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Byline: The Register-Guard

Planned Parenthood an asset

With the impending nomination of a justice to the U.S. Supreme Court who may increase the possibility of removing the constitutional protection for reproductive rights, I am further dismayed by reading letters from individuals such as Jeff Jimerson (letters, Oct. 19).

He states that Planned Parenthood is profiting from selling abortions. In fact, Planned Parenthood has probably saved more lives by educating, by offering affordable health care and by supporting women's right to choose than the number of abortions performed at its clinics. If anti-choice extremists really want to make abortion rare, they should consider making family planning more accessible. Planned Parenthood works to prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion through information and prevention.

I have been very fortunate to have had Planned Parenthood clinics to go to for most of my adult life, from when I first needed guidance and information on birth control to getting affordable annual physical exams during the 15 years of adulthood when I had no health insurance. The staff and nurse practitioners I met at these clinics have been caring and more knowledgeable than some doctors that I have encountered since.

With no health care system in this country for the poor and health insurance becoming more unaffordable, Planned Parenthood has continued to offer an alternative for uninsured women from going to under-funded public health clinics that offer minimal care.

I also need to ask why, as a man, Jimerson feels he has the right to make reproductive decisions for women.



Hierarchies dictate social rules

To some people, this looks reasonable: Because there is a fear that heterosexual males will attack girls and women in bathrooms, transgendered persons must make sacrifices.

These arguments are predictable. Typical of any hierarchy, it's difficult to hold people on the top accountable for their effects on lower groups, so the people in the lower groups must keep busy adjusting and being inconvenienced, cleaning up after the higher people, picking up the pieces that fall and making things work, no matter what problems and havoc higher people create. So, because heterosexual males-born-male (the top here) attack females, then transgendered persons (the lower group here) should carry around a special card or forgo their right to legal protection against dis- crimination?

These hierarchical dynamics are not limited to our current bathroom debate. Relief resources after Hurricane Katrina go to the wealthier white people while the poorer people of color are left to their own devices. The military recently announced a new sexual assault prevention program that only focuses on helping women and does not mention any programs for men.

I wish the people who are so concerned for the safety of girls and women would put their efforts into solving the real problem - the facets of our culture that create so many heterosexual males-born-male who attack fe- males.



External police review needed

The pain and horror of women suffering at the hands of bad cops. Good cops burdened and blemished by bad cops.

External police review is a necessary and reasonable foundation for rebuilding trust and safety within our community. We can't afford the drain on civic coffers from costly settlements bailing out bad police.

ROB HANDY, chairman

River Road

Community Organization


Country is still deeply divided

I often receive an anonymous packet of scripture after I write a letter critical of President Bush, implying that he is divinely appointed and shouldn't be criticized.

Tyrants have claimed that their rule was divinely inspired for thousands of years. Tyrants also limit knowledge and appoint cronies to maintain their power.

This country's founders rejected the tyranny of George III, preferring a democracy where all people are considered equal and free, where government is open, decisions based upon the best available expertise and appointments based upon merit.

This country 230 years ago was deeply divided between Loyalists, who supported the king, and Patriots, who preferred democracy.

The Loyalists had been conditioned by thousands of years of imperial and religious control not to question authority. The Patriots had learned from the age of reason that an informed, educated electorate could make better decisions. The humanitarian teachings of Christ were more valid than the papal dictates that resulted in the Spanish Inquisition.

Today's society is deeply divided in the same way. The terms liberal and conservative no longer apply, because liberals have been denigrated and the radicals in power do not practice conservative values.

It is a division between Loyalists, who support a corrupt imperial power, and Patriots, who believe that an egalitarian meritocracy based upon scien- tific principles and freedom of information is better for the country.

We need more Patriots!



Don't blame homosexuality

Regardless of how one may feel about the origins of homosexuality, science is still out on the question (letters, Oct. 21). And it's irrelevant to the crime of child molestation.

It is essential that we all reject the bait-and-switch tactics of the Catholic Church and its hunt for the homosexuals among its ranks. The problem is the church's conduct, not homosex- uality.

It is also important to emphasize what science does know, and that is that homosexuals are no more likely to molest children than heterosexuals. The criminal is usually a man, and he is sick.

That 90 percent of the children molested were boys is not surprising. In the past, it has only been in the most progressive parishes that girls are allowed to serve as altar boys. Girls seldom come in private contact with priests for a variety of reasons. Child molestation is a crime of opportunity for sick priests.

What is also sick is the cover-up of the Catholic Church. That bishops would follow a pattern of transferring predators to other parishes where they would again molest children is unthinkable.

The Catholic Church is a good calling for religious, dedicated and ethical homosexual men. After all, in the eyes of the church they cannot marry or have sex. The church should not exclude them on the basis of sexuality alone.

The solution to the problem lies in zero tolerance. Any misconduct with children should result in immediate release as a priest, regardless of sexuality.



Protect programs for needy

I had a family member who was unemployed for three years. He got temporary work now and then, but had it not been for food stamps and unemployment he would have been living under a bridge somewhere.

I don't know how Congress can even think about cutting these programs. Hasn't President Bush made the rich rich enough with all the tax cuts for them? Can't they leave some crumbs for the most needy of our society?



Who watches the watchers?

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes: Who will watch the watchers themselves?" is an ancient problem in any language. Now it comes before us in Eugene.

The Eugene Police Commission's answer of an independent police oversight committee is worth a try here. It won't break our present system of government and is only meant to broaden its accountability. Let's try it and see see how it works.

Vote yes on ballot Measure 20-106.



Oversight restores confidence

The process called for by Ballot Measure 20-106 would be a huge improvement over our current police oversight process.

While we might quibble over the details of who picks the citizen committee or what the expense might be, the fact is that our current system is broken.

Women, people of color and others in our community have suffered harm due to the lack of real citizen oversight of those sworn to protect us. Ballot Measure 20-106 offers true citizen oversight plus an auditor with the independence to actually effect change when needed in the police department.

As a union activist, I understand the desire of the police union to protect its members. The citizen review process would not result in a loss of protection for our hard-working officers.

It would begin to restore the community's confidence in our police and allow us to work together in creating a peaceful secure community.

Please vote yes on Ballot Measure 20-106.



How about a bit less bile?

Sometimes I think surely James T. Bryant is the nom de plume of some lefty with a sense of humor. But I guess he's real and, even more telling, he's becoming more and more representative of that ever-shrinking band of President Bush's supporters. At the rate the Bush administration is going, before the next three years are up, Bryant is likely to be its sole sup- porter.

Bryant is reduced to calling those of us who don't share his views dishonest and ignorant, accusing us of siding with terrorists and promoting the manufactured scandals found at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

While I applaud Bryant for his tenacity, his venomous personal attacks on those of us who disagree with him do get a bit tiresome. Might I suggest a bit more rationality served up with a bit less bile?


Junction City


Letters received in past week: 175

Letters published: 63

What's on readers' minds: Top topic this week was the local measure on the November ballot in Eugene to create an auditor and civilian review board to oversee police activities. Letters supporting Measure 20-106 outnumbered those opposing it by a 3-to-2 margin. Other topics receiving multiple letters included a judge's decision overturning Measure 37 and what to do about alcohol consumption at Oregon Duck football games.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Oct 29, 2005
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