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Fri., Oct. 22, 2010

Sound bites with real teeth

A bit of wisdom from the past has returned to guide us again. Observing Obama’s smiling feline grace as he bounds to the microphone at yet another gathering of enthusiastic supporters, preparing to offer new programs, taxes and entitlements, I am struck with a limerick from the 1800s which is a cautionary tale even today for all of his smiling devotees – as well as the rest of us.

There was once a young lady from Niger,

Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.

They came back from the ride,

With the lady inside,

And a smile on the face of the tiger!

The vague, unspecified discomfort that claims to call out for “change” is deadly when it causes unspecified change mainly for change’s sake – a change that rings a bell which cannot be unrung. The devotees were confident that they had started the change with the last election and were assured that it was solidified and ignited on Inauguration Day.

So far, we have had nearly two years to regret and do penance for trying to ride the tiger. Perhaps this November’s election is not too late to reverse the ride and ensure the tiger is saddled – not fed.

Walt Copley

Sagle, Idaho

With all due respect to Mr. Shaw (“No call to fear police,” Letters, Oct. 11), it is not all about him. There are many in this community who care about those who are in situations that he might not find himself in and are mistreated, injured or killed by the police.

I would also like to remind Mr. Shaw that Bev Saruwatari was doing none of the things he mentioned in her own home when someone erroneously reported that her son, who was misidentified as a robbery suspect, was in her home. Otto Zehm was in a convenience store when he was erroneously reported to have committed a crime of suspicious behavior. Both of them were innocent of any wrongdoing yet suffered from excessive force and mistreatment at the hands of the Spokane police. Both are no longer here. Don’t be so quick to think this couldn’t happen to you.

So you see, it isn’t all about Mr. Shaw. It is about compassion for your fellow citizen and about holding the police accountable for their actions. I only hope that his attitude and the misconduct of our police do not define our community.

Terri Anderson


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