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Letters for March 30, 2023

War remains our reality

Sixty-four years ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address. After eight years in office, Eisenhower used his final words as president to deliver a specific warning. The expanding U.S. defense establishment he claimed had become entangled with private industry in a way that was completely unprecedented for the United States and the world. This military industrial complex, as he named it, would distort every U.S. political institution and even threaten democracy itself.

This remains our reality today. The wars: Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan were the most expensive wars in U.S. history. Now after the wars have ended, the defense budget has not gone down. In fact, it has risen to record high levels.

We must consider the possible upcoming conflicts with China and Russia. We must keep up our guard to protect our home land.

We should take into consideration that our military donations to the Ukraine are depleting our military arsenal. Where and when will it stop? There is no payback. When will NATO start paying its fair share? If the war continues, will the U.S. eventually have boots on the ground there? Do you want your sons going to war there?

An interesting fact to consider is that the United States of America has not won a war since WWII. Why?

Sam Pangerl


Tax funds must be used wisely

Per the guest opinion written by Ben Stuckart and Lerria Schuh (“Regional effort on homeless would unify resources, strategy,” March 26), I feel compelled to address an item that has been buried from public view since Ozzie Knezovich retired. I want an answer.

The opinion states, “Until the regional homeless review is complete and new structure in place, the City Council and mayor’s administration should not make any additional decisions regarding homelessness …”

How about this? Until there are forensic audits on all parties involved with funds distributed to date by WSDOT and the city of Spokane to address the homeless situation, including forensic audits of the nonprofits that received any money from the taxpayers, nothing goes forward.

I think the taxpayers deserve to know if their tax dollars are being used wisely. The expectation of accountability is not a big ask.

Cheryl Henley


Come together for common good

I have had a number of conversations recently with people who have said that they are living in “existential angst” because of climate change. I have found those words striking.

I wonder how we live in a time of climate change. Is it possible for people of faith and not faith to approach climate change with hope instead of existential angst? Can we find ways to be confident and not fearful? Or is this angst necessary in order for us, humans who are comfortable in the current and unhappy with change, to do what is necessary to protect our environment? I have been pondering these questions this season of Lent and find that the approaching Earth Day celebration, in particular the Hope for Creation conference, is one way we might come together for learning, for support, for encouragement.

St. Joan Chittister has said, “When fear of the unknown strangles the heart, one tiny act of courage can bring hope alive, frail and sputtering perhaps, but there to be grasped in the midst of the emptiness.” I find it unfortunately true that hope is not needed unless there is struggle. Our struggle today is to come together to work for the common good, which means the good of all creation, not just ourselves.

The Hope for Creation conference at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, sponsored by many community partners on April 22, is one opportunity for us to come together as a community in hope. Please join us.

Gretchen Rehberg


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