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LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.

Byline: The Register-Guard

PeaceHealth used fuzzy math

I read with amusement Brian Terrett's comment regarding the exorbitant price paid by PeaceHealth for the 12.5 acres owned by Arlie & Co. at the future RiverBend site (Register-Guard, April 3): "When you divide the price over the next 100 years, it is fairly minuscule," stated Terrett.

With this reasoning in mind, maybe they should have a 200-year plan and the land would cost only half as much. Or would it still be $4.15 million?

MIKE TUCKER

Junction City

Offshore children and the poor

So Oregon's welfare recipients are now having their questions answered by a call center in India? According to an April 2 article in The Register-Guard, the use of an Indian call center is saving Oregon $50,000 per month in labor costs.

I can appreciate that the Department of Human Services wants to be a good steward of taxpayers' money, but the department's managers aren't thinking outside the box. If they really wanted to save money, they should keep the call center jobs here and offshore the poor. Clearly, the cost of living in India must be only a fraction of what it is in Oregon; otherwise, Indian labor wouldn't be so cheap. If we shipped all our welfare recipients to India, we could slash their benefits and they could still live like kings.

In fact, why stop there? The lion's share of the state budget goes to education. Think how much money we could save if we offshored our kids, as well. Surely India must have lots of good teachers, too.

Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? Could this have been the secret Republican plan to balance Oregon's budget without raising taxes?

On a national level, we could apply this same principle to prescription drugs for the elderly. Why import affordable drugs from Canada, when we could export our elderly instead?

True, after we offshore our kids and our grandparents, we might miss them a tad. But we can always hire an Indian call center to check in on them now and again.

SANDRA L. HUFFSTUTTER

Sutherlin

Religious sites may be targets

I have an idea that the next U.S. target for Islamic terrorists will be of a religious nature - probably a Christian church or one of their privately owned hospitals. These would be easy targets and would shock all Americans, who could no longer doubt the religious nature of the conflict in the Middle East from an Islamic extremist point of view.

The financial institutions are well guarded, as are state buildings and transportation systems. An attack upon the religious institutions and their hospitals would be the most emotionally traumatic of all for the industrialized nations. Frankly, I am surprised it has not already happened. Most of the terrorist groups fear for survival of their fundamental religious way of life. Anger is fear's close companion, and it is human nature to blame elsewhere. Islamic extremists see the United States and European countries as Christian powers threatening traditional Islamic values in the Middle East.

GENE THOMPSON

Eugene

Stereotypes were offensive

I take great offense to the false stereotypes and insinuations Jim Clarkson (letters, April 2) felt necessary to opine about people who live in the deep South and those who are religious.

I am a Roman Catholic who spent the first 24 years of my life living in southern Alabama and central Mississippi. Two years ago, I moved to Eugene, and since that time I have encountered more closed-minded, prejudiced, reactionary, judgmental and irrational people than I did in my 24 years living in the deep South.

Clarkson stated, "Once the truly religious types rise to top political positions, the rules for their society will be implemented in an ever-more-restrictive and punitive manner, according to scripture." I don't know what scripture he is referring to, but a major tenet of Christian religions is that God created mankind with free will. While any civil society must prosecute (not persecute) criminals to protect society, any truly Christian leader would recognize that final judgment and punitive actions are the responsibilities of God, not of mankind.

Eugene and The Register-Guard's editorial pages would be much more pleasant if people living in this area would keep their comments restricted to their own opinions to further stimulate discussion and dialogue rather than constantly judging and ridiculing others who have differing viewpoints.

MATT VRAZEL

Eugene

Wal-Mart good for community

I've worked in retail for many years, and I've found that you either like competition or you don't. Greater Goods' Joan Kleban (Register-Guard, March 25) seems to be among those who don't.

Contrary to her statements, studies show that Wal-Mart supercenters are great for the community. A recent study from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation on the impact of supercenters showed that the stores create jobs and can spur economic development. On average, consumers save $524 per household annually at supercenters. Those savings mean money is redirected elsewhere in the community, for everything from housing to entertainment, creating jobs in those areas.

We've found that many retailers welcome having a Wal-Mart in the area because the increased customer traffic we generate is good for their businesses. In many communities, new businesses are established and existing businesses relocate to be close to a Wal-Mart store. We support local suppliers where we have operations. We spend more than $53 million a year with suppliers in Oregon. That effort will continue with our supercenter.

Wal-Mart also offers great jobs with competitive wages that often are above union scale, and a full range of benefits, including health insurance, 401(k) contributions, profit sharing, performance-based bonuses, life insurance and store discount cards. Supporting working families is important to us.

You can see why our customers are thrilled about our supercenter. We are, too.

TED OLIVER, District Manager

Wal-Mart Stores

Springfield

Newspaper biased against war

I have an older brother who is currently serving in the U.S. Army. He has been to Afghanistan, Egypt, Germany, Spain and Iraq - this being his second time. This last time he left for Iraq, it really hit home that he might never come back and see me.

I believe that The Register-Guard is very biased in the way it has approached the war and its issues. I am pro-Bush, pro-war, and I support our troops. The Register-Guard has shown its opposition to the war enough times, but has the newspaper shown the good things that are happening?

I believe that a newspaper is written for the people to know what is happening in the world around them. I have not even had to open the paper to see that it shows only one side of the war. Did the newspaper not know that young women and children were running up to the soldiers hugging them and telling them how thankful they are? That women are now equal and democracy is being set up so the people of Iraq can rule for the people by the people (sound familiar)?

Iraq has never been a free country such as ours. The people have been continually oppressed. Women are property to men - not allowed choices and opinions. I am a woman who believes in human rights. Aren't opponents of the war saying they don't want to help others have what they have - freedom of choice?

When you say Sept. 11 was an isolated incident and that we are only making it worse for Iraqis, take another look at history and truth will tell you differently.

KATELYN J. BRANDT

Eugene

PPO plan allows hospital choice

Much like the effects of a snake bite, the repercussions of the John Musumeci-PeaceHealth squeeze on McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center are reportedly now causing layoffs of three dozen members of McKenzie-Willamette's nursing staff.

Not only did PeaceHealth have a land deal with Musumeci, PeaceHealth also had a deal with Regence BlueCross of Oregon to eliminate McKenzie-Willamette from receiving income from Regence BlueCross.

For that very reason, my wife and I chose to eliminate Regence Blue- Cross insurance from our monthly budget. We now have enrolled in a lower-cost and well advertised PPO instead of HMO Oregon.

The only difference we have been able to determine is the PPO offers much more flexibility at a lower monthly cost. My wife and I can now be treated at McKenzie-Willamette without any restrictions.

Perhaps other Lane County families may choose to do the same.

JOHN FLUENT

Eugene

Iraq cure: We need a new doctor

America went to Iraq to destroy a madman's arsenal of deadly weapons. Perhaps. When it became apparent that the arsenal didn't exist, America, it was claimed, went to Iraq to liberate an oppressed people. When it became apparent that Iraq was a culture based on unruly religious factions trying to dominate each other through violent control of the government, it was decided that we should stick around and inject some good old-fashioned democracy into the Middle East. That was the hidden agenda from the beginning, but the current administration didn't trust the American people enough to share its vision and thought it best to lie to us about the reasons.

If Iraq was the patient and inoculation was the answer, that was a poor way to gain trust.

An inept doctor trying to inoculate a patient can cause the very same problem he is trying to cure. When the staff decide that democracy can be created by prohibiting freedom of the press, it is fairly clear that they are using a contaminated needle. The next most apparent problem in our Iraq policy appears to be that the inoculation is becoming the cause of the fever. This began with a diagnostic lie and has degenerated into a quack experiment without a credible program design.

We need a new doctor and a second opinion.

WAYNE L. MILLER

Springfield
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Apr 12, 2004
Words:1636
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