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Letters, Nov. 3

Jail alternative?

I am not familiar with the regulations governing the required construction of jails, but noted in the editorial on Oct. 25 that in the proposed jail “... the kitchen and other infrastructure couldn’t be expanded because reinforced concrete does not allow for easy remodeling.”

So perhaps concrete is required for the main building. However, maybe the inmate quarters could be housing units like military barracks, constructed of metal and other fire-retarding materials. These would house non-violent, low-risk inmates while the old jail is reserved for high-risk inmates.

With the large property that has been secured there would be enough room for inmates to volunteer to work in gardens, growing organic vegetables, and perhaps even for keeping free-range chickens for eggs. These would supplement the jail’s meals. In California they have “work farms” for low-risk inmates, and these have been very successful. The inmates get the psychological benefits of constructive work and a greater sense of community.

This alternative would be much cheaper and solve the problem of overcrowding. I am surprised no one has discussed it.

Janice Koler-Matznick

Central Point

Our nationalist

President Trump finally concedes that he’s a nationalist. What he’s telling Americans is that he is a Nazi. We who follow history have seen the resemblance between Adolf Hitler and Donald J. Trump through Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” from the start.

The big lie, propaganda, hate, you name it, Trump has followed Hitler’s design from the start.

His misinformation machine, the Republican Party, play the lemmings and bow to his every lie, and protect Trump when challenged. Ignoring these similarities between Hitler and Trump could keep 45 in power longer. Trump wants to be dictator of America, not president.

Trump has told our allies to take a hike, while embracing every dictator on earth, most of all Russia’s, Putin.

Republicans don’t like social programs; neither did Hitler. Hitler wanted only the rich to have a say, not anyone else, and they were Nazis.

So I ask, what’s that make of our Republican party? Are they Nazis or Communists?

It was once said, patriotism is when love of your own people comes first, nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first. — Charles de Gaulle.

Michael Long


Bring compassion back

I have been doing some research on the topic of asylum seekers. ?I learned that 45,000 were recommended for asylum this year, but only 1,500 were recommended for Latin America, a number far below those for Africa, Asia and the Near East.

Why is that? Why should our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere be so disproportionately limited? We are told to stand up to this invasion from Honduras even though we accepted over 10,000 people from Africa and 3,797 people from the Near East. Why is there such animosity against our neighbors to the south?

President Trump could champion a group of people who are in need of asylum protection. He could enlarge the number of people allowed to apply for asylum from Latin America. He could encourage asylum by supporting U.S. embassies in neighboring countries to process applications before they reach our borders.

A president who would do this could gain my respect by resolving the present drama and irrational fears being broadcast unless the plight of Latin America is being used to distract and divide us. Someone needs to bring some traditional American compassion back into the immigration policies of the U.S. The question is who.

Lunette Fleming


Non-endorsement childish

Regarding the Mail Tribune’s Oct. 21 non-endorsement of a gubernatorial candidate: What a childishly angry assessment of the situation in Oregon!

Having a tantrum about forest fire smoke ignores the fact that it is caused by global climate change/warming that has to be addressed globally. Saying that Kate Brown should have done/do more to stop forest fires (which burn throughout the Western U.S. and Canada, oblivious of state lines) is like telling the governor of Washington that he should stop the oceans from warming and rising.

The threatening tone of the editorial echoes the angry rants of Trump, et al. We really don’t need more fuel thrown on the fire.

And how tiresome that the editorial echoes the old, knee-jerk Republican trope: “Democrats rarely have shown fiscal responsibility to taxpayers in this area.” Is this based on facts?

Likewise, the Tribune’s endorsement of Walden is positively head-in-the-sand.

Julia Sommer


Barone hits new low

Partisan hack Michael Barone has lowered the bar even further in his attacks on the left than he regularly does in a recent column.

He makes the assumption that the only reason that someone might vote for a Democrat is because they hate Trump. Maybe they are voting that way because of Republican policies to speed up global warming, privatize public schools, defund Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while giving tax cuts to billionaires.

He says Democrats will lose seats because so much of the country is upset about what they saw in the Kavanaugh hearings. Specifically, upset about “the banshees TV viewers could hear shrieking in the hearing room and clawing at the doors of the Supreme Court across the street.” These would be our mothers, sisters and wives peacefully protesting about a man who repeatedly perjured himself and could be an attempted rapist, being ramrodded onto the court so Trump would have him in his pocket when the Mueller investigation results come out.

Bad enough these courageous women have been tagged “paid protesters” and a “dangerous mob” by the Republican leadership. We’ll see how this war on women plays out on Tuesday.

Larry Hayes


Two stories

Two stories, side by side, in the Oct. 19 MT, one from Mapastepec, one from Washington: the Mexicans feeding the poor, the administration calling for the military to protect us from these poor and desperate ones walking to us for help.

I pray that loving congregations and others will take this opportunity to demonstrate the power of love as an antidote for fear.

Juan Quesada


The definition of insanity

For decades now we’ve been guided by a liberal governorship in Salem, with each ensuing term taking us steadily toward a financial reckoning. In the business world it’s referred to as bankruptcy. Deferred retirement compensation, known as PERS, is actually past a tipping point. A half billion dollars has been flushed down the Oregon Health Plan dumper. Another near half billion on the research and planning of a bridge too far — the one that didn’t quite reach Washington — has found a watery grave in the Willamette.

Our education system continues to perform, or, more accurately, not perform.

Multiple flawed attempts at establishing a sales tax are history. Yet the Mail Tribune cannot endorse change, in the form of a semi-conservative gubernatorial candidate. That would be insanity: doing the same thing, and expecting a different result.

Rosemary and Garth Harrington


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