Give us balanced reporting Presidential candidate Barack Obama goes on "The View" and they tell him he is sexy. Presidential candidate John McCain...

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Give us balanced reporting

Presidential candidate Barack Obama goes on “The View” and they tell him he is sexy. Presidential candidate John McCain goes on “The View” and they tell him he is a liar.

Obama is interviewed by news anchor Charlie Gibson, and the first eight questions are flattery. Gibson interviews Gov. Sarah Palin and opens with (my words), “What makes you think you can do this?”

There is media bias. Is it free speech or is it morally wrong to use words to give a picture that is inaccurate?

Yesterday, Obama said that in January he presented a stimulus package to help the economy. Not only was it not his package, he did not even show up to vote. Where is that story? Where is the story about the money Obama has received from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? How about the story of Sen. Joseph Biden’s money-management issues? How do you average an income of $280,000 each year for 30 years, not give to charity and have a current net worth of $150,000?

I think McCain is hot because the dude is imperfect but real. Palin is bigger than life. Obama is an exaggeration. Everyone misspeaks, and it is especially evident when every word that proceeds from your mouth is recorded and replayed. Hopefully, these stories will break. What if journalists could be held accountable for misleading the public?

Treat these candidates the same. Joe American deserves to base his vote on a balanced view — not the hype.

— Pam Schmoll, Woodinville

McCain and the economy

What is he thinking?

I cannot believe the a person running for president of our country (John McCain) is so out of touch with the common man. I have watched my 401(k) drop more than $9,000 since January. I have a sister and brother-in-law who retired earlier this year and now are very concerned that their savings they worked hard for are not going to be enough to get them through their golden years.

I am grateful I am not retiring this year but am concerned that our financial status in this great country is going downhill at high speed.

What about the people who are living on credit with higher interest rates because of our financial crisis? Does McCain really believe our economy is fundamentally sound?

— Cristina L Wenzl, Lynwood

Sounds familiar

I guess it’s the 1980s all over again. Does any of this remind anyone of the S&L (savings and loans) scandal? McCain supported Charles Keating and the very things that allowed the S&L’s to steal from the American people.

Now we have banks and other financial institutions failing and this was done with McCain and George W. Bush’s blessings. What about some help for us — the taxpaying fools who get to clean this up? The ones who work 40-plus hours a week and see more and more of our income worth nothing? Does anyone truly believe McCain is going to help us?

Albert E. Einstein said only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. I guess if Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin get in to office, I would say Mr. Einstein’s theory is correct.

— Al De Sart, Shoreline

“Maverick”

Label ties McCain to Bush

The history of the word “maverick”goes back to the 1800s and a cattle rancher and politician named Samuel Maverick who, contrary to common accepted practice, neglected to brand his cattle.

Yes, that’s right — we’re talking about a Texas rancher-politician who did his own thing regardless of the consequences or the effect on those around him. Sound familiar?

Sen. John McCain has stood independent of his fellow Republicans, but since his nomination for the presidency, any semblance of independence has faded away, withdrawing behind partisan lines.

That McCain has used the term “maverick” to describe his political stance unfortunately ties him directly to President Bush, another Texas rancher-politician who has gone his own way, regardless of what is either popular or wise.

For what it’s worth, the “original” Maverick was a Democrat.

— Alex Koerger, Fircrest

Sarah Palin

Governor should spill the beans

What happened to “getting all the facts on the table”?

Sen. John McCain’s team has claimed that they vetted Gov. Sarah Palin extensively before naming her as the Republican vice-presidential candidate. So, they knew that she was under investigation for possible ethics violations regarding “Troopergate.” They knew that her daughter was pregnant while supporting an abstinence-only policy for schools. They knew that she asked for, and accepted, millions of dollars in federal earmarks for Alaska. They knew that she supported the “Bridge to Nowhere” and accepted that money, spending it on other projects.

They knew that she billed the state of Alaska for more than 300 days of per-diem money while she was staying at her own home. They knew that she would not disclose her tax records. They knew that she was not well-versed in foreign policy. They knew that she gave high-paying jobs to her loyal friends.

If they knew all that, and still thought she was the best candidate for vice president, then why do they care if the voters know it? All the other candidates have to answer uncomfortable questions from the media — why not her?

— Mary Pennylegion, Kirkland

Fighting dog breeds

Too dangerous to tame

In answer to Brenda Barnette’s piece [“Rushing to Ban Pit bulls is the Wrong Answer,” Times, guest commentary, Sept. 18], I believe the dialogue about pit bulls often focuses on the wrong thing.

Barnett is addressing dog bites while the fearful public is talking about maulings by dogs resulting in severe injury or death. Maybe it would be more useful for the discussion to tease out the numbers of maulings by breed from the general statistics on dog bites.

As a dog owner myself, I know even the most responsible of us can mess up at times — our dogs get loose or we try our best to be good pack leaders but fail. But my golden retriever and my border collies are not as likely as a pit bull to kill someone.

The dialogue should be about responsible dog ownership of all breeds. But since people make mistakes and dogs are so good at doing the jobs they’ve been carefully bred for, we do need to seriously consider whether the fighting breeds should live among us.

— Gail DiBernardo, Brier

Why not ban firearms?

In 2007, there were 35 fatalities from dog bites throughout the whole of the United States. Pit bulls accounted for 21 of those deaths, or 60 percent, which is surely a disproportionate number.

In 2004, there were 29,569 fatalities nationally due to firearms.

So, naturally, people want to ban pit bulls.

— John Charles Lemr

Driving age

16 is not too young

Teenagers should have the right to drive [“16 too young to drive? Some say wait til 17,” news, Sept. 9]. Parents don’t have time to drive them around. Isn’t banning cellphones, having curfews and attending a graduated licensing program enough?

Getting a driver’s license is a growing-up experience. This issue is not based on age; it’s based on making good choices and demonstrating good behavior. I think the driver’s licensing age should stay the same.

— Andrea Herrera, Kirkland

Offshore Drilling

Make the trade-off,

find other resources

I’m surprised at how grossly ill-informed editorial columnist Bruce Ramsey — and the majority of Americans — seem to be about the reasons for not drilling more [“Drilling for oil buys time to develop the fuels of the future,” editorial column, Sept. 17].

Ramsey claims we’re “not ready” with the alternatives to oil, but we will never be ready if we continue to drill as much as possible, only further delaying the point at which the tough decisions and trade-offs must be made.

As we’ve seen over the past year, gasoline needs to be above $4 a gallon before people start making those tough trade-offs and companies start investing large sums of money in green power technologies.

Furthermore, oil is not just used for energy and transportation. Human society’s ability to make so many chemicals and plastics based on using oil should make it priceless when valued as a future resource. To simply burn it all now is an irresponsible waste. If you think living in a world with $5-a-gallon gas is tough, try making modern society work without plastic.

What may be surprising, however, is that these aren’t even the most important arguments for not drilling more. The larger problem is that the Earth simply cannot handle much more carbon dioxide in its atmosphere before we make the planet unsuitable for humans.

We’re fast approaching a point of no return, after which the future pace of global warming escapes our ability to control it. This is due to positive feedback mechanisms in the environment (such as: with less ice, the Earth’s surface is darker, absorbing more solar radiation, making the Earth even warmer, and accelerating the process).

What we should really be doing is abandoning any efforts to find new oil and funneling all of those resources toward developing sustainable energy sources.

— Mark Stoner, Seattle

Daybreak Star

Center deserves more funding

Yesterday I visited the impressive but aging Daybreak Star Cultural Arts Center in Seattle’s Discovery Park. The facility houses offices and programs of the United Indians of All Tribes. Today in The Times NW Weekend I read [“A winning combination”, Sept. 18] describing the posh facilities our tribal casino resorts enjoy. I am struck and saddened by the contrast.

Like the casinos, the Daybreak Star Cultural Arts Center houses marvelous works of native art, representing our rich indigenous heritage. Unlike the casinos, the center’s building and grounds are hardly grand and glorious anymore.

In addition to displaying fine works of art, Daybreak serves to better the lives of native citizens through social programs for people of all ages. The facility reflects the value our community places on our native heritage and the present-day descendants of our “first people.”

Daybreak Star and the people it serves deserve much better than they have been receiving of late.

Would it be possible for the 27 tribal casinos in Washington state to direct some of their profits to the United Indians of All Tribes to help restore its aging 1970s building to its earlier glory?

— ‘Lyn Fleury Lambert, Bellevue