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Letters to the Editor for Feb. 23

Convert to renewable

This will be a multi-part letter(s) because of space restrictions and because when I write long ones, and try to juggle with the restrictions, I tend to compress beyond comprehensibility.

So, first the question of how important the deficit is: At this time in our history, not very important. The greater danger, economically speaking, is that we might buy into the austerity religion which is hurting Europe and England so much.

Paul Krugman, not only a Nobel Prize-winning economist but a columnist who makes himself very understandable, has done a fine job of demolishing the austerity arguments and advocating for our concentrating on growing the economy by creating jobs, and I won’t rehash his work. Google him and read what he says on the subject.

I am most concerned that otherwise wonderful and kind people are saying things like, “The deficit is a huge problem; I’ll give you that.”

We respond thusly to opponents’ arguments in order to establish that we respect them and believe they are sincere. I do it; we all tend to in order to get past what they are saying and on to our own concerns. It is acquiescence, placation — in short, a kind of cowardice.

Let’s stand up for the very vital argument that now is the time to be making our economy thrive by converting to renewable energy with warlike enthusiasm and repairing our infrastructure (and unlike defense spending, which austerity advocates somehow find is a beneficial jobs program, this is an investment in the future, now at a time when interests rates are low and we can save a lot of future costs cheaply).

I will add to this later at our editor’s pleasure.

Bob Williams

Hood River

Working together

Every American’s heart aches with sadness over the tragic losses caused by gun violence in our communities. We are in agreement over this. We differ in our opinions about the causes of this violence and what we should do about it as serious and involved citizens in a democratic society.

But we agree on at least one thing: 92 percent of Americans (and 74 percent of National Rifle Association members) support universal background checks for gun sales. We are in strong agreement about this.

Let’s show Congress what agreement looks like and charge our representatives in Congress to take action to eliminate loopholes and require background checks for all gun sales. In fact, we should demand it — together.

And once we find out what it feels like to stand together, we will find ways to work together on other parts of the solution and on other complicated problems we face together as citizens.

Pam Tindall

White Salmon, Wash.

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