Letters to the Editor

Letters from Sept. 29, 2007

Letters on letters

Here is where the point is missing

It is Michael Vineyard who has missed the point with his letter (CK Reporter, Sept. 22). George W. Bush’s Iraq misadventure is eerily analogous to our nation’s misadventure in Vietnam, not the U.S. Civil War and slavery as told from a right-wing Republican viewpoint.

Both Vietnam and Iraq were unnecessary wars of choice, not wars in defense of the nation. Both wars were entered with inadequate strategic plans by leaders who overruled or ignored sound advice, leaders who ignored intelligence reports that did not support their prejudices and hopes cloaked in ignorance of the potential resistance to foreign occupation by the attacked country, and leaders who punished or dismissed advisors who did not comply with their desires for assurance of their correctness.

Both wars were either escalated or based on concocted untruths to deceive Congress and the public: the Gulf of Tonkin resolution for Vietnam and “weapons of mass destruction” for Iraq.

The eerie similarities between the two wars go on. Perhaps the Republican right likes to refer to the American Civil War to make General David Petraeus their General Ulysses S. Grant, but far more knowledgeable thinkers consider him close to being his generation’s General William Westmoreland, who tried to make the case in Congress that the Vietnam War was “within victory.”

There are three essential elements for the successful use of military force to support a national strategic goal: means, ends and ways. All successful senior military commanders know this going into battle.

George W. Bush initially had the means for his misbegotten war from the military forces, active and reserve, and the healthy economy he inherited from the Clinton administration. He has squandered and depleted both without adding to either.

Ends come from the coherent, feasible strategic plans backed by sufficient means. Aside from the sub-strategic goal of defeating Iraq’s fourth-rate military, the U.S. military had no coherent, feasible strategic plan for which they had sufficient means.

Military commanders are to find a way to meet the desired ends of a valid strategic plan when given the means. Lacking such a plan, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker were reduced to trying to support George Bush’s personal strategy of continuing the Iraq futility until he leaves office in January 2009, which is not a national strategy. Petraeus currently lacks the means to even do that and is dependent upon his military bosses and a Congress that caves in and grants funds borrowed from the future in “support of the troops” causing more of them to be maimed or killed in a war with no national strategic plan or feasible national objective.

Without addressing the essential elements of means, ends and ways in using military force in a manner that makes national strategic sense, the discourse becomes futile whether one’s name is George W. Bush, Jay Inslee or Michael Vineyard, and references to American history are just non sequiturs.

ROBERT A. TAYLOR

Silverdale

No on R4204

Ensure our kids’ future

School funding ... Millions of tax dollars are squandered on layers of bureaucracy. Why not fund SCHOOLS and TEACHERS before the educrats in Olympia? Let THEM take the “cuts” and give teachers the resources to teach our kids.

Just say NO to R4204, the Simple Majority rule for school levies. Making property owners the fall-guy for Olympia’s shortcomings will not solve education’s funding problems, it will only embolden an arrogant Legislature to further shirk their responsibility to provide “ample funding” for K-12 education as specified in Washington state’s constitution.

Students, teachers, para-professionals, secretaries, bus drivers, cooks and custodians all deserve to live in a home of their own. But continued demands on property owners to provide an ever-increasing portion of school budgets will diminish their capability to have their own home. This temporary funding is not sustainable, consistent or equitable across the state.

Do not fall for the “fairness” of allowing school levies to pass with only a simple majority. Ensure our kids’ future by demanding the Legislature fully fund all the mandates they impose. Now THAT would be fair.

NANCY ZORROZUA

Bremerton

Vote no

R-67 bad for voters

Referendum 67 has not received much publicity, and this is bad for voters as we need to understand the issue before the November election.

It is very clear to those who read the referendum that it is written by trial lawyers for the benefit of trial lawyers. It does not benefit the consumers in our state, who will pay horrific costs if it passes. For example, Ref. 67 allows for triple damages to be paid for insurance claims. Of course, the money has to come from somewhere — yes, from you and from me; those who buy insurance will pay and pay, in the form of higher insurance rates. Let’s face it, we live in a litigious society and we simply must have insurance, but will we be able to afford it if the trial lawyers have their way?

It is very interesting that the trial lawyers sponsored a similar law in California. The result was an 82 percent increase in auto accident lawsuits and a 50 percent increase in liability lawsuits. California voters eventually overturned the law. Let us learn from those voters. Vote NO on Referendum 67.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not an insurance agent, nor am I related in any way to the insurance industry. I just buy insurance to protect me and my family.

JOAN W. GORNER

Poulsbo

Vote yes

R-67 will protect rights

As voting nears for Referendum 67, I’m amazed at the avarice of the insurance industry and the ends to which they will go to fleece the public. Their advertising campaign against R-67 is fraught with untruths (aka lies), obfuscation and outright dishonesty. And worse, the average voter in Washington state is likely falling for their drivel, hook line and sinker, as evidenced by a letter to The Sun (printed above) from Joan W. Gorner of Poulsbo. Could she be a shill for the industry?

R-67, in a nutshell, is about protecting the rights of the insured and is meant to penalize the industry when reneging on a proper and legitimate claim against it. The average citizen lacks the legal skills to penetrate the nearly impenetrable shield surrounding the industry and their highly paid in-house legal counsel. The average citizen, to be successful in that event, must retain counsel to advocate for their rightful claim. R-67, I believe, allows for treble damages to be assessed when the industry fails to honor a rightful claim, as an encouragement to treat the insured fairly and honestly. A plaintiff’s attorney, not unlike a heart surgeon, deserves to be compensated for their professional skills and effort as part of that process.

I am an average citizen/voter, not a shill for the trial lawyers, who is intelligent enough to see the industry’s huckster ads for what they are, fraudulent.

GARY C. SHUCK

Silverdale

President Bush

He puts homosexuals at risk

President Ahmadinejad (Ah mad in the head) said, there are no homosexuals in Iran like they have in Massachusetts, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Belgium and the Netherlands. President Bush wants a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and vows to veto legislation to protect homosexuals from crimes of hate and the freedom to serve openly in the military. Bush puts homosexuals at risk and in Iran, they don’t have the chance of a snowball in the desert. Who is really mad in the head?

J. MICHAEL SONDHEIMER

Bremerton

County meeting

A major disappointment

I was very disappointed in the “Community Conversations” hosted by the county. According to Josh Brown, the meetings are designed for the board to hear from county residents. “We want to hear from citizens in every part of the county, and from every perspective about their concerns...Hearing from citizens directly about the issues that are impacting them will greatly aid us in making those difficult decisions this year.” (quote taken from county Web site). Ben Holland spent approximately 40 minutes presenting an overview of the county budget. When questions were asked by members of the community, many of them were answered with, I don’t know, or we are looking into that. In a very candid moment, Mr. Holland mentioned that the purpose of the presentation was to convince the taxpayers to vote for higher taxes. Again, I am very disappointed, yet not surprised, that instead of “hearing from citizens” to make “difficult decisions” this was just another propaganda or sales job to promote increasing taxes. Please help convince the commissioners to reduce spending, eliminate nonessential programs and eliminate excessive staff for nonessential services.

KRIS DANIELSON

Port Orchard

Child rearing

Common sense is missing

While reading the morning papers I often ponder the state of affairs in our nation, especially when it comes to child rearing. I wonder how many others in my “over 70” age group find it amusing (if it weren’t so pathetic) that at a time when there are tons and tons of books written by so-called “experts” on child rearing, marriage, (and every other subject under the sun) society seems to have fallen to the lowest level of behavior. For ages, parents raised their children by the “Good Book” and common sense and turned out pretty decent people. Since Dr. Spock arrived on the scene things have gone downhill. Even he admitted to some mistakes. But I guess all these folks that go for higher degrees have to come up with something new and different to present to each gullible generation! And regardless of how ridiculous it all seems, too many swallow the ideas.

I received my Bachelor of Education degree in 1950 and the trend downward was starting even then.

Only when common sense returns will this country be able to do a better job of training the young for adulthood.

NORMA L. CARD

Bremerton

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