Keizer Public Square

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A blessing? A curse?


Being a Zaitz is a unique position.

I spring from a family of curious and creative people.

Members of my immediate family each have talents and skills that have aided their success in life.

Give a Zaitz a task and it will be completed far beyond the expectations. 

If you ask a Zaitz to organize a room or work on the landscape, you can be sure that room will be transformed into a magazine-quality space. That landscape will be weeded and pruned to perfection. We can’t help it. A chore worth doing is a chore worth doing to the Nth power.

Nobody wakes in the morning thinking that this will be the day we skate through life. There is no skating in the Zaitz family. We are our own worst critics and we certainly keep each other in check.

On the flip side, anything worth doing well is open to sarcasm and judgment. Happy, loving families make it look so easy, but on the inside it is hard.

As the publisher of this newspaper, I live by the maxim: think globally, act locally. At times my reach extends my grasp, but I keep trying. That brass ring just waits to be grabbed.

The Zaitz family is intact. My parents, God bless them, are alive. One sibling has passed while the other three face their lives with verve and commitment.

My brother, also a publisher, is the recognized expert in the state (and the nation) on public records laws and open meetings. He is a skilled public speaker and is called upon to address various groups around the country on topics important to today’s journalist and decision-makers. There is no fear of public speaking in the Zaitz family, either scripted or off-hand.

Speaking in front of an audience leaves many people cold and clammy. Most people would rather eat a spider than talk in front of a crowd of strangers. Not us. Bring the people on.

Talking is one talent the Zaitz family possesses. We are a family of photographers, movie makers, designers, actors and writers. Every member of my family can write well. Of course that writing will go through a number of iterations. It is not complete until it is perfect.

Art is important to several of the Zaitz offspring. Our homes are filled with original pieces of art, each with its own backstory. Give us a few spare parts and soon you will have a sculpture or a whimsical piece.

My brother is a screenwriter in California—that is his strength and talent. Yet, another talent he has, which is underutilized, is his uncanny acting abilities. Though he has not acted since high school, his private performances—just for us fortunate few—can leave us in tears, usually from laughter. He has his finger squarely on the pulse of the public.

Parents tell their children to do their best in whatever endeavor the kids are doing. For the Zaitz kids, in our heads we heard: be the best. We all endeavor to do the best work possible, whether it is writing news stories or fiction, taking photos or creating art.

This is a curse. When we tackle a task and it is not turning out perfect, we experience a shortness of breath as we ponder what is wrong and how we can turn mediocre into top-notch.

Are members of the Zaitz family perfect? Of course not. What we are is tenacious and curious. That goes for other things, too. In my two cancer journeys I tried to be the best patient ever. I must have been since I kept my doctors and nurses in good spirits, throughout treatments.

The Zaitz way is made possible through a cultivated curiousity, a desire to make a positive difference and a need to our best.

It’s a blessing and a curse.

(Lyndon Zaitz is editor and publisher of the Keizertimes.)

Summer outlook / To the Editor:

School’s out…for summer.

Now what, kids?

Years ago students would be in the fields, irrigating or harvesting crops—or at least outside and being active.

Unfortunately, today most youth waste their summers: sleeping in, screen in or on, video games, pushing buttons, stay in the house or in their room.

Student summer challenge: Be different. Be positive. Be productive. Look for a job, volunteer, help older neighbors, learn a new skill. Read a book, explore Mother Nature. Get outside! Enjoy and learn Mother Nature.

Parents have positive expectations for them: chores—clean house or yard work. Be a Parent Teacher.

My student challenge: Become and grow better everyday this summer. We all learn everyday, school or not.

Life is a school…everyday.

Robert L. Beckner / Gervais

America’s uncivil war


One home-based matter of enduring interest, but one that also generates its fair share of fear and loathing, is another U.S. civil war. This time it would likely be nation-wide and arouse more political party affiliation involvement—and a commitment to one man—than issues like state rights or the freedom of a minority population. There is however an issue with the cause and concentration of those who’d fight it, and that would have to do with those who would put their lives and the lives of family members on the line to accomplish victory.

Those who want to deal with facts instead of fantasy might want to remember the first civil war, 1861-1865, recalling that the leaders of that insurrection by its leaders and their direct involvement. The Confederacy’s President, Jefferson Davis, did not fight in a single battle and lived free afterwards from any punishment, dying in 1889 or 24 years after the war’s end. The same was true of Robert A. Toombs, the Confederacy’s Vice President. Toombs lived free and clear of any punishment for 20 years after the fighting stopped. History’s replete with examples of those who encouraged war and made fortunes from it but never arrived to fight in any of its battles; we’ve had them there and have them here, now.

Those who fomented and advocated for our civil war of old never fought in it and apparently found ways to duck and dodge the consequences of guilt from that civil war, costing the lives of one and one-half million (about 620,000) combatants or 2% of the U.S. population (2% of the population today would equal 6 million combatants). Meanwhile, today presents an additional and very big condition of warring: the arsenal of modern-day weapons.

What we have now are those trying to foment and cause another civil war. Then there’s Donald J. Trump. Trump could have fought for his country during the Vietnam War and other U.S. conflicts of his younger years but avoided the draft by claiming he suffered from bone spurs. He has called those who’ve fought in U.S. wars “suckers and losers.” Not one of his children has served in the U.S. military but have joined Trump and his MAGA followers in calling for extreme forms of violence and outright war to satisfy their bereavements and power needs.

They will do as they did when ordered—by Donald Trump to storm our capitol, delivering rack and ruin to it, attempting to change the 2020 election. These same people, the Trump family and their many diehard cult followers will emphatically demand that you and your family members fight and die for an end to the U.S. Constitution, replacing what we’ve had with a new government by one-man rule. Should they lose, they’ll slink back into the shadows like nothing happened, as did the leaders of the Confederacy, while the run-of-the-mill guy and gal, who gave their lives for the cause, and whose families and property were destroyed, will turn to dust and be gone like the wind

(Gene H. McIntyre shares his opinion frequently in the Keizertimes.)

The too-little-too-late president strikes again on immigration 


In autopsies of Joe Biden’s presidency, one word will be explanatory: disorder. From urban crime to campus tumults to inflation’s comprehensive disruption—the currency becoming emaciated —Americans fear societal fraying. The most infuriating provocation is immigration. An essential attribute of national sovereignty —control of borders—has been sacrificed on the altar of “equity,” with collateral damage far from the southwestern border. Far-flung communities—their hospitals, their schools—experience the truth that “every state is a border state.”

A young man from Honduras is released into the national interior, where he replicates a pattern as old as immigration, going where other Hondurans have settled, in cities far from the Rio Grande. He has responded to incentives concocted on the banks of the Potomac. 

Biden’s syntactical labyrinths are amusing, until they aren’t. In a 2019 Democratic presidential primary debate, he said: “I would in fact make sure that there is, that we immediately surge to the border—all those people are seeking asylum. They deserve to be heard.” They heard him.

When caravans of migrants headed north during Biden’s presidency, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said they considered Biden “the immigrant president.” Many headed for cities that performative progressives had declared “sanctuaries” that would not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Chicago, a sanctuary since 1985, is now buckling under the cost of its moralizing. In New York, a sanctuary since 1989, illegal immigration “will destroy” the city, Mayor Eric Adams (D) says. Virtue signaling has costs.

On his first presidential day, Biden committed his administration to “advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” His Department of Homeland Security said it would apply Biden’s words “in the immigration and enforcement context.”

Writing in City Journal about “a border crisis by design,” Jeffrey H. Anderson, president of the American Main Street Initiative, calls today’s crisis the result of Biden’s “unprecedented refusal to enforce federal immigration law,” which requires that asylum seekers be detained rather than released while their claims are adjudicated.

So, many aliens arriving at Biden’s deliberately porous border sought rather than evaded Border Patrol officers. Anderson says that in December 2020, Donald Trump’s last full presidential month, 17 aliens were released into the nation. Two Decembers later, 191,142 were. Biden’s administration justified this erasure of law as “prosecutorial discretion.” Also writing in City Journal, the Manhattan Institute’s Steven Malanga says, “By late 2022, the immigration court backlog had swelled to 1.6 million people,” who could largely ignore this coagulated process.

In August 2020, officials reported detaining five attempted entries in the El Paso sector, then operating under a presidential order allowing officials to summarily expel illegal border crossers. In August 2022, that order having been rescinded, officials detained 3,453. In Kinney County, Tex., sheriff’s deputies made 67 arrests for smuggling in 2021, but 3,045 in 2022, when security cameras showed about 21,500 people crossing the border with impunity.

Polls have concentrated Biden’s mind. Last week, he announced that he will faithfully execute his executive order intended to contain the wreckage wrought by his refusal to perform his core constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” New restrictions will take effect when illegal crossings exceed 2,500 a day. The arithmetic is: 912,500 (approximately the population of Biden’s Delaware) in a year could melt into the nation, as under today’s system. Regarding border security, as when combating inflation or aiding Ukraine, Biden is a too-little-too-late president.

Presidents from both parties have become geysers of executive orders, imposing tariffs, essentially banning internal combustion vehicles, forgiving student debts, altering the legal status of millions of immigrants, etc. What fun.

Until it isn’t. Until the public, taught by presidential highhandedness that presidents can do whatever they please, blames them for whatever problems persist. This is both unfair and richly deserved. Today’s Congress, which has been well-described as cable television’s largest green room, escapes blame for the immigration disaster because the public, fixated on the presidency, knows that, for Congress, governance is a spectator sport.

This nation, with an aging population, increasing life expectancy, declining birthrate and entitlements transferring trillions of dollars from employees to retirees, needs lots of legal immigrants to replenish its workforce. That the government cannot provide for this is a failure second only to the nation’s fiscal shambles. In five months, Biden, who is too busy “saving democracy” to attend to mundane matters of public order, might find that the immigration inundation is the most politically lethal of his multiplying failures.

(Washington Post)

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