Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor - Sept. 26, 2007

Mah attains a higher level of leadership

Over my career in public service and the private sector, I have worked with a number of great leaders. In my current work as a community volunteer, Doug Mah has emerged as a model of civic leadership.

Leadership skills include the ability to communicate well, work within the structure and boundaries of the organization, be organized and efficient, solve problems and obtain results. Mah exemplifies these traits and more.

He successfully negotiated an agreement on the Public Facility District funds for the Hands On Children's Museum and his idea for a "soup kitchen summit" helped create several new partnerships aimed at improving services for those in need.

Olympia sits on a precipice. It can meet and even exceed its municipal responsibilities. Or we can watch basic services and infrastructure diminish as scarce resources are diluted and the focus of our leaders is distracted by other agendas.

The city of Olympia has a mission with specific municipal goals and objectives. We need focused leadership to achieve the desired results. Doug Mah is the candidate who will best meet that critical role as Olympia's next mayor.

Dan Weiss, Olympia

Olympia council has its spending priorities wrong

I am upset by government officials wasting our tax dollars.

As reported in The Olympian, the Olympia City Council is sponsoring a lecture on global warming. As reported, the city will spend $12,500 apiece for two global warming authors to speak at a free lecture at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

While Olympia continues to have problems with transportation, a port that is losing money, parking issues, homelessness, never enough money for schools and a threatened business community, the City Council thought that the best use of this $25,000 (plus expenses) would be to spend it on a lecture on global warming. To make matters worse, the topic is being brought to the people of Olympia with a clear political agenda, without any balance, as evidenced by both lecturers have written their beliefs on global warming and arguing the same points.

There will be no opposition views presented. They will not even allow questions from the audience. This is akin to holding an awareness session on the war in Iraq by inviting Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove to speak on the topic (or MoveOn.Org and Cindy Sheehan). If we have so much discretionary money in the city that we can afford to spend it on such frivolous ventures, then I expect the City Council to lower my taxes for the upcoming years.

Harold Nelson, Olympia

Brian Baird is willing to sacrifice U.S. lives

I respect Congressman Brian Baird. He is an intelligent, thoughtful man grappling with the tragedy of the Iraq war. He understands that if the United States pulls out of Iraq, sectarian violence will rage, finishing the destruction of the old Iraq and resulting in the deaths of thousands of Iraqis. Baird also understands that it is America's fault this happened, and he desires that America do whatever is possible to prevent or at least minimize this destruction.

The problem is that this carnage is inevitable, and that we have no plan in place to avoid it.

The choice is simple, and extremely painful.

By staying in Iraq, U.S. soldiers and contractors will continue to die. Baird even agrees to this. By leaving Iraq, thousands more Iraqis will die.

However, it appears to be Baird's opinion that it is preferable for a few more Americans to die in Iraq than it is for thousands of Iraqis to die.

I disagree.

If Congressman Baird has a plan to stabilize Iraq, tell us now. Otherwise, bring home our troops and civilians. Do so in the most humane manner possible, but get them home.

Chuck Bierdeman, Tumwater

United States must use dialogue, not bullets

The Kabuki theater of Bush/Cheney continues with a pseudo-plan for withdrawal. How can four-star Gen. Petraeus submit to simply returning to the troop levels before the surge by next summer 2008? How many more Iraqi civilians must die?

What would a world court find if given the opportunity to hold those accountable for the actions of an illegal and unjust occupation? Where is the spine of the Democrats we elected to end the occupation?

I cannot find a single source reporting that the surge has curbed violence in Iraq.

The general's "decrease in violence" is manufactured by manipulations like not counting deaths from car bombs. Americans truly do want peace and stability in the Middle East; bring the troops home and initiate political solutions with dialogue and not bullets.

Gerald Anderson, Olympia

War in Iraq is all about oil

I comment on the letter "Hate for President Bush is over the top," by Don Brown.

Wow. Attacking the local paper is a pitiful attempt at sounding intelligent. Amazing!

I'm an American. I work, pay taxes, play a responsible role as a consumer and am against our elected president and the choices he's made. I support what is really important - our children.

As a preschool teacher, I teach truth and honesty, not how to become a "sheep" and breed ignorance. I didn't realize that to disagree with President Bush is un-American and thus can even be taken, under it's new definition, as a terrorist threat.

Who wants to talk about the Constitution and the Patriot Act? Who wants to talk about the hundreds of thousands of INNOCENT lives lost on all sides over oil? The key word is innocent.

Our troops were sent over to go after the members and leaders of terrorist factions, not to help bring order to a 1,000-year feud.

Brown must be good at wearing blinders if he can't see that this elected official is committing some of the worst atrocities the United States has ever seen. What does Brown see and believe? Does he believe our presence is actually helping Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan? The sad thing is we are only helping ourselves - to OIL - at any and all cost to innocent human beings. Go Olympian! I'll sign up for a subscription!

Ginger Byrom, Tenino

There's no difference between political parties

Once again, our senior U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is happily splashing the slop to the greedy military industrial hogs gathered at the federal appropriations trough.

In what has become an annual ritual, Murray recently announced that she's included $50 million in federal defense contracts for Washington state companies in the FY 2008 Defense Appropriations Bill. In her press release, Murray boasts about how the companies receiving the federal largesse "will continue to provide our military with the state of the art equipment they need." Unfortunately the press release left off the next line, which certainly should have read "so they can continue to be used to terrorize, injure and kill men, women and children across the globe in pursuit of U.S. hegemony and the economic interests of multinational corporations that have subverted our democratic institutions."

Murray's action, along with the recent announcement by Rep. Brian Baird that after visiting a Potemkin Village in Bagdad and drinking Petraeus Punch he now supports the ongoing tragedy in Iraq, serve as powerful reminders that there is virtually no significant difference between Democrats or Republicans when it comes to the military. The United States spends more on the military each year than the rest of the world combined, and leading presidential candidates from both parties are calling for even greater expenditures. If you want more weapons and more wars, vote for Democrats, or Republicans. It doesn't matter.

If you're tired of watching your money wasted on weapons and wars, vote for change. Vote Green.

TJ Johnson, Olympia

Government decisions are out of line

Recently we saw local liberal governments in action spending our tax dollars.

First, the Olympia City Council allotted $25,000 to $30,000 for the purpose of bringing to Olympia two experts to give the folks their opinion of global warming. (Why not a forum of experts on both sides of an issue to discuss their opinions?)

Second, the regional council, and not to be outdone by Olympia, has allotted nearly $1 million for yet another study of the Capitol Lake or tide flats issue. I believe they have been studying this issue for at least 10 years and who knows how many studies the taxpayers have paid for.

Don't you feel well governed today?

Wayne Hardy, Thurston County