We embrace bloodletting and oppression
Despite The Olympian’s garbled headline, “U.S. presidents often find it hard say to say goodbye,” celebrated Washington Post writer Glenn Kessler, wrote a revealing article on the American mindset — including his own.
Kessler noted that President Obama is reluctant to push President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt out of office. He didn’t mention that all it would take would be single phone call and a 60-second conversation. Egypt is second only to Israel in U.S. foreign aid — billions annually. Without U.S. aid and support, Mubarak is history.
Kessler did put this long standing bipartisan American support for brutal dictators into historical context. He noted, “Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi may have been a megalomaniac with feared security services, but his regime was central to American power in the Persian Gulf.”
Kessler also mentioned President Clinton’s support of General Suharto of Indonesian.
This “ally” under the Carter administration enjoyed vast weapons shipments to murder a third of East Timor’s population. Kessler called this as a “dilemma.” It is more than that. Since WWII, under the rhetoric of “stability” and “U.S. strategic interests,” our government supports mass murders and levels of oppression that would be unbearable to the conscientious of decent people.
But we are hardly that. This country was built by the mass genocide of Native Americans and the slave labor of Africans. We exceptional Americans of the land of the free and home of the brave embrace bloodletting and oppression when we think it is to our benefit. Egyptians beware.
CAMERON MILLER, Elma
Right wing conspiracy keeps public uninformed
Right wing censorship of the media is in full force. But because censorship deprives you of information — you’ll never know about it.
Consider recent suppressed evidence that the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, on Jan. 11, 2011 filed a document with the U.S. Committee on Financial Disclosure that stated for 20 years he had knowingly concealed his wife’s $120,000 annual income from conservative political organizations.
Twenty times a Supreme Court Justice signed a legal document that attests that the information provided on the report “including information pertaining to my spouse,” was “accurate, true, and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief.”
Twenty times he signed a document that stated: ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY FALSIFIES OR FAILS TO FILE THIS REPORT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CIVIL AND CRIMINAL SANCTIONS (5 U.S.C. app. § 104).
During times between 2003 and 2007, when the U.S. Supreme Court was handing down 5 to 4 decisions, the right-wing Heritage foundation paid the Thomas household almost $700,000.
Ever heard the story? Not likely. It’s devastating in it’s level of corruption and cover up.
But because of a hidden network of right wing good-ole-boys the story of a Supreme Court judge, for decades, concealing his households yearly income from right-wing organizations is being suppressed.
You should not be uninformed — you should be outraged.
MARC STERLING, Olympia
Sheriff's remarks were embarrassing
“Better to be thought a fool, than open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.
I guess Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, Pima Arizona’s county sheriff since 1980, didn’t attend that briefing. With “over 50 years in local law enforcement” according to his website, he should have known better than his failure to analyze evidence before making statements attributing causation within hours after last month’s horrific shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Being an elected official with law enforcement responsibilities has once again proven to be a bad mix as demonstrated by the sheriff. It’s time to eliminate this archaic practice of electing a county sheriff.
Citizens expect a professional approach to maintaining the peace and public order — not a political pundit expressing their opinions during a time of crisis. There are other elected positions where that is more appropriate.
Cities across America have hired police chiefs and fire chiefs to serve with at will contracts. Both positions protect and serve the public. It’s not a new idea and pretty efficient as well.
I don’t care what Sheriff Dupniks’ political views are, but when you get media access because of your position/title, you should represent your profession using sound practices and principals.
That obviously didn’t happen in Tucson.
In short, his remarks were an embarrassment, not supported by facts, to those who serve the people in professional law enforcement capacities.
Sheriff Dupnik is certainly entitled to his opinions, but perhaps better as Mr. Dupnik Pima County resident rather than county sheriff.
JIM BELTER, Olympia
Photos touch the heart and soul
Over the years, I have come to admire and look forward to Tony Overman’s contributions in the pages of The Olympian. I recognize his work before reading the byline. The subjects always touch me profoundly on many levels.
A recent photo featured a father and his very young son pictured at the Economic Survival Fair, engaged in story and conversation with each other.
My first thought went to other hard times and the stark, iconic photo from the Great Depression of the careworn mother with the thousand yard stare and her children clinging to her for comfort.
The power of today’s photo was of comfort but also warmth and hope and connection, qualities that are so representative of Overman’s work.
He anticipates and catches just the right light in his subject’s eyes and the intent of motion in their bodies, i.e., strong father and exhausted daughter embracing after a basketball championship game and jubilant dogs running in play at the off leash park.
I also want to recognize Steve Bloom’s work — wonderful reporting by your photo staff.
ROBERTA MANNING, Olympia
Can't wait for $5 a gallon gasoline
In the 1970’s Iranian crisis, we experienced hour-long gas lines and $5 a gallon gas. The Egyptian crisis and potential Suez Canal shutdown allows us to relive those wonderful days.
An added bonus is seeing other Middle Eastern, oil-producing countries politically vulnerable.
We depend upon Middle East oil. Without the Suez Canal, available oil will be shipped through the Cape of Good Hope. Extreme weather will limit the amount of oil shipped and put the Cape in danger of ship wrecks and oil spills.
We could have USA oil, and good USA jobs, but politically we cannot drill. The shutdown of USA oil drilling is caused by the hoax of man-caused global warming which is reminiscent of the hoax of eugenics.
Early 20th century scientists, political leaders and do-gooders decided eugenics was a worthy scientific theory. Later this ‘science-based’ genetic theory was proven false and racist. The man-caused global warming theory is coming to the same ignominious end.
Meantime we wait in hour-long gas lines for $5 a gallon gas and wait to buy non-existent, non-polluting vehicles, pondering what will happen to the millions of internal combustion engines.
I suggest these politically obsolete autos, trucks, boats, ships, airplanes, motorcycles, scooters, lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf-blowers, brush-cutters, weed-eaters, concrete mixers and military vehicles be dumped in Seattle with the Capitol Campus taking overflow. Both already have a garbage pit of stupid ideas.
ARDEAN A. ANVIK, Elma
State has created the pension problem
As public employees the state gave us an implied contract: Give us your service and we will give you a pension.
Every pay period we gave our 6 percent, it was the employers who did not give their share.
The state investment board has earned a good return on the retirement funds invested, but without the full 100 percent contributions from the employers they have not had the opportunity to earn the maximum return possible.
The “Uniform COLA” is not even a “COLA”; it is based on how many years a retiree worked for the state and the amount of their monthly pension, and does not even start until age 66.
In January health premiums went up 19 percent, the governor wants another 17 percent next January, the average PERS I pension is $20,500. Where will the retiree get the extra 17 percent next year, let alone this 19 percent this year.
The unfunded liability of the pension is not a problem that the retirees created. But now we are being asked to pay for it.
The governor’s opinion that the permanent COLA for PERS I pensions is a huge factor in the underfunding of the plan is just not true. The problem is the state has not met it obligations to pay its share.
To bear the cost of bailing the state out of this problem, well, it’s just not fair and it is not our problem.
To the governor: Leave our COLA alone.
DIANA PARKINSON, Olympia
Letter took aim at the wrong target
In his letter to the editor, Kenneth Kerstetter lambasted politically partisan media, referencing “amateur young people expos(ing) the sinister behavior of government-sponsored ACORN.”
Well, Kerstetter¹s attack on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is grossly misleading.
The “amateur couple” was James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, who in 2009 created undercover videotapes ostensibly showing ACORN employees in different cities advising a “pimp” (O’Keefe) and his “prostitute” (Giles) on how to safely commit crimes like tax evasion, child prostitution and human smuggling. We later learned O’Keefe was not dressed as a pimp while talking with ACORN employees and his videos were substantially edited, making it impossible to determine the context of these conversations. After viewing the unedited videotapes (which O’Keefe exchanged for prosecutorial immunity) and four investigations the California attorney general determined ACORN had committed no crimes. The Massachusetts attorney general and Brooklyn district attorney found the same. The Government Accountability Office found no evidence that ACORN or any affiliate mishandled any federal money.
Nota Bene: O’Keefe and three cohorts pled guilty to the federal misdemeanor of “entering federal property under false pretenses” for lying their way into Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans office in January 2010 in an apparent attempt at phone tampering.
Kerstetter ended his letter with, “America deserves news reporting invested in pursuing transparency and honesty, rather than in serving a political propaganda agenda.” Any irony there?
KARL HACK, Olympia