Letters to the editor
Thanks to Walden too
Last month, a letter to the editor written by me was posted to this publication thanking Sen. Wyden for ensuring the Crooked River Ranch Fire Protection Act was included in the Senate's land package bill. My thanks to Sen. Wyden's stand, however, I was remiss in not ensuring Congressman Walden's part was equally acknowledged.
Congressman Walden and his staff were the first to recognize the importance of this cause when it was brought to them by members of our community. Congressman Walden initiated discourse with various community groups to find the right balance to this problem.
Congressman Walden championed this in the house to create and ultimately get HR 2075 (Crooked River Ranch Fire Protection Act) passed. Sen. Wyden would never have been able to support this piece of legislation without the initiative, foresight, and tremendous amount of work started and done by Congressman Walden and his staff.
So, while I am grateful to Sen. Wyden for continuing this in the Senate, we should all not forget, and be just as thankful (if not more so), for Congressman Walden's work in getting this moving, as well as his continued championing of the Senate version of the bill that has also now passed in the House again and now simply needs to be signed by the president.
Crooked River Ranch
Move helped make the Ranch safer
As a member of Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area (FANs) and a volunteer with the Crooked River Ranch Fire and Rescue, I want to thank Sen. Ron Wyden for insuring that the Senate version of the Crooked River Fire Protection Act was included in the bipartisan public lands bill that is now awaiting the president's signature.
Sen. Wyden and his committee have created a proper balance in releasing from wilderness public land along the Deschutes Canyon rim that abuts Crooked River Ranch to allow more aggressive hazardous fuels treatments. These lands will now be managed for juniper forest health and wildfire resiliency.
The original bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Greg Walden. I also want to thank him for supporting S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, on the House floor. When the president signs this bill into law, the Crooked River Ranch Homeowner's Association and the Crooked River Fire and Rescue will work with BLM to better safeguard our community from the effects of a catastrophic wildfire.
FANs, a conservation organization based at Crooked River Ranch, intends to be a full partner in the effort. Now we have an opportunity to work with both Sen. Wyden and Rep. Walden to address other unresolved issues on the public lands in our area, including vandalism, graffiti, unauthorized motor vehicle abuse, and the destruction of precious natural resources.
Madras needs to review snow policy
I'm not sure why the city of Madras cannot find a better way to plow snow! I have three times in the past talked with the operator and thought that I had an understanding about mountains of snow in the middle and edges of the street!
I know that in certain places that there just isn't any place else to put it, but I have discussed this and where I'm at there is at least three places right here where the snow came from! We are old, disabled people here on the block and shouldn't be out cleaning up and regaining access to our driveways!
Maybe this letter will get someone's attention before they have to go to the emergency room from extreme pain generated from about five hours of plowing like I will probably need to do!
If anyone else in Madras has this problem, please respond here!
Climate change a hoax? Really?
Being a member of neither the Democratic nor Republican Party provides a person with an endless source of entertainment in America. We independents have no tribal loyalties that cause us to dutifully swallow every bit of nonsense shoveled out by the two establishments on a daily basis. Instead, we are free to laugh at the things that need to be laughed at.
One recent such piece of partisan sillness was kindly furnished by the chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party and printed in these very pages. In his letter protesting House Bill 2020, the chairman gave us an extraordinary display of facile reasoning and confused logic in a series of arguments untrammeled by sense and only tenuously connected to reality. I was so impressed with its absurdity, I have saved a clipping to use when I begin teaching my children proper rhetoric.
Where to begin? The assertion that the carbon tax would "probably put many ranchers and farmers out of business" is such obvious and baseless hyperbole any sane person would rightly assume the letter as a whole should not be taken seriously.
But even if we were to forgive the one exaggeration, we would quickly run into another. The chairman calls global climate change a "hoax," which would be news to the Trump-appointed NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a decorated Navy pilot who affirms manmade climate change and worries about its effects on American national security and prosperity — as does the Department of Defense, by the way, which has been quietly shoring up the infrastructure of coastal military facilities and checking Russian aggression in newly melted Arctic regions.
Most importantly, if global climate change really is a hoax, it would be a conspiracy of such incredible magnitude and scale that it would be impossible to know literally anything at all about the world as it is. Such a conspiracy would require the secretive collusion of the vast majority of the world's scientists, academics, reporters, politicians, and even citizens, to the point that no source of knowledge could be trusted — not the liberal media, not the conservative media, and certainly not small-town newspapers.
If global climate change is indeed a hoax, then I have to doubt everything, even the existence of Jim Rahi, chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party.
Bafflingly, in the next paragraph, the chairman (if he exists) decides that after all, some science can be trusted, when he quite irrelevantly lists some historical periods of heating and cooling, as if this is special dispositive evidence known only to county chairmen and not broadly understood by, you know, scientists.
The last two sentences about the Columbia River freezing and the existence of the Dustbowl are so utterly irrelevant to the topic I can only stare at them in open-mouthed incredulity.
The chairman also complains that bad actors will still be major polluters, as if strong leaders only wait for others to play nice before taking a stand, and he closes with the strange idea that we "let God take care of the climate."
I don't presume to know the chairman's faith, but in the Christian and Jewish religions, God entrusts mankind with the stewardship of the earth and all its wildlife and beauty. When God "takes care of the climate," he destroys it in the fires of judgment at the end of days and remakes it in beautiful fashion unachievable by wicked and lazy men. Perhaps the chairman is of some modern newfangled faith that believes the created order should be treated like a frat house on a Friday night, but I am unfamiliar with it.
Whatever the real-world pros and cons of climate policy, when we study the chairman's letter as a work of persuasive rhetoric, we see it should be taken neither seriously nor literally.
It reminds me of the assertion by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that facts aren't important as long as a person believes they are morally right. I understand the chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party would object to being compared to the rising socialist star of the Democratic Party, but from the viewpoint of the independent voter, both are equally absurd.
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