Letters: Biden-Harris would adhere to law, Constitution
As a Portland resident, I am disgusted with the demonstrations and with the violence. I want law and order. I want it now! And that's why I'll vote for the Biden-Harris ticket.
By law, I mean the Constitution of the United States: One law, the same law, for every citizen, black, white, male, female and anyone in between. That's what the daily protests are about. We cannot have the lawlessness that allows police to kill Black men and women, in situations where they would not harm white men and women. We cannot have the lawlessness that allows the wealthy to escape jail sentences for crimes for which the poor or middle class citizens become incarcerated.
And by order, I mean science. Science can't explain everything; but it does a great job at predicting the physical universe. Trump has promoted disorder by denying the existence, and then the severity, of coronavirus. By firing pandemic task force officials, by placing our medical stockpiles on a just-in-time inventory, and by defunding the public health services, Trump has plunged the United States into a third-world morass of unemployment, hospitals that refuse to treat critically sick people, and the cancellation of school services, restaurants, sporting events, concerts, and graduations. There have been 186,000 funerals of American citizens who died from coronavirus. And they couldn't even be attended. Instead, we are told to drink bleach and try anti-malarial compounds.
And the disorder is only beginning. As California deals with the hottest summer on record, as forest fires roar through the West, and as hurricane winds grow furious as they pick up energy from the heated oceans, our president does not believe in global warming. So give me law and give me order! I'll vote for Biden-Harris.
Policy on drug prices is un-American
As a Trump supporter and free market anti-socialist, I was disappointed that the President's recent executive orders to bring down prescription drug prices included a terrible holdover from the Obama years. President Trump called it "most favored nation" executive order but it's really importing price controls from countries with socialized medicine, and that's a horrible idea.
Such overreaching government regulation is not the way to get Oregonians a fair deal on pharmaceutical medication. It is, however, the way to stall innovation we are all counting on to deliver new therapies, cures and vaccines for everything from heart disease and cancer to COVID-19.
That's because price controls always have consequences. As soon as the government interferes in the market to set prices, less research investment, product shortages and other harmful effects soon follow. In this case, we'd be taking our pricing cues from the likes of Canada, where patients have access to only about half of the advanced cancer therapies we can obtain here. Moving forward with this international price control idea will, therefore, be life-or-death difference for many people.
Three out of four major biopharmaceutical companies say the plan will also inhibit current and future research projects. If you or a loved one is waiting for a breakthrough on a serious disease, this should be alarming news. Drug makers might curtail the development pipeline your family is counting on.
One ray of hope here: President Trump did not put this plan into effect right away. He explicitly asked for better alternatives. Our elected leader should step in and urge him to not sign this executive order, because this "most favored nations" concept is unworkable, un-American and unwanted.
City Council: RIP is hopelessly flawed
Dear City Council Members: Well, three out of four of you have gone and done it, approving (residential infill program) instead of having the honesty to admit Portland citizens have a right to vote on this hopelessly flawed and corrupted instrument of destruction for Portland neighborhoods.
Thank you, Amanda Fritz, for being the one bright bulb on the Council in this matter and seeing RIP for what it is.
Somewhere ex-Mayor and lobbyist Charlie Hales and his developer cronies are celebrating the success of this long con, cleverly concealed in a cloak of progressive respectability.
How much this costs Portland in defending lawsuits against RIP remains to be seen. How many older, well-crafted rental homes are destroyed in the feeding frenzy of absentee out-of-town investor-developer-landlords can only be imagined.
So congratulations Mr. Mayor, Commissioners Hardesty and Eudaly; you've demonstrated that tyranny and myopia are not exclusively the provenance of the far right wing in America.
Not understanding violence in protests
I am confused. Is it me, or is everything upside down right now?
Everyone I know, actually almost all people, are appalled at the injustice and violence towards people of color, and of course to the horrific murder of George Floyd. Everyone supported the protesting over our whole country, until the anarchists, trouble makers, joined in. But, to now disrespect all authority, to hate and even injure police officers, burning flags, destroying property and on and on, really?
Most police officers are good people. But with the crowd downtown Portland going crazy every night, destroying, throwing harmful things at the police, hurting them and etc.: this has to stop, Its obvious our local police cannot put a stop to all this. So the Feds came and it's, "You have to go." Really? But it's OK for this out-of-control mob to destroy things every night, tearing up our city? And it's OK for Portland Councilwoman (Jo Ann) Hardesty, who is in a position of authority, to say what she did about the local police? She wasn't asked to resign, but put on a police task force? And the mayor, standing in front of the rioters saying he is on their side? The side of a mob who doesn't have a side, just destroying night after night? What happened to the great people peacefully protesting? Why is the disrespect allowed and destruction OK?
Trump's botched COVID response hurts us all
Donald Trump has no policy or plan to protect Americans from COVID-19. He never will.
Seven months after boasting to journalist Bob Woodward that he knew COVID-19 was airborne and deadly, he now pushes schools to reopen regardless of risk, alters reports to hide the actual number of deaths, and drives an untested vaccine to market — all just to enhance his re-election chances.
Our choice in the coming election is clear. We must choose leaders who actually value American lives. Biden/Harris will return our public health institutions to scientists, ensure that all Americans have access to vaccines and treatment, and support state and local governments as they respond to and recover from this public health and economic crisis.
Emergency assistance saves lives, tax dollars
While we work toward radically reforming the police, ending housing discrimination and undoing inequities in education, we can take simple but necessary steps to ensure that people of color disproportionately threatened by the economic effects of the coronavirus — and everyone else in that situation — can remain in their homes and put food on their tables.
How? By allocating money for emergency rental assistance, creating an ongoing renter's tax credit, expanding the food stamp program, and expanding existing tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which have already lifted millions of Americans out of poverty.
Many of these programs pay for themselves, saving taxpayer money in the long run. In addition, they generate critically needed economic activity, putting money into the hands of landlords, farmers and other business owners.
Most (not all) of the seven members of Congress from Oregon are strong supporters of these programs, but the Republican leadership of the Senate is strongly opposed. Why? Lack of empathy? Mistaken assumptions about economics and government spending?
The truth is that a little generosity would go a long way and would be a smart investment in our shared future.
A change of city government could fix our problems
It's amazing that so many individuals think that taking the Portland Police Bureau away from the mayor and giving it to City Commissioner Jo Anne Hardesty will resolve the current problems with police.
That is unrealistic.
Though I have no doubt the good intentions of Commissioner Hardesty, neither she, the mayor, nor any other city commissioner has the ability to fix this mess simply because they don't have the knowledge or the experience.
Portland will never fix its problems with the police and racial equity until its archaic and dis-representative commission form of government is changed and the police bureau and its union contract are thoroughly reorganized and renegotiated.
The current city commissioners are too much into their individual bureau fiefdoms and the power trips these provide when in reality they need to start working together as a team to address all the big picture problems that continually plague Portland: that homeless camps are cropping up all over Portland with no solutions; that residential displacements due to gentrification are still taking place; that traffic congestion is getting worse and worse; that affordable housing is virtually nonexistent; that 911 calls go without a response while shootings and burglaries are up.
These situations are appalling and show the needs for both new and different leadership in Portland and a more modern and representative form of governance. The 2019 City Club study is a good starting point for the latter.
Stop the violence by Portland's police
More than a month ago, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell published an op-ed in The New York Times in which he declared "Violence is not the answer."
While I agree wholeheartedly, it appears that Chief Lovell and I have very different definitions of violence. During the past month, Portland police have, almost nightly, gassed and pepper sprayed Black Lives Matter protestors. They have punched, kicked and beaten people. They have aggressively moved people, trampled people and forcefully arrested people.
Portland police stood by while right-wing protestors maced and punched people and, most recently, hit them with trucks.
In contrast, police attacked racial justice protestors who have broken windows, thrown things at buildings, lit small fires and sprayed graffiti.
The police and right wingers harmed people, while the protestors harmed objects — objects that can be fixed far more easily than a broken bone or a traumatized spirit.
By responding to protests about excessive use of police force with more excessive force, Chief Lovell and the Portland police ensure protests need to keep happening.
I invite the chief to act on his own words and stop the violence from the Portland police.
We don't need a fan of dictators in City Hall
Sarah Iannarone, candidate for mayor, wore a skirt with images of Che Guevara and Mao Tse-Tung. Che Guevara murdered political opponents.
Mao Tse-Tung was a genocidal dictator — in fact, the worse dictator of the 20th century, in terms of body count. He murdered 77 million people.
It is outrageous that she would wear an article of clothing depicting those inhuman monsters. It should be disqualifying from holding public office. It is as bad as wearing a swastika, or the image of Adolf Hitler. And yet, she's currently leading Mayor Wheeler in the polls.
Iannarone's reprehensible views should be more widely known so that the voters can make an informed decision in November.
Wheeler deserves a second term
I'm writing in support of Ted Wheeler for Portland mayor. Portland needs and deserves his steady and proven leadership. The past few months have been challenging for all of us, including our mayor and other elected leaders.
The large problems we find ourselves having to deal with: a pandemic, killings of innocent people of color by police, and the embolden actions of white supremacists goaded by our president are problems that have been years, even decades in the making. They didn't happen overnight, and we can't solve these problems overnight.
Ted Wheeler is the best person for the job. Coming to the end of his first term he has learned how to implement creative solutions not knee-jerk reactions. He has committed to another four years of helping to steer our city and the metro area out of this mess. It's up to all of us to be part of the solution by re-electing Ted Wheeler to help us solve the many problems we have now in Portland and America.
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