Fill ’er up, Mac!

A few years ago we were driving through Oregon and stopped to get gas. When I tried to fill the tank, the pump would not work. An employee approached and said, “You can’t pump your own gas in Oregon.” Without thinking, I asked: “Are people in Oregon too stupid to pump their own gas?” All I got in return was a dirty look.

Decades after the rest of us (except for New Jersey) started pumping our own gas, the benevolent, all-knowing, progressive politicians who run Oregon have finally decided to take a huge leap of faith and trust Oregonians to pump their own gas — but only those in rural counties, not in the cities. The reaction has been hilarious. After years of being treated like incompetent children who can’t think for themselves, panic has set in and the daunting task of operating a gas pump has many drivers completely bewildered. Some are even threatening to sit at the pump for as long as it takes till someone else fills their tanks. This kind of dependency is exactly why we tell people not to feed the bears in Yellowstone.

One of the reasons given for the original ban was that it would create jobs. If that were the case, Oregonians should not have been allowed to change their own oil, do their own repairs or wash their own clothes. The proper function of government is to do those things collectively that we cannot do individually. I cannot pave the street in front of my house, but I can pump my own gas.

David B. Anderson, Waco

Pet vigilance

Zoey, an 8-pound dog reportedly snatched from her guardian’s fenced yard in Pennsylvania by an eagle and found four miles away — whimpering, wounded, limping and covered in icicles — is lucky to be alive. She is also a reminder that it’s never safe to leave animals outdoors unattended, even for “just a minute.”

Hungry wildlife is just one of the countless dangers that dogs and cats face outdoors. Many animals are painfully killed after being hit by cars, ingesting poison, contracting fatal diseases, being abused by cruel people and suffering other horrific fates.

Our animal companions are as vulnerable as toddlers in the great outdoors. It’s imperative to keep them safe by keeping them indoors, making sure they are microchipped and wear collars with current identification tags, and allowing them outdoors only on a leash and harness or in a fenced area, under our constant supervision. Visit www.PETA.org to learn more.

Lindsay Pollard-Post, PETA Foundation

Point/countpoint

Enjoyed the Trib opinion-page comparison pieces of Jan. 20, especially on climate change. Writer Alan Northcutt is clearly an environmental zealot while the contrasting view of authors David Rothbard and Craig Rucker were refreshingly and solidly based on scientific fact.

Don Boston, Waco