May 2, 1996 in City
Letters To The Editor
Ours is the evil empire
Where is the outrage? Where are the riots in the streets? Where are the banner headlines heralding the terror? How can it be that the beating of a dog or the willful running down of a cat with a car is more shocking than sucking the brains out of a baby’s head?
They say it is a rare procedure. So is the crash of a 747. Yet, they work to prevent even one crash. The lowest estimates I’ve seen indicate that they’ll suck the brains from two 747 loads of babies each year.
If, when a doctor is delivering a breached baby, he or she were to leave the head inside the womb and cut the umbilical cord, would that baby not suffocate? Would we not call that murder? How could it possibly by anything else?
We need not waste any more time with the violence on television, on the movie screen or in music. When 100 or more members of our Congress can actually argue that this horrific violence in a delivery room is merely a medical procedure, we must accept that we have become a society of evil. All the killing is to be expected. Sevenyear-olds must kill 5-month-olds.
It is so sad. Even the leader of the free world demonstrated that he is completely controlled by evil. He could have stopped partial-birth abortions. Perhaps the White House has a new address: 666 Pennsylvania Avenue. Terry Brewer Spokane
Nazi inhumanity lives on - here
I found the April 28 article on Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of “Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust” fascinating. It reinforces my theory that wicked government cannot exist without participation of ordinary citizens.
What happened in Germany is happening here. Ordinary people turned their heads the other way, feigning ignorance. They remained silent and for the most part deliberately chose to be ignorant. It is so in this country in the matter of abortion.
Our citizens declare the unborn nonhuman, as the Germans did the Jews. Only the unborn are more guiltless as they haven’t had time to live. Germany had its “zealots” or prophets who dared to speak out in the beginning, but they were put in camps or put to death. They got about as far as some of us do today. We have less excuse than the Germans, due to more information and better communications.
A country dealing in death legislation treads dangerous ground at its own peril. Margaret Schuster Spokane
President’s veto just, humane
Coreen Costello was seven months into her third pregnancy when ultrasound revealed that her fetus had a severe and fatal neurological disorder. It could not live (“Clinton vetoes ban on abortion procedure,” News, April 11).
On the advice of her doctor, Costello, once an opponent of choice who had participated in “Walks for Life,” had an abortion to protect her health and her future fertility.
But the medical procedure Costello needed was on the verge of being outlawed by Congress, part of its far-reaching assault on the right to choose.
For the first time since Roe vs. Wade, a Congress voted to criminalize certain abortion procedures and to jail doctors who perform them.
Only President Clinton’s veto, which this Congress could not override, preserved the ability of women and families to make their own moral choices when facing tragic medical circumstances.
Fewer than 500 such fatal abnormalities occur annually, requiring surgery. Most would severely endanger the mother’s life or her ability to have more children.
Thank you, President Clinton, for your dedication, and your veto of HR1833 to protect women’s health and the freedom to choose. Vern L. Klingman Billings, Mont.
LAW AND JUSTICE
Ivins right about affirmative action
Michael Wiman (“Ivins wrong about affirmative action,” Letters, April 27) is upset that columnist Molly Ivins thinks affirmative action can be a good thing. With incredibly convoluted and self-serving logic, he thinks this makes her a racist who has lost her mind.
Wiman seems to think that just because American white men, their women firmly under their thumbs, have engaged in 400 years of some of the most vicious and inhuman acts imaginable, he has no reason to worry about it or do anything positive toward redress.
Wiman holds up the example of Asian immigrants and their “phenomenal success,” and attributes that success to strong family orientation and parental support. I ask you, Wiman, how do people maintain “strong family orientation” when their families have been ripped apart forcibly and sold?
Government efforts aren’t “making the situation worse.” Are you implying the situation was better before affirmative action, the Civil Rights Act or the Emancipation Proclamation? From whose point of view?
Until every one of us recognizes how poisonous and pervasive racism is - that to not actively oppose racism is to condone it - we will continue to reap what our white ancestors have sown. Maury Cain Newport, Wash.
BUSINESS AND LABOR
Corporation phobes are socialists
Your recent Street Level column blaming the problems of the world, especially environmental and health care problems, on corporations indicates an uneducated bias against private ownership of property, commonly referred to as socialism.
The writer’s attitudes are clearly those of anti-business and anti-technology zealots like Theodore Kaczynski, who believe that government control and ownership of everything in sight is better than the individual freedoms to own property and excel within our society.
Corporations are a form of ownership. Commercial corporations own and control assets that they feel are in the best interest of their stockholders. To be against corporations is to be against private ownership of land, resources and intellectual freedom of association.
A corporation is simply a group of individuals gathering together in a common ownership to undertake projects beyond the scope of the individual.
Finally, in reference to health care and corporations, 80-plus percent of all health care provided to employees in the United States today is provided through the corporations and businesses that employ the vast majority of Americans. Further, the health insurance providers are major corporations themselves, since no individual is nearly wealthy enough to undertake the nearly half-trillion-dollars-a-year industry responsible for 80-plus percent of all the health care requirements of working Americans.
Get your facts straight. The environmental damage done in societies forbidding private ownership far exceeds that in the United States. Michael L. Senske, owner, Painted Hills Golf Course Inc. Spokane
Yes, corporations are about profit
I had no idea I had a gorilla on my doorstep until I read Russ Moritz’ article (Street Level, April 28). I was wondering why I have been so restless and testy lately.
Thanks to Moritz, I have it figured out. It’s those greedy corporations, by golly.
I have just returned from a trip to my garage, where I confronted my corporate-made truck. “Truck,” I said, “even though you have not caused me any trouble in the three years I’ve owned you, and you get me to town, my wife to work and us to vacation spots and the market, it’s all your fault. You’re a product of a greedy, irresponsible corporate monster.”
Feeling better after I castigated my truck, I thought about how I resented the fresh, delicious food that was put on the table tonight by my wife. After all, it was brought to us by greedy, lobby-happy corporations. But we all have to eat, don’t we?
Thankful to Mortiz for opening my eyes to the gorilla on my doorstep, I was hoping that after almost a half page of complaining he would offer some solutions because I sure would like to get that gorilla off my stoop. Possibly he would like for all of us to go back to being hunter-gatherers, with no corporate parasites to bleed us dry.
By the way, Mortiz, corporations were not formed to serve us as you say, but to - dare I say it? - make money. Pete Brittain Sandpoint
Best laws corporations can buy
Russ Mortiz’s Street Level column (“Folks, you’re missing the gorilla on your doorstep,” Roundtable, April 28) hits the nail squarely on the head. The primary issue we all had better wake up to is corporate control over virtually every aspect of our lives.
Make no mistake, the next election is not about Clinton and Dole. It is about which corporations will control the government during the next Congress.
The GOP is the more blatant regarding who they truly represent. Industry lobbyists are frequently invited into the back room to write favorable legislation for the extractive industries here in the West. While many of us choose to live here because of the natural amenities, we elect the very people who allow our children’s heritage to enrich corporate interests at an unsustainable rate, ensuring the demise of our rural communities.
Consider the work of some of our local “leaders”:
Sen. Slade Gorton’s “lawless logging” salvage rider, which was tucked into the Recissions Bill. This gem eliminates 25 years of pertinent environmental legislation.
Sen. Larry Craig is pushing a bill to make this permanent, effectively banishing citizens from the process. Exit democracy, welcome plutocracy.
Rep. George Nethercutt’s recent attempt to eliminate funding for ongoing land management work in Walla Walla for the Columbia River watershed. The science threatens existing profit margins.
Sen. Dirk Kempthorne recently introduced S1614, which limits the financial liability of mining companies responsible for massive toxic pollution in the Coeur d’Alene watershed. This is fiscal conservatism?
Campaign finance reform is needed to rein in our corporate Congress. Barbara Rupert Spokane
Environmentalist doesn’t get it
If indeed there is a gorilla at our doorstep, it is in the form of the likes of Russ Moritz, whose Street Level diatribe of April 28 demonstrates that he is a no-growth, tree-hugging environmentalist who hasn’t the slightest idea of what has made our country great, and what makes it tick.
We are not where we are because of the corporation. The corporation is merely an effective vehicle for capital formation and management of large enterprises. The key ingredient is the free enterprise system that encourages individual initiative and produces the Bill Gateses of the world.
This is the only thing that distinguishes the United States from the rest of the world. Other countries have more resources, lower-priced labor and other advantages but do not measure up to us. We have discovered that the most benefits to the most people flow from an economy in which free choice is allowed to a maximum extent.
His comments regarding the mining law and proposed silver-copper mine reveal appalling ignorance of the facts. I conclude that he has missed the mark by a mile on the balance of his discussion.
Those horrible mines he speaks of with such disdain are part of the reason we are not all speaking Japanese or German today; a fact that we all should ponder. They are also part of the reason that he has the right to spew unadulterated hogwash on us in a country where free speech is a right, not a privilege. Andrew W. Berg Spokane
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Don’t buy into faulty remedy
Re: the April 22 article outlining Rep. George Nethercutt’s concerns about U.S.Department of Agriculture’s bookkeeping (“Agency doesn’t know how it spent billions,” News).
While I share his concern that funds spent by the agency be well accounted for, it should be noted that the USDA auditor quoted in the article stopped very much short of claiming wrongdoing or misuse of funds. A General Accounting Office review currently under way should help clarify the problem.
I am concerned that readers will draw the conclusion that Nethercutt’s claims about poor auditing should lead us to support the sweeping changes he and his Republican colleagues passed last March, after limited discussion and to the dismay of most policy makers, including the governors.
These proposals, which the article implies would increase accountability, would actually have turned funds for food and nutrition programs over to 50 different state bureaucracies with varying fiscal policies and controls.
Not the least of the problems with the House proposal was that funds for some effective programs, including programs assisting child care providers, community agencies and schools to provide nutritious meals to children, would have been effectively eliminated through block granting and funding cuts. Linda Stone, project director Washington Food Policy Action Center, Spokane
Expression cops bag a biggie
Kudos to Dick Brauner (Roundtable, April 30) for uncovering the latest scandal to rock the Clinton presidency: Funeralgate!
Imagine the audacity of President Clinton, to assume a solemn demeanor on spotting a video camera at Ron Brown’s funeral. How can we let this man lead our country when he clearly suffers from Multiple Demeanor Disorder?
What luck that Brauner and Rush Limbaugh were able to focus attention on an important issue by documenting and publicizing Clinton’s sordid display of funereal fakery.
I’ll never trust a politician again. Jack O’Dea Colville, Wash.
IN THE PAPER
Raison d’etre escapes reviewer
I have some comments on your article, “Christian rock needs to find its own way,” (IN Life, April 16).
First, the bands may have been jumping around like “boobs” and may have had an ‘80s-ish sound. But obviously, the fans didn’t mind if they were screaming “as if it were the Beatles on stage.”
Secondly, Christian rock bands have one reason for playing music and that is to worship God. I’m not sure if your reporter was even at the concert but the lead singer of Johnny Q. Public stated he’s not out to sell more records. He is just out to worship and praise God.
The bands and the fans were not there to impress secular music critics or secular rock bands. They were there to impress their Lord.
Thirdly, Petra, Whiteheart, Gramma Train and Johnny Q. Public would never want to be like Nine Inch Nails or White Zombie. The only reason Christian rock would take on Nine Inch Nails or White Zombie would be person to person, to tell them about the Lord, not band to band to see who sells more records. If they were to do that, they would be defeating their entire purpose.
Finally, Christian rock is finding its own way, straight to heaven. There are two sides to every story and both must be acknowledged. I recommend printing a follow-up article stating how Christian rock bands really feel. Amber Ellis Spokane
Editor’s note: Stories on this topic were published on March 21 and April 17.