Monday, June 05, 2023

Letters to the editor March 2

| March 2, 2023 12:00 AM

Reducing the debt

There are some changes Congress could make to help reduce our $31 trillion debt.

Prohibiting members of Congress from mandating the purchase of weapons that the military has not requested, abolishing the cap on the Social Security tax and subjecting payments to a means test, and eliminating the penny and paper dollar bill (as Canada has done) would save us millions of dollars each year.

And, instead of the Republican plan to replace the income tax (only about 50% of Americans pay income tax) with a 30% national sales tax, keep the current progressive tax brackets for individuals and corporations and eliminate all deductions. This change would reduce our tax code from the current 75,000 pages to just a few pages as it existed in 1862.

— Jim Swab, Kalispell

Nonexistent problem

Dr. Ingram’s letter of Feb. 3 made for interesting reading, both medically and politically. He alludes to “gender affirming care” as “unsettled science,” saying, “... gender affirming care should be a decision for a consenting adult.”

I couldn’t agree more. However, I am unclear about his underlying premise regarding the extent to which the medical profession condones the surgical alteration of “normal” genitalia at an “immature age.”

Apparently, he is of the view that Montana should follow Florida’s lead and have government dictate how doctors treat their patients. Absent legislative intervention, Dr. Ingram claims, it would be up to malpractice attorneys to enlighten the medical community on how to treat patients dealing with gender identification issues. At least that is the fear that Dr. Ingram seems to be peddling.

Does the medical profession really need to rely on attorneys to force it to comply with its own ethical medical practices? Since Dr. Ingram himself considers the treatments of which he speaks to be medical malpractice, he certainly can’t be the only physician who believes so. It begs the question, “What is the American Medical Association’s position on the issue?”

Are there any actual instances surgical alteration of a nonadult’s “normal” genitalia in the U.S.? Without such evidence I consider his alarm to be merely expanding the lies created by right-wing politicians, i.e., more laws are needed to fix nonexistent problems within the medical profession. Apparently, Dr. Ingram is unconcerned about interference with physician-patient relationships, and how medical decisions would be governed by non-medical, and mostly ignorant, legislators.

The AMA should take the first step to ensure that any doctor performing unethical procedures on nonadult patients never practice medicine again. Why wait for malpractice attorneys to police the medical profession?

This is clearly a case of, “Physician heal thyself.”

— Al Weed, Kalispell

Carbon footprint

As a manmade climate change skeptic, I have a difficult time understanding how the ever-changing goal posts of the believers will accomplish their goals. Biden, the Democrats, the Davos private-jet crowd and their screaming, standard-bearer (no not Al Gore), Greta Thunberg all warn us of the End of Days due to climate change and demand we stop using fossil fuels immediately and abandon the combustion engine for battery-powered vehicles.

At the same time Biden has just ended mining permits in an area of Minnesota which contains a majority of our nickel and cobalt reserves. Instead of boosting the American economy and jobs, we will add just as much if not more carbon to the atmosphere by purchasing required battery minerals from other countries to support the not-so-green battery powered vehicles.

We can’t use our oil, rather we must import it from other countries. As we import and use dirtier Venezuelan oil, does it put less carbon in the air than our own? Does importing battery minerals from mining operations outside the U.S., some using child labor, decrease the effect on the global environment?

What effect do the spent 1,000-pound vehicle batteries and end-of-life windmills and solar panels have on the environment and how and where do we dispose of them?

And while Al Gore screams at all of us to give up our carbon-based lifestyle, how does he justify his 20-room mansion with guest house, pool and spa all heated by natural gas with heating bills 10 times that of the average home in Nashville? Or his new $9 millon ocean-view estate in California? Talk about carbon footprint!

And for God’s sake, please stop calling carbon emissions “pollution” of our air and water. At least know enough science to differentiate an element that is the fabric of life from pollution.

— David Myerowitz, Columbia Falls

Proposal to commissioners

The Flathead County Board of Commissioners recently proclaimed “Don’t empower the homeless lifestyle.”

I propose this to our commissioners:

• Don’t empower the heartless and callous lifestyle.

• Don’t empower the selfish and entitled lifestyle.

• Don’t empower the unenlightened and dishonest lifestyle.

• Don’t empower the fearmongering and scapegoating lifestyle.

• Don’t empower the punish-the-many-for-the-sins-of-the-few lifestyle.

I see more Ten Commandments posters in the Flathead than anywhere else I’ve lived or traveled. However, I rarely see politicians who represent the Flathead exemplify one of Jesus’s greatest commandments: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Remember, the homeless and hopeless are the victims, not the people of Flathead County.

— Greg Mueth, Creston

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