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Readers react to Nethercutt, high blood pressure

Letters to the editor

Readers are skeptical of new levels considered "high-blood pressure," but you should probably exercise anyway. - KAYANA SZYMCZAK/THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • Kayana Szymczak/The New York Times
  • Readers are skeptical of new levels considered "high-blood pressure," but you should probably exercise anyway.


In his latest column in the Inlander, "Cleaning the Houses" (11/9/17), George Nethercutt addresses the apparently terrifying problem of "too many laws on the books." This is supposed to be the voice of experience from the former legislator.

He is, we are to assume, well-versed in such legislative things and we should pay attention to his wisdom. Too many old laws still on the books is a national problem, both at the federal and at the state levels. We should all be concerned and expect our representatives to go about removing many of these old laws and hence, "be seen as fully earning the salaries the public pays them."

Mr. Nethercutt's cry of alarm and indignation might bear some pondering except that, in a recent guest editorial in the Spokesman-Review on the topic of DACA, he exhibited a strange lack of understanding both of the issue that DACA addresses and the United States Constitution, which in its 14th Amendment makes very clear that all persons born in the United States are citizens. Nethercutt, twice in that Spokesman editorial, incorrectly states that the children DACA addresses were "born on U.S. soil."

This obvious error demonstrated that the former congressman 1) did not pay enough attention to the long-simmering discussion and debate about DACA about which he was pontificating; and 2) was not informed of or well-versed in the Constitution he once took an oath to uphold.

If any or many of the current group of legislators in this country are as well-versed in the important issues of the day and the Constitution upon which the nation stands, then is it any wonder we suffer from widespread distrust of government and a general malaise in regard to our national future?

He writes, "given the low approval rating of Congress (Gallup has it at 13 percent), expecting more accountability makes sense."

Indeed, and expecting a former congressman to know the facts of an issue (like DACA) and the manner in which citizenship is defined in this country, is, at the very least, something desirable.

So when Mr. Nethercutt makes a big point about "too many laws," it is reminiscent of the line from Amadeus when the king says to Mozart, "It is good, but there are too many notes!"

The highlighted phrase from the column, "Legislators are elected mainly to pass laws, but duplicity reigns" is true perhaps, but not in the way he meant it.

Duplicity, even in its legal definition, means primarily using deceptive words or actions, in other words, falsehoods or lies, and not, as he apparently meant, duplications.

This "duplicity" might cover things like campaigning on a promise of "term limits," but certainly not the unnecessary duplication of rules or laws on the books.

What is really needed is not the removal of old, unused laws, but the removal of incompetent and ill-equipped legislators.

W.A. Kostelec, Ph.D.

Spokane, Wash.

Reactions to our New York Times story (11/13/17) about "high blood pressure" being redefined at lower levels:

Daryl Jones: Just what the pharmaceutical companies have prescribed.

Susan Traver: Oh, come on!! The same thing happened with cholesterol counts. Now it will also be if you get near those counts, you are in danger!!

Kathy Michel: Big pharma at work.

Mark Johnson: Eat healthy and get moving! ♦


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