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LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Hate speech gets a subsidy

The Civics Glossary defines "hate" speech as a type of speech that is used to deliberately offend an individual or racial, ethnic, religious or other group. Such speech generally seeks to condemn or dehumanize the individual or group, or express anger, hatred, violence or contempt toward them.

This definition is overwhelmed by the vitriolic content of Pacifica Forum's Dec. 11 presentation by Jimmy Marr on "The National Socialist Movement: An Insider's View of America's Radical Right," which was enabled and passively condoned by the University of Oregon's administration allowing this event to occur in the Erb Memorial Union.

As if this misuse of public property was not frightening enough, producer Chris Kelsay videoed, aired and thereby amplified throughout our community this presentation on CTV on Dec. 17. His sloppy partial editing of some of the "kill the Jews" chants from the National Socialist Movement's documentary of a rally held in Phoenix, Ariz., and shown during the Dec. 11 event, represents CTV's and his lame defense for airing this video as free speech not hate speech.

Adding insult to these incitements to hate and violence is the fact the city of Eugene dedicates $7,500, and the Lane Council of Governments has granted $24,000, to fund CTV, which gives freedom to producers such as Kelsay to air hate speech. As a journalist and promoter of free speech, I am shocked the UO, the city of Eugene, and LCOG ignorantly support the presentation and airing of hate speech under the guise of our First Amendment.

AMY PINCUS MERWIN

Eugene

Proud of Obama's leadership

"Obama promised change," many people cry. It's happening.

President Obama will sign a health care bill soon. This flawed bill will change the way the United States looks at health care, which will begin to be seen as a right for all, not just a perk of being employed. In the near future, there will be universal health coverage in this country. Soon people will no longer be turned down for insurance because of pre-existing conditions or kicked off a health insurance plan after becoming sick.

There's change in our government's attitude toward global climate conditions. The United States showed up in Copenhagen, where President Obama was a leader in negotiations. A hard-won deal among the United States, China, and three other countries could lead to more negotiation and progress before next year's climate summit in Mexico City.

As war in Iraq slowly winds down, President Obama made an unpopular decision to continue the fight in Afghanistan. It was a major positive change that for three months he talked with people on all sides of that issue. I would prefer that we were not still fighting this war, but I believe that Obama's speech to the Nobel Prize Committee gave strong reasons why we need to continue.

I was one of those who worked the phones, knocked on strange doors and gave money to help elect this president. I am proud of the way he governs.

DINA WILLS

Eugene

Some animals are more equal

Sen. Ben Nelson from Nebraska makes a back door deal. Others want to join in. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the grantor of the favored deals. The pigs are at the trough.

Has your senator read the bill? Probably not, as it is kept secret so no one really knows what is there. Does that smell of slime and sleaze and payoffs? Yes it does, and the pigs are at the trough.

Rep. Peter DeFazio has at least read the House bill that passed. At least he said he did. I hope he reads the new joint bill and wakes up. George Orwell's "Animal Farm" was based on Stalinist communism in which all share equally, which is the farce this administration is trying to pull over your eyes.

The line that sums it all up in Orwell's book is, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." You better believe your congressman, your senator, your president, won't be covered under what they have planned for you. The pigs are at the trough.

JESSE HART

Eugene

Republicans fought Medicare

I have to chuckle when I read or hear Republicans saying they are trying to protect Medicare during the health care reform debate. Am I the only one who remembers that they opposed, and for the most part voted against, any attempt to establish Medicare in the mid-1960s?

Ronald Reagan was a paid spokesperson in an anti-Medicare campaign. Who can forget his 1964 nominating speech for Barry Goldwater in which he railed against this "socialist" program? But since the AARP generation skews more conservative than liberal, the Republicans now cast themselves as saviors of Medicare.

In the Medicare debate, as is the current case, Republicans brought very little to the table. They proposed that Granny and Gramps should just buy their own health insurance, and offered a small subsidy for the very poor. They threw everything and the kitchen sink into their well-funded opposition to the current reform efforts.

Instead of complaining that we did not get the whole loaf out of the Congress, we should marvel that the Democrats were able to deliver much more than a half loaf.

LAWRENCE C. CAIRD

Springfield

Stop the plunder: No on 66 and 67

Measure 66 increases tax rates on income for "certain thresholds." Instead of 9 percent, the rates would be 10.8 to 11 percent. Tax liability subtraction would also be phased out for the same. Measure 67 increases the excise tax to at least 15 times the current amount, to $150 from $10.

We are lazy. We have found a way to pay for our all wants: legal plunder. Rally the mob, the majority, and basically take from our neighbors to secure our little piece of the booty.

Ex post facto laws are expressly forbidden in the United States Constitution. Article 1, section 10, specifically limits states rights' to enact legislation that would "punish" something done prior to enactment. Passing a new tax law that takes money already earned and taxed is wrong. These measures would tax again that which was already subjected to federal, state, and local taxes. No judicial activism can make that right.

Hey, neighbors, sell your iPods, your iNanos, cancel your unlimited texting plans, even your cell phone plans, and get a home phone instead. Who said it was our right to free education and a 49-inch flat screen with high def? Is convenience worth the cost of liberty? For some, sadly, it is.

Let's take back our city, our state, and our country by supporting ourselves by the sweat of our own brows. Let's stop plundering each other and allow each other to really be free! Vote a resounding no on Measures 66 and 67.

LUKE GAMBEE

Eugene

The Grand Old Death Panel

As the Republicans make their goal-line stand against fixing a health care system that, every year, kills more than 25,000 Americans and leaves three quarters of a million American families in bankruptcy - a stand that serves no one but those who profit from the misfortune of others - it occurs to me that the largest, most effective, most dangerous death panel in America is the modern Republican Party.

PETER STRATON

Eugene
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Title Annotation:Letters Editorial
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Dec 26, 2009
Words:1217
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