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Coast Guard Academy

It was simply unbelievable to hear our commander-in-chief whine and complain about his perceived unfair treatment in the press during his commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy [“Trump lashes out at ‘unfair’ criticism, vows to battle back,” May 18, A4].

What does it say to the brave men and women of all our service branches that the commander they’re sworn to protect can’t handle domestic criticism?

Walter Fogle, Bothell

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Gag rule

The catastrophic, (anti)humanitarian implications of President Donald Trump’s global gag rule banning federal dollars to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information have been distressingly underreported [“Trump’s global gag rule bans health aid,” May 16, A2]. Nongovernmental organizations work tirelessly to provide what are often the only public-health services available to marginalized communities in developing countries.

Having worked overseas with NGOs in vulnerable environments, I can attest to another price of this policy — one to do with U.S. security and our already greatly-diminished moral standing in the world.

Whispers — “America is the reason your health worker can no longer visit your village” — build and spread across communities and, ultimately, wash back to our shores.

So, if the humanitarian argument isn’t enough, by all means, use the security argument. It works, too.

Whitney Ball, Seattle

 

Media bias

I was amazed at the deceptive headline, “Tax break a perk for the rich?,” with the sub-headlines, “Mortgage deduction plan” and “25 million could find tax break useless” [May 17, Business].

The proposal is to nearly double the standard deduction, so itemizing and using the mortgage deduction becomes unnecessary for 25 million people. Mostly middle-income people, they will naturally choose not to itemize because their taxes will be lower if they simply take the new, higher standard deduction. “Rich” people with high mortgage interest still may benefit by itemizing. That’s a perk?

President Trump is making plenty of mistakes. Criticize them. But when the news media attempts to portray every single action of his as negative, even if it seems to be positive, it just makes itself look foolish and hyperpartisan. Stop.

Doug Hjellen, Mill Creek

 

Turkey’s Erdogan

I am deeply disturbed by President Trump’s courting of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan [“Trump praises Erdogan, who voices some gripes,” May 17, A9]. Erdogan has imprisoned thousands of innocent teachers and journalists. He is no friend of democracy.

His blaming of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, for the failed military coup last year in Turkey is simply not true. Everyone I have met in this country in the Hizmet organization started by Gulen, some of whom have fled Turkey because of the persecution, are peace-loving Muslims who are incredibly open to dialogue with those of other religions.

I hope President Trump can begin to see Turkey in a clearer light.

The Rev. Jim Patten, retired Presbyterian pastor, Renton