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Byline: The Register-Guard

Deer didn't have to be killed

I could not believe my eyes upon reading that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the city of Florence and the Federal Aviation Administration approved the slaughter of three deer who have been living and grazing near the airport runway. It reminded me of the canned hunts that you see on TV, but here it happens in our back yard.

"Rocket" was so tame he would eat out of your hand. How hard was it to aim the rifle? With tens of thousands of acres of woodland in western Lane County, it seems to me that relocating these deer would have been a more humane solution to the hazard of a collision between aircraft and deer. If the remaining deer in the herd are a hazard, I would hope that the powers that be will seek a different solution.



Ivins worst of liberal writers

Is it possible that there are no conservatives in the news department at The Register-Guard? Can they all be shrieking idiot liberals? Isn't that against the law?

A Charles Krauthammer will somehow slip by, on occasion, but ordinarily we are exposed daily to the likes of liberal Bush-bashers like Molly Ivins, Maureen Dowd (now famous for misquoting Dick Cheney to make a political point), William Pfaff, Nicholas Kristof, Alex Cockburn and miscellaneous other lefties. To a conservative, this is the equivalent of liberals having to listen to Rush Limbaugh every day, except, of course, Limbaugh has 10 times more integrity than that unholy group above combined.

Ivins, the worst by far of the Bush-bashers, is, as I'm sure you've noticed, a big favorite with newspaper. God only knows why. She's a Bush-basher, true, but the newspaper has a full stable of those. She's a blatant liar, true, but most of the Bush-bashers are. So what could it be?

No idea. All I know is that a little research showed that the only other publication so enamoured with Ivins is a liberal rag run by admitted communists, the "Progressive." Oddly, a lot of liberals now want to be called progressives. Maybe the answer lies in there somewhere.



U.S. health care lags behind

The gore and bodies of the Iraq mess have been largely kept from public view, as has the tragic state of America's health care.

How many cases of cancer, heart disease and a host of fatal ailments might be detected and treated early if we had an effective health care system? Millions can't afford such routine tests, or their insurance won't cover them.

We are the richest nation on earth, and yet we have one of the worst health care records among the world's industrialized nations, being rated 19th by the World Health Organization.

The drug industry defends its price gouging by lying about the high cost of research, while defenders of American health care blithely point to our cutting edge in medical research and treatment. But this has little to do with health care delivery for most Americans.

And while we waste time defending science against moralists, the Portuguese and Germans blaze ahead, using adult stem cells for successful regenerative therapies.



Cheney's epithet uninspiring

My generation was taught that we have a noble heritage. I guess it was good that we believed it; it made for a happier childhood.

I learned the facts in adulthood and was better able to handle it. I remember some of the inspiring last words uttered by our then-heroes. Nathan Hale said, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Though not his last words, Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death."

These famous words keep our hearts aflame as we try to live up to them.

Contrast the recent foul-mouthed advice uttered by our vice president - and I don't need to cite it here; I'm sure it is etched forever in people's minds and hearts. They weren't his last words, but wouldn't we be better off if they were?

Maybe we've come a long way, baby, but I'm not too happy about the direction in which we are headed.



Don't lock up federal timber

The tone and layout of the Biscuit Fire logging article (Register-Guard, June 2) was such that it could lead the casual reader to form an opinion that logging any of the 500,000 acres of the burn would be a disaster.

The federal government owns those timber lands. They are owned by we, the public. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are charged by Congress to manage these lands for the public's best use.

The timber companies mentioned are in a state of continuing decline in Oregon from actions and influence of groups like the Siskiyou Project, Greenpeace, the Oregon Natural Resources Council, the World Wildlife Fund and dozens of other environmental groups. That all seems to lead to the article's last sentence: "The eventual goal: A moratorium on logging on public lands."

With federal public forest land being 60 percent of the forest land west of the Cascade Mountains and now with logging reduced by 80 percent from the Northwest Forest Plan of 1994, the timber industry is but a shadow of its historical past.

We have yet to find many politicians who were educated in economics or forestry and are well-versed in the results of free enterprise.

The timber industry in Oregon is sustaining itself by logging on private timberlands. Please tell me why we, the public, cannot expect the same multiuse management from our federal timberlands.



Tinted windows discolor life

There are some things that I just don't understand, such as the current tinted window fad. During a recent bus trip I took from Portland to Eugene, the beautiful Willamette Valley landscape was a hideous, greenish-brown color thanks to the bus's heavily tinted windows. Likewise, the Oregon experienced through the windows of a local tour company's buses is a discolored version of the real thing.

Some Lane Transit District buses now have such dark windows that, especially at night and on cloudy days, it's difficult to see when one's stop is coming up. And drawings of LTD's new Bus Rapid Transit vehicles depict completely blackened windows all around, including the windshield. How uninviting to prospective passengers: Cattle on their way to market in livestock trucks have a better view than we'll have riding these buses.

Many new buildings incorporate this unattractive glass. At Lane Community College, the new science/math building even has dark windows that supposedly reduce sun glare - on the north side. I've also seen retail shops and restaurants with this glass; not the best way to attract customers.

And cars: For safety reasons, state law requires the windshield, front side windows and the rear window to be clear glass. But just look around at the proliferation of Darth Vader-like vehicles. Police no longer enforce the law, and state and local officials look the other way.

Tinted windows are dangerous, illegal and ugly. Three good reasons to switch back to clear glass.



Make any new draft rules fair

"Talk of draft revival just won't go away," said a July 6 headline in The Register-Guard.

Given the misadventures into which our court-appointed president has led led us, it's no surprise that more troops seem to be needed and draft talk is in the air. But if we're going to have conscription, let's make it fair:

Women now serve as volunteers in all our services, so women should be required to register for the draft as well as men.

There must be no exemptions, except for extreme physical or mental unfitness. No deferments for education or any other reason. Married folks with children are already seeing action in Iraq, so there should be no exemption for parents.

All assignments to active duty should be equitable, except that children and grandchildren of the president, vice president, all cabinet members and all members of Congress should be assigned to front-line units.

Draft boards should be composed of veterans - preferably combat veterans. They'll know what they're sending young people off to. Nonveterans may serve if not enough vets can be recruited for this duty, but veterans should at least be in the majority.



No need to criticize immigrants

Rarely have I been so appalled by such a blatant display of ignorance, xenophobia and implicit racism as I was by Rita Schrank's uninformed tirade (letters, July 6), in which she complains of America's invasion by illegal immigrants.

Her letter specifically targets - although is not limited to - Mexican immigrants. And while she would seemingly lump all peoples of foreign origin into one unfavorable category, I invite Schrank and those who share her unfortunate perspective to examine more closely the experience of these people. The vast majority of immigrants in this country do not come to blow up buildings, but rather to escape poverty (and in some cases persecution) and to work the jobs no one else wants for pay most Americans would scoff at, without access to unions, health care and protection under the law.

I find it ironic that most patriots endlessly tout the liberty and economic prosperity of this country and then recoil and cry invasion when those of less fortunate circumstances try to share in the American Dream.

I would also like to remind Schrank of a certain inscription which appears at the foot of the Statue of Liberty that says, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ..." and has been one of the guiding principles of the American character.



The power to torture is immoral

We are told that White House and Justice Department lawyers conferred upon the president the power to authorize torture. I say that for President Bush to even accept that he had such power is immoral - and surely un-Christian.




Letters received in past week: 206

Letters published: 60

What's on readers' minds: Largest letter volume since mid-May, owing mainly to reader interest in the rancorous debate over gay marriage. Though President Bush's failed push to get Congress moving on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage prompted the most letters, the president's performance in the Iraq war was a very close second. Michael Moore's controversial anti-Bush film "Fahrenheit 9/11" continued to generate letters, as did local interest in hospital siting and a possible write-in campaign to oppose Kitty Piercy for Eugene mayor in the November election.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jul 17, 2004
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