More accountability is warranted
Why do lawmakers pass laws that are never enforced or are underenforced — immigration laws or driving without insurance, for example?
Is voting on legislation without reading or understanding its effects similar to getting a Ph.D. without writing a thesis, or similar to driving a mountain road with no brakes?
If government requires we file and pay taxes, why doesn’t government give citizens an itemized receipt — perhaps a page in the newspaper with simple pie charts or bar graphs?
This applies to all levels of government. Isn’t that what the media are for, to inform the public? The paper may be thin yet the sports section hasn’t shrunk. What priorities?
Does the Department of Social and Health Services ask for immigration status from applicants that have to be represented by an interpreter? Do these services raise our taxes, increase the deficit, or both?
When state or local governments grant huge tax concessions to large corporations, how much more burden is placed upon established small business and residential properties?
When national health care is gifted to us, will long-term taxpayers be told, “I’m sorry you’re ill, yet, you’re not in the citizen category? There is an appeal process.”
How long a wait to be approved for a Heimlich maneuver? What language will our nuclear codes be in 25 years from now?
When guns are outlawed, will our Social Security payments be suspended? What questions would you ask of your government? Do you expect a simple, straight answer?
GARY MATTIX, Olympia
Let’s not lose our heads
Come on America, get a grip.
Yes, the Christmas incident on Northwest Airlines flight 253 was a frightening near miss. And, yes, our security services failed to connect the dots. And, yes, the government needs some kind of interagency reverse Google that automatically surfs itself for common hits.
But, as tragic as that event could have been, it would have been less than the equivalent of three days of our highway death toll.
We do need to keep our eye on the ball and get better at finding the bad guys before they can do damage. But we also need to keep our heads, live our lives, and not go off in an irrational panic giving the terrorists exactly what they are trying to achieve, even when their plans fail.
STEVEN MEACHAM, Shelton
Students ready to tackle the world
In a time of economic and cultural uncertainly, I have witnessed the potential for our future on a daily basis.
As a parent of students at Pleasant Glade Elementary, I can say my children are receiving a unique education.
You see, Pleasant Glade has a great diversity of students. Not only does Pleasant Glade foster a strong environment of tolerance and economic diversity, but also the school embraces its religious diversity as well.
Students at Pleasant Glade learn to coexist with one another in a seemingly effortless fashion. Religious preference, economic status, and cultural differences are the norm. Students are all different, and yet the same.
They are building bonds and learning skills that will help shape the individuals they will become.
I have faith that Pleasant Glade alumni will be able to continue to utilize their academic and social skills to seek every opportunity to continue to improve our world.
I am proud to say my children are students at Pleasant Glade Elementary!
On Feb. 9 please vote “YES” for schools!
BETH MCLAUGHLIN, Olympia