Patriotism in deeds
In The Tribune I read Jean Rouff’s letter (Feb. 21) and the response to it by Judith Lee Wiltse (March 4), who questioned Rouff’s patriotism. Rouff never stated that she kept the children in her class from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, nor did she state that she did not try to explain the text to them.
In any case, patriotism cannot be taught. It is something that grows from within and all the flag-waving and recitals of the pledge will not change that.
This is all a moot argument anyway. When it’s time for the students to take an entrance exam to college or interview for a job, nobody will ask them how well they can recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Their GPA will be more relevant, and if they show some common sense to boot it will surely be noted!
True patriotism is not expressed in words; it is lived in deeds.
Teachers may be parents, too, but it’s not their job to raise your children. They just have to prepare them for the time they have to face the real world.
Thorwald van Hooydonk
For 10 years we have fought two wars, and for the first time in American history we must come up with the trillions required for war without raising taxes. Veteran medical expenses, military equipment and occupation will continue to cost billions.
The tea party says taxes are destroying America. However, “USA Today” says 2009 federal, state and local income taxes were at the lowest level since 1950. The director for economic policy at the Center for American Economic Progress says, “The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts.”
As more American industry moves offshore, a new industry is born: tax avoidance systems and assistance. Through loopholes, exemptions, lower rates and credits, many corporations pay no tax.
For example, USNewswire says Walmart has avoided millions of state taxes through various schemes. Another example: Big Oil avoids billions of taxes annually through exemptions and loopholes. Now with the extension of Bush-era tax cuts (which the Tax Policy Center says will increase the deficit by $3.7 trillion over the next 10 years) — the cupboard is bare.
So how do we solve this major financial problem? We go after NPR, the teachers and public employees. Give me a break. Tom Martin
Bill Morem’s March 10 column, “Revolutionary solutions to battle ‘corporatocracy’,” has hit the nail on the head. I’ve been arguing at least eight of these points for 20 years or more. The others he points out are ones I should have hit, too.
The idea of allowing corporations to be persons under the law is ludicrous. One condition for the definition should be: if it doesn’t bleed, it won’t meet one of the conditions.
If my memory serves me correctly, it was a legal case, Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad in 1876, where a clerk of the court wrote a forward statement to the decision, which stated a corporation should have the same rights as a person — even though that detail was absent from the body of the opinion. After that, the courts have honored corporate personhood.
We the people have become so complacent and allowed the Legislature, lobbyists and corporate heads to walk over us. If we don’t get this turned around, I can see the gap getting bigger between the “top dogs” and the ordinary public. Read Bill’s column with open eyes, and you’ll see it’s the most logical solution.
The beast rests
Once again the ageless beast of the Pacific awoke and stretched its black hands upon Japan to satisfy its appetite for death and destruction. The beast has slipped away again, patiently awaiting its next meal, yet the deeply pierced heart of humanity remains. To all those who have suffered at the hands of Nature’s power, be it Christchurch, New Zealand, Haiti, or now in Japan, I extend my most sincere sympathy for your losses. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
I live near the ocean. This privilege comes with a risk. Low-lying coastal communities along the North American tectonic plate’s infamous Pacific Ring of Fire are all susceptible to tsunami.
Yes, that includes me. However, both statistically and historically, my risk is minimal. The tsunami’s fetch from Japan to here dramatically reduced its local impact. We do occasionally have local offshore earthquakes, but these slip-strike faults do not have vertical displacement of water, as do normal and reverse faults, which can produce tsunami. The Cascadia Subduction Zone off Oregon’s shore is my real concern. A big snap in that fault zone may put me in jeopardy. Until then, the beast of the Pacific rests ... until it’s my turn.
Ditch ‘The Donald’
If I read or hear any more media worship of Donald Trump, I will gag for sure.
Yay, “The Donald” has never filed for bankruptcy, as he proudly proclaims. But his businesses have filed twice while he was CEO.
Something to admire in that? Yes, if you admire immorality. When he filed, he stiffed all those small-business people, the painters, plumbers, various techies, etc. Each time he filed, Trump walked away with his own fortune, content in knowing he didn’t suffer financial loss.
Nothing to admire, in my opinion, in one who builds a fortune by cheating small businesses, banks and bondholders out of their money.
Why the media fawns on “The Donald” is beyond me. Maybe because he hasn’t cheated the media. I am sure he always pays his lawyers, too.
Please, no more of that “Donald for President” talk. Rather, let’s have “Donald for Prison.” To me, he is a fraud and a crook.