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Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Eugene's 'open gym'

Well the momentous day has come. Eugene has approved a domestic partnership registry (Register-Guard, Nov. 13). I think I finally understand the reasoning behind it, though I emphatically disagree. People explain: "The city is like an open gym where all people can come and play basketball. We aren't endorsing any teams, we're just allowing each to play whatever style game they want." So we have the heterosexual community registering their commitments in marriage, and another team wants to register their commitments, too. Petitioners and policymakers say the same thing: "We're not endorsing anything but providing equal opportunity for all people to express themselves."

But what about lifetime roommates who aren't romantic? With the exception of the romance, their commitment to each other's welfare is just as great. Why aren't they in this registry? Just because their personal values do not allow them to claim they are "spousal equivalents," why can't they participate in city health and tax benefits?

What about threesomes? What real difference is there between three men and a baby and two men and a baby? And single siblings - shouldn't they benefit from co-habitating for life as family? Is romance and "twoness" really a proper limit?

Mind you, I don't subscribe to those things, but this is why some "good religious people" are voting for these things. They consider their civic role to be neutral infrastructure providers, not moral arbiters.

So what's the alternative? A community initiative. A moral arbitration. Would someone with initiative expertise please stand up?

BILL NORTHRUP Eugene

Confess, commissioners

All of Lane County's money measures placed on the latest ballot were soundly defeated! Do county commissioners wonder why?

In the past eight years that I have lived in Lane County, I have seen the property tax base increase dramatically. With new construction and development and the arrival of some new businesses, that base has become lucrative in terms of taxes.

Those of us at the bottom-of-the-ladder have been waiting for an accounting of just what the county leadership has done with this largess! Perhaps the concept of increased revenue over the past eight years has escaped some of us. If the county has received additional tax revenues because of increased valuation, where the heck did it go?

Further, the commissioners gave themselves a big salary increase. They don't even run the county! They hire an administrator and staff at great expense to do their work for them. Of course, the commissioners say that they make policy and the administration merely executes that policy. As a former public housing executive director, I am quite familiar with how that works!

The commissioners should 'fess up. They just asked too much at the wrong time from the wrong people! Account for all that excess revenue for the past eight years and then they might find a sympathetic audience!

OLE D. SPAULDING Eugene

No excuse to kill

I want to protest the looming war, which will be no more a real war than a man fighting a small boy is a real fight; it will be brutality.

The most powerful nation in the world should be the most patient and compassionate. We have not yet learned that the expression of aggression and violence wins us a world that is the ultimate tar baby. What goes around comes around, as patriots return from the killing fields abroad only to resume killing in their own families, their own country. We've seen too much of it already.

As soon as you begin to rationalize the right reasons to do the wrong thing, you're already lost, aren't you? The right time to shake a baby, speed in a school zone, or drop laser-guided smart bombs on innocent civilians is never. Not ever for any reason under heaven, much less the reason of a president with a grudge. Too many of us are thinking the unthinkable. The images of those twin towers falling in New York are eternally etched into our hearts and minds. Yet, we are prepared to topple Baghdad while eating chips and dip, and enjoying it on TV.

Every child, every mother, is sacred. Nietzsche warned that those who would do battle with monsters must take care lest they themselves become monstrous. The hour we kill Saddam Hussein we elevate a pariah to martyrdom and lower ourselves to a global outcasts. God commanded "Thou shalt not kill."

STEVEN LUK Eugene

Morons in their midst

Has anyone else noticed - or is concerned - that the clear majority of letters to the editor, political cartoons and opinion pieces are anti-president and oppose getting rid of Saddam Hussein?

The recent elections proved conclusively that the overwhelming majority of the American people approves of the way the president is handling everything, including the ridding the world of Saddam, the same despot a couple of Democratic congressmen wanted us to believe instead of the president. How absurd has the Democratic party become that they allow two such morons in their midst.

Liberals have proven time and again to be inept, unbelievable and numbingly ignorant of basically everything concerning everyday life. They believe that ignoring individuals like Saddam is best because he will see what nice folks we are and disarm. Yep!

No one wants a war. Let me repeat. No one wants a war! And please don't let me hear one more liberal say, "It's all about oil." That slogan was absurd the first time it was used.

JAMES T. BRYANT Eugene

Callous act of vandalism

When I entered my office at the Pearl Buck Center one recent morning, I was greeted by two upset staff members who informed me that our vans had been vandalized over the weekend. The perpetrators climbed over a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. They broke into the vans and cut the gas lines to siphon off the gas. They also stole the radio out of one of the vans and the restraint straps needed to transport wheelchair riders. I can understand that the gas and radio have a nominal value to a thief, but I cannot for the life of me understand the need to take wheelchair restraint straps.

The vandals should be aware that Pearl Buck Center has been providing quality services to individuals with developmental and other disabilities for nearly 50 years.

Providing transportation to people who are unable to travel on their own or to use public transportation is an important part of our services. This service is expensive, and the additional cost to repair and replace equipment is a hardship to a private, nonprofit organization like Pearl Buck Center.

We will not, however, allow this criminal act to keep us from meeting our mission of creating opportunities and providing support to individuals with disabilities and their families. These callous actions will cost us extra money but will not prevent us from serving those who depend on us.

STEPHEN B. KOHN

Executive Director

Pearl Buck Center Eugene

The 'Freedom Flyer'

If I were to be cynical, I would proclaim: "Praise to the Predator! A toast to the most precise and efficient killing machine the world has ever known."

Earlier this month, this incredible unmanned killer with its handler over a hundred miles away, crushed a carfull of terrorists in Yemen, squashing them and their car like a bug. The alleged (untried and unconvicted) terrorists never knew what hit them.

The Predator, an unmanned drone the size of a Piper Cub, can, on command, travel far, fire precisely accurate missiles that can blow up anything from a bicyclist to city blocks with hundreds of people without the loss of an American life, and return with far more stealth and quietness than a bomber.

With rapid production at a comparatively modest price of $15 million, the huge military industrial complex has begun filling orders for more Predators. And you can be sure it will be developed into a much larger and more silent mechanical monster.

If we'd had the Predator when we launched our blitzkrieg on Panama and terrified millions of Panamanians while capturing and carrying off the Panamanian president, the Predator could have saved over 3,800 Panamanian lives, as well as the destruction of much of the Panamanian capitol.

Now that we are now on the threshold of improving and enlarging the world's penultimate weapon, we can expect this gorgeous new gadget to become so prevalent and popular in size and number to completely cower all countries and penny-ante politicians who refuse to cooperate with our country.

Soon we can expect the Predator to be renamed the "Freedom Flyer" - and be copied by other countries.

JERRY COPELAND Florence

LETTERS LOG

Letters received in past week: 147

Letters published: 62

What's on readers' minds: No single topic dominated the Mailbag during the past week. We received 18 election letters as of mid-morning Friday and 16 letters addressing the possibility of U.S. military action against Iraq. We also received 10 letters on the city of Eugene's proposed domestic partnership registry and other revisions to the city's human rights code (eight of those letters focused on the issue of public accommodations for transgendered people), and seven replying to a Nov. 7 letter by Don Richey about the gay lifestyle and longevity.

- The Register-Guard
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Nov 16, 2002
Words:1541
Previous Article:A $25 million bargain.
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