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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for May 1, 2022

UPDATED: Mon., May 2, 2022

Immigrants in America

My mother immigrated from Ukraine to the United States in 2003. The immigration process was long, expensive and tough. She was leaving behind free health care, free schooling, kinder people, fresher food and better public transportation for a country that had little to none of that. College was far from affordable and her English was inadequate, forcing her to live in low-income apartments and work minimum wage-paying jobs.

Her life since moving to the United States has been painful and harsh to her, to a point where she wishes she could move back to Ukraine. My mother is trilingual, lived through the Soviet Union and is a professional cook – but no one here bothers to ask. Instead, they stick up their noses, point and laugh, because she tends to struggle with the intricacies of English. Her co-workers mock her accent, and they don’t spare any patience. She’s ridiculed for her poor grammar and foreign culture, purely because they have no culture themselves.

A majority of America seems to hate immigrants – and for being a country founded on English settlers, very ironic. All any immigrant wants is a home with a better quality of life than their last, and they’re treated with bitter resentment.

All I ask is that you think about my mother’s story, and all the thousands of unheard ones, and know that we can make this country a kinder place if we only banished ignorance from our hearts and learned to listen.

Veronika Maryott

Deer Park

Ukraine paying the price

It is no surprise that Donald Trump supports Russian President Putin as opposed to the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Putin gave Trump the help he asked for to influence the 2016 election in his favor. In return, Trump rewarded Putin by disrupting NATO and attempting to overthrow the United States government. That is not a coincidence. Zelenskyy, on the other hand, refused to be blackmailed by Trump into trying to influence our 2020 election. Ukraine is now paying the price for that defiance. That is also not a coincidence.

Trump and Putin have a symbiotic relationship. They support each other. They fear honest elections. They wage war on truth and label what they don’t like as “fake news.” They try to intimidate their opponents by violence. They have the same goals: to abolish democratic governments and establish dictatorships.

Support for Trump and his cronies also supports Putin and his puppets. It’s like supporting Benedict Arnold. I take that back. Benedict Arnold shed his blood in defense of this country before he betrayed it. Donald Trump did not even do that.

Michael O’Dea


Kreidler article lacking

Thank you for the Mike Kreidler article in the April 19 Spokesman-Review (“State lawmakers respond to misconduct allegations against state Insurance Commissioner Kreidler”). However, it conspicuously lacked mentioning an apparent partisan element: lots of Republicans gunning for Kreidler, and no comment from Democrats!

Democratic silence is especially conspicuous when it is the left leading the purification campaign against people who violate the ever-changing standards of acceptable attitudes and word choices. This reminds me of the feminist left’s deafening silence when Bill Clinton was clearly abusing his presidential position in the most piggish, sleazy and dishonest ways.

Is Kreidler someone the Democrats have an ideological reason to protect, while Republicans want to replace him? Maybe an article can explain this in the near future.

Daniel Rial


Focus on crime

I see the headline “Subway shooting heightens NYC mayor’s focus on rising crime.” I would love to see a headline that says “Mayors focus on mental illness.”

No 3-year-old child thinks they want to grow up to be a murderer. But a 3-year-old child who is raised in an house full of mental illness and/or abuse can grow up to be a murderer. Parents who were abused, and/or are drug addicts do not raise their children well. Drug addiction is a mental illness.

It’s like a rusty bucket full of holes. We keep trying to plug the holes of crime without ever dealing with the rust. Until we deal with mental illness and drug addiction, we will keep producing mentally ill murderers.

Kathy Swehla


Pick up garbage

As many people know April 22 was Earth Day. I am retired and was walking on a recent afternoon and, once again, saw all of the garbage near our mailboxes. With Earth Day in mind, there was a discarded animal feed bag which I used to collect all of the “visible” garbage 30 feet north and south of our neighborhood mailboxes. Please ask people to make “some attempt” to stop throwing their garbage out of their car’s windows and messing up the Earth! Thank you.

Doug Olson


Camp Hope

As disturbing as the visual of Camp Hope is, it is also a blessing. It shakes the fantasy of our bliss, by informing our ignorance.

Support local efforts for intervention. And offer your creative intelligence in the form of solutions, when you think those efforts are misguided.

The residents of Camp Hope and its diaspora are not all just down on their luck – any more than they are all self-inflicted casualties.

But they are all people in need of help.

Joe Booth

Spokane Valley

Public service

This week, May 1-7, public servants across the country will be recognized for their commitment to ensure our government fulfills the needs of all Americans and keeps our country moving forward. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management says Washington state has 53,200 federal civilian employees and 68,700 federal civilian retirees. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 41,100 government jobs in Spokane and Spokane Valley. People fulfilling these jobs make government work at all levels, including local, county, state and federal.

As president of the Spokane Chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, I encourage you to say thank you to these public servants during Public Service Recognition Week. If you are either an active or retired federal employee, then I also invite you to join our chapter’s lunch meeting at 11:30 a.m., May 9 at Darcy’s Restaurant in the Spokane Valley. I hope to see you there.

Scott Robinson


May thoughts

May has arrived. With it comes Mother’s Day and the Lilac Festival. It is also the start of planting season. May is also a time for renewal. You COVID-19 hermits need to get back in the game. Some of you need to return to your favorite gymnasium.

With Putin trying to rebuild the USSR, we Christians need to offer hope to this terrified generation. This may or may not culminate in WW III. However, even that eventuality is only a prelude to the return of Christ.

I will close by reiterating what I recommended in previous letters: get outside. You probably need the exercise. Sunshine is a natural stimulant. Stop worrying about global warming and other leeches to peace. Fear is often used by special-interest groups to impose their own agenda on you. Shalom.

Douglas Benn


Uninsured driving

If our police wanted to stop crime, allowing muffler infractions would be extremely stupid. But to promote crime and aggravate poverty, it’s genius.

In this environment, susceptible individuals quickly become disentitled from driving and uninsurable. Half of all traffic tickets go to uninsured drivers, the same offenders over and over. But they keep driving illegally. They smash up, they get sued, they have judgments against them they can never pay. They have no credit, nothing but plenty of company as they clog up our courts. They are poor and they are encouraged to offend.

It gets worse: Those thousands of uninsured vehicles are the transportation necessary for the rest of our crime. The police aid and abet any crime involving those vehicles.

Uninsured driving creates an underclass of outlaws and provides the wheels they need to offend. And it all starts with muffler infractions.

Every sheriff and chief of police protects the same list of intentional equipment violations and illegal driving, all benefiting commercial interests. Ending “catch-and-release” would hurt auto sales. Exhaust noise truly is the sound made by corruption. Anybody home at the FBI?

Paul Phillips


First Amendment

The suggestion the central government should be involved in designating what is “truth” and what is “misinformation,” as recently articulated by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is antithetical to the first, and most important, amendment to the Constitution.

The politicians we have, at their core, are no different than the politicians in Russia, North Korea and Iran. There is no “American Exceptionalism” in human motivations of those seeking power.

What makes our politicians different than those of Russia, North Korea and Iran is they are constrained by the Constitution, our laws and traditions.

The defining issue of these days of mass media over the internet is whether we will honor the First Amendment we’ve been imperfectly upholding for 235 years or whether we’ll let our fear cause us to surrender our right to express our opinions freely to the government’s Ministry of Truth, run by people like Obama, Clinton, Trump or DeSantis.

We must all fight the powerful who want to control the flow of information over the internet. Raise your voice loudly for a free and raucous debate on the internet without any overlords blocking objectionable content.

Hap Rhodehamel


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