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Saturday, January 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Letters To The Editor

5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Nethercutt has earned re-election

George Nethercutt is an honest, reliable, straightforward congressman who has made some tough decisions and has always handled himself in a professional way. He honored his campaign promises and did what he said he would do.

Since his election in 1994, he has done an outstanding job for his constituents and particularly the agricultural community here in the 5th Congressional District.

Nethercutt has earned our trust and has run a campaign based on honesty. He deserves our vote on Nov. 5 to continue his commitment to a smaller, more efficient government that best serves all of us. Bart Nelson Walla Walla

One Gingrich is enough; Vote Olson

I’m 80 years old and I’ve always voted for the leaders I figured would be best for this country and our working people.

I’m proud to say I voted for Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Henry Jackson, Warren Magnuson and Tom Foley. These are the ones who remembered us working people, the ones who kept America working so me and the other working people could have a good life.

Now, I’m proud to say I’m going to vote for Judy Olson. I’ve listened to her and I’ve talked to her. She cares about keeping Social Security and Medicare safe. She’s a good woman who looks you in the eye when she talks. There’s no hot air in her.

One Newt Gingrich in Congress is more than enough. We don’t need to send back that George Nethercutt fellow again, who always votes with Gingrich. Don Westfall Spokane

BUSINESS AND LABOR

Big labor stands up for working people

In response to the many negative articles in regard to big labor and big labor bosses, I have a few positive remarks.

First, big labor is made up of thousands of men and women who have to work for a living.

Second, the “big labor bosses” are just representing those working families.

It’s amusing that some politicians think that one big labor boss can truly just spend money on any item that comes before him or her. Obviously, these folks have never been to a union meeting and heard members’ concerns about how their money is spent.

Unions are the spokesmen for the working families of America. Our unions have tried to get a living wage for their members, which also has a positive impact on nonmembers.

With more jobs going overseas, for one-tenth of the wages in America, more working folks are seeing their living-wage jobs disappear. Will big labor spend $35 million to help keep a middle class in America? You bet.

Where do politicians who hate to see men and women make a decent living in America get their backing? “Big labor” articles make it sound like these politicians are spending all their own money. What major corporations are spending their money on these campaigns? William C. Burns Iron Workers Local No. 14, Spokane

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Voting really means something

Voting is a great game which must be played. As in any game, you check the scorecard and philosophy of the players. The informed voter should definitely be swayed to one of the player’s views. The informed voter chooses the ideas they think will be best for the future. You do not have to like the players.

When we vote, we help decide the future. We start with voting to teach children responsibility. Along with being responsible, we teach them respect and tolerance for others’ ideas and philosophies. Cast the vote, not lip service.

People who run for office deserve our respect. It is a job someone must do. They give their time, energy, money and open their personal lives like a book. By not voting, we show the world how ignorant and arrogant we are. Kathy Foutz Hayden Lake, Idaho

Why hasten Indian extinction?

In response to Rep. Helen Chenoweth’s opinion of Indians forsaking their traditional customs to assimilate themselves into American society - what is “American society”?

Very few of us are left who actually revere our culture, let alone respect and observe our way of life.

I am not an Idaho resident, but I do resent Chenoweth’s remarks. They are asinine.

Ours is a dying race. Are Afro-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans or Caucasian races dying? Conquerors of this continent have already ruined our ethnic identity. We have only what you have given us. Indians will be extinct, a race that does not exist. Our integration, forced or not, is the cause.

Let us exist for as long as possible. The ones who revere the culture are few and far between. Do other “Americans” fear for the extermination of their culture? Romero J. Vivit Jr. Spokane

Consider what Clinton has said

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is great.

I’ve thought about that statement a lot recently, particularly with regard to those who plan to vote for President Bill Clinton.

Many say they know he lies; many acknowledge the negatives. But like children before Christmas, they say, “I believe! I believe!” Read the following statements to determine your need for illusion:

The plan to raise Medicare benefits from $4,800 to over $7,000 per year was not an increase but a “mean-spirited” Republican plot to put the elderly out on the streets.

The Republicans’ vote to increase the school lunch program by 4.5 percent was actually a “cut” to “starve our children.”

A cabinet that contains 14 lawyers and 10 millionaires “looks like America.”

Persons enrolled in Clinton’s AmeriCorps, each costing taxpayers more than $27,000 per year, are not government employees but “volunteers.”

The administration’s 1,342-page health care “reform” would have created 33 new federal agencies, 200 regional alliances and added $70 billion to the federal budget deficit.

The Clinton administration agreed to give North Korea free oil, two free nuclear reactors, diplomatic ties and increased trade; they agreed to dismantle their bomb-making facilities in 10 years. This shows real diplomacy and skill in foreign policy.

If you agree with any of these statements, you get the head-in-the-sand award for Campaign ‘96. Alexandra Ockey Spokane

Clinton supports good education

As a parent first and an educator second, I want to bring to your attention President Clinton’s record of achievement in improving education.

He has worked to connect schools, libraries, hospitals and clinics to the Information Superhighway. He signed the Goals 2000 Educate America Act, which supports the development of national standards of excellence for students. He has expanded public school choice by funding 3,000 charter schools and proposed the America Reads challenge to ensure that every child in America can read independently by the end of the third grade.

Vote for education. Vote for Clinton and Gore. Dianne Welsh Bleck, Ph.D. Spokane

Dole is a man of his word

It was Bill Clinton’s format and his favorite setting, but Bob Dole knocked the president’s socks off at the debate in San Diego. Sen. Dole connected with the panel of questioners using his family experiences and a great sense of humor.

Today, the media are attacking Dole for his comments concerning the lack of ethics in the Clinton administration. The mainstream media, 89 percent of which voted for President Clinton, would, of course, help the president keep his negatives down. It’s the media that have failed the people.

However, I was pleased to see Boston Globe editorialist Jeff Jacoby’s 80 reasons not to re-elect the president. Most reasons deal with ethics and character; I urge you to read them.

It’s a shame that ethics and character flaws even have to be discussed. I think it’s Sen. Dole’s duty to question Clinton’s lack of ethics in order to contrast with his own, thereby helping us make our own decision election day.

The ethics of this administration is a campaign issue and should be debated. After all, in 1992, then-Gov. Clinton, promised us the most ethical administration in history. I don’t think he’s delivered on his promise. Besides, all other issues in this campaign mean nothing if our president cannot be trusted.

I believe Bob Dole is a man of his word. I will put my trust in him Nov. 5. Varnel Williams Moscow

Election about middle class prospects

The main feature in the upcoming election is whether we are going to maintain a strong middle class.

Are we to become like the Latin American countries? These countries have been characterized by 2 percent of the richest citizens using the military to keep the poor at a disadvantage thereby protecting their wealth.

The reported widening gap between the rich and the poor in our country does not bode well for our future. Most of this widening came in the 1980s.

Some call for a tax cut to lighten the burden on the average citizen, but it is these tax cuts that have actually added to our burden. The tax cuts of the past two decades, while placating the middle class and giving them a little relief, have actually given huge tax advantages to those most able to pay.

We hear from those who say that these tax cuts are necessary for business to create jobs. However, most of the jobs created in the 1980s were menial, minimum wage jobs.

So the issue for this election is whether everyone is going to pay their fair share of taxes, and whether government and business are going to cooperate to make sure that a strong middle class is a continuing reality. Richard V. Evans Spokane

Still, the mighty are falling

The forthcoming presidential election is not about Clinton or Dole. It’s about the American people. Never in the history of our country have the people ignored the unethical practices of government figures as is now happening.

Why the people of this country are so little concerned about alleged lying, cheating, adultery, drug use, theft, etc., is a mystery to me. What has happened to the character of the citizens of our country, that values no longer stand for anything?

Years ago, Alan Paton of South Africa wrote a book, “Cry, the Beloved Country.” Paton was greatly concerned about the ethics and morals of his country. Today, I have a great concern for my country. America, I am crying for you because you appear to have lost your soul. You no longer seem to care about morals and values, yet you wonder why drug use and crime are soaring among our young people.

I contend that you must share the blame because you no longer care about your country. Your attitude is, What’s in it for me? You set the example for today’s youth. Is it any wonder they no longer have any respect for authority?

Wake up, America! Get your house in order or you shall surely go the way of the Greek and Roman empires, and more recently, the Soviet Union. Olin Smith Post Falls

Do not cast aspersions

To my friend, Opinion editor John Webster, and all who raise the issue of “character” with regard to politicians, I ask you to re-read your Bibles and consider King David. He’s described as the Lord’s anointed, a man after God’s own heart, and is recorded in the lineage of Jesus.

He’s listed as one of the heroes of faith alongside Abraham, Moses, Sarah and Rahab (a prostitute). David was the greatest king in Israel’s long history.

David himself conspired to murder, committed adultery, lied in order to procure food from the temple, causing the death of the priests, men, women, children and infants of the city. In celebrating his “re-election victory” he danced naked in public.

Before any of us complain about or cast “character” aspersions on any incumbent or candidate, let us commit ourselves: to prayer for our leaders, not moral judging; to a faith that works, not a critical spirit; to a life that inspires others and glorifies God. “…let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” Tom Sahlberg Spokane

IN THE REGION

De-annexation makes no sense

On Nov. 5, you will get to vote for or against reducing the city limits by excluding 64.5 acres of single-family residential land at the west end of Crestview on Sunnyside Hill. We seek your support in defeating this anti-growth proposition.

The de-annexation efforts, if successful, would negatively impact our community growth and drive new residents to neighboring communities, resulting in substantial loss of tax and business revenues for Pullman.

We would also lose a proposed 8.5-acre neighborhood park and the recently approved subdivision of 27 single-family lots, thus aggravating the current housing shortage.

More than half of Washington State University faculty and staff, 63 percent of Schweitzer Engineering employees and 56 percent of the city staff are already living outside Pullman. Employees of other businesses are experiencing similar difficulties in locating appropriate housing in Pullman.

We elect our city officials to plan and make decisions in the best interest of the whole community. Along with the Planning Commission’s unanimous support, the City Council approved the annexation by a 5-1 vote. Shortly thereafter, a petition was circulated and signatures were collected to downsize Pullman by removing the 64.5 acres from the city limits.

It is time to plan for the future and be responsive to the collective needs of Pullman citizens. If approved, this measure will have far-reaching and unintended consequences for our community. Jim DeVleming and John A. Hauser Committee for Pullman’s Future

Don’t rush into making changes

Guests from Connecticut recently marveled at the beauty of the hills and farms of the Palouse. In all their travels across the United States and the world, they’d never seen landscape like ours.

A Whitman County commissioner recently boasted that our parks and rest areas lack vandalism problems. That’s pretty unusual today. And having grown up a poor kid in the country, I know the benefits of not having to worry about gangs and violence. Country life made it easier, not harder (as recent news stories would have you believe).

My commute to work out of town each day is a privilege, not a chore. Many of us choose to live outside town.

What do all these things mean? A unique quality of life for those of us fortunate enough to live on the Palouse. It means a beautiful, safe and clean place to raise our kids and to grow old in.

Now, some slick, expensive “No on Proposition 1” signs have been popping up at local businesses. Also, a lot of misinformation about the alleged population boom in Pullman and the “need” to chew up more farmland for houses. None of my friends can even sell their homes.

Proposition 1 to reduce city limits is simply a way to force the city of Pullman to listen to the people about how/if we want Pullman haphazardly sprawling all over the region.

I urge Pullman voters not to sacrifice our quality of life to the quest to make another dollar. Let’s take it slow and do it right. Denise Ortiz Pullman

PEOPLE IN SOCIETY

Stories show two sides of humanity

Reading the Oct. 20 Spokesman-Review, I couldn’t help contrasting two featured stories.

We read about the horrific conditions in the Romanian orphanages. Neglected children are cold, dirty, sick and hungry to the point of stealing scraps of food from each other’s mouths and even eating vomit. Thank God for the wonderful, unselfish volunteers from the United States who make such sacrifices to improve conditions for these innocent and abused children.

Contrast that with the article about the latest, expensive wrinkle treatment - injecting chemicals into facial muscles to make people look more youthful.

What has happened to our values? Think of the money spent on luxurious living that could go toward alleviating suffering. What happens to people that they become so self-involved? It makes me ill. Jean Rice Spokane

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Tags: letter

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