Letters to the editor for Jan. 21

House speaker is role model for women

In 1972 I gave birth to my first daughter. I will never forget my feelings when I got the news that I was pregnant. The woman said to me, "Is this the worst news that you could get?"

"No," I said, "You could tell me that I was dying from cancer."

I was unsure about the future my child and I would have.

Legal abortion was not an option, though illegal options (safety unknown) were. I gave birth to this child and another daughter (under culturally accepted marriage, which ended badly) and have never regretted it. In those days, I was denied a raise because I took maternity leave. I couldn't even wear pantsuits to work.

Recently a woman took the gavel of the U.S. House leadership. I am proud of the tenacity of women (and men) who have helped this happen. I am sad this has taken so long.

In 1916, Jeanette Rankin, from Montana, was the first woman elected to Congress. One of her first votes was against entry into World War I. She was subsequently turned out of office, but recovered political status and was re-elected to Congress. She then had the opportunity to vote against U.S. entry to World War II.

I challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to model a woman of such courage and stamina - taking a strong stand on issues that mean so much in the face of opposition. I urge every woman to voice your concerns to her. Seize the day!

Suzanne Nott, Lacey

We should not send more troops to Iraq

More troops for Iraq?

Since the polls show over 70 percent of Americans are against sending more troops to Iraq, I just hope there isn't some sort of terrorist attack needed to bring the people around.

The Senate hearings on Iraq Jan. 10, were very informative showing that sending more troops would only create more dissent than there already is against America in Iraq.

What is needed according to that hearing is an INTERNATIONAL contact group to bring all the parties (insurgents) involved to the table or privately to resolve the Iraq situation. It is obvious to me the president (king) really wants to go to war with Iran also. Any excuse is better than none. Watch out, here comes the draft years for men and women between the ages of 18 and 45.

Are we Americans really that naive!

I am absolutely not for sending more troops and I think it naive of the American people to buy into what Bush is selling. Instead we should listen to the panel who were at the Senate hearing and follow some of their advice.

Those panelists have a couple of very sensible plans given the situation in Iraq none of which included sending in more troops.

Louise Oliverio, Yelm

Send kids to jail to graduate on time

Recently The Olympian hinted that Capital High should do better than their above average on-time graduation rate. Then the paper saluted the jail for graduating so many people while behind bars. Perhaps we should put our money and children where The Olympian sees the best chance for success: send children who do not graduate in four years to jail. The extra motivation should save taxpayer dollars and improve graduation rates at both institutions.

Gov. Chris Gregoire could be a guest ethics lecturer and explain the value of honoring moral and religious diversity. Since her kitchen has dumped a long time supplier (Bayview) because the owners refuse to support a controversial abortion product, she must be an expert on accepting people's freedom of choice and belief.

She could be joined by the local tribe who escaped legal action because the courts decided they do not really fall under the same laws as the rest of us when it comes to racial discrimination.

That qualifies the tribe to join Congress who also considers itself above the laws they pass for the rest of us. Their recent ban on smoking in public places in Washington, D.C. excludes their buildings just like their laws requiring representative hiring by racial profile to achieve equal opportunity.

If you can follow the logic of our governor, our courts and our Congress, then it probably is logical to send our kids to jail to get them to graduate on time.

Richard Taylor, Olympia