Closure of visitor center condemned
On July 8, I walked through the Legislative Building and found the Visitor Information Center on the lowest floor, in a secondary aisle, in a small, nearly closet-like space.
It is certainly NOT in a location where a tourist is likely to find it and get information about the Capitol Campus or the entire state.
Such information was available at the now closed Visitor Information Center on Capitol Way at the entrance to the main campus in a building designed for that purpose.
Here was a place where visitors to the Capitol and the state could get information about the Capitol and the entire state, so that hopefully they would spend more money here.
I personally know of many who went there and got information and did continue visiting and spending.
We are told that tourism is an important industry to the state so closing the Visitor Information Center building seems like a very foolish move. There are hundreds of places where saving the little amount of money resulting from this closure could be found.
Why is it that we are losing confidence in our government? Here is one more reason for me.
Proceed with caution on health care reform
I recently read online an article concerning a proposed federal plan for health care reform.
Now, I consider myself a liberal on social issues and what I read stunned me. The plan included a government-run insurance option that would compete with private insurance.
This plan would be partially funded by fines imposed on those who “refuse” any health care plan. The plan includes subsidies similar to Medicare or our state health care program. However, cuts are being made to those subsidies in order to lower the price tag.
So I demand to know who will be covered?
Taking our own program as an example, I don’t qualify unless I’m pregnant or poor with children. The most I can get is free birth control. My boyfriend doesn’t qualify at all. So, who is covered? I’m a poor student living away from home. Will my mother be penalized for not providing coverage for me? For my five siblings?
What if I can’t afford it but don’t qualify? The fines could be as much as $1,000; more for families. I worry that a large number of people will fall through the cracks.
I’m writing to urge people to be aware of what is going on in Washington, D.C. Write to your senator and ask that any plan be made public before it is put to a vote. And no, I don’t mean a 400 page PDF of the actual document. We deserve an explanation of any plan that so severely limits our choices.
Obama is wrong; we are Christian nation
Thanks to Pastor Curt Bidwell of the First Baptist Church of Tumwater for his article titled “Religion imbues our history,” that appeared in the July 11, Olympian.
I have been upset ever since President Barack Obama made the statement, “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation. ...”
Anyone who has studied the history of our country even a little bit should recognize that is an untrue statement.
But when I remember seeing the news on TV showing the president genuflecting and all but kissing the hand of the king of Saudi Arabia, I guess anything is possible with this president.
We also have to remember that President Obama was basically raised a Muslim and whether he now thinks he is a Muslim or not, that teaching is still a part of his heritage.
Thank you Pastor Bidwell for setting the record straight.
BERNICE VAN MECHELEN
Don’t forget Constitution, founders
This letters is in response to an essay by Pastor Curt Bidwell, “Religion imbues our history.”
Bidwell does not mention that the First Amendment of our Constitution says that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of any religion and Article 6 states that there shall be no religious test for anyone running for public office.
If one reads what our founders had to say about religion in their letters, we find that they were mostly anti-Christian, and for a good reason.
Europe was awash in religious wars, crusades, inquisitions, and pogroms against Jews and other minorities, and had been for hundreds of years. Religious people were killing other religious people by the millions, and most over slight differences in religious dogma.
Read the letters of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the Federalist Papers, the essays of Thomas Paine and you will find that many of them were men of the Enlightenment, a movement that to a large extent brought an end to slavery, the torture and burning of witches and other biblical horrors practiced by the Christians of that day.
Our founders knew that the combining of church and state is the root cause of carrying out these biblical atrocities, and they wanted a country without all this religious madness.
Two of the leaders of this Humanist movement were Voltaire and Ben Franklin.
Since our Constitution was written, it has been under constant siege by the fundamentalists who have been annoyed because god was not part of it.