Letters to the editor, August 20- August 26

The Editor:

The letter published a couple of weeks ago about the “historic” agreement with Iran is missing a few key facts about this deal. First, the lifting of the sanctions against Iran also includes lifting of the prohibition on conventional arms (Iran has already ordered 150 new fighter aircraft from China) and the release of billions in funds that were seized because they were being used to support terrorism. Secondly, the prohibition on enriching uranium does not include a prohibition on developing new centrifuge technology. Nuclear scientists estimate that in 10 years when the prohibition expires, Iran’s new centrifuge technology will allow them to have weapons grade plutonium in about two weeks.

Third, “military” installations are exempt from inspection and Iran gets 24 days notice prior to any inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency – plenty of time to hide any cheating by Iran’s weapons developers, basically requiring that we trust them not to develop weapons. In fact, they are already openly sanitizing the Parchin site that was suspected of being a development ground.

Fourth, Iran still holds four Americans hostage in violation of international law, hostages who the administration did not include in the negotiations. Fifth, a number of highly placed terrorists are delisted, including Qassem Suleimani.

I won’t go into more detail here but if you are on the fence about this deal you may wish to do a little research into what exactly it entails. The reality is that the sanctions were working. Need proof? Iran doesn’t have a nuclear bomb. This deal puts them on track to have that bomb in about 10 years.

The President’s statement (echoed by the letter writer) that the alternative to this deal is war is disingenuous. The alternative to this deal is the status quo, which is working. Meanwhile, what do you think Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq will be doing in the next 10 years? I’d be willing to bet that they are figuring out how to get their own bombs as insurance against Iran violating this deal.

Calvin Armerding

Blaine

The Editor:

The Republican “Wild Bunch” each received their 10 minutes of fame. Now they continue their quests to find billionaires for subsistence while drinking bitter tea. They yelped what they are against but offered few realistic solutions to domestic and international problems; problems strongly rooted in economic and international disasters that preceding Republican presidents seeded.

The Republican Party is in deep denial about real issues and totally dysfunctional in finding real solutions. A Republican president will still be dealing with a dysfunctional congress, given its existing insanity.

Front-runner Donald Trump may be comfortably self-financed and not worried about displaying sanity, but he ignores substantive solutions, regularly puking vitriolic comments gleaned from past ultraconservative TV and radio entertainers, which are lapped up mindlessly by the Tea Party.

Lacking in this bunch is a leadership that strives to create a strong America, politically, economically and healthy physically and environmentally. True foresight is needed to plan for the many generations after us – many, not just a couple – instead of next year’s campaign donor’s profits. Tended properly, the United States can endure many times longer than any country before us.

Elections have become a manipulative game by a few for personal power and profit, using misrepresentations and diversions. Elections have become mere items bought and then exploited. The existing political dysfunction and posturing portends demise for our system.

The late Senator Paul Wellstone said it best: “Politics is not about power … money … winning for the sake of winning. Politics is about the improvement of people’s lives. It’s about advancing the cause of peace and justice in our country and in our world. Politics is about doing well for people.”

Disgust with political dysfunction has resulted in low voter turnout. Low turnout effectively gives more control to the few, nationally 1/10th of one percent, locally the fringe groups. “Dark” money, used by both political parties, distorts, confuses and discourages voting. It is the major corrupting element in elections and of politicians. Sign the Move to Amend Initiative 735 (wamend.org), which supports a constitutional amendment disclosing and limiting the power of money in politics. Finally, be informed, aware of the issues and not just from a single source.

Don Starr

Blaine

The Editor:

We are getting distracted by the cry of jobs, jobs, jobs. Because of the technology we have developed it is easier than ever before for us to choose a way of making a living and to actually create employment that can support ourselves, and probably a good number of others as well. So why do we need huge corporations that will swallow up our kids and cast them off when machines can do stuff cheaper? Why do we need mega projects like the Gateway Pacific Terminal that will store toxic coal to be shipped through endangered waters, which would be the largest coal port in our nation?

Just because we have been on this bullet train of “progress,” why do we just keep having to have more and more and bigger and bigger stuff?

We love our comfort food; we love delectable sweets. Many of us have been lucky enough to experience an age where these things lie at our fingertips everyday. But what we are finding is that when the creation and assembly of that food is further out of our individual control, and our hunger for less nutritious food grows stronger, we become less healthy. After consideration of this, we consciously make the choice to turn off the ads, to keep less processed foods in our cupboards, and to return to a way of eating that makes us feel good again.

It’s time to make our past and current hard work pay off in a way that provides true food for future generations.

Dena Jensen

Birch Bay

The Editor:

Washington state legislators are challenged to determine what to do with more than a hundred million dollar windfall from increased commercial activity in the state.

The convergence of the unexpected state tax revenues with the Washington State Supreme Court daily $100,000 fine for not funding education offers an opportunity for reconciling the impasse over the McCleary decision. The Washington State Supreme Court has ordered that the state pay that sanction, starting immediately, for its lack of progress toward fully paying the cost of basic education.

“Instead of bowing to temptation and spending this new hundred million dollar windfall, as we so often do, we ought to find a way to return it to the people of Washington state,” State Senator Doug Ericksen, representing legislative district 42, said in reference to a statement Tuesday by the Washington state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. The monthly economic and revenue report says increased activity from July 11 through August 10 will deliver $107 million more to state coffers than projected in June, an eight percent increase. That means the state has a total $125 million in additional revenue since the last revenue forecast May 18.

The best use of that $125 million is to fund education, reduce tuition for higher education, and repair our crumbling infrastructure. We, the people, deserve appropriate public education K-12, debt-free college education and safe roads and bridges.

Natalie McClendon, chair, 42nd Legislative District Democrats

Bellingham

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