Re: LTE reader responses to CDN Citizens Agenda questions (CDN Sept. 7 “To some, 'Citizens Agenda' is fine — as long as they're setting it”)
I, too, would like to express my disappointment for the singular lack of imagination of the recycling of the hackneyed “faded blue smoking Volvo with 'Earth First' stickers” clichés sung by the radical right. Like some inane Top 40 music, trumpeting the same repetitious 7-11 lyrics — seven words, 11 times.
In no particular order, contracted as spoken into one word:
1. Right-to-life (even at the mortal risk to the mother)
2. Hoax-of-climate-change-rigged-elections (unless their side wins)
3. Low/no taxes (but where’s my FEMA disaster or Social Security check?)
4. Jobs (especially with low-paying, minimum-wage slaves pay)
5. Government-overreach (formerly known as Roe v. Wade ... unless it’s No. 1 above)
6. Socialized medicine (but don’t mess with my Medicare)
7. Marxist/Communist-Gestapo-liberals (the apotheosis and resurrection of Joseph McCarthy in the chimera of Donald Trump)
In invoking the (Swedish) Volvo and Earth-First bromides, consider the following, rich ironies:
1. The people of Sweden, through international polling, and the results of free and fair democratic elections, report the highest rate of satisfaction with their quality of life, including the democratic socialism policies of their government despite relatively high-income tax rates; and
2. By no coincidence, some of the highest rates of labor union participation (almost 70%) in Sweden, which is almost seven times that of the United States, at just 10%.
3. Earth First, unless someone cut high school biology, the inescapable reality is there ain’t no Plan(et) B. Mother Earth (QAnon, UFO-logists and MAGA lemmings, aside) is a one-off.
Or to quote Marx (the other deep thinker, Groucho), the mantra of the neo-Liberal climate deniers, “Why should I care about future generations ... what have they ever done for me?”
To allege that the results of the Citizens Agenda are “biased” because of “single-party rule” trips on its premise and sprawls on its conclusion. The opinions expressed by the response of the community, again not by coincidence, coincide with and reflect the results of free and fair elections, a novel concept for the MAGA (Make America GOP Always) minions.
The afore-invoked “100 mph fastball” brush-back pitch turns out to be a screwball in the dirt that barely dribbles across the plate.
Under a blanket of smoke from the latest fires in Washington and beyond, I am writing to alert CDN readers to a resource on climate impacts that they may find helpful.
Last week, the Biden Administration released “Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation” (resilience.climate.gov), a web-based tool that relates federal government data and resources to local and community exposure to climate-related hazards.
With a focus on heat, drought, wildfire, inland flooding and coastal flooding, the website is intended to help planning but also to feed understanding. It looks like a great place to add national and regional context to our local experience of these climate hazards.
We may be 2,800 miles from Washington, D.C., but it’s good to be reminded that some of the pencil-pushers in our nation’s capital are doing good work that relates directly to our success and well-being right here. And to know just how many of our fellow citizens face similar challenges and concerns.
Take a look at CMRA. And bring what you see home to Whatcom. We can all use this.
If the majority in Congress has its way, spending on the Pentagon and work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy will hit $850 billion next year. This is half of the U.S. government's discretionary budget ... think of the other plagues we could address with this money: poverty, disease, environmental devastation, housing, potholes, public health?
The troubled F-35 combat aircraft budget that the Pentagon and the Project on Government Oversight say “may NEVER be ready for combat” is comparable to the entire discretionary budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One-third of the cost of a new aircraft carrier ($4.5 billion) would “ensure equitable and sustained foundational public health services for all,” according to the Center for American Progress.
The top five contractors — Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman — racked up over $200 billion in defense-related revenue last year. I do not hear of any news of these corporations' efforts to assist in investments in health care, education, anti-poverty programs or environmental destruction assistance, yet their talented staff could be challenged.
It is a shot in the dark: Write your political leaders and demand them to shave the military budget. Let these corporations utilize their staff brainpower and initiatives for human services projects. We will always be taxed. I for one would prefer my tax money to be used for immunization programs, salmon recovery, garden projects in schools to learn about food for the future, watershed safety, new housing materials, prenatal care, etc.
Join me: Send them a note.
Re: The mass-killing suspects Myles and Damien Sanderson of Saskatchewan
I, too, believe in the mass-murder suspects' guilt. Nevertheless, whenever I hear how relieved people are when somebody is charged with a reviled crime like this — “Did they catch him? They did? Well, that’s a relief” — I mentally hear the phrase, “We’ll give ’im a fair trial, then we’ll hang ’im.”
And if I point out, he may be the wrong guy who’s being railroaded, I could receive the erroneous refrain, “Well, if he’s truly innocent, he has nothing to worry about.”
However, statistically unlikely, the average person could someday find themselves unjustly jailed, even for life.
“Justice system” vice probably occurs much more frequently than we can ever know about. And I've noticed people tend to naively believe that such ethically challenged courtroom prosecutorial, and even judicial, conduct can/will never happen to them.
Such people fail to consider the potential flaws, even blatant ethical misconduct committed, in the law-enforcement/justice system — that great injustices are committed, both hidden and exposed.
It’s why I strongly believe that whenever possible, the news media should refrain from publishing the identity of people charged with a crime — especially one of a repugnant nature, for which they are jailed pending trial (as is typically done) — until at least after they’ve been convicted.
Frank Sterle Jr.
White Rock, B.C.
I’ve been following the recent kerfuffle over the plan for the Hundred Acre Wood(s), or more accurately named the “Gerrymandered Wood(s)” (CDN Aug. 30 “City, park commissioners at odds over Hundred Acre Wood”).
Despite the annual property tax pocketbook pilferage, at least I have the satisfaction of being a part park owner.
You’re welcome, Bellingham.
But, I have no complaints. Because about 100 years from now, while the City is still progressing the Post Point project, the mayor has long since saved us from climate change, and when the Port's boutique Hotel “I’m Not the Titanic” is celebrating its first year, the remaining forested areas will be almost gone.
The remnants will be the “Great Wood(s) of many names” — Clarks Point Nature Reserve and Governors Point (assuming, of course, that unsupervised campfires and Sehome High School hammockers haven’t burned the forest down by then).
What’s of interest, though, are the recent comments by principals concerning the main trail.
One of the City Council decision-makers seems challenged with respect to the diversity of the City’s bicycling population. The breadth of citizen “bicyclery” was very eloquently stated by a contributor to the CDN Letters to the Editor. Hopefully, she read the comments, but ya never know.
For my part, I never had the desire to go blasting down a mountain with my hair on fire, trashing the remaining woodlands as I go. Nope, I prefer a leisurely toot on my e-bike on a safe, established local trail with my homies and a cold one later.
The other comment of interest was from the “Great Wood(s) of many names” self-appointed gatekeeper and District Director. “The main trail plan is a non-starter.” I guess the gentleman has been unaware that people of all interests besides his own would be entitled to use the property.
Nope, the cat’s outta the bag, dude. It’s gonna be an area that’s heavily used and appreciated.
Therefore, the total overriding criteria for that main trail design must be public safety, full stop. The trail width, must as a minimum, match the width and design of the other Greenways trails.