Murals not "Ghetto Art'; Climate change not human caused; Honor past doesn't lessen future; Don't fly flags of hate — Letters to the Editor, July 17, 2019

We should remember that honoring the past does not lessen our future

Don’t fly flags, symbols representing hate

I was impressed with the opinion of Ted Coopman who wrote in the July 7 edition of the Register Guard concerning hate, because it also affects us here in Florence as well.

Sitting in a local restaurant on Highway 101 watching the traffic, many were returning from the big dune buggy races in North Bend.

I assume this because many of them were flying the Confederate flag and the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag side by side. On the front page of the next edition of The World newspaper from Coos Bay — big as life — was a photo of several dune buggies in the middle of a race, and all were flying the Confederate flag. In addition, some were flying the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag and one had an upside-down American Flag (normally signifying a need for help).

This all reminded me of the Veterans Day Parade in Florence last year, when a Jeep went by flying the Confederate flag on the right side of the vehicle and three feet higher than the American flag, which was on the left side of the Jeep.

This is the opposite of American and military flag etiquette, which state that the American flag should always be positioned on the right side and higher than other flags. Another Jeep was carrying the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, which has unfortunately been adopted by some white supremacist groups since 2006. It became widespread after the Charlottesville incident in 2017 involving white supremacists and the death of an anti-racism protestor.

It is my opinion that organizers of these public events should be careful to weed out the flags and symbols that have been adopted by hate groups, such as Nazi, Confederate and other extremist organization hate symbols.

Only our communities, as a whole, can take steps to eliminate hate graffiti, flags and symbols from our buildings and from public events. Lest we forget that the Confederate armies led to the deaths of 200,000 men and boys; and lest we forget that the WWII invasions by the Nazi armies led to the deaths of over 60 million people in 38 countries including 405,399 Americans.

Lost to America in that war were 318,274 U.S. Army and Air Force lives, 62,614 U.S. Navy lives, 24,511 U.S. Marines and 1,917 Coast Guard lives.

Let’s not memorialize these former enemies and their atrocities by flying their flags on dune buggies and pickup trucks through our communities.

It hurts a lot of people.

—Gene Olson


Honoring the past doesn’t lessen our future

Kudos to Bruce Jarvis on his Letter to the Editor in the Siuslaw News (“Silent No More,” July 13).

Thank you for saying what so many of us are feeling, and for your “reminder rocks” as a way of saying thanks and remembering our military/veterans.

America is the greatest country on the planet, and certainly worth the struggles to preserve it.

Most of us felt it was a privilege, honor and display of loyalty to recite the pledge of allegiance each morning before school. Acknowledging our flag was a reminder that we are all Americans.

It was also a great way to begin our school day. Those who would change our traditions, destroy our history are so misguided.

We should remember that honoring the past does not lessen our future.

—Dusty and Trish Rhodes


Murals have no origins as ‘Ghetto Art’

In response to Robert Russell’s Letter to the Editor in the Siuslaw News calling murals “ghetto art” (“Mural Will Always Be ‘Ghetto Art,’” July 13), I feel compelled to disagree on multiple counts.

First, a fact: murals did not originate in the inner cities, as Mr. Russell contends. History shows us that painting on walls is an activity nearly as ancient as humanity itself, from indigenous petroglyphs, to the Lascaux caves and the sophisticated murals of ancient Pompeii, to massive public art works funded by the WPA during the Great Depression.

Even if they did, why should an art form be denigrated simply because of its origins? Are we to value only traditional Western art created mostly by white males under the patronage of other white males?

What about art from other regions and traditions?

Wonderful and inspiring works come from many unexpected people and places, not just “the usual suspects.”

People can certainly like the mural or not based on their personal perceptions, and discussions will undoubtedly continue about how the design was selected and funded.

That’s fair.

But to drag socio-economic topics into the discussion risks adding a very ugly element that may not be what Mr. Russell intended.

—Laurie Green


Report concludes climate change not human-caused

Jyrki Kauppinen and Pekka Malmi just published a paper titled “No Experimental Evidence for the Significant Anthropogenic Climate Change.”

The authors concluded that global temperatures are controlled primarily by cloud cover and that only a small part of the increased carbon dioxide is anthropogenic (controlled by man).

The study by researchers at Turku University in Finland found that the human contribution of a rise of 0.1 degree C in global temperatures over the last century is just 0.01 degree C.

Now, maybe we stop wasting money on global warming and start supporting solutions to more important problems.

—Frank Williams


(Editor’s Note: In the interest of fairness, while it has its supporters, the paper “A New Finnish Study Finds No Evidence Of Man-Made Climate Change,” has been criticized for not being peer reviewed and other climate scientists have refuted the conclusions reached by Jyrki Kauppinen and Pekka Malmi.

They argue that, in addition to not being reviewed by peers, the report fails to provide correct physical explanation, has not linked to — or cited — enough sources to support their claims and, although they denounce climate models, Kauppinen and Malmi use one themselves to prove their own points. To read the report, visit


More In Opinion