Letters to the Editor, May 6-12, 2021

Posted

The Editor:

Washington state needs universal medical care.

We must build a financial resource system to support care for all. Our insurance and tax structures are archaic and unfair. Right now the people at the middle and bottom of earners pay a much greater portion of their income on taxable necessities and medical insurance. (Medical insurance costs are everywhere, even built into auto insurance.)

Post-pandemic medical costs will soar as long term chronic cardiac, cognitive, renal and pulmonary conditions have affected patients and “long haulers.”

Many families now pay up to 20 percent or more of income for medical insurance and treatment. A state tax to cover universal care would mean savings and larger paychecks. 

Industry spends millions each year as new insurance schedules alter offerings. Companies and institutions must re-evaluate their costs and invest in providing employees with alternative choices.

A Washington state universal system would cover everyone and eliminate the millions paid to sustain “choice plans.” (Consumers could purchase extra
options.)

We could stop filling investor pockets, building huge office buildings, funding stockholders and huge CEO salaries. We could stop being dependent on total employer and employment funding. This would mean the freedom to choose your job and having protection while changing jobs: Savings and efficiency.

Donna Starr

Blaine

Student letters

The following letters were submitted by Blaine Middle School students in Megan Schutt’s eighth grade social studies class. The students were assigned to write about freedom of speech, with the understanding that letters would be published in a local newspaper. More students’ letters will be published in the coming weeks.

The Editor:

You may have heard of Trump being banned from Twitter and Facebook after the riot on the U.S. Capitol. I’m here to tell you more and if it was a good or bad decision.

On January 5 and 6, election protesters rioted on the Capitol with Trump’s encouragement on social media. My opinion on Trump being banned from social media is it was a good decision.

On January 6, during his speech, according to Stephanie Toone from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), he said, “We will never give up, we will never concede.” He’s telling his followers and the people who voted for him to protest and to never surrender or give up.

The first amendment states, “... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Also from the AJC, he said, “Washington is being inundated with people who don’t want to see an election victory stolen by emboldened radical left democrats. Our country has had enough, they won’t take it anymore! We hear you (and love you) from the Oval Office. Make America Great Again.” He’s saying there are lots of people who don’t want to see the election stolen and to make America great again, encouraging people to stand up and protest.

Most Americans are happy Trump was banned from Twitter and Facebook, but not most Republicans. Sixty-one percent of Americans supported the social media platforms decision to ban the former president. I agree with the decision as well because his actions led to a protest and a riot that killed 5 people and injured 140. If he didn’t post those things this wouldn’t have happened.

In conclusion, I think that it was good to ban Trump from social media. Nobody should start a protest that could lead to violence. And also, don’t say mean things about other people.

Ian Tuski

Blaine

 

The Editor:

Countless Americans have been taken down or even banned by media platforms because of their viewpoints and that has to make you wonder, is that even legal?

You have probably had someone around you not be able to post what they thought in fear of it being taken down. This has caused a whole group of opinions to be shut down, leaving people who are uninformed to believe in whatever they are told with no way to check. Let’s look at some of the ways we could fix it and also find out if they are able to do what they are doing.

Now is any of this even legal? Let’s use an example, in this case, Facebook. As we know, Facebook censors people that don’t believe what they want you to believe. According to 47 U.S Code 230, the internet should be used to express opinions and ideals that can not be limited. It also says that a publisher can limit what people can say but has to be punished for what is said, while a platform can’t limit what is said (except for pornographic or abusive posts) but isn’t held accountable. Facebook has been acting as a publisher but has the rights of a platform because that is what they say they are. This is wrong and illegal since they can’t be both.

What can we do about this?

Well, there isn’t much we can do except make our voices heard. Vote for a new law that states they have to define if they are a publisher or a platform. We should hold the people who control what we say accountable. Should you just let them silence you because of what you think or should you tell them that what they are doing is wrong?

Shawn Waters

Blaine

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