OPINION: Letters - Sept. 7
Mike Heimbuch's recent Point of View got me thinking. It's true that everyone in my circle of friends agrees on a lot of things. For example, every single one of us believes that hate is hate and violence is deplorable whether it comes from the left or the right. Not one of us would justify an unprovoked attack on anyone, not even a white supremacist neo-Nazi.
On the other hand, not one of us confuses the magnitude of blameworthiness of the neo-Nazi demonstrators in Charlottesville with that of the counter-demonstrators. Not one of us equates bear spray in the face of someone wearing sunglasses with vehicular homicide.
Not one of us would gleefully announce that our lord was going to take quick, decisive action to smite someone who read aloud at a city council meeting a list of quotes from prominent, well-respected Americans decrying the rise of neo-Nazism in America and the associated murder of an innocent young woman. I'm still trying to figure out how the picture that paints of God jibes with what I was taught in Sunday school. God approves of Nazis now?
So Mr. Heimbuch is right that there are two well-established factions in Homer, that they see things very differently, and that it would behoove all of us to be aware of that fact. We want to be able to live peaceably with our neighbors, but we also want to be able to call a spade a spade, to speak out in defense of those that some wish to target, and to denounce actions that threaten the very foundation on which our nation is built. My friends and I consider that our duty as patriotic American citizens.
Addressing political discord
There seems to be a lot of political discord in our community lately and also in our country, with both sides calling each other Nazis. I was out sheep hunting three weeks ago and missed viewing the Charlottesville riots on TV as they happened.
Yesterday, I saw a photo of the event and now understand why people were so disturbed. The image of torch bearing neo-Nazis in our country was sickening and very reminiscent of 1930's era Nazi Germany. To be clear, the ideas expressed by Nazis or the KKK are repugnant to me and I believe have no place in our free and democratic society.
However, I also take exception to those on the extreme left. The tactics and message from individuals belonging to Antifa or BLM are just as bad. If individuals choose to wear black clothing, face masks and riot in order to stifle free speech, they are also fascists. Those who use pepper spray and clubs to stop others from peacefully assembling in Berkley are also fascists. There are violent extremes at each end of the political spectrum.
Disagreeing with someone, then comparing them to one of the extremes only furthers division and does not help us understand or relate to others. I see people locally who are guilty of making these generalizations.
For those who look for the worst in our society you will always find it. There will always be some small hardcore group of hate filled bozos, drunk on some witless ideology. Fools will always be with us and there is nothing that can be done about that.
However, if you look for the best in our society you too will also always find it. The true spirit of America wasn't on display in Charlottesville, but can be seen alive after the hurricane hit Houston. Texans offered help to all, regardless of political ideology, race, gender or sexual orientation, with no questions asked. They just simply offered help to folks who needed it.
Texans have shown us that caring for their neighbors unconditionally, truly defines what it means to be an American. I'd like to think that in a disaster, we here in Homer would display that same compassion.
I also hope that locally, we can get to the place where all of us can have a difficult, but honest conversation with our neighbors without resorting to name calling. It is important that all Americans are able to listen to, understand a point of view and maybe respectfully disagree with the opinions of others without fear of repercussion.
Dialog and a healthy exchange of ideas is vital for our freedom and democracy. This is important for America and even more so here in our little town of Homer.
Homer Foundation grateful
A big thank you to for the support from the David and Mary Schroer fund, a donor-advised fund of the Homer Foundation, for their donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Homer and our matches.
As a result of their generosity, our program has been able to resume offering some match activities for the Bigs and Littles in our community.
BBBS does not charge children and their families to participate in our mentoring program, so we sincerely appreciate the support of the Homer Foundation for helping to sustain our program.
Homer Community Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Addressing bottom line ourselves
Many thanks to Elise Patkotak for her commentary in the Alaska Dispatch News (Aug. 30.) I generally, (but not always) agree with her views, but she hit the ball out of the park on this one. For the last year, I have been advocating the reinstatement of our state income tax to drastically reduce our fiscal problem, with much resistance from legislators who are facing re-election.
The bottom line is that we are the residents/citizens of this state; we are the owners; and as such we need to step up to the plate, stand on our own feet, and contribute to provide the government services we all rely on.
The Permanent Fund Dividend payment is a separate issue, that is a benefit created, yes, by our oil revenue, and the foresight of Jay Hammond, among others. That benefit rightfully goes to all of us equally, which especially benefits the low wage earners according to the latest tax plan.
Do not rely on politicians promises that there is a nebulous solution coming with increased revenues (we should not have to rely on the oil industry), and further government cuts, without any specifics.
Let us take on the problem and work to solve it ourselves, so we can be proud of our state.
Not the longest road
I read a fascinating story of the Voznesenka Cougars, and the Old Believers. Interested to learn more about Kenai, I next went to Google Maps and was curious why Route 1 appeared to continue directly into the ocean. Thinking it was a mistake, I zoomed in and saw your interesting Homer Spit.
Interested to learn even more, I found your home page, but was wondering how the Homer Spit is "the longest road into the ocean in the world." Would not the other Route 1, i.e., the 110-mile portion of the length of the Florida Keys, qualify as the longest road into the ocean? Homer must use some qualifier to use the claim, can you please tell me the qualifier?
Curiosity killed the cat.