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Eugene Weekly : Letters : 5.6.10




NO TO EXTREMISM

Good article on the Rust-Bozievich race (4/29), one of the county’s key contests. Given the political realities of the time and place, one could assume the “conservative” would win, if Rust were a typical liberal and Bozeivich a typical conservative. But neither is typical.

Boizievich is a hard-line Tea Party ideologue, not just a follower, but the organizer of Lane County’s April Tea Party protest last year. Though he attended a recent Tea Party gathering in Florence, he is trying to keep his extremist views under wraps during this campaign. You won’t find any mention of his Tea Party leadership roles in his Voters’ Pamphlet information, nor his website.

Jerry Rust, on the other hand, is probably the best county commissioner I have worked with in Lane County. He has a creative and good natured way of working well with people from all points of view. Growing up on the beautiful North Umpqua, a valley much like that of the Siuslaw where he now lives, he’s a perfect fit for our heavily timbered west Lane County.

Rust was up to his elbows planting trees for Oregon’s future when Bozievich was still playing games back East. This vote is an easy one: Just say no to extremism.

Doug Card, Veneta



BIPARTISAN BOONDOGGLE

The controversy over spending a quarter million dollars to rename Beltline highway after Randy Papé overlooks the state’s plan to spend a thousand times more to widen our Beltline. 

ODOT is spending millions to study expanding Beltline to 11 lanes wide, which would be the biggest road between Seattle and Sacramento. In November 2008, the Governor’s “Transportation Vision Committee” said this would cost $250 million, part of an $18 billion plan for new and wider state highways. 

In June 2001, Randy Papé, Jim Torrey and Bobby Green were part of the “West Eugene Charette,” an intergovernmental summit that concluded the West Eugene Parkway was illegal and overpriced. Papé and other promoters then changed their minds and pushed through an advisory vote which split 51-49, claiming “the money is there” even though it was not. He then had ODOT spend $3 million to “study” the WEP despite knowing it couldn’t be built — money that could have fixed the West 11th intersections. 

Global oil production peaked in 2008, so planning bigger highways for the downslope of energy production is a waste worse than signs to honor a campaign contributor to the governor. If governments were really concerned about “sustainability,” they would cancel plans to widen highways. ODOT doesn’t even have the funds to study upgrading the railroad between Eugene and Portland to have high(er) speed rail, which would be more useful during the twilight of the oil era.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene



TIRED OLD IDEAS

Sure, we’re in an economic mess, with some important elections coming up. It’s critical that we use our votes to elect people who can help get us out of this quagmire. 

And what seems sorta weird is that we’re being asked to elect on many levels — national, state, county, city — more of the kind of folks whose ideas and actions led us to this condition. And they’re running on the same tired old patter they used to hold offices for eight solid years, or until they had run the national and local economies off the cliff. When the Bushies took control of government (oddly, on an anti-government platform) in 2000, they inherited a budget surplus of nearly $1 trillion. When they were run out of offices eight years later, they had looted the national treasury to the tune of a $2 trillion deficit. Are we really so forgetful that we’d return to office the very folks whose policies produced those results?

We need to remember. We need to elect experienced, capable people who understand that there’s a proper role for government, balanced with a strong private business sector that encourages enterprise, especially at the small-business level. We need people who are honest and forthright, not phony schemers looking to line their own pockets.

We need to elect people like Pat Riggs-Henson for county commissioner.

Lance Sparks, Eugene



TASER TASKS

I support Randy Prince in his effort to get a measure on the ballot to restrict the use of Tasers by the Eugene Police. I watched, and sometimes participated in, the process that got Tasers introduced into the city. I, not long after, watched as one of my neighbors got Tased when he refused to go along with an officer. The process that got Tasers introduced by Chief Lehner was deceitful and deliberately resistive to community input. He unilaterally made the decision to put them on the street. The meetings were for show.

We must support our police department, but we needn’t lose our capacity for rational thinking in the process. Tasers obviously kill ­ sometimes after multiple Tasings, sometimes because of an unknown physical weakness of a target, sometimes ... who can tell? To subject someone to possible deadly force when all they have done is run a stoplight or shoplifted is to use excessive force.

More than anything, I support greater restrictions on the police use of Tasers because they are a de-facto cattle prod for the very poor and the mentally confused. To torture someone (torture: “to inflict severe pain on someone to force them to do or say something”) in a way that possibly could kill them in a war just a few years ago was seen as a war crime. Now it has come to our streets.

Doesn’t matter if Prince’s efforts come to fruition, in a way, because this ballot measure would force the city to look at the issue and decide. Then, when multi-million dollar judgments come down against the taxpayers and the officers involved, no one can shrug and say, “Not my fault.” The City Council needs to makes its feelings known. “In lieu of deadly force” is the only way they can be used morally.

Hugh Massengill, Eugene



PERFECT MATCH

In the upcoming election for Lane County commissioner Position 2, the clear choice is Pat Riggs-Henson. Without a doubt, Riggs-Henson’s record of community service and dedication to improving the lives of Lane County residents is stellar. Her ability to facilitate bipartisan cooperation on various issues is a perfect match for the complex issues facing Lane County. One of my main concerns in this uncertain economy is jobs. While all employment is important, living wage jobs with benefits are the backbone of a healthy community. Living wage jobs provide sustenance and security to working families while ensuring a stable tax base for needed services.

She has shown an unwavering commitment to ensure that living wage jobs stay in Lane County as well as creating new opportunities for growth. She will continue to do so as a commissioner.

I encourage voters to make a choice for the future. Elect Pat Riggs-Henson for Lane County commissioner.

Lee Lasse, Springfield



FIERCE ADVOCATE

Public safety is always a key issue in Eugene City Council races. This year should be no different, with the exception that there is a candidate in Ward 6 with a decade-long track record and established record of supporting local police and fire units in our city.

That candidate is Pat Farr. During his almost 10 years on the City Council representing Ward 6, Farr was a fierce advocate for public safety and a quality police department, who put the public’s safety and interests above personal politics and bickering like we have seen in the last several years. During Farr’s tenure on the council, he also advocated for additional rescue units for our fire department in order to reduce response time to citizens in need.

During Farr’s previous service on the council, the streets in Ward 6 were taken care of and not in the deplorable condition they are today. In short, Farr cared for Ward 6, and in return Ward 6 cared about Farr and promoted him to the Legislature in 2000, where once again he was a fierce advocate for our community and especially public education, where he bucked his party’s orders and supported quality funding for Bethel Schools.

Farr is once again willing to serve. This election is a no-brainer. Pat Farr has earned the public’s trust by doing what is right for his community. Lets put him back on the council where he can make a difference for all of us.

Rich Cunningham, Eugene



SKILLS FOR LIVING

Recently a writer remarked that the Extension Service pandered to certain peoples’ “hobbies.”

I prefer to call the teachings and training provided by the Extension Service as “life skills.” Our Lane County Extension Service (emphasis on the latter) is one of the richest resources in the community. Their staff and volunteers provide people with the knowledge, tools, skills and experience necessary to take care of themselves. 

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

The Extension Service captures and fosters the essence of sustainable behavior and promotes a self-sufficient lifestyle through education and training. You can learn to build gardens — adaptive, organic, urban community plots to feed family and friends; to create healthy meals from the bounty; to put by the excess by canning, freezing, drying; to care for the home orchard; to build and maintain compost and vermicompost bins in order to reduce the household waste that would go to the landfill and to use the resulting decomposed humus to enrich to soil, grow more food and maybe start a business raising worms for fun and profit. 

While much has been made of salaries of two Extension employees, where else can these two faculty members and experts in their field be so easily accessible to the public and help direct more than 600 trained volunteers who go into the community to assist others in the learning process. A priceless asset. The Extension gives back tenfold to the community. 

I will definitely be voting in favor of Measure 20-158.

 Sarah Ruth, Eugene



BRADBURY LISTENS

Bill Bradbury has my vote for governor! You know why? Because he has been available to listen to anyone who wants to talk with him. 

The first time I saw him, he was Oregon’s secretary of state, traveling from one region to another to listen to the people’s views on redistricting Oregon. As a newcomer to any political process, I was amazed at the large crowd who wanted to provide testimony. He educated us about the process, and he listened to many concerns. The completed maps reflected the testimony I heard that evening. 

After that time, I have attended town hall meetings, conferences and house parties where Bradbury was present. Bradbury is willing to attend gatherings large and small and answer endless questions, with no frowns. His cheerfulness is engaging, and his answers have substance. I have challenged him on some positions, and he always listened respectfully. He would tell me why he held his position and would indicate whether he could incorporate my information into his understanding of the issue. 

Attention to ideas from the people is my hope for any politician. Bill Bradbury fulfills this requirement successfully. I encourage everyone to take advantage of Bradbury’s accessibility to meet him and hear from him directly. He strikes me as an ordinary citizen that anyone can approach, and he speaks common sense on the issues.

Vote for Bill Bradbury.

Carleen Reilly, Eugene



RETURN THE FAVOR

I would like to publicly thank the politicians involved in renaming the Beltline. They have performed a great public service by illuminating the disconnect between the elected and the electors. We have entrusted them with the honor of safeguarding our rights. We did not elect them so that they could spend their time and money frivolously on projects like renaming highways after their friends. We will return the favor in November.

Julie Smith, Springfield



PISH AND PALIN

I want to thank KVAL News for their coverage of Sarah Palin’s appearance before a roomful of GOP fat-cats. While the thought of the likes of Palin contaminating our fair communities turned my stomach, I was happy to see them interview some attendees afterwards. Imagine my surprise to see one of our Springfield city councilors, Joe Pishioneri, being interviewed and lauding Sarah Palin and her ideas and values. I cannot begin to express how embarrassed, how mortified, how disgusted and insulted I am at the realization that this person represents my ward (Thurston) on the Springfield City Council. And to add insult to injury, Joe Pishioneri is running for county commissioner!

Sarah’s (and Joe’s) vile hate-mongering have no place in our communities, our city government, and most definitely not at the table at Harris Hall. While other candidates have their strengths and weaknesses, at the very least I implore my fellow citizens to vote for someone other than Joe. His true colors came shining through on Friday and they are dark and ugly like his politics.

 James A. Mough, Springfield



INEXPENSIVE CLASSES

Last year OSU Extension Service’s phone number went into my personal phone book. That’s because they’ve become my “go to” educational organization for answers. They provide programs, information and skills for living throughout life.

Due to their assistance, my container garden is more productive and pest-free, the compost I make is evolving into a mix that will be more effective, and my personal health has improved as a direct result of education covering various aspects of nutrition. I’m grateful to have this service available.

 This month I’m taking a couple of inexpensive classes. One on grains will tell me which ones are the most useful for me in terms of cooking time, proteins, carbohydrates — and will have recipes. The other covers a specific cultural meal I’m interested in learning to cook.

My quality of life is improved overall because OSU Extension Service exists in Lane County. Please support Measure 20-158 to keep them here.

Jody Irwin, Eugene

 

 

PAPÉ LANDFILL?

I am getting a little tired of the self-congratulatory preening of the super-rich. Rather than simply giving to charity some of the money they stole from workers and hid from the government, they insist on making a big deal out of getting things named after them and their friends. So, we have the Knight everything, where we used to have the UO main library and buildings named after people who gave up their lives for their country. Now we have the Randy Papé Beltline, whereas we used to have the Beltline Highway. 

The rich are getting together in private and naming everything after themselves. That they don’t have the legal right to do this doesn’t bother them a bit. Well. There is a long tradition in this area of altering stop signs and other public signs. Let’s get creative, guys. How about the Papé memorial landfill? Papé memorial hazardous waste receiving station? For good measure, how about the Papé memorial sewage treatment plant? 

We could have the Knight State Penitentiary and the Wildish Round and Round and Round About and the Chambers Highway to the Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow. 

Ann Tattersall, Eugene



FUTURE OF OIL

Thanks for featuring Jason Bradford in your April 22 issue. His viewpoint “The Bank of Nature” illustrated how utterly unsustainable humankind’s growth and use of resources are. To expand on Bradford’s comments about oil, please consider the following facts:

• Discoveries of oil in the U.S. peaked in 1930. Production of oil in the U.S. peaked in 1970. (The U.S. now produces about half the oil that it did in 1970.) Notice that a period of 40 years lapsed between the peak of discoveries and the peak of production in the U.S.

• Worldwide oil discoveries peaked in 1964. Forty-one years later, in 2005, after rising more or less consistently throughout the previous century, a graph of world oil production shows a line resembling an undulating plateau. For much of 2008, oil prices kept rising until reaching a peak of $147/barrel in July. That unprecedented price resulted in a small and short-lived spike in production. Soon afterward, the economy collapsed along with the demand for oil.

I predict that July of 2008 will go down in history as the all-time peak in world oil production. Easily within five years, world oil production could be declining by something on the order of 5 percent annually. The bottom line is that a few years from now, we’re going to be living in a very different world. I highly recommend Chris Martenson’s Crash Course (www.chrismartenson.com) to understand what’s coming and how to prepare for it.

Robert Bolman, Eugene



ANOTHER PENALTY

Speaking of the “marriage tax penalty” (letters, 4/22), I’d like to point out another state program in which married couples are penalized: food stamps.

My husband and I recently formalized our union by getting “paper married.” While we were living together as boyfriend and girlfriend and both working, we each qualified for the full food stamp benefit of $200. Unfortunately, earlier this year I was hospitalized with a very serious condition. As a result, we are temporarily subsisting on only one income. When I reapplied for food stamps earlier this month, my case worker informed me that our benefit amount would probably be around $250, for both not each, even though our income has been cut and I have doctor-mandated dietary restrictions. She said the reason for this is because we are now married. 

How this is fair, I have no idea. Thanks for the wedding gift, Oregon!

Eve Cienfuegos, Eugene



IMPOSING OUR WILL

If we listen carefully — between all the media hype about other topics — we know that the military approach is not achieving the goal of turning Afghanistan into a version of America. Many of us are not surprised that imposing our will on another country is not working. Yes, our military is certainly capable of shooting & killing people, but the military solution can not fix Afghanistan. The Afghan people know that; a recent poll, paid for by the Pentagon, reports 94 percent of Kandahar residents want a loya jirga (their traditional way of solving problems) to talk things over, not a military invasion of their city.

Two relevant bills will be before Congress soon. One sets an exit plan, HR 5015, and the other is to fund the military expansion in Afghanistan. Please call our elected representatives; tell them to vote for an exit strategy and not for the “supplemental” to expand the war. With our support and pressure, maybe they will vote to end the war.

Carol Van Houten, Eugene



BPA EVERYWHERE

BPA in your receipt tape (news, 4/15)? Yeah, and also in many other things you might be exposed to daily which are not labeled BPA-free. You are also absorbing the BPA that is hidden in your car (dashboard, steering wheel, and gear shift), your eyewear (sunglasses and eyeglasses), the lids that are used to can and preserve your garden’s bounty, your favorite CDs and DVDs, certain soda cans, certain canned food liners, computers (and other electronics), home appliances, recycled toilet paper, etc. Things which I doubt will be pulled from the shelves in order to protect you and your cashier from the harmful effects of BPA. 

So not only are some local retailers handing you free BPA as you walk out their door, but it looks like you are also picking it up off the shelf and paying for it by choice. 

Ernest Lee, Eugene



EARTH DAY IRONY

How ironic that LTD would announce service cuts of about 20 percent on Earth Day. Timing is everything I suppose! I really can’t understand that LTD would pursue funding for Phase 3 of the pork project called EmX. Phase 3 is the building of an unneeded line out to west Eugene. They should instead lobby Rep. Peter DeFazio and Congress for full funding of public transit, and for Lane County in particular. Curious also, is the unrepentant support for EmX by EW. If and when Phase 3 is completed, more than $120 million will have been spent. 

It seems you have your priorities askew, EW. Shouldn’t the goal of public transportation be to have 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, 365-days-a-year service, Lane County included? Think of how far $120 million could have gone for local bus service. Shouldn’t EW be supporting this noble and worthy goal? Earth Day, the day which we set an example to all by either walking, biking or taking public transportation to get where we want to go. Some example you’ve both set, LTD and EW

Dean Carter, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: About 75 percent of EmX Phase 1 was paid for by federal funds. 



KILL A NAZI?

Someone from among the handful of UO students who were these past few months protesting against Pacifica Forum had posted on their Facebook page a message inciting to “kill a Nazi.” When three months ago my letter, in which I criticized the behavior of those protesters, was published in The Register-Guard, I was repeatedly called a “Nazi” on that same website. So what am I supposed to think now?

But even if this was not a direct threat to me or anyone at Pacifica Forum, imagine if someone were to write “kill a Jew,” or “kill a gay,” or, for that matter, “kill an anarchist”? Well, I don’t doubt that there would be instant explosion of outrage and demands to remove any such message immediately. 

I know for a fact that if anyone posted there anything criticizing actions of the protesters themselves, then it would be deleted right away; but now, when there is incitement to murder, there is no reaction whatsoever. For more than a week this “kill a Nazi” message hasn’t been removed.

Those who protested against Pacifica made a big fuss out of groundless accusations that the Forum was allegedly a “threat to public safety.” But how am I supposed to feel as a student on the UO campus when I know that there are some students inciting violence? 

They have crossed the line between criticizing or protesting Pacifica Forum and actually threatening to physically harm people.

 Gabriella Anelauskaite, Eugene



SACRED SPACE

On Saturday’s Earth Day, I learned a lot about the proposed Riverfront Research Park project. Given the current sharp recession, the huge supply of vacant office space in town, the importance of avoiding preventable litigation expenses and Eugene’s profound love affair with its gorgeous river, this project makes no sense whatsoever.

It is environmental heresy to build new office space when there is a high vacancy rate in existing commercial office space. Let’s recycle what already exists, eh? The purpose of the university is to educate people, not to unfairly compete with the local tax-paying business community.

The primary speculative tenant for this project is the Oregon Research Institute. They are already here, already employing local residents, already renting office space, and they have many, many options for expansion. But they claim that they can’t afford to expand via the many options available from the free enterprise system. The one and only option that they can afford is a bargain-priced development provided by the people of Oregon, against the wishes of the majority.

Why is this option so cheap? How long will an enterprise with marginal funds continue to survive in today’s wheezing economy? Is the city making any effort to find affordable, vacant expansion space for this cash-strapped business?

I spend an hour every day biking along the river, and I’ve spent many fine mornings picking the delicious organic blackberries that thrive at the site of the proposed mistake. Please, let’s not molest our sacred riverfront any further. The publicly owned riverfront is the ideal location for extensive community gardens. We need to permanently protect the entire riverfront, including the EWEB property. 

Richard Reese, Eugene



A LITTLE HISTORY

How about a little history and some facts? On Nov. 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony was arrested in Rochester, N.Y., for voting. It took another 34 years for the 19th Amendment, finally giving women the right to vote, to be ratified. In 1948, a woman with no political office and whose husband had had a long-term extramarital affair, stood tough for every woman, for every man, and every child on this precious planet of ours. Because of the courage and conviction of Eleanor Roosevelt, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified at the U.N. Dec. 10, 1948. Today, according to UNICEF, 25,000 children still die every day due to hunger. Today still, according to Amnesty International, more than one in three Alaska Native American women will be raped in their lifetime.

 On Sept. 6, 1955, Mamie Till put her child’s mutilated body on public display at  Chicago’s Roberts Temple Church of God. Mamie’s child, Emmett, had been tortured to death in a little town called Money, Miss. Three months later, a woman from my home state, Rosa Parks, got arrested for refusing to give up her seat in the from of a Montgomery bus. On Jan. 29, 2009, the child of Stanley Ann Dunham and Hussein Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

The Human Genome Project now informs us that the genome of every person on this planet is about 99.9 percent identical to that of every other person on Earth. I am a white Southern-born woman who was taken to KKK rallies as a small child. I heard that a woman who still lives the old toxicity of “us or them,” who speaks in terms of “real” Americans, will be cruising to Eugene. Where will I be? Somewhere celebrating the fact that while I am most wonderfully 99.9 percent black, 99.9 percent Yankee, 99.9 percent Russian and 99.9 percent male, there’s also that precious 0.1 percent that’s uniquely me.

Barclay Browne, Eugene

 

 

VERGE OF WAR

We are on the verge of an all-out war in this country. With this angry hateful mob of the Tea Party movement led by extremely narrow-minded "trouble makers" in government and the toxic media, we are a trigger move away from an all-out explosive genocide. Have we noticed that not one angry Tea Party protester has been pepper-sprayed, Tasered or arrested, yet those who speak out for the protection of life on this planet are treated as criminals and labeled "eco-terrorists."

This bully approach of using death threats and increasing private weapon possession only spreads fear and terrorism which leads to loss of many innocent lives. How do we de-escalate this movement before it is too late?

Loretta Huston, Eugene



PALIN CASHING IN

When Sarah Palin chose to abandon her post as governor of Alaska last July, there was much speculation as to why: Was she preparing to run for president? Perhaps a scandal was about to break. Fueling speculation was the fact that Mrs. Palin herself had no coherent explanation, finally settling on a basketball analogy, wherein she was a point guard making a strategic pass for the good of the team. The fact that she would be unavailable for a return pass did not unsettle her metaphorical reverie.

The real reason, which should have been obvious at the time, has become so in retrospect. As is often the case, it was all about the money. Considering her options, it must be said, she made a good choice. Rather than spending two more years toiling disinterestedly in governance only to reveal in the end that she wasn’t any good at it, Palin decided to strike while the iron was hot and cast herself as the charismatic yet folksy poster-MILF of the know-nothing wing of the American right. 

Cashing in on her looks, fame and charisma, while they all last, she now travels the country collecting six-figure fees to speak to her fellow “real” Americans; doling out the putrefied red meat of jingoism, militarism, xenophobia and anti-government rhetoric, laced of course with the noxious poison of Fox News misinformation, on which real America feeds.

 Nice work if you can get it.

Bill Shaw, Eugene 



EYES ON THE SIDEWALK

To Sally Sheklow: I liked your article in EW April 22. I also walk but in north Eugene area for my health also — battle of the bulge both blood (cholesterol) and body. I also find it very soothing too. I find the dog bombs everywhere. At first I was kind of mad that the people who live with these dogs don't try and pick it up, do they not flush their toilets at home?

I walk along the sidewalk and low and behold land mines all over, hop and a skip to try to avoid the bombs, most times I miss. I do find that this little extra twist of the body helps in my battle. I do a little extra to try and miss all those little accidents.

Now, am I suppose to not ask about the bombs, or am I supposed to not tell anyone about them? 

Sheila Coats, Eugene



PHARMA FALACY

It must be spring, time for the pharmaceutical industry and their media colleagues to gear up for another year of vague predictions about another imminent health catastrophe. Before last year's whole affair goes down the memory hole, let's review a few points about the great pandemic of 2009-10 that never happened. I'd appreciate any corrections to this narrative, which is largely drawn from an interview with Wolfgang Wodard, a doctor, epidemiologist, and the German president of the Health Committee of the Council of Europe.

The first report of swine flu came from Mexico in April. Before even 1,000 cases were reported, it was declared by the WHO to be the pandemic of the century. Obama was in Mexico, and a government official he shook hands with died of the swine flu. Swine flu was elevated to a level VI pandemic, and the pharmaceutical companies swung into vaccine production, comforted in the knowledge that they had no legal liability for any injury caused to users of their untested vaccines, and that under 2005 International Health Regulations, signatory governments promise to buy the vaccines produced under a level VI pandemic. 

In May, the WHO changed the definition of a pandemic. Before then, a disease outbreak had to be both deadly and contagious to be considered a pandemic. Since last May, a pandemic need only be contagious. Thus, the relatively mild H1N1 outbreak, which killed only a small fraction of the number that normally dies from the seasonal flu, could become a pandemic. Before May 2009, the H1N1 outbreak could not have been considered a pandemic.

The decision to change the definition of pandemic and also to declare a level VI alert came from a WHO committee supported by the pharmaceutical industry; many members have financial ties of one sort or another to the industry. The pandemic was hyped by the large media corporations who themselves have deep ties and interlocking directorates with large pharmaceutical corporations. 

The WHO claims 17,000 died from H1N1 worldwide; normal seasonal flu kills 41,000 in the U.S. alone. 

Western Australia has suspended further use of flu vaccines after 45 inoculated children were hospitalized — and this vaccine was clinically tested, unlike the experimental H1N1 vaccines. But the pharmaceutical companies had a great year. 

Fergus Mclean, Eugene



FLAWED TOXICS LAW

Mary O'Brien’s column April 8 concerning chemical trespass was interesting, and something you might expect of an extremist.

She and a group of people, including her 14-year-old son, were hiking in Kashmir and Ladakh, India for several weeks when her son became ill. Ms. O'Brien instantly diagnosed it as, her words, "toxic poisoning of the brain." Strange no one else in the group got sick. Could it be her son drank some bad water, perhaps was bit by a tick, had eaten some tainted food, or could it have been one of a hundred other things that happens many times in foreign countries you travel in? But no, it was toxic poisoning of the brain.

Then makes a totally erroneous statement, mentioning our Eugene toxic law, stating and I quote, "best in the nation."

That could not be farther from the truth! This law was passed with very good intentions, but is so flawed as to be useless. I attended each public meeting and found that the co-writer of the act was employed by the UO science department, and in the act had written a very small but significant line stating, "exempted by this act are public educational institutions." 

There were at that time 27 companies named in Lane County producing toxic waste for a total amount of 12,000 pounds, But it was found that two other entities, not named, produced over 20,000 pounds of toxic waste a year and not one ounce is ever reported. They are the UO and PeaceHealth.

So Ms. O'Brien, out of 32,000 pounds of toxic waste being produced in Lane County, you only know about 12,000 pounds, and this is the best we can do? When I brought this "oversight” up at the hearing several times I was told, "even though they produce toxic waste, they are not classified as a manufacturer," and the measure passed.

So nuclear, chemical toxic waste from educational institutions is not as toxic as from a manufacturing institution, and we have it right from the UO science department.

 Dick Walker, Eugene



CHAINS OF ENSLAVEMENT

I propose we jump to our desired end state and save ourselves all the heartache of getting there.

We want higher taxes since we approve two-thirds of all taxes voted on. We want more regulations saying there ought to be a law each time something happens we don’t like. We want higher fines and fees, the major source of Lane County funding, since we willingly accept new ones and the massive increases of old ones. We want more management of people so we need not deal with undesirables like the sick, the old, the homeless, the aliens, the criminals. We elect candidates who promise new jobs, knowing most jobs today are created in government and those serving government. We dislike those who create wealth (private sector) while supporting those who destroy it (government); wars are wonderful devices for this.

Schwarzenegger said “California, if a nation, would be the sixth-largest economy in the world.” Reagan said of California; “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” We are trying very hard to enjoy California’s success where nothing is left untaxed, unregulated, or unmanaged. 

Modest proposal: First, adults may only keep $1,000/month to live on; a state currently enjoyed by more than 50 percent. Overpopulation will no longer be subsidized since adults must share their cut with any dependents or be sent to a forced labor camp. Urban sprawl will diminish as folks will only be able to afford cohabitation in ever smaller housing units. Without wealth, the demand for consumer goods destroying the planet will vastly diminish along with the demand on energy. Second, no one may do anything without written permission via a license, permit, passport, etc. Only privileges may be taxed, regulated, or licensed; and, we insist on the few remaining rights be so converted. Third, use conscript, forced volunteerism, and judicial edicts on those not producing the excess needed to pay for all this government. With so many laws and regulations, all citizens are already felons who simply have not been caught and put into the military, forced community service, or a forced labor camp.

At last, we will finally be happily taxed, regulated, and managed to the max — nirvana achieved! So let’s just get it over with, finish foraging the chains of our enslavement.

Keith Stanton, Florence



SUPREME CRUELTY

Why did the Supreme Court rule inhumane “crush” videos of animals being tortured to death can be sold for profit? It would appear that the court ruled that way at the behest of the NRA and Safari International, because they were worried hunting might be found illegal. 

In Judge Alito’s lone dissent, he read into the record exactly what unspeakable cruelty was being condoned: “woman thrusts her high heal shoe into a kitten’s eye socket … and stomps on his head.” 

How is it possible that the Supreme Court can possibly condone such unspeakable torture on helpless animals? Apparently, they did it to protect Hunting Rights. In the ruling they blatantly admitted they were afraid humane hunting might be found illegal. Furthermore, your right to make copious profits from videos of these grotesque fetishes has been protected too! 

In the majority’s ruling they found it cogent to cite the National Rifle Association, noting “Hunting magazines account for $135 million annual sales.” They also cited the Safari Club International, saying “Hunting videos entertain, and market hunting equipment.” Adding that “much of the hunting media … is merely recreation.”

They were bending backwards to pander to their hunting buddies, because Alito pointed out that a simple exception could’ve been added to sanctify hunting. But now, Americans have the legal right to make money off of inhumane animal torture; and your right to kill whatever you want, however you want, has been protected!

Cat Koehn, Fall Creek