Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 4

Where are alternative health care options?

All right, so it’s obvious there’s a huge outcry against President Obama’s health care reform. Posses of malcontents storm town hall meetings and spew all sorts of venom at the politicians, drowning out any rational discourse. Not really the best way to get one’s point across, but given their sources – Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh – their tactics aren’t surprising.

My question is: What do they want? So far I haven’t heard or read anything that indicates these unhappy people have any reasonable alternatives to offer.

At this point, 31 percent of every health care dollar goes to the insurance industry’s overhead costs. In 1991, the General Accounting Office predicted savings of at least 10 percent by eliminating private insurance and administrative waste. This was based on the Canadian model, which works quite nicely.

Medical bills contributed to two-thirds of all bankruptcies in 2007. Fully three-fourths of those filing for bankruptcy WERE insured.

Something needs to be done about health care reform. If you don’t like what’s being proposed, offer reasonable alternatives based on your own research. Please don’t blindly follow some wingnut on TV who just wants the current administration to fail.

I’m for a single-payer plan, specifically HR 676. It’s not perfect; nothing is. But what we have now is a dismal failure for those millions who have NO health care.

Use your God-given brain to educate yourself, study the options and come up with useful ideas. What has transpired so far is nothing more than childish playground bickering.

VIRGINIA MCCABE, Olympia

Commissioners wrong, sheriff is right

At last The Olympian decided to come out with something regarding the county commission debacle with the sheriff that made some sense. However, you sold the sheriff short.

Title 36 of the Revised Code of Washington outlines the duties and responsibilities of the sheriff, and it says, in part, he is to be the chief law enforcement officer of the county and the chief executive officer of the county. Did the framers of our laws intend the sheriff to be the chief executive officer and the county commissioners were to run his office? They control the budget, but do you mean to say they can tell any of the other elected officials who they can keep and who they cannot? Come on!

The chief deputy prosecutor had better win his case then because the county commissioners can tell Ed Holm to fire him.

The Olympian was right to say they should get this thing settled, according to law, and tend to the business they were elected to do. Sheriff Kimball did cut his budget and the commissioners should be satisfied with that instead of being three pompous individuals puffed up by the office they hold. For the salary they receive, we deserve better.

DWIGHT CARON, Olympia

Alcohol advertising will be limited

There are many pressures for teens to begin using alcohol early. As a parent it can be daunting to influence decision-making about alcohol. How can we have the greatest impact?

The good news is that this month, Washington state will adopt new administrative codes for alcohol advertising, which will especially help parents of young, impressionable children.

How many youth travel to school on a daily basis passing signs which portray alcohol as a glamorous social beverage without consequences? One of the first new rules will prevent alcohol advertising within 500 feet of schools or playgrounds. Another of the revised codes will limit the total amount of alcohol signs visible on a retail exterior space to four. Picture your nearest mom-and-pop store. Now subtract all alcohol signage except four.

Imagine how this will lessen your child’s exposure to alcohol advertising! Other changes will control size of signs for event advertising and prohibit showing persons who appear to be under the age of 21 consuming alcohol. Our children will not learn that underage drinking is a rite of passage if they do not see ads portraying such practices.

Experts have found that early, frequent exposure to alcohol advertising increases the chance that a child will choose to use alcohol at a young age.

New alcohol advertising rules will help parents of teens, as well as parents of children who are beginning to formulate attitudes about drinking.

As parents, we can use these changes to our advantage.

CHRIS VOLKMANN, Olympia

We must control our population

There is a growing dichotomy between democracy and unlimited population growth. Small populations are practically free to live as they please and have minimal impact on their environment. Individuals govern and sustain themselves with very little regulation.

Larger populations require regulation to insure the availability of food and water, work, housing, medical care, police and fire protection, etc.

Activities including travel, land use, construction, energy production and resource usage have to be controlled at the expense of individual freedom.

Huge populations require that every element of life be highly regulated in order to insure that demands for vital goods and services, law and order and sustainability are met; destroying the very notion of freedom and democracy.

If ours was a planet with finite resources and unlimited space we could go on doubling our populations forever; but it isn’t. If we overpopulate and exceed our environment’s ability to support us, first we will lose our freedom, next, our quality of life, and family; our ability to survive.

This subject is off limits to most politicians, as they know it could end their career. Yet, the fact remains that without some kind of acceptable population control, our future societies will be neither free nor sustainable. Isn’t it time we woke up to this challenge and begin finding ways to resolve it? Or will we wait for nature to control our excesses in the same way that rabbits, lemmings and other life forms are controlled?

JAMES L. PACKARD, Olympia

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