East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, December 05, 2017, Page Page 4A, Image 4

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    Page 4A
East Oregonian
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
Managing Editor
Opinion Page Editor
Regional Advertising Director
Circulation Manager
Business Office Manager
Production Manager
Oregon’s future
depends on
new arrivals
The English poet John Donne
famously wrote, “No man is an
island,” in 1624. His belief that
all humans are intertwined applies
equally well four centuries later in
Although Donne wasn’t
mentioned by name, his message
— in 21st century language,
“we’re all in this together” — was
an underlying theme of the state
economic and revenue forecasts
presented to the
Legislature on
The message
from Oregon’s
state economists
was dark humor:
Oregon’s economy
will continue
growing, although
at a slower pace,
unless something
happens like war
with North Korea.
It was surprising: As Oregon’s
population ages, by 2029 more
people will be dying than being
born in the state. That makes
Oregon’s economy increasingly
dependent on people moving here
from other states.
It was obvious: The issue of
housing affordability has spread
from urban Oregon into rural areas,
and Oregon’s situation is worse than
in many states.
It was reassuring: Jobs are
increasing in rural Oregon as
companies in urban areas confront
a lack of workers and an inadequate
supply of land for expansion.
And it was ironic: The federal tax
reforms making their way through
Congress will reduce Oregonians’
federal income taxes. That, in turn,
will increase their state income
taxes because they have less federal
tax to deduct. The state government
could gain so much more revenue
that it causes the income tax
“kicker” to take effect, providing
taxpayers with a rebate in two
These changes create challenges
for employers and communities
For employers, how can they
mentally retool their operations
to take advantage
of Oregon’s
aging population,
including the
retirees moving
in from California
and other states?
The experience and
work ethic of older
Oregonians make
them a valuable
commodity — if
employers adjust
their business
operations, such as offering
part-time and seasonal work for
For communities, the challenge
will be to integrate these new
arrivals into a culture that might
seem alien to them. For example,
many will be used to paying sales
taxes and pumping their own gas.
Unaccustomed to “Oregon nice,”
some will flaunt their car horns at
the slightest irritation. Rain may be
perceived as an excuse not to enjoy
the outdoors.
Their economic presence is
needed to keep the economy
growing; otherwise, the economy
will retreat and neighborhoods will
These new arrivals will adapt
and change. And they will change
As Oregon’s
population ages,
by 2029 more
people will be
dying than being
born in the state.
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.
Hate crimes are an attack on identity
The Washington Post
An FBI report on hate crimes tells
a sobering story. For the second year
in a row, police departments across the
country reported a rise in the number of
crimes motivated by bias.
In 2016, the FBI counted 6,121
reported incidents nationwide — an
increase of 4.6 percent from 2015,
during which 5,850 cases were reported.
That number, in turn, marked a 6.8
percent increase in reported hate crimes
over 2014. Roughly 58 percent of such
attacks last year were motivated by
racial bias, of which about half targeted
African Americans. Of the 21 percent
of crimes fueled by animosity toward
the victim’s religion, more than half the
attacks were aimed at Jews, a quarter at
The sharp rise in crimes against
Muslims and people of Arab descent
is particularly troubling. Racially
motivated attacks on Arabs jumped
38 percent from 2015, the first year in
which the FBI requested data on such
crimes. And attacks on Muslims, which
spiked 67 percent in 2015, rose an
additional 19 percent last year to more
than 300 reported incidents. That makes
2016 the year with the highest number of
hate crimes against Muslims since 2001,
following the 9/11 attacks.
Meanwhile, crimes against Latinos
and against white people rose 15 percent
and 17 percent, respectively, from 2015.
Crimes against transgender people went
up 44 percent.
The FBI’s report doesn’t draw
conclusions as to what might be behind
this disturbing rise in hate. But it’s note-
worthy that many of the groups against
whom crimes rose by double digits were
the focus of inflammatory rhetoric by
Donald Trump over the course of his
presidential campaign. Likewise, the FBI
data shows a sharp rise in bias-motivated
incidents in the months around the 2016
election — confirming reports by the
Anti-Defamation League and others of a
surge of attacks on Muslims and Jews in
the wake of Mr. Trump’s election.
“Hate crimes are different from other
crimes,” FBI Director James B. Comey
said in a 2014 speech. “They strike at the
heart of one’s identity.” For this reason,
it’s important that the United States be
able to tackle this growing problem with
the best data it can gather. The FBI’s
statistics on hate crimes, while the best
we have, are also incomplete — partly
because it’s up to state and local police
departments to decide whether to
provide the federal government with
their data. What’s more, a study by the
Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that
many hate-crime victims never report
the offense.
Police departments should work to
provide the federal government with
more complete data. But taking this
rise in hate seriously also requires that
law enforcement officials cultivate
trust with the communities they serve.
Victims need to know they will be
treated with respect if they come
forward — especially in the current
political environment, where many may
be particularly fearful.
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. 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
The sterile society
hen Bill Clinton survived
stopped climbing.
impeachment, there was a
The cascade of revelations about
sense among his advocates
powerful men is a continuation of this
that they weren’t just defending one
mitigation and correction process. But
philanderer; they were defending
so far the process has not substituted
sex itself. To be against a president’s
successful marriages for failing ones,
dalliances was to be a Comstock, a
healthy relationships for exploitative
Babbitt, a pleasure-hating heartland
ones, new courtship scripts for the
prude. To be for Clinton, as Tara Isabella
ones torn up 50 years ago. Instead as
Burton noted recently in a retrospective
Douthat Weinsteinian or Polanskian excesses
piece for Vox, was to be for a dream of
have been corrected, we’ve increased
sexual sophistication, a Europe-envying
singlehood, sterility and loneliness.
vision of perfect zipless adult bliss.
We’ve achieved the goal of fewer
Little of that attitude has survived to our
divorces by having many fewer marriages.
own era of grim sexual revelations. Nobody
We’ve reduced promiscuity by substituting
is defending Harvey Weinstein for being
smartphones and pornography. We’ve leveled
“debonair” or John Conyers for having “heat,”
off out-of-wedlock births by entering into a
as Tina Brown once did with Clinton. Some
major baby bust.
politician-gropers may outlast
Part of the problem
the outrage, but the idea that
is economic: Everything
sexual sophistication requires
from student debt to wage
defending pigs from prudes
stagnation to child-rearing
has largely fallen out of
costs has eroded the
substructure of the family,
But a slightly different
and policymakers have been
fear, that we’re on a path
pathetically slow to respond.
to criminalizing normal
Last week’s struggle to get
relations between the sexes,
the allegedly pro-family
has surfaced here and there.
Republican Party to include
In The New Yorker, Masha
help for parents in its tax
Gessen warned about a “sex
reform is a frustrating
panic” that might “criminalize bad sex and
illustration of the larger problem.
trivialize rape.”
But there is also strong resistance to seeing
In the Los Angeles Times, Cathy Young
a failure to unite the sexes and continue the
worried about healthy flirtation disappearing
species as a problem. If women are having
from workplaces entirely. The Matt Lauer
fewer children, it must be because they want
revelations inspired Geraldo Rivera to tweet
fewer children. (In fact most women want
that we might be on our way to “criminalizing
more children than they have.) If there are
fewer marriages, they must at least be happier
Like Gessen, I worry about what’s
ones. (In fact they aren’t.) If the young are
happening in campus rape courts. But my
delaying parenthood, it must be that they are
general response to these fears is similar to one
pursuing new opportunities and pleasures. (In
offered by Christine Emba of The Washington
fact the young seem increasingly medicated
Post, who argued that stricter boundaries on
and miserable.) If men prefer video games and
how you chase a co-worker are a salutary
pornography to relationships, de gustibus non
corrective to the pervasive idea that maximal
est disputandum (there is no disputing about
sexual experience is essential to the good life.
“If you are a decent person,” she wrote, “a
A useful counterpoint to these assumptions
clearer, more boundaried sexual ethic should not was provided this week by my colleague
frighten you. If not, have you considered that
Norimitsu Onishi, who wrote about the
you might be part of the problem?” (In the case
extraordinary loneliness of old age in Japan, a
of Geraldo, whose self-described sexual history
country that has lived with collapsed fertility
is disgusting, the answer is a decisive yes.)
and strained relations between the sexes for
Still, I paused over one line from Emba’s
a generation. Japan’s aging, dying, atomized
brief: “We won’t die of having less sex …
present is one version of our future — and
Somehow, people will still find ways to meet,
a not-so-distant one, already visible in late-
mate and propagate the species.”
middle-age despair and elder exploitation.
People will, it’s true. But as a society we are
I don’t know what new-old mix of mating
actually in some serious trouble on the mating-
rituals and expectations and supports could
and-propagation front.
arrest Japanification. I don’t think either
When the sexual revolution started, its
feminism or social conservatism at present have
conservative critics warned it would replace
the answer. And I’m sure there is nothing worth
marriage with a divorce-go-round, leave
saving in the predatory sexual culture currently
children without fathers, and expose women
being put to the torch by victims and journalists.
to more predation than before. Versions of
But any moral progress will be limited, any
these things happened, but over time various
sexual and romantic future darkened, until we
correctives, feminist and conservative, helped
can figure out what might be rebuilt in the ashes.
mitigate their worst effects. Divorce rates
fell, sexual violence diminished, teen sex and
Ross Douthat joined The New York Times as
pregnancy were reduced. In the last few years,
an Op-Ed columnist in April 2009. Previously,
even the out-of-wedlock birthrate has finally
he was a senior editor at The Atlantic.
We’ve leveled off
births by entering
into a major
baby bust.
The ‘money-sucking pigs’
of Pendleton
When I first heard this term, and having not
attended the recent city council workshop, I
naturally figured that the mayor was referring
to the Rivoli Theater restoration and the
relocation of the Eighth Street Bridge projects.
I was actually surprised to learn he was
referring to swimming pools, though I wasn’t
sure if he was referring to the Aquatic Center
Pool or the pool at BMCC, a pool whose
condition I’m sure the mayor, as past BMCC
president, was already intimately familiar with.
When people are asked, “What brought
you to Pendleton, and why are you still
here,” generally the answers have to do with
a job, the rich historical past, the small town
atmosphere and, most of all, it’s a great place
to raise children. So I guess the question
is: Why is it that projects like restoring and
effectively managing the Vert Auditorium or
covering the swimming pool are, as City Hall
says, “not talked about,” or called “money-
sucking pigs”?
From the sounds of the comments made
at the workshop and the previous attempt to
unload the Recreation Center, support from
City Hall for recreation may be waning. “It
sounds expensive” and “we can’t even fix our
potholes” were two phrases uttered in the pool
cover discussion. It’s funny how both phrases
were conspicuously absent when funding
was requested and approved for speed bumps
on Main Street, moving a bridge simply for
decoration, and renovating a private theater. I
guess there are no swimmers at City Hall, and
that limiting swimming will add to the city’s
arsenal of weapons to limit our shrinking water
Did you hear the latest claim from the
Downtown Business Association (PDA)?
“Street trees protect sidewalks from damage,”
so they’ve planted more to replace the ones
they previously cut down. I hear they’ve
pinpointed the actual cause of all the cracking
and heaving to the additional seismic activity
that’s been plaguing the city from all the
“moving and shaking” taking place in the
downtown area.
In a related move, and in an effort to reduce
empty downtown retail space, the PDA is
planning to partner up with an additional
non-profit and relocate to the space vacated
by the closing of Mayson’s Old Fashioned
General Store.
Rick Rohde