Letters to the Editor for Aug. 27, 2013

Leave the bees alone

There is a honeybee hive in the cedar tree next to the pond at Lacamas Shores. It is on the Lacamas Heritage Trail, which my family frequently hikes. The bees mind their own bee business and are a joy to watch for us seniors and our grandchildren.

Today, I found that again someone is trying to kill them by stuffing up the hive entrance with foaming plastic insulation.

The bees were absolutely frantic, but I think I was able to dig the plastic out to the point that the bees could finish off the work. It took about 20 minutes and I had a lot of encouragement from the bees and fellow hikers. I was stung only once by a bee coming from the inside of the tree who mistook me for causing the problem. Hey, that is just like politics.

Lets stop this business of trying to kill off honeybees. Given all the pesticide issues, they are just trying to get by in a nice location until us humans can clean up our acts.

Pat Campbell, Vancouver

Criticism of congresswoman unfounded

Since the announcement of her daughter Abigail Rose’s birth, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler has encountered much criticism stemming from her opposition to the Affordable Care Act and to abortion.

Rosemarie Treece’s column (“Camas congresswoman should consider the plights of other families”, Aug. 6) echoes these criticisms. While wishing Abigail, her mother and father well, Treece nevertheless criticizes Herrera Beutler for having “lack of insight into the lives of other women and her failure to allow other women to make their own reproductive decisions.”

In fact, Treece “viewed the situation as an incredible opportunity for this congresswoman to experience firsthand the agony of a family faced with the heartbreaking choices involved in managing such a pregnancy” and then faults her for not considering the “plight of other families” that have insurance via Obama Care.

Yet, these condemnations fail on at least three points:

First, USA Today reports the majority of new jobs in July are part-time partly because the new health care law “requires businesses with at least 50 employees to provide health insurance to staffers who work at least 30 hours, prompting some employers to cut employees’ hours or hire more part-timers instead of adding full-time positions.” Zero Hedge reports that 77 percent of the jobs created in 2013 are part-time.

In other words, the new health law is increasing business costs such that employees do not have insurance, something we were told would not happen under the Affordable Care Act.

In response, the government rolled out the “employer mandate calculation” which converts the “number of part-time employees into “full-time equivalents” thereby removing the employers’ liberty to conduct their business as they see fit.

Second, Treece claims Herrera Beutler’s “situation would be much different if she were not a privileged member of society”. Perhaps, but Carolyn Shultz-Rathbun reports Elijah James was born prematurely with Pierre Robin Sequence, a condition that did not allow him to breathe on his own. He was transported to two different area hospitals. He eventually arrived at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital transported by the elite OHSU PANDA Team.

Nine surgeries in 18 months and still medically fragile at 7 years old, Elijah continues to receive elite specialist care paid via the insurance of a father who isn’t a member of Congress and with only a high school diploma. That was costly, elite care under the old insurance. It is still unclear from “insurance companies or the state plan” if Elijah will receive future elite coverage let alone the cost.

Third and most important, think carefully about Treece’s question “Could she imagine the pain and suffering of the mother who chooses to terminate after 20 weeks so she doesn’t have to anticipate the horrible day when she holds her newborn in her arms and watches it die?

To which the question must be asked: Does the mother’s act to intentionally end the child’s life through dismemberment rather than the unintentional death that is out of her control really reduce the mother’s pain and suffering?

And what of Treece’s other question, “What would she say to well-meaning people who ask about the baby and are unaware of the terminal diagnosis?” How about the truth? Abigail has Potter’s Syndrome and so we are doing everything we can to save and give this valuable human being a chance at life.

The reality of what abortion advocates really support springs to life in the picture of little Abigail Rose in John Hopkins University. She weighed 2 pounds, 12 ounces when she was born prematurely at 28 weeks. Why did anyone even develop an experimental technique to treat Potter’s Syndrome? Why the heroic costly measures unless Abigail, at 28-weeks’ gestation, is already a valuable and vulnerable human being.

Larry Rambousek, Washougal