Letters to the Editor: Sept. 25, 2019
Faith calls for action to protect our future
As we note International Day of Peace and the Global Climate Strike, I personally stand with students at Pacific University and other young people across the globe, including my children who are participating in the Climate Strike, calling for urgent action to address the climate crisis.
We need every generation to stand up before it is too late. The proposals in the Green New Deal, endorsed by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ, provide a roadmap forward.
Climate change contributes to the international refugee crisis, makes war more likely, and is causing great pain and suffering.
Young people deserve a more peaceful and just world. For people of faith, there is a deeply spiritual connection to this issue. We are called to be stewards of Creation; not exploiters of it.
The Rev. Chuck Currie
Director, Center for Peace and Spirituality
If you care enough to march, then care enough to vote
It was heartening that so many people attended the climate change marches here in Oregon and all over the nation. It was a wonderful show of support for an imminent crisis.
I do hope that all of these people realize that marches and demonstrations will have no effect on our nation's response to this crisis unless we have the appropriate president and the appropriate representatives in the U.S. House and Senate.
Without minimizing the importance of making opinions known through marches and protests, remember that the most important thing we do to make things happen is to vote. It's not as much fun to vote as it is to take to the streets with a group of like-minded people. There's no camaraderie, no adrenaline rush, little recognition beyond that "I Voted" sticker you get to wear.
Even here in Oregon, where it's so easy to vote, there are many reasons not to vote: I misplaced my ballot, I didn't have time to research all the candidates, I didn't have a stamp, I couldn't find the ballot drop, Oregon will go Democratic anyway, I forgot when the deadline was, etc.
Resolve, pledge and prepare now to vote, and mercilessly nag your like-minded friends to do so, not just here in Oregon, but everyone you know in other states, especially those "swing" and "purple" states. Start researching now, use social media, make phone calls, provide stamps, carpool to the ballot drop, have an "I Voted" party, do whatever it takes.
Elaine Bohlmeyer, Forest Grove
Confiscating guns: legally unworkable, politically stupid
Beto O'Rourke's gun confiscation campaign tactic to force the surrender of 5 to 10 million semi-automatic rifles is a threat to gun control and a serious danger to the Democrats' 2020 election goals.
I am a lifelong Democrat, involved in numerous campaigns and past election lawyer for many Democratic candidates over 25 years. O'Rourke's claim is legally impossible. The Fifth Amendment prohibits government confiscation of private property for which the government has no use. The government does not need privately owned firearms. Even if the government could take the guns, the plan would require hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars to compensate the owners, as the Fifth Amendment provides.
O'Rourke seeks to confiscate guns which have been lawfully purchased, are not now illegal to possess and have not been used in a crime. Such firearms do not qualify as "contraband." The guns are probably worth $100 each at the very minimum. Congress is not going to appropriate hundreds of millions of dollars to buy guns the government does not need.
This foolish effort serves to prove the NRA's principal argument against gun control: "They will take all our guns!" O'Rourke will only encourage people to go out and buy more weapons, police action will be required to confiscate the guns from unwilling owners, and otherwise law abiding citizens will seek to avoid the law by hiding the guns.
The NRA will mobilize vast numbers of gun owners who feel their constitutional rights are being violated to vote against the Democrats not only for president but also for Congress, defeating the Democrats' plan to recapture the Senate.
Gun control will be set back for decades.
Richard Botteri, Raleigh Hills
Judge Hunsaker deserves quick confirmation
The U.S. Senate should quickly confirm President Donald Trump's nomination of Washington County Presiding Judge Danielle Hunsaker to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
She has wide bipartisan support, as shown by the recommendation of the Wyden-Merkley screening committee, her earlier state judicial appointment by Gov. Kate Brown, and approval by her colleagues across the political spectrum.
Throughout her career, Judge Hunsaker has exhibited the hallmarks of an outstanding appellate and trial practitioner: a keen mind, stellar academic credentials, excellent writing skills, and persuasive oral argument abilities. A remarkably successful and respected lawyer, she first clerked for three federal judges, but came from humble beginnings with real-world experience.
Having myself been a criminal prosecutor in Oregon for over 40 years, I know the value of judges like Danielle Hunsaker, a woman of impeccable character, fairness and consistently calm demeanor. Most important is her total dedication to America's most hallowed principles of equal justice for all.
Our state and country would be well served by her elevation to the Ninth Circuit.
Stephen Peifer, Portland
Support, don't criticize, ICE officers
Your editorial of Aug. 14, 2019, "ICE should not be above the law," omits mention of a third factor in the controversy over ICE agents' activities: You disregarded the interests of citizens in maintaining the sovereignty of our nation and sustaining a livable environment in the United States.
Open borders invite chaos; an orderly society is impossible without immigration controls that are enforced.
Did Isidro Andrade Tafolla, who, with the ACLU, is now suing the government for "humiliation," etc., ask ICE agents to show their identification, if none was immediately visible? It's hard to believe the agents had no ID or refused to show it.
Courts are one of the best places for ICE agents to arrest suspected illegal aliens, and safer for all involved. ICE agents by the nature of their work cannot always emblazon their ID on their clothes.
No one in or near a courthouse should feel insulted to be asked for identification, especially now that hundreds of migrants daily are attempting to crash the U.S. borders, with many succeeding. Immigration must be controlled if a nation is to survive.
Support ICE officers; don't harass them.
Elizabeth Van Staaveren, McMinnville
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