LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Debra Vogt has sterling record
For the past 30 years I have worked within the criminal justice system in Lane County as a police officer, district attorney's investigator and as a forensic interviewer of children reporting abuse. Over that time I have testified before almost every judge in Lane County.
During that same time I have voted for and against attorneys who aspired to be judges. Before I vote for judges I try to answer a question that is as idiosyncratic as it is informed: Regardless of how well a candidate looks in black, how well has he or she displayed the elusive and sometimes transitory character trait called judicial temperament?
Debra Vogt has a sterling professional record that reflects tempered, reasonable and judicious courtroom behaviors that speak volumes about her fitness to be a Lane County Circuit Court judge. Vogt just completed a trial in which a stepfather was found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting his 10-year-old stepdaughter. This man is going to jail because he is guilty and because Vogt is a smart, capable, tenacious and fair advocate for victims.
She prosecutes people who abuse children with the same passion that she defends the rules that ensure those prosecutions are fair and impartial. In measuring her potential to serve next to the many judges I have known, present and past, I believe that over time she will be one of the most effective and well regarded judges ever elected to the Lane County Circuit Court.
Director, Lane County
Child Advocacy Center
Don't blame everything on Bush
These past six years it seems a lot of people want to blame President Bush for all that is wrong in this country. I would have to strongly disagree.
I would like to thank the left-wingers of the liberal party, and especially the American Civil Liberties Union, for the social ills of society that we have witnessed in the news lately. We have now witnessed two different school attacks against our daughters in just the past week with sexual intentions by these predators.
As long as these liberal groups are continuously allowed to change our laws to allow more and more sexual perversions to become the norm, we are going to have more of these suicidal predators trying to live out their fantasies with nothing to lose when they plan to take their lives anyway.
I heard a quote once that really seems to stand out now: "What's strange and unusual today will become the norm of tomorrow." I really do not like what I see today. I can only imagine what comes tomorrow.
We need to seriously think of these issues when we go to the ballot box and get America back on track on the values we need to live by.
Times call for strong language
The day after publishing Cynthia Whitfield's Sept. 27 column calling for more civility in our political discourse, The Register-Guard printed a column by Kathleen Parker headlined, "Clinton's rage gave us peek under the mask." She labeled former President Clinton as a "guilty, purple-faced," "clearly angry" man who "went off on a tear."
Parker was joined by a chorus of right-wing commentators who ignored the substance of what Clinton said in his point-by-point refutation of accusations from "Faux News" journalist Chris Wallace and instead attacked the messenger.
It was to be expected. Ad hominem arguments are the first line of defense from the right wing. Bush administration partisans uniformly characterize critics as "angry," (when referring to Democrats generally), "strident" (when referring to women specifically) or from "the fever swamp" of the Internet when bloggers on the left have poked holes in administration claims.
After passage of the recent congressional act authorizing suspension of habeas corpus, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (protector of the young) characterized the Democrats who voted against it as being more concerned with the rights of terrorists than those of the American people.
Thank God for writers like Jane Smiley and Garrison Keillor, who call things for what they are. Torture is torture; suspension of constitutional liberties paves the road to a dictatorship; lies are lies. If the language used is passionate, the times call for it.
All wars depend on deception
The Register-Guard's Sept. 11 editorial, "The unbelievers," mentioned that there are people who don't believe the official story of 9/11, but it highlighted hoaxes while ignoring the best evidence.
The editorial focused on the pseudo-documentary "Loose Change" and the group Scholars for 9/11 Truth, but they promote a mix of nonsense and facts, including the false claim that a cruise missile, not Flight 77, hit the Pentagon. The missile story is disinformation created by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in an Oct. 12, 2001, interview and was a slick form of bait to trick the 9/11 skeptics.
A recent film `9/11: Press For Truth" focuses on the 9/11 family members who demanded an inquiry into the mass murder of their relatives and how they were betrayed by the official Sept. 11 Commission. Their unanswered questions are available at www.911independent commission.org
The film also profiles the complete 9/11 timeline, an impeccable database of mainstream media articles at www.cooperativeresearch.org. This timeline proves that 9/11 was not a surprise to the administration and that it suppressed numerous specific warnings provided by France, Germany, Israel, Jordan, Italy, Egypt, Russia and other countries.
In 1964, Sen. Wayne Morse, Eugene's most famous politician, saw through the fake Gulf of Tonkin incident. He was one of two senators to vote against this escalation of the Vietnam War.
All wars require similar deceptions, and understanding them is needed to move beyond war.
Don't surrender vote to politics
Electoral and partisan politics are distractions that discourage involvement in political endeavors.
The illusion of participation cedes power to the dishonorable. Yet mindful of flaws, I have voted in nearly every local and national election since 1976.
However, democratic institutions cross the Rubicon when war is glorified, torture embraced and habeas corpus murdered.
Allow me to hazard this possible path: I will not vote again until a system of universal suffrage is established. That means no prerequisites for eligibility to vote. None. No requirements regarding age, citizenship, residence, identification, criminal record, party affiliation or anything else. There should be no voter registration, with voting upon demand during elections. Avoiding fraud requires only an ink stamp and simultaneous elections.
Other aspects of universal suffrage might include election day holidays, recording all write-in votes, and the elimination of electronic voting, including scanning of paper ballots, which still employs hackable tabulation.
When my ballot arrives in the mail, I will sign the confirmation, scrawl "no" in red letters across the ballot, seal it in the secrecy envelope and deliver it to the elections office. My name will remain on the voter roll, but mine will be a non-vote.
I recommend that everyone do the same or find your own way to monkey-wrench the machine. Get involved with something political instead of surrendering control to politics.
Law legitimizes rights abuses
Recently, our country sustained a body blow to the protection of basic human rights, integrity and due process when the U.S. House and Senate voted to pass the Military Commissions Act.
This act legitimizes not only the use of torture and other human rights abuses but also legitimizes secret detention, enforced disappearances, denial and restrictions of habeas corpus, prolonged incommunicado detention and unfair trial procedures. The act prohibits any person from invoking the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights in any U.S. court.
In addition, perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment will continue to be given impunity against prosecution. This legislation guarantees that there will never be any accountability among higher officials for human rights abuses.
How can we be a nation of laws when our legislators approve such legislation? Our own Sen. Gordon Smith voted for this measure.
The America I believe in does not torture people or justify the use of secret prisons. It does not hold people without charge and without fair trials.
The America I believe in leads the world in human rights and guarantees justice for all.
I urge my fellow Oregonians to loudly voice their concerns immediately to our state's representatives and senators about this draconian and unjust legislation.
Clean water signs a poor tactic
"Clean Safe Water" political signs have appeared, sponsored by four Dunes City Council candidates.
The signs strongly imply that the other candidates are not in favor of having clean safe water in our city.
This fear campaign is deceitful, dishonest and ridiculous. Please took carefully at this issue and others. It boils down to whom you can trust to be level-headed, not operating on hype and emotion; and also not with some hidden agenda.
Vote to secure a city government with the highest capability, integrity and experience.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||Oct 12, 2006|
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