Sunday, February 28, 2021

Letters to the editor Feb. 21

| February 21, 2021 12:00 AM

Terrorist groups

Having fought real terrorists on multiple tours overseas, I can tell you that the Proud Boys are nowhere close to being a terrorist organization. The Biden administration is in consideration on designating Proud Boys as a terrorist group based on an “insurrection.” If right-wingers really wanted to take over the Capitol, they wouldn’t have left their guns at home.

If the Biden administration is looking for domestic terrorist groups, then antifa fits the bill more than the Proud Boys. Don’t believe me about antifa? Ask your new neighbors who fled from the California, Oregon and Washington riots last summer about antifa’s “peaceful protests.” Not a single person has fled from those states for Montana because of the Proud Boys.

The Biden administration is creating a slippery slope by expanding the standards of who is and who isn’t a terrorist based on political opposition. The pendulum could swing back in 2024 with a Republican president who decides to identify antifa and Black Lives Matter as terrorist organizations.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester needs to take notice as well. Because to his political allies like New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Montanan with five guns and a love of hunting has all the indicators of a domestic terrorist.

—Jason Rifkin, Missoula

Tax cuts for wealthy

Democrats traditionally respond to Republican proposals to cut taxes by claiming “another tax cut for the wealthy.” I have always regarded this rote response with suspicion, but could the Democrats be right?

Republicans in the Montana Legislature are proposing a tax cut only for the wealthiest Montanans, from their current 6.9% to 6.75% and “gradually reduce the state’s top income tax rate to 5%.”

Could the Democrats be on to something?

—Jim Swab, Kalispell

Strongman response

I want to thank the Daily Inter Lake for publishing the letter by Tracy Sharp, Lake County Chairman of the Lake County Republican Party Cental Committee, praising the virtues of “strongman” to solve the America’s problems. His letter clearly shows just how out touch with reality the Montana GOP is and how it no longer supports the very basic foundations of American democracy.

Imagine any truly patriotic American calling for a “strongman” to solve the false flag issues he raises.

Show me one strongman who has left a country better off when he left than when he took over. Show me one strongman who left voluntarily. Show me one strongman who didn’t subvert the election process. Show me one strongman who didn’t curtail freedom of speech, assembly, and the press. Show men one strongman who didn’t place all his cronies in positions of power. Show me one strongman who didn’t raid the national treasury. Show me one strongman who didn’t kill his political opponents.

Sharp claims he isn’t advocating for a strongman but clearly he is. Perhaps Sharp’s problem is that he just can’t accept the fact that the American he longs for no longer exists: We no longer have slavery and Jim Crow laws, schools are desegregated, Native people can vote and tribes have sovereign rights, women can vote, police are being held accountable for violating constitutional rights, government no longer just looks out for the rich and powerful, and white males are no longer the only ones in power.

Let me restate Sharp’s closing question, “How far wrong has the Republican Party gone?” My answer: “Pretty far down the rabbit hole.”

—Lana Batts, Lakeside

Traffic cops

It’s really hurt a lot of people in the country financially over this last year. Everyone is really stressed out. That’s why I thought that Kalispell Police Department overlooked the blatant disregard of traffic laws this summer during the Friday night rallies. Kids riding on car roofs, skateboarders hanging on to vehicles going down Main Street, cars peeling out, burning rubber etc. OK, I understand.

But I have noticed police targeting parents dropping their kids off at school on their way to work. Are these parents peeling out? Sliding? Endangering kids? No, they are simply barely over 15 mph, blocks from the school. Speeding is impossible in this weather with the ice anyway.

And so you say, “oh they broke the law so they deserve a ticket.”

But meanwhile KPD seems to ignore the people leaving bars so drunk they can barely walk. Can’t they target these drunk drivers too? I mean wait for them to make a mistake then pull them over and test them for DUI.

I’ve been told that they don’t because the bars pay taxes and they don’t want to target the patrons even if they are breaking the law.

But it’s OK to target parents trying to get their kids to school. Driving basically safe but being 20 mph literally four blocks from a school.

I’ve also been told by KPD officers they have a quota of tickets to write. Aren’t writing DUI tickets more lucrative? Or do you avoid it because you don’t have room in the jail for DUI arrests and it’s a pain in the butt to take them in. Much easier to write a ticket to mom or dad and be done with it. Especially since they will have to take off from work to fight it right?

— April Harrington, Kalispell