Letters to the Editor: March 27, 2019
Face the facts — climate change is really happening
In response to the Allan Vanderzanden opinion comments of March 13, 2019:
About your obvious global warming denial, perhaps you could enlighten us believers how being an engineer qualifies you as a climatologist. I have to say that your comments are reminiscent of the orange menace that currently occupies the White House who, as a real estate mogul, informed us all that he knows more than all the generals.
You say those 400-year-old statistics proves that it is only the sun cycles that are to blame for such things as glacial melt, warming seas, pollution or whatever. Sorry, but with all due respect, I'd rather trust in the intelligence of 97 percent of the world's current climatologists rather than in 17th-century curious individuals with crude and primitive instruments. I thank those million-plus students that demonstrated around the world March 15 that told us to stop denying and save this planet.
I strongly suggest it's time for you and other climate deniers to please remove your heads from the sandbox, a.k.a. Fox News, and gain a more factual view of this ailing world.
Former DA's ideas on crime not universal
On Feb. 26, 2019, the Portland Tribune published an op-ed by former Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis. [Ed.: This newspaper re-published Marquis' commentary the following day.] This op-ed speaks to the personal views of Marquis, but it most certainly does not represent the views of the deputy district attorneys from Multnomah County that we, the Multnomah County Prosecuting Attorney's Association, represent.
For us, there is no type of crime victim who is more important than another. All victims have a right to be heard and respected, regardless of whether they have suffered inappropriate touching, theft, or any other offense.
Unwanted touching is never acceptable, and the fact that a victim is also a lawmaker in no way lessens that harm; to imply otherwise is disrespectful of the law and the rights of victims including those that work in our capitol. Indeed, our members spend their entire careers trying to serve the law and victims with dignity, professionalism and compassion.
Similarly, to equate criminal justice reform efforts with disregard for the trauma experienced by victims of crimes like rape and burglary not only disrespects the experiences of those who have been victims of sexual offenses, but also inaccurately portrays the often-deep collaboration underlying these efforts.
Criminal justice reform is never perfect, and no criminal sentencing structure is without criticism. Constructive criticism of our criminal justice system should be encouraged but personal attacks and inflammatory language denigrating the participants in that system — including lawmakers — have no place in that conversation.
We work long, hard hours to try to ensure public safety and protect the rights and voices of crime victims. Josh Marquis' comments do not embody the work we do, and the positions expressed in his op-ed are not shared by the MCPAA.
Ryan Lufkin, Multnomah County Prosecuting Attorneys Association
States' rights, standing are under threat
The Constitution allows states to set their own voting regulations for state elections. However, federal elections, including senators and representatives, plus electors for president, are all controlled by the Constitution and the Amendments.
Right now, the Democrats are trying to force an amendment eliminating the Electoral College, and replace it with a "democratic election." This idea that our nation is a "democracy" is a fallacy, since it is a republic, although a democratic republic. Ancient Greeks tried a democracy, or people's government, but found it to be "a tyranny of the majority." This is why we have a Constitution, to protect us from the "majority."
England passed a Bill of Rights in 1689, after which they invited the joint monarchs, William and Mary of Orange, who came to rule a "constitutional monarchy," which they have today.
By the way, since we just celebrated St. Patrick's Day, it is an interesting story, since King William conquered the Catholic Kingdom of Ireland with his invading army of Orangemen, thus starting over 200 years of war with Ireland without an armistice or victory, with an occupying army and English landholders. This solved one of the English Bill of Rights that stated that there would be no Royal Army except in time of war. This very much the same idea in our Constitution, which states that no federal army will be funded for more than two years, so that the U.S. Army must be re-established every two years.
Most interesting today, in that since the 1960s, the Department of Defense has taken over the budget of all military, and the federal bureaucracy has declared that the National Guard is a "reserve" of the U.S. Army. Vietnam was the first and only war the U.S. has fought without calling up the "militia," or "National Guard," as it was named in 1916, but today, the Department of Defense not only budgets the state National Guards, but limit the manpower and deploys them at any time they wish.
Seems that our forefathers were right in fearing a federal army at the whim of the president.
Bill Blankinship, Hillsboro