Day: July 22, 2016

A poor choice of words

To the Editor: During the last budget meeting Mayor Cathy Clark stated that “there needs to be an ‘honest’ conversation about what type of community we want.” Now this week the mayor is quoted in the Keizertimes saying, “we need to have a ‘grown up’ conversation about our tax rate.” The mayor is also quoted as saying “she is ready to have a larger conversation to increase the city budget.” The city finance officer cites a property tax income of $4.8 million for fiscal year 2014-15 and the police alone cost the city $5.1 million for that year. So mayor, here is my honest and grown up conversation related to the Keizer budget: 1. Keizer last updated its tax base during the November 5, 1996 election. 2. In 2011 the citizens of Keizer defeated a Public Safety Communication Tax with 80 percent voting no. 3. In 2015 the citizens of Keizer defeated a transit tax measure. 4. The total revenue for the 2014-15 fiscal year was $36.8 million. 5. The state of Oregon recently required that the minimum wage be raised. Regardless of anyone’s opinion on the issue, it will raise costs for everyone and hit seniors the hardest. 6. In November IP 28 will be on the ballot to raise the tax on corporations. Again regardless of anyone’s opinion on the issue, if passed, it will raise costs...

Read More

Stuck between the political extremes

I switched my voter registration to ‘non-affiliated’ several years ago.  I have felt less affiliated every year since, feeling stranded in what I suspect is a vast pool of voters abandoned between the ideological rigidity of the extreme left and the extreme right. It looks like we will be asked in the November presidential election to vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  These candidates are characterized as having the lowest approval ratings ever seen in a presidential election.  Neither seems well-chosen for their ability to bridge the wide gulf between ideological extremes. In the slightly naïve hope that some ideas or proposals would be advanced, I watched the first night of the Republican National Convention Monday night—Make America Safe Again.  Instead we got a steady diet of doom and catastrophe. A mother lamented the loss of her son at Benghazi and laid the blame squarely on then-Secretary of State Clinton for lack of security/safety. Many more embassy personnel were lost in previous administrations yet requests for increased embassy security, costly in every way, were never funded by a dysfunctional Congress.  With Secretary Clinton, the soldier’s mother, and a Congressional delegation seated at the same table, do you think reasonable compromise could be reached? Events of last week painfully reminded us that there remains racial tension in America. An African-American sheriff from Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County was trotted out...

Read More

Mike Pence is a sign of Trump’s weakness

By E.J. DIONNE JR. Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate is just what everyone is saying it is: a safe, traditional choice. Pence won’t hurt Trump too much and may help him with Republican politicians and some conservatives. But the pick is also—and more importantly—something else: a sign of real weakness. There were many Republicans who could have helped Trump far more. He could not turn to them because they are scrambling as far away from this ticket as they could. And there were Republicans with whom Trump personally felt far more comfortable: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Trump could not turn to where his heart seemed to want to go because both were too much like him and carried too much baggage. The irrepressible Gingrich blurted out the truth: that he and Trump would constitute “a two pirate ticket,” whereas Pence was “a relatively stable, more normal person.” Never let it be said that Newt is entirely bereft of self-awareness. The biggest loss to Trump comes from the refusal of so many Republicans even to be considered for the job. Gov. John Kasich or Sen. Rob Portman would have brought more political heft to the ticket for the simple reason that they are from Ohio, at or near the top of the must-win list for candidates...

Read More

Leaders needed to keep US safe, secure

Should there be a hint of nervousness even in the most stalwart American heart nowadays, it may have something to do with the fact that another crazed Muslim extremist drove a big truck through a large crowd in Nice, France, murdering 84 persons and harming multiple others. France has become a dangerous place where already hundreds of lives have been lost to the onslaught of Muslim extremists. Nevertheless, even after the Charlie Hedbo newspaper killings, the December assaults in Paris and last week’s killing-by-truck in Nice, French President Francois Hollande has managed only to declare an emergency while Muslims continue to seethe in over-crowded slums where poverty and deprivation reign, and ISIS devotees and returnees plot more bloody attacks. The world owes what it got to a couple of American political leaders, one of which acted on a perceived insult to his father, the other, a former Halliburton executive who, it’s generally believed, saw the opportunity for millions of dollars added to his personal wealth, started an unprovoked war with Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein. President Barack Obama promised that, if elected, he would get us out of warring ways in the Middle East.  That promise was broken when he caved to the wishes of Republican hawks who wanted the United States to continue fighting Arabs in the Middle East no matter how obviously mindless its continuation has become. Just the other day Obama ordered more American troops to Iraq and into the greatest quagmire the world has...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2