Thanks for the truth about laws' effects

Thank you so much for printing the letter, 'Stop getting tough on drugs, get smart' (The Times, Dec. 13). It is very good to see the truth getting more coverage.

I, for one, am sick of our 'leaders of the law' not knowing anything about what they are governing. I'm even more sick of paying thugs to inflict needless and everlasting harm on so many of our citizens, just because these drug users are hated by an ignorant and violent society.

Thanks again, and have fun finding/reporting the truth about what our laws are actually doing and how much they actually cost.


Bellevue, Neb.

Bring Larry, the Santa mailman, back

There is a postal worker in Beaverton named Larry. For years Larry dressed as Santa to deliver his mail. We lived in an impoverished area where, at the time, there were motorcycle gangs, drug houses and brothels (yes, in Beaverton!).

Larry brought so much joy and hope to that neighborhood dressed as Santa. During that week, the neighbors would have an expectation of hope - they'd actually talk to each other and say, 'Have you seen Santa-mailman yet?' They so looked forward to seeing him.

We've long since moved out of that neighborhood, but last week, my husband was visiting the Beaverton post office to mail some things and was chatting with a worker and was told that, because someone complained, Larry can no longer dress as Santa to deliver the mail. That is so sad.

For the hundreds, I'd even say thousands, of us over the years who filtered through his route that he brought joy to, who looked forward to, even anticipated, and who didn't complain about his visits as Santa because it was a wonderful gift - that doesn't hold water with the post office. For the very few who complained, they make a change.

Christmas unifies us as human beings. In war, they didn't have a 'holiday truce,' it was a Christmas truce. In our hearts, Christmas is a type of truce where we take our focus, no matter how briefly, off of the 'dailies' and look at something bigger than ourselves. Christmas is a season of the heart.

If the few get some satisfaction out of being complaining and cranky - they are free to do so - but don't rob the rest of us of wanting to feel good and do good and bring good to others.

The Santa-postman brings joy! Bring Larry back, Beaverton. We should not bow to the wishes of a few and instead, we should rejoice in the joy, brotherhood and wonder of the many.

Merry Christmas!



'The surge' in Iraq came much too late

Even before it started, senior military and defense officials warned that the planned assault on Iraq was severely undermanned. Those who voiced their opinions were soon history.

Then, as the war wore on, more and more voices warned that we did not have enough troops to do the job. Even supporters of the war like Sen. McCain called for more troops. Retiring generals cited insufficient manpower as the reason for continued failures to suppress insurgents. That same opinion was voiced by Paul Bremer, the top guy sent there to administer the peace and reconstruction.

Now, after more than four years, and after that country is in shambles and tens of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed or wounded, we finally sent in more troops.

Republican Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, speaks of 'the success of the Bush strategy.' I wonder how he can sleep at night.

They call it 'the surge.' It's nothing but catch-up for years of neglect that has cost us more than we will ever know. The final cost in terms of treasure will probably be estimated, but the accuracy of that estimate will depend exclusively on who does the estimating.

But the cost in human suffering will never be known. More than 30,000 of our people now have less-functioning body parts than they had before. The damage done to young minds subjected to daily fear of attack and that gut-wrenching memory of seeing your buddy blown to pieces will live long in many.

Unfortunately, those who they love and who love them will also forever be haunted by what has happened.


Unincorporated Bull Mountain

St. Vincent de Paul Society says thanks

The Tigard Conference St. Vincent de Paul Society wishes to thank all who helped us with our Christmas food box program for the needy.

A special thanks goes to all of the individuals who helped us deliver the boxes as well as those who helped sort food and prepare the boxes.

The students in the Tigard schools and the students at St. Anthony School deserve a big thanks for participating in a food drive to help us feed those in need.

The members of Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs in Tigard also collected food for us on Scouting for Food Saturday.

A number of individuals also donated hams and turkeys so that each family had meat for Christmas.

We provided food boxes to 97 families, which consisted of 204 adults and 219 children.

We were also helped by G. C. Kolve Co. - they contributed space in Canterbury Square to sort food and distribute our Christmas boxes.

Again a big thanks to all who contributed to make our annual food drive and Christmas box distribution a success. May you all have a blessed New Year.


Vice president of Tigard Conference St. Vincent de Paul Society

Movie takes a look at national integrity

This e-mail is about the future integrity of our nation.

Please consider renting the documentary movie, 'Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election,' by filmmakers Joan Sekler and Richard Ray Perez, and narrated by Peter Coyote.

Regardless of your political party association, the data presented in this movie is essential knowledge for every single voter in the U.S.A.

The documentary is available from NetFlix.

I urge you to take the time to view this and then ask every single person you know to do the same.



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