What about AIDS

It has been over a year since the terrorists' attacks on America. We Americans are simply becoming bored with the terrorist talk in the media and want something done about it as soon as possible.

Before too long, terrorism will be second nature to us like the AIDS epidemic. In the early '80's, AIDS was and still is the biggest problem the world is faced with. But AIDS is an "old problem" almost 25 years into the epidemic and it is killing millions of people every day and more people are becoming infected than ever before.

The war on terrorism may never end; but, eventually the American people will set it aside and accept it as reality and an everyday fact of life. We Americans become immune to the world's problems and move on. AIDS is killing millions of people and no longer makes headlines.

Mike P. Brink


Birthday tree

Christmas to me is very special. Something happened to my family over 40 years ago that I would like to share with all people of this county.

Every Christmas Eve, my husband would read the Christmas story from the children's bible to our two sons while sitting in front of the fireplace eating all the goodies of Christmas.

When the story was finished, I asked my oldest son what he thought of the story and he said, "Mama, how could a baby just appear?" I had to think for a minute and then replied that it was the miracle of Christmas and God's special gift to us. "OK," he said, and looked at his younger brother. With a very innocent and excited look on his face looking over our large tree that was decorated with bubbling candles, he shouted, "Mama, I know! I know! Look! It's Baby Jesus' birthday." Today that is still the rule in my son's home and my grandchildren do not call the tree anything but "Birthday Tree."

Juana Gilliams


Smoke screen

Thank God men like E. H. VanBlaricom are around to contribute articles that lay things out in a no-nonsense fashion. In contrast to his writings are those like William Sullivan and Andy Kerr and John Horning.

Andy Kerr had the intestinal fortitude to condemn logging and the use of forest products for other Americans yet he lived in a log home here in Wallowa County. Is it because he considers himself "better" than the rest of us Americans or doesn't he care that the majority of us live in wood frame houses made possible by logging.

As William Sullivan and John Horning eat their milk and Wheaties, and have a Big Mac with a milk shake for lunch before they go home to their wood frame houses, I wonder if it dawns on them that they are enjoying the very benefits produced by men and women they so loudly condemn?

The devastation that uncontrollable fires leave behind can be seen all over the great Northwest. A trip to the Yellowstone National Park will disclose in no uncertain terms that the old philosophy that old Mother Nature will take care of things is not necessarily true. For miles on end, burnt tree spires protrude skyward and then fall, making tinder dry kindling and fuel for another massive fire to begin. What little trees that have been growing are also killed in the inferno. Is this proper forest management? Why can't they see that it's more sensible to allow the removal of these dead trees that prevent future infernos and by stopping these fires will save the forest? Logging these dead trees prevent a build up of fuel for future fires. You don't have to be Einstein to figure this one out. President Bush is right, these damaged forests need to be harvested and re-seeded. Thousands of men and women could again be employed. In addition, we would get a new forest by re-seeding, and selectively thinning. The rich soil and lots of rainfall on the coast make it the most productive forest land in the nation. A prime example of correct forest management can be seen at Mt. St. Helens. The contrast between U.S. Forest Service management and private timber management is there for all to see. The private timber lands blown down by the eruption of Mt. St. Helens was logged and re-seeded. National forest land was left in hopes old Mother Nature would do the same. It didn't work and all we have is a dandy growth of fireweed and down timber.

Don't they know that the majority of Americans eat beef, pork, chicken and turkey, fish and veggies? Are they suggesting we eat prairie dogs and swamp grass and fireweed? Where I live I don't see a shortage of prairie dogs. However, I do see a shortage of big game animals because the voters were led to believe that the taking of bear and cougar was wrong and those people who live in Portland and Eugene fell for this tripe. The massive decline of elk calves in the Wenaha unit is due in large part to a big increase in bear and cougar, thanks again to these self-styled experts.

If they want to take a hike up in the Chesnimnus Unit where cattle are allowed to roam in the spring and summer, they will find luxurious green grass; prime feed for the famous Rocky Mountain elk herd that live there. Also, there are large watering holes made possible by the work of ranchers and the Forest Service that benefit not only range cattle but also wild deer, elk and other creatures. Believe it or not, these people are the true environmentalists. You will also find them leaving part of their summer harvest in the lowland fields that in turn feed the game animals in the hard winter months. You can see them in this valley during the winter. It is proof that ranchers produce products that benefit us all, including the wild animals.

They speak of "reams of evidence" from the non-agricultural scientific community condemning ranchers, and fail to mention anything that such use benefits the land and wild animals and plants.

Actually, it's all a big smoke screen intended to deceive. And who are these people? Anti-law, rancher, farmer, logger, gun owner, and people who don't believe in constitutional rule? It's simple, they want everybody to believe their agenda is the only answer, even if they have to cram it down our throats. By controlling the media, controlling the government, and brainwashing the populace they can become self-styled experts. They survive by getting their hands on tax money funneled their way. While the aforementioned are busy trying to make a decent living, these "experts" are out and about stirring up distention among our young people.

As a logger quite a few years ago, I have met and talked to some of this group who were busily engage in raising marijuana in the dense forest on the coast. It didn't seem to bother them that the very crop they were raising would very likely end up in the possession of young juveniles in the large cities nearby. Also, that being anti gun, it was rather strange they possessed weapons of their own. I wonder why?

These people who profess to be environmentalists need to recognize we are not all stupid. And that ranchers and farmers and loggers are the very backbone of a vibrant and healthy society.

Jack Jenkins


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