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Letters, Feb. 15

Inclusive signs inspiring

Thank you for the article and the visual of the new signs along the Greenway highlighting pollinators, fire safety and ecology, among other topics.

Reading about the collaborative work among agencies to address a new constant in our valley was very interesting. But more than that, the visual of the signs that shows the information is shared in both English and Spanish was inspiring. It is so important to create opportunities for bilingual learning and sharing in our increasingly diverse community.

I thank the collaborators that seized this opportunity to be inclusive, and I hope other agencies will be encouraged to recognize the value of our bilingual/multilingual community in future signage, programs and events.

Belle Shepherd


Political malpractice

Pneumonia is a lung infection frequently caused by bacteria. One of the symptoms of pneumonia is fever, which can be treated with aspirin. But no competent health care professional would treat pneumonia with aspirin alone, without using antibiotics to combat the bacteria. Medical problems have symptoms which can be treated, but treating symptoms without treating the underlying illness is very likely to end in disaster.

The health care system in the United States is very sick, with millions of uninsured Americans who don’t have access to adequate health care. Our criminal justice system, not only in Jackson County but nationwide, is severely overburdened by people with addictions and mental illness who don’t have access to necessary health care.

Overcrowded jails are a symptom of a health care system that does not provide universal access, including coverage for preexisting conditions. Treating a symptom by building more jails does not treat the fundamental underlying problem of insufficient access to health care.

A health professional who treats the fever of pneumonia without treating the actual infection would be engaging in medical malpractice. Politicians who promote new jails without promoting universal health care access are engaging in political malpractice.

Victor Mlotok, M.D.


Trump’s verbal assaults

In view of the president’s recent diatribes aimed at his political opponents, it is apropos to consult noteworthy thinkers who may shed some insight on the tone and content of his remarks.

Almost 100 years ago Walter Lippmann, a well-known columnist, wrote a piece titled “The Basic Problem of Democracy.” His conclusion: “The cardinal fact always is the loss of contact with objective information. Public as well as private reason depends upon it.” He continues with “Demagoguery is a parasite that flourishes where discrimination fails ... For the demagogue, whether from the right or the left, is consciously or unconsciously an undetected liar.”

If you are unsure of what a demagogue is, look it up. We all need to understand this trait.

Another well-known writer, the American-German philosopher Hannah Arendt, states: “If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.” She continues (and I paraphrase), this deprives a people of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people, you can do what you please!

These are great words of wisdom as we attempt to dissect truth from fiction in the president’s statements.

Lee House


Senate trial implications

The president’s acquittal on the basis of his lawyers’ flawed arguments has terrible implications. It has been declared that the president of the United States can do no wrong so long as he believes he is right and has not committed a statutorily criminal offense.

Furthermore, Trump has declared himself and his staff to be immune from congressional oversight and the Senate has concurred. Even Romney, who was daring enough to vote to convict on the basis of Article I, did not do so for stonewalling the investigation (Article II).

For the first time in our history, Trump did so blatantly and in direct contravention of the powers bestowed on the House of Representatives by the Constitution. One can argue that Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine did not warrant impeachment, but his declaration of blanket immunity and its sanction by Republicans has set a terrifying precedent.

Trump has not learned any lessons. Instead, he is declaring total vindication, unleashing vengeance against his long “black list”, including our Institutions, in a manner unheard of since the McCarthy era. Indeed, Welche’s words to McCarthy resonate: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Ted Gibbs


Democrats’ contortions

I don’t like President Trump, but I agree with some of the things he does.

Trump-haters meticulously searched for something, anything, they could find against him. They failed, and that surprised me. The president must be more honest than I had expected.

In Ukraine, Democrats decreed that it was a crime if Trump wanted U.S.-related corruption investigated. I wonder, does being a “political opponent” grant legal immunity?

In many letters and columns, and with great literary skill, writers insult Trump and Republicans. They endlessly allege thousands of lies and trump up evil motives.

The top lie currently is the way Democrats twist Dershowitz’s testimony.

Ira Edwards


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