MEN ARE GOOD
Sunday, Nov. 19 is International Men’s Day. Maybe one day during the year we can stop blaming men, particularly white men, for the ills of the world. You might consider a father who daily went to a job he didn’t like so you could live comfortably. You might consider the men who created all the things you take for granted, like houses, roads, schools, hospitals and pretty much everything else.
You might consider that the electrical power stays on mostly because of men, that garbage is collected mostly because of men or that the little screen that dominates your attention by dispensing doses of dopamine connects seamlessly to a cellphone tower designed, constructed and maintained mostly by men.
You might consider that three of every four homeless people are men or that 13 out of every 14 workplace injuries and deaths befalls a man. You might wonder why the oppressers live shorter lives than the women they oppress or why men commit suicide far more often than women. Yes, women do attempt suicide more often, but men are better at getting the job done. For one day, maybe you could try the mantra “Men are Good.”
Joe Tyndall, Eugene
GIVE DEFAZ A CALL
Nice interview with Congressman Peter DeFazio with his selection as best local politician. (“Best of Eugene Readers Poll” 11/2) He truly seems like a person who cares and will listen. So give him a call or write a note, asking him to cosponsor House Resolution 466 supporting the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
The GPE will help countries provide education for the millions of children and youth out of school. By supporting the GPE’s efforts, America can join other countries and individual donors to create a more peaceful world. In addition to reducing conflict, educated populations have lower birth rates, better health, and higher earnings.
This is a perfect step for the man selected as a “world-changer.”
Willie Dickerson, Snohomish
BEATING A DEAD HORSE
Every time I see Donald Trump featured on the cover of Eugene Weekly (11/9), I wish the paper would apply its resources more strictly to local news.
Ben Ricker, Eugene
TRUMP SONG TRIBUTE
Thank you for your coverage of protest songs last week (11/9), especially Trombone Shorty and Dumpstaphunk’s song “Justice.” The song features Nick Daniels III, playing a Mana Basso bass made here in Eugene by Tony Walters. It features locally sourced and sustainably yielded woods.
Just another great example of your incredible community of artists making an impact worldwide.
Thanks again EW for being a beacon of light in the heart of darkness!
Harold “Hal” Henkel, Eugene
PRO ELECTED AUDITOR
While I now live in Portland, I formerly lived in Eugene, and still follow events there. Kudos to those who gathered 13,000 petition signatures to establish an independent elected city auditor for Eugene.
Here in Portland, we appreciate our elected auditor. With a budget of $10 million and a staff of 50, she provides a good counterweight to the mayor and city commissioners, who are full-time employees managing city departments.
But Eugene has a different form of government. The ballot measure appears to be a vote of no confidence in the mayor and City Council, as it provides them with no new authority or resources to guide the city. Rather the proposal risks creating a power struggle over who really runs the city. The lowly-paid mayor and council have the authority but the highly-paid auditor has her own staff and, potentially, legal counsel.
The mayor and City Council should embrace the need for better city government. Time is running out for them to either support the current proposal as welcome and beneficial, or else offer an alternative they believe will help them serve the community better.
A GOOD START ON AUDITOR
Having run a statewide initiative campaign I can attest to the fact that the petitioners who organized the campaign to gather signatures for an elected city auditor worked hard and deserve praise for their efforts.
I fully support accountability and transparency in Eugene. A performance auditor is one good way to improve the functioning of city government. However, upon reading the text of the proposed charter amendment, I came away with the belief that there are some flaws in their proposal that would make it difficult for me and others to support it.
For example, the cost is very high, there is no residency requirement, there are no checks and balances on the auditor, and some of the language is poorly drafted.
I look forward to learning what the mayor’s study group has found and how the city council responds. I applaud the efforts of the petitioners as a good start, but I hope the Eugene City Council finds a way to improve this attempt at establishing an important government position.
David Funk, Eugene
CLOSE GUN LOOPHOLES
We become vulnerable to unreasonable restrictions on our freedoms without reasonable gun regulations. At the national level, we should:
l. Ban the sales of the bump stock and rapidly firing weapons.
2. Ban high-capacity magazines of over ten rounds.
3. Establish a nation-wide expanded instant background check that addresses state loopholes, including the gun show loophole.
4. Expand access to mental health care.
5. Require financial liability insurance as a prerequisite for gun ownership.
At our county level, we must insist commissioners enforce SB 941, which became effective Aug. 2015. This check on private gun sales is meant to determine whether someone is legally prohibited from owning a gun.
Emails, dated Oct. 3 and 16, asking whether SB 941 is being enforced in Lane County, sent to Lane County Commissioner Williams, have gone unanswered.
Carol L. Scherer, Eugene
TOO MANY GUNS
Too bad Trump didn’t learn anything about gun control while in Japan and South Korea. In South Korea there are only about 20 gun deaths a year, in Japan about 10. The U.S. has about 33,000 gun deaths a year.
I am a gun owner raised in a hunting family. What would common-sense gun control look like? No one with a record of violence should be able to get a gun. Hunters should only need about three long guns, a .22 for varmints, a shotgun for birds and something like a bolt-action 30.06 for deer and elk.
One handgun should be allowed for self-defense. Three percent of the public owns half of the 3 million guns in the country. There is no excuse for an armory of 20 to 30 weapons. Anyone crazy enough to think they can take on the National Guard should be disqualified. Only registered shooting ranges should own automatic weapons.
There is no excuse for militarized weapons like an AR-15. The bullet from an AR-15 travels so fast it will burst into fragments, bones will be pulverized and nearby organs will be destroyed by cavitation. That is why few children survive being shot.
There is also no need to have bump stocks, body armor, large-capacity magazines, silencers or armor-piercing bullets. Ninety percent of the 22,000 gun suicides have mental problems.
About the only law the Republican Congress has passed allows people with mental problems to purchase weapons.
Jerry Brule, Eugene
IDENTIFYING SEXUAL PREDATORS
With the recent #MeToo campaign trending, it’s important to know how to identify a predator and steps they take to groom their target:
1: They identify a victim: They differ in “type” (age, appearance, gender) but all look for a victim who seems somewhat vulnerable.
2: They collect information on the victim through casual conversations with the targeted individual, or child and parents.
3: They then become part of the target’s life by filling a need. They act like a gatekeeper with keys to the kingdom and the target must submit (Harvey Weinstein had the keys to Hollywood). Wherever there’s a power imbalance, the possibilities are endless.
4: They start to lower the target’s inhibitions concerning sexual matters like an “innocent” kiss or ask for a massage.
5: They initiate the abuse and threaten to punish so target remains silent. They use manipulation to blame the victim who is subject to a trauma bond at this point, same thing that keeps domestic violence victims stuck in the cycle of abuse.
Most sexual predators are quite charming and spend a lifetime grooming entire communities. Notify the police; sometimes a detective is assigned to build a case.
They walk among us.
Josephine Brew, Eugene