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Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Money wins elections

One extremely sad thought is in my head today. Money wins elections, it buys media exposure, access to politicians and, in the end, it buys public opinion and votes.

The next thought that came to me was campaign finance reform.


Stop the attacks

Columnist Nicholas Kristof (Register-Guard, Nov. 6) did a beautiful job of identifying one likely cause for the Democratic Party midterm meltdown. As any regular reader of The Register-Guard editorial page knows, those personal, hate-filled, knee-jerk partisan attacks on President Clinton are now being mirrored by similar attacks on President Bush.

Clinton and Bush have both offered policies that were demonstrably not in the best interests of our nation. A "loyal opposition" that identifies, argues against and presents clear alternatives to such policies is far more effective than name calling, mudslinging or personal attacks that offer nothing but negativity.

Partisan politics may be about emotions, but the growing numbers of independent voters are more interested in thoughtful ideas that will actually improve things. If both major parties accept that and behave accordingly, our nation will be stronger.


Time to change attitudes

Now that the elections have passed, Oregonians are still facing problems regarding the future of the economy, finances and taxes. Yet most people, politicians included, failed to consider one major root cause of these current problems and have simply wasted time finger pointing or wallowing in victimization. One very real root cause of the economic troubles still facing Oregon is the government's and electorate's hostile attitudes toward businesses. This is especially true toward any kind of manufacturing enterprise.

Business activity is too often automatically, naively equated with environmental destruction and other fear-laden notions that are reflected in the overly restrictive, unfriendly laws designed to "protect" our fair state from the perceived evils of "big business." However businesses are the entities that invest and spend money, pay taxes and provide jobs to people who in turn spend money and pay taxes. This is how things are paid for in a capitalist economy, folks.

Isn't it ironic that Oregon leads the nation in the timber industry, one of the most environmentally destructive and least value adding, yet other less destructive and more value adding industries are consistently shut out of our state due to bureaucratic red tape and restrictive laws? The state and local governments must better support existing businesses and actively recruit new businesses to build and grow their operations in Oregon, which would provide the economic framework and money to solve many of the most difficult problems still facing us. Otherwise, businesses will choose to locate in states that receive them with cooperative attitudes instead of hostility.


We're not barbarians

Instead of leading our nation into another war over oil and spreading even more hatred and terror around our planet, why doesn't the United States expend its energy to develop alternative sources of energy?

Fueling our country with independent renewable sources of energy could help us maintain our current lifestyles without invading other countries or provoking hatred and contempt for both our country and people.

If we cherish freedom and democracy over aggression and materialism, we must not allow this proposed war over the control of Middle Eastern oil. Neither should we be supporting repressive dictatorships for any reason or be so willing to give away our own freedoms, no matter what the threat of terrorism holds.

We are not barbarians. We are a people who believe in the rights and freedoms of all people, who do not invade other countries to steal their oil.


Try mediation

No one needs reminding that from the personal level to international crisis, conflict fills our world. We may find it hard to remember that most of the time people resolve their own conflicts. Problems at work, at home, with neighbors and family are usually handled in a way that puts a premium on communication and enables us to move ahead effectively. Occasionally, however, there are those disputes where communication breaks down and the situation becomes overwhelming and makes our lives miserable. Friendships are lost, businesses suffer and families split up.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has proclaimed November Mediation Month in Oregon. This is a good time to rethink how we deal with our seemingly irreconcilable disputes. Mediation can make a difference. Resolving problems in a confidential, safe atmosphere, with the help of a neutral third party, is a good way to tackle thorny problems.

If you come up against a dispute that defies resolution, the more than 400 members of the Oregon Mediation Association and I urge you to give mediation a try.



Letters received in past week: 122

Letters published: 74

What's on readers' minds: The November general election was the hottest topic in the past week's Mailbag, although the volume dropped off sharply from previous weeks. We received 30 election-related letters as of midmorning Friday. We also received 13 letters about the Bush administration's ongoing push to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and eight about the city of Eugene's proposed domestic registry.

- The Register-Guard


The Register-Guard welcomes letters on topics of general interest. Our length limit is 250 words; all letters are subject to condensation. Writers are limited to one letter per calendar month. Because of the volume of mail, not all letters can be printed. Mail letters to Mailbag, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188 Fax: 338-2828 E-mail:
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Nov 9, 2002
Previous Article:Court cutbacks will touch many lives in many ways.
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