Letters to the editor for December 19, 2012

By Observer Upload December 19, 2012 09:26 am
Letters to the editor for December 19, 2012


Obama’s diagnosis is spot on

To the Editor:

Anyone with children or anyone who has been around children (which includes everyone) quickly realizes how precious and what treasures they are. They remind each of us every day what life is all about. So, all of us empathetically grieve and mourn with the parents and families of the victims at Newtown. They are in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. Hopefully, this will not be construed as “politicizing” such a tragedy, but our president had remarkable insight into the problem in the immediate time vicinity of the tragedy. So I would like to comment.

 President Obama spoke at the prayer vigil and made a very astute diagnosis of the problem. He said, this tragedy reflected “the face of unconscionable evil.” A few moments later he admittedly said, “No set of laws can eliminate evil from the world.” 

 These are strange words when our culture seems to have eliminated the notions of good and evil as general, identifiable, objective things. Yet, he clearly labels evil as if it were objective and identifiable by each and every one of us in characterizing this tragedy as representative of something very real.

Such a diagnosis deserves a clear definition of what evil is, wouldn’t you think? If one knows what it is, it would follow that such knowledge would help us to understand the causes and the remedies for such problems as the shootings in Connecticut. Without precise definition, we may forever be sidetracked and never find the right cure. We may persist in identifying causation of such violent acts only in the deceptive paradigm of a scientific, physical, mental and medical aberration in attempts at explanation. Perhaps we will focus on fewer guns or more guns, depending on your view; or the necessity of more guards, security systems and locked doors. But, those seem rather inadequate without a reasonable definition of what evil is.

So, where does one start in the pursuit of an accurate and true definition of what is evil, or what is good for that matter? This is certainly not a new pursuit, but we seem to have lost the ability to even know where to start in understanding the type of evil the president was talking about. 

I don’t know if we’re up to this task as a people, but perhaps a sign or wall hanging in the hallways or classrooms of schools saying something like, “Thou shall not commit murder,” may help, a bit, in a preventive way.   

Tim Gleeson

La Grande



All Oregonians deserve to have health insurance

To the Editor:

Living in close knit Eastern Oregon towns we too often hear of the exorbitant costs borne by friends and neighbors struck with medical expenses far beyond their ability to pay. 

For all the effort and donations that go into helping them,
generally they and their
families are still saddled with insurmountable bills that are as life changing as the medical catastrophe itself.

It is time for all Oregonians to have comprehensive health insurance. 

Health care is a human right. Most other developed nations provide universal health care to their citizenry. 

Insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry are spending billions to lobby our legislators and bend our minds to oppose single payer coverage at the national and
state levels. 

Oregon could be the third state in the nation to pass a comprehensive state health care plan.

Health Care for All-Oregon, HCAO, is a statewide, grassroots effort to change Oregon’s constitution to include health care as a human right and to find a way for all Oregonians to have health care throughout our state. 

Oregon Rural Actions’ health care team is working with over 60 other Oregon organizations to make health care for all a reality. 

Join us at one of our meetings in January (Jan. 7 or Jan. 25), call the office at 541-975-2411 or visit http://oregonrural.org/our-work/health-care-reform/.

Mary McCracken

Island City