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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 21, 2009 at 4:01 PM

President Obama

Jose Luis Magana/ The Associated Press

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave to the crowd as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue after the inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Letting go of control

Editor, The Times:

I am a conservative and I have not changed my politics. I’m still a conservative and I wish my side had won. But, this is how our government works and I make it my policy to not worry about things I have no control over.

Therefore, I am proud of my country and I am proud of President Obama. I am excited about the coming months. Obama definitely won’t make some of the decisions I would make if I were in his shoes, but if he truly listens to all sides in each situation and observes history, he could wind up being a great president. And I would be happy to help in any way I can.

To those who will yell and scream, thinking I’ve gone soft or have no core, I’m sorry, but I won’t worry over things I have no control over. I will give our new president, my new president, the benefit of the doubt and wait to see how he will govern.

This is a great day in America. This is a great day for the breakdown of racism and the irrational hatred, or simply the dislike, of “people not like us.”

As a Christian, I believe God is still on the throne. God bless you, Mr. President, and God bless America.

— Dave Phillips, Puyallup

Red flags in Federal Way

The Times reported the Federal Way School District was requiring permission notes from parents before students could see or hear the 44th president of the United States deliver his inaugural address [“Students need OK to see Obama speech,” Times, Around the Northwest, Local News, Jan. 17].

This was said to be because the inauguration was “not part of the regular course work.” Such a policy raises many questions.

As a retired teacher, I am dismayed to read of such a restriction placed on teachers and students. It is difficult for me to believe teachers would put up with it and parents would condone it. I can only assume that most administrators are embarrassed by such a policy.

It would be interesting to learn how such an asininity came to be seen by some as essential to the education system in Federal Way.

— Sy Schwartz, Bellingham

A one-sided controversy

The subhead, “2 controversial figures selected by Obama,” of your article [“Division over inaugural prayer,” Local News, Jan. 19] is indicative of the liberal bias in the mainstream media against religious conservatives.

Why is Pastor Rick Warren’s inclusion controversial? He is a fairly mainstream pastor of a California megachurch and a very successful author. Sure, he opposes same-sex marriage, but so do most Americans and so do probably 99.9 percent of evangelical pastors.

Bishop Gene Robinson, on the other hand, left his wife and children to be with his male partner. His election to bishop caused a split and irreparable harm to the Episcopal denomination. This was not an unexpected result. He put his own interests ahead of the church.

So, I can only see one controversial figure here.

— Dennis Russell, Edmonds

Better late than never

I became dismayed while listening to a local, public-radio station the day after President Obama’s inauguration. People were asked to share their thoughts about the event.

Multiple people said that now, Jan. 21, 2009, they could get busy with creating change; now they could make a difference; now they could serve. One man said that before Jan. 21, he would have left that errant piece of paper in the trash can, but now he would make the effort to place it in the recycle bin.

While I consider the previous administration’s legacy less than positive, I never imagined its “negative power” so virulent as to prevent individuals from recycling.

I, and others who have been working for change since the Clinton administration, have wondered why it’s hard to recruit volunteers and motivate people toward the change they say they want.

I guess now I know what the problem was.

Come to think of it, I have been struggling to lose weight for the past eight years with little success.

Regardless of what’s been stopping you, I say to those who now find themselves capable of helping, “Welcome! We’re glad you’re here! Let’s get busy.”

— Dan Hazen, Marysville

Fictional perspective

Charles Krauthammer has found a silver lining, suggesting President Obama endorses former President Bush’s policies [“Thanks to Obama, Bush’s legacy is secure,” syndicated columnist, Jan. 18]. It reminds me of an old joke I just made up:

Two men stand outside a pretty house rented by a murderous criminal.

The first man says, “Let’s burn it to the ground. Heck, let’s torch the entire neighborhood. Burn, baby, burn!”

The second man says, “No, he’s trapped inside so we can keep an eye on him.”

The first man, ignoring the second man, tosses a Molotov cocktail and the house is quickly engulfed in flames.

“Yeah, take that!” he taunts. Quickly, the fire spreads to other homes, and embers fly and begin to destroy adjacent neighborhoods, killing many innocent people.

The second man says, “You’re crazy. We have to put out the fire.”

The first man, happy at first, realizes his recklessness has gotten out of control and finally calls the fire department. Many firefighters die battling the blaze. Many more are wounded. Smoldering homes and occasional flare-ups continue.

The second laments, “What a tragedy. I’m so glad you finally called the fire department.”

Krauthammer looks on, “See, they both agree after all.”

— David Wall, Kirkland

Covering his tracks

Former President George W. Bush repeatedly claims that history will judge his presidency, while his administration fights tooth and nail to prevent White House e-mails from being archived for future historians.

I wonder what data he expects history to judge him on unless it’s the book he yearns to write.

— Michael Konkol, Brier

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, George W. Bush, Politics

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