Yield to pedestrians
Just a friendly reminder that failure to yield to a pedestrian in or at a crosswalk carries a fine of $124.
Karen Williams, Twisp
Rod Lentz uses an unfortunate choice of words in describing the Methow Headwaters Campaign’s proposal — withdrawing 340,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land from mineral exploration — as “shortsighted” (Dec.7).
The Cascade Mountains were billions of years in the geological making and the current pristine ecosystems therein represent thousands of years of evolution since the end of the last ice age. These ecosystems, like many before them on this planet, can be utterly destroyed in the geological blink of an eye in the hours, days and weeks it takes for heavy industrial machinery to tear up a landscape. Science tells us beyond any reasonable doubt that the ecosystems, upon which life, including us homo sapiens, depend, do not simply grow back when the duplicitously named Blue Rivers Resources of this world suck their profits out of the ground and move on.
The real shortsightedness — which is becoming more evident by the day in the assembly of the government elect — is in predator capital’s drill-baby-drill ethos that is an utterly corrupt and failed experiment for most of the people and life-forms on our shared planet Earth.
Come join us, Rod, on the front lines when we stand against Trump and Cathy McMorris Rodgers — his proposed choice for Interior Secretary — delegated with opening up public lands to the robber barons of the fossil fuel industry, and doubtless the copper industry too.
The lives of our children and grandchildren are dependent on it, for make no mistake, predator capital will destroy our habitable planetary environment if we don’t first dismantle the utterly myopic and redundant ideology of making a fast buck.
Danbert Nobacon, Twisp
The truth about lies
I had been thinking much along the lines of your excellent “free press” editorial. The attacks on the free press were a frightening aspect of this election. However, the problem I foresee is not just the implied threat to suppress the free press, as seen in your quote from the minority-voted, president-elect. It is the marginalization of the press as an accepted source of reliable information.
Lies supported by right-wing websites overwhelmed the mainstream press and fact-checking websites. It’s gone way past Colbert’s idea of “truthiness.” The lies don’t even have to sound like they might be true to be accepted as fact. Just call names (“corrupt X” or “liar Y” being favored) and people cheer whatever lies follow. The Internet was supposed to bring us more access to the truth. Millions of people have chosen to let it do the opposite.
I remember the outrage when Twitter proposed increasing its character limit above 140 characters. It seems that for many people, 140 characters is the longest “news” report they can read. A maximum length letter to the Methow Valley News has around 2,000 characters. Even that seems short to me for presenting facts. News articles are much longer, of course.
I have been critical of some local newspapers (not the News) that appear biased in reporting and fact-checking, or that place limits on letters published based on political views. But at least when people read (almost) any newspaper, they are exposed to some opposing viewpoints or contrary information. That doesn’t ever happen on extremist Internet sites. There’s no chance of seeing any information or facts that might challenge or contradict their fixed beliefs. All they see are the lies they want to see.
Sadly, what is happening in Europe mirrors the United States. Extremist websites are subverting or replacing mainstream media there, too. If it’s happening more slowly, that may be because there are still people who remember and fear the rise of fascism and dictatorships. It started in part with the subversion of the free press.
Finally, my thanks again to the Methow Valley News for being a model of excellence.
Randy Brook, Twisp (written from Paris)
Ask Newhouse for his views
This morning I called Congressman Newhouse’s office in Washington, D.C., to learn what his views are on proposed changes to Medicare and Social Security, as well as his plans for replacing the Affordable Care Act.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has proposed a plan for Medicare called “premium support.” Medicare enrollees would be given a voucher to be used to purchase a private health insurance policy. This is essentially privatization.
Sam Johnson, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Social Security, has proposed a number of changes to the current law that would involve cuts in benefits for both current enrollees and those not yet eligible for the retirement benefit.
On both these important issues, his office was not able to tell me what the Congressman’s views are. This is disappointing because the proposed changes to Medicare and Social Security are not new issues and the Congressman should be able to tell us if he favors them or not.
Finally, I asked his office what replacement plan the Congressman supports if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. I pointed out that the number of residents on the 4th District without health insurance has declined considerably since the ACA went into effect and that the Congressman has voted for its repeal. Again, I could get no information as to what Congressman Newhouse proposes as a replacement.
I urge voters of the 4th District to contact our congressman to encourage him to let us know his views on these topics. If enough people call, perhaps he’ll make his views known. The telephone number for his Washington, D.C., office is (202) 225-5816. The number for his Yakima office is (509) 452-3243. If you want to send an email, you can do so here: newhouse.house.gov/contact/email.
Emily Sisson, Winthrop