The Spokesman-Review



The birth of misconceptions

It seems that your editorial page has promoted some misconceptions. Let me help clear them up:

First off, no one is asking taxpayers to pay for college student birth control. This argument would be valid if we had single-payer health care, but we do not. Insurance pools the costs of health care only among the policyholders.

Second, birth control pills have one dosage. Whether the patient is single, married, monogamous or promiscuous, or even if they take the pill for non-contraceptive uses, there is one pill taken every day, therefore one cost.

Third, it is up to each one of us to decide how large our family will be; not a Republican presidential candidate, not a church, not a university. Freedom of religion ends when the church gets into the business of education, health care, or anything else beyond its front door.

If we can’t start off with facts, we can’t have an informed discussion. Discussions are good.

Oh, and one more thing. Shame on you for censoring Doonesbury last week and preventing a discussion. I hope, however, many print readers you have left find the storyline from a less timid source.

I know I have.

Tim Hamm


Distracted lawmakers flunking

It’s way past time for lawmakers to stop playing shell games with education funding!

For weeks, Washington lawmakers have spent time and energy on worn-out distractions and false solutions to our state’s education needs.

First, we heard charter schools would be the magic bullet, but across the country a ridiculous number of charter schools are either failing or are bogged down in controversy. Then lawmakers focused on punitive teacher evaluations, distracting from real issues facing our public schools. Then came their money-losing health care scheme, punishing educators for their efficient, money-saving health care pool, and costing state taxpayers $45 million!

This on the heels of a landmark state Supreme Court ruling that the constitutional obligation to fully fund Washington’s schools has not been met!

If lawmakers do not do the right thing on their own, it’s up to us. So educators, parents, and education supporters, stand together and insist lawmakers end shell games, quit being distracted, and meet their constitutional duty on public education funding.

Join us by calling or emailing your legislators to tell them: Get to work on real solutions. Urge them to respect Washington’s long-standing commitment to public education.

No more shell games. Our kids deserve a quality education.

Bev Schaefer


U.S. turning cold

This letter is to tell Avista Corp. Chairman Scott Morris how I feel about his unrealistic electric rates that keep rising. I am a widow, 80 years old and mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore without my voice being heard! I am disgusted and complaining on behalf of all people on disability or fixed incomes.

He sits up there in his ivory tower collecting a salary and perks in the six figures, along with all his cronies, while we seniors on fixed incomes wonder where the next dollar is coming from to pay for our very high electric bills.

I don’t cook much or bake; I use my toaster oven or my microwave. I don’t use my dishwasher, I wash clothes once or twice a week, shower every day for five to eight minutes, and I have my water heater set at 120 degrees. I keep my heat on 65 degrees at night and 67 to 69 during the day. I’m freezing my derriere off!

I heat only my kitchen and living room. I also use those darn energy-saving light bulbs that I can’t even read by. My electric bill was $192 last month, so will you please tell me where else I can save?

I am so sick of the greedy people everywhere who try to scam us senior citizens and treat everyone like peasants having to bow to the great feudal lords. This seems to be the direction that his company (which is a monopoly) and other corporations are taking this country.

In all my 80 years living through the Depression, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War, Afghanistan War (did I miss any wars?), I have never seen this country in such pathetic shape. It has become the United States of Greed.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep trying to tighten our belts so we can eat and pay our bills.

Norma Sappington

Spokane Valley

Telecommunications intrusive

I’ve always been upset with the way the telecommunications industry is backing us into a corner so that we can’t live with them and can’t live without them. Case in point is the spate of news reports about employers requiring access to social media accounts or email as a condition of employment. Guess I’d be unemployable, as I don’t have Facebook or Twitter, and I’m darned if someone will read my email unless I send it to them.

Does anyone see the irony that this is triggered by private capitalist industry? A reread of Orwell’s “1984” is in order. This isn’t about the government trying to control us. It’s about private capitalist industry using the government to monitor, control and snoop. The word for that is fascism, not socialism.

Barbara Morrissey


Stop voter fraud

The Obama administration and its allies continue efforts to institutionalize voter fraud. A March 11 Spokesman-Review article recounted efforts in many states to restrict voting rights. The insinuation is inaccurate and politically misleading, but there is a thread of truth to the concept.

Yes, many people, including myself, want to restrict voting to U.S. citizens who live in their voting district, are actually still alive, and only vote once per election. What an outrageous concept!

The Democrats and Obama are, of course, threatened by such a concept, putting out their eternal argument that anything they disagree with must have racism at its core.

Several states have incorporated programs of state-issued photo identification voter registration cards as an avenue to assure all eligible U.S. citizen voters can vote, even if they have no other government-issued photo identification.

Democrats, of course, oppose such logical solutions, as it would inhibit one of their primary voter blocs (that is, organized fraud).

Restrict voters? Absolutely yes! Restrict it to U.S. citizens, voting in the district within which they live, who are actually still alive, and only vote once per election.

Gerald Click


Tale of two shootings

After reading the headlines recently about the U.S. soldier who shot up Afghanistan civilians, I couldn’t help noticing an irony. There is all this clamor to try this guy quickly and execute him; never mind his having suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Yet Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who shot up Fort Hood while screaming “Allahu Akbar!” still hasn’t stood trial. They are still debating whether he was insane, even with the clear evidence regarding his motive: Slay as many infidels as possible.

So we have a guy in a war zone who cracks, and he must be executed immediately. But this Muslim psychiatrist who was stateside in a nice safe office all day murders 13 people, wounds 29 of our own guys, and they try to argue the poor lad suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome from listening to real soldiers who had actual battle experience.

Two and a half years later, they still haven’t tried him.

Alfred Paul Jones


Wearing out the troops

For what this is worth to our military government: You deploy a U.S. Marine to a war zone for a third or fourth time and wonder why he does the unspeakable? His attorney suggests that he may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Duh?

My father was a World War II veteran. Never in our growing up did I ever hear that they went to war three or four times. He served his time, came home, and made a life for himself and his family.

What does our military government expect of these poor men? How much longer are they going to exhaust all of their being to fight a war that we should never be involved in in the first place?

I am so isillusioned with our government, and feel these pitiful military men are being given a raw deal.

Sharon Mather


Jefferson embraced Christianity

President Thomas Jefferson would be very surprised to read Abram Conrad’s March 21 letter (“Freedom from religion”) about his being no fan of the Christian faith. As president, Jefferson attended Sunday church services in the U.S. Capitol, sitting in the first row.

Not liking the music, he ordered the Marine Band to play the hymns, and he paid them out of the federal treasury. As president, he supported the requirement of biblical instruction in the public schools, legislative and military chaplains and federal funding of Christian books for public libraries.

Jefferson said the ethics and teachings of Christ are incomparable, and therefore, as chief magistrate of the United States, he would lend all the power of his example to supporting that system.

He wrote a small book simply taking out of the gospels the teachings of Christ about ethics and morals to be used to evangelize and educate the Indians. As president, he supported federal funding of construction of churches and the salaries of clergymen in Indian churches.

Having a much better understanding than many of us today that the First Amendment had nothing to do with freedom from Christianity, Jefferson concluded presidential documents by writing “In the Year of our Lord Christ.”

Ruth Ryan


Grateful for the Fed

Nice rant on the Federal Reserve, Kristopher Lummus (“Paul will end the Fed,” March 25), but as you can see by what’s happening with the European Union, a modern nation state cannot exist without a central monetary power that can react with enough speed and authority to avert crisis.

The EU is slowly falling apart because each country must approve of each step in the recovery process. With its first financial crisis brewing as we speak, you can see the results of not having that central authority. They will still be years recovering, and will most likely be kicking some countries out of their union.

Is this what you want the United States to revert to? We have come out of many recessions because the Federal Reserve can shift large amounts of money where it needs to go. I, for one, am glad that we have that ability.

Paul Alsept


Repeal Obamacare

I find it interesting that you would use a picture of people supporting Obamacare on the front page of The Spokesman-Review on March 28. Why not a picture of both sides, one supporting and one objecting? I assume that is not possible for your paper.

The Constitution is a document that limits the size of our government, which is not to infringe on the rights of its people. We do not need the government telling us what we should do – period! Obamacare must be repealed, or America will never be the same.

Joni Tonkovich


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