Liberal reaction absurd and shallow

To the Editor:

Two weeks ago, 10 students walked out of Grant Union in remembrance of school gun-violence victims. Local liberals immediately took to social media to proclaim these students as courageous. There’s nothing exemplary about student action that’s the equivalent of attending a field trip.

The event was encouraged, planned and scripted. Students and parents had advance notice of the insignificant “punishment” they would face for participating. Involvement under those circumstances indicates little more than those students are typical teenagers trying to figure out their own voices — and good for them.

In contrast, the previous week, two students stood for their own personal beliefs in protesting a teacher who refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, who consistently interjects personal opinion into her lectures and who has created a hostile learning environment for children who are also exploring their own identities (conservative, in this case).

Those students requested a meeting on their own time and with substantial risk to themselves, to discuss their concerns with that teacher and the principal. Their rational and respectful behavior was met with derision and irrelevant emotion. While the students were commanded to remain quiet, the teacher immediately called these children “self absorbed self righteous little (expletive deleted)” on Facebook and repeated physical threats made by other students towards the two boys. Local liberals rose to her defense and applauded her actions until the post was removed.

Liberal reaction to both events demonstrates the absurdity and shallowness that pervades the current “progressive” movement — which is anything but the tolerant and inclusive crusade it claims. Instead, it has become about forcing social “reform” using its current political and institutional strength to punish anyone who doesn’t conform. It’s become about changing our community no matter how arbitrarily, destructively or irreversibly.

I refuse to celebrate mediocrity. Instead, I cheer the two young men that stood up for their deeply held, personal convictions in the face of adversity and fear of retaliation. I’m very proud to call both of them my heroes. Thank you for typifying the character and integrity that so many adults in this community cannot seem to find.

Shaun W. Robertson

John Day

Compassion, respect needed today

To the Editor:

We applaud and are proud of the students at Grant Union High School who participated in the walkout on March 14. Students stood for one minute of silence in remembrance of each human being gunned down at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The compassion and respect you demonstrated will remain with you always — and is much needed in today’s world.

Sandy and Mark Murray

Prairie City

‘We must do better!’

To the Editor:

We must do better!

Michael Byrne, running against Greg Walden in Oregon’s Second District, comes with strong populist and working man values: $15 minimum wage, affordable housing now, stop predatory lending practices, credit agencies reform, thoughtful wise use of federal lands that belong to all of us, stop the wasting trillions of dollars on war, instead, rebuild this country’s infrastructure. Our children deserve every resource available to grow and thrive. The military industrial complex isn’t conspiracy theory. It is a fact, and along with that, net neutrality was repealed with serious help from Greg Walden!

A real, sensible approach will address causes of illegal immigration rather than the side effects, beginning with responsible trade policy that protects workers and the environment and increases the standard of living on both sides of the border.

Corporate America is making their profits off the backs of hard working families. It’s time they pay their fair share. Real tax reform is needed because most politicians are bought and paid for by corporate interests. But what about the working families who can’t afford to buy politicians?

Michael supports Bernie Sanders’ College for All Act, eliminating tuition and fees at public colleges and universities — and paid for by Wall Street speculation taxes. Michael believes Wall Street taxes should cover the whole cost, rather than just 67 percent of it.

With the decline in manufacturing jobs came a decline in union jobs and real wages. The unionization of America’s workforce should be a national mandate.

The future is in renewable energy, and we are blessed with wind and solar galore here in Oregon. The design, installation and maintenance of solar arrays and wind turbines are the family wage jobs of the future! The Clean Energy Jobs Bill in 2019 would help retrain workers for these jobs.

By supporting Michael Byrne now, you help turn the tide from the destruction being wrought in D.C. Every dollar helps. Get involved, and make all of our lives better by voting these priorities into office!

Robin Bloomgarden


County relies on EMS services

To the Editor:

As a former John Day resident, Mt. Vernon resident, Grant County resident and former firefighter, I would like to put in that the residents need updated equipment and a building for the citizens of Grant County. They need the EMS services and continuing education for the EMTs and firefighters that Grant County relies on, so please listen to the citizens.

Wayne Sypert


Farm-friendly, pro-biofuels work positive

To the Editor:

The debate surrounding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has intensified and become much more complex recently. The efforts of a handful of oil refineries to portray the RFS as an unfair law to their bottom lines has attracted political opportunists like Sen. Ted Cruz to fight on their side. In times like these, when the opposition ramps up considerably, we must reflect on how lucky we are to have great biofuel champions in industry, Congress and the White House and encourage them to keep up the fight.

An East Coast oil refiner’s downfall was the perfect opportunity for oil lobbyists and Sen. Cruz to exploit. Sen. Cruz has campaigned for months to reform the RIN system and has held the confirmation of Bill Northey to his U.S. Department of Agriculture position hostage until he got what he wanted. He argued on behalf of the oil industry, who only want to see the RFS weakened and their control of the pump strengthened. If their plans ever came to fruition, it would come at the cost of farmers already seeing declining incomes and hard-working employees at over 200 biorefineries across the country.

Thankfully, Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have been there every step of the way to combat these attacks. At a biofuels meeting in the White House last week, they represented farmers and biorefinery workers everywhere in defending the RFS and seeing that Northey was finally confirmed to his USDA position, where he’ll join the Iowan senators’ fight to promote American biofuels.

With more biofuel meetings with President Trump on the horizon, it’s now more critical than ever that our leaders in congress know that this is exactly the kind of farm-friendly, pro-biofuels work we wished of them when we cast our vote for President Trump.

Kraig Hoene


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