Letters, Feb. 17
Let’s return to civility
Nearly every morning when I open my daily Tribune, I find letters to the editor filled with horrible name-calling and extreme vitriol. Conservatives, Republicans, or Trump voters are called dimwits, bigots, white supremacists, and worse. Biden voters, progressives, or Democrats are “fuzzy intellectuals,” naive idealists, communists or revolutionary anarchists.
This has got to stop! We are unraveling the weave of our nation with this extremism. The people we are demonizing are our neighbors. Hyper-political partisanship infects our elected representatives (and bureaucrats) at all levels, and we now have transferred our loss of respect for them even unto our neighbors.
This can only be solved by everyone making an effort to understand the opposing views of others on politics, racism, religion, history, etc. Watch, read, or listen to the “other” channel, newspaper or podcast.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, as Adam Smith wrote in his classic of ethics “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” (1759). You might come to understand why others hold their “egregious” ideas.
Smith argues that we often take the political opinions of others as proxy for their character and values. Respecting our friends and neighbors for their humanity isn’t the same as endorsing their ideas.
The GOP is dead
QAnon, baby-eating cannibals, the COVID-19 hoax and wildfires being set by Jewish space lasers are all nonsense promoted by the radical right wing wherein dwell Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and maybe even our bright, shiny new OR-2 Congressman Cliff Bentz.
These important concerns, supported, all or in part, by Donald Trump (that is, while he’s not busy fighting the vast Democratic pedophile ring) is the face on the carcass of what used to be the Republican Party. Kevin McCarthy condemned the insurrection at the Capitol, saying Trump caused it. Then he hurried to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring and say, “I really, truly didn’t mean it, so please, please, please don’t primary me.”
Now the GOP hopes our attention can be distracted from the disaster in which they’ve left the economy and the health of the nation, their hatred of democracy, loyalty to cult over Constitution, grateful acceptance of the violence of the Proud Boys, and other fascistic attributes. “No — move along, nothing to see here — but, hey! Look over there at Marjorie or Lauren. Aren’t they really outrageous”? The GOP is now dead and it’s been replaced by the Neo-Fascist Party.
Ready for an EV?
Question: Am I ready to own an EV (electric vehicle)? Many experts think EVs are superior vehicles.
In 2024 the fuel tax will be 40 cents/gallon. Are there city, state, federal incentives available? What is the car’s cost to sit still for 24 hours? Lease, purchase, new, used, cash, loan?
I walk, ride the bike, don’t use a car every day and sometimes take RVTD’s connector. But EVs save money on car maintenance charges and with registration.
Oregon has the nation’s first road usage charge program (pay per mile). Usually a person pays two to four years of registration fees in advance. An EV owner pays a base fee of $43 plus 1.8 cents/mile with a tracking device that fits under the dash.
What about range? A 2017 gets a lot less mileage per charge (104 miles) than newer models. Yes, I was ready; choosing the older model means I have to plan trips a lot differently.
An EV is not the lowest-cost way to get greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. EVs still produce life-cycle emissions in their manufacture. The bottom line: we need to drive less, consume less, waste less, get an energy audit, be politically active and vote.
Louise D. Shawkat
With the big push for more electric vehicles, I wonder where all this power is going to come from to charge the necessary batteries.
I would almost bet that less than 10% of our electric supply comes from non-polluting power sources. It will become even less as the proponents for removing hydro dams get their way.
I would be curious as to what the net gain in clean air will be if all the auto manufacturers decide to build mostly electric vehicles over the next five years.