Socialism and democracy differ
I find it amusing that people are using the words "socialism" and "democracy" in the same sentence. That's an oxymoron.
Socialism conjures thoughts of oppression, domination of thought by the state and loss of independent thinking. Democracy conjures thoughts of freedom and independent thinking.
Also, socialism is reminiscent of what happened 80 years ago - and those who were alive at that time, as I was, will realize socialism doesn't work. I'm speaking of the National Socialist Party, which later begat Nazism, fascism and Stalin's version of socialism, which is communism.
People keep comparing Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler, but all Trump has done is talk about what he'd try to do if he's elected president. Under our system of government, he has that right. Under socialism, he wouldn't have that freedom.
A perfect example of socialism is an ant hill - which means no independent thinking.
Our present system is dented a bit, but it's not broken. If we vote by using good reasoning and doing a little research about the candidates we like, we can improve the system.
Another example of socialism was the recent armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. That was similar to what Hitler did when he marched into Poland in 1939 with the Gestapo and the Schutzstaffel (SS) and said, "I'm taking over and there's nothing you can do about it." That's not how I want to live.
I will not live in an oppressed society. God bless America.
James E. Levings
U.S. Army (retired)
It's time to call a fascist a fascist
The media endlessly tells us that speeches by Donald Drumpf (Trump's ancestral name) are "inspiring" and "passionate," when they're in fact neither. Rather, they are ignorant, inchoate, petulant and puerile.
I assume the lazy network talking heads, as they usually do, merely parrot what the liars on Faux and Fiends spew, along with their daily ration of race hatred, blame-the-victim and making up "facts" out of whole cloth.
Some things are important, and news outlets should report those, forget the McTrump campaign freak show and focus instead on the fear- and hate-based attitudes and behaviors of Trump's followers. For example, notice how his mob attacks nonbelievers - always from behind (unless it's a woman they're punching).
Drumpf says he'd like to "punch [protesters] in the face," but, when a protester tried to get on stage with him, he was about the most scared I've ever seen a grown man look. And he quickly moved to shove the U.S. Secret Service agents protecting him between himself and the schmoe. I bet he hasn't moved that fast since he ran from Ivana once she found out about Marla Maples.
Some of Drumpf's followers talk gleefully about burning his opponents alive. Those know-nothings are willing to abrogate their consciences to a man who's more than willing to arrogate them. And anyone who doesn't believe they'd gladly kill nonbelievers if they could get away with it is delusional.
Gun opponents use bloated figures
I couldn't help but laugh when I read Peggy Johnson's March 29 letter. She claimed 500,000 U.S. deaths since Sept. 11, 2001, were caused by "gun- toting" Christians."
It's true that many people have died from gun-related causes, but I hardly think they all involved "gun-toting Christians."
According to Wikipedia and other statistical data, 60 percent of those deaths were suicides. Many more were from licensed concealed weapon carriers who were defending themselves from violent attacks. Did Johnson include those people as "gun-toting" individuals?
How about deaths from legal police shootings? I suppose you could consider police officers as gun-toting, but I don't believe that's what Johnson had in mind.
After all has been said and done, there were probably about 11,000 annual gun deaths that would be considered homicides, most of them gang-related. And, yes, I believe that group can be considered "gun-toting."
It's been 141/2 years since the Sept. 11 attacks. Multiply that by 11,000 and Johnson's 500,000 figure has shrunk to fewer than 160,000.
Four-fifths of board is unresponsive
Two Lane County commissioner seats are up for election on May 17, and the other three seats will be up for a vote two years from now.
I have to wonder who the commissioners consider their constituents to be. I've been attending Lane Parks Large Events Task Force and Parks Advisory Committee meetings for almost two years and have sent the commissioners occasional reports on my observations.
A funny thing: South Eugene District Commissioner Pete Sorenson is the only commissioner to ever send me a reply, and he replies to all of them.
The four other commissioners don't even have the courtesy to acknowledge receipt of my emails. I live in north Eugene, not south Eugene. Am I not considered a north Eugene constituent?
Instead, the four Republican commissioners act as if they only listen to moneyed interests, spending $84,000 of taxpayers' money to sue the U.S. Bureau of Land Management before its timber harvest report is out, refusing to enforce the state's new gun sale background check law, and objecting to the state's new minimum wage law as being an unfunded mandate - after giving hefty pay raises to county government managers.
Tony McCown, a Democrat who's running for election to the North Eugene District seat, is the only person in this voting round who might help break the four commissioners' cycle of nonresponsiveness.
Try emailing McCown, and Sorenson as well. See if they respond. But good luck hearing back from the four other commissioners.
Wages should be geared to ages
In his March 7 column, M. Russell Schmitt pointed out some of the downsides of Oregon's new three-tiered minimum wage law ("Raising minimum wage creates new problems").
Instead of a three-sizes-fit-all statewide approach, I would have considered a built-in set of tiers based on employees' ages. That would have permitted a lower entry-level wage for high school youth who presumably aren't living entirely on their wages, compared to someone in their 20s or older who might be.
That would have made it more likely a young person would be hired and, as he or she matured and gained work experience, be moved up the pay scale.
A young new hire is presumably of less value to an employer than someone older, more mature and experienced in the working world. Such a scheme, although adding still more complexity to employers' payroll systems, would pay less to those who are worth less to the employer and pay more to those with greater experience and maturity.
Did the GOP not learn its lesson?
Four years ago, the Republican Party's nominee for president was a very wealthy, middle-aged, out-of-touch white guy who successfully dodged the draft and avoided serving his country during the Vietnam War. His nomination turned out to be a huge mistake and the party vowed to learn from that mistake.
Now, after a long, contentious primary season during which the GOP touted the diversity of its candidates, the party's leader and presumptive presidential nominee is - wait for it - a very wealthy, middle-aged, out-of-touch white guy who successfully dodged the draft and avoided serving his country during the Vietnam War.
You can't make that stuff up.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||Mar 31, 2016|
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