Letters in the Editor's Mailbag
Byline: The Register-Guard
There's no Social Security surplus
I could hardly believe my eyes when I read The Register-Guard's Feb. 16 editorial, "A troubling payroll tax deal." In the long run, the editors wrote, a holiday undermines Social Security.
The Register-Guard saying such things - sacrilegious! The editorial went on to say that the fix put in by President Reagan and Speaker Tip O'Neil in 1983 made the fund solvent until 2036, and cutting the flow into that fund hastens the date of insolvency.
It drives me crazy how many people actually believe there is a legitimate fund somewhere with marketable bonds worth $2.6 trillion and all Social Security has to do is sell a few whenever outgo exceeds inflow, which has already happened beginning in 2010.
There is no surplus. If those special bonds were able to be sold anywhere in the world, then I would agree that yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, er, ah, I mean reserve fund. But there is not. I know The Register-Guard's editorial writers know that. And now you know it as well.
Center provides due process
As a professional forester keenly interested in the important work being performed by the Pesticide Analytical Response Center in the Triangle Lake area, I was aghast while reading John Sundquist's Feb. 10 guest viewpoint. Sundquist's frustration is twisted and provides little fact-based knowledge.
PARC is engaged in an important investigation to determine if residents have been exposed to pesticides and how. Sundquist indicts the process without evidence. Regardless of his personal opinion, pesticide trespass is illegal. Oregon authorities vigorously investigate well-founded allegations.
Many investigations have been conducted in the Triangle Lake area without finding proof of trespass over a multi-year time span. The Oregon Right to Farm and Forest Act provides no protection to applicants if trespass has taken place.
The applicants and complainants are provided due process, a normal legal process everyone in Oregon deserves.
During the Board of Forestry meeting on April 29, 2011, the Pitchfork Rebellion group promised to provide all information regarding results and testing procedures involved in Dr. Dana Barr's testing for pesticide exposure. This would have given PARC important information to begin the investigation. The group reneged, and to date no information has been provided to PARC.
PARC is providing due process concerning serious allegations. It deserves the time and patience necessary to complete the process.
We all expect to be treated fairly when formal allegations are lodged. The investigation will provide due process in this important matter.
Maybe Beyond Toxics, Forestland Dwellers and the Pitchfork group aren't interested in science.
Degradation of language hurts all
Columnist Alexander Cockburn's checklist (The Register-Guard, Feb. 14) of degraded, overused words and terms - "sustainable," "iconic," "when the fat lady sings," "after the rubber has met the road," "the intelligence community," - would doubtless have gained George Orwell's hearty approval.
Orwell's famous 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language" maintained that political language makes "lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and gives an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
In 1947, top United States military brass decided, for PR reasons, that the Department of War needed a new name, the United Nations Charter having outlawed wars of aggression, wars not fought in defense.
The Department of "Defense," therefore, conducted the "police action" in Korea, and "defensive" activities in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, Iraq I and II, Afghanistan, etc. …