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Letters to the editor April 22

| April 22, 2021 12:00 AM

Students first

I am writing in support of the following school trustee nominees. They support constitutional principles and conservative spending. And they are parents and put students first.

SD1: Justin Bul, Chad Grace; SD6: Andrew Doyle, Wayne Jacobsmeyer; SD15: Lynsie Dewaard, Keith Nelson; SD20: Taylor Butterfield; SD38: John M. Knopik, Ben Woods; SD89: Jim Riley, Heidi Buckhalter; SD5: Shawn Pandina, Trish Pandina, Tina Tobiason, Denis Gomez, Heather Asher.

—Karen Rogers, Kalispell

Smells a skunk

I saw the Montana House is trying to establish a dress code, along with restricting voting rights, giving value to coal fired power plants that are obsolete that we pay for, gun laws that put weapons in anyone’s hands anywhere, refusal to set a good example by wearing a mask during a pandemic, gerrymandering Supreme Court justices, recall judges if they don’t rule the right way, tax breaks while we have to float bond issues to build our schools, and on and on.

They continue to demonstrate their inability to govern with common sense. They should also realize that you can dress up a skunk, but it’s still a skunk. I feel safer when they are not in session

—Dennis McDowell, Bigfork

‘Running Amok’ response

Dear sir, your letter (March 27) was interesting. You complained about “laws” restricting Montanans but failed to recognize why these laws are needed. It keeps liberals from deciding our lives.

Starting with a woman’s right to abort/kill her unborn child. What about the child’s rights? Did you know that, per some laws, a woman can kill babies up to and including after birth? Don’t babies have a right to life?

On firearms — what restrictions? You should explain yourself before declaring we have gun rights restrictions.

On school topics — let’s be clear, teachers should not teach things such as being a white child is evil and there’s nothing they can do about their “white privilege,” or that kids can be multiple genders. It’s not for the teachers to decide these topics. Teachers should teach reading, writing, civics, math and history.

On children’s sexual orientation — Should parents decide the gender of a child before they themselves can determine it? Parents should protect their child, not ruin their lives because they want to fit into woke society.

On vaccines — you believe employees should be fired for not getting the vaccine, right? Wrong!

On global warming- —Some people do not believe in it. Just because you do, doesn’t make it true. Smart scientists who know more than you or I disagree with you.

On voter fraud — No proof of fraud? Seriously? There’s plenty of real proof. Stop watching fake news like CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC and ABC. Not one of these news outlets has an ounce of fair and balanced reporting. Compare them to any conservative outlet and see how left wing biased they really are.

Try changing “conservative” to “Democrat” and would you still agree with your comments?

Since you have a strong opinion of our Montana rights being abused, and we obviously don’t/won’t meet your qualifications, maybe you should move and enjoy life somewhere else. We’re good here.

—Darlene Thornhill, Kalispell

Daines off the mark

Senator Steve Daines recently had his say about the recent American Rescue Plan in a guest opinion (March 28), or as Senator Daines referred to the bill as the “Covid-19 relief package.” Senator Daines’ opinion is off the mark in several ways.

The most hypocritical paragraph in his editorial is the reference to the appropriation of funds to states. Daines expresses that there is a “$350 billion bailout for blue states.” The Senator knows that all states are going to get the money. The Montana Legislature is currently debating how to best use the money Daines is referring to. Daines knows full well that Montana is receiving these funds and he is arguing against his own constituents best interests.

Daines refers to the money given to schools. A short visit with most parents would affirm that the past school experience for students has been challenging at best. This money for schools would allow Montana schools to expand the school year through a variety of ways. This way, students and their families can help make up for a very difficult recent school experience.

Daines complains that there is money in the APR to make health care better. This money will go toward those hospitals and health care facilities to pay for health care. Daines should talk to health care providers about this provision. No one person who has health insurance puts money in their pockets from insurance. Insurance money goes to providers. Money in this bill does not start any “takeover” of health care.

In short, in his editorial explaining his no vote, Daines does much more than explain a vote, he explains his own short comings and we can all see what type of person and Senator he is.

—Tom Facey, of Missoula, served in the Legislature from 1999-2006 and 2011-2018

Leave religion out of it

In response to Verdell Jackson’s recent dictation (March 25) of how we all should think (or rather, not think for ourselves), I would posit that our constitutional republic is not so much founded on faith in God nor dedicated to “his glory” but rather that it was founded on principles of individual freedom to form our own beliefs and to be self-governed rather than being forced to submit to one person or doctrine. Mr. Jackson presumes to speak on all our behalf regarding morals and faith, but morality and religion cannot and should not be legislated in a free society. He quotes the Bible, which he apparently believes to be the supreme law of the land. I happen to believe that the Constitution takes precedence in this country.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that we are a nation of Christians. Many of the people who settled here were, in fact, fleeing religious persecution. For over 200 years our country has welcomed people of every conceivable faith, as well as those who don’t believe in a higher power. Many of the Founding Fathers did not even profess to be Christians but practiced a faith called Deism.

Now it seems that many of the Christian ultra-conservatives in our current Legislature are trying to integrate their religion into our government. That is unconstitutional on both the state and federal levels. The so-called “party of less government” is trying to force their beliefs on every Montanan (and yes, I’m well aware that some liberals are trying to do the same thing).

This is true in regards to religion as well as many other aspects of our lives. We also have the right to make our own health care decisions. We need to maintain a sense of balance. Our elected officials need to learn once again how to work together for the common good. It is inherently unhealthy to have one party in charge of both houses and the executive branch. To have the Supreme Court become a partisan branch of government too would be a disaster.

Let’s arm ourselves with knowledge and vote responsibly. And let’s leave religion out of it, as dictated by our Constitution.

—Tim Wiley, Kalispell

Carbon tax and dividend

A recent Associated Press article (April 6) on the “megadrought” happening here in the West is a wakeup call on climate change. When I hear agriculture officials warning of damage to wheat, I can’t help but to think of our Montana farmers and the struggles they’re facing with the spring crop. And even if you are gluten intolerant or paleo, the potential for increased wildfires sets off alarm bells for the health of our most vulnerable, who will suffer from prolonged exposure to smoke. It’s just barely spring and I’m already dreading fire season and breathing all that smoke.

The megadrought, fires, and challenging growing conditions for Montana farmers are driven by rising planetary temperatures thanks in a large part to fossil fuels. It’s imperative to address this. We need effective strong action — like a bill from Congress that can’t be undone so easily by future administrations.

To our Montana leaders: we think it’s time to put a price on pollution through a carbon tax and dividend program. This approach meets our shared goals — creating jobs (in renewable energy), helping families (direct payments to help with energy costs), and also fulfills our shared moral responsibility to care for the environment and our fellow citizens. It’s a smart solution — over 3,500 economists joined together in the largest statement ever made by that group - to support a carbon fee.

Daines, Rosendale and Tester, with your help this year we can make a real impact on reversing climate issues affecting Montanans (like this megadrought), all while driving business innovation with minimal regulation and keeping government small, and most importantly — we have the opportunity to leave the world a better place for our grandkids.

— Pete Richardson, Bigfork