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Letters to the Editor 2017-02-09

WELCOME COVER

I was very moved by the painting on the cover of your 2/2 issue [“Hiding in Plain Sight] by Jeremy Okai Davis. Thank you for that. 

Amy Isler Gibson, Eugene

 

CRESWELL CONTROVERSY

Upon reading about the forced resignation of Principal Bracco and Vice Principal Osborn of Creswell High I am reminded, once again, at how thin-skinned and judgmental our society has become.

 Let me see: According to the new social rule, engaging in an admittedly insensitive discussion in private is bad but eavesdropping on said conversation, recording and sharing it anonymously is not.

Everyone engages in opinionated, judgmental talk privately, it’s human nature but now your career can be incinerated in the manufactured outrage at such a concept.

Somebody was insulted, someone apologized for the insult and learned to be more respectful — that should have ended the matter but oh no, they can’t be forgiven. They must pay with their jobs and public pillorying.            

And what kind of lesson does this teach the students? You don’t have to be mature and shrug it off as bad behavior and move on. No, if someone is mean behind your back, get them fired in self-righteous indignation — that will teach them.

 I realize we expect to hold public educators to a higher standard but none of us is perfect. There was a guy in the Bible who advised “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” Oh, what was his name again? Starts with a J.

Drop the stone and walk away, forgiving costs you nothing and pays in the long run.

Alisa McLaughlin, Eugene

 

RENAMING THE BUTTE

I’d like to gather support for Mariette Wicks’ suggestion that the city of Eugene [“Rename Skinner’s Butte,” Letters, Jan. 12] to Ya-Po-Ah (what the Kalapuya called it).

Wicks participated in activism most of her 92 years and was a big personal influence and inspiration. This name change was the last seed she planted before she passed on Jan. 13.

I realize there are endless, competing, meaningful and important places to spend our time and energy these days. I promise to do my part and encourage everyone to support the non-profits, communities and individuals who need us now more than ever. 

This season might not be the right time for this seed of Wicks' to sprout but, then again, maybe it’s a perfectly ripe time for this type of symbolic gesture. 

In renaming Skinner’s Butte to Ya-Po-Ah, there is no intention to dishonor Eugene Skinner, the namesake of our great city. The intention is much more to show respect and honor for those who came before us in this beautiful place. Maybe as a small token we can honor those people by renaming Skinner’s Butte to its Kalapuya name, Ya-Po-Ah.

To tend this seed with me, please email: yapoaheugene@gmail.com.

Sherman Sherman, Eugene

 

POLITICAL CONTRADICTION

Black History Month should remind people that Democrats professed an apparent contradiction as they seceded to begin the Civil War. They demanded protection for slavery where existing, and the right to take their “peculiar property” into the territories. They demanded the right to trade their property across state lines and enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law.

Yet, during the last heated debates, and for years prior, these same people joined the near universal condemnation of the international slave trade. 

This contradiction vanishes when understanding the South was being overrun with their property. Democratic Sen. Alfred Iverson of Georgia said before Congress in 1861: “We know well that we never can enjoy equal possession of the territories without protection of our property … They increase, according to the last census bill, at the rate of 32 percent every ten years.”

Meaning the South needed new slave states and plantations to absorb the increasing population. 

One hundred fifty years later, the black community provides voting plurality to the Democrat Party, and adopts their pro-choice sacrament of abortion. According to the Centers for Disease Control, black women accounted for about 36 percent of abortions, though blacks constitute about 14 percent of total population.

Applying antebellum population growth to the post Roe v. Wade period would mean 77 million blacks instead of the 46 million currently living. 

So what benefits accrue for blacks providing the Democrat Party about 90 percent voting support, compared to a mandate for contributing 60 percent of their humanity to enrich the Democrat slave master’s political status?

Nolan Nelson, Eugene

 

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

If Planned Parenthood is defunded, 2.5 million people a year will lose access to birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests and more at Planned Parenthood centers. What we do today matters because people young and old should have access to care.

Planned Parenthood not only helps educate people about their options but also provides them with access to options, in many cases free of charge. Hillary Clinton said, “Never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it.” We need to protect our care and ensure it for future generations.  

So to those people, government officials and citizens alike, who go to appalling extremes to close Planned Parenthood’s doors, know this: We are fighting back.

A woman’s rights are human rights and we will contest your legislation to limit reproductive rights and safe sex nationwide. We are fighting back against the men who say that “she should have just kept her legs closed” or that birth control and abortions aren’t health care.

Our birth control should not be our neighbor’s business or our government’s business. Everyone deserves access to care and the fight is just beginning.

I stand with women. I stand with Planned Parenthood.

Emma Spaeth, Eugene

 

LESSONS OF JACKIE

I believe that Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn should be our presidential team in 2020. I entirely respect their integrity in everything that they do, and they have the same family values of Michelle and Barack Obama.

I would like to look to them now to frame the current political situation. Donald Trump and his wife Melania are not my president and not my first lady. He is a caricature of a man and she is a foreign-born beauty whom we’ve seen naked.

I have seen the movie Jackie and we are called to remember the dream of Camelot that JFK brought to us. We see through the eyes of Jackie Kennedy — the suffering and loss of a leader, a man and a father. He told us to go high when they go low, and to ask not what our country could do for us but what we could do for our country.

Nov. 22, 1963, will remain in my memory forever. I was 15 and it was my sister’s birthday. The nation mourned and, to me, it rivals the tragedy of 9/11.

People are wise and we will rise to our potential as we respond with activism. So I say hell no, we won’t go. No wall, no Muslim ban.

The Democrats are right-minded and the Republicans need to rise to their best.

Let our Oregon-born man lead this country.

Marti Berger, Eugene

 

NO VOTER FRAUD

The president has charged that millions of illegal votes were cast in the November 2016 election, with the Vice President promising a “full evaluation of the voter rolls.” Claims of election “rigging” and fraudulent voting in the United States have been discredited in study after study.

The League of Women Voters has worked to foster civic engagement and enhance access to the vote since our founding in 1920. We work toward an informed and active participation in government.

We believe falsehoods sow confusion that may lead to further restrictions on voting, with particular impacts for traditionally underrepresented or underserved communities, including first-time voters, non-college youth, new citizens, people of color, the elderly and low-income Americans.

Barring eligible voters dilutes our democracy. Falsehoods also undermine public confidence and trust in political institutions, another way to suppress voter turnout.

The National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents 40 of the nation’s chief elections officers, said this in a Jan. 24 press statement: “In the lead up to the November 2016 election, secretaries of state expressed their confidence in the systemic integrity of our election process as a bipartisan group, and they stand behind that statement today.”

Strengthening, not shredding, civic and community bonds is essential to the promise of We the People.

Linda Lynch, President, League of Women Voters of Lane County, Eugene

 

BIG BABY

The future looks grim:

Democracy, maybe

Depends on the whim

Of a giant fat baby.

June Smith, Oakridge

 

BIG-HEARTED TRUMP

I don’t know about you, but I feel relieved President Al Catrump has brought the billionaire bosses together within his cabinet as an example of his magnanimous willingness to encompass the whole country in unity.

God bless America.

Philip Byron Renow, Union of Concerned Scientists, Cheshire

 

 

WEB LETTERS

 

HYPOCRITE DEMS

Have you seen President Trump’s latest rant against illegal immigrants?

“All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected but in every place in the country, are rightly disturbed by the large number of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens. The public service they use burdens our taxpayers. We are a nation of immigrants but we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years and we must do more to stop it.”

And there was also this:

“Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave.”

How can such hateful, xenophobic rhetoric be tolerated?

Oops! My bad: These quotes were actually from President Bill Clinton (State of the Union, January 1995) and Senator Barbara Jordan (Testimony to Congress, Feb. 24, 1995), respectively.

No temper tantrums or rioting in the streets after these pronouncements that I recall. So please explain to me why, when Democrats call for enforcing immigration laws, it’s OK, but when the GOP does it all hell breaks loose?

Jerry Ritter, Springfield

 

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

 

THANKS, OBAMA

Barack Obama, Pudding and Pie,

Sacrificed Arabian Girls

This Makes Us Cry.         

Every Generals’ Advice, His Ego Pooh-Poohed,

Abandoning Women and Gays, Christians, Muslins, Jews.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii, Obama bought a $40-million dollar mansion (and two more, in D.C. and California) as a lasting tribute to … Himself.

A list of poor and oppressed populations demoralized by Barack (and Hillary Clinton) includes, but is not limited to: Black people in Haiti, whose earthquake reconstruction money was stolen by the Clinton Foundation; Egyptian women, who were attacked by roving gangs of rapists as a result of the Barak/Hillary “Arab Spring”; Hispanics in Cuba, who were holding out hope that the anticipated death of Fidel might usher in a new age of freedom; oppressed women and gays in Iran who will now be forever punished by mullahs; Black people in Africa, who have been mutilated by the worlds’ worst dictators — dictators that Obama invited to the White House, serving them steak, caviar and champagne.

To these people and others, Obama was Gods’ curse. Were it not for term limits, he would have kept consolidating more and more power all for the glory of … Himself.

Mike Johnson, Creswell