Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Jan. 31

Support North Thurston’s levy

From kindergarten to high school graduation, my daughters will have spent a third of their waking hours in the care of the North Thurston school system – in class, on the bus, and in activities after school that are provided by the teachers and staff.

It’s like having an extended family to help raise our kids.

Teachers and staff have taught my kids to be learners, thinkers, leaders, team players, performers, problem-solvers and socially mature. They created the environment where my kids developed their sense of self. Oh, and yes, they also taught them reading, writing, math, science, history, languages and the arts.

The schools have given my kids experiences that shaped them. Woodland gave them the reading program and science fairs. Komachin had marine biology elective, film-making, field trips to Mount St. Helens and to the salmon run.

Timberline included digital photography, several languages to choose from, and how to learn a new sport and be a beginner even when you’re older. All three schools provided bands and choirs, leadership electives and activities, community outreach and volunteer opportunities, and mentors.

The North Thurston school system has already successfully prepared one of my daughters for the honors program at the University of Washington. They’re almost done preparing my other daughter for whatever she chooses. I know she’ll be ready.

Please vote “yes” to continue the maintenance and operations levy for our North Thurston schools.

It’s the best investment around – investment in our kids.


Health care reform is cost effective

Are Americans stupid, easily duped, hypnotized by outdated ideas? Many become fearful when told health care reform might cost $870 billion over 10 years. Present reality is much worse.

National Geographic Magazine reports that Americans spend $7,290 per person, per year for health care. Switzerland, second highest, spends $4,417, which subtracted from our $7,290 means we spend $2,873 more than they. Multiplied by our 310 million people, if we spent at Swiss level we’d save $891 billion per year?

Worse, the top 10 nations listed spend an average of $3,564 per person, per year. Subtracted from our $7,290, we spend $3,726 more than they. Multiplying $3,728 by 310 million Americans shows we spend $1.55 trillion per year more than if we spent at the top 10 nations’ average level.


Note: American life expectancy at birth is worse than all of the top 10 nations.

Note: All top 10 nations have some form of public option health care, and in over 50 years and hundreds of national elections, none has ever voted out its public option program.

Why spend between $891 billion and $1.55 trillion per year mindlessly for such results? Why ration or deny health care to the poor, accept 41,000 unnecessary deaths, bankrupt thousands per year.

Arguments against reform: We’ll waste billions on the poor, tort reform will save billions, other nations have poor care and long waits.


Research and learn. Ignore those who would rather bankrupt America than lose another election. Endorse reform, not lies.


Great diversity in Islamic countries

In Islamic countries, women must dress modestly. But in Burkina Faso and Mali the Islamic women who visited our campsites wore a head scarf but were bare-breasted.

A veil has been prohibited in Iran since 1923, when someone wearing a veil attempted to assassinate the shah.

Tunisia prohibits the veil, and Turkey has prohibited a veil since the 1920s, when Attaturk modernized Turkey.

Most of the 31 Islamic countries I have traveled in expect a woman in public to wear a head scarf. A majority of students are women in universities in Syria and several other Islamic countries. Many refuse to wear a head scarf.

Half of the Islamic countries prohibit the head scarf in schools and public buildings. But when Germany or France consider prohibiting the veil or head scarf, it becomes controversial.

In most Islamic countries males and females are separated in mosques and classrooms, and women who wear the black burqa and mask with only slits for eyes are considered to be backward and rural.

Women don’t go to mosques in most of Central Asia.

In progressive Oman, male and female university students can’t talk with each other directly, but most have a cell phone and may talk a long time with a friend a few feet away.

There is as much diversity in Islamic countries as there is in Christian countries.