I notice there is a tendency in the media to emphasize the negative far more than the positive. The intrigues, crime, the controversies and endless bickering usually occupy a lot of space and are discussed over and over in the Letters to the Editor sections. People need a way of venting their feelings and so this gives them a way of doing it.
Having said this, I think there is a better way of building a more hopeful future and a world of peace that recognizes the injustices and evils of society cannot be overcome other than by counteracting them with good. If we are in a room filled with darkness, it will do no good to talk about how dark the room is. The darkness remains until someone brings in light; then the darkness will dissipate.
Each of us can be a building block in forming a world of peace. Being "anti" drugs, wars, crime, poverty, etc., hasn't stopped any of these problems. We must be for something better than these things. The "anti" approach hasn't worked. Is it possible that together we could explore other possibilities?
This Old House
Thanks for the great article ("Newly Discovered," 3/17/05) regarding downtown restoration. My wife and I have been restoring Strong House (one of, if not the oldest house on the historic registry) for several years. It is great to see people recognizing the beauty of old architecture. One thing I would like to mention is that recently Safeco Insurance canceled us after our first (and only) claim in seven years. When I pursued the matter with them, I was informed that they are not insuring any homes built before 1940! That is most of the South Hill! Once again, thanks for the article and showing people who have vision (unlike Safeco!).
People Change, Then Cars
Legislators in Olympia are considering making the California auto emissions law apply here in Washington. They may have good intentions, but it's a bad idea. The law would put the government in the business of setting quotas on the number of certain models that can be sold. The idea is to force consumers to buy electric and hybrid cars and trucks by limiting the number of gasoline-engine vehicles available.
My grandfather, Chud W. Wendle, started our business in 1943 satisfying customer demands; today we continue to stock vehicles people want to buy. Farmers and contractors do not want to buy Ford Focuses; they need trucks. The politicians may pass the law, but I'm the one who's going to be left having to explain to our customers why we can't sell a certain truck or SUV. More important, our community does not need Eastern Washington residents driving across the border into Idaho to obtain the vehicles that we can't sell.
My family is for clean air and reducing vehicle emissions. But I think the marketplace is already addressing the problem. Lots of people are buying smaller cars because of the price of gasoline. Still more people are buying hybrids because they want to make a personal contribution to reducing emissions.
Let's allow the market to do its work and keep state government out of choosing what cars we drive.
Getting the Word Out
The recent testimony by Alan Greenspan to Congress has generated a great deal of interest and discussion regarding a national sales tax. I support the FairTax (HR 25/S 25). The FairTax replaces the existing income-based tax system with a national sales tax. With the elimination of all federal payroll taxes, business taxes, capital gains and death taxes, the FairTax enables individuals to choose how much they will pay in taxes via their consumption. In addition, the rate of savings will increase and the economy will improve through increased corporate spending within the U.S. borders along with increased exports due to the reduced costs of producing goods.
We should all support the FairTax because it taxes everyone equally, including those whose income is generated through illegal activities. And it makes April 15 just another day. For more information, visit www.fairtax.org.