Environmental predation; Dangerous to control art — Letters to the Editor, Jan. 29, 2020

Environmental ‘Protection’ or ‘Predation’ Agency?

The headline read “Trump Removes Protections for Waterways, Aiding Developers” (Register-Guard, Jan. 24).

This report should have caused cognitive dissonance on two levels. First, it is the Constitutional duty of the Legislative Branch to legislate: to make and if necessary, amend the laws.

The duty of the Executive Branch is to enforce or carry out those laws. 

In 1948, Congress passed — and President Truman signed — the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Then, in 1972, Congress and President Nixon felt it was important enough to expand the law as the Clean Water Act. 

Under what Constitutional provision is President Trump granted the power to make changes to, or in this case completely nullify, a law that has been in effect for 72 years?

Second, the very name of the federal department charged with enforcing the Clean Water Act.

The Environmental Protection Agency implies that they should be working to safeguard lakes, streams and waterways. 

Instead, at the behest of the president, the agency is removing protections to benefit industry and developers.

To continue to be known as the Environmental Protection Agency is duplicitous. Perhaps the Environmental Predatory Agency would be more appropriate?

—Cris Reep


Dangerous to control art with labels

We have the right to like or not like art, but do we have the right to control art?

With art having so many faces and personalities, it’s hard for us to put a label on it. In fact it’s down right dangerous to label art because it’s so much a part of each one of us.

There was a government that wanted to control art so they created two different types of art shows.

One show had 650 paintings, sculptures and prints by 112 artists, primarily locals. The other show was intended to show the more classical and “racially pure” type of art advocated by the government.

The government believed that the people would embrace their show and reject the other. They even labeled the local artist show as “Degenerate Art.”

This story is true and happened in 1937 in Germany. The government was the Nazi Party and the people chose the “Degenerate” art show by 2-to-1.

What would we do if certain art was controlled today? With music being art, what would happen if we decided the “The Star Spangled Banner,” which started as a poem written by Francis Scott Key, was not appropriate and was removed from the public?

The new Florence City Hall structure is art. Even our homes are expressions of art.

Would our Siuslaw River Bridge be art? Of course it would be.

Our local newspaper is a form of art with its writing, design and freedom to speak.

To control art is nothing but a trap, invented by those who need to label others’ views.

We need to embrace all art, whether created by a pre-schooler or senior citizen — and labeling it with disparaging views isn’t constructive.

We have the freedom to say what we want but do we have the right to destroy others’ dreams?

What’s next? “Degenerate Music?” The Nazi Party already did that also.

—Greg Carlton



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