Letters to the editor Jan. 23

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Weyerhaeuser land deal

Weyerhaeuser announced last month the sale of nearly 630,000 acres of timberland in Montana to a so-called private timberland investment company for $145 million. It also reported the sale would not affect ongoing operations at the plants still open in Columbia Falls and Kalispell.

I admit my understanding of timber is limited, but why would a company sell the production lands of its product? Would Weyerhaeuser be able to buy timber cheaper by selling off its timber?

My concern is we will see the loss of access to these sold timberlands to development and huge sales of tracts to make massive ranches for the wealthy. And that leaves Montanans locked out of these treasures forever. See the massive ranches in Southwest Montana that are privately locked away?

Where was the state in this transaction? Where was the federal government which could have purchased the lands and set them aside forever? What happened to the great conservation organizations who want wilderness expanded?

The feds just dropped at least $50 million on a trial, the Pentagon loses billions that somehow just disappeared, and our own governor seems to have been too preoccupied running for president to have stepped in and made a deal to buy the land.

Hopefully I am wrong in what I see here, but I fear the loss of not only the lands forever, but also the closure of the manufacturing plants in the area.

Perhaps this sale is the opposite of what I fear and timber sales will reverse and create new jobs and the local economy will thrive.

And yes, Santa, trust me, the check is in the mail.

—Jack Spillman, Kalispell

Mueller Report

In a recent letter to the Daily Inter Lake (Jan. 9) Joanne Stern wrote that she was appalled that President Trump was being relentlessly hounded “without evidence of a single crime,” and that “the Trump-Russia thing was a damn hoax.” One wonders what parallel universe the writer has been in for the past year.

The extensively researched and documented Mueller Report – which the DOJ inspector general found was legally started – reported the following in Volume I:

* Introduction – “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” P: 1 – First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored … Donald J. Trump and disparaged … Hillary Clinton. P: 25 – According to Facebook, this Russian entity made over 80,000 posts that reached “at least 29 million U.S. persons, and may have reached an estimated 126 million people.”

Volume II documented more than a dozen federal crimes, including the following:

* Trump fires FBI Director Comey with “criminal intent” to end the Russia investigation telling Russian officials in the Oval Office, “I just fired the head of the FBI … I faced great pressure because of Russia … That’s taken off …” (Consciousness-of-Guilt and Obstruction-of-Justice).

* P: 77 & 84 – The president calls White House Counsel McGahn twice and tell him to have the Special Counsel Mueller removed (Obstruction of Justice). P: 112 – The President orders White House Counsel McGahn to deny that he had tried to fire Mueller, and does so four times over the next months. He lets word get to McGahn that without such a letter, “…maybe I’ll have to get rid of him.” (Obstruction of Justice and Witness Tampering & Intimidation).

* P: 121-123 – Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are indicted on multiple felony counts. The president through his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani dangles a pardon in front of Manafort on multiple occasions (Witness Tampering).

* P: 125 – Michael Cohen pleads guilty to eight felony counts, from lying to the FBI to campaign finance violations, saying he did so “…in coordination with, and at the direction of candidate Trump (All Felonies). P: 144 & 146 – When Cohen began cooperating with Mueller, Trump called him a “rat”, and suggested his family should be investigated for unspecified crimes (Witness Intimidation).

If you or I had done any of this, we’d already be in federal prison. So, how does any of this Make America Great Again?

—Brian Peck, Columbia Falls

A gift of life

I’m lying here relaxed as the blood flows out of my vein, wondering whose vein the blood will flow into. I’m thankful that the Red Cross recently started sending out an email to say where my last donation went. That is, I know what city, what hospital but of course not the recipient. I used to wonder whether blood was saved for a while and then discarded. I have been assured that no blood is being discarded, in fact there is a very serious shortage of blood.

Isn’t it amazing that some find the need to separate folks according to race or ethnicity, age or gender, religion or politics, who is in and who is out, even though we all have the same blood?

I do know that when this bag is full it will not be noted that it was from an African, a Mexican or a Minnesota Swede. It will not be marked for young or old, male or female, Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, straight, gay, conservative or liberal. It will simply be blood--a gift of life!

Might we all be like blood and get beneath the skin, around opinions and recognize that we are all precious children of God with the same blood flowing through our veins.

—Les Nelson, Libby

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