Praying for a populist revolution
I was raised Republican and once considered the word “socialist” a profanity. I was schooled with the wealthy, tasting the desperate self-alienating pleasures of class. But working with the poor, sharing the dignity of labor, I began to understood how regulatory government protects common people from corporate exploitation.
I saw the devastation wrought by Reaganomics and its three big lies: that a nation can survive without taxing wealth; that the self-interest of the rich will trickle down to the poor; and that government is the people’s enemy, when our government is the people.
Those lies outsourced American jobs, robbed workers’ pensions, privatized war for corporate greed, gutted environmental protection laws, spawned a monstrous system of health care for profit, and turned democracy into court-sanctioned feudalism through the myth of corporate personhood.
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I saw Reaganomics breed a 1920’s-style oligarchy, bringing bondage, not freedom, to the middle class. As Franklin Roosevelt warned: “If we return to the so-called normalcy of the 1920s, it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of fascism here at home.”
Now I pray for nonviolent populist revolution to institute public election financing, publicly chartered and regulated banks, nationalized single-payer health care that breaks the monopoly of the insurance cartel, and a federally funded green jobs program to rebuild American infrastructure.
I am a democratic socialist, like Frances Bellamy, the socialist Baptist minister who in 1892 wrote the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag.
FRED LAMOTTE, Steilacoom
Should focus on cleaning up Sound
A recent Olympian’s editorial reminds us that “... failing septic systems, stormwater runoff, agricultural products, and animal feces washed down the Deschutes River and other sources have poisoned Capitol Lake and Budd Inlet.”
It is important to recognize that virtually all these pollutants will continue to pour into the basin and Budd Inlet from the watershed and shorelines regardless of which basin management alternative is chosen (lake or estuary/mudflat).
Oddly, this concept seems to have been lost on some in our community as they have become convinced that the lake, not human activities within the watershed, are responsible for creating these pollutants.
What a puzzling and unfortunate misperception.
The troubling irony is that we are considering such extraordinary expenditures in terms of dollars and urban appeal for an estuary/mudflat system which fails to address our major goal — stopping the pollution of Puget Sound. Wouldn’t we be considerably smarter (and truer to our clean water values) to use these dollars to produce measurable environmental benefits in the basin and inlet by preventing the pollutants from getting there through stormwater and septic system management? An incidental benefit would be the preservation of our unique urban treasure, the lake, dome, campus interface.
Cleaning up Puget Sound with limited resources requires investments which achieve demonstrable returns in the form of environmental benefits. Public support rightfully demands it. Transforming Capitol Lake into an estuary does not appear to satisfy this basic test.
JACK HAVENS, Olympia
Hyer should forfeit his home, too
I have a few comments about Olympia Councilman Joe Hyer.
To the best of my knowledge marijuana is an illegal narcotic. This makes him an accused drug dealer, not the type of person I want involved in politics.
The people on the City Council who support him need to reevaluate their views. Do they support alleged drug dealing, or just Hyer because he’s one of their own?
Hyer stated he only sold drugs to his closest friends. I doubt very much the undercover buyer was a close friend. This would also make him a liar.
Finally, I thought Washington had a law that permitted police agencies to confiscate property where drug deals take place. If so, Hyer’s home where the drug sales allegedly took place should belong to the city of Olympia. Maybe the city could sell it to help out the budget.
DAVID DEREMER, Olympia
It’s time to pass health care reform
President Barack Obama has done all he could do — and probably more than he should have done — to get the Republicans on board with health care reform. I say let’s pass health care reform now, with or without bipartisan support.
Even when Obama seeks out and incorporates good Republican ideas (and I admit that may be an oxymoron), they still fight reform every step of the way. It’s abundantly clear to me that the number one priority of Republicans is making sure nothing positive happens during Obama’s presidency.
To heck with the do-nothing, idea-starved Republicans. Let’s get on with making government work for common people, and not just the rich supporters of Republicans.
LARRY RUTTER, Olympia
Vote the bums out
I can’t understand why The Olympian supported the override of Initiative 960.
The two-thirds majority to pass new taxes was put there as a control on the Legislature. Now it is much easier for these out-of-touch politicians to make their back room deals. If these taxes they are imposing were really so important, so evidently needed, why was it so hard to assemble the two-thirds majority vote the people demanded?
If our illustrious governor had any sense of propriety she would have vetoed this and any tax increase and made the legislators do their jobs for their constituency. Why do these people keep getting elected? I hope the upcoming election is a wake-up call to all. Vote these bums out. Vote in responsible representatives.
VINCENT PALAZZO, Lacey