No common ground
A conservative friend expressed concern for the future of the country if the “perception” of election irregularities continues into the next election. He may be correct and there may be nothing anyone can do about it. One dictionary defines “perception” as “a belief or opinion, often held by many people and based on how things seem.”
How do you change “how things seem” for those whose mind is made up and refuse to consider the input of a large part of their fellow citizens, including friends and family? If the only way to assure some as to the validity of an election is for the results of that election to meet their perception of what the results should be, then there really may be no solution.
The same issue, concerning perceptions revolves around the Jan. 6 investigation, which he perceives is ongoing not because of what did or did not happen, but because “Democrats hate Trump,” and that large cities have high crime rates because they are run by Democrats.
Unless people question why their friends, neighbors or family believe as they do and why those people do not agree with what they perceive, there can never be common ground.
James W. Coldren, Springfield
You can’t ask the dead
I just read a letter titled “Learn to live with COVID-19.” While it's true we are likely going to have this virus with us for the foreseeable future, he makes some silly comparisons.
He says that the death rate for COVID-19 is lower than heart disease, cancer and automobile accidents. That's true, but there's a major difference. We have no vaccine for cancer or heart disease. In many cases there are no permanent cures for either of those. They can be treated, but prevention for each revolves more around lifestyle changes.
Vaccinations reduce the chances of getting COVID-19 and reduce hospitalization. Notice I said reduce, not eliminate. You can still get sick but chances of dying are far less. Wearing masks isn't meant to keep the wearer from getting sick. They help reduce the spread of the virus but don't eliminate it.
Getting vaccinated and wearing masks when required are small steps to keep the virus from attacking more people than it already has. Ask the overworked hospital workers if they think those steps are worth it. You can't ask those who ignored those steps and died. For them it's too late.
Michael Dardano, Eugene
Inflection point, or infection point?
I have the usual horror stories about the medical establishment, but the need for a strong single-payer health care system couldn’t be more urgent than now!
Many thousands of Americans are desperately sick after receiving vaccines, and cannot find any help from established medical authorities. There is a deliberate blockade of information and no other ways for accessing help for these people and their families!
Omicron is walloping Lane County: Here's what you need to know about this COVID surge
By taking away money from actual health care, there would be no reason for the establishment to block anything. America is at an inflection point now, and it’s time for single-payer health care! Please let your representatives know how you feel. For more info, visit HCAO.org.
Robin Bloomgarden, Eugene
Roots of crime
I don't want to criticize David Mastio's opinion piece “Conversations about racism....” since a glass one-quarter full is better than the belief that there is no glass at all. But there is much to question about Mastio's perspective about racism, its link to crime, the actions of activists and our general agreement on facts and truth.
Let's connect the dots. Current events have proved that reality is fungible with many Americans. The GOP's fact-challenged CRT attacks now include diversity, equality and inclusion as bogeymen. How do stories of white people fighting white supremacy change the minds of those Americans who are currently fighting CRT? They don't believe there is a glass to fill.
As for anti-capitalism sentiments, how else do we explain the unconstrained power of capitalism on slavery and poor white workers at the birth of our country. It is undeniable, capitalism has played a role in racist actions throughout our history. It has not lifted all boats and there is a reason. The cries of activists, whether they make sense to us or not, come from the frustrations of historic poverty. Crime in poor communities is driven by poverty, not race.
Richard Young, Eugene
Put Insurrection Day on the calendar
Jan. 6 marked the first anniversary of the Capitol Insurrection. President Biden strongly condemned Donald Trump’s attempt to use a violent attack on the Capitol to block the seating of an elected president. Considering the efforts of Republican politicians to downplay the violence, and even to promote a belief that it was all a movie — like the moon landing — we need to establish an Insurrection Day to celebrate the failure of this attack on our democracy and hold observances, starting with students studying voting rights laws and reading the U.S. Constitution.
January could use another holiday. Such observances can at least be done at the state level. Last year’s experiences bear some similarities with Britain’s Guy Fawkes Day, now more familiarly called Bonfire Night, which celebrates the failure to blow up Parliament with gunpowder. Although these days, ripping traitors limb from limb is not an option, I think we might enjoy a little effigy burning.
Lila Harper, Eugene
Large-event waste management a must for Eugene
As Eugene embarks on the tenacious work of reducing greenhouse gas production, it is important to include low hanging fruit. According to the County's 2020 Greenhouse inventory, Short Mountain Landfill made up 81% of GHG production. Alarmingly, food waste and single-use items, stand out as a large component.
Crisis provides opportunities.
With Eugene becoming a destination for events, it is a critical time to implement public policy to reduce impacts. Events generate infrastructure and waste. An events ordinance needs to be extensive from cradle to grave. Currently, these types of events are not required to provide waste management/reduction plans while all over the country, there are laws requiring this. California has an events recycling law and recently implemented a composting law.
The city was successful implementing zero waste at some of the Olympic Trials with recovery/reduction over 75%. But it is not required and was not in place for the 2021 trials.
It's time for Eugene and Lane County, to step up and take steps to reduce food waste, solid waste production, greenhouse gas production and high costs of landfilling.
Let's get going on obvious ways to reduce greenhouse gasses. We can't afford to wait any longer!
Karyn Kaplan, Eugene
Let democracy have final word on Kristof
When Oregon’s secretary of state decided that Nick Kristof failed to meet the residency requirement to run for governor, I am sure she was reaching what she thought was a fair conclusion. I have wondered why he didn’t get an Oregon driver’s license three years ago, or request absentee ballots to vote from New York. These tangible proofs would have supported his case.
I believe we make a mistake, though, when we decide such missteps outweigh a lifetime spent in Oregon as a child, or as an adult returning to the family farm in Yamhill. His job has required him to work in New York and travel throughout the world, spending years abroad, but he is on record as always considering Oregon home. In the end, should it not be the voters of Oregon, rather than the secretary of state, to decide whether he can serve as governor? I hope the Oregon Supreme Court lets democracy have the final word.
Sharon Schuman, Eugene
No bending the rules
Dear, Mr. Kristof,
I have no problem with you running for governor of Oregon ... four years from now, after you've actually lived in Oregon for the required amount of time. If Oregon was your real home and Yamhill your real address, why did you not request an absentee ballot in 2020?
I have no doubt you'd make a fine governor. I might even have voted for you. But you are not more special than anyone else. Why do you think the rules should be broken for your entitled self?
Susan Bacina, Eugene
Intent is not a home
The Oregon secretary of state’s office recently confirmed Nicholas Kristof has not been a resident of Oregon for three years prior to May 2022, as required by our state constitution. He is therefore ineligible to run for governor.
Residency requires the physical presence of the person in the state. A person can own property in three states but can only reside in one of them at any given time.
Kristof clearly has not lived in Oregon for three years prior to our May election. He has been admittedly working and living in New York.
More on Kristof: Oregon Supreme Court to decide question of Kristof's eligibility
Kristof argues his intent matters in that he has always considered Oregon his true home. Kristof’s intent is irrelevant to the question of residency. Domicile, however, considers intent and is where a person’s true, fixed and permanent home to where he will return after residing somewhere else is located.
Kristof’s domicile is not his residence. The secretary of state understood this, and I have no doubt the courts will, too.
Edward Gerdes, Eugene
The better ‘move’
Nicholas Kristof needs to decide where he lives.
He should not contest the residency decision. He is not eligible to run for governor. Period.
Kristof is welcome to move back to Oregon, but right now his best “move” would be to contribute financially to a candidate for Rep. Peter DeFazio's seat.
Lee Darling, Eugene
A time for personal responsibility
I read letters from Raymond Moreno in this space often. He never has a kind word, only criticism. He obviously thinks the public health efforts of getting vaccinated, wearing masks, safe distancing and lockdowns to stop the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases is a "colossal exercise in stupidity and incompetence."
To assign blame and further distort the reality of this emergency is foolish and dangerous. Most people who are getting COVID-19 have not been vaccinated or attended some “super-spreader” event. This is a time for taking personal responsibility. If we all take care of ourselves and follow the guidelines of the CDC, we might see an end to this public health crisis.
Anyone who does not cooperate in the global effort to end this hideous virus should start having a relationship with the truth. Blaming people you do not agree with will never end this pandemic. Listen to the scientists, stop complaining about simple safety measures like wearing a mask and support the efforts of the medical community to limit the spread of this terrible scourge.
Insults and name-calling are not productive.
Hali Burley, Eugene
Of broken bones and COVID-19
Raymond Moreno (Letters, Jan. 10) states that White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci is finally telling the truth when Fauci said that if a child is admitted to the hospital and tests positive for COVID-19, that the hospital treats the patient for COVID-19 and it counts as a COVID-19 hospitalization.
What Moreno does not state is that the hospitalization also counts as a broken-bone hospitalization, or an allergic reaction hospitalization, or whatever else the reason was for the child to be brought into the hospital.
If you come into the hospital with a heart attack and you're found to also have pneumonia, you will be treated for both.
What would be an exercise in stupidity and incompetence? If the hospital did not test the child for COVID-19 and did not treat the child for COVID-19.
Joyce Eaton, Eugene
Recovery is underway
A few weeks ago, letter writer Raymond Moreno claimed President Biden couldn’t successfully run a lemonade stand.
I guess he doesn’t read the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg News. They report that the U.S. economy improved more in Biden’s first 12 months in office than any president in the past 50 years. When Biden took office, more than 3,000,000 workers had lost jobs during Trump’s last months in office. President Biden inherited a 6.2% unemployment rate. He lowered that rate to 3.9%. Biden’s signature recovery act, which not a single Republican voted for, cut childhood poverty by half in our country. That’s a pretty successful lemonade stand!
Currently, all of that success gets overshadowed by inflation. Unfortunately, over the last several decades, our country has manufactured fewer and fewer of the goods we all want. We import too much and export very little. So, when the supply chain breaks down as it did from the pandemic, we can’t buy goods except at inflated prices. No president can force corporations and businesses to sell goods for less or force OPEC to sell gasoline for less.
Thankfully, however, our economic recovery is underway at last.
Hal Huestis, Eugene
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Letters: Kristof's run, COVID-19's reach and the insurrection of Jan. 6