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We hear from readers on the storming of the Capitol, transparency in state government and supporting local charities.

The real danger of the Capitol riot

Although Caroline Jensen is well-traveled and seemingly well-educated, she is mistaken on the comparisons she makes of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and free speech. The consequences being visited upon the insurrectionists are exactly that, consequences for abominable behavior and speech that a private company deemed a violation of their user agreements.

Refer to Caroline Jensen's commentary on the response to the storming of the U.S. Capitol, published online Jan. 16, 2021.

Conservatives, the party of "personal responsibility," seem never able to take responsibility or to not understand that behavior has consequences. The Reichstag fire and U.S. Capitol storming are only comparable in that each was an assault, yet we know definitively by whom the U.S. Capitol assault was provoked.

What we watched in horror was something we'd never seen before. Unvarnished white rage. The rage seen all too often in the American South, which typically ended in the deaths and dismemberment of Black bodies with complete disregard for the basic humanity of those upon which that rage was targeted.

I was laid bare on that Jan. 6, never having personally witnessed a white rage mob, only read and told stories of the frenzy of hatred. We've learned recently that trauma may alter our DNA and be passed down through our ancestors. I felt in that moment the helplessness of countless Black people upon whom this rage has been visited. And for the first time in my life, I caught a glimpse into the hatred and rage that boils below the surface of white grievance. It was not pretty, and it certainly was not Reichstag. It was plain ol' white mob rage.

We can all learn from what we saw that day. The most important thing to be learned is the importance of calling out what this was, and making a commitment to be against it.

Kim V. Kelly, Beaverton

From whence cometh unemployment?

Taxes should be born by those who create unemployment. That goes directly to for-profit corporations. These are the companies that can afford the latest labor-saving technologies and practices to reduce labor. Every labor eliminated equals more profit to their pockets, while the worker gets nothing in return. This equals unemployment.

There should be a tax that compensates for the jobs eliminated by these practices.

Centralized planning eliminates managers by utilizing their skills on larger quantities utilizing fewer managers per volume of merchandise compared to the number of managers required by the small businesses it replaces. This eliminates jobs and produces unemployment.

Purchasing or manufacturing offshore allows a company to acquire products from countries that have such low wages protections. This alloys them to buy and ship to the United States and still under price products produced inside the borders of the United States. That eliminates jobs, thus producing unemployment.

Self-checkout stations eliminate jobs locally, producing unemployment.

Mail-order busines eliminates jobs by eliminating jobs at brick-and-mortar stores, thus producing unemployment.

Workers, the very source of wealth creation, when participating with the above practices, are throwing their comrades under the bus to enhance their own lives.

Max Greenwood, Sherwood

OHA's opacity smacks of politics

Surprise, surprise. Gov. Kate Brown has now decided not to release the specifics (read: age) of the people who die of COVID-19 in this state. You can't blame her because it is a daily reminder of the callous and ignorant decision she made to vaccinate school employees before seniors. [Ed.: After this letter was received, Brown reversed this decision, which she says was made by the Oregon Health Authority.]

Up until to today, every day we saw that over 92% of deaths were people over the age of 60; 52% over 80. Only 6% of teachers in this country are over age 55, so very few of them are at risk of dying of it.

But never mind the facts. What really matters is what is best for the governor's future and her favorite union.

Her excuse is that this will allow schools to reopen. But weren't schools closed so that kids would not spread it to one another and then take it home to vulnerable relatives?

Only 18% of Oregonians are over age 65. Once we vaccinate them, the real threat of COVID-19 is over. So why aren't we focusing on that number?

Please do not let the governor get away with this. This decision needs to be reversed soon. Or perhaps soon you can start publishing the daily numbers of seniors that are dying directly because of Gov. Brown's decision.

Barry Cain, Lake Oswego

'Sharing Our Stimulus' with local nonprofits

When a post appeared on the Nextdoor website saying the author wished to share her stimulus check with local non-profits but didn't know of any, it sparked an idea.

For some people, these checks are essential to get through these hard times. But some local citizens felt they were able to share some with their neighbors.

Sharing Our Stimulus urges people to share with the nonprofit organizations that exist in our own backyard. A list of many of those organizations and donation links can be found at ewcdems.us/making-a-difference-locally.html.

A meeting on Feb. 4 brings together representatives of some of these organizations to talk about how they are delivering food and housing services during this pandemic. The Zoom link for this meeting can be found at the same link.

Local citizens are urged to add one cent to their donation as a way of saying, "This is from a neighbor who wishes you well." And it is possible to reward yourself and do good at the same time. Buying a meal from a local business or attending an event online can help make sure that these businesses will be around when we return to in-person enjoyment of what they offer.

We are fortunate to have many local organizations, driven by volunteers who help those struggling during these hard times. The stimulus checks let many of us do our part to extend this help further.

Carol Greenough

Chair, East Washington County Democrats


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