Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

Cost of a life

A recent column by James Broughel discussed the federal government’s proposed pollution limit changes and the dollar value assigned to a human life, saying that a human life is considered to be worth about $10.5 million on average. The loosening of pollution restrictions is estimated to result in about 1,400 more deaths per year.

What the article fails to point out is that, while pollution is causing harm to the entire country, the profits from this pollution are being received by the power companies.

Essentially, it is privatizing the approximately $14 billion per year of profits, while all the costs are being borne by others. This is a classic case of an externality and of government allowing public costs for private gain.

If these looser rules are being applied, with such a high level of human health impact, shouldn’t the government increase taxes on the polluters to at least offset these costs?

Also, if humans are dying, aren’t livestock? Wildlife? Agricultural plants? How much human costs are involved in medical issues short of death — treatment for nonfatal lung disease? $14 billion per year is probably an incredibly low figure. Shouldn’t polluters at a minimum be responsible for offsetting these costs?

Polluters will never bring life back for those who die, of course. But should they essentially profit by those deaths?

It is reasonable to consider costs involved in regulations. That’s a first step. But it’s important to take the next step. Is anyone considering that before the rules are changed?

Scott Schroeder

Bend

Free candidate forums

To all of you in the Deschutes County area that are concerned about the costs of going to the local candidate forums and debates (See “Mayoral debate” Bulletin Aug. 22), I want to let you know there is a great option that is free and open to everyone.

The League of Women Voters of Deschutes County has candidate forums that are free, and everyone is invited.

We take questions from the audience for all candidates.

The League Forums will be on:

Wednesday, Oct. 3, County Commissioners Forum, positions 1 & 3: 5:15 p.m., Deschutes County Services Building — Sawyer Room.

Monday, Oct. 8, city of Bend Mayor Forum: 5:15 p.m. Deschutes Services County Building — Sawyer Room.

Friday, Oct. 12, state Rep. District 53 Forum: noon, Downtown Library — Brooks Room; co-sponsored with the library.

Monday, Oct. 15, City Council Candidate Forum, Positions 5 & 6: 5:15 p.m. Deschutes County Services Building — Sawyer Room.

Come get your candidate questions answered, update your voter registration and remember to vote.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government.

Kim Smith

Bend

Celibacy is unnatural

The recent articles about sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic church is not new information. The church has known about this for decades. Allegations of priests molesting parishioners surfaced years ago, and billions of dollars have been paid out for cover-up and retribution. But the problem goes much deeper.

The church has committed crimes punishable by law, broke seven of the 10 commandments (if that means anything to them) and they have enough money to stay in business as long as they want, protected by their own nation.

Any organization that would practice these same violations would be quickly disassembled and the perpetrators thrown in jail.

So why is this problem isolated to the Catholic church?

First, celibacy is not natural. We are created as sexual beings. Even though these priests take an oath to abstain from sexual relations, their biology doesn’t. Their religion believes the priest is “above” this human condition, but obviously, they are not, so they release their pervertedness in other ways. It doesn’t go away; it goes somewhere else.

Secondly, the good ol’ boys club needs to go. Women should be allowed to take a leadership role in the Catholic church; they are certainly as smart and as spiritual as men, and morally aware.

If the Catholic church wants to eradicate the perverted behavior of their priests and their cover-up, it will take major reconstruction on their part, not words, not prayers, not forgiveness.

Rev. James Loughrie

La Pine

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