A huge thank you to The Inlander for printing the commentary, "Iraq Attack?" (8/8/02), an essay critical of the warmongering taking place in the current administration. With the media flow of propaganda against Iraq, it's a relief to see some truth in print.
With a third of Iraqi children suffering from malnutrition, the country's infrastructure still in shambles since the Gulf War and one in eight babies in Iraq dying before reaching their first birthday, the Iraqi people now have to live in fear of American bombs being unleashed again.
"Experts" recently gave testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting the war, but the real experts, former UN weapons inspectors to Iraq, were purposely not allowed to testify because they know the real situation. They state that weapons of mass-destruction just don't exist there.
War against Iraq would be an expression solely of our military might, putting to rest any notion of the United States as a peacemaker. It would express disdain for the opinion of the rest of the world, being unprovoked and in violation of international law. Worst of all, our leaders are willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of Iraqis and our own young men and women in their game of world domination.
The Spokesman recently ran the result of a poll stating that the majority of Americans support the war. But the actual figures were omitted because they were so close, with 46 percent for war with Iraq and 43 percent opposed. Apparently, even with a daily barrage of anti-Saddam "news." not everyone is being baited into support for war.
An evil empire is a supreme rule that is at best morally wrong and at worst disastrous. Is the United States of America becoming one of these? Say no to an unjust war against the people of Iraq.
Julie Smith Spokane, Wash.
A Traffic Terrorist?
In the August 15 issue of The Inlander, Robert Herold wrote, "The INS and Your Security," in which he makes a good point that the INS is understaffed. His argument of what should be done, however, is a bit far-reaching.
He suggests that the Arab national, Mr. Al Jazairy, is a traffic terrorist. I think of a terrorist as someone intentionally harming others, not a negligent driver. I believe the responsibility would be with the DMV to revoke his license, and not with the INS whose responsibility is, as Herold pointed out, to deport someone who commits a serious crime.
What do we do with negligent drivers who are U.S. citizens? Are they traffic terrorists as well, and how should they be dealt with? Should we deport our own citizens (or incarcerate them) for these crimes as well, or is it okay to be a so-called traffic terrorist if you are a U.S. citizen? While it is sad that an innocent young girl was killed, this isn't the first time that this has happened on the streets of Spokane and it won't be the last time, even if we were to deport all non-U.S. citizens.
We will keep our streets safer if instead we revoke the licenses of people who have records of negligent driving rather then just focusing on the foreign nationals who represent only a small part of the problem. The argument should be about negligent drivers on our streets, and not about terrorists as clearly this is not a case of terrorism just because an Arab is involved.
On the other hand, there is no doubt that the INS could use more funding but not to go after people who are bad drivers. A story about bad driving shouldn't be used as the basis for an argument for greater anti-terrorism efforts.
Noah Jacolev Spokane, Wash.
Don't Forget Louise
A highly qualified candidate for County Commissioner, District 3, was omitted from Pia K. Hansen's article in The Inlander of August 15: Louise Chadez is running for the position held by Commissioner Phil Harris along with Councilman Steve Eugster.
She obtained 1000-plus signatures to qualify for the race and is an outstanding citizen of this community who has been involved in community affairs for many years. She led the citizens effort which resulted in one percent of the City Budget being set aside for human services, the first time a set amount has been budgeted to support a critical need in the community.
Louise Chadez is a bright, articulate, courageous woman and I certainly hope that The Inlander will give equal time and space to her candidacy before the primary.
Sheri Barnard Chairwoman, Louise Chadez for County Commissioner District #3 Spokane, Wash.
Global Warming No BS
Scientists should be respected because they make a life out of studying many different issues. If they say environmental conditions are in jeopardy, then who made the general public or politicians the experts to disagree? Scientists are a special breed of fact finders.
Scientific accuracy is accurate to the point of having the ability to send rockets to other planets, and predict whether a half-mile wide rock hundreds of millions of miles into space hits or misses earth in the year 2020. In the year 2020, watch that rock fly by exactly where they said.
Scientist are not BS-ing about global warming. They are not trained to BS. The Kyoto Protocol is definitely a step in the right direction. It was rejected by the U.S. administration in early 2001, and that has made the U.S. look pretty bad globally as far as our concern for CO2 emissions. But Bush is correct -- developing nations also need to be held accountable by the same standard. Hopefully the U.S. can get back on track with this protocol.
The United States has made steps and has improved its resourcefulness with more efficient vehicles, household appliances, solar-energy projects, natural gas heat, etc. Emissions today are below per capita emissions from the late 1960s.
I think the American attitude about conservation is what puts them as the biggest CO2 emitters on earth. You have to persuade them to do things such as mass-transit, car pooling, biking. Basic conservation is good.
I think we should listen to scientists, help where we can and think about billions of new souls who will be arriving on this planet (more than we have now) in the next 100 years. At this point in time, the unborn have no vote, they have no say, but it is a fact, they will arrive and live with what we leave them.
Damian Fleskes Greenacres, Wash.
Clueless on the Street
The coverage of global warming in your August 15 edition was excellent. I especially appreciated the great cover and the in-depth article, "Beating The Heat," which provided the best coverage I've seen in any one article.
However, the five people who responded to your "On the Street question," "Do you think global warming is fact or fiction?" do not know about global warming. THEY need to read your August 15 article and digest the following statements:
"We will soon be crossing the threshold into climate hell," wrote Ross Gelbspan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
We will have more intense heat waves, droughts, floods, fires, and widespread occurrence of diseases such as the West Nile virus, say scientists from more than 80 countries.
Unchecked climate change could bankrupt the global economy by 2065. We must cut carbon emissions quickly, globally and dramatically, or prepare for a future of environmental and economic disintegration. Two years ago the biggest insurer in Great Britain, CGNU, said that.
Politicians whose sole priority is apparently to get re-elected do not want to either be a messenger of bad news or to -- heaven forbid! -- think long term. Their message seems to be: "Sorry kids and grandchildren, we were obsessed with our short-term, profit-motivated greed and we refused to look out for you."
Julian Powers Spokane, Wash.
Smoke Doesn't Kill
I find the campaign to get rid of grass burning ridiculous and mostly orchestrated by outsiders. These people move here, to an agricultural area, and then seem to be shocked when agricultural practices occur.
I am also a life-long asthmatic. To say that grass smoke killed someone with asthma is ridiculous, as anyone with allergies can tell you. I could die from sitting by someone who recently rode a horse, it I eat certain foods or if I am exposed to dust from rodents. Also, asthma medication in itself is very dangerous. I never take it unless my life is threatened, as the side effects are almost always worse than the attack.
Also, the opponents say they aren't anti-agriculture. They must be pro-development, because that's what will happen when agriculture goes away. If the 7,000 acres now being burned on the Rathdrum Prairie are turned into housing projects -- which they will be -- then the following pollutants would be produced in one year, if you figure only four houses per acre, with one car per home, according to EPA statistics: 2,240,000 lbs of hydrocarbons;16,968,000 lbs of carbon monoxide; 1,148,000 lbs of nitrogen oxides; 280,000,000 lbs of carbon; dioxide; 15,400,000 gallons of gasoline burned.
This doesn't take into account the gas stations that will be built with underground tanks directly over the aquifer and the added danger of gasoline or chemical spills with increased development and traffic. Welcome to Los Angeles.
Personally, I would rather endure the four or five days of grass smoke. The sad thing is when these people get their way and grass burning goes away, the skies will still be full of smoke in September and October from slash burning, and in November through March from wood stoves. And the air will be laden with the above pollutants 365 days per year. They will have gained nothing and lost much.
Donna Pottratz Hayden Lake, Idaho
Don't Age Discriminate
I am 16 years old, and although my experience is somewhat limited, the one constant in my life so far is that I have always been encouraged to see new places, people and, above all, art. Both my parents and I have always been interested in glass art, but just recently my urge to view new art ruined the day for several people.
We saw an ad in the newspaper for a glass exhibition being held at Arbor Crest Winery. My parents, two of their friends and I were very excited and planned to make an afternoon of visiting the show. The ad did not mention anything about an age requirement. When we arrived at the entrance to the winery, our car was stopped and a young man gave us some bad news: he politely informed us that no one under the age of 21 was allowed on the property, and since I was in the car, no other person in the car was admissible. After we sat in silence for a few moments, he suggested that I could be left in the car somewhere off the property. Offended, my dad immediately said "No thanks" and we drove away.
I am an artist myself, and I am absolutely shocked that because one person was not of legal drinking age, an entire car full of people was denied permission to simply look at art.
An entire generation of artistic talent is wasting away because of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. Many teens and young adults are wonderfully gifted and could easily have even been showing their art at gatherings like this. I hope that next time a better location is provided for this exhibition.
Elizabeth Thies Spokane, Wash.
Appalling Liberal Love Fest
The liberal love fest which adorned [the 8/15] Inlander was appalling. Both the global warming cover story and the "Al Gore is a genius" commentary were written without regard to any opposing viewpoint. The Satanic Gases, by Patrick J. Michaels and Robert C. Balling, provides the scientifically based opposing viewpoint which your out-of-town authors claim does not exist. Guess what newspaper I won't be reading anymore.
Ben Bray Deer Park, Wash