LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Ad was not a fast food endorsement
As a teacher at Spencer Butte Middle School, I use the newspaper to encourage students to critically analyze current events and make thematic connections between the news and literature. I'm able to do so through a generous Register- Guard program that gives copies of the newspaper to local teachers.
A recent advertisement for the "newspapers in schools" program featured me in my classroom next to a prominent McDonald's logo. I wasn't aware that McDonald's was a sponsor or that their logo would appear in the ad. One could conclude from the advertisement that I was somehow endorsing the fast-food corporation.
For the sake of clarity, I don't recommend that children or their families eat fast food.
My whiteboard was visible in the background of the photo. On the board were my instructions for a unit requiring kids to read a range of texts investigating the essential question "How do our food choices affect our health and the environment?"
We've been able to use news items to investigate the rise of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer associated with our diets. We've also been able to investigate environmental issues associated with fossil fuel reliance, large-scale monoculture farming, feedlot animal farming, deforestation, land erosion, water usage, industrial pollution and deforestation associated with our current food systems.
I appreciate The Register-Guard and all the program's sponsors for providing resources to help kids make choices that are healthier for their bodies and the environment.
LTD project is creating traffic jams
Anyone who has driven West Sixth or West Seventh avenues lately where Lane Transit District has been removing trees has seen the future. Closing one lane on each street has created heavy traffic congestion, even during nonpeak hours.
We need to kill LTD's west Eugene EmX express bus extension before it creates total disaster.
The city widened those streets years ago because heavy traffic required it; reducing each by one lane to support a transit system that's used by a very small percentage of our population is irrational and will create massive traffic problems.
LTD had been, and continues to be, a huge waste of taxpayer money. It no longer serves the public, it serves only itself.
Don't automatically register voters
Interested, informed voters are vital to our democracy. Automatic voter registration of anyone other than interested, informed voters, as proposed by Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, seems to me to be potentially counter productive and a dangerous invitation for voter manipulation.
U.S. shouldn't intervene in Ukraine
Democrats have remained silent since President Obama revealed his budget calling for record military spending, while Republicans control Congress because corporate Democrats capitulated to the desires of sponsors of both parties.
Equally silent are fiscally conservative Republicans who support lavish payments to corporations that manufacture weapons, spy on Americans of all ideologies and finance the lucrative "war on terror."
Not content with ever-increasing spending on a military whose main mission has become interfering with the internal affairs of other countries, there's now a bipartisan effort to supply weapons to Ukraine.
With no concrete evidence offered, claims of Russian invasions have been debunked repeatedly. The latest charge followed the Jan. 29 admission by the Ukrainian chief of staff that no regular Russian troops are involved.
Russian advisers are assisting defense forces fighting the coup government in Kiev. How's that less justifiable than U.S. military presence in more than three out of four countries around the world?
It's arrogant, if not insane, to believe the United States has the right (or can afford) to be the world's policeman while Russia has no right to protect ethnic Russians from a fanatical government that Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Russia experts in intelligence and academia admitted was installed by the State Department and CIA.
How ironic that so many Democrats continue to regard Obama as the "peace president" when we're engaged in wars and proxy wars around the world. Even more ironic is that continuing the insanity is the one issue with bipartisan support.
Rick Staggenborg, Founder Soldiers For Peace International
Austerity plays into extremist hands
A cold wind blows through Europe. The economic policies of neoliberalism have forced Greece into a debt-driven, deflationary depression. Now they threaten it with default. Last century's descent into totalitarianism has been replaced by the inherent inequalities of "free market" orthodoxy, championed by its political authority, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Old Europe has become cold Europe.
The meteoric rise of Syriza, a diverse party of the new left, sends a stiff breeze north hoping to loosen the grip of austerity. The new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, a sharp-left Keynesian, is full of ideas on how to revive the Greek economy and create a more vibrant Europe based on economic democracy. That's a threat to the old order Merkel represents.
Syriza is ambitious. It wants to reform Greece by tackling the humanitarian crisis, promoting tax justice, growing the economy, deepening democracy and demilitarizing the police.
Industries such as shipping are exempt from taxation. Legislators are immune from prosecution. Citizens can't propose referendums. The oligarchy controls media access. The debt and austerity memorandums need to be investigated. Almost all revenue goes to debt service and buttressing private banks. Citizens are paying for the speculative greed of elites.
My first run-in with state repression was while traveling through Greece in 1969. Long hair was banned by the military junta. The border guards chuckled as my locks fell. Others fared much worse.
Greece has a history of right-wing extremism. Humiliating them with crippling austerity measures will hasten its return.
Ruling in 'upskirt' case was wrong
I was appalled and outraged to read the Feb. 8 article about the 61-year-old man who took photos looking up under the skirt of a 13-year-old girl in a Beaverton store on Jan. 3 - and was exonerated Feb. 5 of committing any crime.
Although the defendant admitted taking the photos with his cellphone, he was absolved of wrongdoing on the most specious interpretation of the law imaginable. If the incident had occurred in a restroom or a dressing room he would have been convicted; because it happened in an aisle in the store, he got off scot-free. As the father of a daughter, I find such chop logic disgusting. There's no excuse for such behavior.
The defense attorney's arguments were so disingenuous as to be insulting. He noted examples of "upskirt incidents" such as the famous Marilyn Monroe scene in the movie "The Seven Year Itch." He failed to mention that the scene in question was scripted for the film and involved a consenting adult performer.
He further cited other examples of "upskirt sightings," including "riding an escalator, taking a spill, or exiting a car." Of course, such incidents would be accidental. The defendant's actions were deliberate and were perpetrated on a minor.
The primary purpose of the law is to protect the innocent. It signally failed in this case. If the law is indeed written in such a sloppy manner, then it needs to be changed immediately.