LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Luxury the Earth can't afford
I generally read the Auto Market section in the hopes of learning that the auto industry is at least trying to come up with energy-efficient machines. I was sickened by what I saw in the Aug. 25 section.
The featured auto was a 2008 Mercedes-Benz ML550, with an Environmental Protection Agency fuel rating of 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. For this incredible waste, one could pay a base price of $53,175.
If auto manufacturers can produce this machine, with all its "advantages," surely they can come up with something that will at least address global warming.
Jesus is taken out of context
Many letter writers claim to know what Jesus thinks is important (not interested in bedroom conduct, just interested in love), but they're not taking him in context. They redefine Christianity in their own likeness, when Christianity is Christ's likeness.
Jesus said to a woman caught in adultery, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." Adultery is sin. Even if people say everything's OK between consenting adults, the Bible doesn't.
Is adultery more legitimate if people attend a church that condones it? Jeremiah 7:9 "Will you ... commit adultery ... and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my name, and say, `We are safe' - safe to do all these detestable things?"
What then of homosexuality? Jesus repeats the book of Genesis when he says, "At the beginning of creation God `made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.'?" Male-female, husband-wife. The meaning is clear.
Did this stop homosexuals in Multnomah County from trying to marry, against the plain meaning of man's law and God's? No. They insist that as long as there is love, "?`We are safe' - safe to do all these ... things."
If you're going to practice homosexuality, practice it. If you're going to coerce society into blessing it, coerce. But don't claim God blesses it, or that those who believe and agree with the Bible are un-Christ-like.
Labor issues taint Knight gift
I'd like to agree with The Register-Guard's editorial concerning the $100 million donation that Penny and Phil Knight made to the University of Oregon Athletics Department.
I'd like to, but I just can't. I'd like to take a 10th of that money and hand it over to the Music or English departments. But even then, I doubt I'd feel all that much different.
That money was made using child labor. Simple as that. Nike is just one of thousands of companies that exploit poor countries for their already poor and exploited peoples.
Our country needs to take stock of itself. What kind of people are we, really? Why do so many millions - no, billions - of people with no other agenda but their own debilitating poverty, their own hopelessness, hate what Americans represent to them? Is it because firms such as Nike exploit them? Or is it a less clear, but still understandable, reason?
Our government seems little interested in policing itself while being obsessed with policing everyone else. It's a government of the corporation, by the corporation and for the corporation.
And American corporations seem to hold the title as the most amoral of them all. They do, after all, have American troops to project their interests and then defend them. They continue to show how much they love their own citizens by sending their labor to any country but their own.
And these people, these billion dollar executives, consider themselves patriots? Believers in the American Dream? Oh, please.
U.S. addicted to cheap labor
Columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr, (Register-Guard, Aug. 4) claims that Americans feel entitled to "turn up their noses at jobs that wind up being done by illegal immigrants." As a working class American - that's the class below middle class - I find that offensive.
First, although this is often claimed by liberals to justify their stance on illegal immigration, I've never seen any proof that it's true.
Second, if there are shortages of American applicants for working class jobs, it is probably because they pay so little and working conditions are poor.
Recently, I helped someone with many years of experience in institutional cooking look for similar jobs on the Internet. They all paid in the range of $8.50 to $10 per hour. That is not a living wage. A single person might scrape by on it, but you could never support a family on that wage. Ralph Nader has said that a third of American workers make less than $10 per hour.
All those liberals who want "diversity" and "open borders" need to deal with this. Right now, they're supporting corporations in their limitless appetite for cheap labor.
Employers' addiction to cheap labor is the real entitlement that needs to be abolished.This is not a racial issue; it is a class issue.
Opinions don't require balance
David Leach wonders about the "background of the editors" and "where the balance is in their opinions" (letters, Aug. 24). He wants to know "what their world view is." It's clear to me what their "world view is" based on their editorials.
The Oxford American Dictionary defines the word editorial as "a newspaper or magazine article giving the editor's comments on current affairs." By definition, an editorial is an opinion. Since when is "balance" a requirement to give an opinion?
I read editorials and columnists with differing views. That's how I get "balance." If Leach doesn't care for the opinions of The Register-Guard editors, perhaps he should turn to Fox News for the "balance" he seeks.
Media hype Mother Teresa story
I am appalled at all the media hoopla about Mother Teresa and her early struggle with her beliefs. It is much ado about nothing.
I know of many people, myself included, who doubted the Christian beliefs we grew up with, but in later years came back those beliefs and became better for it.
It seems to me that there are elements in our society today who go out of their way to discredit, scorn and destroy the reputation of people I consider heroes. It is a sad day when those who are known for doing good in the autumn years of their lives are attacked after their deaths when they are unable to confront their detractors.
Rethink travel for athletic events
I'm with Franklin Stahl (letters, Aug. 27). He figures that the carbon footprint of sending teams and supporters to watch the University of Oregon football team play Boise State in China, as proposed, would be 1,600 tons!
That's clearly not acceptable! When are we going to wake up?
Aside from what others may say about athletic vs. academic priorities, I am not against collegiate athletics. But in the context of a very severely impacted planet, flying teams, bands and planeloads of fans to away games hundreds or thousands of miles away is pretty insane. Almost all of the benefits of collegiate athletics can be achieved right here on campus just playing club sports.
What if we spend $200 million on a new basketball arena, and 20 years from now at $10 a gallon (or worse when the oil runs out), other teams can't come to play?
And of course it's not just athletics; we should be rethinking every aspect of our lives to avoid the near-certain collapse of our ecosystems. I ride my bike as much as I can in pursuit of my goal of one automobile trip per week, but I should be selling my car and altering my lifestyle to fit.
President Bush and Vice President Cheney say that the American lifestyle is not negotiable. I say that we have no choice but to change.
So what are you willing to give up? Professional athletics and intercollegiate athletics would be a good eye-popping place to start.
SCHIP income cutoff is too high
I strongly disagree with The Register-Guard's Aug. 25 editorial supporting changes in the State Children's Health Insurance program to provide health insurance to "poor children."
Definitions are important. Here, "poor" is defined as a family earning nearly $70,000 per year. Moreover, as I understand this law, a "child" is someone 25 years of age or younger. What is "sneaky" or "heartless" about President Bush maintaining that a family at that income level should pay their own premiums?
This program is only 10 years old, and according to the newspaper's editorial, it's underfunded. In typical liberal fashion, the response to this is "let's make it larger"!
Let's be clear: Government does not "provide" anything. What occurs is that a small group of politicians decide what they think is "good" for one group of people and then take (that is., tax) money from another group to pay for it. Now, it's under the guise of "let's do it for the children."
The editorial cites two polls showing overwhelming support for these changes. However, let us put this unambiguous question to our citizens: Should tax money from any source pay health care premiums for a family of four earning $68,833 per year? When people are upset by proposed income or gas taxes, it's doubtful you would get 90 percent of the populace to agree.
If you want to do "something for the children," bring them into the world when you can afford to support them and do not saddle them with obscene levels of future taxation.
Bush competent, given his goals
When I drive, my fellow travelers assume that I mean to drive competently, within the rule of law, as we all tacitly agree to when accepting our licenses.
If I then proceed to bomb along a twisty mountain road with apparent disregard for safety, many would assume my incompetence. But what if I conclude my ride without causing harm, only enjoying the challenge and thrill? Perhaps some would understand that I performed competently given my actual purpose and abilities.
Many on both sides of the political divide question the competence of President Bush's administration as he pursues his policies, domestic and foreign. Other than a few individuals, I see no history of overt incompetence among Bush's Cabinet or advisers in either their prior business activities or public service. How to account for their current record?
I suggest dismissing the publicly stated goals of this president in favor of what I believe is the only policy of today's political conservatism - that of restoring the freedom of America's corporate owners to profit without legal or moral restraint, to conduct business without regard to the national welfare and to consume government services without paying for them. Then one can make an accurate judgment of this administration's competence.
The assignment of some incompetent people to some posts can be understood as deliberate and in keeping with the philosophies of the socioeconomic class which Bush serves. It should then be an obvious conclusion that this administration is indeed deadly competent.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2007|
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