Letters, Jan. 5
Walls and neighbors
“Something there is that does not love a wall.” Poets sometimes anticipate events of the future.
In “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost and his neighbor see the repair of a wall between their properties differently. “Good fences make good neighbours,” the neighbor declared proudly, and liked the sound of it so much, he said it again.
It is here that the division that troubles us today begins when the narrator asks himself, “Why do they make good neighbours? ... Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was likely to give offence.”
When we build walls to keep others out, when we turn away from the promise of our heritage of American acceptance, when we exclude those who are different, we deny our invitation to “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Those of us who remember the Berlin Wall know from experience its failure. How many people died or were imprisoned while attempting to escape for a better life? We also remember a president’s challenge: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!”
Whenever there is a government shutdown the following would happen:
All congress members, senators and the president would be required to return to Washington, D.C., within 24 hours. No exceptions for holidays, weekends, etc. Start negotiations within 48 hours. They and their staff along with senior administration personnel and their staffs’ pay would be stopped just like all other government employees and whoever else is affected. With no retroactive pay. Retroactive pay for all others after the shutdown is over. All military and Coast Guard should be paid on time. If after a week there is no resolution, the Congress and Senate would be required to meet in their chambers for 12 hours a day until the situation is resolved.
This might make it more personal for them and get things resolved sooner than later.
Tell them no
Another day, another double-sided glossy mailer trying to sell us the Jordan Cove LNG. Fully of happy, smiling actors promising clear skies, clean water, jobs galore and no safety concerns (everything but kittens and puppies for all).
On TV there is the same push to sell us an unneeded and unwise pipeline and terminal. They don’t tell us that most of the jobs are temporary and will be filled by non-Oregonian pipe fitters. Where is the fact that private land of Oregonians will be taken by eminent domain and given to a private company. I guess that telling us the terminal in Coos Bay will be in a earthquake and tsunami zone, and have the potential to cause significant collateral damage (when not if) would be bad advertising for the project. They also don’t mention the tremendous profits to be made by a few corporate owners, some of which are not even citizens of the U.S. So much for honesty in advertising.
Don’t be fooled by the glitz. The pipeline is a bad idea that needs to be stopped. Contact the governor, senators, your local representatives and the Oregon Department of State Lands and tell them no.
Border wall solution
The problems with the government shutdown and Trump’s border wall could be easily fixed:
Trump can send Stephen Miller to a Mexican border town with a truckload of supercomputers. (Stephen Miller is the architect of Trump’s controversial immigration policies as well as the author of the world-insulting speeches Trump delivers at international conferences) Once there, Miller can plug those computers into the Mexican power grid and proceed to mine bitcoins. As soon as he has accumulated a few bitcoins he can find a contractor to build a virtual wall, which should include an app so it can be viewed on the White House television screens.
Trump and his band of conservative saboteur supporters should be happy and, if he instructs Miller not to pay the electric bill, the Mexicans will have paid for the wall!
Hillary Clinton gives our president a hard time for pulling our troops out of Syria. It would be a lot more useful for her and Obama to apologize for the historic foreign policy blunder known as the Arab Spring.
On the other hand, it is absolutely fantastic to see President Trump keep his campaign promise to get us out of Syria and Afghanistan. If only he had done this at the start of his administration!
Trump should take the next step and fire all the neo-conservative trouble-makers like John Bolton, who wants to start up World War III against Russia.
Wars dreamed up by neo-conservatives!
What are they good for?
Just like Hillary Clinton.
Say it again!
Capture the water
Recent heavy rains have brought the Rogue Valley a resource that should have been captured: water. The life blood of all living things was allowed to flow to the ocean where it is of no use to use.
With the constant talk of climate change, why is no one coming forward with plans to store the excess flows in the winter time so we can use it in the drier periods of the year? In our current political environment we can’t build any dams in Oregon, so we need to be thinking of other alternatives for water storage.
I propose we use existing used-up aggregate pits while digging new ones and pump excess river water into them for storage, then pump the water back into the river to maintain adequate river flows for fish migration and farmland irrigation needs in periods of drought. Climate change is bringing the Rogue River Basin fewer storm cycles, but some are more severe, which is why we need to capture the excess runoff when we can.