Day: November 6, 2015

Oregon’s veterans continue to serve

By CAMERON SMITH Veterans’ Day is one day to honor the service and sacrifice of all who have raised their right hand, worn the uniform, defended our freedom, and stood guard over our peace. Across our 70 year history, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs has witnessed generations of service members returning home and then using their hard-earned leadership skills and experience to significantly contribute to our communities. What many citizens may not know is that one out of every 12 Oregonians is a veteran. While our veterans gain great strength from their service, it is not surprising that many can face challenges as they reintegrate home. For those impacted by their service, we must understand their tenacious spirit and resiliency. They deserve nothing less than the best in care, resources and support. There is never a doubt, though, that our learned resilience, ideali110 stic pride, and unwavering dedication to our families, community and each other is stronger because we served in uniform. Take the recent examples of young returning veterans from Oregon like Alek Skarlatos and Chris Mintz. Alek captured international headlines for thwarting a terrorist attack while travelling in France after his deployment in Afghanistan with the Oregon Army National Guard. Similarly, Chris Mintz, an Army veteran, also chose to run toward chaos on the Umpqua Community College campus to help protect fellow students. He was shot...

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The real GOP divide

By E.J. DIONNE JR. Maybe our definition of the Republican presidential contest is a little off. It’s often cast, accurately enough, as a choice between “outsiders” and “insiders.” But another party division may be more profound — between Republicans who still view the country’s future hopefully, and those deeply gloomy about its prospects. The pessimism within significant sectors of the GOP is more than the unhappiness partisans typically feel when the other side is in power. It’s rooted in a belief that things have fundamentally changed in America, and there is an ominous possibility they just can’t be put right again. This is one of the big contrasts between the two parties: Democrats are more bullish on the future. Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the national polls because Democrats broadly favor continuity, with some tweaks. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders offers a tough critique of inequality and the outsized power of the rich. But he and his supporters are comfortable with the country’s cultural direction and have enough faith in government to believe it can engineer the reforms that economic fairness requires. These thoughts are provoked by an evening spent watching last week’s GOP presidential debate with a group of Republicans pulled together here for me by Sarah Stewart, a New Hampshire political consultant. They were anything but pitchfork-bearing rebels, and many of them are involved with local...

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