change whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. We should make laws based on promoting good things and laws against bad things. But if something was bad before, and then it becomes legal, that thing does not become good. Instead, all that has happened is a bad thing has become legal.
I’m sure some are rolling their eyes now thinking I’m a moralist and I shouldn’t judge the behaviors of others. Well if you think that way, then you should stop judging me and my opinions because they differ from yours. Or you should not get upset when someone hits your car or steals items from your home because, by your own thinking, you shouldn’t judge others. But back to the question at hand, is legalized marijuana is good for Oregon and Oregonians.
My fellow author’s article last week about Donald Trump seemed to stir up quite a negative reaction from those who firmly stand behind “The Donald”. After reading G.W.’s article and then the comments that followed, what I gleaned was fascinating — the term “conservative” seems to have lost any real meaning.
To be a conservative now-a-days seems to be someone who claims to back a particular set of policies.
Can we tell if someone is a real conservative if they are for:
“The Donald”, as he is often called, is #1 one in all of the summertime Republican primary polls — and all of the Washington insiders are dumbfounded. The 2016 Republican primary contest was to be like 2012, where the establishment GOP put up their candidate, this time Jeb Bush, and the rest of the field, made up of self-proclaimed conservative purists, wrestled each other for the crumbs. This is how 2012 turned out. Then the candidate of choice was Mitt Romney. Romney stood tall and smiled while everyone else tried to show why they were the best anti-Romney candidate. We all know how that turned out. Romney won the Republican primary and then lost the general election to the weakest sitting president since George Herbert Walker Bush (Bush 41).
The establishment has given us some real “winners” over the years: Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. While all fine men, none of them were conservative in their core governing values. And without that your elected official can change their position on any issue, at any time because nothing really anchors them. They just float around looking for the popular choices to make and avoid standing out with any of the controversial ones.
So what of Donald Trump? Why is he popular? First people loved his television show. They liked that in a culture, that for decades has been feminized, here stood a masculine hero that was not afraid to tell celebrities they screwed up — “You’re fired”. Right next to celebrity is leadership. The Apprentice always made Donald Trump the leader, the man in charge. People like that. And so with celebrity and the aura of leadership Trump enters the Presidential race leveraging these two assets.
On this 4th of July weekend many will celebrate. However, our problem is many do not know what they will be celebrating. Watch this quick video by InfoWars. When we celebrate for the sake of celebrating and we do not know why we celebrate, the celebration becomes the focus and not the historical event we are to remember.
This weekend, Liberty is why we celebrate. Freedom from a tyrannical English monarch, King George. But Liberty means more. It means the Founders set up a government that would be limited in scope and power so that we, many generations later, could continue to enjoy freedom from a powerful and oppressive government. However, Liberty began to lose its meaning in the late 20th century, and now many people have become fools, like those see on the InfoWars video.
In the 1960's progressive activists began to bend and re-shape the meaning of Liberty. These subversive few redefined Liberty from meaning “freedom from tyranny” to “freedom from morality and natural consequence”. Want to get drunk, take something from someone else, get high and have sex with whomever you want? You are free to do so, and do as much of it as you want. In their view, freedom from moral constraint is what Liberty was all about. The “oppression” in their view was morality, not government. Government in their view is good. Moral constraints bad. Unfortunately over time this new meaning took shape and ahold of the culture. The problem is that Liberty was never meant to stand alone. There is a co-principle, the other side of the coin, that must always go hand and hand with Liberty — Personal Responsibility.
Earlier this week, Freedom took it on the chin as the U.S. House passed HR 2048, named the USA Freedom Act. U.S. Congressman Greg Walden voted for the bill. You probably did not hear him say anything about it, because Mr. Walden hopes you never learn how he voted — or that such a vote took place. If he were proud of his vote, rest assured, we would all know about it.
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the bulk telephone metadata program run by the National Security Agency (NSA) is not authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act and is thus unlawful. The ruling is a big win for privacy and civil liberties advocates who have long argued that Section 215 clearly does not contemplate the type of mass collection we now know is occurring.
However that did not deter Congress and so they quickly wrote H.R 2048 which will undo much of the progress resulting from the Second Circuit’s opinion. The bill's sponsors, and unfortunately some outside advocacy groups, wrongly claim that H.R. 2048 ends “bulk” collection. It is true that the bill ends the phone dragnet as we currently know it—by having the phone companies themselves hold, search, and analyze certain data at the request of the government, which is worse in many ways given the broader set of data the companies hold—but H.R. 2048 actually expands the statutory basis for the large-scale collection of most data.
The one thing the Left is very good at is bending language to favor their point of view.
One such example is the Public Safety Levy. Just think about that for a moment. Why didn’t they call it the “Fund The Jail Levy”? Because no one wants to pay more taxes for a jail, but many will pay more to stay or be safe. But that begs the question, how safe? How safe is safe enough? Do we need to pay for police officers on every corner? That would be safer, but really expensive.
Rarely do public officials use hard data UNLESS it favors their position. Instead they prefer to create a nebulous world with language, talking endlessly about keeping you "safe" or "safer". But those of us in the real world who have limited resources must have a better metric to determine if the level of safety today is adequate not — and that data is often difficult to come by, or people are too lazy to look it up. So the Left wins their argument by claiming to be the champions of safety and all opponents are people who are obviously cheap, uncaring and selfish. (Learn more about the Jail levy — including great and easy to understand data).
If you are Republican of any flavor it is not hard to see what a mess the party is in. The only saving grace is that the other side is in as bad of, or worse, shape. However that is not enough to win elections or to bring real change to this country in order to live once again as a free and prosperous people.
The Republican party is in trouble because it has left its founding principles. Many in the Republican party, at the national, state and local levels, claim to be for fiscal responsibility and limited government. These same Republicans become upset when our tax dollars are used to help illegal aliens receive benefits meant for tax payers or for citizens in distress. However, when you dig a little deeper you often find a hypocrisy among these Republicans that they are unaware of — and what’s more, when you point out this hypocrisy to them, they get very upset.
For the most part I consider these Republicans well meaning but lost. What has happened is that they have moved from a principled view of government, where they claim to believe in the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility, and moved to a preference view of government.
You can credit liberals with one thing — they are a persistent lot. The Herald and News once again carries their water with this story “Advanced Diploma, fifth-year program pays off.” Sounds like a great success, right? The Advanced Diploma Program allows students who failed to graduate their senior year to attend KCC the following year, earn their high school diploma AND receive credit for their first year of college. The Advanced Diploma Program classes magically count for both their high school and their college education. The Advanced Diploma program propels the Klamath Falls City School graduation rate of 47% and the Klamath County Schools graduation rate of 67% to 90%. Wow. Simply amazing. Isn’ this great?!?
Unfortunately, as with most liberally slanted stories in the Herald and News, this story omits any analysis as to whether this program is truly a benefit for our community or not. This piece does not give the “other side of the story”, so that is what I intend to do. At the end of this article I hope you have a clearer understand of what is really going on and therefore can make an intelligent decision whether to raise your pompoms in praise of this “progress” in our children’s education or not.
Suppose there was a parent of a 13 year old boy. One night at the table, the 13-year old refuses to eat any of his vegetables. He is ready for a fight. He wants to show a little independence and he has decided to stake his flag on not eating vegetables. The parent first tries to reason with with the boy, but he refuses. Next the parent tries an emotional plea but that fails as well. Exasperated the parent resorts to offering him a special desert at his favorite restaurant in exchange for him eating his vegetables. The boy smiles and agrees. A few days later that same parent learns the boy refuses to clean his room. Again reason and emotion fail to persuade him, so the parent offers to pay for him and friends to see a movie, if he would only clean his room. The boy smiles and agrees.