Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Nov. 11

Veterans fighting for what’s right

I’m nestled in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan.

With Veterans Day I can’t help but feel more in tune with what the day means – simply by the snapshot of America I see here every day.

A veteran isn’t just someone squeezing a trigger. To be sure these are brave Americans who put themselves on the line protecting our backsides.

This war is unlike any the United States has ever fought.

Serving in the middle of southwest Asia is the Army with thousands of men and women ranging in age from 17 to 60.

But equally important are the individual augmentees – members of other services who are helping our Army out.

We have 52-year-old reservists; airmen working force protection; a submariner 600 miles from the ocean; a Marine who left someone else to care for her children.

Good God, we are a united group of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and National Guard who are all volunteers in a strange land, protecting others and just want to get this job done right and get home.

We were not drafted. Yet like veterans before us, we find ourselves adapting to a culture mostly foreign to us, while focusing on our mission.

Sure there’s griping and plenty of conflicts. Heck, we’re Americans, but we want what is right. That’s what being a veteran is all about – doing what’s right and paving the way for the future of our country.

Dave Gordon, Olympia

People know better about climate change

Several days after an article announced an Olympia event to discuss the mental stages some people go through when facing climate change, another article indicated that only 36 percent of Pew Poll respondents now believe that human activities cause climate change.

Americans are getting better informed about how natural factors, not human activities, are the primary cause of climate change.

University of Washington classes informed me how the much warmer temperatures of the Holocene Climatic Optimum replaced forests and created our South Puget prairies around 8,000 years ago and how the much colder temperatures of the Little Ice Age produced large agricultural shortages in Europe and large glacial advances at Mount Rainier around 300 years ago.

The much warmer temperatures of the Holocene Climatic Optimum were caused by changes in the earth’s axial tilt and orbit and the coldest temperatures of the Little Ice Age coincided with the Maunder Minimum, a period of minimal solar activity and solar radiation from 1645 to 1715.

Global temperatures and solar activity have been trending upward together since the end of the Maunder Minimum in 1715.

Fewer people will be going through mental stages when facing climate change as they get better informed about how natural factors such as solar activity, not human activities, have been and remain the primary cause of climate change.

Ken Schlichte, Tumwater

Driver caused his own problems

It’s a world where people are more irresponsible than ever!

“Driver speeding to get dog to veterinarian is sentenced; Man given four years for crash.” Robert Ottoboni, trying to save his dog, was actually held accountable for irresponsible behavior. He was irresponsible by:

Allowing his dog to run loose;

Driving after consuming alcohol and marijuana;

Exceeding the posted speed limit by 25-40 mph;

Leaving the accident he caused (a 4-year old child was critically injured) without seeing if anyone was hurt or needed help.

He accepted responsibility by:

After approached, admitting he was the driver;

Knowing of witnesses, pleaded guilty;

Apologizing to the courts, his parents, and (an afterthought?) the child’s family.

I’m cynical enough to not be surprised his attorney plans to appeal, contending Judge Gary Tabor exceeded judicial discretion. The judge’s sentence reflect multiple charges. The attorney said his client was shocked with the sentence. Possibly his family was shocked at his irresponsible behavior.

The child’s family was in shock that week at Harborview Medical Center – waiting to see if the child would live. Shockingly the judge presented a fair sentence based on portions of the offenses to be served concurrently. Would sentencing on maximum terms of all charges to be served consecutively be better?

Had Ottoboni acted responsibly his dog may be alive, he wouldn’t be incarcerated, and the child would be living a child’s life!

It’s sad Ottoboni’s dog died but I grieve for the child who is disfigured for life.

Deborah Chakos, Shelton

Fantasy may reflect reality

As I watched the commercials for the upcoming television series “V,” I was amazed at how similar their alien promises are to the Obama campaign and administration.

“We offer hope,” and “we will bring peace,” etc. The most telling is when one of the V people tells a reporter that they will not tolerate any negative reporting about their actions.

Those who know the story realize that the visit from these attractive and hope-filled people is really a cover for a terrible reprisal and takeover of the world. I hope this fiction is not a foreshadowing of the outcome of our current political reality.

Jim Patterson, Olympia