Letters, Jan. 9
Military strategists called it a “scorched earth” strategy, as they retreated from a position.
Donald Trump calls it “leaving office.”
All uphill for Bentz
Our Rep. Cliff Bentz, newly elected to Congress, has brought great dishonor to Oregon by participating in an effort to overthrow the presidential election. Cliff, it is all uphill from here.
Why a roundabout?
While I understand the need for improvements to Springbrook Road north of Cedar Links Drive, can anyone explain to me the logic behind the proposed roundabout at the corner of Cedar Links Drive and Springbrook Road?
Save the Constitution
Many voices lately express concerns for our democracy. However, the greater concern should be for our democratic republic and for the document that defines us — our Constitution. The “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison, studied political history at length and learned that Greek “pure” democracies failed due to unwise decisions of the majority, and that the separation of powers in the Roman republic was key to their longevity. Madison made these ideas key in his draft.
Our Constitution’s strength is the checks and balances between the president, the Congress, and the Supreme Court; and in the Electoral College guarding against the “tyranny of the majority” of the larger over the smaller of the various states. It would be fatal to change the Constitution outside the amendment process by increasing the number of Supreme Court justices or by nullifying the Electoral College. Those changes would eventually turn our country into a pure democracy.
Major issues confront us today, such as racial relations, diversity of culture, the immediacy of information exchange, economic inequality, and more — all can best be resolved using the prescient design of our Constitution. To radically make changes will destroy its proven effectiveness as the guardian of our freedom.
Conserving fish is up to us
I applaud Harvey Young’s
Jan. 3 guest opinion, “Conservation is key to fisheries’ future.” He presents an important perspective.
I would add some more basic challenges to the list of factors affecting fish and fishing: climate change (which slowly changes water availability and seasonality in many areas), excessive water use and the increase in chemical and plastic pollutants in our waterways. Additionally, land-use activities in floodplain areas have facilitated construction of flood-control dams and the destruction of aquatic habitats, which typically results in lower productivity.
All these factors, over time, have and will continue to erode the fishery resources Young describes. I believe it will take a collective effort to incorporate our river and riparian areas into sensible planning efforts that, while maintaining some development, preserve their natural function. If we do that, we can have these wonderful resources well into the future. As a retired fishery biologist and manager, I know all too well the limitations of government regulation and management to solve these kinds of problems in our culture. The face of conservation must be the citizens. We accomplish that by speaking out, voting (at the polls and with our wallets) and demanding that our resources be respected.
Time for four parties
It’s time for strengthening democracy in America by ending the two-party chokehold by the Republicans and Democrats and replacing them with four political parties. Independents have no real say in our current system; power comes through political party affiliation.
Republicans could divide into the Aristocratic Party and the Trump Party. Democrats could split into the Intellectual Know-It-All Party and the Government Could Be Helpful Party. Former Republicans and Democrats could join any of the four parties.
For example, one could imagine country-club Republicans joining forces with some tenured university social science and humanities professors. The Trump Party would be the most powerful by far, allowing its members to take part in the rough and tumble of democracy by defining what it is that unites them other than deep alienation from the current system. What holds the party together when the leader departs and they are the system?
Gary M. Miller
Numbers tell the story
As of Jan. 5, each U.S. citizen should ponder these numbers:
1. 353,069 — death toll from the virus.
2. 11,780 — contested votes in Georgia.
But the only numbers we hear from POTUS are the “illegal” votes from the Georgia election. Our country has had more than enough of these bellicose tweets/comments from this narcissistic, delusional and dysfunctional occupant of the White House!
Oh! the number 15 — as this is written, how many days before returning to a functional democracy where healing can begin!