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Insider Baseball : No Joy in Mudville Republicans foul out on promises of hidden money pots.
Natural Resistance : No Hitting Protesters' signs are nuclear age-appropriate.
Viewpoint: To Create Peace Awaken universal motherhood.
Viewpoint: We, the People Our constitutional rights are still in jeopardy.

Letters: EW readers sound off.

Honey, I Shrunk the Plan!
Digging a deeper hole.

Inspector Clouseau: Does yer dewg bite?
Inn Keeper: No
Clouseau: Nice Doggy (bends down to pet a dachshund — it snarls and bites him). I thought you said yer dewg did not bite!
Inn Keeper: Zat ... iz not my dog!

This is Inspector Clouseau hot on the trail of Jeff Kruse and Dan "The Plan" Doyle. I had tracked them to the speaker's office, where Kruse dropped off the plan: "It is now in the hands of the Republican leadership," Jeff said. By the time the plan came out the other end of the speaker's sausage factory, the Pink Panther had morphed into a red-faced ferret. The $310 million that Kruse and Doyle said was hanging around in lose change, well it turned out to be a $15 million plan that still does incredible harm to 95 percent of Oregon's children, seniors and adults on the cut list. Voila! Sacre bleu frommage!

Now Kruse is backpedallin'. In an article by Christopher Baker in the Cottage Grove Sentinel Jeff says, "There never was a secret plan, the media just decided to say that and call it that … basically, what Steves (David Steves of the R-G who covers the capitol beat) accused me of was talking about a secret plan to get people to vote against Measure 28." Then, at a Jan. 21 press conference in Salem, Kruse was asked if the conference was held to undermine the pro-Measure 28 campaign, he said, "We're hoping so, yeah." So we know now what's in the Speaker's 5 percent plan — restore some mental health beds, senior in-home care, a few medically needy, and add back some state police. And we know it's being paid for with money that would otherwise be available to us next biennium, so it just digs a deeper hole.

Maybe next week's news media will show the public what's NOT IN — what got left out. Maybe then we can walk Mr. Kruse through the 95 percent of programs that don't get funded, and ask Jeff why Measure 28 was such a bad idea. I think we can put the plan to sleep now, Inspector.

Onto ze next crime: tax breaks. A rich lobbyist once bragged that he could deduct the mortgage interest off his Oregon taxes; the mortgage was to his yacht. That's one tax break I'd like to see disappear, given the first three paragraphs of this column. I am also eyeing the political contribution tax credit — about $9 million next biennium; peanuts compared to home mortgage interest mentioned above and the capital gains on both property and gifts. Those three alone total $1 billion next biennium; throw in personal exemption credit for another $875 million, and heck, pretty soon you're talkin' serious cash.

Obviously you can't just go in and grab all that stinkin' loot right now – it's too heavy to carry out of the vault in one fell swoop. But it's a start! Oh, and did I tell you about my little lottery bill that could net us $116 million?

PERS update: The director of PERS tells us that current retirements for this year are up substantially. People are leaving because of their fear of the Legislature and governor reaching into their pockets. I think the best advise I can give — not as an expert in PERS and not as a retirement planner — is this: if you want to retire and you've done the economic and personal analysis that leads you to this decision, then retire. But don't base it on anything we're doing in the Legislature! I don't think anyone in the building is going to affect the retirement annuities of the folks in their last few years, having already worked 20-30 years. It's not the soon-to-be-retired that have the most at risk, it's the younger members. And both groups understand that unless we fix the plan, everyone's at risk.

It appears the PERS negotiations will happen in several phases. We're doing the easy stuff now, the House has passed the 8 percent cap, we've moved it out of our General Government Committee, and it's on its way to the Senate floor and then the governor's desk. The unions gave up a costly benefit to cut the employers' future costs. I hope that will be remembered as we go down the road. Inspector Clouseau; over and out.

Sen. Tony Corcoran of Cottage Grove represents portions of Lane and Douglas counties in Senate District 4, which includes the UO area. He can be reached at

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No Hitting
Protesters' signs are nuclear age-appropriate.

A small girl's sign No Hitting goes to the heart of what's wrong with the president's war plan. Pounding someone didn't make anything better in kindergarten, and it doesn't make anything better when you're a grown-up.

Another sign used grown-up writer Isaac Asimov's words:

Violence is the refuge of the incompetent.

It was Tuesday, Jan. 18 in Portland, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Moab, and dozens of other U.S. communities. No one was having to pay a parade entry fee to contribute their humor, wisdom, or irony, and the parades were large. The participants were trying to prevent a war.

There was recognition of the role we, as American consumers, have played in our grab for something the Middle East has in more abundance than us: Go to War for SUVs? Hell No. Ride a Bike.

And the way that our government and its industry backers are regarding all of nature, whether here or abroad: How Did Our Oil Get Under Your Sand? Two Wars Per Gallon

One sign said No Blood for Oil; another, No Blood for George. Were they redundant? One sign figured so: its photograph of Bush was coupled with the words, "Die for Oil, Suckers!"

Some pondered the gap between our national self-image and reality: Shoot First? I Thought We Were Supposed to Be the Good Guys!

And the gap between professed Christianity and reality: Fellow Christians: We Are Called to Love Our Enemies. Jesus Wasn't Kidding. Would Jesus Bomb Them? Bush: The Compassionate Executioner and Warmonger. The Pro-Life President Can't Wait to Start Killing.

Or, in a secular version of the same ethic: Bush Likes to Kill People: That's Fucked Up.

Bush's demonstrated comfort with violent solutions is causing concern: Imagine Bush With Nukes.

Some wondered why this parade was even necessary: If We Had Wanted Bush to Be President We Would Have Elected Him.

But then, another sign explained that Bush is The Best President Enron Could Buy.

There was the consciousness that war is distraction from what is needed: War Is Not An Energy Policy.

And this sign, carried by a polite teenager: Can't the U.S. Spend Money Correctly?

One baby was asleep in a backpack, on which hung this sign: Babies Love Peace.

A photograph of Day of the Dead skeletons was coupled with these words: Bush Leaves No Child Behind.

Having recently read of one small Iraqi boy who had become mute after seeing a building crumble in earlier war, I recalled this haunting sign: The Children are Watching.

And, this sign on a wooden wagon in which a fortunate child was being pulled: Bush Needs a Time Out.


Perhaps by the time this parade report is published, the U.S. will have initiated war (or, as some point out, merely expanded the war) on Iraq. If this happens, remember that you owe no loyalty to violence, violations of international law, or any given individual who happens temporarily to occupy a seat of power in any government. As one Portland marcher's sign encouraged others: Resist. Refuse. Redirect.

The children are watching you.

Mary O'Brien of Eugene has worked as a public interest scientist for the past 20 years. She can be reached at

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To Create Peace
Awaken universal motherhood.

In October 2002 the United Nation's Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence was given to Mata Amritanandamai (Amma), considered by the people of India to be a modern-day saint. Amma devotes her life to relieving suffering in the world. In her speech given at the U.N., Amma sends a clear, penetrating message that empowers and uplifts women and men. She says that to bring peace and harmony into the world, we need to wake up and bring forth our innate qualities of universal motherhood: of patience, tolerance and love. Motherhood, she says, is an attitude of mind, inherent in both women and men. For those in whom universal motherhood has awakened, kindness and compassion become a way of life. The following are excerpts from her speech:

Whether you are a woman or a man, your real humanity will come to light only when the feminine and masculine qualities within you are balanced.

There are two types of language: the language of the intellect and the language of the heart. The language of the dry, rational intellect likes to argue and attack. Aggression is its nature. It is purely masculine, devoid of love or any sense of relatedness.

The language of the heart, the language of love, which is related to the feminine principle, is quite different. Those who speak this language do not have any interest in proving that they are right or that anyone else is wrong. They are deeply concerned about their fellow beings and wish to help, support and uplift others. They are the givers of tangible hope and of light in this world. When such people speak it is not to lecture, impress or to argue — it is a true communion of hearts.

In today's world it is the language of the intellect that prevails, not the language of the heart. The representatives of lust and selfishness — not of love — dominate the world. Real leadership is not to dominate or to control, but to serve others with love and compassion, and to inspire others through the example of our lives.

Women and men are equally important. When men and women become powers that complement each other, and move together with a sense of cooperation and mutual respect, they will achieve perfection. The love of awakened motherhood is a love and compassion felt not only toward one's children, but toward all people, animals and plants, rocks and rivers — a love extended to all of nature, to all beings. The essence of motherhood is not restricted to women who have given birth; it is a principle inherent in both women and men.

Most women are asleep. Women have to wake up and arise! This is one of the most urgent needs of the age.

At 7:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 19 there will be a public gathering at the Eugene Friends Meetinghouse at 2274 Onyx St. to hear Amma's 11-page speech ( and discuss how her vision can be manifested. How do we create a more kind and peaceful world?

Bhavia Wagner of Eugene gives educational programs about Cambodia and is the author of Soul Survivors — Stories of Women and Children in Cambodia (

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We, the People
Our constitutional rights are still in jeopardy.

By June 2002, seven U.S. cities passed resolutions opposing the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act (UPA) and other such executive orders and federal legislation. I knew Eugene residents could organize a movement to urge our City Council to do the same. I didn't know that in less than a year, 27 cities would be onboard, with nearly 100 groups working in 35 states to overturn the UPA.

The civil liberties of more than four million people are now protected from the UPA by local resolutions. Soon it will be nine million when Philadelphia joins this new form of civil disobedience.

After Eugene's council passed Resolution 4743 Nov. 25, we of the Lane County Bill of Rights Defense Committee moved forward to our Springfield and Lane County campaigns. We also received interest from groups in 14 Oregon cities hoping to duplicate Eugene's success.

Inspired by December's resolution passed in Burlington, Vt., Bernie Sanders (I-VT) plans to introduce federal legislation to overturn Section 215 of the UPA, which orders libraries to hand over Internet and circulation records without evidence of criminal activity. Oregon's Ron Wyden recently introduced a measure in the U.S. Senate to block funding for TIA (Total Information Awareness), a program that would data-mine every bit of personal information about each one of us. But what Sanders and Wyden are doing is not enough — not nearly enough.

While I attended a national Bill of Rights Defense Strategy session in January, thousands of Muslim immigrants stood in line beginning at 5 am to "register" with the Immigration and Naturalization Services. When I saw the photograph in the Washington Post, I was haunted by a 1930s-era photograph of women, men and children in Nazi Germany, lined up with yellow stars on their lapels. I am continually amazed at the deterioration of our democracy in the name of "fighting terrorism" (read, controlling petroleum resources).

We can't wait for Congress or the courts to overturn laws that violate Constitutional guarantees. Sixteen months ago, who would have imagined a citizen could be denied constitutional privileges such as right to counsel and right to a fair speedy trial, by being named an "enemy combatant"? Anyone would have said that's unconstitutional. Yet on Jan. 8, a federal appeals court so ruled.

When nearly 300 people filled City Hall to urge our council to pass a resolution opposing the UPA, most probably thought the resolution solved the UPA problem for Eugene.

According to the resolution, no city funds will be used to support the UPA to the extent legally permissible. The resolution asks law enforcement to report monthly and publicly when people are detained under provisions in the UPA. It asks for reports on searches authorized on the word of the U.S. Attorney's office, on searches of library, educational and bookstore purchases, of search warrants executed without notice, the extent of electronic surveillance, and the extent to which political meeting or religious gatherings are monitored.

But the city has not even begun to seek real enforcement of this resolution. City staff wrote a two-sentence boilerplate letter asking our congressional delegation to work for the revocation of parts of the UPA limiting or violating our constitutional guarantees. The same brief letter was, oddly, sent to the FBI and Oregon State Police, who have no vote in Congress. No letters to local law enforcement. No letters to city personnel, warning city funds will not be used to support the UPA.

As Einstein said, it is up to all of us to defend our Constitution. That's what these local resolutions are — a way for we the people to defend the Constitution through our local government.

You can see from Eugene's example, the work is far from over. We cannot trust others to protect our freedoms. We must take the time and exert the energy to do it ourselves. I urge you to write to your councilors to ask them to make sure the city lives up to Resolution 4743. Remind them the vote was 7-0, and the residents of Eugene demand that our city stand up for our languishing freedoms.

Hope Marston is coordinator of the Lane County Bill of Rights Defense Committee. For more information, or call 683-5634.

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George W. Bush has warned that if an Iraqi general or soldier were to use a weapon of mass destruction, he would be "treated, tried and persecuted as a war criminal."

Yet Bush has made it clear that he would not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if an American soldier were to commit a war crime.

Worse yet, the Bush administration is contemplating the possible use of nuclear weapons against Iraq. This even though the U.S. is a signatory nation to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Every five years we renew our commitment to eliminate our nuclear arsenal. Yet we still have 7,200 strategic deployed warheads.

Even to threaten Iraq with a nuclear first strike is a violation of international law. If the Bush administration were to actually carry out such an abominable act, I would personally devote all of my energy to ensuring that Bush is placed before an international war crimes tribunal, and that he is put away for a very, very long time.

David Duemler


One year ago we were facing a budget crisis at OSU and things looked pretty sad and were getting worse. We classified staff were told then that cuts would start at the top, the not just classified staff would lose jobs. One year later things are not getting better. In fact, the whole state of Oregon is facing doom and gloom.

We have lost at least 116 classified staff jobs at OSU in 2002-03. How many positions were cut from the OSU top administration? I can't tell you because they won't tell us, but I am sure classified staff have taken the biggest number and percentage of cuts. And it does not stop — already in 2003 we have had seven jobs cut. Remember that with every job cut, other people may bump or lose their jobs. Some people have bumped six and seven times.

Some people whose jobs have been cut or who have had to bump other employees have been long term OSU employees, people who have worked at OSU for as long s 25 and 36 years. Please don't sit back and think that this has all been fine and dandy. This big dark shadow has been moving in, cutting our jobs for more that one year now. These cuts leave those of us who stay at OSU with more work to do; in some departments the workload is unreal, but we do not want to lose our jobs so we try our darnedest to keep up. This has become a way of life for state workers.

PERS may not need to change their mortality tables because the stress level at OSU may kill us all at much younger ages. My point is that life for a classified staff-person at OSU has not been a bed of roses this last year. The weeds are creeping in and taking over.

Judy Cochran


I don't always agree with Lois Wadsworth's movie reviews, but that's a matter of personal taste. I did, however, agree with her analysis (1/2) of Bowling for Columbine. It was more about Michael Moore's grandstanding than it was any attempt at understanding the problem of violence in America. His simplistic implications that the NRA, the media and Republicans are responsible did nothing to advance a solution. His badgering of an obviously aged and weakened Charlton Heston served no useful purpose that I could see. Ms. Wadsworth's observations were right on. The movie was a wasted opportunity to examine an important issue.

The published letters attacking her for expressing her views are saddening.

Michael Sullivan


Real estate medicine hurts patients. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent on swapping hospitals drains hundreds of millions away from patient care. One in six Oregonians has no health insurance; the rest of us are sand-bagged by higher co-pays for less coverage.

Yet we face no shortage of hospital beds: 42 percent of Oregon hospital beds are unoccupied, compared to 37 percent nationwide.

Sacred Heart and McKenzie-Willamette simply offer pipelines for commercial speculators like John Musumeci and Triad Corporation to churn hundreds of acres of woods and meadow into strip malls and condos. Their profits are tax sheltered as "hospital development," robbing taxes from urgently needed public services for sick people and the rest of us.

Mary S. Erbaugh


Thank you Oregonians for rejecting Measure 28, the Legislature's latest attempt at justifying it's continued bloated spending habits. I, as most of the voters of this state obviously do, believe I forfeit enough of my pay to various government agencies and anyone who disagrees is free to make a donation to their favorite pet program.

The socialization of America worries me and does not serve the hard working citizens who make this nation the greatest in the world; rather it encourages idleness and dependency. Before you label me as uncompassionate, consider that I have my own brand of charity which involves the offering of services to those I deem worthy; devoid of the irritation of undeserving individuals dipping into the government trough.

It appears that I'm EW's only conservative reader, but that has not stopped me from enjoying the publication for over 10 years; despite the obvious socialist bias (I'd say "progressive" if I knew what that meant, however, they didn't teach that one in my high school government class). Besides, EW readership's idea of "progress" is likely much different than my own. Just when I thought the EW staff had spared us from the never ending R-bashing drivel of Senator Corcoran, he's back. It's always the same column: "The D's fought the good fight but were thwarted in the end by the evil R's." Please find someone of more balanced perspective to occupy that space at least part of the time. Yes Tony, I listen to and usually agree with Lars Larson.

Brent DeGreene


Thanks for publishing the list of anti-war websites (2/6). I know some of these and they are excellent. I would like to add one more. Many EW readers are already familiar with, but for those who are not, it is a network of more than 600,000 online activists whose current focus is opposition to Bush's war on Iraq. Visit this website to sign up for a free, bi-weekly e-mail bulletin that will keep you updated on anti-war activities, congressional action and national and overseas press coverage. It will also spoon-feed you opportunities for effective action. I am one reluctant activist, but this bulletin in my e-mail keeps me motivated. There is also an Action Forum where you can sound off on the war, the environment and Bush's policies. It will make you feel better.

Rachel Foster


I am writing in response to the failing of Measure 28. I have worked in a school for abused children where the staff teaches them to live again after experiencing horrendous events. This school had at least 10 layoffs recently. I am currently working with at-risk youth. I have seen 14-year-old girls with injection sores on their arms from a drug habit.

We are affected by budget cuts. Now we, as well as many other social service agencies, are going to need to squeeze tighter. First, a message to the state government: Oregon has one of the highest levels of unemployment in the country. The failure of Measure 28 is a failure that you must understand as your responsibility. Balance the budget and cut the pork!

Second, a message to all of you who voted no on 28. You have a reason. It may be that you do not want to support the police. It may be that you are a homeowner who is feeling the strain of years of taxing. You may have felt that it is your right to spend your well-earned money for whatever you desire.

When a young child dies a violent death due to lagging support from budget cuts, the blood will be on your hands. The times to come are going to be rough for many of our local social service agencies. Become aware of their needs. Donate food, money, time and anything else that can assist them.

Brian Ellis


Oregon voters consistently vote to raise their own taxes when required for education, libraries, parks and recreation, and other human services that enrich our state and our lives; and just as regularly reject tax hikes that benefit the so called criminal justice system, implying a general satisfaction with the money already allotted to that area. It was no accident, therefore, and hardly surprising, that Measure 28 sought to link the interests of people really in need to law enforcement. Oregon's savvy electorate, however, wasn't swayed by threats. Take notice, future initiative writers: Extortion doesn't work. If the police want more money, let them make their own case to the people without holding our way of life hostage. Separate measures next time, OK?

Pete Raiteri


I was left with two impressions after watching the History Channel's special about the Gulf war: The U.S. has the most superior weapons and the most incompetent leaders on Earth. The "silver bullet" depleted uranium armor piercing tank munitions give our troops such a tactical advantage no wonder our government wants to crush any nation that tries to develop them. The only problem with this tainted "silver bullet" is that it vaporizes into a radioactive cloud that contaminates everything around it for billions of years! The decision by Bush Sr. to stop the battle after 100 hours and to allow Saddam's elite troops to escape and retain all of their helicopter gun ships has to be the biggest military blunder in history. With the helicopters Saddam was able to slaughter thousands of Iraqi rebels attempting to defeat him while our troops were ordered to stand down and watch. I hope Bush Jr. remembers his father's errors when he orders Gulf War II to begin.

Michael T. Hinojosa

I've noticed an ad in EW for an upcoming performance by George Carlin at the Hult Center. I would like to encourage people to stay away from his show. Last year, while visiting relatives, I picked up a copy of Carlin's latest book from the coffee table. At random, I opened to the following:

"There is a rape every [few] minutes in this country and, man, is my dick sore." Such casual celebration of brutality is very far from funny. Carlin likes to portray himself as some sort of iconoclast, but as the quote above indicates, he is perfectly in tune with the dominant in our woman-hating culture. Please avoid his show.

Ryan Foote


A quick check on Google of key words in John F. Marten's letter (1/30) reveals the following: the identical letter has appeared in such newspapers as the San Francisco Examiner, the King County Journal and the Boston Globe. Most fascinating is that in each case a different person has signed the same letter.

Hackers call this astroturfing. Everyone who has passed a freshman composition course knows it is plagiarism. It is also the latest GOP attempt to prop up the regime of President Junior. While this dishonesty is enough to make a person follow the president's lead and consume a six-pack of "pretzels," instead, when you suspect a Republican dirty trick, turn to reliable sources such as Media Whores Online and The Daily Howler where scams like this are routinely exposed.

Charles Varani


I want to thank you for helping John Marten (1/30) earn his GOPoints from He may soon be able to redeem his points for a new mousepad. Any dittohead can sign up to be a GOP team leader and these letters will then appear in your e-mail. All you have to do is sign your name and forward it off to your local newspaper. They encourage the writer to personalize the letter so it isn't so obvious that it is fake, but as the Google search reveals, often the writer is too lazy to do that. If it gets published you can earn points that can be redeemed for neat GOP merchandise. If he earns enough points, he might even get one of the pictures of Bush cowering in his bunker while the World Trade Centers fell.

Douglas Hintz


In Alan Pittman's article "The Next King of Eugene" (1/30), he refers to John Fischbach, the current city manager in Fort Collins, Co., and then launches into an in-depth analysis of Fort Collins politics. While I don't welcome the idea that Fischbach might be following me here, and share Alan's concerns about him, I think Mr. Pittman should get his facts about Fort Collins straight. For one, Fort Collins is 64 miles north of Denver, near the border of Wyoming. While the majority of its residents are conservative, having grown up there, I feel that this is more due to ignorance than outright malice.

When Matthew Shepard was attacked outside Laramie, Wyo., in October 1998, he was rushed to Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, where caring doctors tried to save his life. Residents held candlelight vigils outside. When an insensitive fraternity mocked Matthew's death on their float at the Colorado State University homecoming parade, they were disbanded by the university. About a year after his death, a group called Bringing Equality And Respect (BEAR) organized a march from Fort Collins, to Laramie where they met with Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother.

Recently, an anarchist infoshop (The Boxcar Book Collective) opened. There's a Food Not Bombs chapter, serving hot vegan food to the hungry. There's hope for Fort Collins, and there's hope for Eugene, especially if John Fischbach has to file for unemployment. Do we have to have a city manager at all?

David James



2024? This journey requires:

Less cognitive dissonance. You can't block all "sprawl" at the edges of your city and simultaneously oppose the consequent increase in density at the center. (Unless you curtail one of the highest birthrates in the state.)

A sense of geography. Springfield is not your enemy, nor the trailer-trash slut across the river. Springfield's your partner, holding up the other end of the work of getting to 2024 successfully. Your fates are inextricably bound together; just as the fates of both cities are inextricably bound to the fates of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and L.A.

A professional police force, not a mob of Wyatt Earps whose solution to every challenge is to "break their f***ing nightsticks across yer f***ing heads."

A broader embrace. Progressives — particularly you disciples of Houser and Zerzan — must give up that isolated political-cell mentality and work together to secure an intellectual flexibility that will liberate your minds from the ideological boxes that enclose them. It's not about the purity of your ideology, Eugene, it's about winning the war to take the planet back.

And quit tail-gating, please.

Tom Warren
Pleasant Hill


I share ONRC's concerns about the appointment of Jim Brown as Gov. Kulongoski's top environmental advisor – but let's not be too quick to shine a glowing light on the previous guy in charge. The ONRC letter says: "Kulongoski's appointment of Brown appears to signal a marked change from the conservation ethic exhibited by his predecessor former Gov. John Kitzhaber." If I'm not mistaken, eight of the 16 years Brown served as head of the Oregon Department of Forestry were under Kitzhaber's tenure, and he seemed fairly content to leave Brown right where he was.

Bob Berman

Readers' comments beyond our newsprint edition.


High Alert
In his speech at the U.N. last week, Secretary of State Colin Powell once again asserted that Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaeda. Yet even intelligence operatives in the FBI and CIA argue that such ties don't exist. Now we are warned by Attorney General John Ashcroft and others that our country's now placed on "high alert" for potential terrorist attacks, yet reports from CIA and FBI officials state that there is no conclusive information, only vague indications. How convenient this new alert is in the light of the president's fervent desire to make war on Iraq at this time.

It appears that the president and Secretary Powell are using American's sorrow and fear about Sept. 11th to sell a war on Iraq – even though it has not been proved that the two have any relationship. If the president has a case for war against Iraq, he should make it on the basis of facts, not fear.

Kathleen Epstein

Diplomacy, Not War
The whole world seems to agree that there is no legitimate reason to attack Iraq. Even the secretary general of the U.N., Kofi Annan, stated that he believes this situation can be brought to a diplomatic end.

Yet our nation seems to not only be set on a collision course with Iraq, but also seems to be gaining speed. Our president told the Iraqis what was required in order to avoid military conflict; they have complied, yet we still press on.

This administration seems determined not to allow lack of evidence or facts to keep them from their war. It is time that we are all honest with ourselves about the true reasons for this conflict: President Bush is willing to send our friends and family to kill and be killed so that we may gain more control over the oil-rich Middle East. And that, in my opinion, is not an important enough reason for anyone to die.

This motivation for war becomes more evident as time goes on. We need ask ourselves why our president would threaten pre-emptive military action against a country that is suspected of trying to develop weapons of mass destruction, while at the same time assuring North Korea, who actually has these weapons, that we will not attack them, and, in fact, that we will give them money and aid ifthey behave themselves.

Contact your congressmen and president, and tell them that you do not support military action against Iraq. We need to alter the path our government is taking before its too late and people start to die.

Dan Orleck

Fading Pride
We all know that Saddam Hussein is a dictator. How about the "wanna be" dictator, George W. Bush? He must have brainwashed his cabinet, because the members of Congress could not all be as stupid as the person the Supreme Court appointed to occupy the Oval Office.

There has always been a simple solution to the problem of Iraq: Lift the sanctions, open up trade and let the country of Iraq join the human race. Instead, the Emperor in Washington, D.C., will make all the Arab people hate America. This will assure that we will be fighting terrorism for the next 50 years, if not forever. Plus, Bush will drain the U.S. treasury and make our grandchildren pay for his personal war.

Bush’s dictatorship is weakening. France, Germany and most of the world are not with him. Desperately, Bush thinks he can badger everyone into submission. How much will we have to pay Turkey to launch an attack from their country?

I hope the American people will rise above their complacency and get involved. There are many lives at stake – a great many of them young American lives. A strong leader would find a peaceful way to put an end to the foolishness coming from our White House.

I served in the 10th Mountain Division during World War II. I was always proud to be an American. But the dictator-like policies of this administration is causing that pride to be diminished.

Ken D. Johnston

Pain & Terror
The people at KFC are no friends of chickens. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is taking KFC to task by demanding common sense animal-care standards for these inquisitive, intelligent, sensitive birds who are tormented and killed by the millions for KFC value buckets.

Campaigns against McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s led them to improve the treatment of animals killed for their restaurants. Why does KFC stubbornly refuse to progress?

Chickens killed for KFC typically get half a square foot per bird inside filthy warehouses. They are bred to be so large that they grow too heavy for their bones and go lame. Many suffer from dehydration, respiratory diseases, bacterial infections and heart attacks. At the end of their miserable lives, they are violently snatched up, often breaking bones in the process, and trucked to a slaughterhouse through all weather extremes, where they are hung upsidedown and have their throats slit. Many don’t die before being dumped into the scalding tank, and so they are literally boiled to death.

These birds feel pain and terror like any animal. Those who are going to end up in KFC’s greasy fryers deserve protection from cruel farming practices. To see KFC’s chickens for yourself, visit

Curtis Taylor

Fierce Disappointment
Although I don’t view movies with as practiced and critical an eye as Lois Wadsworth no doubt does, I must take issue with her recent reviews of two movies currently playing in town: Bowling for Columbine and Ram Das: Fierce Grace. In her review of Bowling for Columbine, Ms. Wadsworth castigates Michael Moore for involving two victims of the Columbine tragedy in a confrontation at the Kmart store that had sold the bullets used in the Columbine shootings. She suggests this was done for effect and that Moore was "disappointed" when Kmart announced it would stop selling automatic weapons ammunition in all of its stores.

But I saw no evidence in the film that the two teenagers wounded at Columbine felt used by the visit to Kmart. On the contrary, something terrible and life changing happened to them, and the step they took toward preventing it from happening to someone else was life affirming and probably felt very, very good. Kmart is to be commended for its unexpected decision to stop selling the bullets. Moore was surprised. But disappointed? Come on!

Bowling for Columbine is an excellent movie that richly deserves the prizes it has won; it is (literally) being applauded by audiences across the country. See it!

After reading Wadsworth’s review, I went to see Ram Das: Fierce Grace with great expectations of gaining insight into Alpert’s life and learning more about his philosophy and ideas. Instead, the movie was rambling and unedited, with huge gaps and very little substance, with the exception of the very moving scenes involving people’s personal tragedies. It was a fiercely disappointing movie.

Vicki Levine

Spay Commando
Hey, Eugene/Springfield and anyone out there reading this: Fix your damn cats! Got that? See, Doris Day is still around, and she’s not as cutesy and nice as she once was. She’s got this Doris Day Animal League thing going and declared one of these days in February Spay Day USA. I like that in a person, when you just take the initiative and declare yourself some sort of day to your liking.

So I’m just this poverty stricken volunteer cat trapper and having seen real, live horror stories on pretty much a daily basis – all caused by feline overpopulation, which is caused by irresponsible pet owners not fixing their cats – I get mad as hell and sad as hell.

So fix your cats. It is not like it is a huge deal. There are cheap routes to go on this, and if you have a heart and are able to understand simple facts and are not disabled by your own ego or opinions, you’ll make the appointments and get your cats fixed. You’ll find a way.

Or one day, you might be dealing with me, one angry spay commando, the lowly cat trapper trying to make a difference with her trap and her net, fixing cats right and left without the strength or the means to do it all alone.

Jody A. Harmon

Will Work
I recently watched Phil Donahue’s "Angry White Men" show on MSNBC (12/30). I saw whites voicing their resentment of affirmative action for unfairly taking away jobs from qualified whites. I also saw blacks voicing their resentment of a system keeping them in some of the poorest schools and worst economic conditions in the country.

But what I didn’t see was anyone voicing their resentment of a system that is deliberately designed to keep millions of Americans unemployed, regardless of color or gender.

Everyone can find work if they really want to, right? Wrong. Our government, and the corporations it represents, does not want everyone to have a job. The Federal Reserve raises interest rates every time unemployment drops "too low." Why? Because they want a large pool of people desperate for any sort of job they can find. Falling unemployment rates put an upward pressure on wages and benefits. Economists call it "wage inflation" and tell us with a straight face that it’s "bad" for the economy.

It’s time for angry white men to redirect their anger. Instead of being angry at blacks for "taking away" jobs through affirmative action, blacks and whites should join together in anger at an inherently unfair system that pits desperate people against each other. Instead of demanding an end to affirmative action, why not start demanding a policy of full employment at a living wage for every able-bodied person who wants to work?

Jeremy Jacobs

Serving the Rich
I wrote this in reaction to further tax cut proposals and failure of 28 which put more money in the hands of the wealthy to stimulate the service economy. There is not much other economy left to stimulate in this country, the best investment opportunities are overseas. I would work, but what am I to do? What if the only opportunities serve the rich in their desire for greater control of the earth's bounty and transformation of resources into luxuries and monuments to their egos. Who, but those made desperate by the powerful would willingly serve the greedy. Why enrich people unwilling to part with money and resources for the benefit of all. Why elevate people unwilling to restore the environment depleted by years of self centered ego gratification.

Ed Gunderson

Faith in Democracy
The basic struggle in the world today is between those like the Bush, Sharon and bin Laden administrations who have faith in fundamentalist fascism which uses corporate/military dominion to increase areas controlled and those decent people who have faith in real democracy and in real peace. We cannot have real peace in a world full of really big military establishments equipped with weapons of mass destruction. Our course is now toward death: our solution is global disarmament through the United Nations. Our brains must not be used to believe the big lies created by Bush, Sharon, bin Laden. We need to think through what real democracy is all about and think through what steps the U.S. and the rest of the world need to take to create real democracies living in real peace. We in the U.S. need to take lessons from the 16 nations in the world who have greater press freedom than the U.S. has.

Molly says ( death to war not to people.

Bob Saxton

National Strike
Hundreds of thousands of people have attended demonstrations and continue to protest in Washington, D.C, San Francisco, and thousands of locations around our country and the world. The Chicago City Council voted 46-1 for a resolution opposing aggressive U.S. action against Iraq. Dozens of other American city councils have adopted similar resolutions. The majority of Americans do not want the U.S. military to bomb Iraq: 1. because it is an immoral terrorist act to murder innocent people, regardless of who is their leader, 2. because we will create a new generation of shell-shocked, damaged veterans that we cannot afford to care for any better than the ones we already neglect, 3. because hatred is the most dangerous weapon of mass destruction, and a "pre-emptive strike" is nothing more than pure hatred on its way to creating infinitely more hatred, 4. because we will be spending billions if not trillions of dollars of our grandchildren’s money to do it.

This is still a democracy. By the people. For the people. We are the people. People, I say this: if it takes a national strike to get the President’s attention, then let us take to the streets. Thousands of children, animals, and plants, and the very air we breathe are at stake. ABC News reported yesterday that a respected American nuclear weapons analyst has indicated that the Pentagon is preparing for the use of nuclear weapons against Iraq. I would rather look like an alarmist than mourn the results of a United States government run amok. Hatred is the most dangerous weapon of mass destruction.

Dawn Lesley

Geo-Strategic Racism
I hate it when government and media insult my intelligence. Can we stop this idiotic cascade of words about "weapons of mass destruction"? Any of those kinds of weapons Iraq possesses were originally sold to them by us when Iraq was a-so called "ally" in the '70s and '80s – the CIA and DoD knew what they were dealing with then, and they know now. Any ally of the U.S. can turn into an "enemy" as a matter of military/industrial expedience, using the concept of geo-strategic racism.

The eight European nations that signed this so called "statement" of support for U.S. Imperial aggression in the name of oil and Eurasian continental influence are small fish, relatively minor players that would have much to gain, energy-wise, from standing by Amerika. I would imagine we threw them some kind of economic concession. That includes the rather obscene Tony Blair, the most toadying, patronizing, ass-kissing Bush wannabe I've ever seen. Britain is self-sufficient in oil right now, but that self-sufficiency is based on very finite resources.

I admire France and Germany for sticking to their guns, but they, too, have ulterior motives – they are the only two Western European nations, along with Russia and China, with oil contracts presently standing in Iraq! These nations, curiously, have been the only consistent opposition to our wonderful plan of saving Iraq for democracy. I wonder if we'll save it like we did Afghanistan...the only Western "aid" that has come to that country in any appreciable amount is the opening of an IMF office in Kabul...and we know what the IMF did to Argentina! Seek Oil, Mein Fuhrer!

Michael Anderson

Access to information is being undermined through proposed rule changes by the FCC. These rules have prevented monopolistic control of the media, including television, radio, newspapers, and even billboards since the 1940s, when we saw that totalitarian regimes used domination of the media to "move the world to war," according to The New York Times. These rules, gradually relaxed over the last few decades, have allowed the two biggest corporations to own 1,400 radio stations (up from 130) since 1996. It is frightening to think what will happen to all local and national media outlets, with not only news and entertainment, but even advertising being within the purview of a handful of people.

The FCC chairman and the two Republicans on this five-member board are solidly in favor of abandoning the rules. Predictably the major media owners have asked for the complete abolishment of them. We have seen what this kind of de-regulation has done in other areas of public interest. If this happens, information will be strictly controlled by those interested only in the bottom line and the preservation of their own power bases, at the expense of diversity and access to information. There will be only one hearing in Richmond, Virginia and public comment closes at the end of the month. You can phone Michael Powell, the FCC Chairman in Washington, at (888) 225-5322, or fax at (202) 418-0232.

Joann Henderson

Creating Peace
A walk in the park on a rainy day can help one see the light. The measure of your love for your country is not the flag on your car, but your kindness to your fellow American. The measure of compassionate conservatisim is not the war you wage but the peace you create. How much self-sacrifice are the wealthy prepared to personally make in order to save this republic? If I as a citizen of this country live poor and homeless, why do I owe this country anything? If I as a citizen of this country reap a whirlwind of good fortune from my business, do I not owe this country everything?

So, in this vein of thought I would like to propose that the state legislators and the former governor refund their salaries for the last four years to the working people of this state with the most humble apologies they are capable of doing for such damage to the economy and the future of Oregon’s children. Sorry, no excuses accepted, You failed.

D. McDoogol

Confused Tiger
Bin Laden’s American "paper tiger" will fall. Though the struggle against infidels is endless, the destruction of the U.S. will cripple the ancient Judeo-Christian rival and return Islam to prominence.

The paper tiger is an easy target. He can’t recognize his enemied. al Qaeda is an enigma and the Middle East a maze. Saddam won’t allay himself with al Qaeda. Did Stalin allay himself with Hitler and Churchill? The paper tiger is confused. There is never enough evidence. He doesn’t understand that war has already been declared. This will make his destruction inevitable in the final conflagration for the coward fears retribution and won’t take chances on a smaller preventive war.

The self-loathing paper tiger is easily intimidated. When the rightous cry, "Kill all Jews and infidels!" the paper tiger calls him a racist. His enemies accuse, "the crusades!" while the paper tiger whimpers, "and slavery too." Destroy his towers and a senator proclaims you a builder of "infrastructure." Infiltrate with moneyed death squads and he accepts blame for your poverty. Establish tyrannical theocracies and the paper tiger labels himself a fascist.

This will be a quick victory compared to Muhammad’s conquest of Christendom as the PC paper tiger will be amenable to our culture. So, drop out of school and burn your drivers licenses! Time to get fitted for burkas. Let that hair grow, but music is prohibited. However, multiple wives and Sudanese slaves are a reality? As are 72 beautiful virgins in paradise for true believers.

Steven Veit

LETTERS POLICY: We welcome letters on all topics and will print as many as space allows. Please limit length to 250 words, keep submissions to once a month, and include your address and phone number. E-mail to, fax to 484-4044, or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401.

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