East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, March 16, 2017, Page Page 4A, Image 4

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    Page 4A
East Oregonian
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
Managing Editor
Opinion Page Editor
Regional Advertising Director
Circulation Manager
Business Office Manager
Production Manager
Protect your privacy
Your microwave is not spying on
While it is disturbing to note
that a presidential advisor does not
But your television might be. And believe she is in the “job of having
evidence,” what is even more
your cellphone. And your car. And
disturbing is her misunderstanding of
your thermostat.
As our world becomes
Inspector Gadget.
Because really, that’s the crime
increasingly digital and increasingly
connected, we are increasingly at risk here: Conway thinks Inspector
Gadget is an inspector of gadgets,
of having our privacy invaded.
not an inspector with
Those invaders
can be corporations
It’s more important gadgets.
Still, perhaps
or governments, and
Conway is on to
those government
than ever to
something, that
can be foreign or
be sure your
a new kind of
domestic. They can
Gadget is
also be hackers and
internet-connected Inspector
needed for the digital
scammers, those
age. An inspector
who live in our
home is safe
neighborhoods or
who actually does
and secure.
across the world.
inspect gadgets.
Late night
It’s more
important than ever to be sure your
comedians had plenty of laughs at
internet-connected home is safe and
the expense of Kellyanne Conway,
secure. Lots of detailed information
the truth-averse advisor to President
is available online about the subject
Trump, after she said this: “There
and in tech magazines.
was an article this week that talked
The basics, however, are clear:
about how you can surveil someone
Never connect your appliances to the
through their phones, through their
internet without a firewall. Check
— certainly through their television
your security updates regularly.
sets, any number of different ways,”
Consider creating your own virtual
Conway told the Bergen Record.
private network, or VPN. Make
“And microwaves that turn into
sure your home network is secure,
cameras, et cetera. So we know that
no matter what it is. Safeguard your
that is just a fact of modern life.”
data with encryption tools. The FCC
Microwave ovens, which are not
has compiled a handy guide for how
connected to the internet, cannot spy
to do all of the above, and become
on you for many reasons.
Conway’s response to the laughter educated about the topic. Find it by
searching FCC and ‘How to protect
was even better
yourself online.”
“I’m not Inspector Gadget. I
Although some evidence-less
don’t believe people are using the
claims are laughable, you owe
microwave to spy on the Trump
campaign,” she told CNN. “However, it to yourself and your family to
I’m not in the job of having evidence, understand just what data is being
collected from your home and why.
that’s what investigations are for.”
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board of publisher
Kathryn Brown, managing editor Daniel Wattenburger, and opinion page editor Tim Trainor.
Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not
necessarily that of the East Oregonian.
Better schools lead to
better education
Speak up for
voiceless animals
The Hermiston School District is
asking voters to approve a school bond to
replace 55-year-old Rocky Heights and
37-year-old Highland Hills elementary
schools, construct a new elementary
school, and make significant upgrades to
Sandstone middle school and Hermiston
high school. The request is due to aging
buildings and seriously inadequate
student capacity.
Since 2008, when the last bond
passed, the district has grown by more
than 600 students. This increased
student population has been addressed
with 34 modular classrooms. However,
due to the overcrowded conditions the
district recently was forced to cap 10
elementary classrooms, which increased
transportation costs to shuttle students to
non-neighborhood schools and caused
undue disruption to many families.
A 2014 population projection study
by Portland State University predicts 800
additional students by 2023, according to
a middle-growth rate scenario. The study
forecasts more than 1,250 new students
under a high-growth rate. The current
student population increase is greater
than the “high-growth” rate used in the
PSU study. If the present-day growth
rate continues, the district’s population
will increase 24 percent, with more than
1,200 additional students in seven years.
Without new construction and
renovation, the district will need 56
modular classrooms. However, the use
of modular classrooms does not address
subsequent overcrowding of common
areas such as cafeterias, gyms, labs,
etc., which were planned to support
the student populations for which the
buildings were intended. The lifetime of
these “temporary” classrooms is reduced
compared to permanent construction,
and maintenance costs are greater. More
importantly, the educational environment
may be reduced.
I strongly urge the voters to consider
the current situation, look to the future,
and vote to approve the proposed
school bond. For as Thomas Jefferson
reportedly said: “An educated citizenry is
a vital requisite for our survival as a free
I would like to formally thank the
Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office for
removing the huge amount of bulls in
with the now-calving cows that were
seized in January. It was called to my
attention mid-week of last week that
these bulls were literally breeding the
open cows and heifers there into the
ground, breaking hips and backs by
being bred by a gang of bulls — the big
bulls and the young bulls. Once they
were hurt or broken down, they were fair
game to whatever was going to come.
After learning of at least two deaths
from this, I could not keep quiet. I called
the DA in Pendleton, the DDA in charge,
the brand inspector, the sheriff, and
Deputy Rachel Faber, who is a gift to
this county. I called the East Oregonian
and they did a small article. I made
people angry and I didn’t keep quiet; I
believe that’s how these cattle got in that
horrific situation in the first place.
Deputy Faber is working on a
program to educate the deputies to know
what to look for and what questions to
ask in animal neglect cases. I think that’s
a great step toward helping our animals
in this county. They are also working
on a list of people to foster, as they do
not work with the local dog pound in
Hermiston. I’ve been on that list for a
couple years now.
We have no animal control in this big
county full of neglected, abused, dumped
and thrown away animals. I work in
animal rescue every day, and I don’t care
what our city manager and his assistant
say ... we have a terrible problem with
strays and abuse. I did make a stink and I
made people angry with me.
After speaking with the brand
inspector, I was told the bulls could
go to the stock yard to be housed until
possession is settled. First thing Monday
morning, the 13th, those bulls were
removed and taken to the stock yard. No
more unnecessary deaths on their watch.
What I’m saying is this; sometimes
all it takes is speaking up. I doubt I’m the
whole reason it was done, but I like to
think my voice made a difference. Yours
can, too. Speak up for the voiceless and
make a difference.
George Clough
Debi Shervey
The East Oregonian welcomes original letters of 400 words or less on public issues and public policies for
publication in the newspaper and on our website. The newspaper reserves the right to withhold letters that ad-
dress concerns about individual services and products or letters that infringe on the rights of private citizens.
Submitted letters must be signed by the author and include the city of residence and a daytime phone number.
The phone number will not be published. Unsigned letters will not be published. Send letters to managing
editor Daniel Wattenburger, 211 S.E. Byers Ave. Pendleton, OR 97801 or email editor@eastoregonian.com.
New Trump executive order
hurts Hawaii’s feelings
here’s a race going on for states
time. After Trump declared a 90-day
to file or join new lawsuits
moratorium on visas, Elshikh went to
against President Trump’s second
executive order temporarily halting
On January 31, 2017 — after the first
entry into the U.S. for some people from
Executive Order was put in place — Dr.
a few terror-plagued countries. The
Elshikh was notified by an individual
new actions promise to be rehashes of
from the National Visa Center that
the states’ earlier suits against Trump’s
his mother-in-law’s application for an
original order. Washington State, for
immigrant visa had been put on hold.
example, which managed to stop the
Then, on March 2, 2017 — after the first
first order, has gone so far as to argue
Executive Order was enjoined — Dr.
the new order and the now-rescinded
Elshikh and his family were notified
original measure are identical, and has
by the National Visa Center that his
asked a judge to simply apply his emergency
mother-in-law’s visa application had progressed
stop to the new order as if nothing has changed. to the next stage of the process and that her
But the first state to file suit against the new
interview would be scheduled at an embassy
order, Hawaii, has taken a new tack from the
overseas. Under the new Executive Order,
suit it filed on Feb. 3 against Trump’s original
however, Dr. Elshikh fears that his mother-
order. The new Hawaii suit, which came before
in-law will, once again, be unable to “enter”
a federal judge Wednesday, relies not only
the country under Section 2(c) of the Executive
on claims of economic damages to the state
resulting from the Trump order but also on
The suit says that Elshikh’s children, who
claims of damages to Hawaii Muslims’ feelings were apparently not harmed by the Obama
and perceptions of the world.
administration’s (and Congress’s) action to
The original Hawaii suit was simply the state make it difficult and time-consuming for
versus the president and his administration.
Syrians to come to the U.S., are “deeply
The new suit adds a new plaintiff, a man
affected” by Trump’s executive order. “It
named Ismail Elshikh, who is identified as “an
conveys to them a message that their own
American citizen of Egyptian descent” who
country would discriminate against individuals
has lived in Hawaii for more than a decade
who share their ethnicity, including members
and is now imam of the Muslim Association of
of their own family, and who hold the same
religious beliefs.”
The Trump order “inflicts a grave injury” on
“We feel both bans, Version 1 and Version
Elshikh and other Muslims in Hawaii, the suit
2, are delivering on Trump’s promise to some
says, by subjecting them to “discrimination and
of the far-right groups that he is going to have
second-class treatment.”
a Muslim ban,” Hakim Ouasanfi told me by
“The order denies them their right to
phone Thursday. “Our viewpoint is that any
associate with family members overseas,” the
discrimination is not acceptable. It is not the
lawsuit alleges, and forces Elshikh and other
way to keep our country safe.”
Hawaii Muslims “to live in a country and
“How can you explain to a daughter that
in a state where there is the perception that
your grandmother will not be able to visit?”
the government has established a disfavored
I asked Ouasanfi whether the temporary
nature of Trump’s action made it less
Elshikh’s particular problem is this: His wife, burdensome. “If my daughter is graduating
the suit says, is an American citizen “of Syrian
in 90 days, then it is a burden,” he answered.
descent and is also a resident of Hawaii.” She
“If the wedding is planned for May, that is a
and Elshikh, who has a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies burden. I don’t think Muslims should plan their
from an Egyptian university, have five children, lives around Trump’s decision.”
all of whom, according to the suit, are American
On the other hand, Elshikh’s mother-in-law
citizens and residents of Hawaii.
has not visited in 12 years — for whatever
Mrs. Elshikh’s mother, Ismail Elshikh’s
reason, she did not visit for the births of
mother-in-law, is “a Syrian national, living in
grandchildren or the various milestones in their
Syria.” According to the suit, she wants to come lives. And now this 90-day delay is a violation
to the United States. “Elshikh’s mother-in-law
of her family’s constitutional rights?
last visited the family in 2005, when she stayed
The plaintiffs did not file suit over earlier
for one month,” the lawsuit says. “She has not
government actions that made coming to the
met two of Dr. Elshikh’s children, and only Dr.
United States a difficult and drawn-out effort.
Elshikh’s oldest child remembers meeting her
Some in the Obama administration made
clear that it could take years for a Syrian to
The suit says that in September 2015,
be admitted to the U.S. But when Trump
Elshikh’s wife filed an I-130 petition on behalf
announced a 90-day delay, the Hawaii plaintiffs
of her mother in Syria. United States Citizen
went to court. Why?
and Immigration Services describes the I-130 as
Perhaps there is a clue in some of the words
a form “for citizen or lawful permanent resident in the lawsuit that convey emotion. Elshikh
of the United States to establish the relationship and other Muslims feel this or that, or they are
to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate devastated, or there is this or that perception,
to the United States.”
or this or that message conveyed. It could be
The mother-in-law’s I-130 petition was
that much of the energy behind the lawsuit is
approved in February 2016, according to the
emotional, caught up in a hysteria about Donald
suit, but so far, the suit says, “Elshikh’s mother-
Trump as much as a rational reading of the new
in-law does not currently hold a visa to enter the executive order.
United States.”
Now the Hawaii case goes to court. The
Eleven of the 12 months during which
new Trump order was amended specifically
Elshikh’s mother-in-law’s I-130 petition
to address some of the legal objections raised
was approved but she was not granted a visa
against the original order in court challenges
occurred during the Obama administration,
across the country. But how to craft an order to
which boasted of the thorough, time-consuming, protect feelings?
multiyear vetting process it applied to Syrians
attempting to come to the United States.
Byron York is chief political correspondent
Elshikh did not sue the government during that
for The Washington Examiner.