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Byline: The Register-Guard

Willingness to change is essential

Over my years of working with dysfunctional youths, parents often suggested "therapy by Greyhound," the idea that changing an adolescent's residence would change his or her behavior. Parents would say, "We're going to send Billy (or Susie) to live with Uncle Bob and Aunt Grace in Oklahoma City," thinking - or at least hoping - things would change. Not surprisingly, Billy's behavior usually didn't change, it just occurred in a new locale.

Changing adolescent behavioral patterns that have been developed over 18 years isn't easy. It requires a great deal of support and, more importantly, the adolescent being willing to work to make that change. Absent that, Uncle Bob's and Aunt Grace's best efforts are destined to fail. And, again not surprisingly, many efforts at "therapy by Greyhound" end in failure and a return ticket home.

For some college students, an athletic scholarship resembles a move to Uncle Bob's and Aunt Grace's. It's an opportunity to change one's life; to get an education and a degree; to continue to play a sport that is clearly important to the student; to change behavioral patterns that, usually just as clearly, need changing. Universities provide extensive support to promote their athletes' success but they're only providing and promoting an opportunity for success, not success itself. All the tutoring and all the counseling imaginable will not change an individual's behavior; that change must come from within the individual. Absent a willingness to work hard and make that change, the behavior will continue.

Gary Crum

Junction City

Global warming preceded industry

To clarify George Brooks' July 2 letter, I'm certain he's correct in saying that global warming is occurring and those who disagree are simply unable to face the overwhelming evidence. However, the debate Brooks mentioned stems from archaeological evidence that shows the polar icecap used to reach as far south as New York City and has been receding for thousands of years. That somewhat predates the Industrial Revolution that began in the mid-1800s and creates the question of how industry could be causing an environmental problem long before industry was invented.

All the draconian industrial measures that are being considered aren't going to have any effect on a process that has been going on long before any industry began operating. Global resources should be directed toward adapting to the new reality of a warmer planet and not to attempts to accomplish the impossible.

Dan Hill

Cottage Grove

Let the NCAA decide UO's fate

I don't know why the NCAA is wasting its time investigating the University of Oregon-Willie Lyles connection when Register-Guard sports columnist George Schroeder already has the answers. In reading his columns on this subject it seems he has appointed himself jury and has found Oregon guilty. In future columns I wouldn't be surprised if he appoints himself judge and passes down the sentence he believes Oregon should get.

I don't know which, if any, of Schroeder's ramblings will come to pass. What is certain at this point is that no one knows - except Schroeder, of course - what the NCAA's findings will be. I would suggest that Schroeder turn the investigation back over to the NCAA and let it determine what is and is not true. I believe the association has the ability to come to a conclusion in the matter on its own.

Darrel Linker


DeFazio's VA complaints are ironic

Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio's disillusionment with the Department of Veterans Affairs is both ironic and hilarious. As someone who is always spouting off about the benefits of a bloated nanny state, every moment of frustration DeFazio endures is poetic justice. He wants the VA and agencies like it to manage all aspects of our lives, so it is quite entertaining to hear him complain about the way they do business. They're the government, so DeFazio should know better than anyone how they do business.

Just think how sweet a single-payer health insurance system is going to be when the people who run the VA are running the entire health care system. But hey, we'll all have insurance, right?

So DeFazio should continue promoting big government solutions while simultaneously whining about its unresponsive, arrogant bureaucracy. I hope someday he sees how fundamentally ridiculous his whole philosophy is. In the meantime, he'll keep us laughing.

Scott Zeppa


Local conservatives are low-profile

What a shock it must have been for Chris Piche' to learn that Eugene really does have a number of conservative residents, as evidenced at the Eugene Pro Rodeo (letters, July 6). They are usually far more polite and much less vocal than his liberal cohorts, so it wasn't a surprise that he hasn't noticed their presence until now. Maybe he should attend the Oregon Country Fair near Veneta, which is sure to be more his speed and in his comfort zone.

Diana Zuiderduin


The Fed needs some new policies

In regard to the viewpoint by Mark Thoma and Tim Duy ("A broader verdict on Fed's monetary policy: It worked," June 30), Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is making the same mistake former Chairman Alan Greenspan made by keeping Fed interest rates at zero.

That policy only helps big business and big banks and gives them no reason to look to the public to make money. It also keeps lowering the value of the dollar, which raises oil, commodity and other consumer prices. In the last 10 years the dollar has dropped close to 40 percent; the proof is in oil, which trades in dollars.

So helping the wealthy continues. Conservatives keep trying to build the house starting with the roof, which I haven't seen done in my lifetime.

Gaylon Carter


Our 'cost-plus' system is expensive

Representatives of what we refer to as the greatest nation on Earth declared war on Iraq about 10 years ago. They established the no-bid 10 percent cost-plus contracting system at about the same time and their general contractor immediately moved his company to the war zone and put in more contractors than there were soldiers.

All information from the press about the amount of money being spent, and what it is spent on, is very well controlled but the nation has been going from having a budget surplus to being in massive debt since the war began. The contractors don't say "no" to free money so the process continues with no end in sight, and will continue to do so until no more money can be borrowed to continue it.

In just 10 years, this situation has us well on the way to becoming a Third World nation. Voters are the ones responsible because they elected the officials who started the war, and continue it. The cost in human lives and suffering is horrendous but there is money to be made, so as is often said, "another day, another dollar." We will be pulled deeper in debt to China until we do some different voting.

Al Ratledge


Everything's going our way

Let's see. The Eugene City Council shows a great deal of wisdom by compromising to satisfy a publicity-hungry councilor; the Legislature has its most cooperative session in 20 years; the University of Oregon, bowing to public pressure, reverses its unwise decision to locate a new Oregon Research Institute building on the bank of the Willamette River; Fox News comes to Eugene and graphically demonstrates its ridiculous right-wing bias, and - best of all - vulgar, hate-spewing "patriots" nationwide are vowing to not vacation in Eugene.

Things are definitely looking up in Oregon.

Mike Fix

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Title Annotation:Editorials and Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 10, 2011
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