Letters to the editor for March. 17

Science on global warming is solid

Global warming is and will continue more drastically than ever to affect us all. It does not matter whether your politics are to the right or to the left, conservative or liberal. It does not matter whether you are a human animal, a different animal or a plant - it does and will affect every living thing on this planet.

The science is good. The issue of global warming has been one of the most thoroughly investigated topics in the history of science at both the national and international levels. The situation is akin to the realization in the sixties of the concept of plate tectonics: that the planet is segmented into huge plates which drift and shift around causing all sorts of fun things like volcanoes and earthquakes. The truth of this concept is so obvious now, but it was revolutionary to many people back then. Eventually, scientific evidence becomes so overwhelming that grown-ups accept the facts and move on. So it needs to be with global warming.

Perhaps we humans, with our flagrant burning of fossil fuels, deserve our fate. The unfortunate side of this, however, is that we impose our sins on the other creatures of the earth. If you are a knowledgeable and compassionate individual, then you can help slow the effects. If you still doubt hard scientific evidence, then you truly are a lost ball in tall weeds, and you probably also believe that the Earth is flat and O.J. Simpson is innocent.

Bill vonKaenel, Olympia

Cities responsible for loss of trees

Doesn't it just gitcha? Consider some recent headlines: "Lacey builder must add trees." "Tumwater panel sends tree ordinance back to panel." "Bullying tactics are egregious." "Olympia City Council decides not to condemn couple's land."

Tumwater Councilman Bruce Zeller says, "It shocks me every day another tree goes down - and for this raping of Tumwater Hill, builders must take some responsibility."

Just who is responsible for Lacey builder D.R. Horton cutting trees down in the first place? Who is responsible for the raping of Tumwater Hill in the first place? Surely it cannot be the builders who must have obtained permits to do what they've done. Surely it cannot be the voters of Tumwater, Lacey and Olympia who've been screaming about this raping all along. If proper permits were obtained, and these rapers really were told not to cut down all the trees, what happened? How come apparently no one was looking?

Now that it's too late, the villainous builders are being asked to add trees. Our city has been attempting to condemn a few privately owned acres so the city can acquire them for a couple new public-use parks. What? Our city authorities have made it possible for hundreds of tree-filled natural play areas, wildlife sanctuaries, etc., to be destroyed. Now these same authorities are crying foul to the builders (destroyers), plus trying to legally(?) take from private property owners a few little acres for a park. Amazing! But definitely not amazing grace!

Donna Altman, Olympia

Maybe we should have ID chips implanted

Have we finally prostrated ourselves and our Bill of Rights on the altar of fear?

How can conservatives who loathe big government turn it into Big Brother in just five years?

The REAL ID ACT spawned from 9/11 is here.

WE will need a national ID card to fly, approach government, do banking, and more.

We will pay collectively and individually, with estimates of

$23 billion. We can afford this but not health care for wounded veterans nor Social Security?

The card and its backup data in D.C. will contain very personal information, housed with Homeland Security, whose name is starting to be an oxymoron. Remember how many times federal databases have been stolen recently, like that of the Veterans Affairs? Is ID theft a problem already? Get this then: the data of all state DMVs is to be shared with all other states, but the states are left to figure out - and pay for - how. Think that might present some opportunities for ID theft and hacking?

With a national ID card, housed in Homeland Security in D.C., how long before all merchants will require this card for purchases? Will all of these companies' databanks be secure? Can you hear thieves laughing already? Maybe Orwell is laughing too. Maybe the chip implant would be easier?

Maybe we should all contact Congress right now and stop this nonsensical threat to our real security. Remember Madison's wisdom, "Loss of liberty at home will always be attributed to threats, real OR IMAGINED, from abroad."

Gery Gerst, Olympia

Al Gore is a hypocrite

Global warming has come and gone before. Read your history books! Meanwhile, Al Gore, the environmentally concerned senator's son, runs around with his entourage burning huge amounts of fossil fuel in his Learjets and giant SUV vehicles while counting his millions of dollars made in Occidental Petroleum. Go Al!

Todd Wilson, Rochester

Bush and Cheney merit an Oscar

Columnist Cal Thomas states, "But when some politicians tell lies that damage a person's character in the eyes of voters and ultimately lead to his defeat, those are damnable lies that need to be corrected." I agree.

Examples go both ways, right and left. The Oscar for lifetime achievement in damnable lies goes to Bush, Cheney and Rove (aka Larry, Curley & Mo) for the "Swift Boating" of Kerry in 2004.

Glen Knowlton, Lacey

Starving dog deserved more attention

I am very upset that you placed an article about the dog starving in Millersylvania Park on the back page of the Outdoor section! The article said the dog needs to find a home. This dog deserves at least the front page of any section of the paper. Someone needs a course on compassion!

Judi Richardson, Olympia

Iraqis must want self-governance

Is it a U.S. responsibility to nation build? The hubris used in this justification resembles that used by the British to justify partitioning Persia into three nations following the armistice of 1918, less than a century ago - a wink Middle East history.

Washington, D.C.'s collective historical ignorance might improve by walking the national mall to the Lincoln Memorial. During our civil war, 700,000 Americans died. If a European power had intervened to nation build, our national convulsion ending slavery and preserving the union would resonate differently with America's consciousness. The Iraqi people must be propelled by passion for self-government. Who is to say what type?

I wonder at the Republicans' version of our involvement - is it a facade of concern for Iraq, voicing the desire for democratic principles and the rule of law, all the while they lust for oil and line the pockets of defense contractors with money soaked in the blood of our American youth?

Curtis Edwards, Olympia

Get tough with immigrants

Things that should be done about immigration:

1. Because it is against the law to harbor a felon, we should fine or arrest anyone that rents or hires illegal immigrants in this country.

2. All of the schools should not have bilingual classes. It costs us trillions of dollars, and they still don't speak English. They don't try. All schools should have English as a second language.

3. When a non-English speaking person is arrested, on top of his or her fine, they should be sent to a class for English as a second language.

4. Now that we have a passport law and green cards, we should send anyone that does not have a passport to INS for deportment. If you go to any country in the world and don't have a passport, you are arrested and deported. So now that we require passports to go out or come in to USA, why aren't we arresting illegals? To return, they must be fingerprinted, DNA checked and pass a background check. Before they can return, they should be issued a temporary Social Security card (for seven years which would a give them time to become citizens). At that time, they would get a permanent card with credit for all they have paid into the system so that we know where they are working and paying taxes. They should not be able to claim any dependents unless they have proof that those dependents are theirs.

Quinten Silva, Olympia