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LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Fines don't stop drunken drivers

As specialists who have worked with DUII offenders for 20-plus years and continue to do so on a daily basis, we could not ignore the editorial "Fine? What fine?" (Register-Guard, June 21).

Fines don't stop DUII offenders. Treatment does!

Through the 1980s and 1990s and part of this decade, $25 of a DUII offender's fine went into a fund dedicated to treatment for low income/indigent DUII offenders. They must have paid those fines because that fund looked so attractive the state eliminated it and gave the money to the Oregon State Police for training. Now Lane County has waiting lists for treatment for DUII offenders.

In addition, partially due to the lack of funding, Oregon's treatment requirement for DUII offenders is short and not effective, as evidenced by the number of repeat offenders we see. Neighboring states of Washington and California require anywhere from one to three years of treatment for repeat offenders. Oregon repeat DUII offenders complete, on average, just 12 weeks of treatment. Addiction is not arrested (no pun intended) in 12 weeks.

Despite research showing savings of $2.50 incurred for every $1 spent on treatment, bureaucrats and politicians fail to fund adequate treatment. The problem with repeat offenders is addiction.

Police can arrest, prosecutors can prosecute and judges can convict, but with short-term, unaffordable or no treatment the door will continue to revolve and lives will be lost or destroyed.

JUDY JARRETT

and three cosigners

Springfield

Coulter's no pundit, she's mean

After hearing Ann (The Nasty) Coulter referred to as a pundit for the 86,000th time, I went to my Webster's dictionary where I read:

Pundit. n. (Hindi: pandit) 2: a learned man, teacher; 3: one who gives opinions in an authoritative manner.

Well, I am here to tell you that Ann Coulter is no Hindi; she displays more of the qualities of a mob mentality rabble rouser than those of a teacher; and she flunks the learned test by acting as though her views, which are little more than preconceived notions, stem from an active base of knowledge. That she proclaims her preconceived notions in an authoritative manner does nothing to gild those poisonous weeds.

Coulter may be in vogue as a thinner, richer and "rhymes with rich-i-er" in-the-know pundit, but the slimy declarations that ooze out of her mouth are nothing but biased opinion, all dressed up and no where to go in intelligent company.

Sidney Blumenthal recently described the Bush administration's well-oiled machinations as being "seamless but warped."

Ah, Coulter, our little loose-lipped pitiful excuse for a pundit. If the phrase fits ...

MORGAN SONGI

Eugene

An apology to Thomas Tucker

People like to say there is nothing new under the sun, but I have a hard time believing them, particularly this week.

The solstice has brought us blue skies and summer days so we get up early, go water the tomatoes, read the headlines and our hearts skip a beat. Thomas Tucker.

Every day we pass hundreds of people we don't even look at. Now more than 3 million of us meet this fellow Oregonian through a headline about his darkest hour. What will we do? Of course the horrors of war tend to repeat themselves, but there is something different this time. He was from Madras, and the crudity of his death is beyond our imagination. It should be.

What will we do? As an Oregonian, I believe we must use our imagination, our reason, our compassion - all our best resources - to do what we can to help stop our government from torturing others and waging unjust wars. While we were planning our summer vacations last weekend Thomas Tucker was suffering beyond words, alone, in our name. And now we have to live with that.

As an Oregonian I offer an apology to his family for our county's recent disregard of so many democratic ideals, a disregard that has led us to this abyss. And in my heart I say thank you to Tucker for making the ultimate sacrifice for his people.

I promise to do what I can to put an end to such suffering for all people and to help our country find its way back to the democratic ideals that can make us proud.

KARA STEFFENSEN

Eugene

Life is now a bed of thistles

As we view the current global situation, two thoughts seem to jump out at us.

Our great technological and scientific advances remind us that, in his infinite wisdom, God has given his children many wonderful new toys to play with. But isn't it too bad that he did not first check to see if they had the maturity to properly use them?

And the realists among us remind us that life was not meant to be a bed of roses - but that does not mean that we have to uproot everything except the thistles.

GEORGE BLAESI

Eugene

GOP warriors avoided military

Karl Rove - President Bush's brain - attacked Democrats during a speech in New Hampshire last week for "that party's pattern of cutting and running" (Register-Guard, June 19).

Rove is another steely-eyed conservative who by hook or crook evaded military service during the Vietnam War. Rove attended the University of Utah from 1969-71, transferred to the University of Maryland for the 1972 year and then holed up at George Mason University from 1973-75. The Vietnam War officially ended May 7, 1975.

Rabid, hard-nosed and tough-talking right-wingers waved the flag and whooped up the Vietnam War all the while fully expecting someone else to fight, bleed and die. Their battle cry: I landed my deferment, now you go fight my beloved Asian war or face punishment! These smug, cocksure, fist-waving, chest-thumping, rafter-raising, liberal-baiting draft-dodgers are forever branded as "war-wimps" and "chickenhawks."

Topping all is Vice President Dick Cheney. Then come former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, former and current House Speakers Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hastert; Congressmen David Drier, Greg Walden and Dana Rohrabacher; Sens. Jon Kyl, Trent Lott, Wayne Allard, Saxby Chambliss and Mitch McConnell; think tanker Richard Perle and opinion givers George Will and Pat Buchanan; and radio talkers Michael Reagan, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Hudson Limbaugh III.

Today, the star-spangled band that binds these blood and thunder brothers is simply this: All are conservative Republicans who love the military, and all are conservative Republicans who loathed military service.

BOB HARDY

Eugene

Cheney is waiting in the wings

To those who are requesting the impeachment of President George Bush, I say, be careful what you wish for.

Although I agree that Bush is a blight on the office of president of the United States and that his deceitful and fabricated "I'll show you" war, which has resulted in the deaths and maiming of tens of thousands of Iraqis and Americans, certainly is a case for impeachment, please consider who is waiting in the wings.

Evil in leadership is common throughout history. It is not relegated to the Third World or to countries knowing only totalitarianism.

Vice President Dick Cheney comes from the beautiful state of Wyoming and he is evil personified. Were he to succeed Bush, the building of political prisons and torture chambers would take place on a terrifying scale. Additional wars would be started as a matter of course. Our personal freedoms as we know them today would be severely altered or eliminated altogether.

So, when you contemplate impeachment, do consider the alternative. It should make your blood run cold.

BARRY JOHNSON

Cottage Grove

Expand training for nurses

The editorial on the nursing shortage should be required reading for each and every politician in Washington (Register-Guard, June 17). The editorial could have been expanded to reflect the shortage of doctors expected to occur by 2020.

One of the senators from Kansas wants to import nurses from India. The senator should also be required to read the preamble to the Constitution, wherein it states a role of government is to promote the general welfare. The welfare of Americans could be better promoted by the expansion of training facilities and programs to train Americans who wish to pursue nursing careers.

We have plenty of Americans willing to become nurses. Each year thousands of applicants are denied the opportunity because the current administration is more interested in giving tax breaks to the super wealthy than providing support for training programs to promote the general welfare.

LEO ROBERTSON

Coos Bay
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jun 29, 2006
Words:1406
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