News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 2/17/2021

To the Editor:

Ask yourself, is it smart to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs because it was a pet of Donald Trump?

Decisions born out of anger and spite normally don’t turn out well for anyone. A lot of what his administration passed was designed to benefit everyone, not just a political party or small faction of our population.

Putting his personality aside, which I agree was hard to swallow at times, doesn’t mean that we have to eliminate all his policies. That is, unless you can replace it with a better plan that could benefit all of us.

Satan loves hate because it divides and blinds us. Differences are OK, but only if addressed rationally and not through road rage.

I think we can all agree on priorities like safety, prosperity, strength, hope, and love. If not, we will fail each other as a nation and as a beacon of hope and unity for the rest of the world. There are only two paths available, and one is a dead end.

Byron Blake

To the Editor:

John Baldwin’s letter published last week complained about the number of executive orders issued by President Biden, which is 29 as of this writing. I’m not sure where Mr. Baldwin saw the number 40 because the Federal Register says 29. (

Mr. Baldwin also says, “In all of U.S. history, such a degree of usurping our bodies of Congress is unprecedented, and rightly arouses concern in any reasonable American.” This is not true. Anyone with a computer can run a simple search and figure this out very quickly.

Executive orders have been around since the first president was elected. Even George Washington issued one. The number grew over the years, reaching a high point during the Great Depression and World War II, and decreasing since then. The number issued per year after that was evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. (

Personally, I don’t like the idea of executive orders because they place too much power in the hands of one person. However, Congress and the Federal courts can strike down executive orders that they believe exceed the president’s authority.

My final issue with Mr. Baldwin’s letter is this: He failed to mention that President Trump issued 220 executive orders.

Paula Surmann

To the Editor:

The Oregon Department of Education is promoting a course for teachers that links math lessons to racism and a culture of “white supremacy.”

The department is promoting a pamphlet titled “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction.” The pamphlet claims there is too much focus on asking students to get the “right” answer when solving math problems and that is connected to white supremacy, as is working independently. The course favors group math work for students.

The course asks teachers to identify and “challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views,” and “the concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so.” The pamphlet also states, “upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”

Apparently, it’s Oregon’s position that mathematicians like Archimedes, Pythagoras, Descartes, Newton, Einstein and Nash, et al. were all white supremacists — hmmm.

So, math students can now sit around in groups waiting for someone to come up with the approximate answer and everyone gets an “A” grade. That should work out well for occupations that are math-critical, like engineers, accountants, research scientists and doctors. Who needs people competent and qualified to build our bridges and buildings, or cure disease, or being able to accurately compound, prescribe and dose our pharmaceuticals, or accurately compute our P/L statements and taxes?

It appears the most important thing in Oregon education today is nobody gets their feelings hurt and everybody goes home with a participation trophy.

I guess my college courses in advanced math with individually-tested understanding was all for naught.

Since Oregon has declared that math is racist and there are no right answers, then tax audits must be racist and Oregon is engaging in systemic racism by requiring tax returns to be accurate. Using Oregon’s math logic, instead of paying taxes this year, it appears, I have a refund in the millions of dollars. I’m sure the State will agree, because if they audit me, it will hurt my feelings, and it’s racist to expect accurate math — or something.

Don’t believe me; read it for yourself:

JK Wells


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