The soul is there for those fading
I admit that I am not a fan of Don Kahle’s columns, but I skim them to see what gems might be buried in his vapid patter. His July 6 column (“Will warm-blooded humans be a match for Google’s artificial intelligence?”) pierced me to the deepest part of my heart.
Kahle’s suggestion that “We’re already comfortable believing that …a dementia patient … lacks a soul” was cruel and unnecessary. For days, I was by my late husband’s bedside as he died from Alzheimer’s. He couldn’t speak, move or care for himself in any way. He used his eyes to connect with me. I saw his soul in his eyes until his final breath. Kahle cannot take that memory away from me!
Kahle owes me, my late husband and all those dealing with dementia a deep, sincere apology.
Julie Aspinwall-Lamberts, Eugene
Free and easy on the road to hell
As it was before the outbreak of World War II, the West is consumed by introspection. We are focused on the need to examine everything in order to squeeze out the exact significance of the latest distraction.
The New World Order pronounced by Stalin is now replicated by Russia's Putin. Only now, the insane dictator has numerous nuclear weapons, sufficient enough to kill the Earth. Are we in the democracies concerned enough to take notice of the imminent threat of WWIII? It seems that we are more involved with blaming anyone and everyone else for our malaise.
Get on with it, we all demand. Make an end to all of the innumerable unresolved conflicts. Get out of the way of progress, we demand, lest we lose our competitive edge against the Chinese. Stalin didn't force war on the West, neither will Putin. Instead, we will pursue our indifference, insistent on our obsession for cheap gasoline that will enable us to ride free and easy on the road to hell.
Gerry Merritt, Eugene
So how do you like your Liberal World Order?
Randall Sinnott’s “Beware the white gold rush” (Letters, July 10) offers the same argument we’ve been hearing from liberals for a long time.
The left wants us to spend a fortune on electric cars along with their much higher depreciation and double the vehicle registration fee compared to gasoline vehicles but doesn’t want us to mine the necessary materials for the batteries, windmills and solar panels for their “Green New Deal.”
Aside from the fact that there aren’t enough known critical metal deposits in the world to build all the batteries, how is the average working-class stiff supposed to afford these vehicles?
Skyrocketing energy costs are obviously of no concern to President Biden’s advisor, Brian Deese, who tells us, "This is about the future of the Liberal World Order and we have to stand firm."
Meanwhile, world coal use set a record in 2021 and is on track to surpass that record this year. China and India are buying every ton of Russian coal Putin can send them. Europe is restarting coal plants due to Russian gas curtailments and President Biden is selling our oil to China.
We’re currently living in the “Liberal World Order.” How are you liking it so far?
Jerry Ritter, Springfield
What about controlling men’s bodies?
I am waiting for someone — anyone — in the abortion debate to include the people who are responsible for pregnancies in the first place. Why is it that the people who are pregnant and want an abortion are the sole focus of attention while the people causing the pregnancies are taking absolutely no responsibility and are not even in the conversation? It boggles my mind.
I must be having one of those dreams that makes no sense. In the normal problem-solving world, the focus would be on the root cause(s), that is, how to control the sperm from getting people pregnant. How convenient for one segment of the population to act like they have nothing to do with these pregnancies. They can expound on the topic and not have to change their behavior one iota.
Control the bodies of pregnant people? Sure. Control the bodies of people who got them pregnant? Not a chance.
Marilyn Belwood, Eugene
Don't push us cyclists out onto the streets
Regarding Frank Harper's letter "Keep e-bikes off the bike paths" (Letters, July 3) and Rita Lombard's letter "Waiting for an accident to happen" (July 10): I strongly disagree with banning e-bikes from mixed-use paths. A pedal-assist bike is my main mode of transportation and that of many others in the city. Eugene's entire protected bike-lane system consists of only the 13th Street lanes (ending at Lincoln) and a two-block stretch on the east side of Willamette, so mixed-use paths are the only safe route to many of the places I go. It is true there is some misbehavior on our mixed-use paths: passing without warning and pedestrians walking three abreast or idling in the pathway. Let's middle-stripe the pathways and post some signage to remind us of all of the rules. Regarding speed of e-bikes, my usual flat-terrain cruising speed on my pedal-assist bike is 12 mph. I am occasionally overtaken by other cyclists — not by e-bikes, but by racing bikes. Don't ban e-bikes. Don't push those of us without other means of transportation out onto dangerous streets — where accidents are not theoretically "waiting to happen," but do happen to hundreds of cyclists every year. Noah Birnel, Eugene
An untenable legal system
Art Farley's argument (Letters, July 10), that authors of our founding documents couldn't have anticipated 21st century challenges, has merit. However, he ignores the concept of separation of powers, the cornerstone of our American government.
Farley claims that "… to make 'originalist' decisions in today's world is an absurdity." He claims "… the Supreme Court has become essentially an appointed, de facto legislature … totally out of touch with the needs and desires of Americans."
The judiciary's function is to explain, expound and clarify the law as written, taking legislative intent into consideration. Contemporary needs and desires should have no part in judicial decisions. Doing so would create a significantly unstable, untenable legal system. Laws would change from generation to generation.
Codifying popular needs and desires is the exclusive domain of the legislature. Farley should contact his congressional representatives to apprise them of his discontent with laws as they stand and exhort like-minded citizens to join him.
It would be then be the duty of the judiciary to validate new laws after assuring that they comport with our founding documents. Should laws be found unconstitutional, the proper path would be to amend the Constitution: a necessarily arduous process that provides stability in our judicial system.
Peter E. Loewy, Eugene
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Letters to the editor about abortion, souls, e-bikes, liberals