December 14, 2003 11:00 pm

Appeasement not option

To the Editor:

One of the tragedies of the current debate on the war in Iraq is that many of those who oppose the war feel obligated to pair their opposition to a hatred of George W. Bush.

This makes their arguments less credible. Similarly, some of those who support the war feel obligated to pair their support with loyalty to country.

In this case it distracts us from the substance of the war debate. This mixing of apples and oranges makes for some pretty strange bedfellows in both camps and some convoluted arguments as well.

The difficult choices that must be made in the real world are all life-and-death choices. Or, more precisely, everything we do, or fail to do, as a nation, will both cost some lives and save some others.

The question becomes one of agonizingly balancing who, when, how many, and what outcome over as long a time frame as we can envision.

Seen in this light, and in the light of the mass graves discovered in Iraq, appeasement, or even containment of tyrants, cannot be construed as a morally innocent option.

David Waln


Residents support Muchow

To the Editor:

I would like to add my two cents worth to the situation going on in the town of Union.

In most small towns there are almost always one or two or more people on city commissions that want to control everything that goes on in the town.

I am writing about our chief of police, Dean Muchow, whom I have known since he became chief. He treats people with respect from young to old. He has in the past few years cleared up several cases of drug users and sellers.

We need more of our citizens to step forward and help clean up some of the things our city fathers do. I wish someone would tell me who does the hiring and firing of the city employees.

I am sure that if it comes to a vote there would be a lot of people who would vote for Dean Muchow to continue as police chief.

Dean and Judy Johnston


Public officials out of touch

To the Editor:

I read an article recently that stated the pharmaceutical companies and the government were alarmed and concerned about Americans going to Canada and Mexico to buy their medications.

They were even warning that the drugs may not be as good as those they buy here. The Free Trade Agreement has allowed U.S. companies and even some government agencies to move their plants or send their work out of this country. Many unemployed, retired, disabled or poor Americans don't have much choice but to buy medications where they can afford them.

I am alarmed and concerned that there are millions of Americans who go without necessary medications because of their cost. The drug companies, in this article, touted their discount programs, such as the Orange Card and the Together Rx Card, 20 or 30 percent off a drug that costs $160 like the asthma medicine my doctor wants me to take. Pfizer is the only company that puts its money where its mouth is. With a Pfizer Share Card, I can get any of their products for $15 for a month's supply. Unfortunately, they do not make all the drugs I have to have.

I am alarmed and concerned that Medicare and Social Security are of so little interest to those with the power to change them. Because they don't need these programs they are completely out of touch with the reality that millions of their constituents face every single day. I would like to see every congressman, senator, presidential candidate and vice-presidential candidate spend three months living on what millions of people live on.

Maybe these officials would have at least a vague idea of what millions of us face every day. And maybe, just maybe, they would make some meaningful changes.

Barbara Gray


Let managers do their jobs

To the Editor:

Chief of Police Dean Muchow of Union is actually overqualified for the pay the city pays him.

We are very fortunate to have him. He is very experienced in law enforcement and is an excellent safety officer in knowledge of the law, always neat in appearance, listens, mannerly and treats everyone fairly and with respect.

Bill Searles, the Union city administrator, is way out of line. Searles needs to stay out of the departments of the city that he knows nothing about. Let the heads of those departments do their jobs.

One patrol officer recently wrote a citation to a citizen that, in my opinion, was out of spitefulness and even referred to several warnings concerning neighborhood complaints. There were none on file. Neighbors stated they had never made any complaints.

This officer approached relatives of a person cited at the DMV office and, I understand, made unpleasant comments.

Does Chief Muchow deserve to be put on suspension for doing his job? For requesting the dismissal of the citation? It was Rick Dall, attorney at law and Union Municipal Court judge, who dismissed the citation.

Rick Dall stated that, "There is no way that the citation, as written, could be prosecuted."

Who should be on suspension?

Sherry Eden


Be hero to animal

To the Editor:

I want to recognize the efforts of the woman who wrote the Nov. 15 letter to the editor requesting "help to save Gracie from death row."

This was a special person who cared enough about God's creatures. She took the time out of her day to help this poor kitty, one that might have otherwise died or been killed. We need more people in the world like her and fewer people that dump their animals.

To the one who dumped this cat, your kitty was fortunate that a person such as this woman was willing to get involved.

Most dumped animals don't have a fighting chance. Most get hit by cars, die from starvation or from adverse weather.

If you are thinking about dumping an animal and think that it may have a chance at being found by someone, please don't. That is mean and cruel. It is also a crime.

Put yourself in its place. How would you feel? Hurt by the human that you love so much. Heartbroken, in pain and homesick. You'd wonder what happened, and when your owner was coming back for you

To the special person who responded to this woman's plea for Gracie and adopted her, thank you.

Each year, thousands of homeless animals are destroyed due to a lack of adoptive homes. I encourage everyone to consider whether they may have room in their lives to be that special hero to an animal whose time has run out.

Please, take a few minutes to visit the local shelter today. Be a hero to that special animal waiting and hoping for someone like you to take it home and love it.

Can't adopt? Help out the local shelter. The animals will love you for it.

Becky Thwreatt


Transcripts available

To the Editor:

As you may know there is a lending library available to anyone who would like to read the finished transcripts that are part of Union County's Oral History Project.

These can be borrowed by calling me at 963-4073 to make arrangements for a two-week loan or longer. If you are unable to pick them up, we will deliver them to you.

As of November, interviews for the following have been published: Verna Courtright, LaVern Draper, Gertie Hibbert, Patrick Fitzgerald, Bessie Knapp, Glen McKenzie, Clifton Slack, William Talbott, Dorothy Trice, Orval Trump, Lola Young, Claude Anson, Clayton Fox, Wilfred Hamann, Phyliss and Albert Hopkins, Elmer Perry, Anita Pipes, Elma and Lyle Sanderson, Walter Smutz, Gerda Brownton, Louise Dodson, Jack Jensen, David Rose, Vernon Ainsworth, Ariel Bean, Miskell Gale, Laurose Hibberd, and William Lovan.

There is some wonderful reading available to all of you. Don't hesitate to call.

Patty Turner

La Grande

Confused with Nazis?

To the Editor:

I read with interest John Petersen's Nov. 11 letter in which he stated the Koran teaches that Jews should be murdered and non-believers should be enslaved.

Perhaps Mr. Petersen has confused Muslims with Nazis (90 percent of whom were Christians), who slaughtered six million Jews and enslaved millions more non-Jews who were deemed inferior.

His letter endorses George W. Bush, largely on his stated religious beliefs. Bush's political actions shows that he worships mammon — that is power and wealth.

When Nobel prizes are awarded for hypocrisy, Bush will be the first recipient.

Charles Gillis

La Grande

Happy but disappointed

To the Editor:

The Observer issue on Nov. 18 was a happy moment for me, as well as a disappointing and confusing one.

I was selected MVP of the Wapiti League for volleyball. On the same page there was a picketing sign about my mom, who is a Union police officer.

Being a daughter of an officer can truly be very hard. I get to hear, of course, all the rumors and all the things that could have been handled differently.

I get to experience people who are never satisfied because they don't agree with the decision made, for whatever reason. This happens in everyday life; there's always someone dissatisfied.

On the other hand, I get to experience people who go with the flow of things and choose to handle different situations in a mature manner, unlike some of the picketing that took place the evening of Nov. 17.

As what is happening with the Union City Council and Chief Dean Muchow, that should be kept between them.

As Mayor Dave Thomas said, "I'm bound by law. I can't tell you (the people) things from executive session."

Therefore, nobody — with the exception of a few — really know the absolute true story of what's going on.

So why put people and their families through pain when the facts of the situation have not yet been released?

Kallin Prince


Veteran feels appreciated

To the Editor:

On Nov. 6 the Imbler schools invited veterans to a special Thank You Day. There were probably 40 of us of all branches of the services including active National Guard. Some of us were allowed to speak to high school classes; I spoke to two of them.

We then assembled in the high school gym and seated in a line of chairs, each with a colorful balloon attached. Young people representing every grade from kindergarten through 12th grade paid us a moving tribute.

We stood and, facing the stands, gave our name, branch of service and years of service. We then lined up — veterans always remember standing in line — and every young person, again from kindergarten through 12th grade, faculty and staff came by, shook our hands and thanked us.

Some of the youngest ones had made little handouts for us.

The band and student body beautifully played our national anthem, "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America."

It was hard to hold back tears of appreciation. Afterwards we were treated to cookies and punch. I have never ever felt more honored.

Thank you, Imbler students, faculty and staff, for such a wonderful expression of appreciation.

Roy Hills

Island City

Waiting to fly flag

To the Editor:

I see Bill Oberteuffer's point in his first letter published Oct. 27 about U.S. flags flying.

First, flags these days are mostly made in China, a Communist nation.

But, I think his point is, to be obsessed with flags and have a superior attitude that our leaders are right to have young lives be lost and blood be shed on both sides for greed and power is really sick.

I have a neat flag made in the U.S.A. and will fly it again when some decent people have an honest government take over in the White House.

Are there still some alive?

Letha Johns

La Grande