The Nov. 29 editorial "Cellphones taking flight?," endorsing cellphone use on airplanes, displays surprising naiveté about human behavior in claustrophobic spaces and assumes that people will respond with civility when being forced to listen to constant phone chatter. Has the writer flown anywhere lately? Two weeks ago I flew to Los Angeles on what is best described as an overcrowded bus with wings. Passengers were clearly uncomfortable. Add to that any fear of flying and you have a formula for heightened anxiety that can erupt into unexpected and unpleasant responses to irritating circumstances.
It is quite evident that planners for the Interstate 205 Glenn Jackson Bridge planned on future manufacturing, which would require sufficient clearance. Where were the planners for the Columbia River Crossing? Did we waste money on the Jackson bridge? Wikipedia describes the I-205 bridge as "a twin structure with four lanes in each direction and a 9-foot (2.7 m) wide bicycle and pedestrian path in between. The bridge is 7,460 ft (2,270 m) long from the Washington side of the river to Government Island and another 3,120 ft (951 m) in length from Government Island to the Oregon side of the river. The main span, near the Washington side, is 600 ft (183 m) long with 144 ft (44 m) of vertical clearance at low river levels. As of 2008, the average daily traffic was 134,800 vehicles."
Having attended the Clark County commissioners meeting to lend my support to Ed Barnes in his ongoing endeavor to ensure some form of accountability among Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke and Sen. Don Benton, it is blindingly clear that these gentlemen have no sense of professional obligation or dignity. Perhaps what is most maddening is that these three individuals represent an affront to the authority, ethics, and obligations of public office and bring an extraordinary amount of shame to the title of public servant. This view has nothing to do with their party affiliation and everything to do with their continued actions. As a moderate citizen of Clark County, it's my view that pragmatism will always win the day; ideological nepotism, disregard for due process, and gross negligence in decision-making will not.
It will be a real crime against the American people if our president's health care law is destroyed by the large insurance industry and the Republican Party; then we will be at their mercy and have no choice except what is dictated to us. Coverage will continue to be very costly and hospital stays will be dictated by the insurance companies.
President Reagan once warned, "When you get in bed with the government, you'll get more than a good night's sleep." Having hopped blissfully into the Obamacare bed, the insurance industry, Democrats and their media procurers are now hoping to hop away from that bed untainted despite having already been caught with their pants down. Meanwhile, millions of good but gullible Americans have been seduced by the promise of "a good night's sleep." Now this multitude is being heard muttering "What were we thinking?" while scurrying for the showers in hopes that a good scrubbing will restore their sullied self-respect.
Do people take better care of what they rent or what they own? This is a question that Vancouver's sewer ratepayers need to ask as the city plans to "rent out" the wastewater facilities to a private company again.
Liam Clancy's song, "Luke" includes this line: "Rail against the tyranny of class and privilege." We used to look askance at our cousins in Great Britain. We saw the poor devils locked into a rigid caste system, typified by the Paliament's House of Lords and House of Commons. Increasingly, we find ourselves mired in our own levels of "class and privilege." Starting in the 1970s (earlier for those born into grinding rural and urban poverty), the average workers' pay hit a plateau, and wealth began shifting faster from the working poor and the middle class to the rich and very rich.
Concerning the extensions of Obamacare, I find it interesting that the extensions are after the 2014 elections. Why does this president not know what the heck is going on with Obamacare? Or does he really care? The so-called apology about the people who have lost their insurance due to Obamacare was shallower than a dry creek bed in Arizona.
Recent attempts by the U.S. to improve relations with Iran should be encouraged. Iran is a natural ally, with how its culture has much in common with traditional American values (no abortion, no gay lifestyle, no porn). It stands for principles in its foreign policy, is opposed to Marxism, al-Qaida, Saddam Hussein and the excesses of Israel.