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Byline: The Register-Guard

U.S. team looked like sore loser

I was disappointed to watch the U.S. Olympic basketball team receive its bronze medal. Not because they should have won the gold, but because of their demeanor.

They were unable to smile, looked down or away from the Argentina podium the whole time and looked as if what was rightfully theirs was somehow taken from them. Talk about sore losers!

The contrast in watching both the silver and gold teams from Italy and Argentina was amazing. The Italians and Argentinians seemed so proud to represent their countries and to be part of the Olympic experience. Has the U.S. team lost its perspective? Did they assume that just because they are from America and the NBA that they would win? It's time for them to regroup and get perspective.



Piercy has a vision for Eugene

Well, it seems some in our community want to maintain business as usual - their business as usual - by trotting out the old status-quo warhorse Jim Torrey. I will not denounce these people for trying this ploy, because this is a democracy we live in, so they can give it their best shot with my blessing.

To all supporters of Kitty Piercy (including myself), I say let us all deliver a message to these "business as usual" people who think they own us and send them a resounding message at the ballot box. With our overwhelming votes for Piercy we will show them that, yes, we really do care about the quality of our lives here in Eugene. We really do care about the livability of our community, and this is why we have voted for change in our local government.

So let these people spend and spend more in their frantic struggle to keep us in our place and keep their pockets lined. We will come through on election day with a smile and a new mayor who has a vision for - not just the few - but for all of us in the community.



Calling on all Jims to just say no

It is nice of you to ask me to run as a write-in candidate for mayor, Jeff Miller. I was surprised and intrigued when I first heard about your "Run, Jim, Run" effort, but I've decided that I should respectively decline.

Sure, I have my differences with Kitty Piercy, but she says that she wants to represent all of us, and I'd prefer my legions of supporters give her a chance to show whether she can do that rather than ask them to polarize Eugene with an acrimonious, expensive campaign.

On a personal note, I flatter myself to think I've developed a reputation for being independent and fair-minded. In case I decide to run for higher office in the future, I'd hate to squander the good will of voters by signing on to a highly partisan effort that has the appearance of sour grapes.

Just out of curiosity, Jeff, why did you and your friends pick me? Would any Jim do? Anyhow, I've decided to work with Piercy and I hope you, Jeff, and any other Jims you might be urging to run will do the same.



Social Security fund is healthy

Once again Alan Greenspan is sounding alarm bells about Social Security. He wants to cut baby boomers' benefits to save Social Security. In fact Social Security does not need to be saved for boomers.

We are paying our way. And we deserve our benefits, all of them. Social Security's own projections show that the system is collecting enough to be solvent with no changes until 2052, at which point most of the remaining Boomers will be past 90 years old.

The real problem is that the federal government has become addicted to the annual Social Security surplus. It is being used to help finance the fiasco in Iraq and to cut taxes for millionaires and multinational corporations. The real problem is that Greenspan would prefer to loot our retirement benefits than kick that addiction.

Instead of changing Social Security, Greenspan should address the real problem. He should propose that other federal government operations start living within their means, just as Social Security is doing.

By making such a despicable proposal, Greenspan places himself in the gallery of notorious corporate rogues, such as Enron's Ken Lay, who are looting people's pensions and stealing their retirement. We deserve better from our public servants.



People always misuse gadgets

The Register-Guard prints an article on Aug. 28 concerning the coming miracle of flying cars. Never mind that such a miracle has been written about for decades, along with such wonders as portable nuclear generators that eliminate the need for fossil fuels, or anti-gravity beds that would ease bedsores.

The problem with such rose-colored-glasses predictions is that none of them take into account the predilection of human nature to pervert technology. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks alone would indicate that some inventions can and will be utilized in ways the designers never intended or, for that matter, even imagined.

Even now, the mad scientist caricature that many people of science decry does in fact have no small grain of truth to it. We can't even expect our citizenry to responsibly use the technology they have now.

How often do we read of yet another drunk driver killing someone else? Or a teenager killing themselves because of high speed? Pickup trucks purchased more for reasons of intimidation than for practicality. Idiots taking themselves out of the gene pool because they chose to play chicken with a train. How many fools, even now, refuse to wear seatbelts because it's their way to strike back at the big, bad government?

I would almost suggest that technology be geared toward improving current gadgets by making them fool-proof. But the problem is, it's impossible. Because when we try, all we get is a new and improved fool.



Americans dismiss protesters

As the latest GOP National Convention unfolded, so did the political theater in the streets outside, and with a fervor greater than has been seen in decades. With that in mind, one recalls a hoary contention once popular among Republicans and now being resurrected: that similar peace demonstrations of another generation actually prolonged the war in question, simply because the average American so disliked being shown how wrong he or she was by "a bunch of dirty, dope-smoking hippies" that support for the national folly instead became even more intransigent - the "we'll show them" philosophy.

The implied lesson of the above is that if one wants to convince someone of something, one shouldn't offend those whom one is trying to convince; otherwise, one is only shooting oneself in the foot.

Rarely, however, does one hear an alternative spin, i.e., that that same average American was - and sadly, still is - so childishly insecure and so stubbornly convinced of his or her own righteous nobility that it would be better that thousands of innocent people die needlessly than to admit to any fallibility, particularly when those guilty of suggesting an "imperial nudity" are so flamboyantly nonconformist.

Thus, if the people of this country insist on not only shooting the messenger but ignoring the message as well, then ultimately any resultant disaster cannot logically be blamed on the messenger's repugnant aspect.

In other words, all such decisions remain one's own personal responsibility - ironically, an oft-stated tenet of modern Republican conservatism.



Election most critical in years

Defeat President Bush, yes! But defeating Bush is not enough. A new president can accomplish little unless we elect enough progressive and liberal Democrats to regain majorities in the House and Senate.

Locally, that means re-electing Congressman Peter DeFazio. DeFazio has taken clear stands against the war in Iraq, Pentagon excesses, tax cuts for the rich, exporting U.S. jobs and the weakening of Social Security.

If you have never voted before, I urge you to register and vote in this election. It is the most critical election in many decades. Our civil liberties and our very lives may depend on the outcome.



Kerry was nominated for medals

I am a veteran who served during Vietnam, and I am wondering if some people in this country have stopped using their brains.

All this furor over whether Sen. John Kerry deserved his medals is utterly ridiculous. Kerry did not give himself his medals. You have to be nominated by someone else, and then after an investigation the military approves or disapproves the medals. Given this, I don't see how anyone who stopped a few seconds and actually used their brain could question whether Kerry deserved his medals.

It seems to me that if you don't think he did, you should criticize the military.



Support Cheney on gay marriage

To all those fans of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney out there who have stated that this administration could say or do nothing to please us liberals, you were wrong. I must admit I'm bit astounded myself, but after three and a half years of being repulsed by every word and action this administration has taken, I've found myself impressed with Cheney.

His recent comments at a campaign rally denouncing any attempts by Congress to ratify a constitutional amendment barring gay marriage were inspirational. He stated that we are a free country where individuals have a right to pursue happiness with whomever they choose.

The catalyst behind this innovative thought was that he has a gay daughter himself, and I'm sure doesn't want to see her suffer discrimination based on the fact that she finds happiness with another woman.

So here we are, mere weeks from the election that will shape the future of this country, and liberals and conservatives have an issue that we can agree upon.

Much like Vice President Cheney, I'm sure none of us want to see discrimination written into our state constitution. I hope you, liberals and conservatives alike, will join me in voting no in November on the amendment to ban gay marriage in the state of Oregon.

Don't all Americans deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?



Stop running torture photos

I was more than distressed to be subjected again to the horrific photograph of the Iraqi prisoner being tortured. Please put this away in the archives. We can learn about the trial of those accused of these atrocities without seeing the pictures again.




Letters received in past week: 189

Letters published: 64

What's on readers' minds: The top letter issue continues to be the mostly negative reader reaction to an effort to draft Mayor Jim Torrey as a write-in candidate to oppose Kitty Piercy in November. On the national front, two issues predominated: The controversy over Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam service and the presidential election race between Kerry and President Bush. Other topics receiving multiple letters included gay marriage and religion in politics.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Sep 4, 2004
Previous Article:Lacking in reality.
Next Article:Beavers in eye of the Tigers.

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