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Byline: The Register-Guard

Startups are the real future

Two articles in the Feb. 24 Register-Guard caught my eye.

Tom Friedman's column on investing in startups rather than the ossified os·si·fy  
v. os·si·fied, os·si·fy·ing, os·si·fies

1. To change into bone; become bony.

 dinosaurs in Detroit is a compelling argument. Coupled with an article in the business section about a local green enterprise, Energy Wise Lighting, that intends to build low-cost solar water heaters for residential use, they bring our current economic moment into focus.

Peter Greenberg, Energy Wise's president, isn't looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 a handout from Washington, D.C., but his spunk in starting a solar water heater business in these economic times is not only commendable, it's truly American.

While the bombasts in the Beltway pour billions into the aging behemoths in Motor City - the very same big auto companies that worked diligently for decades to prevent greater fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks and lobbied Congress to subsidize Hummers and Hemis - small business entrepreneurs like Greenberg represent the future of America's industry and economy.

Supporting businesses based on renewable energy Renewable energy utilizes natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished. Renewable energy technologies range from solar power, wind power, and hydroelectricity to biomass and biofuels for transportation.  sources, an independent entrepreneurial spirit and a moxie (language, music) Moxie - A language for real-time computer music synthesis, written in XPL.

["Moxie: A Language for Computer Music Performance", D. Collinge, Proc Intl Computer Music Conf, Computer Music Assoc 1984, pp.217-220].
 that says we will thrive despite long odds and the misadventures of our financial, industrial and political elite is poetry from the heartlands.


Watershed Initiatives


Laissez faire Laissez Faire

An economic theory from the 18th century that is strongly opposed to any government intervention in business affairs. Sometimes referred to as "Let it be economics.
 nearly wrecked us

In the Feb. 25 Mailbag, Stephen Hawke asserts that the Obama stimulus plan will "destroy free market capitalism" and repeats the tired mantra: "cut taxes," and all will be well. He furthermore somehow claims that liberals have brought down our economy. If we accept Hawke's premise, I, as a card carrying liberal, should feel guilty for my part in causing our current economic plight.

However, I fear Hawke must have spent the last eight years in some parallel universe. I must first remind him that we had eight years of tax cuts for the wealthy. They worked out well for the wealthy and rather badly for the rest of us (abuse) for The Rest Of Us - (From the Macintosh slogan "The computer for the rest of us") 1. Used to describe a spiffy product whose affordability shames other comparable products, or (more often) used sarcastically to describe spiffy but very overpriced products.

. Furthermore, "free market capitalism," as laissez faire capitalism during the Bush years, has nearly destroyed the American economy. Laissez faire capitalism, fueled by greed and virtually unfettered by regulation for the past eight years, has brought us to our current plight.

Additionally, the Bush era tax cuts, specifically targeted to the very wealthiest Americans, combined with a trillion dollar war, have created the largest national debt and the greatest budget deficits in our history.

Now President Obama and all Americans face the daunting daunt  
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.

[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin
 task of rekindling our economy, repairing the systematic damage done over the past eight years and, somehow, dealing with our monumental debt and deficit.

While I don't expect angry right-wingers to help in this process, it would be nice if they'd at least refrain from attempts to undermine it.

Gary Crum

Junction City Junction City, city (1990 pop. 20,604), seat of Geary co., NE Kans., at the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers; inc. 1859. The rail, trade, and processing center of an agricultural and dairy area, it grew as the supply point for nearby Fort Riley,  

Bad time to raise beer tax

The Oregon Legislature would be wrong to raise taxes on beer. Increasing alcohol taxes costs jobs and disproportionately hurts those who are least able to pay them (Register-Guard, Feb. 24).

According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the Tax Foundation, individuals earning less than $20,000 per year face federal alcohol tax burdens that are more than 18 times higher than individuals making in excess of $200,000. Not only are hospitality taxes on wine, beer and spirits regressive re·gres·sive
1. Having a tendency to return or to revert.

2. Characterized by regression.

, they also contribute to job loss. After the federal government doubled the beer tax in 1991, approximately 60,000 Americans in the brewing, distributing and retailing industries lost their jobs from a shrunken shrunk·en  
A past participle of shrink.


a past participle of shrink


reduced in size

Adj. 1.

Too often, hospitality taxes are treated like an ATM to generate extra revenue to make up for wasteful government spending Government spending or government expenditure consists of government purchases, which can be financed by seigniorage, taxes, or government borrowing. It is considered to be one of the major components of gross domestic product. . As Americans struggle through tough economic conditions, Oregon could not pick a worse time to increase taxes.

Sarah Longwell

Managing Director

American Beverage Institute The American Beverage Institute is a restaurant industry trade group. They are actively involved in public relations campaigns supporting various interests of the restaurant industry, particularly with respect to alcohol consumption. It is based in Washington, D.C.  

Washington, D.C.

Bush was no conservative

I am an avid reader of the letters section for the widely entertaining opinions that are strewn strew  
tr.v. strewed, strewn or strewed, strew·ing, strews
1. To spread here and there; scatter: strewing flowers down the aisle.

 throughout. Lately, many of the missives have been from self-proclaimed conservatives warning the public about the socialist onslaught that should be expected now that Barack Obama is president of the United States The head of the Executive Branch, one of the three branches of the federal government.

The U.S. Constitution sets relatively strict requirements about who may serve as president and for how long.
. The arguments are all along the same lines, and all seem to fault liberals for the current economic situation. They also sound the alarm bells of "big government" on the way.

I would like to ask these people which rock they have been festering fes·ter  
v. fes·tered, fes·ter·ing, fes·ters

1. To generate pus; suppurate.

2. To form an ulcer.

3. To undergo decay; rot.

 beneath for the last eight years. George W. Bush was elected on the conservative, small government platform. He was given a Congress that was ideologically in agreement with those principles and had an opportunity to steer the federal government in a more conservative direction.

He was re-elected in 2004 and given an even larger majority in the Congress. What did the good conservatives that had the reins of government do during that time? They brought us the largest government agency in the Department of Homeland Security Noun 1. Department of Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
Homeland Security

executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States
, as well as the largest amount of federal spending in the history of our government.

If one really wants to discuss socialist policies, one cannot ignore Bush's No Child Left Behind policy and the expanded federal oversight of public schools that the act entails. In essence, anyone who claims to hold a fiscally conservative ideology and supported the Bush administration was effectively duped by the Republican spin doctors.

Michael E. Hoekstra


How PERS a. 1. Light blue; grayish blue; - a term applied to different shades at different periods.  works today

For the second time in as many weeks I have read a letter suggesting that our state's dire economic situation has been worsened by the "PERS problem," the most recent from Rob Deharpport of Westfir (Mailbag, Feb. 24).

I suggest that Deharpport take a look at the Public Employees Retirement System Web site,, and get his facts straight.

PERS benefits are paid solely from a trust fund known as the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund and even with the current investment losses the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund was valued at approximately $46 billion.

As part of the PERS reform legislation and court cases, Tier One member regular accounts (only) must be credited annually at the 8 percent rate, regardless of the actual losses or gains. Any earnings above 8 percent are set aside in a reserve fund to ensure the 8 percent annual credit.

The PERS Board set aside approximately $1.9 billion in this reserve fund from investment returns in 2005-07. These funds will be used to pay earnings to Tier One member accounts for 2008. Only earnings on Tier One member regular accounts fund that reserve (not taxpayers' dollars).

For the past five years, since Jan. 1, 2004, all Tier One member contributions have been placed in the Individual Account Program. Similar to a 401K plan, these accounts receive actual earnings and losses from a diversified investment portfolio without a guaranteed return.

Thomas Boylan


New Mideast plan needed

I appreciate Sriram Khe's hopes for stability and an enduring Israel-Palestine peace (Register-Guard, Feb. 23), but also share his doubts that a two-state solution The two-state solution envisions two separate states in the Western portion of the historic region of Palestine, one Jewish and another Arab to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict.  could bring this about.

Unfortunately, decades of attempts to divide the land into two states have failed miserably although the Arab Peace Initiative The Arab Peace Initiative (Arabic Language: مبادرة السلام العربية) is a peace initiative first proposed by Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, then crown prince, in the Beirut  has been on the table for over 20 years. Israel has steadfastly ignored this plan because it would require their compliance with U.N. Resolution 242, withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders. Israel also refuses to comply with U.N. Resolution 194, the right of all Palestinian refugees to return.

All peace plans, including Geneva Geneva, canton and city, Switzerland
Geneva (jənē`və), Fr. Genève, canton (1990 pop. 373,019), 109 sq mi (282 sq km), SW Switzerland, surrounding the southwest tip of the Lake of Geneva.
 and Oslo, have ignored internationally recognized Palestinian rights and the 1948 origins of the conflict, thus releasing Israel from responsibility for its land theft and population displacement. The 4 million U.N.-registered Palestinian refugees and diaspora have been excluded from these "peace" negotiations, their rights ignored.

Even the best two-state model would formalize a policy of inequality and segregation within Israel for the 20 percent Palestinian-Israeli citizens now denied equal rights and legal protections, and would increase their risk of involuntary "transfer."

Perhaps it is time for a new vision of peace, one based on the principles of freedom, justice and equality for all who live in the historic land of Palestine, including those expelled in 1948 and their descendants, regardless of religion or ethnicity.

And to further ensure Mideast stability, Israel might want to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT)
 officially Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

International agreement intended to prevent the spread of nuclear technology. It was signed by the U.S.
 as Iran has done.


Al-Nakba Awareness Project


Best Actor overlooked

Forget Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke or any other Oscar contender. I say the Best Actor award should've gone to Barack Hussein Obama for his convincing portrayal of a smooth player bent on Adj. 1. bent on - fixed in your purpose; "bent on going to the theater"; "dead set against intervening"; "out to win every event"
bent, dead set, out to
 manipulating the public to board his "hope" and "change" train.

It actually happened to be one of my favorite films this year. I believe it was called "No Country for Thinking Men."

Ryan Mitchell “Ryan Mitchell” redirects here. For the Titanium Ranger, see Lightspeed Rescue Power Rangers#Ryan Mitchell.

Ryan Mitchell (born April 24 1977 in Port Augusta, South Australia) was an Australian breaststroke swimmer of the 1990s, who won a silver medal at the 2000


Check out Eugene's share

After reading the Feb. 25 letter from Kim Heddinger and Lynell Stokes regarding the deplorable state of Crest Drive, Storey Boulevard and Friendly Street, and agreeing since having driven on them many times, I would like to suggest they look at Eugene's share of the so-called stimulus plan on this Web site.

How much will add jobs or better streets? I leave that to smarter people, but thought that this Web site would be interesting and might generate some comments. Have fun.

Fred McCord


Change? No, short-changed

In November 2008 half the people in this country were conned into voting for "change." But it looks like the only change we will get is "short-changed." Do you realize that one of the bills now before us contains around 9,000 earmarks, including millions of dollars for tattoo removal? This is preposterous, to say the least!

Claire Williams


Let RV workers build homes

Two articles on the front page of The Register-Guard on Feb. 25 - "Workers (RV) on furlough fur·lough  
a. A leave of absence or vacation, especially one granted to a member of the armed forces.

b. A usually temporary layoff from work.

" and "It can happen to ... anyone" on homelessness - prompted me to think.

Why can't RV workers be hired to build manufactured homes to house the newly homeless families? RV workers have transferable skills, e.g., installing walls, floors, cabinets, plumbing, electrical wiring Electrical wiring in general refers to insulated conductors used to carry electricity, and associated devices. This article describes general aspects of electrical wiring as used to provide power in buildings and structures, commonly referred to as building wiring. , etc., to build manufactured homes. These homes can be of good quality and sold nationwide.

The banks can use the stimulus money to lend the homeless, at a very low or no interest, mortgages to buy these homes. The government can also buy these homes to be used as Section 8 (subsidized) rental housing for homeless families. It will be up to the cities and towns to develop land for these homes.

Lynn L. Hung

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Title Annotation:Letters Editorial
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 28, 2009
Next Article:Workers face appeal from city to forgo cost-of-living raises.

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