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So, the Portland school board has built an ideological wall and retreated to the progressive safe space of climate change group-think by banning books that actually (gasp) present both sides of an issue (“Portland school board bans climate change-denying materials,” online May 19, Tribune May 24).


Unencumbered by inconvenient facts and opposing views, progressives are now free to, as Joseph Stalin once said about public education, “shape the apples before they fall from the tree.”

If it wouldn’t increase their carbon-footprint, the school board would simply burn dissenting books just as Germany’s own Progressive Party, the Nazis, once did.

We’ve seen this before in our country’s history. The progressive movement’s full-throated enforcement of the eugenics pseudoscience led to sterilizations, segregation and even the death of those whom the elite deemed inferior.

Eugenics research was subsidized by the progressive Carnegie and Rockefeller institutes and was championed by the father of the progressive movement, Woodrow Wilson. It was promoted by the intellectual elite in the most prestigious institutions of higher learning, taught in public schools and presented as absolute fact by journalists in leading newspapers. Dissenters of eugenics group-think were ridiculed, attacked and marginalized by the progressive vanguard.

It was “settled science” for 50 years until the atrocities of the Progressive Nazi Party (inspired by America’s eugenics movement) were made public.

At best, man-made climate change is a hypothesis that still needs significant study. Unfortunately, progressives are only driven toward the fascist suppression of dissenting ideas so they can shape the little apples with another pseudoscience before they fall from the tree.

Shawn Keller

Happy Valley

What’s next? Book burning?

To the Portland Public Schools Board, regarding your new curriculum policy concerning climate change: Please inform us when you will conduct a public book burning so we can all celebrate the end of academic freedom in the public schools of Portland. It will be a nostalgic event for those among us who know of the era of Hitler and Stalin, when books in disfavor were burned with great public zeal, and scientific theories had to conform to communist doctrine. We can all ride to the great event on our bicycles and roast vegan hot dogs by the bonfire!

Yes, folks, it can happen here!

James Caster

Tigard

Schoolsagenda driven by ideology

Regarding Portland Public Schools’ climate change policy: In a nutshell, this school board is ideologically driven with an agenda to control the children today and in the future.

Manmade climate change is not settled science, and the studies have been rife with corruption and deception. 

Soon they will come to arrest me for daring to question the authority of the state.

I wish I was kidding.

J.R. Ruiz Jr.

Rochester, N.Y.

Maybe the sun causes climate change

I am not sure how you personally feel about this action by the Portland school board to ban climate change-denying material from their curriculum, but isn’t it strange that those on the left beat their chest to be heard all over social media on every subject without being denied their opinions, yet deny those of us the same right to voice our opinions against the foolishness of Man-Made Global Warming?

There really is no honest proof to conclude that man is really heating up the planet, no matter where you get your supposed facts from. In fact, if you look at the activity of the sun, one will most definitely see how it is powering down because of the lack of sun spots in recent years and therefore our weather will become cooler, as we head toward the end of this decade. It is really strange that none of the global warming crowd ever wants to consider the sun as the main cause for either the heating up or the cooling down of our planet.

Steve DiMarzo Jr.

Massachusetts

Missing a point in organic vs. non-organic

In response to Julia Anderson’s Business Tribune May 17 column “Is organic food worth the higher price? Experts say no”: She missed a critical point of why people buy organic and are willing to pay more for more sustainably produced crops: Organic food production is healthier for the planet. It creates less toxic exposure to every person, acre of cultivated land, and creature in the food chain, and tends to support smaller producers whose products are marketed closer to the consumer.

One of her main assertions, that organic food is no more nutritious than non-organic, is debatable. For example, “The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine conducted a review of 41 published studies comparing the nutritional value of organically grown and conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains and concluded that there are significantly more of several nutrients in organic foods crops” (www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/top-reasons-choose-organic-foods ).

Although Anderson oversimplifies the economic argument over pricing and labeling of organic foods, it certainly is a complicated issue. It is challenging for anyone who wants to support the organic food movement and get the most bang for a food buck.

I also appreciated learning, but was disappointed to find, that grocers seem to be gouging the consumer with higher mark-ups on organic-labeled foods. “Supermarkets earn a measly 1 to 2 percent on conventional food sales, while organics will generate averages of 3.5 to 6 percent,” according to Anderson. Perhaps Anderson could use a future column to dig into this grocery industry practice to see if grocers can adequately justify such a dramatic difference in their pricing practices, especially with the growing availability of organic produce.

Balanced reporting requires a more comprehensive presentation of viewpoints and balance of the broad evidence. I hope to see that balance in future “Smart Money” columns.

John White

Forest Grove

Restore overtime for working people

For years, it has felt like I’ve been working harder and longer, but not seeing it in my paycheck at the end of the week. It’s not just me. We’re all feeling the pinch of everything from groceries to rent to child care getting more expensive, while our incomes have stayed the same for years.

It didn’t used to be this way though.

Only a few decades ago, our country made sure that most Americans in salaried jobs were paid extra if they worked more than 40 hours a week. We’ve had even the simplest protections at work whittled away over the years. Luckily, President Obama has taken action to fix this so that millions more of us will finally now be eligible for overtime.

Of course, there are a few greedy people, including some members of Congress, who have already started to fight tooth and nail to keep folks like you and me from getting paid for all of the work we do.

But here’s what I know: Families in our community need a raise. Restoring overtime protections — like President Obama has done — will make that possible.

Juan Mayoral

Southeast Portland

Why people choose organic foods

I appreciated that Julia Anderson’s “Smart Money” column addressed the topic of organic food (May 17 Business Tribune). But her remarks were off target and misled readers. Many people who choose to buy organic produce do not believe there are any differences in nutritional value between organic and conventional crops.

Important reasons for choosing organic fruits and vegetables have to do with the fact that conventionally grown produce relies heavily on chemical pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals threaten the health of the growers, farmworkers and their families who are repeatedly exposed to these products and often at high levels. 

Use of agricultural chemicals harms beneficial insects (including bees that we rely on to pollinate the fruit trees and vegetable plants). Millions of pounds of pesticides and synthetic fertilizer are used each year, and often result in runoff that pollutes nearby streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waters. This contamination harms fish and other aquatic life. Testing by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has confirmed ag-chemical pollution in Oregon waters.

Some are also concerned that most pesticide and fertilizer products are made from petroleum, and contribute to fossil fuel contamination that is raising carbon levels in our atmosphere. Chemical factories add to air pollution, especially impacting nearby communities.

Whether or not there are potentially harmful effects from repeatedly eating small amounts of chemical residues in our foods remains to be confirmed by scientists. Nevertheless, some people choose to limit the amount of conventionally grown foods they eat and feed their children, and they replace them with organic produce. Information provided by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) identifies which fruits and vegetables are treated with the highest levels of pesticides and fertilizer. Your readers can learn about the EWG “Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce” at the website www.ewg.org/foodnews, where they can learn about the “Clean 15” and the “Dirty Dozen.” And we can all make more informed choices about the foods we eat.

Michael Heumann

Northeast Portland

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