Security Valve: Letters from readers | Opinion

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Safety Valve: Letters from readers | Opinion

What if it was a BLM mob?

I’m thinking that, maybe, had the mob at the Capitol been BLM Black Muslim “terrorists” instead of white, peaceful, God-fearing, superior race, flag-waving, “ProTrumpsters,” there would have been bullet-riddled bodies, stacked like cordwood, at the building entrances, instead of folks smashing the facilities and taking selfies with the law enforcement personnel.

With the events of this past week, it is obvious that our nation is going through a crisis.

It is said that the Chinese figures for “crisis” are figures for “danger” and “opportunity.” I’m not knowledgeable in any Chinese dialect, so I’m not sure if that is correct. However, the concept is solid.

We can all see the danger in the seditious assault of Wednesday. A violent mob breached the security of the U.S. Capitol, endangered many people and assaulted democracy itself.

But can we also see opportunity? The opportunity is seeing the “end game” of Donald Trump’s sociopathic, xenophobic, corrupt style of leadership.

People who have been following him somewhat blindly because they thought he was doing at least a few things they agreed with, have the opportunity to see “down the road” of the path on which he has been leading us.

The riots at the capitol showed where that path leads. It leads to attempts at bullying all who disagree. It leads away from democracy and toward autocratic power enforced by thugs. It rips off the veil of one who called himself a “law and order” president.

The opportunity is a chance to open up eyes that have been closed. But it is also an opportunity for the nation as a whole. We can see what is at the bottom of the abyss of our deep division, and turn back. We need to turn back from the abyss of self-focus and “what’s in it for us”, and back to “liberty and justice for all.” We need to turn back from the abyss of hateful rhetoric and fear tactics based on lies, and toward a country where truth matters! Where loving your neighbor matters!

I liked what Republican Ben Sasse said late Wednesday about being a place where neighbors shovel each other’s driveways. We need to care about each other, regardless of the color of that neighbor’s skin, or the country that neighbor was born in. Yes, we are in a crisis. But will we use that crisis as an opportunity? I believe … yes, we can.

While I don’t agree with the riot that broke out at our Nation’s Capitol this past Wednesday, I have to ask why it’s so much different than the Antifa and BLM riots that paralyzed our Nation’s cities FOR DAYS on end?

Why weren’t those riots referred to as an “insurrection”? More than a dozen innocent people lost their lives, dozens of businesses were destroyed, historical monuments were mutilated and destroyed, dozens of American flags were burned.

How can Joe Biden and others call last Wednesday, “one of the darkest days in the history of our nation”? Is it because it was at our nation’s Capitol? Is it because he wasn’t behind it? Is it because it was people in support of Donald Trump?

In response to one of the comments in the Jan. 9 paper’s article, “Wenatchee Valley reacts to Wednesday’s riot on the Capitol,” I have to question Debbie Feist’s comment: “We felt like we were in a third world country.”

Were you watching the news during the summer? Did you feel like you were living the Armageddon or the Holocaust then?

Why — when it comes to the Democratic Party and its supporters — is there such a double standard?

Patriotic songs: ‘A balm of hope’

I was a music educator for 37 years. Every year, I taught my students American patriotic songs. I thought it was important for our youngest citizens to have a repertoire of songs that included this historic treasury of musical poetry about America. I still know most of the words “by heart.” For me, these inspirational lyrics are a balm of hope.

“America! America! God mend thine every flaw. Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.”

— “America the Beautiful”

“Our fathers’ God, to Thee, Author of liberty, to Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright, with freedom’s holy light, protect us by Thy might, great God, our King.”

“God bless America! Land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night, with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam. God bless America, my home, sweet home.”

“The Star-spangled Banner, O long may it wave, or the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

— The Star-Spangled Banner

I believe that we had a fair and free election (as certified all across the nation by Republican and Democratic election officials and bi-partisan elected leaders, with no evidence at all to dispute that, as attested to by 60 bi-partisan courts/judges and the U.S. Supreme Court). I look forward to the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and pray for peace, unity, and the healing of our country.

The attack on our Capitol on Jan. 6 was a wake-up call with a large dose of humility, in front of the whole world! We have had an attitude of pride and superiority about our democracy that has led us to take it somewhat for granted. There is a verse in the Old Testament that seems particularly relevant for our nation right now:

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sins, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Reign in big tech and unite all Americans

It is curious to me how people can be so surprised by the riots in the Capitol.

We endured countless riots, burning, destruction and looting throughout the country in 2020. These were allowed and even encouraged by Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi. Why would people be surprised that those who’ve been ignored, censored and insulted wouldn’t express their views in the same manner?

Should they have broken into the Capitol? No. However, it is hypocritical to say the First Amendment applies only to those with whom you agree.

Presently, big tech is censoring all conservative opinion. Doesn’t that violate first amendment? By the way, big tech allowed all information regarding 2020 riots, even encouraged them.

So, apparently conservatives rights have been eliminated. So now that we understand that, should we really be surprised when those tax-paying American citizens and businesses protest?

I guarantee if the election would have gone the other way, the riots in the Capitol would be far worse and spread throughout the country. It would have been endorsed and supported by Harris, Biden, and Pelosi.

If those in the new administration do not have the willpower to reign in big tech and unite all Americans regardless of their political viewpoints, then we will most likely have more of the same. The challenge is Americans have endorsed hate, if you don’t agree with them.

Friendships ended due to political viewpoints, neighbors don’t speak due to political affiliation, and I personally believe we are better than that.

If our new leaders do not have the courage to unite, then it is incumbent upon us to start a grass roots movement of unity.

Absolute power will always corrupt absolutely.

Help reduce water rights application backlog

I am a member of the Chelan County Water Conservancy Board (WCB) and I write in my search for members of the public who may be interested in serving on the board to help protect the water rights of Chelan County.

In the late 1990s, the legislature created WCBs across the state to allow the processing of change applications for water rights. While processing changes is typically a function of the state Department of Ecology (Ecology), limited state funding and staffing shortages have created a multi-decade backlog of pending change applications. WCBs are volunteer boards of 3 or 5 members and up to 2 alternates that review prepared change application materials and provide a recommendation to Ecology to act on the change. Ecology is placed on statutory timetable of 45 or 75 days to act on the water right change.

The Chelan WCB currently has three active members and no alternates.

The board must maintain a composition of at least one water right holder (irrigation shares from an irrigation district and permit exempt well uses do not qualify) and one non-water right holder who are residents of Chelan County or a contiguous county.

The only requirement for interested parties to join the WCB is to participate in a 32-hour Ecology training session to be held virtually in March 2021. The service term for both members and alternates is 6 years.

WCB meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will be virtual for the foreseeable future. Typical monthly duties of board members outside of meetings include reviewing change applications, attending site visits, and participating in 8 hours of annual refresher training. There is no financial compensation to board members for their time, but travel and training expenses are provided.

We do not want risk losing this mechanism for keeping and caring for the water rights in Chelan County.

I am available to answer any questions about the WCB or general questions about Washington state water rights. Please contact me through our board secretary, Lisa de Vera, at ldevera@nwi.net.

Chelan County Water Conservancy

Thanks for a coherent column on vaccines

I want to thank The Wenatchee World for publishing a coherent fact-based letter by Dr. Peter Rutherford of Confluence Health concerning the efficacy and safety of the COVID -19 Vaccine and the benefits to individuals and the community in reaching some level of herd immunity.

Hopefully, that will offset some of the damage caused by the incoherent and reckless op-ed column that appeared last week written by a individual with no apparent expertise or credibility on the subject.

I-695 has been bad for our roads

Ted Mcdermott’s report on the problems with decaying road infrastructure (Report: State struggles with decaying road infrastructure, pandemic slowdown) discusses these problems and states that these problems have been here “for a decade or more.”

These problems specifically originated 20 years ago with the passage and subsequent implementation by the legislature of Tim Eyman’s I-695 which canceled the vehicle excise tax. (Note that this tax was the only progressive tax in the entire state tax system — now there are none.)

Loss of the vehicle excise tax gutted the transportation budget and severely impacted both maintenance and infrastructure of roads throughout the state.

Before I-695 there was a plan to study and implement significant improvements to Highway 2, but these were canceled because of the loss of the excise-tax revenue. In addition this loss of revenue caused small communities across the state to lose state grants for such things as local law enforcement, snow removal and operating expenses for swimming pools.

Another direct consequence of I-695 was the deterioration of our state parks. Before I-695, park access was free to all at any time and the parks were opened whenever feasible. They were also being expanded and were well maintained.

Now many parks are closed unnecessarily, and are run down and poorly maintained because of inadequate funding. In addition, we must buy passes and pay extra fees to visit the parks and use park facilities.

There were other direct consequences such as the deterioration of the state ferry system and indirect consequences to programs like education because funds were redirected from these programs to help mitigate the loss of vehicle excise tax revenue.

We have had cheaper car tabs for 20 years, but we have paid the price with bad and dangerous roads, loss of state support for our small communities and other deterioration of state services. We can thank Tim Eyman and his supporters for this situation.

Governor wants to increase taxes

Governor Inslee has proposed his new state budget which includes the addition of new taxes.

He wants to put a tax on health insurance policies, increase the gas tax by .30 to .63 cents per gallon (of which none will go to road improvement), and put a capital gains tax on the sale of stocks, bonds and other assets (with some limitations).

Maybe that gas tax doesn’t bother you right now since gasoline prices are low. Under the Biden administration you can expect prices to rise again. On Jan. 19, 2009, average gas prices nationalLy were $1.838 and on Feb. 11, 2012, they were $3.611 (prices did fall during the 2008 recession).

To those who voted for Inslee … we told you so. And if you are perfectly happy with these new proposed taxes, I have a proposal for you. Please contact me and I will send you my excess taxes and let you pay them.

And for those who voted for Biden and Inslee remember this: Inslee didn’t succeed in his presidential run evidently because Biden’s experience and mental acuity surpassed Inslee’s.

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