Arrow-right Camera


Sun., Feb. 26, 2012, midnight


Abortion is a bad choice

Being careless and irresponsible is when mistakes usually happen. After we make mistakes, or do something we regret, is when we need to take responsibility for our actions and make things right. I believe abortion is the most irresponsible and unethical action you could possibly take.

Ron Paul, who observed a late-term abortion performed by his instructor during his medical residency, stated, “It was pretty dramatic for me to see a 21/2 pound baby taken out crying and breathing and put into a bucket.” How could you live with killing a little innocent baby when you could easily take the better road of adoption?

Babies do not get to pick when they get to come into the world and who their parents get to be. Think of the difference and impact that one little baby could have made in the world. In the United States, about 3,700 babies are aborted each day. To stomp out the choice of abortion would save millions of lives each year. Do the right thing and take responsibility for your actions by making the right choices, not the easy way out that leads to suffering.

Emma Couch


Rights being eroded

On Monday, the Washington Senate’s Health and Long Term Care Committee approved Senate Bill 2330, which would force insurance companies to provide abortion benefits. The bill would eliminate the right for insurance companies to opt out to appease employers with personal or religious objection to abortion.

Government interference in our lives continues, and our rights are being eroded. Just because someone has the right to an abortion doesn’t mean someone else should be forced to pay for it. As a small-business owner, I will ultimately be paying higher premiums for health insurance to pay for this benefit. Our rights as citizens are clearly eroding. The bill moves to the House floor this week, so write, call or email now and exercise your right to be heard.

Arlene Stromberger

Davenport, Wash.

Can’t afford handouts

President Franklin Roosevelt started the entitlement idea in 1935 with Social Security to help give people something to look forward to. The Great Depression (a time when people really knew what poverty was) had people really needing hope.

Years passed and liberal political leaders brainstormed new ideas to give money to those unfortunate people who needed help, or thought they needed help. History tells us that many people do not hesitate to take handouts even if they have to lie or cheat to qualify for those handouts. Unfortunately, we have doctors and lawyers who are more than willing to help people beat the system.

One of the latest wrinkles is trying to get qualified for disability. As unemployment money ran out we saw an increase in the number of people applying for disability and an increase in the number of people who make their living helping you beat the system. We have 10.6 million people receiving unemployment at the present time.

The 50 percent of us who actually pay taxes cannot keep supporting those who pay little or no taxes! When will we wake up?

Gerald Ray


Mismanaged funds big news

The loss of $30,000 on a test sample of four cases of surety bond negligent collections discovered on the recent Spokane County audit appears to be the tip of the iceberg on more county-squandered revenue. Judge Ellen Kalama Clark’s lame excuse that “there is no easy way electronically to do this” is pathetic.

Given the amount of money potentially at stake, you find a way to manage this. If these were her personal funds, it certainly would not be tolerated. Then the audit reveals failure to collect $170,000 in banking fees and $48 million in cash funds held in a non-interest-bearing checking account!

There apparently are no systems or oversight in place to effectively manage the county finances.

One can assume that this one-year sample audit is a strong indication that this financial management apathy has gone on for years. Will anyone be held accountable for this abysmal failure? Not if you’re a public employee or union protected.

Considering the financial implications of this audit, I am surprised this was not front page news worthy.

Alan Budzier


Going back in time

What year is this? I thought it was 2012.

I can’t believe the shocking assault on what should be normal preventive health care for women. Birth control may have been controversial back in the 1950s and 1960s, but I thought we figured out years ago that family planning and spacing of babies is better for women and children and is the most effective way to prevent abortions.

This is not a religious issue; it’s a health issue. Many women take birth control pills for other health concerns; that’s between them and their doctors, not their employers. Twenty-eight states already mandate contraceptive coverage in their health care regulations with no exclusion for religious schools and hospitals.

It was not controversial until President Barack Obama mentioned it.

Now, the proposed Blunt amendment would allow any employer or insurance company to opt out of any form of medical care that they don’t agree with. Maybe they don’t believe in immunizations or X- rays. It makes no sense.

Can we get back to the real issues? Like unemployment, the economy, corporate personhood, the American dream, access to education, fair taxation and human rights.

Linda Hall


Support Stephens for chief

With former Chief of Police Kirkpatrick seeking employment in Phoenix, after her dismal performance here in Spokane, it should be obvious that having one college degree, or several, does not guarantee stellar results in any chosen profession.

Interim Chief Scott Stephens, with or without his college diploma, as of yet, would or will become a fine chief of the city’s Police Department.

Former Chief Roger Bragdon served admirably as chief yet was downplayed because he did not have his degree while in that position.

The city of Spokane will spend thousands and thousands of dollars searching for candidates for the chief’s position. The citizens should remember some of the last few chiefs that came from elsewhere and did nothing positive for the community.

Interim Chief Stephens will.

Ken R. Brown


History debatable

Armenian-American special interest groups have recently launched a congressional campaign to pressure Secretary of State Hillary Clinton into retracting her statement on the French legislative bill criminalizing denial of the so-called Armenian genocide. Commenting on this legislation, Clinton accurately indicated that it was compromising free speech and that the issue is a matter of historical debate by scholars.

The World War I-era atrocities in the Ottoman Empire were never tried under a competent tribunal; the intent to exterminate Armenians was never established; no court verdict characterizing these events per the nonretroactive 1948 U.N. Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide was issued. Furthermore, according to a renowned expert of Ottoman history, professor Bernard Lewis of Princeton University, there was no “deliberate preconceived decision of the Ottoman government” to eliminate Armenians, and the claim that the intercommunal warfare atrocities were a genocide is only “the Armenian version of the history.” Over 518,000 Turkish civilians were also massacred during World War I by the paramilitaries of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.

I join members of the Pax Turcica Institute to oppose the Schiff-Dold letter and to support Clinton’s just view on freedom of expression and against legislating history.

Ruslan Babayev


Dishonesty is rampant

Sunday, Feb. 12, marked the 203rd birthday of Abraham Lincoln. During his presidential campaign, he was nicknamed “Honest Abe” because he once walked several miles to return a few cents change from his family’s dry goods store.

Fast-forward to the present. The December/January edition of Alaska magazine featured an article about fisheries that are intentionally mislabeling seafood in order to deceive consumers. What may be labeled as king salmon could, in fact, be silver. Hatchery-grown fish are sometimes pawned off as wild.

Meanwhile, a recent edition of Reader’s Digest featured the growing number of college students paying others to download papers from the Internet for the purpose of plagiarism.

Dishonesty seems to be the new mantra of America. Whether it’s a politician telling us what we want to hear or newspapers (including this one) putting their slant on the news, we seem to have a serious integrity deficiency. Even the Christian church has not been immune to this trend.

Be honest. Potential employers will be more impressed by your candor than your exaggerations. The IRS may not discern your fudging, but why take a chance? A person who has lost their integrity has lost their credibility.

Douglas R. Benn


Basin cleanup shortchanged

The idea that economic and environmental prosperity are mutually exclusive is at the heart of frustrations we have over recent news that the EPA will reduce funds for the Coeur d’Alene River Basin mining cleanup plan, but it’s not our only grievance.

Frustrated that the basin bears the stigma of being designated a Superfund site, and worried about the effect this may have on jobs and the local economy, residents and congressional representatives have successfully campaigned for a plan that involves less money for cleanup and a shorter time frame – from 50 or more years at $1.3 billion, to 30 years at a cost of about $736 million.

Never mind the fact that a more thorough cleanup would create jobs for the area and significantly improve the environment. Consider this. The lesser cleanup plan unfortunately means the cleanup is almost certainly going to be insufficient and incomplete. This means that the EPA will eventually need to come back and figure out how to finish the job.

Representing two organizations with missions to preserve and protect this region’s natural resources and the health of citizens in both Kootenai and Spokane counties, we would like to see the job done right … the first time.

Terry Harris

Coeur d’Alene

Bart Mihailovich


Tolerance goes both ways

For those in support of gay marriage, I have some questions. If I don’t support your viewpoint, would you classify me as homophobic, one suffering from a mental affliction? If I were to raise my children in the same way, would you consider them abused and support placing them under government care? Do you support the First Amendment regarding religious freedom? Do you support my right to disagree with you and gay activists who force their agenda on individuals and institutions through litigation?

Are you aware that gay activists closed two Christian adoption centers in Boston? Do you realize that in Canada folks are prosecuted and imprisoned for opposing you? Ministers are called bigots and haters?

These are important questions. Does the live-and-let-live philosophy often preached by gay activists go both ways? Are you willing to be tolerant of those of us who disagree with you?

John Pauley

Spokane Valley

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