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‘Don't ask, don't tell' must go

It's time to stop discussing and dissecting the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. It's time to get rid of it.

We know there are gays/lesbians in the military. We've known for years, decades. Despite that, the military has marched on. Straight soldiers are still straight. Camouflage hasn't turned multiple shades of pink. The military's mission is still strong.

The only ones suffering due to "don't ask, don't tell" are the gay/lesbian soldiers. They have to live a stressful double life. They risk losing their careers and dreams. They are the ones who get harassed, beat up, even killed.

If the military allowed gays to serve openly and ordered soldiers to accept gays as equals, then it would show people, both in and out of the military, that prejudice and discrimination are wrong. Homophobia is not acceptable. Harassment is not an option.

We will all benefit when the military puts an end to "don't ask, don't tell." The sooner, the better.

Annie Capestany

Walla Walla

Radicals and fanatics

I agree with Phil Monfort (U-B March 7). I, too, would rather talk to radicals, who are rational and seldom boring.

I desperately don't want to talk to fanatics, whether they are obsessed with jihad, Angelina and Jennifer, blowing up abortion clinics, the Seahawks or telling us what God desires for our lives.

Mr. Monfort urges a return to Christian radicalism, "... to the godly standards set forth in the Bible." He assures us, "The change in our country would be revolutionary."

Americans have entertained many utopian dreams, but Mr. Monfort's vision allows us a glimpse of one that works. Just think, we can look back on a thousand years of total unanimity and Christian rule, when nearly everyone was a serious believer in the Bible, even though they couldn't read it.

We have all wished we could live in such a time, and with God's help we could go there again. We have many tools to make saints out of sinners, bequeathed to us by the Spanish Inquisition: Iron maiden, garrotte, pillory and, of course, the rack.

Heretics would go the way of Czech priest Jan Hus, burned at the stake in 1415. In fact, we surely could have prolonged the Golden Age had we been more decisive with troublemakers like Wycliffe, Gutenburg, Luther and others who asked the wrong questions. Using modern investigative techniques, we could rid the land of witches in no time at all, stripping the devil of the collaborators he so desperately needs for his evil machinations.

And wouldn't it be a joy to once again see Christian princes marching to glory, as did Pope Julius II and Crusader Richard I, at the head of God's armies, winning vast new territories while smiting the infidel?

Lastly, we could finally be rid of that pesky nuisance called science, which distorts the simple truths of the Bible with fantasies like the Big Bang and evolution. The Vatican, particularly Pope Urban VIII, knew how to deal with heretics like Galileo. Popes such as Urban courageously helped us hold on to our geocentric universe (the sun circles the Earth) well into the 20th century.

Why would we ever wish to saddle ourselves with big words and indecipherable symbols that calculus, biology and astronomy demand when we could read stories we can understand: Adam and Eve, a talking snake, the ark carrying a million species and, from the Creation Museum, a dinosaur saddled and ready. But an English saddle? Couldn't we have something a bit more Western, more manly? (Cave men were tough. Would they actually ride dressage?)

Paul McCaw

Presott

Editorial offers no solution

I have a friend, whom I have heard say in sadness when encountering fatuous speech or writing: "Pitiful, just pitiful."

That morose, one-word response was mine also as I read the U-B editorial March 17. The title: "Health-care plan built on politics, not sound policy."

We in this Valley are used to a doctrinal bias in our daily newspaper. A preponderance of editorials leaning toward Republican positions should surprise none of us. But this editorial of March 17 - following so faithfully the hymn book of what has become in the Obama era the "just say no" party - is quite remarkable for lacking any substantive solution at all to widely recognized problems in the U.S. health-care delivery system.

As my friend would say of this U-B editorial: "pitiful."

Ray Norsworthy

Walla Walla

Is it election time yet?

It would be toxic to the reputation of a community organizer to show a profit.

Obama and his Chicago clan is applying that standard, step by step, to the American economy.

They had a bit of a head start given them by Barney Frank et al. who through excessive beneficence in generous loans to unqualified buyers had already squeezed all the juice out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

They have applied the principle to the banks, the auto companies and now the Obama-Reid-Pelosi trifecta wants to render the same therapy to the entire medical profession from pharmaceuticals to hospitals, from health insurance companies to physicians.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., points out: "In 1966 the cost of Medicare to the taxpayers was about $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that it would cost $12 billion (adjusted for inflation) by 1990. The actual cost in 1990 was nearly nine times that - $107 billion. By 2009 Medicare costs reached $427 billion, with Medicaid boosting that by an additional $255 billion. And this doesn't take into account the Medicaid expansion in last year's ‘stimulus.'"

Sens. Murray and Cantwell of Washington have been lockstep behind this new medical-control takeover plan. Contact them and ask them (or one of their staff) to explain to you how adding another $950 billion entitlement will solve the Medicare-Medicaid mess that guv'mint control has given us over the past 44 years. I would be interested in what answer they give you.

The November 2010 election can't come a moment too soon.

Tom Baker

Waitsburg

Cancer screening saves lives

On the March 9 front page of the U-B there was an article, "Experts: Doctors overtest, overtreat." It talks about too much cancer screening, too many heart tests, too many cesarean sections and so on.

Apparently the author of this article, Lindsey Tanner from Chicago, never has had cancer. I want to say I am totally opposed to this way of thinking. Let me explain.

About six months ago I went to the doctor for my annual physical exam. I was feeling fine, no problems. The subsequent exam and lab test revealed a small lump on my prostate and an elevated PSA.

Because it was a small lump the physician said we could watch it for a few months or have a biopsy now. My wife, who is a registered nurse, insisted I needed to have the biopsy immediately, and I did.

The biopsy showed I had a very fast growing and aggressive cancer in my prostate.

Things moved very fast after that point. Within six weeks I was in the hospital having prostate surgery. Since it was detected early, the physician found the cancer was still contained in the prostate. He was able to remove all the cancer with the surgery.

Too much testing? I do not think so. That test saved my life.

I urge all of you to get your annual physicals, mammograms, heart tests, etc. It could save you a great deal of grief, pain and money if a problem progresses to the later stages.

I do agree with the closing statement in the article, "Many argue that it can improve survival chances and that saving even a few lives is worth the cost of routinely testing many people."

It saved my life. How about you? Your health is very precious. Please take care of it.

David G. Carey

Walla Walla

Let’s ban almost all imports

After World War II we had little unemployment. We sold grains to Asia and bought fireworks and small items. Then a greedy manufacturer said, "Let’s make our products overseas with cheap labor so we can make enormous profit."

The government went along with this madness, too, because it would get huge tax receipts. Regardless of whose idea it was, it was no matter that jobs would be lost.

Slowly, at first, people were laid off and some steel mills shut down. Soon stores were flooded with low-cost items. We still sold grains and products to Asia. Folks bought so much stuff, they had nowhere to put it, so the storage business blossomed. Credit cards were tempting and became a curse. In addition there were problems with sub-prime loans, banks and the Wall Street fiasco.

Now the government will finance repairs to the infrastructure, but everyone cannot work in construction. Except for jobs in the bureaucracy, the government cannot create jobs. It doesn’t get it. Trying to create jobs is futile because the jobs have gone overseas! What a shame. Even a schoolchild could understand that.

We should only import watches, diamonds, some oil and exotic metals. Also coffee, tea, cocoa and tropical fruits like bananas.

Unless we ban all other imports, only a miracle can solve this problem for our world’s greatest country.

David Jenkins

Touchet

It is not about health care

The current debate is about more than health care. The Constitution guarantees life, liberty, property and freedom to worship as one desires. The real question is, "Can the majority take legally earned money from a minority and force them to support something that is not provided for in the Constitution or something to which they morally object?"

Do you really want the government to have access to your bank account and the ability to remove funds, as provided in the current legislation? Do you want legislation that Speaker Pelosi says, "We must pass to find out what is in it?"

Do we want to take $500 million out of Medicare and $170 million out of Medicare Advantage to further deplete resources that are unsound because the government gives away more than it takes in from participants? Do we want to set up more than 110 new agencies and bureaucracies in the government and expect it to cost less? Do we want a system that will cost over $2.3 trillion over 10 years when fully implemented?

An emergency room physician had a Medicaid patient who had an expensive gold tooth, a body adorned with a wide assortment of expensive tattoos, a new cellular phone, smoked more than a pack of cigarettes per day and still had money for pretzels and beer. This physician wrote to President Obama, "And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman’s health care? I contend that our nation’s ‘health care crisis’ is not a result of a shortage of hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather it is the result of a ‘crisis of culture,’ a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that ‘I can do whatever I want because someone else will always take care of me.’"

My wife and I do not want to pay for that irresponsible behavior, burden our children and grandchildren with additional debt and have money taken away and given to others to murder a child through abortion.

Ted Richerzhagen

College Place

The politician vs. the cow

Hypothetically, if we have a politician who wants to be our next senator or congressman, and is handsome, articulate, has good ideas and who is running against a cow, we would naturally vote for the politician. However, we should all realize that when the politician gets to Washington, D.C., he automatically morphs into a cow, and all he is going to do is eat, drink and generate waste.

After 40 years in government service, he morphs back into a person, and becomes a herder of cows, but there are only two things left in his brain — keep the herd together and prevent the opposite political herd from making any progress.

It is worthy of note that if not for the herder, there would not be a herd. The cows would all go their separate ways, and our country would again come first.

This is a good argument for term limits. However, the herders will not allow that to happen. So, unless there is a miracle somewhere in our future, we are stuck with Washington, D.C., politicians who just eat, drink and generate waste.

I will be 80 years old this month, so I remember how it was before we had this problem. U.S. citizens who were members of a political party were very loyal to that party, so they would vote straight Republican or straight Democrat. The result was that the president always had a majority in the House and the Senate. That majority did not have to play politics. They went about working for the benefit of our country. There was plenty of mudslinging, and in-fighting, but it never paralyzed the whole government as it does now.

Arvin Dougall

Walla Walla

Yes, there are good young people

I had a very pleasant surprise when my husband and I went to church recently.

When we stopped at church to get out a young man, who was taking his morning run, asked me if I needed help getting out of the car. I’m 81 years old. I told him that would be nice.

He helped me out and I thanked him and said God bless you. And away he went on his run. I didn’t get his name.

It really made me think that there still are a lot of good young people out there. You just don’t know when and where you’re going to meet up with them. So give them the benefit of the doubt and be kind and loving to them.

Geri Albers

College Place

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