Letters to the editor

(Joe Kline/Bulletin photo)

A mask is about caring

When I go to the grocery store or bike by an overcrowded restaurant and see the vast majority without masks, I think about the cousin that I lost recently in New York due to COVID. He was a retired physician who volunteered to help those stricken. I also think about my son on the East Coast who was stricken and hospitalized.

The act of wearing a mask is all about caring and the Golden Rule. Until we all wear masks, the phrase “we’re all in this together” becomes as vacuous as “thoughts and prayers.” The degree to which we wear masks in public is a good barometer of the health of the American culture. Sadly, that measure needs dramatic improvement. Please think of others and the greater good. Wear a mask. It demonstrates to our community that you care.

— John P. Biestman, Bend

What country does Hummel speak of?

What country does John Hummel live in? My goodness, it sounds like a truly awful place where “the majority of Americans who struggle on a daily basis while not being given a fair shake.” I live in a country where the vast majority live much better that the majority of people on earth. I live in a country that millions of people are literally willing to risk their lives for the possibility and privilege of living here, legally or otherwise. They come here for the opportunity that doesn’t exist where they were born. Perhaps Mr. Hummel can provide an example of another country that can make this claim.

My country was built by immigrants and patriots. They didn’t always get everything right the first time, but the system of governance they established provides multiple mechanisms for fixing things that no longer work. We can vote to empower our neighbors to represent our interests, pass new laws and regulations and even remove them if they fail in their promises. I feel sorry for Mr. Hummel and his countrymen for having to live in the place he describes. And if he and his staff make the same sort of hateful and unfounded assertions in the courtroom as he did in his op-ed, it is truly amazing that anyone is ever convicted in the county.

— John Woods, Bend

Hummel was not advocating violence

Paul deWitt’s Bulletin guest column, “Deschutes District Attorney John Hummel’s column was astoundingly off,” 6/11/20 was ungenerous at best and possibly defamatory at worst. Surely the level of passion in two weeks of marches against racism and police brutality and the sometimes accompanying violence have been disturbing. But given John Hummel’s record of service as our district attorney it seems highly unlikely that his column, “Where are my Patriots?” was advocating violence as deWitt claims. No, it was an attempt to help us fellow citizens understand why violent protests occur and assert they were instrumental in our country’s creation. Before the Declaration of Independence was written, patriots rioted, burned British property, intimidated their government officials and murdered fellow British citizens in battles at Lexington and Concord, the Boston Massacre and Bunker Hill. Those were the Sons of Liberty and they were not just holding a tea party.

DeWitt goes on to cite local Rep. Cheri Helt’s conviction that President Donald Trump “has made our problems worse” as false. But her assessment has been echoed and amplified by more prominent public servants: Generals James Mattis and John Kelly who were part of Trump’s cabinet and General Colin Powell, former secretary of state to former President George W. Bush, just to name a few not so easily dismissed.

Finally, deWitt concludes only nonviolent means of addressing grievances are required. Still, when President Trump was impeached, Republican senators violated their constitutional oath by refusing to act as impartial jurors by examining evidence and hearing witnesses. What now? Vote!

— Don Kunz, Bend

Trump has revealed himself

In response to Roger Mattison, My Nickels Worth, June 13, 2020: I do not know you. I do, however, know a little bit about you by reading your response to state Rep. Cheri Helt. President Donald Trump has been speaking and tweeting his opinions for over three years and I believe I know more than just a little bit about him. A person does reveal his/her opinions, values and integrity through words. Donald Trump has revealed himself to be the “junior high bully” and expresses childlike rhetoric consistently. Cheri Helt is one of the few Republicans willing to say, no more! I am extremely fortunate to be born in a country where not only can I question authority, but I am encouraged to do so. Respect is earned, not given. We are a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Now you know just a little bit about me.

— Kim E. Hasson, Bend

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