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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Monday, July 14



Howard: Commissioners’ silence is deafening

To the Editor:

The sound of silence. The county commissioners announced they can’t meet with the group, Save Our Shelter. At least, it appears they decided they can’t talk to them. 

The commissioners can’t even say, for themselves, they aren’t allowed to say something. Amazing. 

They have other government officials speak for them. Silence for politicians. My heart goes out to them. We all know how much they like to talk.

Not meeting with concerned citizens? Citizens who aren’t parties to the suit itself? That’s tactical advice from a lawyer, not legal necessity. From the nation’s Capitol to our local courthouse, we’re now hearing the same thing, “We can’t comment while an investigation is under way.” That’s awful convenient, when the politicians who made the illegal mess have a “legal” reason not to talk about it.

Small wonder we suspect government no longer listens to “us.” Not talking to the public helps keep a horrific commissioner process from being further exposed.

Not talking — it’s a good way to protect commissioners from making embarrassing comments.

But in the meantime, what elected officials are protecting the abused? Common sense, abuse victim advocates and public citizens are all on the side of at least listening to SOS. We should also, by the way, be on the side of looking out for seniors whose nursing homes may be closed. 

Commissioners should be there, listening to them, too. But that means political silences should not be deafening when it comes to hearing from the hurt.

Jack Howard

La Grande 


Sundin: Two-parent family remains the best option

To the Editor:

Sociologist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, “Much of the social history of the Western world … has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.” We have inherited from our ancestors something which works: the two-parent family. A man and a woman marry for life and provide a home for their children. It’s not perfect; we humans aren’t perfect. But numerous studies have established that this is the best environment for raising happy, healthy children — it works.

Then a generation ago along came no-fault divorce and the sexual revolution. Both sounded good at the time, but once adopted, they have led to the single-parent family. Single parents want to raise happy, healthy children, of course, and many do. But they are laboring under a handicap. They are trying to do by themselves a job best done by two people.

Sowell, a black man, was appalled at the destructive effect this change has had upon the people of his race, particularly the young men. Huge numbers of them spend significant amounts of time in jail, and all too many are murdered in gang violence. They make the neighborhoods in which they live hells on earth.

Some claim that this is evidence of racism in our society, but it’s not. The rate of out-of-wedlock births in our inner cities is around 70 percent. The refusal of these young black men to marry the mothers of their children deprives them of the civilizing impact young women can have on them, and significantly increases the odds that their sons will share their unhappy fate. For them, the single-parent family most decidedly does not work.

We whites should not feel complacent. As the rate of our out-of-wedlock births continues to increase, our young men are sharing the same pathologies afflicting young black men. We’re just not as far down that path as they are.

Pete Sundin

Baker City


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