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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 18, 2008 at 4:08 PM

Presidential politics

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, answers a question from plumber Joe Wurzelbacher in Holland, Ohio, Oct. 12.

Christian, Catholic or vegetarian;

Keep it to yourself

Editor, The Times:

I was wondering if anyone else watching the debate Wednesday evening felt their blood pressure rise when Sen. John McCain began to talk about his anti-abortion stance [“Accusations fly in final debate,” Times, page one, Oct. 16].

Since he is not a woman, and could be in a position to influence women all over the nation, I feel it’s inappropriate and very disturbing to hear him counsel on how “he will work it out” on finding a family for the child that you or I will carry for nine months.

Like many other individual personal and physical decisions for women and men, I would hope that people who are anti-abortion would keep this to themselves.

I would never begin to pretend that I understand the physical needs of a stranger.

So if you are a Christian, Catholic or vegetarian, these are your beliefs. That’s great. Apply your beliefs to your body not mine.

Our bodies are not a shared national resource.

McCain, I am 100 percent certain that should you make it to the oval office, you are not qualified to make decisions about my body.

This is not debatable.

— Karen Quarre, Woodinville

Freedom in opportunity

I’m writing this letter to ask that you support Sen. John McCain when you vote this year. McCain is what this country needs in a president.

He has the experiences of a lifetime to face reforms we need today. I am sure he will see us through the hardships that are coming our way.

We all must work together to get through the Wall Street bailout and again become a productive nation. It’s time to work as a team regardless of the party we support. America has been in crisis for the last few years; we have failed to resolve the issues we face because of party politics and the inability to trust who we are as a nation.

We failed to correct the Social Security crisis, transportation issues and the security of a nation that is at war.

Our children face even more issues related to the failure of Congress to address the need to build a nation that is true to its people and it’s history — not just a community of do-good policies that fail to address the true meaning of reform that unites us.

This is no time to continue playing the blame games and failing to follow up on what needs to be done.

We become a nation that supports a culture of death, that lacks the ability to support the meaning of protecting life.

Our health-care system is more about management of the crisis with respect to access to care rather than treating one’s health problems.

Our doctors have been forced to limit how they provide access to care and are more managers of wellness than advocates in treatment. Our education system is divided and only supports the smartest rather than building equality. Our children face a nation at risk that lacks true leadership to resolve the crises we find ourselves in today.

They are being told that it’s time not to address the issues, but also to only look for what feels right. Reform is not just about hope or change for the sake changing. To continue on this road is surely going to lead us to no more than a misdirected path of continued failures and hopeless policies.

It’s time for reform that brings us together and also respects life and the true meaning of freedom in opportunity.

— Gregory Lemke, Arlington

Poor Joe

Let me get this straight. An honest and hardworking single parent asks a legitimate question during a campaign rally [“Joe the plumber’s story isn’t watertight,” News, Oct. 17].

It is the telling answer by the candidate that is repeated and analyzed by the other party and affiliated blogs, yet the media swoops down on the man, ridicules him nationwide, publicly reveals his financial affairs and ultimately threatens his job — all because he believes that hard work should be rewarded, not punished by higher taxes.

A sad day indeed.

–Edda Kuhlmann, Bellevue

Not another maverick, please

The debates are over. Now comes the solemn responsibility of every voter, to elect the next president and vice president of the U.S.

We must consider what we have seen and heard during the campaigns. Sen. Barack Obama has been calm and has presented a cogent message at each debate.

Unfortunately, Sen. John McCain seemed to exhibit a different aspect of his personality at each debate.

My least favorite was the dour man who refused to look at his opponent during one debate. Is that really who we want representing our country?

Or someone who refers to his opponent as “that one”?

Our next president will need to court needed allies that have been repulsed by our foreign policy over the past eight years.

Our next president will need to implement diplomacy to achieve nuclear-proliferation agreements with North Korea and Iran — tasks at which the current administration continues to fail.

McCain’s many faces makes me think he will do whatever it takes to win the election.

My vote is for Obama, who has acted presidential throughout his campaign. The U.S. does not need another “maverick.”

— Robert Lynn, Bellevue

Let’s get the full story on ACORN

Shame on the media for printing John McCain’s slanderous remarks against ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) without including a fact-check [“Palin criticizes Obama over ACORN, view of America,” Politics & Government, Oct. 16].

I’ve heard of ACORN’s good work in helping low-income Americans with housing, and also with political empowerment through voter-registration drives.

And keep in mind that only the government can register people to vote — not ACORN, not political parties nor any other group.

Granted, the story in The Seattle Times does soften McCains’s remarks a bit by referring to these as “. . . hyperbolically raising the threat beyond what the evidence supports.”

But the media should have interviewed ACORN for their side of the story.

The group hired workers to help with voter-registration drives. Unfortunately, a few of these hired hands embezzled money from ACORN by falsifying records.

If you own a business and employees embezzle from you by falsifying documents, you are the victim.

Further, ACORN turned these forms into the government as required by law, but alerted the government to the fact that they thought some of the voter-registration forms looked suspicious.

ACORN was helping the government do its job.

I hope ACORN sues McCain for slander.

— Marjorie Rhodes, Seattle

So much for freedom

We do not need to secure ourselves against terrorists who seek to take away our freedoms. Our country is doing it for us.

Three years ago, Congress approved the renewal of the Patriot Act. So much for habeas corpus, the right to have one’s day in court.

Two years ago today, the democratically controlled Congress approved the Military Commissions Act. So much for the Posse Comitatus Act, our right to not have our military used against us.

Without these rights we cannot call ourselves a free country.

As our Founding Fathers knew, the greatest threat to our freedom is our own government.

Conservatives say they want government to quit interfering with our lives and yet they gave the government the right to arrest any American for no reason, label him or her an enemy combatant — so long habeas corpus.

Liberals declaim the internment camps of WWII and yet they voted for the repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act.

I am so ashamed of the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and the detentions at Guantánamo.

Ben Franklin once said “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

— Elizabeth Franklin, Seattle

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