East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, April 11, 2017, Page Page 4A, Image 4

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    Page 4A
East Oregonian
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
Managing Editor
Opinion Page Editor
Regional Advertising Director
Circulation Manager
Business Office Manager
Production Manager
Trump ag budget
cuts just the
beginning of the story
The Trump administration
produced by the USDA are the only
has proposed a 21 percent cut in
independent market information
discretionary spending for the
available to producers and the
Department of Agriculture, and ag
public at large. Their loss would be
interests are grumbling.
a tragedy. Similarly, not having a
We understand the concerns, but
local Farm Service office would be
it’s too soon in the process to get too a hassle.
We emphasize the tenuous nature
Here are the facts.
of the administration document
because the Trump plan lacks
The president’s plan cuts $4.7
billion from the
much detail.
current budget for
The traditional,
The Trump budget full-budget
document is said
programs that
cuts money for
to be coming in
are implemented
by appropriation
rural water and
bills rather than
But more
enshrined in
importantly, the
permanent law.
infrastructure loans, Constitution
Trump’s plan
the president
still allocates
absolutely no
would reduce
$17.9 billion
county ag service authority
for these types
producing the
of programs.
office and eliminate budget.
(Our colleagues
While the
spending on ag
at Politico
president can
framed that
offer to Congress
figure as “just”
his suggestions
$17.9 billion,
for the next
suggesting that it’s not a significant
spending plan, and we appreciate
any president’s considerable weight
amount of money.)
in influencing policy, it is the
The Trump budget cuts money
Congress that actually enacts the
for rural water and wastewater
infrastructure loans, would reduce
Presidents of all stripes have
county ag service offices, eliminate
proposed cuts in USDA’s budget,
spending on ag statistics, and end
the International Food for Education eliminating one program or another
to help pay for their own spending
priorities. Then the Senate and
None of the proposed cuts would
House ag committees step in,
impact spending on the so-called
and individual members use their
“mandatory” programs — the crop
influence to sway their colleagues to
programs and welfare expenditures
save or expand favored programs.
that make up $130 billion of the
While the president’s budget
USDA’s current budget of $155
proposals have to be given due
weight, we’ve seen too many of
We would not suggest that
these plans wither on the vine to
some of these proposed cuts could
get too excited now over Trump’s
cause problems for farmers and
ranchers. In many cases the statistics allocations.
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.
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 address 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. Send letters to 211 S.E.
Byers Ave. Pendleton, OR 97801 or email editor@eastoregonian.com.
What happened to who?
I first noticed it during the 2016
and the 140-character limit on our
Republican presidential debates,
tweets. We communicate in uppercase
which were crazy-making for so
abbreviations (LOL, ICYMI, TTYL)
many reasons that I’m not sure how
and splenetic bursts, with such an
I zeroed in on this one. “Who” was
epidemic of exclamation points
being exiled from its rightful habitat. It
that each has no more drama than a
was a linguistic bonobo: endangered,
possibly en route to extinction.
The deployment of “that” in lieu of
Instead of saying “people who,”
“who” doesn’t actually rate very high
Donald Trump said “people that.”
on the messiness meter. It’s defensible,
Marco Rubio followed suit. Even Jeb
because while some usage and style
Bush, putatively the brainy one, was
guides — including The New York
“that”-ing when he should have been
Times’ — call for “who” and “whom”
when people are involved, others say it’s
“who”-ing, so I was cringing when I should
have been oohing.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary blesses
It’s always a dangerous thing when
politicians get near the English language: Run “that” in relation to people. So does the
for the exits and cover the children’s ears. But
American Heritage dictionary, noting, “‘That’
this bit of wreckage particularly bothered me.
has been used in this way for centuries.” It
This was who, a pronoun
cites examples from the
that acknowledges our
King James Bible and
humanity, our personhood,
from no less a master of
separating us from the
the English language than
flotsam and jetsam out
there. We’re supposed to
But dissatisfaction with
refer to “the trash that”
“that” and disagreement
we took out or “the table
about it persist. I traded
that” we discovered at
emails with Mary Norris,
a flea market. We’re
the so-called comma
not supposed to refer
queen at The New Yorker
to “people that call my office” (Rubio) or
magazine, who once ruled the grammatical
“people that come with a legal visa and
roost there. She told me, without equivocation:
overstay” (Bush).
“When it’s a person the correct relative
Or so I always assumed, but this nicety
pronoun is ‘who.’ My suspicion is that people
is clearly falling by the wayside, and I can’t
are afraid of saying ‘who’ when it should be
shake the feeling that its plunge is part of a
‘whom’ (or vice versa, which is way worse),
larger story, a reflection of so much else that is so they sidestep the issue by using ‘that.’”
going wrong in this warped world of ours.
Connie Eble, the resident grammar guru
Few of our politicians aspire to
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel
old-fashioned eloquence anymore. Fewer
Hill, told me that she’ll shepherd students
still attain it. Most can’t manage basic
toward “who” and “whom” even though she
grammatical coherence, and they’re less likely acknowledges the historical and technical
to be punished for that than to be rewarded
validity of “that.”
for it by voters who see it as a badge of their
And there was unmistakable sadness in her
voice when she concurred with me that “that”
I see it less charitably and would have no
is getting an ever heavier workout these days,
problem with a spelling test as a presidential
saying, “The space that ‘that’ is occupying is
prerequisite, though maybe that’s just my
growing and growing and growing.” It’s not a
way of inventing a criterion that would have
pronoun. It’s the Blob.
weeded out a certain real estate tycoon. You
And my fear is that there’s a metaphor
know, the one whose “unpresidented” ascent
here: something about the age of automation,
gave us a leader who says he is “honered” by
about the disappearing line between humans
his office, is not “bought and payed for,” was
and machines.
once victim of a “tapp” on his phones, and
The robots are coming. Maybe we’re
is obviously unfamiliar with the face-saving
killing off “who” to avoid the pain of having
virtues of autocorrect.
them demand — and get — it.
But then we’re all plenty sloppy these
days, pulled toward staccato bluntness by
Frank Bruni has been an Op-Ed columnist
the teeny-tiny keypads on our smartphones
for The New York Times since 2011.
It’s dangerous
when politicians
get near the
English language.
Firefighters respond
to all emergencies
Congress should defend
power to declare war
Of the 3,200 calls each year
handled by the Pendleton Fire
and Ambulance Department, 85
percent of these are ambulance
calls. Many of us have called 911,
have been in an accident, or relied
in many other ways upon these
essential services.
Our principal fire and
emergency services are housed in
a 58-year-old fire station that is in
a poor location and would not pass
is own building and fire inspection.
The station was built for a time
when fire equipment was much
smaller and the station did not
house female fire and emergency
personnel. The station is too small
to handle today’s much larger
equipment and to appropriately
house the men and women who
provide 24/7 services to Pendleton
and a service area of 2,000 square
Voting yes on the city bond
measure will build a new fire and
ambulance facility on a portion of
the former Saint Anthony Hospital
location. This will improve
emergency response time, reduce
operating expenses by $50,000 per
year, provide adequate room for
personnel, equipment and training,
and will pay for mandatory
replacements of underfunded
emergency equipment. The cost? A
net increase of 14 cents per $1,000
of assessed value in property tax,
which is $1.80/month based on the
median home value in Pendleton.
Please vote yes for our public
safety. Vote yes on Measure 30-124
on May 16.
Unilaterally attacking a
sovereign nation that did not
first attack the U.S. is plainly
unconstitutional and profoundly
unwise. Congress must rescue the
power to declare war from the
office of the president and help the
American people and world avoid
increased bloodshed and other
atrocities of war.
In 2013, the previous president
declared his willingness to act
against Syria. But Congress
asserted its constitutionally given
authority to declare war and
instructed the president to first
seek Congress’s permission. It did
this with a letter to the president
signed by more than 140 members
of Congress from both parties. In
2011, Obama had acted unilaterally
in Libya to the dismay of Congress
and many Americans.
Also in 2013, Trump tweeted
that attacking Syria unilaterally
was not only unconstitutional, but
foolish. He did this repeatedly, and
his words were right — then and
Obama never asked to intervene
in Syria, because he knew
Congress would not give him the
The American people were
and still are tired of Middle
East interventionism, and for
good reasons: Iraq war — 4,491
U.S. lives lost, $2 trillion total
taxpayer cost. However, Obama
complied with the constitutional
Congressional demand and did not
attack Syria.
Just last week, the current
president did exactly what he
Chuck Wood, Pendleton
warned against not that long ago.
He ordered a 59-missile strike on
an military airbase inside of Syria,
costing taxpayers over $90 million,
for obvious humanitarian reasons.
He did not request permission,
likely because he knew debate
would be a quagmire in itself and
would end in a rejection of his
Over the past 50 years,
presidents have been increasingly
willing to act unilaterally when it
comes to military interventions.
Constitutional experts, including
legislators, executive lawyers, and
judges, have identified a few ways
in which unilateral action may be
justified, even retroactively.
But attacking Syria when
they did not first attack us and
in the context of congressional
demand that the president first
seek their permission is plainly
Trends aside, the Constitution
places the power to declare war
solely with Congress. If the
American people are going to
be expected to sacrifice lives
and spend huge sums, then the
representatives of the American
people should be required to
approve the action.
Rep. Walden, Sen. Wyden,
and Sen. Merkley must re-assert
Congress’s constitutional authority
and demand that the president
abide by constitutional limitations
on his office and not wage war
without first asking Congress and
receiving approval. Whether a
congressman or president, refusal
to carry out job duties justifies
removal from office.
Will Perkinson
Rocky Heights a safer
place if bond passes
Education is one of the most
powerful investments you can
make and I am urging you to
make that investment here in
Hermiston. Research shows that
education paves the way for better
health and employment, benefiting
individuals and communities.
Once of my largest concerns
is that some of our local school
facilities are not the most
conducive to learning.
Imagine trying to work in an
office that is by turns blazing
hot or freezing cold. I know
from experience that adults will
not tolerate this in the office
environment, yet we expect our
children to stay on task and learn
in these conditions. I have had the
opportunity to be in overheated
classrooms at Rocky Heights
on several occasions. Due to the
outdated system at Rocky, there
is no way to control for this. Each
time I was relieved to leave after
a short stay; the students and
teachers are not so lucky.
Let’s talk a little more about
the Rocky Heights facility. I
have observed garbage cans
placed at strategic locations in
various classrooms to catch water
dripping from the ceiling.
The “quads” at Rocky feature
partial walls and are configured
in a way that makes it necessary
for students, staff and visitors to
traipse through one classroom to
get to another.
Most of the other classrooms
at Rocky have outside entrances
such that visitors, while they are
requested to do so, do not have to
actually pass through a main area
before accessing classrooms. This
compromises student safety as
does the fact that students are left
exposed as they travel from their
classrooms to the cafeteria/gym,
library or office.
Classroom doors remain locked
during the day, and students and
visitors much knock to enter. This
is meant to increase safety, but
the reality is that for most of the
classrooms, it is hard to see who
is knocking until you open the
Because the cafeteria and
gym are one and the same at
Rocky Heights, indoor physical
activity opportunities are
limited when recess is canceled
due to inclement weather. The
large student population also
necessitates that one physical
education class per day take
place in a small, carpeted
classroom. The importance of
physical activity in the school
setting should not be overlooked.
Evidence shows that physical
activity facilitates academic
performance through enhanced
student concentration and
improved classroom behavior.
Today’s students are our
community leaders and decision
makers of the future. I am
willing to make an investment
in our schools so that students
have the opportunity to learn in
environments that support them
in reaching their full academic
potential while keeping them
healthy and safe.
Please join me in voting yes for
our students on May 16.
Angie Treadwell