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Letters to the Editor: 6-5-2014

INHUMANE INDUSTRY

Diana Huntington’s May 29 letter “Blood In The Water” is spot on. Anyone who claims to be an environmentalist and/or “animal lover” can no longer in good conscience continue to support the single industry responsible for such unspeakable levels of animal cruelty and major contributions toward the demise of the planet. 

Cowspiracy, a new documentary slated to be released this month, delves into the destructive world of animal agriculture, an industry that most environmental groups have remarkably chosen to ignore despite the fact it is, as Cowspiracy indicates, the leading cause of global warming, water depletion, deforestation, species extinction and ocean dead zones. 

The time to acknowledge the inconvenient truth surrounding animal agribusiness is now. No matter how much greenwashing is attempted, it’s an inhumane, unsustainable industry.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever for each of us to make positive changes by weaning ourselves off of animal-based products. Animal-free alternatives are plentiful, and more appear in the marketplace all the time. It’s the wave of the future — it has to be in order for the planet to survive — and there’s no time like the present to jump onto the bandwagon. To view a trailer of Cowspiracy, see cowspiracy.com.

Barb Lomow, Eugene

 

EW SWIMSUIT ISSUE

Years ago, when asked about the acting ability of football-great-turned-thespian Jim Brown, Academy Award winner Lee Marvin replied, “Well, he’s a better actor than Laurence Olivier would be a fullback for the Cleveland Browns.” By the same token, I am pleased to note that EW does covers for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue (May 29) a lot better than SI would do liberal rag political commentary. You are to be commended.

 Mike Kopf, Eugene

 

90 GUN DEATHS A DAY

I stand by Richard Martinez, the father of a 20-year-old UC Santa Barbara student who was one of six people killed by a gunman in Isla Vista, Calif. He got it exactly right. Americans are dying every day because of the corporate gun lobby and the politicians it has in its pocket.

Real solutions exist that are supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans — solutions that would prevent many of the 90 gun deaths that happen in our nation every day. And yet the gun lobby relentlessly blocks progress toward every commonsense solution. It gives substantial sums of money to buy politicians to ignore the will and well being of the American people — by opposing expanded background checks and calling research into gun violence “unethical.” These politicians don’t care who is buying guns — convicted felons, domestic abusers, rapists — just as long as the gun lobby is happily making the biggest possible profit.

It’s time for the American public to know the truth about why people are dying every day and, thanks to Americans like Martinez, that truth is starting to be heard.

Tragically, it becomes more essential every day that we Americans rise up and show the courage and rage that Mr. Martinez has, and call out the gun lobby and the ‘craven’ politicians who do their bidding. We must be committed to making the voice of the American public heard and preventing every act of gun violence until we make this the safer nation we all want.

Ken Barnhart, Springfield

 

BIOLOGICAL DISASTER

I found Kara Huntermoon’s letter (“The Power of Sexism,” 5/29) a great example of why these sexual incidents between adolescent young adults continue generation after generation without resolve.

Men and women are different animals. The first decade after puberty consists of very different developments in boys and girls. Two areas that belie these striking differences are sexuality and communications. Boys have a hormone spike in late adolescence that amplifies sexuality and aggression. Girls have a more steady development, peaking in the late 20s, with no equivalent testosterone-driven aggression. While boys have earlier sexual growth, they tend to lag behind girls in emotional development. What a formula for disaster.

Communication differences? Where does one begin? Male lexicon is filled with, “what do women want?”; “they say no when they mean yes.”; “they expect us to read their minds.” I’ll let women describe their complaints about men’s communications, but a common one is our perceived inability to communicate, especially on an emotional level.

I cannot read the accounts of the latest UO sex incident without seeing these sex/ communication conflicts all over the story. And Huntermoon describing women as always the victim, never responsible for their actions, and it always being the fault of male sexism does not bring us closer to resolution. 

She says, “All young men need to be taught.” Taught by whom? Most boys are raised by a mother. Is it their fault for boys turning out to be the sexist/perpetrator/ rapist Huntermoon attributes to all males?

How about if, starting at puberty, we begin teaching girls and boys about the real differences, beyond simple anatomy? How to avoid miscommunications; how sex is really different; how equality doesn’t mean we’re the same; and how to attain mutual respect through understanding our differences.

Jim Stauffer, Eugene

 

WHERE TO PUT MEN

It was recently suggested that since rapes at Oregon colleges go back to the 1960s and occur nationwide, women who plan to go to college should attend a women’s school and stop putting themselves in such a bad environment. 

Wow! Excellent idea! Make UO an all-women’s school to ensure that women are safe from rape and other sexual assaults and harassment! Kudos! I have long believed that since men commit the overwhelming numbers of rapes, assaults and violent crimes against women, as well as men, their activities (rather than women’s) should be restricted.

But where are the men to be educated? Perhaps in some remote location, where chances of their misbehavior are lessened? However, any location considered would, no doubt, be met by a case of NIMBY as the locals reacted in fear, as they frequently do to sitings of prisons, drug and alcohol treatment programs and mental health facilities.

Think of the possibilities: women safe to walk safely at night, fewer drunken parties bothering the neighbors, fewer traffic jams on the freeway and around town! Fans could turn their attention to less violent sports; women’s soccer, basketball and baseball, among others, would flourish. I’m sure Phil Knight would willingly fund a Nike University in another location.

Thanks for the suggestion! I was expecting another “boys will be boys” or “she was asking for it” comment. It was refreshing to see a positive suggestion for change to help women.

S.M. Connolly, Eugene

 

UNLEASHED HORROR

I would like to personally thank [Mayor] Kitty [Piercy] for her welcoming of the homeless. While many are harmless, there are several that tend to survive by thievery. Many Eugeneans can attest to stolen bikes, stolen trailers and endless stolen possessions.

Yes, the unfortunate should be considered when making a future city plan: housing, medical benefits, a simple place to sleep. Yet my son, only 14, attempted to enjoy a Saturday skateboarding when his backpack was stolen. I attempted to help him recover his pack by walking the river path. What a disgusting endeavor I encountered. Human waste, needles, garbage and the lot littering our beloved greenway. 

I invite Kitty to investigate the horror she has unleashed on our city. How close is the nearest homeless camp to her estate? Perhaps I will gather their remains and dump it near City Hall. 

Jeffrey Bode, Eugene

 

WEAKENING BARRIERS

Being houseless does not mean that one does not have a home. Where do you feel that you belong? Having compassion does not mean that one is weak. What do you see through the eyes of another soul? When you put your heart into the vessel of a stranger and feel, the barriers that create greed and fear get weaker. Everyone is different, but it’s important to remember that we are all connected. 

Kelly Wilson, Eugene

 

ORGANIC POT LABEL?

In some parts of Oregon, recently passed laws are permitting some of us to feel quite liberated as local publications freely display advertisements of green entrepreneurs ready to stand out among the rest. 

Remember that although some U.S. states have legalized the use and sale of cannabis, it is still considered federally illegal and therefore cannot be certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). Marijuana is not eligible for USDA organic certification because it is not a federally recognized agricultural crop. Under USDA NOP regulation  205.100, what has to be certified:

 “(c) Any operation that: (1) Knowingly sells or labels a product as organic, except in accordance with the Act, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $11,000 per violation.”

The USDA NOP is a federally affiliated certification program whose regulations are not to be taken lightly. The use of the term “organic,” when describing an agricultural product, comes with a hefty price and places a higher premium on its products than their conventional competitors. Therefore the USDA does take enforcement actions when deemed appropriate.

There is, however, an established third-party certification program that is modeled after the USDA National Organic Program and is now available for OMMP producers and handlers. See the Clean Green Certified Program at CleanGreenCert.com. 

If you run a dispensary or grow operation why raise another issue that might bring greater scrutiny to your operation? For that reason it might be wise to avoid using the “O” word altogether. 

Rebecca Brown, Eugene

 

DELAY TRAIN WRECK

Now I know how hostage negotiators feel. I speak in calm, measured tones to the guy with his gun on the little girl’s head, but my heart is racing while I pray I can slow things down long enough for the nut-ball to realize he shouldn’t pull the trigger.

That is how it feels at the Sick Leave Task Force meetings. It is painfully obvious that several members of the task force and the city council have made their decisions and no amount of input or reasoning from business owners with 20, 30, 40 years of experience or anyone else is going to keep them from pulling the trigger. Uncomfortable facts and experience have no place at the table. This is part of a dream come true: Business owners are forced by law to pay employees not to come to work. It’s the exact right time to be an unreliable employee.

We have the perfect opportunity to wait and see how Portland’s version of this plays out. Let’s slow the F down. When low-income workers start getting laid off to pay for this speeding train wreck, maybe Councilor Claire Syrett and a couple others will help pay unemployment benefits.

 Brian Palmer

Eugene

 

NO ROOM FOR HATE

I’m a little disappointed that the letter “Too Late to Repent” was even printed in your May 15 publication. I guess the editor just wanted to show that this kind of close-minded hate still exists in our local area. I bet Lon Miller is saying some prayers today for all those “sinners” and “perverts” who were able to finally get married this past week after the monumental decision to lift the ban on same-sex marriages in Oregon. 

It really boggles my mind that people can be so hurtful toward others who live a different lifestyle, and then call themselves Christians and cite the Bible to justify their hate. I would look in the mirror, my friend, and ask yourself if you really believe that the Almighty is casting anyone into the Lake of Fire to burn for eternity, for loving another human?

God bless you, Lon, for you know not what you do.

Jenevie Wiest, Eugene

 

BAGPIPES IN KOREA

By chance, my wife Silvi and I drove by a site where the local Scottish Highlanders were performing. We stopped to listen. It was thrilling and exciting. It evoked memories for me of one of the special moments I had while in Korea half a century ago. 

I was at the reviewing stand in Seoul to describe on the air the 4th of July parade held by South Korea with U.S. forces. On the stand was the Korean president (dictator) Syngman Rhee and his caucasian wife. She was Austrian, and her 6-foot-2-inch frame towered over his 5-foot-5-inch height. 

At one point there was a lull in the passing parade. Then we could hear the faint sounds of bagpipes coming around the bend but still out of sight. When they approached the reviewing stand, with pipes blaring and snare drums rattling, it was an unforgettable moment. They were in kilts that waved in the breeze, and they were led by a big drum major wearing a leopard skin and holding a massive sword up in front of him. A sight not to be forgotten, as I have not. 

These were the Cameron Highlanders from the Scottish U.N. detachment, and I later went up north to their campsite for a series of interviews with the sound of bagpipes in the background. I hope it is among the reel-to-reel tapes I long ago brought back with me, and which I will monitor when I can find an old reel-to-reel player.

George Beres, Eugene