Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Jan. 17

Listen to Glenn Beck’s message

Whether loved or despised, Glenn Beck commands our attention.

Without a listening ear, we become deaf. Personally, I refuse to enslave myself to a political party or an agenda-driven point of view. I first saw the absurdity of blind allegiance when I attended Boys State as a high schooler. We were told to vote for our assigned party (Blue or Red) regardless of what the student candidates said or proposed. Absurd then, even more absurd now.

Unlike the Obama administration, which attempts to ostracize Fox News and demonize Beck, we need to consider all facets of an issue. Although Fox News leans conservative, it does pride itself in being “fair and balanced,” even as it presents many views and news reports not covered in the pervasive and biased liberal media.

Beck, rooting out corruption like the muckrakers of the past, strikes out at both the right and the left (Bush and Obama). Currently Beck is suggesting that there is a sinister web of political manipulation to redistribute wealth and transform our society. If he is correct, we had better become informed or we risk our liberty, our country’s integrity, and our economic system.

We owe it to ourselves to get informed, even when we are reluctant to accept what we hear. Look beyond the silliness of Beck’s inner child and listen to what he has to say. His investigations could well be tide-turning in this traumatic time of recession, the plunge of the dollar, and country-destroying deficits.

KENNETH KERSTETTER, Olympia

Rogers a star on new City Council

Olympia elected some excellent new council members in November. Among the best and the brightest is Karen Rogers.

Even before she was confirmed, she held a town hall meeting (Dec. 16) to hear community concerns. Then she sent out an e-mail with the information from that meeting in attachments.

I have now read it all and it confirms to me that we are not a divided community. The comments are almost all consistent with one another. We all want to save the waterfront from development, to make Olympia downtown a vibrant and active center with residences and even high-rise in the appropriate locations.

I loved the suggestions for the artesian well and light rail, for downtown business and the homeless.

If all things are possible, Olympia will become the most desirable of places in the years to come. Her next town hall is Jan. 27. I urge all who have an interest to give her a call at City Hall. She’ll send you the results, too.

ZENA HARTUNG, Olympia

What programs would conservatives cut?

I recently read George Will’s column about California.

For decades, conservatives in this country have called for reducing taxes as a means for raising government revenues — voodoo economics, or Reaganomics. What has been missing for all of these years is a list of the government activities that must be eliminated when those increased revenues don’t appear.

That is still the case, after decades of conservative failure.

Will blames liberalism for the failure of the budget process in California and by extension in the country.

False.

The failure rests with conservatives, who are unable or unwilling to identify government activities and programs that must be reduced or eliminated as taxes are reduced. If the conservative agenda has merit, why not tell the voters what must be eliminated? Lay out the actual conservative program and let the citizens decide what should be done.

STANLEY JACKSON, Rainier

Learn what’s in health care proposals

Both Democrats and Republicans are wrong about health care overhaul. The Republicans are wrong to oppose a bill that contains many needed changes and patient protections. The Democrats are wrong to support a bill that contains sweeping intrusions into private matters between patient and doctor and to oppose meaningful tort reform.

Now is the time for all Americans to become knowledgeable about the proposed legislation.

I’ll start with three recently reported items:

 • The Senate bill gives the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sweeping authority to determine what services will be paid for regardless of what your doctor knows is best for your specific condition.

 • The Senate bill exempts Medicare actions from judicial review. You can’t sue the government even if their actions result in death. However, health insurers are required to comply with new patient rights to appeal.

 • Your primary-care physician will be evaluated on his/her use of specialists. Doctors that use specialists at or above the 90th percentile nationally will see their Medicare pay cut 5 percent. For those who may not remember percentile, think grading on a curve – some get an A, some get an F, no matter what the raw score is.

Now do you want your doctor thinking about a Medicare pay cut when considering whether to send you to a specialist? What a terrible thing to do to doctors and to patients.

Contact your representatives and express your views – views based on facts and not Democrat or Republican emotions.

DENNIS T. PATNAUDE, Olympia

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