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Letters to the editor Jan. 8

| January 8, 2022 12:00 AM

Vaccine clinic

Last week I had the opportunity to volunteer at the county immunization clinic for children. I am writing to thank the Flathead County Health Department for planning and orchestrating the clinic to immunize children from 5-12 for Covid. The clinic ran smoothly, providing the families with medical expertise and a fun, friendly, “Frozen” environment for the kids.

Health Department employees dressed in “Frozen” costumes, provided a goodie bag filled with toys, games and a rapid test kit for Covid. They streamed the popular movie “Frozen” for the kids to watch during their wait time. The health department employees went out of their way to accommodate patrons requesting adult shots or boosters. Everyone was congenial, helpful, and professional.

I am also writing to thank the parents who did their research, arranged their schedules, and brought their children to the clinic. It was wonderful to see how they talked with and supported their children.

Finally, I would like to thank those children who came in determined to do their part to end this Covid pandemic. Some were a little scared, but still showed that determination. Some were there for their second shot and even a little “Ho hum” about the whole deal. Some showed an enthusiasm that filled the space. One young boy stated quite loudly as he left, “Best day of my life!” He gets it.

— Kate Shaw, Lakeside

Democracy in jeopardy

If I were to tell you that staff and leadership at our United States Central Command, United States Special Operations Command, United States Marine Corps Forces Central Command, and United States Special Operations Command Central don’t feel they would or should act against the loss of our democracy in 2024 would you believe it? You should.

Recently I heard from a former CIA case officer who is a consultant to these above command centers that “Anybody who thinks the U.S. military is going to line up en masse to defend democracy and the Constitution after the 2024 election has his head buried in the sand. No amount of wishing and denial is going to make this ominous threat go away.”

A rather sobering observation from a non-partisan, career, professional intelligence officer who has served America around the world for the past four decades. His remarks came as we were discussing his take on former President Jimmy Carter’s guest editorial in The New York Times on his fear for the health of our democracy.

One year ago, our democracy as we know it nearly ended. The violent insurrection at the Capitol to stop and overturn our presidential election has now become an acceptable response by a majority of Republican /Q’Anon voters. This belief in and of itself diminishes our democracy and makes us susceptible to another violent attack on our basic electoral branches (Executive and Legislative).

Whether another civil war becomes imminent lies in the hands of less partisan and authoritative citizens who place love of country above short-term political gain. Will they?

— Pat Malone, Columbia Falls

Voting rights

The federal Voting Rights Act is back in the news, as Majority Leader Schumer has pivoted from the stalled Build Back Better legislation. Reportedly, the proposal would allow the federal government to prevent states from requiring any form of voter ID in response to claims that such a requirement constitutes a threat to democracy by suppressing voter turnout.

While a noble sounding sentiment, it is in stark contrast with the 46 of 47 European nations, all claiming to be democracies, that require government issued photo IDs to vote, as does Canada and Mexico.

So, do they know something we don’t or are we really that much smarter than everybody else? Something to think about.

— Andrew Fisher, Missoula

Build Back Better

I applaud the House passage of the Build Back Better Act which will help 300,000 new low-renter households obtain assistance to afford a place to live. It also extends the new Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments, which have already lifted more than 3 million children out of poverty and helped millions of families pay the rent, put food on the table, and find child care.

Tester spokesman Roy Loewenstein, quoted recently said, “Sen. Tester supports extending this tax cut for working families for a year because it would be irresponsible to pull the rug out from under Montanans who are utilizing it to lower the cost of childcare, re-enter the workforce, and grow our small business economy during the pandemic.”

The last monthly CTC payment went out Dec. 15. If the Senate doesn’t pass BBB this month, it will be the last, forcing millions of children back into poverty in January. The clock is ticking. The Senate must pass BBB now

I urge Senators Tester and Daines to demand immediate consideration of the Build Back Better Act and to vote YES when it comes to a vote.

—Karen Cunningham, Coram

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