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home : letters : letters December 17, 2017

11/7/2017 12:55:00 PM
Letters to the Editor 11/08/2017

To the Editor:

Normally I am in full agreement with your thoughtful and well-written commentaries. But your November 1 commentary entitled: "Meet the new boss: Dawn of the Red Century," was a bridge too far. It is agreed that communism has failed miserably in most respects, but then you airily proceeded to malign democratic socialism and connect it to the red menace.

You darkly warn "...that it (democratic socialism) is vulnerable to being highjacked by control-freak tyrants whose intentions are far from benign." You further state the "Iron Law of Oligarchy" inevitably means that oligarchies of elites eventually take control. And, the "...elite cares more for their own power and control rather than your well-being."

You see democratic socialism, to a greater or lesser degree, successfully practiced in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Canada, France, Germany and other countries. Evidence their well-developed universal healthcare and free or low-cost college education systems and other benefits for the people.

If you care to examine the "rule of oligarchy," look no further than our own country. We elected Trump, a billionaire oligarch with authoritarian tendencies, who has appointed other billionaire oligarchs to his cabinet and other high government positions, such as Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, etc. etc. Also, look at the results of the Supreme Court decision in Citizen United, that has allowed oligarchs, such as the Koch Brothers, the Mercers and other billionaire oligarchs to flood unregulated campaign contributions to those politicians who will do their bidding.

Are all these elite oligarchs working hard to repair/replace our crumbling infrastructure or to develop a smart and efficient universal healthcare system or to improve our public education system or any other projects to help our people? Hardly.

What is the most compelling project for our elite oligarchs? Massive, beautiful, best-ever tax cuts by Christmas for corporations and the .01 percent, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Will Lacey


To the Editor:

Re: "Rider lays down motorcycle on Hwy. 20," (The Nugget, November 1, page 1).

As a currently active motorcyclist, I was disappointed by the wording of your report of a crash headlined as above and reported in the Wednesday, November 1 issue. Having taken the Team Oregon safety course as my first exposure to motorcycling in 2008, I am of the mind that deliberately "laying down the bike" to "avoid a rear-end collision" is a very bad idea.

Certainly, in this case, no rear-end collision was avoided and the crash was probably made significantly more serious by the rider's actions.

It goes without saying that he was traveling too fast and/or too close to the vehicle in front of him and paying insufficient attention to the traffic and road situation. As a normally loaded motorcycle has a much shorter stopping distance than a car or truck, even a lapse in attention would be best accommodated by rapid braking and, if unavoidable, a low-speed straight collision would have been the safer thing to do. Above all, it should be emphasized that, however it could have gone, fire or not, laying down the bike is a "crash" and doesn't avoid anything.

Mostly, though, such an event should remind us all to pay attention when we are behind the wheel or the handlebars.

Jim Hammond


To the Editor:

A more apt title for Rullman's columns should be the "The Bunkum Chronicle." His latest effort is a rambling essay attempting to minimize the significance of the indictment of the one-time campaign manager of the Trump campaign (Manafort) along with the deputy campaign chair (Gates). He labels it "remarkably uninteresting, uninspiring, and weak" and "laughable on any evidence at all of collusion with Russians...."

He guesses that the indicted campaign manager knows little about the campaign's collusion with Russian officials while ignoring Manafort's long history of surreptitiously representing the interests of Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, Putin's Ukraine puppet and the fact that Manafort was seriously in debt to Russian oligarchs. He apparently is blasé about international money-laundering, illegally working for a foreign government and tax fraud and thinks Manafort would only get some months in the "Martha Stewart Federal Penitentiary."

Nowhere in his column does he note that the Mueller team, at the time of these arrests, released the plea agreement from George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy team member in the Trump campaign that directly ties the campaign to its attempts to get Russian help in the election. This suggests that Papadopoulos has been cooperating with the Mueller team for months.

Mr. Rullman's practiced pose of cynicism is wearing thin.

This is the beginning of Mueller Time, not the end.

Michael Wells


To the Editor:

Recent and on-going challenging experiences are pushing my husband and me away from the Sisters community. We will likely be forced to take our wisdom, skills, and dollars away from Sisters, too. Coincidentally, I have been the founder of Senior Alliance and I don't even know what to do in an emergency. Everyone in Sisters needs to know.

Bill develops blood clots that travel to his lungs. He has needed a knee replacement for years, experiencing significant pain as he continued to keep healthy and strong walking the streets of the town he loves. The doctors were exceedingly careful preparing the consistency of his blood for the major surgery which he received at St. Charles Hospital on October 26. It was a very successful surgery and he was already walking and bending his knee almost immediately. After two days in the hospital he came home.

Within two days with careful care at home by me, including shots of blood thinner and other medication and visits from a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, his leg swelled excessively and he was in level 7-9 pain. A nurse came and in crisis mode the fire department was called, and he was taken by stretcher to the emergency room at St. Charles where he has been since November 2.

This comes around to the findings of the newly organized Senior Alliance. Everyone in Sisters needs more concise, available information about how to receive help when they need it. In the throes of crisis, I was panicked. I did not know what to do, and the competent nurse with me did not either! We did not think he was critical, did not know that the swelling was the result of a huge blood clot and hesitated to call 911. Who else do you call when your doctors are in Bend and not readily available for consultation? Bill was writhing and yelling, "Call the fire department!" We did and they came immediately. There was no other way a bed-ridden person can be transported to Bend. Within the day Bill had an MRI at the emergency room and was admitted, where he has received more blood thinner and drainage of the enormous blood clot.

He will soon be in a facility for rehabilitation for how long to get his new replacement to allow him to walk? Meanwhile we have ice and snow and no transportation that allows us to be together. He will have a long rehabilitation period and should not be walking on the icy streets of Sisters. We have our names on the waiting list at Stone Lodge near Transitions facility in Bend. This is at the desperate urging of our two children. We will be paying around $4,000 a month to live in resident care with the additional cost of any in-home nursing care.

Sisters will not profit from this huge outlay.

Joan Power

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