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U.S. needs to free Sgt. Tahmooressi

I see in the newspaper that a Harvard University student and illegal immigrant will be allowed to come back from Mexico after not receiving permission to be in Mexico to begin with.

He went there to be with his mother, who sought alternative medical treatment. He broke an immigration rule and will be welcomed back into the United States.

A decorated Marine, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, has been held in a Mexican jail for the past six months for failing to make a U-turn back to the states in Tijuana, Mexico, because of a confusing road sign.

Our fearless leader and the U.S. State Department have done nothing to obtain the release of Tahmooressi, who has post-traumatic stress disorder from his dedicated service to our country.

What's wrong with that picture?

Jim Pilling


'Militarizing' can corrupt the police

Militarized law enforcement is insufficient for and destructive to the aims of civil society. While there are challenges of crime, drug abuse, mental illness and poverty, escalating use of asymmetrical force and warfare tactics on the public is a dangerous, slippery slope.

Do police act as fellow citizens, or do they view themselves separately from civilians? What contributes to pack mentality? To "us vs. them"? What do the experiments of psychologists Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo show? What changes in behavior occur for persons who are taught coercion, pain compliance and positional asphyxia and given weapons and authority when they're faced with intense stressors?

Serious inquiry is needed into which comprehensive objectives and evidence-based practices should be employed to secure community safety.

Abundant research shows most people readily become cruel, abusive and cynical when exercising intensive positions of control for an eternalized authority.

Old wisdom tells us power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Does citizenship in the United States today mean submission to protective custody and arbitrary destruction, to assuage collective insecurities?

Our government claims the prerogative to execute, torture and indefinitely detain anyone at will, in secret, worldwide.

Helicopter machine gunners who strafed innocent children were caught on video leaked by Chelsea Manning, who's now tormented in federal prison for her brave audacity while those who laughed and high-fived each other for the strafing go free.

No one wants to become "collateral damage," like the two women delivering morning newspapers who were shot at by paranoid Los Angeles police officers.

Mike McFadden


1988 Hamas charter threatens Jews

I was curious as to whether Hamas had a constitution or a charter, so I turned to the Internet and Google and found its 1988 charter.

Article Seven, "The Universality of Hamas," says, "The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!"

The language in Article 20, "Social Solidarity," includes, "The Nazism of the Jews does not skip women and children, it scares everyone."

And Article 32, "The Attempts to Isolate the Palestinian People," says "but more steps need to be taken by the Arab and Islamic peoples and Islamic associations throughout the Arab and Islamic world in order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war."

I'm not a Jew, but I can't support any organization whose purpose is to kill other people.

I believe it's irrational to identify Jews as Nazis, and I don't see the Jews as "merchants of war."

If Hamas removed that type of language from its charter, I'd be more inclined to listen to its arguments.

Reginald L. Jensen


Barnhart's a supporter of education

An Oct. 13 letter suggested state Rep. Phil Barnhart isn't a strong supporter of public education. As a former Pleasant Hill High School principal, I know nothing could be further from the truth.

The writer criticized Barnhart for not supporting House Bill 4097, proposed legislation that offered no direct assistance to public schools. Instead, it promised income tax breaks to private companies large enough to have interns, and to individuals affluent enough to itemize their tax deductions.

Every Republican member in the House thought that was a good thing for education and voted to move the bill out of committee. Barnhart wasn't fooled by it, nor were 32 of his Democratic colleagues. HB 4097 never made it to the House floor.

Barnhart has consistently given support to public education by advocating increased funding for every grade level from pre-school through graduate school. He's worked to expand Oregon's scholarship programs and opportunity grants, and to defray tuition for university students.

Most importantly, he's guided the repair of Oregon's revenue system so improvement of our schools won't come at the expense of our infrastructure, environment or public safety.

I know firsthand that he frequently visits schools to talk with students, parents, faculty and staff. I know he listens to them.

So it's no surprise that every public education organization in Oregon that endorses candidates for office has endorsed Phil Barnhart. He's an outstanding legislator and a true champion of education.

Robert Pinger


An easy guide for how to vote Nov. 4

I was considering how to vote in the Nov. 4 election and an idea came to me: If The Register-Guard is for it, vote "no," and if it's opposed to it, vote "yes."

My goodness, that was easy.

Stephen Stageberg


Assess Bush and Obama equally

I now understand how George W. Bush's supporters felt during his final years in office. I support President Obama and I don't agree with the current media narrative that his leadership is weak or indecisive.

Kathleen Parker's Oct. 9 piece of invented insight ("Obama's poor actions speak louder than words") went right to the heart of what I call the purposeful misreading of international events and a government's ability to control them.

Parker established a false sensibility by first noting the president isn't as bad as the far right claims, then presented a portrait of Obama that is pure Dinesh D'Souza-style drivel. Her final call to arms was as simplistic, incendiary and manipulative as anything produced by the far right.

In 2007 Parker wrote a complimentary piece on Bush headlined "Bush confident in core belief" - after Afghanistan, after Iraq, after Katrina, and with Osama bin Laden still on the loose and the U.S. financial meltdown just months away. There was no hint then that Bush was brandishing his incompetence, as Parker claimed Obama's doing now.

With Obama she asked, "Is this guy for real?" With Bush she asked whether history would vindicate him.

So I have to ask, is Parker for real?

Richard Young


Corporate splits should reduce pay

I hope the recent announcements of corporate splits at Symantec, eBay/PayPal and Hewlett-Packard result in a commensurate reduction in the egregiously high compensation packages of their top five corporate officers, particularly the CEOs.

Reduced corporate size and revenues equals reduced remuneration for executives, no?

Well, we can at least hope.

John F. Quilter

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Oct 18, 2014
Next Article:Seek spooktacular thrills and chills.

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