Our Readers' Views, Jan. 20
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Story on felons voting was flawed
I am writing to express my concern about the Jan. 9 story, “Ruling Hurts Victim’s Kin.” This story was written, I guess, to give readers more information on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision regarding voting rights for incarcerated felons. However, the story was not objective or balanced. Why can’t we just get the facts?
What was the point of throwing in the sad story of that poor family, except to upset people and bias them against any objective assessment of the issues? The story did not discuss how many of the 18,000 incarcerated felons in Washington were in prison because they committed violent crimes. How about the felons who have not committed violent crimes? Is it just those who kill others who shouldn’t be allowed to vote or what?
The story did not provide information or reasoning for any of these arguments, after having raised them. This story really did not discuss the court’s reasoning, the legislative history and the disenfranchisement issues. I would find that more useful than highly emotional stories.
Denying vote can dissuade offenders
I’m writing in reply to Garret Hollister’s Jan. 12 letter, “Prisoners should be allowed to vote.”
When I was 16 years and standing in front of a judge, he said to me, “And you can lose your right to vote.” I raised my head up and asked, “As an American citizen, I will lose my right to vote?” His answer was “Yes.” I said, “Your honor, you’ll never see me in here again.”
Today I’m 68 and, yes, I vote every time I can. There may be little to no written evidence as to why prisoners should not be able to vote, but for me it changed my way of life.
Just send bill to next generation
The Jan. 13 banner headline about stimulus money coming to Vancouver, “City gets $1.6M to bolster energy efficiency,” should cause frowns of dismay, not smiles of joy. The mere $100,000 annual savings means 16 years to pay it back. It actually means a negative present value of $300,000, even if the gear lasts a full 20 years. And that makes the heroic assumption that we don’t spend a single extra dollar for installation, repair or maintenance.
Who pays for this wasted money? Don’t worry; our kids. Maybe they will lead the citizens’ revolution this country needs.
Evan M. Dudik
Two-year request is good planning
This is in response to recent letters from people who are not in favor of voting for the upcoming Evergreen Public Schools’ two-year replacement levy. A recent comment stated that our district must be “disconnected from the community they serve” for asking people for money to keep our schools up and running. These people against the levy need to “get connected.”
I feel our district is very connected for asking for this replacement levy. Just because our economy has hit a low spot does not mean that education is less important. I am not looking forward to having any of my taxes raised, but I will vote “yes” on the upcoming school levy because, as they say, “the show must go on.”
Don’t deny our children a good education over a few dollars. Vote “yes” on Feb. 9.
A few good legislators found
Looming over Washington state is a $2.6 billion deficit that will require the “balancing” of state budgets. Many believe the only solutions remaining are to severely reduce services or look at increasing taxes. While many legislators continue looking for hope in spreadsheets, some are proving their mettle by looking for real-world solutions that also protect our less fortunate citizens.
I am proud of Rep. Brendan Williams, D-Olympia, and Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, for proposing legislation that would actually streamline the collection of otherwise lost revenues, and at the same time make home care services more affordable for our communities.
Every year, millions of dollars in sales tax goes uncollected in the health care industry specifically due to complex billing systems and discretion among insurance companies as to whether to consider sales tax as part of a patient’s covered benefits.
Those responsible insurers who do cover sales tax are placed at a competitive disadvantage against insurers who continue to place this burden on their patients.
Ensuring that sales tax is part of our citizens’ covered benefits both simplifies the collection of lost revenues and makes home care more affordable. Standing up in the face of challenges is the pure essence of leadership, and both Williams and Swecker are standing tall.
Pay a little bit more for U.S. goods
A Jan. 11 story reported, “Toxic metal cadmium used in kids’ jewelry from China.” Chinese manufacturers stopped using dangerous lead, thus switching to the more dangerous, deadly metal cadmium in products exported here to the U.S. What other questionable ingredients are in the many common products made in China that are sold everywhere, used by probably every American adult, along with their children and pets?
First the tainted candy, then poisoned pet food exported here, and then the tainted, deadly milk in China.
Knowing of the lead in dinnerware, etc., my family has looked for a set of coffee mugs. No luck. Every dinner set, every cup: “Made in China.” U.S. made can be found, just not easily.
Every time we buy an item made in China, we heedlessly and dependently patronize a country that seems to be lacking in critical standards that affect the health, safety and well-being of the U.S. customers that buy their products.
We should just stop buying these imports. The price of U.S. goods may increase, department stores will raise their prices, and the dollar store may become the two dollar store.
But, personally, I would feel good to turn an item over and see “Made in the U.S.A.
Limbaugh’s comment is brainless
Rush Limbaugh has once again revealed himself to be the pea brain he is with his cynical view that President Obama welcomes the earthquake in Haiti and plans to use it to burnish his credentials with black voters.
Perhaps Limbaugh is unable to set aside his Machiavellian scheming for the moment, but it doesn’t mean that other people can’t. Give Obama a break on this one.