Why don't feds remove occupiers?
I was shocked to see a picture of Ammon Bundy, the "patriot," shaking hands with a federal law enforcement official on the front page of the Jan. 23 City Region section.
The FBI agent should have been handcuffing Bundy instead of shaking hands with the lawbreaking leader of the armed standoff.
Standoff? Bundy's at the Burns airport and in other public places in Harney County without his "militia," and the feds can't/won't arrest him?
What's the government up to? Why does Bundy get a free pass from the Obama administration and continuous media coverage while continuing to break federal laws day after day, week after week?
The handling of the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by President Obama, the attorney general and the head of the FBI is a disgrace. And why are our two U.S. senators doing little or nothing to get Washington to act against the out-of-state law-breakers?
This "occupation" fiasco is turning into a what would be a terrible made-for-TV movie: "Stand Proud America!"
Refuge provides solitude to humans
Until it was occupied by Ammon Bundy, et al., I know many people weren't familiar with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeastern Oregon.
I've been going there for 40 years. It's one of my sacred places.
I've walked up the middle of the Blitzen River in solitude in August, climbed to the top of Steens Mountain, observed a family of burrowing owls standing motionless outside their home.
In late fall, I've driven the inner dirt road from Frenchglen toward the refuge headquarters, hair blowing out the open windows with Emmylou Harris' "Red Dirt Girl" blaring while coyotes that looked like wolves ran with me in the fields.
Now our crazy world has found its way to America's most outback place.
Make city center design memorable
The Jan. 23 front page showed two artists' conceptions for the future downtown Kesey Square area, where Willamette Street and Broadway intersect ("Big Broadway reveal").
The future looked too much like the past. There was no creativity beyond a standard four-way intersection flanked by buildings that bookend the space.
Maybe the transportation part of the artists' conception isn't supposed to be predictive of what will appear.
I hope the designers and planners will incorporate a roundabout with an artistic center such as a fountain or sculpture to beautify the space that's so far eluded its potential to be a remarkable place.
Eugene's city center deserves an uplifting and memorable design, one that inspires visitors and residents to slow their step, gaze, pause and sit and talk or sip, where human interaction is complimented - not diminished - by the cultural landscape.
Loss of commons would be tragic
The plan to develop Kesey Square represents a microcosm of the worldwide theft of the commons by private entities.
The commons pertain or belong equally to an entire community, nation or culture, to the public. The developer's proposal reflects the pillage that's happened around the globe, beginning with the rise of empire, the final result of which may be the very real possibility of extinction of all earthly fauna except those with exoskeletons.
The tragedy of the commons occurs when individuals neglect the well-being of society in the pursuit of personal gain. There's been a constant expropriation of land, labor and resources from indigenous peoples and the "lower classes." Our common air, water and soil has been fouled to the benefit of private corporations and individuals.
Adding insult to injury, the developers want to deprive the Eugene community of its common tax base by using the Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption program to help them steal the square. Development will happen anyway, no need for corporate welfare to encourage it.
The developers say all Kesey Square activities can take place where City Hall was. Was tearing down City Hall, including its still-usable skeleton, part of the plan for taking the square?
It's time to take back the idea of the commons and take a stand against the developers and their political lackeys. Kesey Square's a line in the sand that can't be crossed.
Let's call it what it is, a naked grab of the commons, with the "travelers" used as scapegoats.
GOP treatment of Obama is racist
In her Jan. 22 letter, Marcia Mac-Laine made the outrageous claim that racism isn't a factor in the way Republicans have treated President Obama over the past seven years. She's probably convinced herself of that.
She cited some tired old statistics from the 1950s and '60s to try to convince us that the modern GOP is unbiased and colorblind.
The simple truth is, the Republican Party is racist to its core; not all Republicans are racist, but nearly all racists are Republicans.
Their effrontery is so bold and so obvious. You need only look at the signature legislation of the Obama administration, the Affordable Care Act. Derisively called "Obamacare," every major part of the ACA was originally a Republican concept.
Mitt Romney installed an identical plan in Massachusetts - yes, Romney, the Republican's most recent presidential candidate. Republicans began to hate the idea only when Obama championed it. They hate every idea Obama has proposed, a knee-jerk reaction that has no precedent in American politics.
In 2008, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made it very plain that Republicans had only one agenda - to make Obama a one-term president (that didn't work out so well). McConnell didn't mention anything positive the GOP hoped to accomplish (I doubt anyone can).
As for how a hypothetical President Ted Cruz would be treated by Congress, that's laughable. MacLaine should be more concerned with how President Hillary Clinton will be treated.
My guess? Republican misogyny will replace Republican racism.
How GOP would redistribute income
Republican-approved income redistribution plan:
1) Wall Street
3) The military budget
4) Insurance companies
5) Financial institutions
6) Agricultural price supports
8) Tax-exempt mega-churches
9) Big Oil/Big Coal
10) Your retirement plan
SEP closure disrespects academics
The University of Oregon's decision to discontinue its Summer Enrichment Program for gifted students is reprehensible ("Closing of gifted program 'a tragedy,' " Jan. 24).
The UO spends millions of dollars coddling athletes and promoting athletics but offers no support for the next generation of the best and brightest students, the people we'll need as future leaders and innovators.
If the UO administration has decided the university's going to become a research school, maybe it could save money - the reason given for the SEP decision - by offering only graduate courses and dispensing with undergraduate studies.
The rationale that led administrators to discontinue the SEP is illogical and doesn't reflect the respect for academics that's the raison d'etre of a worthy university.
J. Bradley Rubel