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Letters to the Editor 9-8-2016

PLEASE IGNORE MY PRIVATE $2 BILLION FOUNDATION

On Aug. 21 The New York Times reported the Clinton Foundation has raised about $2 billion since 1997.

 Apparently “truth” bends in the direction of money, a shiny pot of gold that just happens to have the Clinton Foundation address at rainbow’s end.

Most Americans are not convinced this “amazing coincidence” isn’t a conflict of interest.

Foundations and influence peddling will be Hillary Clinton's Achilles heel way beyond any of the Benghazi intrigue.

Nearly all foundations and think tanks are basically tax loopholes and shell corporations.

Same-minded family and friends snuggle on “the big dole” — the public illusion is philanthropy.

How much exactly is Chelsea Clinton paid by the “Clinton” Foundation? Oh. Never mind! She must earn every penny. 

How often are the Hoover or Cato institutes actually correct in their foreign policy ideology? Maybe the G.W. Bush Foundation should study that minor foreign policy issue.

America has been marched off to war and precious ground water “fracked” — all based on “ biased opinion” — peddled as gospel truth.

Foundations with ambiguous mission statements sound good… but what actually happens behind those golden doors shouldn’t be a tax write-off and money playground for the 2 percent club.

It’s their world — we apparently just live in it.

Glenn Jones, Eugene

 

ODE TO EAGLE PARK

Sometime in the late 1990s I began printing stickers with the moniker “Ain’t No Time to Hate” for Eagle Park Slim. Looking through my records last week, I found that I had reprinted them 16 times. That’s about 15,000 stickers that Slim distributed, along with several hundred “Peace Through Music” bumper stickers. 

Slim was a serious purveyor of peace, love and understanding.

Herb Everett, Eugene

 

FOOD WASTE IN SCHOOLS

As kids are heading back to school, I hope you will print this letter written by my mother before her recent passing:

“As a substitute teacher in Eugene-Springfield for more than 20 years, I have worked at many different schools from K-12 and have seen a problem that urgently needs to be addressed!

"It’s lovely that many schools teach kids to recycle and reduce waste. But it’s shocking and saddening to see that kids are wasting food. Lots of food. Sometimes I am on cafeteria duty during lunchtime so I observe how much kids are eating and what is being thrown away. For example, an apple with one bite, half a hamburger, an untouched kiwi, milk with only a few sips taken. Sometimes kids don’t like their food. Sometimes the portion is too big. Sometimes the kids are in a hurry to get to recess. Sometimes they eat the junk and toss the healthy stuff. Whatever the reason for dumping and wasting food, please — teachers, principals, parents, PTA — help your school to figure out a simple remedy! Wasting food is shameful and sends a hypocritical message to kids who are being taught to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’”

 

Tara Delgado, Springfield

EDITOR'S NOTE: This letter was written by Truleen M. Delgado and submitted on her behalf by her daughter.

 

 

MURAL QUESTION

I want to thank all of you who are responsible for the new Beau Stanton mural on the side of the McDonald Theatre in downtown Eugene. It is a massive and beautiful work of art. Beau Stanton is a top-notch artist, and Eugene is privileged to have such an incredible piece of his art.

But …

With all of the incredibly talented artists in Eugene, the surrounding area and in the state of Oregon, why did they bring an artist all the way from New York City?

I am happy Beau Stanton will be eating well, but I would have preferred to see that kind of investment made in our local artists community.

Sam Dantone, Florence

 

CHEMTRAIL MEETUP

I am writing in response to the letter submitted and printed in the Aug. 25 issue of EW.

I too have viewed, sometimes on a daily basis, a regular and routine lying of lines in our skies. I live out near Spencer Butte and sometimes it is atrocious. The sky at times is a “white out” within an hour.

I have been following this (with many others in Eugene now) for more than 15 years. I have written the FAA, EPA, Obama and our congressmen and senators. I have gotten a “brush off” response and sometimes no answer at all.

I attended a conference in Redding, California, last year and more than 1,000 people from around the U.S. showed up about this phenomena. Nicolas S. Andersen is not the only person in Eugene that is now beginning to look up!

I am holding a forum 6 to 10 pm Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Eugene Garden Club for anyone interested in knowing more about what might be going on over our heads. I will have a documentary filmmaker from Southern Oregon present for a PowerPoint presentation and answer people’s questions. 

Susan Klein, Eugene

 

MORE CHEMTRAILS

In regard to last week’s letter about chemtrails, I am glad to finally see something about this subject in a newspaper. 

Last year, at the beginning of the school year, when I was taking my daughter to school, I saw tic-tac-toe in the sky: chemtrails. For many days in a row they were spraying. I called Peter DeFazio’s office several times trying to get some answers. What I got from them was a letter on official congressional letterhead signed by Peter DeFazio, with the following astounding response: There is no scientific evidence that chemtrails exist. 

If you see a suspicious airplane and “contrail” in the sky, take a picture of the plane, including the identification number on the airplane and what make of plane it is, what direction and location the plane is flying, as well as the camera make and lens that you use to photograph.

Whoever wrote that letter must have been a comedian. Keep your eyes on the skies, folks!

Mike Walrath, Deadwood

 

MONEY AND POWER

In response to Mike Miller’s letter titled “Love to Law Enforcement” in the EW, circulated July 21:  It’s not funny how you divide our community into two categories. I am also a law-abiding citizen, with a different view of the men and women that have quietly removed the “To Serve and Protect” from their expensive vehicles. 

At the end of June, I had my vehicle unlawfully impounded for not carrying proof of insurance. Did you know that impounding a vehicle for no insurance is against federal code, Oregon state statute and the Eugene Municipal Code? Only under strict exceptions is it allowed. After your transportation is taken, you have five calendar days to request a hearing to contest the validity of the tow. 

At the bottom of the fine print that explains this, you are then threatened with court costs in the event of your being ruled against. I won mine. Then I won the trial to have my citations dismissed. No probable cause or the lesser, reasonable suspicion to stop my vehicle. Law-abiding citizen, single mother victimized by officers that either don’t have a knowledge of our basic laws or have a complete systematic disregard for justice.

Actually, my vehicle was impounded after I denied a search of my vehicle with their drug dog. (Keep in mind that I have no criminal record and this is our tax dollars hard at work.) I am aware of my right to privacy, guaranteed to me under the U.S. Constitution’s 4th Amendment, and I value and protect my right and responsibility to invoke it. 

Even if I had a criminal record and was on parole or probation, I am guaranteed my right to privacy protected by the Oregon Constitution, Article 1 Section 9. Know your rights or you don’t have any!

I believe our law enforcement has divided this community into two categories: their “income” and their “inmates.”  Not that it matters which side we are on — it’s all money and power to them, and we allow it. Especially, when we have people already reducing other citizens’ rights and life to naught for their legal system.

The only time I’ve had my car stolen is by the Eugene Police Department, with assistance of the implied threat of intimidation with a badge that should deserve a little respect.

Melissa N. Hite, Eugene

 

UNWISE CANDIDATE

Hillary’s obvious FBI-proven dishonesty with its hints of corruption could harm artists and other liberals as much as conservatives.  This is because you cannot trust her word, and so you cannot know what she may try next — perhaps censorship, or other oppressive measures.

Certainly taxation has not been helpful to small-scale entrepreneurs, nor has government spending particularly helped the poor, since we have more problems than ever.  Her history of poor judgment over the years as a public servant is not very encouraging.  

Of all the wonderful, intelligent, ethical women available to head our government, Democrats have chosen their candidate most unwisely.

J. Robert Burger, Eugene

 

 

FAN THE FLAMES OF DEMOCRACY

Tuesday’s (Aug. 30) 5-0 vote from the Lane County commissioners to revoke a proposed ordinance that would have allowed them veto power over ballot initiatives is due, in large part, to Lane County residents’ outrage and pressure. Through letters to the editor, calls to commissioners, attendance at the commissioners’ meetings and donations to the cause (democracy isn’t free), we are witnessing democracy in action!

Our work is far from over. The commissioners are slated to revisit their proposed ordinance within six months. And we know the opposition will not go “gently into that good night.” 

Attorney Stan Long has promised to sue the county if the commissioners do not cave to the will of corporate special interests. We must continue in defense of the people’s constitutionally protected right to the initiative process. 

So, let’s fan the flames of direct democracy and celebrate the power of the people. You can do this by gathering signatures at freedomfromaerialherbicides.org and by donating money. Let’s pledge our vigilance to protecting the people’s rights! 

Let’s continue our march toward a healthy democracy. And thanks to all of you for your hard work and tenacity.

Michelle Holman, Community Rights Lane County, Deadwood

 

COME TO CLIMATE RECOVERY LAWSUIT 

As parents and grandparents we have an amazing opportunity to be involved in history! At 10 am Tuesday, Sept. 13, 21 brave youth plaintiffs will appear in a landmark constitutional climate recovery lawsuit against the federal government here in Eugene. 

The youth’s case is based on constitutional and public trust principles and seeks a nationwide, science-based Climate Recovery Plan on behalf of all present and future generations.

What you can do is show up, attend the hearing and bring your children and your grandchildren. Arrive between 8 and 9 am. The hearing will be at the Federal Court Building, 405 E. 8th Ave., and plan to arrive in plenty of time to cheer the youth and their attorneys as they enter the building. 

It is also important for District Judge Ann Aiken to witness our tremendous public support for the plaintiffs and for this to be reported by local and national media. A good turnout is really important.

Another opportunity to support these courageous youth will happen on the eve of the hearing by attending a blessing vigil. The event will take place at the Federal Court Building 6 pm Monday, Sept. 12.

“Granny” Laurie Granger, Raging Grannies Eugene

 

PETITION DISCOURSE 

As an individual collecting signatures for two initiatives now in circulation, I don’t understand some residents’ urgency to spare me the time, energy and resources I put into signature gathering for fear these initiatives could get thrown out by a court after they pass.

Your concerns are misplaced.

I circulate petitions because I believe these initiatives should be law in Lane County, but just as importantly, I circulate them because doing so is democracy in action. 

With a petition in my hand, I get to talk to fellow voters concerning issues about which many of us care or should care. I get to inform folks about our right as voters to write and pass laws that our government won’t pass for us. I get to share my own perspective and hear others about important issues in my community.

I am fully prepared for the reality that these initiatives may not qualify for the ballot or that they will be thrown out. That, too, is how democracy works.

The political discourse is what makes democratic ideals flourish. This is how We the People learn to communicate about hard issues, to listen to each other’s ideas, to think for ourselves and teach our children about what democracy looks like — all of which is the very purpose of the initiative and referendum powers protected by the Oregon Constitution.

What we all should be concerned about is losing our rights of direct democracy at the hands of our government.

Let the initiatives be circulated.

 Justin Workman, Blachly

 

THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS 

A recent threat to sue Lane County — advanced by William Gray of Harrang Long Gary Rudnick on behalf of Stan Long — is a blatant effort to weaken the people’s initiative power and to strengthen the role of government in overseeing our local democracy.

While refrains calling for the county to “follow the law” are valid, the truth is that a narrow look at “the law” is not always the best way uphold community values, truth or justice.

Rather, we must hold fast to bedrock principles that have been codified in our Oregon and U.S. Constitution protecting our rights to free speech, free association and to circulate petitions to advance public discourse and government reform.

The initiative and referendum powers have their roots in the Populist Movement of the latee eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when a mistrust of government ran high, not unlike today. Why then would we stand by, let alone endorse, former government attorneys and government officials deciding for us what the people’s law-making powers look like.

The people’s interests and rights are best served by honoring the protected values of the initiative and referendum powers — direct democracy, circulation of petitions, public discussions and voting.

Let’s not let our government decide for us what we can think, endorse, oppose, discuss or vote on. That is the people’s business.

Eron King, Blachly

 

PREVENTING BIKE THEFT

I’ve had another bike stolen, my daughter’s blue 20-inch Gary Fisher mountain bike. When we have a bike stolen, we tend to blame ourselves. I know I do.

While individual theft is not a major crime, collectively it’s a criminal industry. We have a national reputation as being “worse than New York” when it comes to bike theft, and not much to extrapolate that this reputation affects our local economy.

As a community, we could end bike theft if we wanted to. We should register our bikes with Bike Index, a Portland-based website — and it’s cool, as I learned when I read “Bike Batman” online from Outside magazine. The city could have a dedicated bike-theft police officer. Most of all, we could refuse to buy stolen bikes.

Ask for serial numbers and check them against the Bike Index website. If bicyclists begin demanding serial numbers, then legit sellers will provide them. Just because it’s on Craigslist or some untraceable picture-only website does not mean it isn’t a stolen bike. 

We can’t have it both ways: getting that “too-good-to-be-true” deal and wanting a community free of bike theft. Consumers drive the economy.

Otis Haschemeyer, Eugene

 

CORPORATE CHEMICALS

The McDonald’s Corporation, which is largely responsible for obesity in children, now has a problem in its campaign to discredit the innuendoes that it is not concerned about public health. 

The Big-Hearted Mac distributed free fitness bracelets of dubious worth that were laced with poisons causing a rash of complaints.

Walmart faced similar charges for importing lead-infused Crayola crayons decades ago. Nothing has changed, including public apathy. Sleep on it.

Vince Loving, Eugene

 

CLINTON AND SYRIA

As prospective coronation of the “Queen of Chaos” draws closer, familiar leader-demonizing and atrocity-image propaganda of dubious origin about Syrian President Assad increases.

At our mid-August annual Veterans for Peace convention, our vice president reported following a recent delegation to Syria meeting a broad cross-section of Syrian citizens and organizations, that — as polls, the 2014 election and honest visiting journalists confirm — President Assad is widely respected and trusted to protect their secular government and institutions from wanton destruction by the U.S. and NATO as befell Iraq and Libya. Our media, as usual, lies.

Syria has a long-established parliament, a 2012-revised constitution approved by 89 percent of the electorate and protection of religious and ethnic minorities which Syrians fear is gravely threatened by outside terrorist mercenaries recruited with Saudi/Qatar funding, U.S. Special Forces training, Israel lobby pressure in Washington and Turkish logistic support.

A terrible drought struck Syria in 2006, forcing some 1.5 million rural residents into cities already overwhelmed by providing sanctuary to nearly 2 million Iraqi and Palestinian refugees created by the U.S. and Israel. As conditions worsened, Assad requested U.S. help, which was ignored by Hillary Clinton’s State Department, which instead assembled forces to opportunistically attack a crippled state innocent of any aggression against us.

After NATO’s destruction of Libya urged by Clinton’s State Department, its arsenals were looted and shipped from Benghazi to arm more than 100,000 mercenaries to launch yet another so-called “civil war.”

Please vote to protect the many Syrians, Ukrainians and others abroad in our imperial crosshairs who cannot vote. Cancel the coronation. Jill Stein will be an honest, rational and ethical woman chief executive.

Jack Dresser, Al-Nakba Awareness Project, Springfield

 

POLITICAL HACKERS

On hacking the election: A question is, which hackers will win and what side will that group favor? It is expected they will have the most fun hacking the computers back and forth in the U.S. state of Georgia, which uses old computers without any paper trail.

Helen Woodford, Eugene

 

 

PRAGMATIC PROGRESSIVE

In response to a recent letter which hammered Mrs. Clinton and endorsed the Green Party’s idealistic Dr. Jill Stein: We are preparing to elect a working president, not the paradigm of a platonic republic. That means in real-life politics (and in profound consequences) either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Clinton has made mistakes (admitted), changed her mind (explained) and switched many tracks in a long career bombarded by the Fox-Koch-Limbaugh defamation machine. They hate her because she has survived as a committed, pragmatic progressive. 

FDR was also a zig-zagging but positive “opportunist,” and in an initially skeptical piece (Sept. New Republic) Jeet Heer concluded that “Clinton may yet wind up in the history books as an FDR for our times.” 

Our first and greatly experienced female president will have Sanders, Kaine, Warren, Biden, the Obamas, Dean, Buffett, Kerry, Steinem, etc., to help her stay true as a constructive leader (also a savvy ex-president who can make his final contribution).

Her only serious if not credible opponent is Trump, a malignant mutant of egomania, a truth-killing con man. He has pitched his gaudy circus tent over angry, scared, ignorant, often bigoted people who crave a subversive spectacle, not a viable leader. This confirms Norman Mailer’s insight (1960) that most political slummers are “in the game not to make history but to be diverted from the history which is being made.”

You can cast a futurist “protest” vote for Stein or Gary Johnson. Or, facing urgent reality, you can vote for our common benefit. Clinton may not light up the stars of your dreams, but she will do a great deal that we absolutely need. 

The necessary work begins on Nov. 8 by electing Clinton and ending the sham and shame of Trump.

D.C. Elliott, Eugene