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Letters, Jan. 27

It’s called liberty

Recently, there has been an outcry concerning some teenagers who were in the face of a Native American rights activist during some rallies in Washington, D.C. There have now been calls for the involved teenagers to be expelled from school. What concerns me is expulsion from school for one’s political beliefs, especially when those beliefs are not congruent to today’s pop culture politics.

I do not support Donald Trump or his ideas, but I have to ask: Are these cries to expel these kids because of actual behavior, or because of the message of that behavior? Would it be for wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and mocking Native Americans? What if the teenagers were getting in the face of marching KKK members while singing “We Shall Overcome”? Would they not be hailed by society as heroes against hate? They would likely be offered scholarships.

If we expel kids for expressing frowned-upon political views, we foster dogmatism. The idea behind free speech is that by protecting the speech we dislike, we ensure the ability to express the speech we do like.

Lest we forget, it’s called liberty.

Colin Murphy


Shine on, you crazy Dimon

Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan, is correct.

A bank can prosper during market declines — as long as the bank is net short at the right time (which is as likely as electrons’ congregating on one side of a carbon-carbon bond) or as long as banks receive bailouts from taxpayers (which is as certain as global warming).

Without taxpayer help, a monetary elephant on ice skates cannot coordinate enough front-running, robo-signing, fake accounts and fraud to keep from doing the quadruple splits, let alone fall forward.

Unlike banks, generic human beings assume, require and worship continuous growth — in automation, billable hours, cities, coal and oil extraction, consumer prices, educational degrees, electronic sophistication, freeways, home prices, housing starts, income, infrastructure, jackpots, land under cultivation, liquidity, logging, market size, metal and mineral mining, ocean exploitation, Ponzis, population, quarterly profits, return on investment, securities prices and trade volume.

Unlike banks, generic human beings see any restriction of continuous growth as socialism, the gateway to communism. Communism by definition limits the individual and, because of the inherent inefficiency of top-down economic planning, restrains growth. Most saliently, communism redistributes money to insiders.

A Dimon can be red as well as crazy.

Hunter Greer


Ban wildlife killing contests

Blood sports like dogfighting and cockfighting are illegal in this and every other state. But another blood sport, the wildlife killing contest, is still legal in Oregon.

In these events, participants compete to kill as many coyotes, foxes, bobcats and other species as they can to win cash or prizes. This gratuitous violence is completely at odds with the ethics of hunting and the humane values of Oregonians.

Randomly killing coyotes is counterproductive to the needs of farming and ranching because it disrupts the social order that keeps problem coyotes at bay. A recent issue of “Oregon Small Farm News” highlighted USDA research showing that killing coyotes actually increased livestock losses. Coyotes also provide important ecosystem services, such as controlling rodent populations and curbing disease transmission.

There is no place for cruel, unsporting and pointless wildlife killing contests in the great state of Oregon. Please call your state legislators and ask them to support legislation to ban wildlife killing contests.

Olina St. Onge


Walden’s comments irresponsible

At the town hall meeting, Rep. Greg Walden answered questions about wildfires in Oregon. In response to a question about a “let-it-burn” policy, Walden said, “I don’t know if there’s a policy like that, but I hear it enough.”

Ahem! Didn’t he run to represent us? Don’t we pay him to know policy that affects us? The USFS does not have a policy of letting wildfires burn, but is limited by funding and resources in wildfire response and proactive suppression. Greg Walden is being irresponsible when he responds without knowing facts. He is avoiding taking responsibility for his own inaction in Congress and thereby stoking the culture of blame and division.

Tim Brandy


Just marvelous

The left’s latest weapon against Trump runs something like this: “If (insert unproven slur here), then Trump must be impeached!” “If” this, “If” that, “If” everywhere, a coward’s word if there ever was one.

And here comes Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Portland (oops, sorry, Oregon), jumping in with his very own “If,” printed on the front page of the obliging Mail-Trib: “If (blah blah blah), then Trump must resign or be impeached.”

Why would Merkley do this? For publicity, we must suppose. And why does he seek publicity? Well, it seems that the poor fool somehow believes he would be an excellent candidate for president. A coward as well as a fool, to use vicious and dishonest statements to further his ambitions. But then, considering the character of many of the other Dem hopefuls, he may very well be among the leaders. Isn’t that just marvelous?

C.S. Chase


Hate vs. love

Reading letters to the editor, it appears there is a lot of hate in this world.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” May love overcome hate in all of us.

Bruce Haugen


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