Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for April 8

It is immoral to profit from war

The topic of military cargo through the Port of Olympia has been in the news again recently. After almost two and half years since the port last had military shipment through its marine terminal, word is that some people at the port want a resumption of the controversial shipments. During the last shipment, there were dozens of arrests, and police used very aggressive tactics against peaceful protesters. Now the port wants to deal in military cargoes again.

Why? I assume because there is money in it.

Which leads me to the main point I want to make: It is morally incorrect to profit from war. It doesn’t matter whether a war is aggressive and obviously illegal, or whether a war is in self-defense. It is wrong to profit from war, period.

It is wrong to hurt other people. It is wrong to do harm. War profits go to the heart of what is wrong in our society in terms of profiting from harmful economic activity.

What is needed is a war-profits tax, so that any business that is even remotely associated with the war and military industries, becomes unprofitable. What is needed is to completely remove all profit from the war industry.

I plan to continue my opposition to the use of the Port of Olympia for military cargoes. I also plan to pressure lawmakers to enact a war-profits taxes. It seems to me that we would all be better off if war were to become unprofitable.


Americans oppose Israeli settlement

President Barack Obama has consistently spoken out against Israeli settlement building on Palestinian lands as a violation of international law and an obstacle to Middle East peace. Former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all said the same thing. Israel’s illegal settlement building promotes terrorists attacks, and it is putting our troops at increased risk in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Gen. David Petraeus.

AIPAC, the Israeli lobby, is very active in Washington, D.C., right now, with two top priorities: Get Congress to pressure the Obama administration to back off, and to persuade Congress to pass the annual $3 billion U.S. aid to Israel without conditions, as usual. Money which we have to borrow.

A recent YouGovPolimetrix poll found that 52 percent of Americans support, while only 31 percent oppose, the Obama administration’s demand that Israel stop all settlement-building. With 71 percent favoring and 29 in opposition, American Jews support the U.S. exerting pressure on both sides; 55 percent say the U.S. was right to strongly criticize Israeli settlement expansion in East Jerusalem.

With AIPAC strong-arming our Congress, it’s urgent for the American majority to speak up. Let your congressional representatives know you agree with Obama, and with Petraeus.

Israeli settlement building on Palestinian lands should stop. It would also be a good time to tell your congressmen/women that we need that $3 billion here at home.


Time to throw the rascals out

Our legislators can’t seem to get a budget passed, but they were able to pass measures to boost craft distilleries’ production, raising their limits from 20,000 gallons to 60,000 gallons annually. They also passed a measure to allow grocery stores to offer beer and wine tasting, which means you can now add getting drunk to your shopping list.

It’s not like we don’t have enough drunken drivers on the road.

I recently read in a newspaper that former House Speaker Tip O’Neill liked to say that “all politics is local.” In a sense, all legislation is bipartisan, in that the opposition party has an impact, whether it negotiates or obstructs.

Maybe the next time there is something big to vote on, like a budget, the minority party, whichever it may be, will see the advantages of engagement and cooperation.

Thurston County has four House representatives up for election this fall. Maybe it is time to enact term limits and vote all four out of office.


Growth should pay for growth

Why is the state Legislature so quick to talk about taxing snacks and beverages, but it is not considering enforcement of the laws we already have in effect and recouping significant money that way? Rumor has it that we are in deficit in state projects, including transportation, and yet I see so many cars with plates from Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Texas driving Washington roads, and they, too, are running red lights, tailgating, etc.

Similarly, why are longtime citizens weighed with more taxes to support more programs, when it is growth that is causing the increase in services and programs that the tax increases support?

I realize that sweet snacks and beverages aren’t the healthiest choices, and they don’t belong in schools, but these are treats, things we all crave at some point to help us relax and feel comforted when we are stressed.

I think it’s more important that the growth and the resultant development starts helping pay for more of the services that they use, as quickly as possible. If you’re staying, you should be paying.

Longtime residents should not be paying more for water or sewage services because of all the new growth in places like Mud Bay Road, etc. I encourage the state to make growth pay for growth and generate money by enforcing the laws that have been established.