Steve Forrester wrote, "It is a curse to live in an era you do not understand." I suspect that it is a rare era that understands itself.

G.W.F. Hegel said that the owl of Minerva takes flight only with the setting of the sun, that is to say, historical insight and wisdom is possible only after an era has passed. Be that as it may, it is not so difficult to recognize when there is a problem, even if explicitly defining that problem is more difficult. That Oregon now has problems, mostly self-inflicted, is mysterious to no one.

Both Forrester and Dick Hughes, in their essays on Greater Idaho (The Astorian, June 1), emphasized the unlikelihood of Oregon counties successfully pursuing their stated goal, but neither made the obvious observation that this vote is a rebuke and a repudiation of the direction of Oregon's political development.

Forrester noted that a rosy view of Oregon's past glosses over the hard negotiations that made our formerly high quality of life possible, but if one is honest, it must be said that the counties that voted to leave Oregon are probably prepared for far harder negotiations.

Where the willingness for such negotiations is lacking is among a political class that has placed ideology above and before keeping the streets clean and potholes filled.

For my part, I would like to see Brownsmead also pursue an exit from Oregon, as no one here is represented by the politicians in Salem or the anarchists in Portland.

J. N. "NICK" NIELSEN

Astoria