Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for March 23

We Americans are planet-trashers

Letter writer Anthony de Sam Lazaro is angry that fees have increased at the Thurston County landfill. It hasn’t been a landfill since 2000.

As a citizen member of the Thurston County Solid Waste Advisory Committee, perhaps I can enlighten him.

The stuff our society produces in huge amounts — paper, metal, wood, glass, plastic, etc. — is generally used for a while and then thrown away, apparently for the purpose of trashing the planet. We Americans are great planet-trashers.

Our local trash is processed at the former landfill, now the Waste and Recovery Center, and shipped to a huge landfill in Klickitat County, which will eventually get filled. This costs money.

Some silly people have thought it would be a good thing to recycle, reuse, or compost this stuff instead of trashing the planet more. That would save money and resources. Analysis shows that about three-quarters of the stuff in our garbage could easily be recycled or composted, but it isn’t.

In spite of our best efforts, people just throw it all in the garbage. It’s apparently easier to throw the aluminum can in the garbage than in the recycling bin.

Frankly, people just don’t give a darn.

The staff of Thurston County Water and Waste Management are the most intelligent, dedicated, and hard-working people you could hope for, but they can’t force people to act responsibly. Stupidity, ignorance, laziness, and apathy have a price. We all pay that price. It keeps going up.

BURTON S. GUTTMAN, Olympia

Another way to promote socialism

Ronald Reagan once talked about what President Barack Obama and the Democrats are trying to do. This is not the first time socialists have tried to turn America into a socialist country.

Listen to the recording, “Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine.”

Norman Thomas, a socialist who ran for president six times in the early 1900s told us that Americans would never vote for socialism. He then went on to say that if you called it liberalism which is also called progressivism now, that Americans would adopt every part of socialism.

One of the traditional methods of imposing socialism upon the people is by using health care programs as they are easy to disguise as humanitarian efforts and the socialist use emotional pleas that they are needed immediately, and Americans are always ready to help those in need.

Walter Reuther of the United Auto Workers pushed federal socialized health care. Harry Truman pushed compulsory health care, but Americans saw both as socialism getting a foot in the door and rejected it.

Now Obama, liberals, progressives and socialist groups are trying to once again jam socialism through the door.

Why is this such an emergency that it needs to pass with only 51 senators voting yes, when all other important legislation needs 60 votes? Is this not important legislation?

If you want socialized medicine and socialism, then support this health care bill. If you want better health care options while protecting your American freedoms, stop Obama from jamming this through.

JIM RUSH, Olympia

Let Americans donate to their country

It seems to me with all of the budget woes of our country because of our former president’s terrible policies and overspending by Democrats and Republicans alike at all levels, that perhaps the Internal Revenue Service could try something new.

On the federal tax returns they could put a place where one could choose to have a certain amount of money withheld and basically donated to the government. To encourage this they could make just that section of the tax return public record and even make a database of the largest donors, where the media could publish a list of the individuals who gave the most money for what they earned back to the government, which would be good publicity for them.

My original thought with this was: Imagine the impact on the country if every American that could, made a one-time voluntary donation of $10.

At 250 million to 300 million Americans, that would provide a huge amount of money to our government and thus ideally to us as a country.

Of course we’d want provisions on where the money went, like strictly to infrastructure or education.

I am perhaps woefully ignorant on economics and this is, of course, a pipe dream and idealistic, but I think it’s an interesting idea. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” and all that.

JONATHAN AMMONS, Olympia

It's illegal to smoke marijuana

I thank letter writer Robert Todd for putting into words what a great number of us feel.

The Joe Hyer scandal is not about whether the Olympia city councilman smokes pot or not. The issue is it is illegal to smoke pot, and he chooses to be in a public (political) position — one which is supposed to uphold the law.

JOANA POTTER, Olympia

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