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Letters To The Editor


Process diminishing our choices

For more than 200 years our nation’s political system has served us well. The two parties, two philosophies, have allowed the best of statesmen to rise to the presidency.

In many cases, even the losing candidate would have been a good choice. Several contests come to mind: The 1912 Howard Taft-Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson campaign. The 1940 Franklin Roosevelt-Wendell Willkie contest.

The 1972 race brought us Richard Nixon-George McGovern - and Watergate. We had Senate and House committees and the media all digging not only into the Watergate scandal but into nearly everything Nixon - family, friends, allies, enemies and finances. What a frenzy. We discovered we could bring a president down.

Since then every winner has been subjected to an investigation.

What happened to greatness? What happened to the excitement of a political contest of vibrant, popular people of ideals? Today we’re faced with a contest between two men who read the polls before they shave in the morning, trying to decide which way to bend that day.

Sen. Bob Dole says he’s a leader. Baloney! He can’t control House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 70 freshmen of his own party.

Bill Clinton says he’s a leader. Also baloney. He’s waffled on everything.

I submit the great ones don’t run because they won’t put their families, friends and themselves through the investigative wringer.

With people like Dole and Clinton to choose from, why should anyone be interested? Walter Lane Spokane

We need Congress full of Senns

Contrary to what Michael N. Metcalf thinks, Deborah Senn is what this country needs more of. We would be better off with an entire Congress that thinks as she does.

The insurance industry is the richest business of all. In business courses I took in 1952, and again in 1987, it was stressed that the insurance companies were the richest and most successful of all business companies. They even own the skyscrapers they occupy. There is no way that they are losing money. What they do is project a margin of profit in the hundreds of billions they would like to make. When they come short of this figure, they call the difference a loss.

It wasn’t enough that they were already making a huge profit and not giving discounts to business plans as they were supposed to. They lobbied Congress with billions of dollars to kill the national health plan that would have helped the people for a change.

Then our great Congress took all restrictions away and virtually gave the fox the key to the chicken house.

If it wasn’t for people like Insurance Commissioner Senn, health care would be a bigger nightmare than it is now. The only way to improve the situation is to get rid of jerks like Rep. George Nethercutt, Sen. Slade Gorton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who think people were made to walk on. Sam Wetterhus Colbert

Clinton fan may get surprise

I would like to refute some of Andy Kelly’s assertions about the Democratic Party and its leader, President Bill Clinton (“Popular wisdom due for revision,” Letters, March 15).

First, Kelly states, “Clinton’s administration is proving more popular than assumed.” Yes, if you believe the major media polls. At this time four years ago George Bush had ratings of over 70 percent. The rest is history.

According to pollsters Celinda Lake and Ed Goeas, Democrat and GOP, respectively, Clinton’s re-elect numbers are 41 percent positive and 49 against re-electing him. This has been consistent for almost two years. It was this very poll, called a Battleground poll, that predicted Bush’s defeat. If I were in the White House, I’d be very worried.

Kelly’s second assertion that “Perhaps Democrats were not rejected in 1994 for what they did but for what they failed to do,” is a denial of reality. They were rejected because they, along with Bill and Hillary leading the way, wanted to take over one-seventh of the U.S. economy and drive everyone into health care alliances with no freedom of choice. Americans said no to this and more wasteful, ineffective government programs brought on by the largest tax increase in history.

Look out, Kelly. You ain’t seen nothing yet. GOP ‘96! Mark Duclos Spokane

Musket-era thinking for M-16 age?

Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y., evidently feels that his wife needs an assault weapon to defend herself in the event she’s attacked by a group of people, or perhaps a band of angry bears, at their isolated home in New York. A regular shotgun or a pistol just won’t do.

Solomon and others should remember that when our founding fathers wrote the Second Amendment to our Constitution, they were talking about muzzle-loading muskets and had no idea that one day there would be pistols and rifles capable of firing a round a second. Wallace Baucom Colville

Isolationism - for children’s sake

Our country is getting much too involved with foreign wars and disputes that should be none of our business. Our youths have been sent to several countries since our involvement with the United Nations and even now our ships are in the waters off of China, flirting with disaster. It only takes a spark to level a forest.

Apparently, we have become the police force of the world. When were we ever asked to vote on whether we wanted our children and grandchildren to wear a uniform other than that of the United States or whether we were willing to have them serve, and fight and die for causes that most often have little to do with our own national concerns? Surely these are more serious decisions than even the vote to elect a president. Surely this was an unconstitutional move by our government!

We are writing our congressman in protest. Join us in a sea of protest for the sake of your children and grandchildren. Robert and Dorothy Boblick Elk

Back Buchanan to save our country

You devote half a paper to silly games, such as carrying a ball up and down a field or court, while you ignore the greatest game going.

This election is the greatest game in history. It is between the internationalists and the people of the United States.

The players for the internationalists are Sen. Bob Dole and President Bill Clinton, while the player for the people is Pat Buchanan.

The prize is the sovereignty of our nation, with our freedom of speech and right to control property vs. control of the people and world treasures by money-mad moguls who have no concern for anything except the bottom line.

In the last election we discarded the old, entrenched vanguard that was gradually destroying our country. Now it’s time to give our new electorate a president who is interested in the welfare of our country so that they can make some beneficial changes.

Our player can win if we ignore the deceptions of the special interests. He is the only one who has shown any interest in the welfare of our country. His sister would not be running his campaign if he didn’t respect women and minorities.

This isn’t just an election. It isn’t just a choice of two evils that are both controlled by special interests. It may be our very last chance to remain a free nation.

Buchanan is putting his life on the line to save our country. The least we can do is support him. Don’t let the money changers take our country away from us. Leo K. Lindenbauer Spokane


Overhaul picture decisions

Although not a long-time subscriber to The Spokesman-Review, I am getting more and more disgusted with your paper’s tactics.

The large pictures on the front of the paper and the Region section are unnecessary, and you can never finish a story on these pages but must thumb to the back of the paper somewhere.

Also, you seem to glorify the criminals by publishing these large pictures, i.e. the toothless bandit and the killers of Felicia Reese. Is this necessary?

And why such a small picture of the Chase Youth Award recipient, Renae Arnold, and none of the others, while publishing the large picture of Spalding’s salvage yard? The March 21 paper has the large picture of moving the bear, and the biker with the bird. Why? What is more important?

Come on, Spokesman-Review, rethink your priorities. Janica M. Fulbright Spokane

State agreed to stop collection

A portion of your March 8 article, “Biker gets welfare for son despite custody violation,” is in error and needs correction.

Contrary to your story, the state agreed to stop collection of child support from Sandra Fisette. Her attorney contacted the Family Law Division of the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office and described the situation. I verified the facts of the case and agreed that the state would temporarily cease collection, given the unusual circumstances presented.

There was no court hearing set to “convince” a judge to stay collection; the state voluntarily agreed to do so.

By implying that the request to temporarily stop collection was resisted, a false light was cast upon a beleaguered state agency charged with an essential state function. Paul G. Cornelius, deputy prosecuting attorney Family Law Department

Headline part of bigger problem

The March 12 article concerning the interactions of wolves and coyotes in Yellowstone was interesting. The shakeup in the coyote population was no surprise. Biologists anticipated this before wolves were introduced. They also expected higher kill rates of prey animals.

In fact, elk populations were believed to be oversized and out of balance for the Yellowstone ecosystem. That was the rationale for reintroducing wolves.

Things may seem bleak for the coyotes but they have proven themselves remarkably adaptable. They just need to learn the new rules now in effect.

I was annoyed, however, by the headline “Reintroduced wolves devastating ecosystem.” There was absolutely nothing in the story to support such a shrill and inflammatory claim. A decrease in numbers of prey animals and coyotes doesn’t amount to a devastated ecosystem.

Was the headline writer so ignorant that he or she believed that? Or was it done to exploit an emotional issue? That headline amounted to a bumper sticker editorial. It marred an otherwise interesting, informative article.

It’s ironic this headline was printed on the back side of the column, “How can media play down all the ‘blood on the table’?” That was a thoughtful item concerning the media tendency to use emotional and conflict-laden stories.

The media must first stop playing up conflict before they can worry about playing it down. The wolf article shows that when there is no blood on the table, the media will reach for the ketchup. Ted Hensold Tum Tum, Wash.

Congressman undercovered

I am truly puzzled. I often receive clippings from a Walla Walla newspaper, the Washington Post magazine, and Washington, D.C., and Seattle newspapers. They all report activities, works, opinions and personal anecdotes concerning Rep. George Nethercutt.

One friend in Fairfax, Va., sent an article and wrote that our “Nethercutt appears to be the only one aside from Gingrich or Bono who seems to get much press in the D.C. periodicals.” Would she be surprised to hear that The Spokesman-Review reports only the bare minimum about George Nethercutt.

“News Hour with Jim Lehrer” has on many occasions interviewed a panel of five freshman House members considered to have great promise. Knight-Ridder also chose a small handful of Congress members to watch during their freshman year. Our congressman was in both groups. If these news agencies feel Nethercutt is worthy of coverage, why not his hometown paper?

After attending the Lincoln Day dinner on March 16, several friends were disappointed and disgusted that The Spokesman-Review didn’t give Nethercutt one line of copy. Were your reporters not aware that he walked the St. Patricks’ Day parade route, was keynote speaker at the Lincoln Day dinner and on Sunday again visited Dayton, Wash., to check on flood relief?

Please get behind this hard-working and sincere man and give his constituents the news of his efforts, even if your paper disagrees with him. Remember, when you disagree with Congressman Nethercutt’s vote that he’s in a better position to understand all the intricacies of good government. Eloise D. Paddock Spokane


Which standards not the point

Gary Barlow’s letter in response to “Lessons of faith” asks which Christian standards of morality we should impose on our children. The answer is not what the Southern Baptists say, nor what Catholics or those of any other denomination say.

All of us should simply apply God’s standard as stated in the Bible and let the Lord be head of His church, as he has set forth in Eph. 4:4,6; Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18. God also plainly stated that there is one God and one mediator between men and God. That is Jesus Christ (‘ Tim. 2:5).

There aren’t many paths to morality and many ideas about the existence of higher powers if we want to follow God. Jesus says to enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13). When asked by his skeptics what was the greatest commandment, Jesus had two answers and both dealt with love (Mtt. 22:37-40). After all, God is love (1 John 4:16).

The true Christian does not get caught up with doctrines, creeds and mumbo jumbo, and question everyone’s ideas on morality. That is for people who don’t know what the Bible says.

God’s love for man has been there from the beginning. Our salvation depends on whether or not we choose to accept God’s gift of eternal life, so “Why tarriest? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord.” (Act 22:16) Daniel J. Hannon Post Falls

Faith articles timely, welcome

Your wonderful articles, “Lessons of faith” and “Faith’s foundation” couldn’t have been more timely for our family.

My husband and I come from a mixture of faiths. Our church attendance as children was sporadic at best. I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful grandmother who made sure the foundation of faith was built. We now have a 5-year-old son who is beginning to ask questions neither one of us knew how to answer. I began to visit churches and finally looked at the people around me to see whose spiritual life was in keeping with how we felt. I will be eternally grateful for her insight and guidance.

Our family has found the perfect church to attend and to expand our spiritual needs. The members have been inviting, warm, encouraging and gracious. They are there for the very reason we are: love of Jesus. For them, the type of faith is secondary.

We look forward to the time when we pick two very special people for godparents and our son is baptized. It has been heartwarming to listen to our son’s childlike assessment of God. There are times when we adults could learn something from children. As parents, we though we’d be doing the teaching.

There is enough cynicism, hate and bitterness in the world. It is wonderful to see a beautiful, positive article. However, there are other forms of worship and it would be nice to see you address these also. Diana V. Taylor Newman Lake

Hippocratic Oath an anachronism

David Wayne Farlowe wrote, “Medical professionals should never deviate from the Oath of Hippocrates” (Letters, March 8). He leaves the impression it is a legal issue and current medical policy.

Not so! It has no legal implications and is an outdated view. Most medical schools no longer use it as a guide.

Death is a part of life. Doctors are usually capable to diagnose when one should “go.” A doctor is not killing when helping a patient who requests assistance to die. To kill is to take the life of one who does not wish to end their life.

I want to exit when I am unable to be a productive, contributing member of society. Being hand-fed, wearing diapers and just existing is not my choice. I’ll find a doctor to help me self-deliver when I choose to end my life. Bruce C. Harding Pullman

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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.