Letters to the editor Jan. 11
Dems have lost it
The Democrats have lost their minds. Vengeance is not the answer. Two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s time to take a moment and breathe. Remember, we are all in this together.
We are Trump. And if Democrats can do it to him, they can do it to you.
—Susan Taylor, Bigfork
Defense bill veto
As I sit here watching jaw dropping protest scenario play out in our Capital the thought is it was predictable and encouraged by our most recent president. It pays to be a little cynical when it comes to magnetic salespeople or politicians. It’s certainly not like being a fan of a favorite sports team or other entertainer type. To wit.
As only one example; In the recently passed defense bill which Trump vetoed subsequently overridden are some new financial regulations. You can look this up. He said the veto was because it didn’t allow our government to restrict “liberal” internet services. A fake news thing. I don’t think so.
What the new regulations do is provide more transparency when foreign banks transact with our banks. Who’s making the actual transaction is now more easily uncovered. It also mandates shell companies (which can consist of something as little as a mailbox) have to reveal the primary beneficiary if being investigated. It all goes to money laundering or other types of illicit cash used to invest in the U. S. entities. Especially in Florida, New York and New Jersey. I’m not making this up. Lots of high priced real estate in those areas have been bought by shell companies where Trump and extended family have personal financial interest.
Fortunately Congress might not be as dumb as it looks. They shot down the veto in good order.
—James How, Kalispell
Light shall shine
I am not exaggerating when I say that I’ve seen or heard 20-30 references to the word “light” this Christmas season. It started with the book of Genesis in the Bible. “…darkness was over the surface of the deep…then God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.” Light was God’s first gift to our dark and formless earth.
At another point, Isaiah prophesied that “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.”
We have certainly walked in darkness this past year. We have felt its penetration, its cold-hearted removal of hope. But Christmas came just like it has every year and with it came the “Light of the world, Jesus Christ”. Not darkness, but Light! “In Him was life and the life was the Light of men.” And He declared, “…he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the Light of life.”
My friend, if you are in darkness, call upon Jesus. He who once lived in unapproachable light has become the Light of the world. May God who said that Light shall shine out of darkness shine on your heart to give you Light in the face of Jesus Christ.
—Susan Sullivan, Kalispell
What we are becoming
A recurring theme spoken by the Senators during the Biden confirmation hearing was that the mob breaking down the doors to the nation’s Capitol “is not us. We are better than that.” I disagree. The mob is what we are becoming.
Nearly half of American voters loved Trump’s poison. The flag-waving anarchists storming the Capitol this week represents a nation in turmoil on every conceivable political or scientific position. In my memory, our nation has been divided before; by Vietnam, by race, by cigarettes and seat belts for goodness sake. But today America has become a bastion of ignorance, confusion and ineptitude on every issue. Un-united as we are, it is inevitable that we will slide toward the end-game of total dysfunction and our own destruction. Donald Trump is the mere symbol. We are the problem.
When the American flag represented goodness and beauty, I was proud to pledge allegiance to America. Today, after the storming of the Capitol by flag-waving “patridiots” our flag now represents, in my mind, subversion and ignorance. What a shame that after four years of political mayhem, and this season of self-styled, loyalists on every corner, the site of a flag makes me cringe.
—Leo Keane, Whitefish
A fundamental right
Concerning Jerry Elwood’s Dec. 20 response to my Nov. 23 response to his letter of Nov. 15; I stand corrected. My quotes were not from the actual Federalist papers, but were from founding father George Mason and patriot Patrick Henry. He and others were adamant in wanting a “bill of rights” added to the constitution. Thus, his, Henry’s, and many others’ comments were just as pertinent to the intent of the Second Amendment as any in the Federalist Papers. Even more so, since Hamilton authored almost all of the papers and, seeing no need for a “bill of rights,” wrote opinion pieces promoting the ratification of the Constitution without a bill of rights. The papers were published well before the amendments which became the bill of rights were even proposed. The papers carried no weight of law, just Hamilton’s one-sided viewpoint.
So, as Mr. Elwood stated, none of the papers, including No. 29, say anything about self-defense. Hamilton couldn’t comment on something that did not exist. However, it could be that the gist of the soon to be proposed amendments was widely discussed.
Back to my point: those prominent participants in the making of the Constitution and Founding Fathers made it abundantly clear that citizens had the right to own arms for whatever use was deemed necessary, including being ready to form a militia. Unarmed citizens are not able to support the security of the state. Mason on the militia: “They consist of the whole people.” To have arms at the ready for that situation and then not use them for personal defense when necessary is ridiculous.
As I stated in my last letter, it is obvious that the right to bear arms is a fundamental right and shall not be infringed.
—Gary Goers, Kalispell
Re. climate change (more appropriately termed anthropogenic global warming, or AGW) in response to a letter submitted by Mr. Adams of Libby: I never claimed that I was a climate scientist; my question about the effect of nature upon climate events was primarily empirical.
However, since you have been quick to criticize, I’m assuming you are highly qualified in the AGW arena...correct? Further, since you question my contention that nature is the predominant driver of warming or cooling, I assume that you have unquestioned evidence to the contrary. Assuming your evidence to be “settled science,” “the greatest existential threat facing mankind,” an issue that is “likely to be irreversible” soon, I would assume that you would welcome questioning and/or critical scrutiny and would feel quite confident in your ability to prove your contentions. Therefore, in the interest of the use of Socratic methodology, I’ll ask three questions:
The statistic I’ve seen is that nature is responsible for somewhere in the neighborhood of 98.5%-99.2% of weather-related events. Therefore, man would have effect on .8%-1.5% of the weather-related events — including AGW. Question: How much can we affect GW, and at what cost?
AGW proponents assert that CO2 is the “driver” of global warming. Question: Why, then, has CO2 concentration in the air NEVER previously been an antecedent of global warming? If CO2 is the driver of global warming during this time of the earth’s warming, then it would be the first time in the earth’s history — based upon scientific data that I’ve read. Explain, please.
The Paris Climate Accords assume that the U.S. should be the primary contributor to the “climate crisis.” Since China and India are the greatest polluters on the planet; and since the U.S. has actually reduced its emissions in recent years, I need an explanation. Your response?
—Bill Gehling, Lakeside
‘Make the right decisions’
“I do trust Montanans to make the right decisions for themselves and their family,” stated Gov. Greg Gianforte in a recent interview. He suggested he will nix the current mask mandate as a key part of the strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19. Since the new governor has an abiding faith in the ability of Montanans to “make the right decisions” regarding this life and death situation, why stop with the mask ban? There’s a passel of hard-earned taxpayer dollars to be saved and personal freedoms to be restored by trusting Montanans to “make the right decisions.”
Let’s start with the Highway Patrol and all of those thousands of expensive speed limit signs that cost the taxpayer a bundle. Who needs ‘em? Do away with all speed limits and deep-six the MHP. Can’t we “trust Montanans” to decide how fast to drive in a school or hospital zone and to not drive while inebriated?
Think of the loss of productivity by requiring store clerks to card freedom-loving Montanans when all they want is to buy a sixpack or two? Why discriminate against Montana teens? Can’t they be counted on “to make the right decisions?”
Why all the fuss about meth and heroin and the obsession to criminalize hard drugs? Can’t Montanans, even including drug addicts, be trusted to “make the right decisions?”
As a recent letter writer so eloquently stated, “there is no vaccine for ignorance and stupidity.” The sad thing is that Gianforte’s statement reveals he doesn’t understand the most basic tenet of controlling communicable diseases -- that the primary benefit of wearing a mask is not to protect one’s self but the health of others.
The rudderless leadership at the county level and Gianforte’s tail-wagging-the-dog style of decision-making do not bode well for the state’s future. I confess that I do not share the new governor’s belief that all Montanans will “make the right decisions for themselves and their family.”
—Mark Holston, Kalispell