Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.Byline: The Register-Guard
Cost of doing nothing
I thought for a moment that the Bush administration had decided to stop playing dumb about global warming global warming, the gradual increase of the temperature of the earth's lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution. because of the findings of an Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and report that concluded that global warming is indeed being caused "mostly" by human activities.
But then I read that Bush has dismissed the study (Register-Guard, June 5), remarking that he had "read the report put out by the bureaucracy." One wonders whether Bush has the ability to understand what he reads.
Even the report itself is terrifying ter·ri·fy
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.
2. To menace or threaten; intimidate. . First it says that human-induced warming and associated sea level increases are expected to continue through the 21st century and that the effects will include increases in rainfall and increased susceptibility of semiarid semiarid
said of regions of the earth which have dry climates but not as dry as those of arid climates. regions to drought. Then, incredibly, the report recommends "adapting to inevitable changes." In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , we should all accept the vast ecological devastation that is resulting from human greed and carelessness.
Allowing corporations to govern their own heat-storing emissions, as Bush intends, is tantamount to allowing those who have made greed an organizing principle to ruin our world. The European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community and, most recently, Japan have signed on to the Kyoto accord. Bush has rejected it out of hand because of its "cost." That means less profit for the likes of his pals at Enron and Exxon-Mobil.
The real cost of doing nothing is a loss of human dignity Human dignity is an expression that can be used as a moral concept or as a legal term. Sometimes it means no more than that human beings should not be treated as objects. Beyond this, it is meant to convey an idea of absolute and inherent worth that does not need to be acquired and .
THOMAS GUSHURST Eugene
Peace prospects alive
The Oslo agreement may be dead, but the prospects for peace in the Middle East are not.
Despite the current deadlock in its implementation, Oslo did not leave us with nothing. It marked the first time that the Israelis formally recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), coordinating council for Palestinian organizations, founded (1964) by Egypt and the Arab League and initially controlled by Egypt. as legitimate and central to the peace process. It put the Palestinians in a position they had long been denied, and fully deserved - at the center of negotiations.
The Israelis, under Yitzhak Rabin, finally realized they couldn't broker a peace without involving the other side in talks. Ariel Sharon, in his rage, has forgotten that Yasser Arafat's organization is his best option, in fact his only option, for negotiations. What would be the purpose of trying to secure a lasting peace with groups like Hamas or Islamic Jihad Noun 1. Islamic Jihad - a Shiite terrorist organization with strong ties to Iran; seeks to create an Iranian fundamentalist Islamic state in Lebanon; car bombs are the signature weapon , which call for the complete destruction of Israel?
Though its seems like recognition of the Palestinian Authority Palestinian Authority (PA) or Palestinian National Authority, interim self-government body responsible for areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under Palestinian control. has gone right out the window during Sharon's reign, the essential fact that the Israeli government has already accepted Arafat's legitimacy cannot be overlooked, nor will the world let it be overlooked.
Oslo was only the first stab at peace between the two parties; of course it didn't succeed. The situation may look grim now, but one of the largest barriers - mutual recognition - has already been surmounted sur·mount
tr.v. sur·mount·ed, sur·mount·ing, sur·mounts
1. To overcome (an obstacle, for example); conquer.
2. To ascend to the top of; climb.
a. To place something above; top. , and peace will undoubtedly follow.
JACKIE PRANGE Eugene
Focus on hope
Success in most things follows from an artful matching of means and ends.
I hear from Warren Buffet, the investment magnate, that within the next few decades an atomic attack on a city near me is "a certainty." That's pretty strong language. Not to be outdone out·do
tr.v. out·did , out·done , out·do·ing, out·does
To do more or better than in performance or action. See Synonyms at excel. , White House officials have leapt to the ramparts to proclaim that this prediction may be on the optimistic side. Talk about lowering expectations!
I would remind all those too callow to recall that 50 years ago a great many sober Americans also thought atomic attack was a certainty. They had reason to, but they were wrong. Anyway, I understand that profit in the insurance business flows from an excess of fear over statistical risk. But an excess of focus on Armageddon scenarios produces another kind of profit for those who would unravel our economy and compromise our freedoms - namely, the terrorists.
It is not necessary to focus on the end time. It always arrives with its own lens. I think the leadership of the country, like the rest of us, should focus on the meantime. We will prevail against terrorist chaos. Good. But that's not the meaning of life. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile , let us thrive.
WALLY PARKER Eugene
Curb nuclear fears
The purpose of this letter is to reduce the fear (hysteria?) that many citizens have regarding the transportation and storage of nuclear waste. I am now retired, but for many years I was a professor of physics. I have handled radioactive materials, been exposed to nuclear radiation and even ingested in·gest
tr.v. in·gest·ed, in·gest·ing, in·gests
1. To take into the body by the mouth for digestion or absorption. See Synonyms at eat.
2. radioactive foods. In spite of all those bad things that I did, I am 80 years old and in reasonably good health.
The question of how to store the waste from nuclear reactors has been studied for many years, actually decades. The Yucca Mountain Yucca Mountain, mountain in the SW Nevada desert about 100 mi (161 km) northwest of Las Vegas. It is the proposed site of a Dept. of Energy (DOE) repository for up to 77,000 metric tons of nuclear waste (including commercial and defense spent fuel and high-level site is a reasonable solution to this difficult problem.
I wish to comment on the May 29 guest column by Michael Carrigan. He indicated that Yucca Mountain is just outside Las Vegas Las Vegas (läs vā`gəs), city (1990 pop. 258,295), seat of Clark co., S Nev.; inc. 1911. It is the largest city in Nevada and the center of one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States. . Is Eugene just outside Portland? He also stated that an accident occurring to one of the casks used to transport the waste "has the potential to be a nuclear bomb." That cannot happen; ask any physicist.
Carrigan suggests that "the ultimate solution to the nuclear waste dilemma is to stop making it." In this country, approximately 10 percent of our electricity is generated by nuclear plants. In Oregon, we are fortunate to have the Columbia River Columbia River
River, southwestern Canada and northwestern U.S. Rising in the Canadian Rockies, it flows through Washington state, entering the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Ore.; it has a total length of 1,240 mi (2,000 km). . We do not need nuclear power. But look at the percentages of nuclear energy in a few other states: Vermont, 77 percent; New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E). , 63 percent; even New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , with Niagara Falls Niagara Falls, waterfall, United States and Canada
Niagara Falls, in the Niagara River, W N.Y. and S Ont., Canada; one of the most famous spectacles in North America. The falls are on the international line between the cities of Niagara Falls, N.Y. has 26 percent nuclear energy! In Europe, France is 76 percent nuke; Switzerland is 41 percent.
I agree with Carrigan that there should be increased emphasis on conservation and renewable energy. However, it is unrealistic to say "No nukes."
GEORGE TOWE Eugene
A right to disagree
I find it quite funny that those such as Mark F. Oldham (letters, June 5) tend to support free speech - but not when they disagree with what is being said.
I also find it very, very, interesting that not one piece of evidence was offered up to defend his claim that Michael Savage's show, "The Savage Nation," is, indeed, hate radio. If Oldham disagrees, he should begin his own talk show, not destroy one he doesn't like.
Finally, if Oldham actually listened to the show that he so vehemently wants off the air, he would find that Savage is not a hatemonger hate·mon·ger
One who incites others to hatred or prejudice.
Noun 1. hatemonger - one who arouses hatred for others
depreciator, detractor, disparager, knocker - one who disparages or belittles the worth of something , he is only concerned about the future of America. And in America you have the right to disagree, not destroy.
CHRIS SCHUMACHER Eugene
Bite sales-tax bullet
It is time for Oregonians to bite the bullet of pride and have a sales tax sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government. . They are cutting off their noses to spite their faces.
Tourism is one of the largest industries in the state. Tourists use our facilities, our police, our roads, all our infrastructure. There is no reason why they should not help pay the expenses as in all other states. The tax would then be shared by all, and would be much less of a burden on the individual.
The tax is not regressive, because food, housing and medical would be exempt. The poor have little money to spend on anything else.
And while we are talking about taxes, Congress should reverse plans to end the inheritance tax inheritance tax, assessment made on the portion of an estate received by an individual; it differs from an
estate tax, which is a tax levied on an entire estate before it is distributed to individuals. . It's just one more gift to the very, very rich!
MARGARET C. WAITE Eugene
Hold state accountable
If you make $30,000 a year, our governor would like to reach into your pocket and take an additional $180 or so from you. You can decide which luxury you will sacrifice for the sake of the state.
He would have you believe that you will be doing the right thing by giving up that cruise or new Lexus for the sake of education. However, the truth is that your $180 won't help education. Three years from now, education will still be deficient because your money will really go into the Public Employees Retirement System, or maybe to help fund one of the many new programs in this budget that was not in the previous one.
Or maybe it will go to support the public employees' pay raise that the governor and the union just agreed to. There are just way too many priorities in front of education. True reform will not happen until the state is held accountable for its ever increasing expenditures, and realizes that further taxation will only depress the economy and reduce the tax base.
MICHAEL A. KALISH Eugene
Awakening the public
We would like to commend Elaine Beebe Lapriore for doing such a wonderful job of compiling the story about our granddaughter, Eliza Cascade Jacobs (Register-Guard, June 2). We had the privilege of sharing "shifts" with her parents, Cory and Jake Jacobs, at Eliza's bedside in the intensive care unit at UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX the last 19 days of her short but incredible life; we are most grateful to have such an informative account published.
Perhaps, just perhaps, it will help to awaken the public to the need for transplant donations, and someone else's little angel will be given the gift of life because of her efforts.
DENNIS and JACKIE HAMILTON Bend
Tax would save lives
I wholeheartedly whole·heart·ed
Marked by unconditional commitment, unstinting devotion, or unreserved enthusiasm: wholehearted approval.
whole support Oregon House Speaker Mark Simmons' stunning proposal to increase cigarette taxes by $1 per pack and raise $180 million in revenue. If approved by the Legislature, it would save taxpayer money and save lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the true cost of cigarettes is $7 per pack in lost productivity and health care costs. Yet Oregon's tax is a mere 68 cents per pack. That means Oregonians, 80 percent of whom are nonsmokers, are picking up the tab for tobacco's substantial economic burden. A significant cigarette tax increase would save lives by encouraging more people to quit and by preventing thousands of kids from becoming addicted smokers. And by reducing tobacco use, it would save taxpayer money for health care costs.
Tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable death in our state. If state lawmakers care about their constituents' health - financial or otherwise - they should follow the House speaker's lead and enact a $1 cigarette tax increase that will save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in Oregon's future.
JULIA MARTIN Eugene
The Register-Guard welcomes letters on topics of general interest. Our length limit is 250 words; all letters are subject to condensation. Writers are limited to one letter per calendar month. Because of the volume of mail, not all letters can be printed. Letters must be signed with the writer's full name. An address and daytime telephone number are needed for verification purposes; this information will not be published or released. Mail letters to Mailbag, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188 Fax: 338-2828 E-mail: RGLetters@guardnet.com