Trans-Pacific Partnership a bad deal

Finally, public debate around the Trans-Pacific Partnership has moved beyond the question of being for or against trade. We’re now for it. The real question is what kind of trade policy will express our values as a country? Former Govs. Chris Gregoire and Deval Patrick made a familiar argument for the TPP , emphasizing exports...

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Vote no on King County Prop. 1

The editorial “Approve King County Prop. 1 to save lives” indicated that we need to scrap the 1992 radio system and replace it because the supplier says it can no longer support the system after 2018. This is the planned obsolescence mode that high-tech companies use. Our city, county and state should insist that new...

A flat-rate income tax is regressive; abandon the sales tax

Flat rate is regressive Dick Conway’s guest column “Reform our tax system with a flat-rate personal income tax,” leaves me with some questions. First, he suggests replacing our very regressive state and local tax system with a flat income tax, which would also be regressive. It may not be as regressive as the current tax...

U.S. bombs in Laos show need for stepped-up peace efforts

The article “Millions of U.S. bombs still lurk, kill in Laos” resonated deeply with me as I lived in Laos at the height of the bombing campaign. Known as the “Secret War,” it is one of the most intensive air campaigns in the history of warfare, and one never publicly acknowledged by the United States....

Loaded with lead series shows a disregard for safety

In this modern age when we know so much about the dangers of lead that we’ve removed it from gasoline and house paint, I read with great interest the article on lead poisoning from gun ranges specifically those used to train law-enforcement personnel . I am truly shocked at the cavalier disregard for the health...

Courage required from legislators to pass a state income tax

I heartily agree with guest columnist Dick Conway’s reasoned argument for a reformed tax system in Washington state . Our Legislature’s refusal to tackle such a volatile issue is evidence of its deep distrust of people’s willingness to accept such a change. For their part, people are absolutely convinced that government spending waste is rampant,...

Guns in the home: Discipline is key

The Times published a letter “Guns, kids don’t mix” . It depends on how you raise them. We raised three children with guns in the house. However, the guns and ammunition were secured and under our control. We went shooting as a family. We belonged to a shooting club with a weekly night for training...

State worker pay negotiations: Leave it to the governor

Columnist Richard Davis’ suggestion that the Legislature be involved in negotiating the terms of public servants’ labor contracts turns a legislative body into a negotiating party, wasting a huge part of our time-pressed legislative sessions . Our Legislature cannot present a unified front on anything as it is — which is the way a multiparty...

Iranian nuclear deal: U.S. can lead by example

So guest columnist Barry Blechman thinks the U.S. is close to a “great deal on Iranian nukes” . As he sees it, the framework agreement “fulfills all of America’s goals.” I question those goals. By most counts, the United States has nearly half the world’s more than 16,000 nuclear weapons. Israel refuses to acknowledge that...

Think of the economic benefits of tech workers’ spouses

The article about the upcoming policy changes regarding U.S. work permits for high-tech workers’ spouses must have struck a note with many families in the Northwest . We are living in a region which owes its prosperity to the tech industry — where many, like my family, are expatriates contributing to it. The proverbial “golden...

Sardine fishing: Consider the effects on predators

The article on the shutdown of commercial sardine fishing on the West Coast was intriguing to me . I believe it is the right move, and that without a cessation in fishing pressure the sardine populations would almost certainly decline even further. The problem that I have with this article is that it does not...