Hooray for live entertainment; just say no to Poland | Letters

Hooray for live entertainment

My husband and I have enjoyed live Broadway and community theater for many years, and were thrilled when the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center opened its doors to the public.

This theater is really a gem. There are literally no bad seats, the acoustics are terrific, and the free parking couldn’t be easier. Masks are required, and soon proof of vaccination, so you can feel very safe attending.

We have been confined to home for too long, and now it’s time to go out and show our support for these live entertainers. Last Saturday, we attended “The Buddy Holly Story,” and it was fantastic. The singing and dancing were top notch. We laughed, we cried, and we literally danced in the aisles. The audience gave the cast a standing ovation that went on and on.

I was disappointed to see that the venue was maybe two-thirds full. Where were you? We missed you! Please “like” and follow the PAEC on Facebook. If you aren’t up to speed on Facebook, then sign up for email alerts and ask to be on the PAEC’s mailing list. We have seen some fantastic shows there: The Army Band and Los Lobos are two that come to mind.

Remember the comic Yakov Smirnoff? He has been a headliner in Branson, Missouri, for some time — and he’ll be right here in Federal Way on Nov. 6. I hope you’ll take a look at their website and maybe you’ll find a great show (or more) to attend in the months to come. See you there!

Valerie Amato, Federal Way

Why choose Poland as our guide?

This is in response to the article titled “Economy works when consumers pick winners” by Don C. Brunell on Oct. 8, 2021. Brunell asserts that the economies of the U.S. and Poland are moving in opposite directions, and we are suffering because of it. His answer appears to be: “Use Poland as our roadmap, and Trump as president, for a return to a market driven system and economic success in order to avoid the government interference, higher taxes, mandates and subsidies of the Biden administration.”

The glaring problem is that Poland is not at all how Brunell presents it.

Poland’s economy includes heavy interference and control of businesses by the federal government. Over 30 large, for-profit enterprises are state owned. This means all costs to consumers, as well as all profits, are controlled by the government rather than being privately owned, as they are in the U.S.

These include the country’s largest bank, gas and electrical utilities, cargo ship operations, aviation transport infrastructure and much more. In addition, 40% of Poland’s largest private businesses are majority owned by the government. Their government also holds shares in over 417 domestic companies and entities. Sounds like the controlling Polish government is picking the winners and losers, not consumers.

Brunell would like you to believe that Poland has eliminated the “economy-breaking socialism” of its past. He couldn’t be more wrong. The PiS political party came into power in 2015 with a shift in Polish society. This shift reflected the belief that three decades of capitalism had created economic inequity with a small percent of people getting very rich while everyone else was left behind. The desire for redistributive policies remains high. They began giving direct, monthly subsidies to families and elderly, raised the minimum wage, and more. The PiS recently unveiled its “Polish Deal” focusing on the continued redistribution of wealth including increasing the scope and amounts of direct subsidies and other social welfare policies. These will be partially paid for by increasing tax on businesses and higher-income earners, and even a tax penalty on the self-employed.

Poland does have mandates including federally mandated vaccines for children. The government monitors this, and parents are slapped with monetary fines if any are missed. The PiS party has been steadily working to diminish the mechanisms of democracy that get in its way including, but not limited to, aggressive compromise of judiciary independence, and significant suppression of both the free press and civil liberties.

In light of these facts, why choose Poland as our guide? It does not seem at all likely that Brunell truly wants the U.S. to follow Poland’s economic lead. However, if he honestly desires us to be more in step with Poland, perhaps it is Poland’s steady march toward authoritarianism that he really wants the U.S. to follow, with Trump leading.

I believe it is the U.S.A’s principles of democracy that have led to the revolutions of many countries, including Poland. It is time we remembered how the foundations of our democracy made us the envy of the world.

Christine Frye, Federal Way

Saddened by COVID deaths

It saddened me to read of Washington State Trooper Eric Gunderson’s death from COVID. I appreciate your publishing his widow’s statement describing his death’s effect on his family and asking us to respect their privacy.

I was similarly saddened to hear of former General, Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s COVID death this week. He was a shining beacon of nonpartisan leadership during a difficult time for our country and the world.

Both Gunderson and Powell caught the virus from someone with whom they came in contact. With unvaccinated people nearly four times as likely to get COVID as those who are vaccinated, there’s more than a 95% chance that either or both caught it from someone who was unvaccinated, who themselves likely caught it from another unvaccinated person.

The unvaccinated are much more likely to be hospitalized and much more likely to die of COVID than those vaccinated. Most hospitalized, unvaccinated COVID patients say they wish they had chosen to take the vaccine, according to news reports.

President Donald Trump got vaccinated, and on Aug. 20 in Alabama, urged his supporters to vaccinate for COVID. Sadly, most outlets went with the story that the president got booed by a few supporters, not that he recommended that his supporters vaccinate.

I believe, in the light of Jesus’ commandment that we love our neighbors, that many more of us will choose to vaccinate, protecting our neighbors from this horrible disease.

Sadly, it is too late for others among us to have vaccinated and saved the lives and bright futures of our neighbor Washington State Trooper Eric Gunderson, General and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chair and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and their families.

Pat Montgomery, Federal Way