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Letters: Alternative takes on federal shutdown, county commission

I am disappointed by the letters submitted by Rep. Schrader and Sen. Merkley last week.

The only argument either have to offer about their inability to do their job involves conjuring up the specter of the Tea Party spirit? Why hasn’t a budget been passed since 2009, though in 2011 the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate? This doesn’t seem to be a Tea Party issue, fellows.

It is also sad to see you both perpetuating the partisan lies that there is any true give and take in DC the day after Obama uses blackmail tactics promising to never get the government going again if his wishes are not followed to the letter.

This, Clackamas County neighbors, is how our politicians work. Repeat the same thing over and over, regardless of merit, to brainwash the masses. They are already brainwashed, we don’t have to be and need to remember to vote the liars out — on every level of government — as soon as possible.

Libby Wentz

Gladstone

Shutdown result of Fascism

In their letters to the editor, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader gave their takes on the events unfolding in Washington DC. I offer this as a third take.

I submit that there is indeed a strategy behind what conservative Republicans are doing. A lesson they learned during the Reagan Administration was that you cannot eliminate social programs by attacking them frontally. From that experience, they developed a strategy that is unfolding today before our eyes. Their strategy? The way to undermine social programs is to create a financial crisis so serious that it can be argued that the nation cannot afford these social programs.

The 2012 election opened the doors of opportunity to implement this conservative Republican strategy. In 2012, 40 newly elected conservative Republicans quickly realized that House Speaker John Boehner was a someone they could intimidate. The Affordable Healthcare Act gave them the “cause celebrae” they could use to distract attention away from their real intentions. Shutting down the government, paired with refusing to increase the debt limit, will create for conservative Republicans the worldwide economic crisis they need to fulfill their goal of undermining our social programs. It is naive to believe that there is no strategy behind what conservative Republicanism is doing at this moment.

Secondly; in order to understand today’s Republicanism, one has to have a grasp of the political system Fascism. The problem with studying Fascism as a political system now is that political scientists demonize it. Some 60 years ago Dr. Edward McNall Burns of Rutgers University examining the Fascist governments of Italy, Spain and Germany identified these common tenets:

No. 1, Fascism is a corporate state; No. 2, Fascism represents the enthronement of big capitalists by capitalists; No. 3, The Fascist spirit is will — not intellect. It is faith over intellectualism; No. 4, The Fascist state is to be governed by the elite; No. 5, Capitalists are the socially productive class; No. 6, Individual and class interests are subordinate to the interest of the state; No. 7, Labor problems will be resolved by the state; No. 8, Warfare is considered exalting and ennobling; No. 9, One party-Fascist, One Press-Fascist, One Education-Fascist; No. 10, Jingoism (extreme nationalism) over internationalism.

Fascism is an alternative political philosophy. The conservative wing of today’s Republican Party has been nominating American Fascists and the electorate has been voting them into office. Beginning with Reagan and continuing through President G.W. Bush, the courts have been packed with American Fascists. Fascism is an alternative political philosophy. The U.S. was founded as a democratic republic, a second political philosophy. Expecting bipartisanship under this set of realities is unrealistic. It is equally unrealistic, perhaps unwise, to see what is happening in our country as just politics as usual.

D. Kent Lloyd

Gladstone

Be informed and be involved

County commissioners held a recent work session for approving an ordinance for conduct in libraries, and to finalize an order to establish a “person in charge” of county buildings. Responding to citizen input, they have eliminated a controversial idea to create a “concealed carry” notice requirement for library patrons.

The plan to draft an ordinance that would allow citizens to be excluded (banned) from county buildings if they haven’t committed a crime such as disturbing the peace has been dropped. The decision is another win for the those who are opposed to overbearing arbitrary laws and rules imposed by government. We all understand the need to preserve safety, but the original proposal was not the answer.

For over two years Paul Savas has been the one commissioner who has opposed controversial rules that would limit our free speech. I can well remember in the fall of 2011 when the previous commission proposed a ban on asking questions during the meetings. Richard Langdon and I worked relentlessly to preserve our right to ask questions and expect answers. Richard is a successful businessman who became involved when a code-enforcement officer levied large fines against his property when no code existed. At the time, Commissioner Bernard responded by implying that Richard was asking to have a traffic ticket “fixed.” The outrageous treatment that Richard received set the tone for Bernard’s illegal ejection of him during a meeting in 2012. We are hopeful the new policy will prevent that from happening to anyone in the future.

During the Oct. 3 meeting, I concluded my citizen comments by thanking Commissioners Ludlow and Savas for apologizing for how Mr. Langdon was treated by Jim Bernard. Later in the meeting, Bernard defiantly refused to apologize, and made statements that seemed to imply that those who don’t agree with him hate government. Labeling concerned citizens as “government haters” is tiresome rhetoric.

Regardless of one’s stance on the issues, the current commission is responsive to questions, and Chair Ludlow runs the meetings in an open format. The atmosphere is completely different from how his predecessor, Charlotte Lehan ran the meetings.

Please attend the 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, board meeting, where the library ordinance and other policies will be on the agenda. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to send Commissioner Bernard a message about how we expect to be treated. Feel free to speak on other important topics including helping veterans, the CRC, light rail and the ill-conceived idea of disincorporating Damascus.

I encourage everyone to attend the evening meetings, even if you do not speak. The commission usually meets on Thursday mornings at 10 a.m., except on the third Thursday of the month. Those evening meetings provide a unique opportunity for you and your children to attend. Support your neighbors who show up, and they will support you in return. In these times it’s a good thing to be informed and aware.

Attending the commission meetings is a good place to start.

Les Poole

Gladstone




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