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Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Dec. 6, 2023

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Our Readers’ Views, Dec. 14

The Columbian

Public input eliminated with cuts

I’m all for cost-cutting measures in this economy (especially with the state being in the red) but is it necessarily wise to cut the boards that are used to advise the leadership in the state on best practices as well as a focal point for public input? Gov. Chris Gregoire has proposed to eliminate 17 boards and commissions with plans to continue to eliminate 78 more. Furthermore, Democrats are stepping up to make their mark and one up the governor by eliminating almost all of the boards and commissions. State Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, has introduced HB 1497, which basically eliminates all but seven of the 470 boards and commissions that are currently on the books.

Has the governor and left wing-controlled Legislature decided that they don’t need to understand anything or already know everything? What about public opinion? Has she decided that she is so tired of hearing anti-Gregoire sentiments that we are relegated to letters to the editor to voice our opinions? There are many other areas where cuts could happen without eliminating a lion’s share of these boards and commissions designed to ensure that the governor and Legislature are both knowledgeable about issues as well as working as oversight to ensure that they don’t overstep their authority.

Stephen Doerk


Future is in a new name

I was looking through some old papers and I found “Sing Of Vancouver” (the Anthem of Vancouver). These are the words : “Sing of Vancouver, hearts that are true; Sing of Vancouver, We’re here for you; Centuries of history shine on us still. We have the heritage, we have the will.”

Now, to me that should stand for our Fort Vancouver and the Mother Joseph Academy and all the other historical things in our city.

I had never heard of the Anthem of Vancouver until I found it in some papers here at home. Where it came from, I don’t know.

Fort Vancouver would be a good name for our city. If the businesses are worried about the cost of changing their letterheads and addresses, set the time for the change out far enough that most of them could use the papers they have and then change them to the new name.

Harriet M. Hooper


Exercise right to protect ourselves

In response to the Dec. 7 letter “Romance with guns needs to end,” I am appalled at Debra Di Piazza’s defamation of the four Lakewood police officers’ abilities to defend themselves during the tragic situation that befell them on Nov. 29.

To add insult to injury, the author has the gall to insult the abilities of law-abiding American citizens who exercise their legal right to keep and bear arms for their own personal protection.

No one can predict the destructive outcome of a psychotic madman, with no concept of right or reason, bent on taking the lives of other human beings by any means possible. In my opinion, Di Piazza’s time and efforts might be better spent in working to keep these maniacs off the streets through improvement of the criminal justice system.

Chaz Webberley


Relax and enjoy the holidays

I read that yet another school has decided to remove its traditional Christmas tree due to concerns regarding its religious ramifications and the possibility of offending those of the lunatic fringe. Are you kidding me? Today a “Christmas” tree is more a symbol of the season of caring than anything else.

Can we all just lighten up and just let the kids have their fun?

I’m an atheist and really don’t mind if some would like to use the lowly tree as a symbol of their personal faith. I can enjoy the symbol in my own way as well. The origin of the “Christmas tree” is certainly pre-Christian and generally accepted to be pagan anyway. Somehow that factoid does not seem to be an issue.

These things evolve. Can we all just step back and see these things in context and stop overreacting to everything?

Enjoy the season. Take the time to be with your family and friends. Be thankful for what you have and reach out to those less fortunate. Let’s all relax, be reasonable, and show the good side of our humanity.

Jeffrey A. Gibbons


Deploying more troops is regrettable

I’m sorry President Obama went for more war in Afghanistan. Invaders have done poorly there for many years. The wild mountain territory gives endless hiding places for the Taliban. The Guardian reported on Nov. 13, “How the U.S. Army protects its trucks — by paying the Taliban,” that our troops pay millions of dollars to the Taliban to ensure that our convoys get through. Why are we giving money to the enemy? This seems to show that our Army has problems in Afghanistan that they are too weak to handle well.

The Taliban rules with fierce ethnic hatred and a religious intolerance that is virtually unbeatable. They hate any group that tries to change their way of life, and will fight to the death to preserve their way of life. We have had little success in eight years and the future will only guarantee more deaths and debts.

Rolling Stone magazine, Rollingstone.com, had a story, “The generals’ revolt,” which said that if President Obama didn’t send more troops to Afghanistan some important generals would give serious backing for the Republicans in the next election. Is that why he wants more war?

I wonder why he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Do we truly know why we are in Afghanistan?

Ernie Campbell


Call for term limits

It is unimaginable, but we seem to be living the truth that our elected officials hold nothing but the lowest form of contempt for the hard-working, private-sector individuals who create wealth and subsequently give up, in taxes, enough of that wealth to support the public sector. If this was not so, then our senators, congressmen and president would not be working overtime to find new ways to flagrantly spend the wealth that is created here; all the while citizens are losing jobs by the hundreds of thousands per quarter if not per month.

Of course, if you want to go to work for the government, they are hiring.

The other blatant indicator of their contempt is the willingness with which they saddle children and the yet to be born with debt that will need to be paid somehow, someday.

It is time to change the congressional and senatorial roster, and it is time for term limits. The guilt for these unforgivable acts rides on the shoulders of Democrats and Republicans alike.

Jock Demme


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