Letters - Nov. 26

Who speaks for us?

Is there anyone in the U.S. Government who is representing us, “we the people”?

George Bush is busy following his dream of Global Empire by spreading Democracy in Iraq.

His disastrous war in Iraq was based on lies, fear, and incompetence, and in the process sacrificing 2,000 young Americans to death and wasting over $200 billion.

He is rewarding his corporate buddies with no-bid contracts and massive tax breaks for the super rich.

He guts social services to pay for it with the full support of the Democrats in both Houses within a Republican majority. Shame, shame, shame, on both your Houses.

When are the Democrats going to show some backbone and stop rubber stamping Bush’s demands?

At the very least, they should have the guts to actually vote against Bush’s demands, even though they may lose to a Republican-held majority.

To date, we the people are dying and paying for Bush’s desire for Global Empire with the full support of the Democratic Party.

Who speaks for us?

Anatole S. Fetisoff

Hood River

Arts, not bombs

The Brighter Futures article in your Nov. 16 edition was inspiring.

The Hood River County Education Foundation is obviously a hard-working, dedicated, and well-connected group to raise so much money for the county schools. The children and our community will benefit greatly from the increased participation in art, music, physical education, and extracurricular programs.

The Foundation definitely deserves a pat on the back for the hard work they have done to gather and distribute these funds. However, it makes me sad to think that we have to rely on extra fund-raising to give our students access to these type courses. Shouldn’t that be a basic right for our children?

It seems to me the richest country on earth could find a way to pay for our young people to receive these basic offerings in school, without paying any more taxes.

Where might this “extra” money come from? With over half our enormous national budget going for military expenses, for products that are only meant to kill and destroy lives, it’s not hard to figure out why we are not paying for schools.

When our elected leaders have just voted for a $441 BILLION military budget for 2006 (Seattle Times, Nov. 20, 2005), and at the same time slashed budgets to educate our children, I think it is time for a change. Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about the giant Military-Industrial Complex that was robbing us of domestic spending even when he was president.

We, the people, need to rise up and demand a change from our leaders.

I am reminded of a poster I have seen in many places for the last 30 years: “It will be a great day when the schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.”

Michael Kohnle

Husum, Wash.

Decriminalize pot

Marijuana laws simply do not work. Drug dealers and violent gangs continue to make tremendous profits from selling marijuana on the criminal market. Marijuana is widely available to anyone who wants it — even our children. In fact, nearly 60 percent of Nevada high school seniors have used marijuana, and 26 percent admit to currently using marijuana.

In the meantime, we continue to waste millions of dollars in law enforcement resources arresting people for using marijuana in the privacy of their own homes.

The marijuana initiative offers a sensible solution to our failed policy of prohibition. Rather than allowing marijuana to be sold by violent gangs and criminals, we could tax and strictly regulate it — producing an estimated 28 million dollars a year in revenue for the state of Nevada.

Half of this additional revenue will be earmarked toward funding drug and alcohol treatment. The other half could fund law enforcement and education.

The marijuana initiative is a conservative proposal. If passed, it would tax and strictly regulate marijuana and employ built-in safeguards to prevent abuses. Only adults 21 and older could possess marijuana; they could purchase it only through licensed retailers. The initiative prohibits the sale of marijuana in gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, casinos, liquor stores, bars, and dance clubs.

Rather than wasting police time and taxpayer dollars pursuing failed marijuana laws, we should opt for a sensible alternative that would generate revenue for essential state resources, and free up law enforcement to prevent and punish property theft, assault, and other violent crimes.

Michael Winger

Vancouver, Wash.

Credit was due

We were delighted to note the coverage given the Gorge wine scene in this week’s Season’s Bounty (Gift Guide, Nov. 23.) We were also happy to have readily available all of the wines pictured and to have arranged them so artfully for the photographer. We think it inappropriate that our shop, The Wine Sellers, was not mentioned as the source for this beautiful photograph.

Representing nearly all of the Gorge wineries and offering direction and information for interested consumers is no small task, but we’re proud of our part in promoting this happy industry. Your neighbors,

Catherine Kelter

The Wine Sellers

Foster parents needed

Foster parenting allows you the opportunity to enrich and change a life forever. Each year, local foster parents step forward to teach, nurture, and guide children through some of the most difficult and confusing times they will ever experience.

The Department of Human Services is currently seeking a placement resource for a 15-year-old boy. He is currently unable to live with either of his parents and needs a safe place to live.

To learn more about becoming a foster parent, call the Department of Human Services at 386-2962. Training, financial reimbursement and ongoing support are provided.

Melody Hilton

Foster Home Certifier

Department of Human Services

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