LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
War is harmful to our quality of life
I find it strange that some people still cannot make the connection between our "defense" budget, unnecessary and endless wars, and the quality of life in our community. Apparently, Jerry McCall (letters, June 3) slept through history class when they were learning about Vietnam, an example of a war that added nothing to the quality of life in America.
How did it affect our quality of life? It sucked billions of taxpayer dollars from programs that were meant to improve the lives of poor and working class Americans. It took 50,000-plus American lives, not to mention countless injuries and life-altering mental trauma to those who served. As for the mothers, fathers, wives, children, friends, etc., of those who served, do you think it hurt their quality of life?
It has been established that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda, no nuclear weapons and no weapons of mass destruction. How did that war add to our freedom? It didn't. Between Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 6,000 men and women have been killed and tens of thousands wounded.
The cost so far is $343 million to Eugene taxpayers alone. That could fund a lot of education (instead of having massive budget cuts), mental health services, health care, firefighters, etc.
I recently read that schools cannot afford to feed students healthier food. Do you still think war doesn't damage our quality of life?
Please learn from history so we can make the connections between cause and effect.
Corby the dog was on the job
My compliments to Register-Guard photographer Chris Pietsch for the wonderful close-up photo of Corby the dog's face (Oregon Life, June 12). Corby is clearly making sure Pat Hoover and Suzee Bow Nelson are well-protected.
What a shot. I'm glad it was printed.
GOP stance has contradictions
It's interesting that Republican candidates so easily profess their "right-to-life" stance when coupled with the programs they promote to "save our economy."
Under the pretext of "reducing the budget" and being "fiscally responsible," they would cut nearly a billion dollars from food and health care assistance; kick more than 200,000 children out of preschool by cutting funds for Head Start and low-income children; cut $1.3 billion from community health centers, which would deprive more than 3 million low-income families of care; force states to fire 65,000 teachers and aides, increasing class sizes dramatically; make 10,000 low-income veterans homeless by denying them housing vouchers; and eliminate $1.6 billion from the National Institutes of Health.
All this so the super-wealthy 1 percent in America - including the banks, Wall Street, insurance companies, oil conglomerates, arms and military, HMOs and billionaire CEOs who control 98 percent of our country's resources - will keep their devastating tax cuts and not have to pay much if any taxes, as the rest of us do.
Nor do these super-rich want the banks, Wall Street and health insurance industries that caused much of the economic and jobless crisis to be regulated by the government, despite the fact that many other countries' governments do so for the welfare of most of their people.
So these pro-life Republicans want children born, but they don't seem to care or feel the responsibility for what kind of life those children will have.
Administrator pay goes overboard
The good old boy network is alive and well at the Lane County Board of Commissioners. The board's conservative majority approved a multi-year six-figure contract with a substantial bonus for the newly appointed County Administrator Liane Richardson. That was accomplished without any pretense of opening the position to a competitive recruitment process.
A May 18 article indicated that, in addition to her salary, Richardson receives a benefit package in excess of $70,000. That amount of money would provide a living wage for most families I know, or entry-level salaries for two beginning teachers.
Basic math reveals that Richardson's total compensation is approaching a quarter of a million dollars. And that is for just one employee.
The three blind mice commissioners profess to be fiscal conservatives - until the time comes to reward those they favor.
Pledge to the world would be better
We are living in a global community, and we are entering a cycle where we will slowly be seeing an end to a long era of nationalism.
The founding of the United Nations was an effort by global leaders to give recognition to the need for global cooperation. We may choose to pledge allegiance to our individual nations, but we are citizens of the world.
Some years ago Lillian Gensler introduced a pledge in the United Nations that recognized our need to pledge allegiance to the planet. That pledge would be more appropriate to recite before our Eugene City Council meetings: "I pledge allegiance to the world, to care for Earth and sea and air, to cherish every living thing, with peace and justice everywhere."
Campus police downplay crime
The most troubling aspect of having a sworn campus police force is that it would lack civilian oversight by a publicly accountable body. University police forces have an unfortunate history of belittling serious crime on campuses. Since universities receiving federal funds must report crimes on campus publicly, there is an institutional bias not to report them, and thus to give the university better safety statistics.
The sad result is that what might get charged as a burglary or sexual assault off campus does not get reported at all, gets reported as a misdemeanor to municipal authorities, or gets handled by the university as a student conduct matter.
The result is that college students, who generally have a higher socioeconomic status, are held to a lower standard of conduct than students off campus who have a generally lower socioeconomic status.
The dream killers are at work
I am so sick of the faux patriotic, faux Christian, conservative American-dream killers I could just scream.
They and Wall Street are doing away with collective bargaining, unions and good jobs with benefits and pensions (except for their own).
They've killed the hope of owning a home and saving for retirement. Free education for everyone will be but a dream. They're working mighty hard to repeal the deficient health care plan that was recently passed, and now they're after the Social Security and Medicare benefits (not entitlements) that we've paid into our entire working lives. They're taking food out of the mouths of children and consistently killing the rights of women.
Now we have an American-dream killer complaining because our glorious park system is "flush with money" and is blowing pine needles off driveways (letters June 21). How low can one go?
Removing wet, decomposing pine needles might save someone from falling and breaking a hip or leg. So instead of being proud of our campgrounds and recognizing the jobs they're providing for an employee or, more likely, a volunteer, they choose to be condescending and arrogant and denigrate our incredible state park system which is, without a doubt, the best in the country, and I boast of it every chance I get.
Never in our lifetime has this old saying been truer: If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democratic. Don't let the dream killers kill the American dream for the rest of us.