After reading the "Gag Ed" cover story in last week's (6/12) edition, I could not help but notice that there is another agenda at work in addition to limiting a woman's reproductive rights. I'm talking about sex. There is an actual fear of sex by many in this country, and there is no more powerful way to control women and men than by using this fear to create havoc and pain.
Abstinence-only programs invented by someone based on guilt and religious shame seems to be another form of brainwashing. This is like seeking marriage counseling from a priest who's celibate, which is upside-down logic. These self-appointed guardians of morality want everyone to impose the same beliefs and paranoia they have about this powerful and beautiful experience called sex, on children!
Between all the hand-wringing over the pedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church, and most Americans thinking that Clinton's lies about Monica were worse than Dubya's lies about Iraq and WMD's, we are announcing to ourselves and the world that we have not yet evolved as a civilization in regards to one of the greatest gifts from God(dess) and Nature.
Sex is the energy of love expressed, of stars and babies being born, of deep emotional release, and artistic and spiritual inspiration. I feel it is about time to tell the truth about sex to ourselves, then we can offer truth and real guidance to our children. Our reproductive freedom begins with our sexual freedom.
The persecution of activists in our community by the Eugene Police Department is going unheeded. Very few questions are being asked as to why particular activist groups are being targeted with brutal arrests and ticketing. The Bikes not Bombs ride on June 5 ended with eight bicyclists being ticketed for an array of nonsense violations. During the rally for Jeffrey Free Luers on Saturday, 10 people were cited with violations, and two were arrested. The police handle many non-resisting protesters in an extremely abusive manner.
I am personally involved in the anti-car movement that is going strong in Eugene. I understand the desire to lash out when the police force is sent in to subdue and disperse our rallies and meetings.
I would like to urge Eugene activists to not provoke the EPD. We are not fighting them, but fighting against society as a whole. The world needs activists free and unharmed to be able to announce their ideas. Our community in general also needs to start addressing the actions of our police force. The badge should not be a symbol of intimidation and fear.
Eugene is a hub for social change. We should not let something as trivial as law enforcement smother our messages. I urge everyone who feels a need for social change to remain in an active voice. Let's no longer allow our police department to be a demoralizing presence.
Moriah J. Demers
JUST WANT A HOODIE
How many of you teenagers have gone to a clothing store to try on clothes, and as you are browsing through the rack you notice a store employee about 20 to 30 feet away from you? As you continue on your way through the store, so does the employee. Coincidence? I think not. I am so sick of being followed based on just three things: I'm a teenager; I wear baggy clothes; and I have facial piercings.
People are always talking about how we shouldn't judge other people on outward appearances, but I guess that doesn't apply to teenagers, does it? I have many more adult friends who steal than teenage friends who steal. And you don't notice the preppy teenagers getting followed nearly as much; but since I have baggy clothes on, I must be there to steal.
The way that store employees look at me makes me feel like I did something horrible when all I wanted was a new hoodie.
Getting followed makes me feel like a two-year-old, so grow up, get over your stereotyping and quit following me.
I understand the best I can the NAACP's desire to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Why, however, honor such a great figure with a road, a lifeless strip of asphalt?
What is the honor in remembering a man with the infrastructure for community and ecological destruction, the place that causes the most deaths for males between the ages of 16 and 34? Roads divide and destroy wildlife habit, kill people and animals, speed the destruction of streams and wetlands, release toxins into ground water, and provide the means for automobiles, the greatest single pollution source in the U.S.A.
The irrationality of honoring MLK Jr. with a road is more so, the deeper you study history. Road development caused the exodus of city centers by the middle class, leading to the economic death of downtown areas. Highway expansion through poor neighborhoods led to isolated ghettos; hence, "white highways through black neighborhoods." This type of development was a major factor in riots in the Watts neighborhood and Detroit. Has the NAACP forgotten already the most visible moment in civil rights history, the Rosa Parks refusal and the Montgomery bus boycotts? Road-related, both of them.
The NAACP should realize the naming of a MLK Boulevard is a kick in the face to African-American history, and shows a total disregard for King's legacy. Close a street to traffic and rename it the Martin Luther King Jr. Pedestrian Mall. Pave over a parking lot and create the MLK Jr. Park. Rip apart a highway to grow the King Greenway. Close a parking garage to establish a community center in it. Do something that enhances, rather than destroys, our community to recognize this leader.
DON'T READ THIS
I know this will sound ironic, but I don't believe there should be letters to the editor. For one thing, it takes too much space that could be used for other purposes such as, dare I say, news, or even the worst thing of all, advertising.
I know it's ignorant of me to send a letter to the editor saying how much I dislike the whole subject, but I believe it's the only way for the editor to stop printing this babble. If this even gets printed, which it probably won't, please do all you can to put an end to the mind-numbing editorials we are put through when we read the paper. Thank you.
Did you know that more than 1,000 of Oregon's bodies of water fail to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's minimum standards for clean water? What about the fact that Oregon leads the nation in expired water discharge permits (60 percent of our permits are expired)?
The Willamette River alone receives millions of tons of toxic chemicals every year and has become the dirtiest river west of the Mississippi. Residents and visitors alike should be able to swim, fish, and otherwise enjoy the river without having to worry about the potential consequences to their health associated with arsenic, mercury, dioxin, and the other chemicals currently found in the Willamette. Not only would this benefit our quality of life, it would encourage tourism and recreational use of the river and stimulate local economies. The Willamette should be the pride of the state, not the environmental nightmare it is now.
Gov. Kulongoski, while campaigning, pledged to clean the Willamette. Oregonians are depending on Kulongoski to restore our waterways, yet he's done nothing to improve the state of our river since he's taken office. Reducing toxic emissions to the river, increasing environmental enforcement, and making polluters pay are all issues Kulongoski addressed in his campaign. Now he needs to implement the measures he proposed and give us the clean Willamette we deserve.
Kitty Piercy's column ("Building Trust," 6/12) is unfortunately all too true. I was born in Eugene in 1945. I spent my professional career in Chicago, New York, and overseas, and I returned to Eugene in 1990. This column should be mandatory reading for everyone in Eugene, whether they are activists or bystanders. Kitty is one of the most perceptive observers of life and politics in our great state. All too many of the old-time families like mine ignore this kind of reality and simply step aside. Thank you, Kitty.
TOO MUCH TEDIUM
I was very disappointed to discover this past week (6/12) that Too Much Coffee Man has an immortal soul. His recent expiration on the surface of the Moon had given me a sense of respect for the artist's apparent willingness to kill off a popular but one-dimensional character. I mean, who the fuck is Too Much Coffee Man? What do we know about him aside from the fact that he drinks "too much" coffee? And just what the hell does "too much" mean?
TMCM is half an idea that goes on and on, week after uninspired week. And now, for the love of Pete, we find that he's got an immortal soul — but a soul so utterly incapable of development that we can only look forward to a tedious journey back to that empty idiot of a character, holding yet another dumb-ass metaphorical conversation with that guy whose head is topped off by a shot of espresso. It makes me want to fucking scream.
I've got an idea for a comic alternative to replace TMCM, titled Mad As Hell Guy. There's this guy, see, and he's really mad all of the time. Mad as Hell.
TAKE IT BACK
On June 2, the FCC let giant media companies get even bigger, despite overwhelming opposition from the American public.
But June 2 ignited a movement to take that power back, and June 19 is the next big day in the fight, as legislation reversing several FCC rules will come before the Senate Commerce Committee.
Please don't sell your newspaper! The legislation up for a vote in Committee is S.1046. This bipartisan legislation rolls back the broadcast ownership cap limit. There is also a crucial amendment sponsored by Senators Dorgan and Snowe that reinstates newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership restrictions.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For the record, Eugene Weekly is still locally owned and independent.
ABORTION AS FEMICIDE
Planned Parenthood's Gloria Feldt says of reproductive rights: "Without that right, we can't do anything else." What? We have no rights unless we have a license to kill unborn children?
This is blatantly demeaning to women, saying we are born inferior to men. Now we need to have surgery to attain comparable status? Do we need to go all the way and add on penises, too?
Abortion isn't the guarantor of female rights, it is the most effective means of "femicide" ever.
In just six Indian clinics studied, 8,000 amniocenteses showed females — 7,999 were aborted! Worldwide, notably China, it is common for pregnant women to abort based on the verdict of "girl."
Despite these facts, this common feminist viewpoint completely ignores the millions of girls annually who are denied access to any rights and all choices.
If all humans are valuable because we possess rights that are intrinsic to humanity regardless of sex, race, ability or dependency, then none of these attributes give one human more rights than another. If they do, then we are all in danger of exploitation by anyone older, smarter or manlier.
The same outrage that accompanies femicide makes "menicide" wrong also. It is someone stronger, bigger, and more powerful denying another the basic human rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because they're in the way.
"No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed." — Susan B. Anthony