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Letters to the Editor 2017-02-02

HONORING ED COLEMAN

The Black Student Union and the contingent that supported it during the recent process to consider renaming Deady Hall at the University of Oregon now has the opportunity to put its own stamp on history and the UO campus.

The new Black Student Center will need a name. I propose that the person most deserving of that honor would be the late Dr. Edwin L. Coleman II.

Coleman’s list of achievements is far too long to list here, so please research his lifetime contributions to our university, city, state and country. It would be difficult to find anyone who is more deserving than Edwin Coleman.

Mary Lou Vignola, Eugene

 

SINGLE PAYER OREGON

After years of promising to do away with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Republicans have their chance. Their attempts will create a different set of winners and losers as big insurance crafts a for-profit business plan that will have little to do with health and much to do with the corporate bottom line.

Inevitably the model fails because of the large segments of the population that will be left to fend for themselves. Insurance corporations’ insistence to keep their hands in the health care money pot will be the downfall of the GOP attempt.

You might be surprised to learn that the answer is waiting in the wings in Oregon in 2020. A dedicated array of doctors, nurses, health professionals, business men and women, and thousands of citizens of all ages have been tirelessly organizing for a health care system that serves everyone in Oregon — that is equitable, affordable and able to provide high-quality universal health care, all while saving millions of dollars by employing a Medicare for All (single payer) system.

Please get used to the concept of single payer and research the success of countries that have employed it for decades. Visit the Health Care for All Oregon website at hcao.org and get involved.

When the time comes we will need every enlightened vote to overcome the vested interests and misleading advertisements authorized by Big Insurance and their corporate and political allies like those that helped defeat a similar measure in Colorado this year.

Stuart Henderson, Florence

 

PRINCIPAL APOLOGIZES

I would like to take this opportunity to address the recent events that have been prevalent in our local media this past week. I know there is likely nothing I can say which will alleviate this situation; however, I would like to offer a full public apology for my recent behavior.

People are completely justified to feel outraged, saddened and dismayed by my disrespectful and inappropriate conduct. While I never intended my words to be heard publicly, they should have never been said in the first place.

I take full responsibility and make no excuse for my actions, other than to say I am a human being, flawed and not infallible. I must become a better person moving forward.

I am deeply ashamed that I have hurt students and the people who trusted me to lead, and failed to serve in the capacity that was expected of me. I am deeply sorry to everyone who has been affected by what I’ve done.

This has also been a valuable lesson for me, and I hope also for others, that nothing is really private, and all words and actions can have consequences, sometimes severe.

Now, the healing process begins. Creswell and Pleasant Hill high schools each have a great team of adults whose strengths will be needed to bring students and families together to rise above this and move on. I must also work on rebuilding my life with my own family, as we are greatly affected by this situation as well.

Thank you for allowing me to share these thoughts with you and for helping each other work through this difficult time.

Andy Bracco, Eugene

 

SUPPORT WATER PROTECTORS

We can all do one small thing to help stop the DAPL. We have until Feb. 20 to respond to the Army Corps of Engineers’ EIS Notice of Intent, which will establish the scope of the EIS.

Send public comments to: Mr. Gib Owen at gib.a.owen.civ@mailmil, and on the subject line put “NOI Comments, Dakota Access Pipeline Crossing.”

Points to make: The “no-action” alternative is not realistic; it should assume that the oil is not extracted.

Federal agencies have been directed to evaluate the direct and indirect, the long- and the short-term climate change impacts through the EIS process. Please do so.

Evaluate all oil spill effects, including the likelihood of those that will happen during the entire lifetime of the pipeline.

Stopping the DAPL is a long shot, given Trump’s determination, but this is the least we can do to support the valiant water protectors. For more information, see ecowatch.com for 1.27.17 or Yesmagazine.org/people-power/Dont-let-Trump-Distract-you. Public comment on DAPL is now open.

Jere C. Rosemeyer, Eugene

 

SJW WHINERS

Amid fear mongering by the social justice warrior (SJW) colonized media claiming Trump is Hitler, some good news has been largely overlooked.

As promised, Trump has killed the Trans Pacific Partnership. TPP was a trade deal negotiated by President Obama that would destroy American jobs and transfer power to corporations by allowing them to sue governments to force changes in policies that interfere with the extraction of profit.

Like Trump, Bernie Sanders opposed TPP. In contrast, Hillary Clinton supported it. Given that TPP would have increased homelessness, could it be that Trump actually did something good for working people?

As I add it up, killing TPP more than compensates for all the other things Trump has done that I wish had gone otherwise. Stopping TPP makes Trump’s first week in office a net positive.

In 2018, 23 Democratic Senators and two Independents are up for election, versus only eight Republicans. If SJW behavior does not change, conservatives will achieve a filibuster-proof Senate.

SJWs need to stop whining about imagined evils. Instead of shouting people down and trying to restrict the speech of folks who disagree, SJWs need to engage in open and respectful debate.

If the SJW narrative cannot survive scrutiny in the marketplace of ideas, who cares how many people march in the streets? Let’s pick a topic, set a date, set the rules and see if you can kick my butt using evidence and logic.

Here’s your chance to use Eugene’s public access television station to expose me as a bigoted idiot.

Joe Tyndall, Eugene

 

FASCIST PIMP

It was with great interest (and relief) that I read the anti-fascist letter by Lola Bravo (EW, Jan. 12). I wholeheartedly agree with her that Trump is an unqualified bozo with alarmingly fascist warning signs.

In these post-literate times not many citizens use books anymore, so that largely eclipses the use of dictionaries. Let an old retired English instructor define the F-word … Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines fascism as “a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader…”

Surely this nation does not need a pimp, but a brilliant, compassionate public servant. My 1970s radical is reawakening. Is yours?

Stanley Rosenzweig, Eugene

 

DUMBED DOWN AND TRUMPED

As a veteran, I’ve taken “the oath,” which certifies my care for this country — the richest country in the world, the most powerful, the leader.

Conservative views for education vs. business have produced second-rate education for the general population — embarrassingly low-ranking in the world.

As a result: Donald Trump.

Philip Byron Renow, U.S. Army Med. Corps 1967-70, Cheshire

 

WHEN WOMEN MARCH

Thousands of protesters were seen marching on Facebook this week, confused and angered that the women’s march had something to say about anything particular.

“My friend told me there was going to be women there, so I was all, like, ‘Hell ya, I’m in!’” said Wayne Brewski. “But I just thought it was about workin’ out and staying fit.”

Upon finding out the march was about more than an international physical fitness campaign, Wayne says, “I was so pissed, and all like, ‘Pfffft, this is ridiculous.’ I mean, damn, what a scandal.”

Millions of people around the world, primarily male, are still recovering from the shock. A hotline has been set up by Trump Tower for emotional support to those still reeling from the awful deception.

Steven Coatsworth, Eugene

 

RESIST DOMINANT PARADIGM

The peaceful way should be tried first when resolving conflicts. Non-violence should always be the default strategy.

Former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass pointed out that “if there is no struggle, there is no progress ... power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.”

Is making demands or progressing against dominant paradigms violent? The answer hinges upon examination of the legitimacy of what is demanded or progressed towards. Worthwhile demands one group makes should be included as goals for other movements. Solidarity helps everybody by networking and providing needed perspective.

Dogmatic non-violence, however, is a privilege, a luxury, which hasn’t done the job in today’s political landscape. Many idealist organizers want non-violence while consuming dead animals that suffered their entire lives in factory farms. Silent complicity with the world’s most invasive empire in history that provides cheap gasoline also makes preaching sound hollow.

The passive nod to racist American law enforcement that imprisons more people per capita, about half of whose only crime is against themselves (use of drugs and-or being prostitutes), seals the hypocrisy.

Animal abuse, militarism and the prison industrial complex are not problems that will go away without attacking violently anything that threatens them. Are those who cause unnecessary suffering and death by their inaction willing to risk their good fortune for truly noble causes? This we should ask ourselves.

Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita calms our inner conflicts and fears: “The Eternal in man (Ataman) can neither kill nor die.”

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene

 

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

That is a quote by Malcolm X — decades before “alternative facts” and Donald Trump.

Malcolm X also said: “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

Years ago, I plied Mom with “alternative facts.” Mom returned fire with alternative toothpaste, called soap.

Glenn Jones, Eugene

 

NOT SO SMART METERS

I learned from an EWEB board member that they’ve finished installing all the collectors/transmitters that are needed for a major Smart Meters rollout, and have already installed at least 200 of them on “non-residences.”

He made note that EWEB was using the “opt in” option for permission to install these, because this was the only concession that citizens won in two years fighting for some public discussion about the issues! To this day, not one word in EWEB’s Newsletters about any aspect of this very controversial $26 million program!

EWEB has not spelled out how often different meters transmit, at what frequencies, power outputs, locations of collectors, etc. EWEB is a public entity and must be accountable to the public!

Hundreds of thousands of these meters have been removed in California in two major class-action lawsuits, in other states, and banned in some countries after massive rollouts because of unexplained structural fires, many health issues, and exorbitant customer bills after installation. This is the same radiation as 5g wi-fi, but on steroids. “Collectors” might be right outside your bedroom wall right now! You have the option of turning your phone off. Not so, with smart meters!

 There is also the question of security and hacking as your meters and smart appliances spy on you, selling data to whoever wants it! Please, get online and check out the thousands of pages of horror stories related to Smart Meters, before you opt-In to this EWEB program.

Robin Bloomgarden, Eugene

 

DON THE CON

Don the Con finally appeared on TV

To show his people how honest he would be,

Once he got hold of our democracy.

He stood next to and pointed at a pile stacked high and deep,

His “proof” that no one was allowed to peep.

Those with open eyes could clearly see

A mountain of unmarked folders, 

Upon which his lawyer gave her best,

To convince our nation that he passed the test.

But alas, we now know

Like everything else he claims to be,

Don the Con is just a poorly made for TV

Reality show,

Which he will cancel once he’s taken enough of our dough.

Michael T. Hinojosa, Drain

 

WEB LETTERS

 

THE FOREIGN VIRUS

Donald Trump recently publicly self-identified as a “germophobe.” (He did so rather bizarrely, in the context of explaining why he would never have engaged in any hanky-panky while traveling in Russia.)  

Of course we all take rational precautions against infection. But a germophobe goes to extremes normal people wouldn’t dream of. I suggest that has some bearing on Trump’s extreme fear of foreigners, especially people from Muslim-dominant nations. He sees them as dangerous contaminants from whom we must protect ourselves at all costs.

There is a distinct element of paranoia at work here.  

Germophobe? Xenophobe? One and the same?

Adam Horvath, Eugene

 

ALL HAIL THE CHEETO!

In describing his upcoming term as his “reign” and his proposed government as his “regime,” the Cheeto-in-chief clearly shows he is absolutely clueless about how America is supposed to work.

His claiming that standards, rules and laws regarding nepotism and conflicts of interest don’t apply to him because he is the president shows that he plans to run an African-style kleptocracy rather than an American democracy.

Don’t look for succor from his party, either, because its leaders have shown that they have absolutely no desire to govern but an overwhelming desire to rule — and they, too, are in this for the money.

As for policy, he has none. He didn’t become president to inspire or enlighten or transform or alleviate or defend; he became president for the purpose of acquiring more wealth (and to try to fill the terrifying dark void of emptiness that dwells inside him).

Look, any politician whose propaganda corps has to start almost every sentence with “I know he said (X) but what he meant was…” is at odds both with basic decency and our claimed American values.

He pledged to drain the swamp, but his cabinet choices, a coterie of corrupt billionaires whose only loyalty is to profit and who hold the public in contempt, show that he is adding more quicksand instead.

Look for him to be awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vladimir Putin for his aid in getting him elected and his daughter for being “hot” (his words, not mine).

Jamie Selko, Eugene

 

CONGRESSCARE

Freedom! This word is so abused. Let’s get it straight.

You can’t be free without food, shelter and, yes, health care. But health care has been a political football in this country for a century between those who would make it a function of government and those who would have us live without affordable health care in the name of freedom.

Once again, it is the political question of the day. Obamacare never was a very good idea. It was originally a Heritage Foundation idea adopted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and then later reworked as a compromise to keep health care and health insurance in the money game.

If you recall the discussions before Obamacare became law, a public option was on the table. But that would have meant government was in the insurance business, and it would have pretty much buried private for-profit insurance. So Obama and Democrats had to settle for what we got, the ACA, which never addressed costs, the one most important issue.

All the sound and fury about repeal and replace! In eight years no one has come up with an alternative because there is no affordable, market-based alternative. Only government can offer something affordable and well regulated beyond the behest of Wall Street, Big Pharma and the health care industry!

Americans just want to have affordable healthcare coverage like all the people in Congress have who are currently making so much noise about health insurance. Congress only needs to look at their own health care policies provided by the government and they have the answer for a replacement!

Russ DesAulnier, Eugene