Letters in the Editor's Mailbag
Byline: The Register-Guard
Criticism of Palin hypocritical
For all of my life, all I have ever heard from (mostly, but not only) Democrats is the whine, "Why don't politicians' sons and daughters serve in the military?"
So, Gov. Sarah Palin's son joins voluntarily, she is unabashedly proud of him and shows him off to the world before he deploys to a war zone on behalf of all of us, and that still isn't good enough for the likes of Terrie Holvey (letters, Sept. 18).
While she was at it, Holvey also pointed out that Gov. Palin's "pregnant daughter paraded in front of everyone" and that the governor herself "chooses" to have a Down Syndrome child. I would wager lots of money that if Chelsea Clinton were pregnant out of wedlock or, better yet, killed her unborn child, Holvey would stand up and salute her for making her own decisions.
I haven't read such a hypocritical letter in quite some time.
Measure 58 will hurt students
Every student has the right to learn. Measure 58, sponsored by convicted racketeer Bill Sizemore, would take away that right by prohibiting public school instruction in any language other than English.
Sizemore is not a teacher and has not demonstrated experience with second language acquisition. As teachers and researchers know, there is a wide variety of effective methods to help students who are learning English succeed academically. Some might involve bilingual instruction, most do not, but no credible one involves arbitrary, unrealistic deadlines that interfere with every aspect of learning as Measure 58 would.
As a linguist, I am disturbed that someone with so little basic knowledge of language acquisition would seek to limit the options available to teachers and families.
However, I am even more pained as a (hopeful) future queer and trans parent. I want my children to be able to go to school and feel that their family is valued. No child should be told that their family is wrong or inadequate, whether it is because of how many moms or dads they have or because of what language their family speaks.
Measure 58 sends the message that languages other than English - and the people who speak them - are not welcome in Oregon.
Every student deserves a safe, welcoming and supportive learning environment. Vote No on 58.
Isn't Palin's e-mail private?
It's interesting to note all the people rejoicing over the recent hacking of Gov. Sarah Palin's private e-mail account. Aren't these the same people who are concerned about George Bush reading their private e-mail accounts?
Maybe we need a prime minister
Most democratic countries have both a president and a prime minister to deal with today's very complex international and domestic issues.
The demand put on one person's energy, understanding, knowledge and use of technology is too much for any one leader to comprehend and manage effectively.
John McCain may have passed his physical, but he is 72 years old, walks with difficulty, forgets specific information, has an irrational, explosive temper, little knowledge of economics and can't speak effectively without cue cards held for him telling him what to say. In addition, he doesn't use cell phones, computers or understand increasingly sophisticated modern technology.
The odds are one in three that he would not survive the demands of a presidency - and then there is a nave, ignorant Sarah Palin waiting in the wings.
Put moratorium on executions
The scheduled execution of Troy Davis in Georgia, temporarily stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, stands as another example of why the death penalty does not work.
Seven of the witnesses who testified that Davis shot and killed a police officer in 1989 have recanted their testimony, including a key prosecution witness who has signed a statement that, under pressure from police, she fabricated her testimony in order to avoid a threat that her parole would be revoked. …