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Byline: The Register-Guard

ANWR drilling must be stopped

In the week following Labor Day, legislators will vote on a provision in the budget reconciliation bill - immune to filibuster - that, if passed, will authorize drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This must not be allowed to happen.

Three facts support this position. One: The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the technically recoverable quantity of ANWR oil to be between 6 billion and 16 billion barrels, not uniformly distributed. At the worldwide consumption rate of 66 million barrels per day - U.S. consumption alone is 21 million barrels per day - ANWR contains at most a 242-day supply. And this is following a 10-year investment to build the infrastructure to harvest it. What's wrong with this picture? Doesn't it make more sense to redirect that investment to develop ecologically and economically sustainable fuel sources instead?

Two: The infrastructure to harvest and deliver ANWR oil will have an irreparable destructive effect on ANWR's tundra and the wildlife that call it home. For what? Nine months of oil? Not on our shift!

Three: Science has left no doubt that the combustion of fossil fuels contributes to the cause of global climate change. Let this be our moment to say, "Enough!"

The administration is pursuing the exploitation of ANWR purely for political enrichment by setting a precedent for appropriating wilderness lands for private oil and gas development. Let us stop this nonsense. Please join me to strongly encourage our congressmen and Sens. Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden to vote against harvesting ANWR oil.



Who are the real terrorists?

I read in The Register Guard recently that our armed forces used 500-pound bombs to bomb villages along the Syrian border with Iraq that were suspected of harboring terrorists. We are told that these are precision-guided bombs, programmed to kill only terrorists. So all the bodies of women and children lying in the rubble must be terrorists, right?

None of our soldiers or Marines went into these villages after the bombing to check what damage had been done, but the U.S. government official in charge of public relations issued this statement:

"Several terrorists were killed in the strike but exact numbers are not known."

If you were on the receiving end of those 500 pounders, watching them fall from the sky and kill your friends, neighbors and relatives, you might well ask the question: "Who are the terrorists?"



Bush bashing liberals' only hope

The editor's comments (Register-Guard, Aug. 29) regarding President Bush making statements that are manifestly untrue got me to thinking.

Evidently, the intellectually fraudulent mantra "Bush lied" is seeping down into the editorial offices now. Efforts were made to link Bush to Enron, WorldCom and voter fraud. Forged documents were used to attack his character. All has fallen flat. His detractors are confounded; since Bush has no intellectual powers, it must be some evil genius.

Nope. Bush, while not perfect, is simply a principled man who wants the best for the country. He need not defend his actions - honesty wields its own sword.

Unlike the editor, Bush realizes we are at war with an idea, not a people. The solution is long term and hinges not the slightest on whether we get Osama bin Laden. It is imperative that Islam be brought into the 21st century, and Iraq is one key. The Iraqis may succeed or not, but at least the man (and the troops) gave them a chance.

So why the Bush bashing? World events have made liberal philosophy a luxury we can no longer afford. Genuine men and women are in demand now, not poseurs. Frantic that their power is ebbing, his detractors must either attain the qualities Bush has (which is not within their grasp) or manufacture an image of Bush similar to their own (much easier).

If that parity can be achieved in the minds of the voters, the liberal philosophy just might have another bite at the apple.



Birth alternatives lower costs

The article "Childbirth bills vary in Oregon, report says" (Register-Guard, Aug. 30) about the escalating costs of hospital births failed to mention either home births or birth center births, both of which are less expensive and higher quality options. It also failed to mention that much of the high cost can be attributed to often unnecessary interventions such as ultrasound, epidurals and cesareans.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal of more than 7,000 home births in the United States showed that in a planned home birth with a certified professional midwife, 87 percent of mothers and babies did not even need to go to the hospital.

When the Oregon Health Plan was implemented, it was in part with the intent for midwives to provide lower-cost care to those who could not afford insurance. What has happened since then? Women have been sold a bill of goods that tells them that their bodies are not equipped to give birth normally and they need drugs, surgery and numerous other interventions.

Wake up, women. Just say no to drugs for yourself and your babies. Stay out of the hospital, have a home birth, have a life-changing experience and spend only one-third as much money doing it. A midwife for every mother is one answer to the health care crisis.

JAN TRITTEN, Publisher


Managing Editor

Midwifery Today


U.S. imperialism is destructive

"Imperialism for a just cause gets a bad rap" by Michael Babcock (Commentary, Aug. 28) argues that American imperialism is justified because "we are fighting for ideals of freedom and human dignity. And that's the kind of `imperialism' we should be willing to defend."

U.S. imperialism is no more benevolent than any other form of imperialism. Imperialism - and its by-products of poverty, racism, dispossession and dislocation - is responsible for most of the suffering in the world today. It's because of imperialism that powerful countries are able to consume a disproportionate amount of the world's resources while countless starve and die in the underdeveloped world, and it's because of imperialism in the form of globalization that we have more slaves in the world today than any point in history.

U.S. imperialism is not delivering freedom and dignity to the conquered nations. The war in Afghanistan replaced the Taliban with an equally brutal group of religious fanatics who aren't interested in improving the conditions for women and continue some of the worst practices under the Taliban.

The war in Yugoslavia created the conditions where that region now has the highest rates of sexual trafficking of children in the world. U.S. sanctions on Iraq and military aggression turned that country from a stable secular regime to an impoverished wasteland contaminated with depleted uranium.

Imperialism is about monopolizing resources. It is fundamental to empire building. All empires create their own grave-diggers. All empires perish, and this empire will too.



Many factors affect test scores

While we all love to see our young high school seniors do well, touting a two-point increase on an 800-point math section of the SAT as evidence of a more effective education system is disingenuous.

This increase means that one out of 10 students got one more problem correct than the previous group of test-takers. Such incremental gains may more easily be attributed to the change in the math material tested on the SAT starting last spring, and more students nationally are taking rigorous SAT preparation courses, which increase scores easily by 100 points and often by 250 or more points. Many schools and school districts nationally are now offering students SAT prep courses as a component of the student's school curriculum, teaching most directly to the test.

Essentially, we would be seeing greater increases in scores because of the direct preparation now available if it were not for the fact that a greater number of students are now taking the exam - which has the effect of depressing scores.

While the SAT exam is a rite of passage for college-bound students and a requirement for university admission purposes, it offers a poor lens to judge both student achievement in general and the thinking skills necessary for the future success of the individual or our nation.



Lane Tutoring Service, Inc.


New laws protect mobile homes

Manufactured Home Owners of Oregon/OSTA represents people who own their mobile homes on rented land. Thanks to the organization's lobbying efforts in Salem, we have laws that benefit and protect homeowners.

In this past session, bills were passed to require manager training and to alleviate the cost of forced eviction when parks are closing. Most of the manufactured home laws now in existence are a result of OSTA's work.

Peter Ferris (guest viewpoint, Aug. 29) spoke eloquently to the problem of park closures. It seems only fair, however, to give credit to OSTA and to Pat Schwoch from Newberg, OSTA's executive director, who convinced legislators to support Rep. Jerry Krummel's bill to aid residents facing park closure. She walked the halls of the Capitol gathering signatures in support of the bill, which then passed unanimously. She advised residents of Willamette Cove in West Linn and Thunderbird Mobile Home park in Wilsonville as those residents fought to keep their homes. She worked with Housing and Community Services on fairness issues. OSTA members applaud her success.

Ferris suggests parks need to be organized; I agree wholeheartedly. As an OSTA district director, my job is to help people get organized. Call me at 461-8919 for information.


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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Sep 6, 2005
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