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Byline: The Register-Guard

Breast-feeding isn't offensive

I commend former La Leche League consultant Karen Freeman (letters, Dec. 6) for breast-feeding her children and for encouraging mothers to nurse "wherever, whenever." Ensuring that children get the emotional and physical benefits of breast-feeding is worthy of respect.

That said, I disagree with Freeman's suggestion that mothers have a responsibility to protect the sensibilities of strangers while nursing in public. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast-feeding for at least one year. The World Health Organization recommends at least two years. To meet these goals, more moms must feel comfortable nursing "wherever, whenever."

Normalization occurs when people see breasts being used for their primary purpose - nourishing children. Oversexualization of the breast is one reason U.S. breast-feeding rates are so low.

Neither I nor any nursing mom I know make a spectacle of breast-feeding or expose any more than is necessary. We are as discreet as possible, showing much less breast than you see on TV or walking around Eugene on a warm day.

Emily Gillette, kicked off a flight for not covering her child with a blanket, was not "exposing her breasts" at all. Gillette told Newsweek, "There was literally not a bit of my breast exposed."

If a mother shows more skin than some consider discreet, it is often because her child won't nurse with a shirt or blanket covering his face. In such a situation, the mother's responsibility is to her child, not to strangers who may take offense.



Publicize Project Vote Smart

Has anyone who reads this newspaper ever understood what a splendid job Project Vote Smart has done for us locally and nationally?

The media of our nation have kept it a secret from the American people as far as I can determine. I have never once read, heard or seen any mention of this organization. It is perhaps the best, or at least one of the best, sources of political information for those of us who vote.

Those politicians who prefer to work in secrecy do not want voters to hear the answers to questions asked them by the project. The real public servants will answer with truth.

Created in Corvallis, they are now ensconced in Philipsburg, Mont., telephone number (406) 859-8683. Give them a call and ask about your pet peeve or senator or representative. You'll get a no-nonsense answer.



Thieves ransacked old truck

Recently, my truck broke down on my way to work. I had to leave it parked along the road between Noti and Walton, on top of Badger Pass. Before I could get back to it with a tow truck, someone broke in and took everything that was not bolted down.

I am not a rich man. I am just a working stiff trying to make ends meet and very often there is more month than there is paycheck. My truck is a 1988 Ford Ranger with mismatched doors and tailgate, obviously not a truck that would contain anything of great value, and it didn't.

They took my stereo (an old Radio Shack cassette player), my walking stick (which I made myself out of an old beaver-cut willow) that I used occasionally to help me get around when my plantar fasciitis acts up, my gray Carhart jacket that I used when I got cold, my one-gallon canteen, a couple of old nylon ropes and various other small items.

I have worked hard all my life and don't really have a lot to show for it, but now I have even less.

If anyone tries to sell you a handmade "HobbleStick" or a 20-year-old Realistic cassette player, or you see someone wearing a used gray Carhart jacket that they did not have a few days ago, please let me know. I would like to have a few words with them.



Lobbyist whines about tax hike

No, you didn't misplace a couple of decimal points. No, you aren't having a nightmare.

They actually said this about Oregon's bottom-of-the-national-barrel corporate tax receipts (Register-Guard, Dec. 6).

J. L. Wilson, Oregon director of the National Federation of Independent Business: "for smaller businesses," he said, "that (half of one-tenth of 1 percent of sales if below $50,000) is a legitimate, huge tax increase."

"House Republican Leader Wayne Scott of Canby said his members are dubious about raising taxes (to one-tenth of 1 percent of sales above $5 million)."



Gospel music was appropriate

Ann Fuller's Dec. 7 letter about gospel music being inappropriate at the opening of the new federal courthouse needs to be addressed.

In the first place, gospel music is never inappropriate, because the gospel is never inappropriate, because Jesus Christ is never inappropriate. Period.

Secondly, separation of church and state was not a Founding Father issue. They only said that we must not have a forced state religion. They definitely wanted our nation to have a Judeo-Christian foundation. It's the secular progressives like Fuller who want otherwise.



Turn kicker into scholarships

Ron Brown states in his Dec. 4 letter that he is going to "use my refund to fuel the economy." I, too, intend to fuel the economy, but I may be looking a bit further into the future.

I am donating my kicker refund to a scholarship account at Lane Community College. The CCbenefits Inc. report cited in the winter term Aspire catalog found tuition investment returns 17 percent to the student in future increases in earnings. I get something in return, too. Taxpayers can expect 15 percent return on every dollar invested in tuition.

If you like these types of returns, contact your favorite college or university and invest in someone's future.



Find alternatives to lethal force

I just read Cynthia Whitfield's Dec. 6 column on the Ryan Salisbury shooting, and I'm filled with disappointment and dismay. Not only does she take issue with The Register-Guard's compassionate editorial regarding this avoidable tragedy, but she makes several illogical, insensitive assumptions that demonstrate her lack of understanding.

She says the family members "were probably afraid for themselves" even though the Salisburys stated Ryan "would never hurt them." She says the officer "must have thought his life was in danger because he fired several shots." I don't follow this logic, and I can't imagine how three highly trained, adult, professional law enforcement officers with semi-automatic rifles and pistols, wearing bulletproof vests, felt threatened by a slight, distraught, hysterical boy with a kitchen knife more than 20 feet away shouting "Shoot me, man!" Could anyone interpret Ryan's actions as anything but the cries of a confused, pain-filled, psychologically impaired boy calling for someone to help him with his distress?

And what did this community answer with? Five rifle shots in the torso. This is "police policy and procedure" in Eugene. When Whitfield says, "I'm not sure how more training could have helped," she shows her ignorance of the numerous alternatives to lethal force that are being used around the country in mental health emergencies.

We all should be ashamed to live in a community whose policy it is to respond to a despairing, anguished boy with automatic weapon fire.



Stand up for forest protection

What's it going to take for people to understand the value of our (standing) forests and demand an end to their liquidation?

Is the creation of pure water not enough of an incentive? How about clean air? Carbon storage, anyone? Maybe fertile topsoil? Erosion and flood control? Recreation, then? Tourism dollars?

Are none of these vital and free services provided by our forests enough to make their protection a priority for Americans?

OK, what if we found a cure for cancer in our forests? Would that incite the public to rise up and demand an end to the slaughter of the greatest concentration of life on Earth?

Well, guess what? We already have found a treatment for ovarian cancer in our forests. It's called Taxol, and it's derived from the yew tree: a tree that the criminally incompetent and corrupt Forest Service once classified as - now get this - a trash tree! In fact, almost a quarter of drugs prescribed in the United States contain compounds from or based on those found in the forest.

Are we so foolish a species as to stand idly by as the insatiable corporate extraction industry lays waste even to our own medicine chests?

Our government takes the public's silence on environmental issues as permission to destroy our planet. Please, take a stand and let your voice be heard! Now is the time to get involved.


Native Forest Council


Hydro power is renewable, too

While reading the front page article on renewable energy and the Eugene Water & Electric Board (Register-Guard, Dec. 3), I was struck that hydroelectric was not mentioned in the article as a renewable energy source.

Hydroelectric power has some negative environmental impacts - but so do solar panels during their manufacture and eventual disposal or recycling, or wind farm turbine propellers striking birds.

It seems that leaving hydroelectric power out of a renewable energy plan ignores the reality of our choices. With current technology I would prefer to see dams provide power rather than coal or nuclear.



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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Dec 13, 2006
Previous Article:CORRECTIONS.
Next Article:A part-time Congress.

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