LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Employers are at fault
Citizens are back to discussing illegal immigration, as if it were something that exists solely because Mexicans cross the border to lounge around on welfare in the United States. The reality is illegal immigrants make the dangerous crossing to this country to work. They work because there are jobs for them - jobs that employers are not giving citizens who are born here because they don't want to pay an honest wage.
Again and again the illegals doing the work are being blamed instead of the employers who are hiring them and keeping Americans unemployed. If you want to do something about illegal immigration, change the status of employers who hire them.
When they're caught employing illegals, paying substandard wages, cheating on taxes and keeping Americans from jobs, send them across the Rio Grande and let them walk home. If employers hired American citizens at a living wage, there would be significantly fewer people crossing the border for work.
Both parties deserve kicks
New York Times columnist David Brooks hit the nail on the head when he recently explained why the voting public is rejecting the liberal agenda of President Obama and big-time spending. "Americans now see debt as the primary threat to their well being. ... Liberals may see themselves as the champions of the little guy, but in the age of austerity, many voters see them as protectors of the special interests, as the guardians of the unaffordable promises."
However, Brooks did not mention the other reason why voters are rejecting the Democrats; this party does not listen to the voters any better than the Republicans did. The Republicans refuse to get us out of war, and they support big oil and are cold-hearted, billionaire elite dictators; the Democrats are just the same! And, even worse, they pretend to be good guys and supporters of the working man. That hypocritical attitude is worse than the Republicans, who at least don't pretend to love workers. The Democrats do make that claim. The elitist, super-educated, superior-to-thou attitude of the liberal Democrats, who regard the voters as much stupider than them, has turned the public against them.
The voters have decided that the Democrats are just as bad, or worse. Neither party is listening to the voters. Why should the voters not kick them both hard in the shins till one of them listens? There's no limit to how hard those kicks could get.
Bad flag over new bridge
Many of us cringe when we drive under the new 1,500-foot bicycle bridge over the abandoned quarry and Delta Highway. Why? It's very simple. Two hundred acres of butchered and abandoned mining land in the center of Eugene has lain at waste since the early 1960s.
In fact, it was partly because of this eyesore that new legislation was put into effect nationally to fill in these holes.
My biggest problem is that "beautiful bike bridge." I, as a taxpayer, borrowed $2.5 million from China in order to develop a shovel ready TARP program for Eugene. Our civic leaders were all gaga over all the jobs this would create for the area. All those family wage jobs! This is their showcase!
Now the result is that we will never pay off China and the interest we owe them.
Moreover, one of our wonderful "union" workers has had the audacity to put up Old Glory at the peak. They wanted to show their patriotic pride. Have you seen what it looks like? The project manager should be ashamed of himself, and the mayor needs to get the local Boy Scouts or veterans' group to retire and burn the faded and shredded old flag and get a new one. Cringe, upset? I'm livid.
Wolf plan is being ignored
Ranchers are crying wolf again. Ranchers and government trappers exterminated wolves 70 years ago and their tolerance for this endangered species is no different today. In violation of the Oregon Wolf Plan, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife is not requiring ranchers to exhaust nonlethal means of deterring wolves, or to remove livestock carcasses from the field so they don't invite predation, before killing wolves. Rather than enforcing their own plan and regulations, officials are bowing to bully tactics and political pressure from cattlemen. Under this kind of leadership, wolves don't have a chance to recover and fulfill their ecological role in Oregon.
In response to six cows allegedly killed by wolves, nine kill permits were issued to ranchers, and federal aerial gunners are trying to shoot two wolves from helicopters. In spite of the fact that wolves have not been seen near livestock and no further depredations have occurred, the illegal kill orders have twice been extended and the kill area increased to 70 square miles. Why is this happening when there is no longer a problem?
Apparently ODFW feels it must exact revenge upon some wolves, indiscriminately taking out two bodies to appease ranchers who openly threaten to form wolf posses and declare martial law. This approach not only fails to resolve conflicts, it perpetuates ODFW's catering to the pressures of an outspoken minority. Wildlife agencies need to find the courage to follow the state plan and do what Montana and Idaho have failed to do - prioritize wildlife coexistence above politics.
Predator Defense Oregon
Use of resources must be cut
I am a junior at Thurston High School, and I have taken a course on global science taught by Phil Dube. I started the course as a global warming skeptic, and after the trimester I remain a skeptic. I believe in the natural climate cycles of the Earth, but his class has opened my eyes to our overuse of the planet's natural resources.
It is an indisputable fact that we use enormous amounts of our irreplaceable oil that, like any other product in limited quantities, will run out. We use oil for almost everything and that gives oil companies an enormous amount of power.
I realize it would be impossible to take all gas-powered vehicles off the road. People have the right to own and drive whatever they want. The option of fully electric vehicles should be more publicly available.
I have learned a lot in this class, and the public needs to be aware of our overuse. We, as Americans, are the guiltiest of overusing products, and I believe this is because of lack of awareness.
A lot could be done to educate the people on this subject. Whether it's articles of information in the newspaper, television commercials or informative documentaries, something has to be done.
Support troops overseas
During your July 4 celebration this year, I hope you will join me in pledging support for our troops overseas. Not for our generals, not for politicians and not for those who manipulate public opinion - but for the actual troops themselves.