November 30, 2004 11:00 pm

Sets wrong example

To the Editor:

I looked at the front page picture of the Nov.18 issue of the Observer — "For the Love of FBLA" — with sadness. Something doesn't seem to be right.

Is this the path we want our young men to take while they are in their most important stage of learning their self-concept?

I recognize that the event was just for "fun" and besides, we need to raise money to support a very worthwhile program in school, right?

Can we think of any other alternative ways of raising money without downplaying the image and future self-concept not only of the boys involved but also of their peers and the younger ones looking up to them?

Are there any other kind of competitions (because boys are naturally competitive) that would gear towards their natural masculine characteristics — areas like adventure, creativity, witty invention, physical "toughness" (arm wrestling tournament?), maybe a spoof instead of the TV show "Fear Factor'' (boys like risks, too) etc.

I am sure our educators — the responsible grown ups — in our high school can suggest a whole lot of ideas as they are well-trained and competent on how to shape our next generation of men.

Juliet Smith

La Grande


Valor is second to none

To the Editor:

Why is the media howling over a U.S. Marine shooting an Iraqi insurgent in Fallujah?

This obviously is a cheap shot, as the TV crew stated that the victim was injured and apparently unarmed. Obviously, the journalist did not verify that the victim was unarmed, as he might unwrap a booby trap.

"Apparently unarmed'' — without verification — is without substance and therefore the story is only half-truth. The Marine shouted twice, before shooting, "He is only faking death!''

In U.S. conflicts over the past 65 years, the deadliest areas of combat have always been assigned to the Marines, and Fallujah is no exception. The Marines take few prisoners, as they are neither nurse maids or babysitters, therefore the apparently dead receive an assuring shot in the head so the Marines don't get shot in the back or fall victim to a concealed grenade.

Our U.S. Marines are suffering many deaths and more injuries in the Fallujah house-to-house street fighting from hidden snipers. They should not be victims of cheap shots, published world wide, by the media.

The U.S. Marines, our oldest armed force, has received world-wide accolades for their bravery. Their valor is second to none.

Even though our media, for the most part, is liberal, they should not degrade our armed forces. They have enough to do in fighting the enemy. They should not have to battle the media, too.

Cecil Mecham



Parks panel deserves praise

To the Editor:

As a newer resident of La Grande, I have been pleasantly surprised with the number and quality of parks and recreational opportunities provided by the city. This quality is not the result of random chance.

I am a retired historian and was interested in the master plan for Birnie Park, our "historic'' park. When I noticed that the park was on the agenda for the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission Nov. 18, I decided to attend.

Each member was prepared to report on their portion of the agenda; probing questions were asked of each report; consensus decisions resulted in a timely manner.

I have attended many public commission meetings and few were as well conducted.

I was the only member of the general public in attendance. That was a shame. More members of the public should avail themselves of the chance to see how well they are being served.

This commission justly deserves high praise.

Gary Brockway

La Grande


A different meaning

To the Editor:

This letter is in regard to your column "Street Talk" on Nov. 20-21, raising the question: "This Thanksgiving, what does the nation have most to be thankful for?"

I always thought Thanksgiving is a special day to give thanks to mother Earth for growing wholesome foods for us to live on, to give thanks for shelter, loved ones, health, work and peace.

It appears that Thanksgiving no longer means that.

In your column, two Christian ladies were thankful that George W. Bush was re-elected and that "the majority of people have spoken for a moral stand."

No doubt gay-oriented people and abortion were addressed. They forgot that it is God's prerogative to judge, never ours.

God gifted us with Ten Commandments to guide us on how to live our lives and how to become pure and wholesome again. His Ten Commandments state to "Love thy neighbor" and "Thou shalt not kill."

We have been killing innocent people in Iraq, and have sent our own children there to kill our brothers and sisters.

Every day we should ask ourselves, "What would God do? Would God kill?" Then we listen in silence for God's whisper, retrieving it from our hearts.

Once we understand and practice His words of love and peace, we will lay down our weapons and celebrate life, love and peace.

Jutta Benner

La Grande