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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 12, 2008 at 3:34 PM

Countdown on the Bush years

Watch closely

I really think this is not the time to let our guard down and let President George W. Bush and his associates get away with the crimes they have committed.

We also need to watch Bush very carefully to make sure that he does not pass bills that we are against or change the Constitution to benefit himself and his constituents.

Please make sure that all the oil people who made millions on us do not get away with it. We also need to

make sure that the private companies that are in Afghanistan and Iraq don’t get away with their heinous crimes against the civilian population.

Please stand with me and honor our civil duty to speak up.

— Fortune Haymes, Carnation

Break out the dictionary

President George W. Bush claims to have offered “complete cooperation” in the transition to the Barack Obama presidency and used those specific words when he called to congratulate Obama.

When he spoke in the Rose Garden the day following the election, he promised that he and his staff would do everything they could to ensure a “smooth transition.” Well, Bush, even for you, these words come easy — but your actions speak louder.

The ink is barely dry announcing change in America, and Bush is already reneging on his latest promises. “Bush officials to relax environmental guidelines” [News, Nov. 9] states that he has plans to approve mining near the Grand Canyon, allow mountaintop-mining companies to dump rubble in nearby streams, make it easier for companies to spew pollution into the air, allow loaded, concealed weapons in national parks, and the list goes on.

This is a list that will take the new administration significant time and energy to “undo” — time and energy that is better spent fixing the economy, health care, education and other national priorities.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given the shortsighted, arrogant, small-minded way he has run the country over the past eight years.

Complete cooperation? Smooth transition? God help us.

— Beth Shepard, Kent

We need citizen watchdogs

I was dismayed to read that President George W. Bush will try to “loosen” more environmental rules before leaving the White House. Rules banning mining near the Grand Canyon, mountain-top-removal coal mining and changes to the endangered-species act are planned, among others.

The Seattle Times story describes these changes as “in keeping with President Bush’s overall support of deregulation.”

Haven’t we already experienced Bush’s overall support of deregulation in our financial systems?

Do we stand by helpless while our environment is further degraded in the relentless pursuit of higher profits and more cash in the pockets of corporate executives?

The story states that the time for public comment is over. It shouldn’t just be the environmentalist whose limited resources are the only voice against huge mining and energy conglomerates. We should know exactly who benefits. Maybe this sort of mining creates some jobs, but these are not long-term jobs, and when the resources are fully exploited, the workers are left worse off than when they started, and are left living in a toxic environment.

The owners of the leases pocket the profits, then take off to repeat the process in other places. Do we really need to clear-cut more forests, especially when forests are a hope for holding carbon out of the atmosphere?

True to the policies of the Bush administration from day one, these changes will benefit only the wealthy and powerful.

Most Americans would like to breathe clean air that untouched forests can help provide.

We need to be writing our congressional members now and encourage President-elect Obama to overturn these changes.

If the current financial crisis accomplishes anything positive, be it that citizens become the watchdogs over government.

— Kathleen Lange, Seattle

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