Loss of war will have long-term consequences
The president should sign the war appropriations bill passed by Congress. With his signature to the congressional bill, the ownership of the U.S. defeat against terrorists will become the Congress' loss. Congress plans to hand the terrorists a victory by legislation that the terrorists haven't been able to win on the ground.
Additionally there will be a number of issues that Congress will need to explain to America. One of the issues will be "Why are we paying $25 to $50 a gallon for gas?" The resulting collapse of the U.S. economy will make the Great Depression look like a walk in the park.
Congress will own the responsibility for the collapse of the economy since they tried to use the war for short term political gain. Our loss in the Middle East will hand terrorists a safe operations base in what remains of Iraq. Congress will have to answer, "Why are terrorists able to kill American women and children in the U.S. by using fanatical Muslim suicide bombers?"
Congress may have to answer, "Why did a nuclear explosion wipe out an American city?"
Not since we lost the Vietnam War, due to support of the enemy in the United States, has this country been in more danger. Our loss against terrorists will have long and far reaching consequences that anti-war activists refuse to understand.
David M. Koch, Olympia
Prejudice is rooted in a fear of the unknown
The Don Imus racist comments and drawn-out decision to fire him made me think of my own life experiences with prejudice.
My family has been multiracial since 1969, when my big brother Peter and sister-in-law Joni adopted the first of 18 children. Most of my nieces and nephews are bi-racial, and all of them are blessings!
My grandfather didn't see it that way at first, although he eventually did, after many a heated argument with my father, who steadfastly supported Pete and Joni and all of his grandchildren.
Prejudice is rooted in a fear of the unknown. We need to see past differences to our common humanity, shared hopes, and joined destiny. If a man born in the 19th century, as my grandfather was, can move past seven decades of ingrained beliefs and habits, surely all of us here in the 21st century can.
No, it won't be easy. There are still some who need to justify their own failures and disappointments through scapegoating and blaming others who appear different.
Imus' comments illustrated the degree of and frequent acceptance of the language of prejudice, and the politics of intolerance, hate speech masquerading as free speech.
Yet, Imus was fired - that's progress. The fact that it didn't immediately happen points out we have a ways to go. Let's work to end acceptance of hate speech and embrace the gift of diversity.
Joe Nilsson, Olympia
Commissioners' action will spoil environment
The Thurston County Commissioners acting in their role as the County Board of Health voted to approve installation of a high-risk community septic system leach field at the corner of 56th Avenue and Shincke Road. Their decision overruled both the county Health Department and the county hearings officer who had previously denied the developer's proposal because it does not meet minimum soil standards for placing septic systems, and they also ignored recommendations of the county Health Department staff.
The location of the proposed septic system for this development is in an area that was once a lake. This lake was destroyed years ago by county road crews. What is left is a ditch that drains the area into Meyers Creek. This area routinely floods during the winter months. Meyers Creek flows into Henderson Inlet near the Snug Harbor Community beach and adjacent oyster beds.
The Washington Department of Ecology completed a water quality evaluation last year that documented pollutants such as fecal coliform and nitrogen from Meyers Creek and other tributaries that drain into Henderson Inlet.
The nitrate-contaminated groundwater seeps into the streams that flow into Henderson Inlet and causes severe algae blooms and low dissolved oxygen which does not meet standards for protection of aquatic life.
Our commissioners have a responsibility to uphold regulations established to protect public health and water quality. We ask that our elected officials enforce regulations that protect our drinking water, streams, and shellfish.
I hope that the county health department will appeal the commissioners' decision to let this developer continue with his proposal.
Neil Green, Olympia