Letters for the week of January 22, 2020

A photographic memory

Employees of the National Archives tried to rewrite history in Trump’s favor. It’s a national disgrace and so are the people responsible—they should be fired.
Not only was this exceedingly poor judgement, and an unacceptable attempt to placate Trump and an administration committed to distorting the truth, but also disrespectful to the women who organized and participated in this unprecedented protest against an unqualified, unfit leader.
The people who are responsible are complicit in the corruption of truth that is spreading like wildfire through our entire system, from the presidency to the federal and Supreme courts and Congress. We are in the throes of an existential threat to our Constitution and way of life. If we are not better than this, if we do not act now to stop these distortions, there is no hope for our democracy and the rule of law.
The National Archives are supposed to preserve our history, not whitewash the inconvenient truths. The gutless defense of not wanting to provoke political ire is cowardly. Their job is to educate, inform and provide truthful information and historical records, not to censor critical pieces of our history like the 2017 Women’s March.
Shame on them.

—Mira Kamada, Bellingham

Getting centered

I’ve been a longtime reader of the Cascadia Weekly, and I’m continually impressed by its content, especially on this page. You should be proud of your readership; the balanced and cognizant letters to the editor impress me. We need the input of Amy Goodman, and the Doug Ericksens of the world also. It’s the diversity of us that gives me hope that a balanced center might be reached.
We all need to understand that the more we tug on the rope, it’s the center that gets frazzled and frayed. The more we pull, the more the pulled, pull. Now I’m maybe just a bullheaded bull, but I like to think that it’s the center of the “Bell” curve, that’s the most full.
No, we can’t deny that there’s a far left and right, but it doesn’t do our democracy justice to continually point fingers and fight.
It’s the center of the huddle where the quarterback takes the snap from. It’s the center of the stage where the musicians play. It’s in the center of the earth where the axis and equator are, and it might be the center of the universe where we try to harmoniously work and play. Yeah, we have much to learn, before we see that day. Remember, we’re bags of mostly water and minerals, derived from the foods grown in our precious sandy, silty clay.
Throughout history we have lost much of it to the bottoms of oceans and bays, we humans must become united in our efforts to keep it safe and secure, not lost forever, far away.

—Glen S. Johnson, La Conner

A painful extraction

With all of the mainstream news media support for some form of military action against Iran, I (even after three decades of news consumption) still have yet to come across an outlet noting that a primary reason the Iranian Revolution occurred, which is still a main sticking point for many decision- and law-makers, was due to foreign oil companies, notably those of the United States, but perhaps even Canada and/or major European nations, exploiting their resources.
I understand that it was a profit-losing lesson learned by the oilmen CEOs that they would never allow to happen to them again, by way of accessing always-willing domestic political thus military muscle.
If the relevant oil companies were/are against Iran, then likely so are their elected governments and usually by extension (via mainstream news media) so are the citizens.

—Frank Sterle Jr., White Rock, B.C.

Bag ban panned

Recently the Anacortes City Council banned plastic grocery bags, beginning in May 2020. I think that is a big mistake. For responsible people, those bags serve myriad uses, such as carrying groceries, separating wet swimsuits and towels from dry clothes, storing garbage for Anacortes pickup, lining wastebaskets, taking garden produce to the food banks, receiving food from the food banks, storing articles in the garage, buying used books at the library, taking articles to donation boxes, etc.
For irresponsible people, it is not the bag’s fault, more education and enforcement is needed.
If businesses want to get serious about banning plastic, then don’t put a “banned-aid” on the plastic bags where there is an open environmental wound when a person carries a couple of cases of plastic bottled water or other drinks out of the supermarket. Plastic bags are still used for fruits and vegetables, deli items and containers, and myriad other uses within the stores.
If businesses want to do something constructive, then ban all plastics , especially in-store wrappings and plastic bottles for water, Coke, Sprite, Pepsi, etc.
Too big of a job, huh?
Or, how about forcing companies who manufacture plastic bags to use a different kind of binder in the plastic, one that makes the bags biodegradable? The technology is available.
I am a good environmentalist and never throw bags anywhere other than in the proper disposal unit. However, I no longer believe that the rationale for banning plastic bags is to have a positive environmental impact. Instead, I believe it is simply a nice-sounding rationale by the national grocers to shift the burden of cost from the company to the consumers, which amounts to many millions of dollars a year.
I remember when Bellingham banned plastic bags. There really wasn’t a ban though, because one just had to pay a few cents more for a bag. The same for Anacortes, plastic or paper bags will now cost 10 cents each. (How did paper bags get in the mix, they are degradable?) The cost just shifted from the company to the consumer.
Yes, I remember Bellingham’s ban, and I have not been shopping there since. Anacortes is next on my list.

—Lois Elber, Anacortes

Unanswered questions

We still have soldiers in Iraq, in a war the president says he did not agree with, hunkered down in Saddam-era bunkers, hiding from bombs launched by Iran in retribution of an attack on an Iranian official he approved without congressional consent. Yet he says we need to move $7.2 billion from the military to build a wall on the border to protect us from how many people coming across the Mexican border. This would be versus the number of people killed by a bomb in a foreign country? Can you really say you respect our servicepeople when you consistently want to take away money from them for a campaign promise of building a wall?
If the attack on the Iranian general was because of an imminent threat to four of our embassies, why have we not heard a single mention of the White House alerting any of our embassies regarding an imminent threat? Remember the entire Benghazi issue about how we did not protect an embassy, but now we knew of an imminent threat and did not tell the embassies to protect them?
How many people have died at the hands of American terrorists using guns with too much power and too many bullets defended by the National Rifle Association and those who bow before them? I have noticed that with the most recent shootings the NRA has just hidden in the bushes because their work is done because they have enough politicians acting like Pavlov’s dogs voluntarily saying “our thoughts and prayers.”
How many regulations can we gut resulting in the destruction of our environment and claim it saves jobs and helps the economy but results in a dying planet?
It does not seem like the 2020 election is a choice between electing a president or electing an emperor that gets to do whatever he wants to do. If a voter thinks it is OK to vote for a president that will do whatever he wants to do without any check and balance at all, then the choice is obvious.

—Bert Rotter, Bellingham

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