Letters to the Editor 2017-08-24


Camilla Mortensen’s article “Endangered Wolves, Invasive Wolves?” [Aug. 10] brought to mind an invasive species that is rapacious in every environment it encounters and whose unchecked population growth will be the death of us all. The cattlepersons claim that cattle are not invasive because they are managed. Even using that self-serving definition, this species is an extreme danger to us all.

Of course, I refer to homo sapiens. Why is there no discussion of human overpopulation? Actually, the answer is quite simple. There has yet to be conceived an economic model for a stable population, much less one that is shrinking. What would happen to the housing market if there were more houses than people?

It defies physics that any population can grow indefinitely. We have to start creating a shrinking-to-stable population economic model to make the transition peacefully. The other option is to leave the earth a radioactive cinder ball.

Gregg Ferry, Corvallis


Nike founder Phil Knight donated half a million dollars to Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler. While the amount of the donation is larger than normal, this should be no surprise to anybody who has been paying attention to Oregon politics.

The sweatshop pioneer has been donating to Republicans for many years. He also has consistently donated to campaigns to defeat desperately needed school funding tax measures. Knight feels that he has to pay too much in taxes and wants more tax cuts.

And speaking of taxes, not long ago the Republican-friendly billionaire was identified as one of America’s most notorious tax-dodgers, stashing more than $10 billion in overseas tax havens avoiding contributing to Oregon’s schools and other essential services. In Phil’s mind, he can never be rich enough.

Meanwhile Oregon’s public schools have some of the largest classes in the nation and also have one of the shortest school years. Art, P.E. and other vital programs have been slashed and burned. Many districts are cutting teaching positions this year.

What is surprising is how many people who identify as progressive, liberal, etc., continue to support Nike by buying their clothing and acting as Nike advertisers. Eugene’s 4J school district actually signed a contract to use Nike gear, requiring students to be mandatory corporate advertisers for Nike.

It’s generally a good idea not to financially support those who are working against you.

Joshua Welch, Eugene


I appreciate your coverage of the Charlottesville Solidarity March. The increasing confidence of white supremacists under the current administration poses a cataclysmic threat to our lives and those of our descendants. As a 70-year-old white woman, I am extremely grateful to have lived long enough to witness local people of color leading our community’s fight against racism in all its forms.

At the Aug. 14 rally, many spoke courageously about their experiences living in Eugene. An African-American woman told of being verbally assaulted by a sandy-haired man driving by while she waited for a bus on Highway 126. A black man living in south Eugene had his house spray-painted with a slur. A number of the speakers called out white people in the audience to do more than show up at a rally, saying, “Silence is violence.”

White people need to educate ourselves on how structural racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia work to divide and manipulate us. Then we need to move out of our comfort zone and initiate difficult conversations with friends and relatives. We must find in ourselves the integrity to address racism wherever it occurs, including our workplaces, our local government and police. As a start, check out the Southern Poverty Law Center website “Ten Ways to Fight Hate.” To be free means to be safe, and injustice anywhere means injustice everywhere, so do something today towards creating a safe, respectful environment for everyone in our community. 

Patricia Bryan, Eugene


While I was at one of my favorite restaurants downtown the other day, the line stopped as a couple grilled the server about the contents of the soup and sandwiches. The girl was very helpful and answered, to the best of her abilities, all of the questions.

The questions kept coming. The line stopped, I waited patiently for around five minutes, overhearing the barrage of questions. All the while the couple kept staring at their cell phones. They were rude and had an air of entitlement to them. “We are the customer,” they stated, “and have dietary restrictions.”

The server began taking other orders while the kitchen staff came out to continue answering questions. Five to 10 more minutes passed and I received my order. They were still at the counter. They were still rude.

My advice to people with such extreme dietary restrictions is to pack a lunch. This way you know exactly what you are eating.

John Carlson, Eugene


The body and gender are two different things. The human body is female, with ovaries, or male, with testes. These are necessary for reproduction (we could have less of that!).

Gender, on the other hand, is the cultural role of women and men. The anthropologist Margaret Mead traveled the world studying the gender roles of various cultures. Her theory that behavior and personality can be improved and are the result of influence and not biology made her one of the most influential anthropologists of her time.

Mead found that every culture has a firm belief in the naturalness and “rightness” of its particular gender roles, even though the roles differ widely in each culture. In cultures where men rule (like ours), the gender role for men is to be dominant, and for women, to be submissive. These Barbie and Ken roles are narrow and restrictive to humans, who are born with a full range of feelings, interests and abilities.

I rejected the Barbie role when I came into my teenage years. Hell no! I wasn’t going to be subservient, pretty, a helper! But it’s more than just personal expression.

When a whole society believes that dominance and submission are inherent in men and women’s biology, it has a problem! It’s called patriarchy. It’s a violent, exploitive, miserable culture, and feminists are working to free us all from it.

Kari Johnson, Eugene

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