Done with the NFL
I’ve watched my last Seahawks game.
As a Husky grad, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Seattle regardless of the dumb things they do up there. As a veteran of 27 years of service including close to three years flying missions in Vietnam, I have a hard spot in my heart for my country. My thoughts go to the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives for this country. The flag is a symbol of that sacrifice. Think of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima or think of the flag being raised on the site of the Twin Towers on 9/11. That is what I think of when I see the flag and render a salute. It is not a symbol to express political opinions, it represents much more than that.
The liberals may not like our new president, I didn’t like the last one, but you have chosen the wrong venue to express your dislike — get over it. How many of those overpaid, egotistical athletes do you think are starving due to the current political climate? Our children watch what is going on and, as children unfortunately often do, hold them up as role models, then repeat what they see.
The mainstream media is having a field day with this effort to denigrate what this country stands for. These actions represent the saddest commentary I have witnessed in my 72-plus years on this earth.
Mark W. Smith, Colonel USAF (ret.)
End ICE disruptions
Please Note: I am writing this letter in response to two letters that you published in your Sept. 20 edition of the Observer. (I was out of the area that week and only caught up with the edition a few days ago.)
1. In response to Mr. Nick Glanschneg’s letter:
Mr. Glanschneg rightly asks where I have gained my “first hand” knowledge of the payment of taxes by local undocumented workers. (Although I did not say that “all illegals” pay taxes.) For the past several years I have assisted several members of our Hispanic community in completing and submitting their federal income tax returns. These include both U.S. citizens as well as their relatives who have not secured that status.
It goes without saying that all residents of Washington routinely pay other state and local taxes — sales, licensing, etc.
2. To comment on Mr. Oosterhausen’s letter:
Mr. Oosterhausen incorrectly states that taxpayers who are not U.S. Citizens are using “stolen Social Security numbers.” From my experience assisting others with their federal tax returns, I have learned that the IRS routinely issues Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to non-citizens for the purpose of paying their federal taxes (which include both withheld Income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes).
As other recent articles in the Observer have noted, taxes paid by non-citizen residents and collected by the IRS amount to billions of dollars annually.
3. Finally, if I may be permitted an additional personal observation — I fully appreciate that many of our local residents are not in the country legally. However, our complex immigration laws and procedures do not make it reasonably possible (let alone easy) for these people to secure legal status. Most undocumented residents are part of families that include U.S. Citizens as spouses, parents and/or children. The recent ICE arrests are unnecessarily tearing apart these families with no practical or positive objective. As a taxpayer, I am upset that scarce funds are being squandered on these forays. As a Pacific County resident, I am more upset that our community is being unnecessarily disrupted in the name of Law.
NFL and the anthem
Allow me to think out loud for a moment…
With everything that’s going on right now, the most talked about subject on Facebook, Twitter, talk on the street and every other social media outlet is? — take a guess — yup, the NFL and the National Anthem. Oh, and let’s not forget our president putting in his million dollar opinion. Among his “solutions” was for American football fans to turn off the games and boycott the NFL’s sponsors. Really Donald?
I figured I might as well throw my two cents into the mix. Mind you, I am not trying to change anyone’s beliefs or point’s of view … this is just what I think.
First, I believe most people, not all, just most, have missed the entire purpose this incident was intended to convey. During the first two pre-season games of 2016, Colin Kaepernick went pretty much unnoticed when he remained on the 49er bench during the National Anthem. He was not suited up and was not going to play in those games. He made headlines, though, when he was suited up and sat again during the third pre-season game on Aug. 26. He made no statement prior to the game, nor did he do anything to bring attention to himself. He just sat in the back on the bench with his head bowed.
The story began to snowball later that evening thanks to a photo by Jennifer Lee Chan of Niners Nation in a story unrelated to Kaepernick sitting. Kaepernick met briefly with the media after that game saying “he sat because of the oppression of people of color and ongoing issues with police brutality.”
He met two days later for an extended interview with the media, once again explaining his intent was never to disgrace the flag, our country or the military who defend it. Sitting once again for the Sept. 1 game, he was joined by safety Eric Reid, who took a knee beside him.
From the very beginning, Kaepernick has said he is not doing it to be anti-American, anti-military or to disrespect troops. After the Sept. 1 game he spoke with former Green Beret and former NFL long-snapper Nate Boyer. He then decided to take one knee during the anthem. He wanted to show the deserved respect to the men and women who fight for and defend this country, and especially for those who have given their lives in the process.
As a Marine vet, I have no issues with his kneeling during the National Anthem. It’s his choice. I will stand at attention in my living room while watching a game by myself. It’s my choice.
What makes America great is our freedoms; to be able to express our opinions without the fear of being jailed or worse. Whether you agree or disagree with NFL players not standing during the National Anthem, that’s your choice.
Saying that NFL players who take a knee during the National Anthem are showing disrespect to our flag and country is like saying that Rosa Parks was protesting against ugly buses.
I paraphrased that one, from something I read recently, but you get the point.
But, then again, that’s just what I think.
What do you think?
Celebrate Hispanic culture
Peninsula residents and visitors are invited to attend a free, family-friendly program celebrating Hispanic culture and assisting peninsula Hispanic families who have experienced detention/deportation by federal agents.
The DoGoodnics production takes place on Friday, Oct. 20, 7-9 p.m. at the Chautauqua Lodge, 304 14th Street NW, Long Beach.
Invited speakers include Fernando Rodrigues, president, Lower Columbia Hispanic Council; Erin Glenn, Spanish teacher at Ocean Beach School District; Ann Reeves, ACLU People Power community group coordinator; and Sydney Stevens, Oysterville writer/historian who has written a series, “Stories from the heart,” currently published in the Chinook Observer.
Attendees are encouraged to wear Mexican colors, red, green, and white and to share comments, suggestions, and cash donations to assist some of the 30-plus Peninsula Hispanic detainees experiencing major financial problems.
Attendees will enjoy free refreshments, colorful displays of Mexican art, Latin music, and an opportunity to purchase beautiful pinatas.
Those unable to attend the Oct. 20 program, but willing to offer financial assistance, can donate via checks to DoGoodnics, 1605 229th Place, Ocean Park, WA 98640.
For more information, contact Robert or Gwen at 360-665-2784 or via email@example.com.
Ayude a los immigrantes hispanos con sus donaciones. Help Hispanic immigrants with your donations.
Block pro-dam bill
I read an article in Street Roots about Nez Perce protests of the dams on the Lower Snake River and discovered there is legislation in Congress (sponsored by Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5) that would “specifically prevent federal agencies from studying dam removal on the lower Snake River.” The legislation is euphemistically titled “To provide for operations of the federal Columbia River Power System pursuant to a certain operation plan for a specified period of time and for other purposes.”
I have written the following to my representative, Kurt Schrader, who is co-sponsoring the bill:
Here’s what I’ve read about HR3144 — that it would prevent federal agencies from studying dam removal on the lower Snake River. My information says you have cosponsored this bill, which is anti-science, and anti-data.
I am a native Oregonian and one of your constituents. My father was a commercial fisherman at the mouth of the Columbia River. I lived in Ilwaco for 13 years and observed the decline of the salmon runs, which escalated soon after Bonneville Dam was constructed. I have studied the issues about power generation, navigation, pumping water out of the Columbia system onto potato fields, and I believe that we can handle all those needs without blocking salmon passage to Idaho with practically useless dams on the lower Snake. I say those dams are practically useless because first, grain can be shipped by rail relatively inexpensively, and those dams provide only 4 percent of our power supply. As wind and solar energy become more prolific east of the Cascades, we do not need that last 4 percent from those dams. In fact, through conservation and the use of less energy consuming electrical appliances (even lighting) we can save that 4 percent. I strongly urge you to not support this measure.
Stop OSF witch hunt
Pacific County’s prosecutor’s office will make oral arguments against Judge Doug Goelz’ 2015 Oysterville Sea Farms ruling at the Washington State Court of Appeals Nov. 28, at 10 a.m., at 950 Broadway, Suite 300, Tacoma. Prosecutor Mark McClain initially declared Judge Goelz’s 2015 OSF decision a victory for Pacific County, and later appealed this “county victory.”
McClain was elected to provide much desired and change. It was hoped that he would stand up to and end Pacific County’s culture of corrupt cronyism — even if some or all of the commissioners condoned or participated in corrupt cronyism. In regards to OSF, there has been no change. McClain has gone along with Commissioner Lisa Ayers and Frank Wolfe’s policy of supporting Department of Community Development enforcement actions against OSF — even though these enforcement actions that are based on untrue and uninvestigated allegations and obviously part of a personal vendetta. His office will soon make oral arguments against the only decisions regarding OSF made through due process.
It is unknown how much the DCD, the general administration office and board of Commissioners have spent in their efforts to put OSF out of business. Some think the total cost of these efforts is over a million dollars. No one seems to have any idea how much the prosecutor’s office has spent in its efforts to convict OSF of selling “non grandfathered items.” McClain recently told the Chinook Observer that its litigation against OSF was a small expense to the prosecutor’s office — and that all it was costing was his time. He neglected to take in account all the time former Prosecutor David Burke, Assistant Prosecutor Donald Richter, Assistant Prosecutor Eric Weston, and other prosecutor office staff have spent on this issues.
Pacific County’s Board of Commissioners are again preparing to raise property taxes for Pacific County. If Pacific County has enough money to go to court after court arguing the dangerous precedent that government can ticket a business for selling “non grandfathered items,” Pacific County has plenty of money. Pacific County’s commissioners and prosecutor’s office need to be sensible with the money they already have, rather than raise taxes to spend money on a destructive, highly personal and abusive County sponsored witch hunt.