BASIC RIGHTS ISSUE
Eugene liberals, where art thou? As of this writing (Sunday, Dec. 16) the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, repeat, Free Speech Plaza, has been legally closed by the county for, so far, six days following totally unsubstantiated health charges against SLEEPS who were protesting local anti-homeless laws there.
SLEEPS was charged with trespassing and one nonviolent protester was arrested. So now, it’s just a First Amendment issue. Period. If you want to protest a war, or a budget cut at the plaza, you can’t. If you want to stand there in protest, silently honoring slain children, you can’t.
If you want a rally for gun control, you can’t have it at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza. It’s closed. It has a barricade around it. Wayne Morse’s statue looks down on his empty plaza.
Come on liberals, I thought this was your scene. Get out there. And all you old hippy/liberals get out there again, dammit. This is First Amendment stuff. Basic. And this is local (and check out SLEEPS while you’re at it).
Peace in hard times,
Walker T. Ryan, Eugene
EDITOR’S NOTE: The fence around the plaza was removed Dec. 17. See News Briefs.
SPEECHLESS IN EUGENE
I understand Lane County workers are right now (Dec. 14) “cleaning up” after the eviction of homeless protestors from the former Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza. (The plaza will now be renamed I assume.)
What a waste of money! I saw the plaza after the protestors left the first time on Wednesday, and it looked fine to me. Keep in mind, people walk on the plaza all the time, wearing shoes, which unless they are brand new, have probably passed through or over spit, mud, cigarette butts and possibly dog or cat poop at some time or another.
Why are the Lane County commissioners allowing Administrator Liane Richardson to spend our tax dollars in this terrible act of symbolic disgust at the homeless?
Vickie Nelson, Eugene
Another slaughter, this time in Connecticut, and again there are dead children. Now we’ll all ask how or why an individual can take up a gun, systematically line up a target in its sights, and rend life indiscriminately from his fellow human beings. We’ll hear how, before the killings, the shooter seemed either entirely normal, dangerously unhinged, or somewhere inbetween. We’ll hear debates as to who should have seen the trouble signs and what could have been done to prevent it.
We’ll hear guns villainized and we’ll hear guns canonized, but one question must be answered: How many people will need to die in these senseless, gruesome massacres, before those who oppose eliminating or severely restricting guns in our society will finally agree that opposition to gun control can be explained no more easily than can the reasoning of the killer?
Ed McLaughlin, Eugene
LET TEACHERS CARRY
As I recoil in horror and try not to cry at the very thought of what just happened in Connecticut, would all of the sane adults in the room please stand up and acknowledge that murderous, psychotic animals will always find ways to murder children in bunches with or without guns? I will let you use your imagination. Just read the news if you have no imagination.
Now, would all of the liberal teachers in the room who are gun-haters and would take them all away from law-abiding citizens, if given the chance, please stand up and explain to the rest of us why you would rather cower in a corner with your precious babies, our precious babies, and risk being slaughtered alongside them like bleating sheep?
If I lost a child to a craven, murderous coward, but knew her teacher died shooting back, maybe, just maybe, I could someday go on.
Quit giving teachers apples. Let them carry.
Brian Palmer, Eugene
‘TIS THE SEASON
Like every year, I pause to ponder the signs going up around town. Ones like, “Put Christ back in Christmas’ and “Jesus, the Reason for the Season,” to name a couple. I find them very interesting because Christ has never had anything to do with Christmas (check your Bible. I have yet to find “Christmas” or an indication that He was born then. In fact scientists have proven He was born earlier, probably in September or October during the Biblical feast of Sukkot). Don’t take my word for it, check your Bible, and Google “origin of Christmas.”
To participate in a festival is to give honor to that festival’s deity. I do not think the God of the Bible likes Christmas, a holiday steeped in pagan history. As for the “reason for the season’? I think the “Luanne” cartoon in The Register-Guard last week came closest to hitting the nail on the head. It depicted a drawing of Christmas lights on a house roof in the shape of a dollar sign. The character explains he simply followed his mother’s directions to portray the season’s meaning. He did not choose Christ. Google it. Research it. Think about it.
Rich Peters, Lowell
SOAKED IN POISONS
On 12/12/12 I walked to Beyond Toxics’ open house and at last found where I belong. Many human beings who are sick and tired of being poisoned with chemicals, on our food, in our water, along our highways and now even our own front yards i.e.: “A road to paradise soaked in poisons” Lisa Arkin in the Nov. 29 EW special insert.
When are all people going to realize that we cannot eat perfectly manicured lawns, sprayed with Roundup and synthetic fertilizers (which have fumes that travel 400 meters)? How deeply saddened I have become to explain to my 2-year-old little girl why she can’t walk barefoot in the grass at our parks, why she must not eat the blackberries along the river and bike paths. Why is it not a law to have to post where sprays are administered?
Get your noses out of your poisoned rose bushes and write your county and state reps, write to big business like Costco, Bi-Mart, Home Depot, etc. and demand that our general safety comes first! Remove these chemicals, sprays, herbicides, pesticides from inside our stores where are food is stored. Roundup does not belong next to food storage bags! Would you eat fertilizer?
This is up to us as a whole and our children’s future is in our hands! Stop dreaming of a world with out toxics, no one can change it but us. Please support Beyond Toxics and its mission to protect human and environmental health.
Heide Kost, Eugene
Thank you, Ms. Breitenstein, for sharing the tragic story of “Little Black Cat” [Letters, 11/21]. Your compassion and your wise suggestions for preventing such suffering are restorative for everyone who read your letter. You demonstrate Albert Schweitzer’s “Reverence for Life”; “We are life which wills to live in the midst of life which wills to live.”
Your words remind me of those written by E.M. Forster:
I believe in aristocracy … not an aristocracy of power based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate … its members are to be found in all nations and classes and all through the ages and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos.
The “aristocracy” of humane people in our community thank you for reminding us we are not alone in our consciousness of animal suffering. I pray that our numbers will grow; that someday there will be, mercifully, no more “little black cats.”
Kathryn Husted Mason, Ph.D., Eugene
TIME FOR FLASHLIGHTS
Isn’t this the third rate raise EWEB has imposed in less than two years? They just raised the rates this last summer.
I’m wondering if they got a ton of stimulus money to hand out new light bulbs and encourage conservation of energy. They are concerned with profit, not going green.
People don’t have the option to go elsewhere. EWEB has the monopoly. It’s extortion. Read your electric bill and be prepared to be shocked. Observe all the charges. I reduced my usage by two-thirds and it hardly made a dent on my bill. Raising flat rates means paying more and getting less. It’s insane.
This is where people on a limited income are forced to choose between food and heat. I dream of the day I’m off the grid entirely. We should all go out and turn off some of our breakers. Keep the refrigerator on, get some flashlights and use our camping equipment.
People should be outraged.
Linda Kelley, Eugene
GOOD-BYE, CRUEL WORLD
The long count Mayan calendar ends Dec. 21, 2012. Is this the end of the world as we know it? I certainly hope so! The end of sociopathic greed and violence that allows mass starvation, sickness and death from wars over scarcity, lack of clean water, food and decent shelter, sounds good to me. There are also countless species threatened with extinction as their habitats are being logged, mined, over fished and filled with poisons. Why? So people can have a second and third homes, private jets, more gadgets to play with, more gas guzzling toys?
I am visualizing that on Dec. 22 a new consciousness predominates, one of love, peace and sharing. The end of fear of “other.” Our brothers and sisters need us to make sacrifices for them and the future generations of all life on this beautiful planet Earth. Let’s expand our family and embrace the concept of universal oneness. Peace on Earth.
Pamela Driscoll, Dexter
I was very disappointed to read a letter [“The 12 R’s,” 11/21] in an open-minded paper that accused the [Republican] party that for a long time fought to end racism in this country. Some of other accusations this letter writer tried to levy on large portion of our country are ridiculous and reminds me why I remain independent. I will not stoop to lame party politics that continue to divide our country instead of coming together. But you all keep slinging mud and let the rest of us solve the problems.
Sean McFarland, Eugene
THE SAFE HOUSE
Out buy 11 am and in by noon. One of the inmates released Thursday, Nov. 29, distinguished himself by robbing a bank — but not for the money, I surmise. Finding himself on the streets, out in the rain with no particular place to go. Craving security and a little peace of mind and with affordable accommodation readily available he choose to see if he could return to his previous place of unemployment. And, as fringe benefit, he didn’t even have to make a reservation.
Vince Loving, Eugene
CARING EQUALS FREEDOM
I know that we are a caring nation and that we know that we bear joint responsibility for one another and for all our children. President Obama voiced our belief that “Our first task (is) caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.”
Democracy, as the president has said, begins with the people taking care of one another responsibly, through government, as an instrument of freedom. Unless we take care of one another and one another’s children, we can’t get democracy and freedom right. Joint responsibility for one another and all our children = freedom.
Christopher Michaels, Eugene