Watching the anti-vaccine and anti-mask mandate protests locally and around the country, my first impression was, “how selfish.” As a veteran I thought of the young men and women at Walter Reed Medical Center right now. They are missing a limb, an eye or suffering from whatever atrocity war can provide. They are going to be inconvenienced for the rest of their lives. They will be inconvenienced because of serving us, all of us. Anti-vaxxers and -maskers are so weak that they cannot be inconvenienced. Inconvenienced for a week, a month, or if need be, a year. Really!

I suggest the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers read the Preamble to the U.S Constitution, especially the part that states to “promote the general welfare.” Vaccinations and mask mandates are not about restricting your freedom but are to “provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare.”

The Preamble to the Constitution is where our Founding Fathers laid out what they wanted to accomplish with the Constitution. The right seems to continually ignore the Preamble to the Constitution and the media never calls them on it. One would think originalists would believe the Preamble to be the most important and significant paragraph of the Constitution. One would think?

— Phil Philiben, Bend

Instead of publishing another opinion or article of The Bulletin’s increasingly left-wing position on masks, why don’t you publish some articles on the science behind kids or adults wearing masks?

My friends and I are for vaccines, but I have never scene an actual study on masks. The people who claim “science” all the time are wrapped in hypocrisy depending on the issue. Start printing more science instead of people blowing off their opinions, however uninformed or biased.

— Peter Tilton, Bend

Yancy Lind’s spot-on Sept. 3 column called for eliminating wasteful water practices as drought worsens with climate change. I see an additional solution in the River Democracy Act, introduced by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and the product of public town halls and 15,000 nominations. (I’m proud to be a citizen nominator.)

Passage of the act will be a critical step in conserving our precious fresh water, but only if the bill also protects intact forests and riparian ecosystems along the streams and rivers. Why? It’s this interlacing fabric of forests and plant life that shades and cools waters, stores groundwater, recycles nutrients, slows floods, and acts as nature’s filter and purifier.

The act should not be weakened to appease a loud minority intent on assuring destructive land practices are built into the bill — from commercial logging to intense grazing. They also want to get rid of the streams (also nominated by citizens like me), the very lifelines the rivers depend upon.

Remember, the act would add only 4% of the state’s waterways to give us a total of 6% in Oregon to add to our National Wild & Scenic River Act system — a spectacular network that should make all of us proud to be Americans — in the way of our visionary national park system.

Thank you Senator Wyden for introducing this amazing legacy bill and going the extra mile to listen with courtesy and thoughtfulness to all of us with comments.

— Marina Richie, Bend

To those firefighters, police officers, and other public employees piling on to sue our governor over the vaccination mandate I would like to point out that she is not doing this in a vacuum. She is basing the mandate on science and good public health practice. The COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective. We would not be seeing this latest surge if everyone had gotten vaccinated when first eligible.

And now, with the delta variant infecting more and more young people, vaccinations are more important than ever.

It’s also important to note that the mandate is constitutional. In 1905 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a state mandate of the small pox vaccine in Jacobson v. Massachusetts. The Court ruled that the mandate did not violate the First Amendment.

I understand that there are legitimate religious or medical reasons for not getting vaccinations.

But that does not apply to the vast majority of anti-vaxxers.

Instead, I believe that those who refuse to be vaccinated are making a misguided political statement about freedoms.

To me, it’s just being selfish.

— Bob Wilson, Redmond

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(6) comments


Dear Peter, it's not on the The Bulletin's shoulders to show you the science behind the use of masks to curtail the spread of disease. You do have multiple reference sources available (besides Fox, Newsmax, OAN). Or just look at today's article about Idaho's hospital situation. See, the nurse is wearing a mask. In all hospitals nurses, physicians, support personnel are masked and gowned up treating Covid patients, I anyone with an infectious disease.


To Peter: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2776536




No surprise, Philiben, a Democrat completely misses the point and then tries to tie in the very people who would dispute everything he said. Democrats seem to love big government control. Just watch Biden and Pelosi as they try to destroy the country.


Get vaxxed and wear a mask. It's not a big deal.


Doesn't appear that you read his letter correctly Greg. Because if any group seems to care less about the health and welfare of our nation, it would be those of the GQP.

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