Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Letters to the editor Oct. 3

| October 3, 2023 12:00 AM

Trash talk

With archery season 2023 coming to an end I am sad to say I spent my final day in the woods picking up trash rather than hunting. I stumbled upon a plethora of garbage including junked out shot up vehicles, used condoms, empty beer cans along with a litany of miscellaneous refuse.

As a fifth generation Montanan, I am absolutely disgusted with how some of my fellow Montanan’s treat our land. I grew up hearing locals trash talk foreigners for coming to Montana and buying up our land.

While I don’t totally disagree, much of the problems here are from within. It is not the out-of-staters who are ruining our beautiful land, it is some trashy locals who won’t take responsibility for themselves. It is local people who are turning our land into a dump.

I would gladly welcome a hundred out-of-staters who respect where we live than have to put up with one more trashy local who who thinks it’s acceptable to leave their waste in the mountains.

Hunters in Montana are extremely fortunate — blessed in fact! We have some of the most huntable land in the country and one of the longest hunting seasons in the U.S. One could hardly tell how much the locals love their hunting land by how trashed they leave it.

It is going to take real Montanan’s, true native locals, to put an end to this. Don’t be a coward or a passive bystandard when you see somebody dropping their trash. We cannot afford to let those with no moral compass deprive us of our access to hunting grounds.

You can bet this Montanan will stand up to any trash bag who thinks they can leave their garbage laying on the land I love.

— Thomas Gutschenritter, Kalispell

Judicial oligarchy

The Montana judiciary is completely out of control. As of Sept. 27, a judge out of Missoula has enjoined (barred enforcement of) SB 99, a bill that would protect children from drugs that stunt growth and surgical castration.

Throughout 2023 there have been similar enjoinments of conservative laws passed by large majorities, such as HB 359 which prohibited drag queen events in publicly funded buildings, which was enjoined right before a specific drag event. In May, there were pro-life laws also blocked, HB 721 and HB 575.

The reality of this, is that every conservative law that is passed is enjoined, and waits years before trial when it is more likely than not struck down. There is nowhere in the constitution mentioning any of these issues: transgender kids, drag shows or abortion. Yet, judges take what clearly amounts to their personal opinion on these political issues and circumvent the process for creating law, the Legislature elected by the people, to decide themselves what laws and policies the state will follow.

Now, all of this would be one thing if judges were honest about their partisanship in their elections, but they’re not. In the status quo, judges have to run as “nonpartisan” and they are not legally allowed to run with a party in these elections. The result is many voters cannot easily find information on the ideology of the judges, so the liberal incumbents continue to win, despite the clear unpopularity of their rulings.

There would have been a solution to this, last session HB 464, the Judicial Transparency Act would’ve allowed judicial candidates to run with a party to allow for honest elections so people know generally the ideology of a judge they’re voting for, however RINOs and Democrats sadly killed the bill, (including Rep. Courtenay Sprunger and Rep. Tony Brockman from Flathead) protecting the judicial oligarchy.

— Lukas Schubert, Kalispell

Praise for Zinke

Congressman Ryan Zinke is fighting the battle against fentanyl by co-sponsoring a bill that puts Narcan — the overdose treatment for fentanyl — in hands of first responders. He’s done more work single-handedly in Washington D.C. since taking office to address the immediate health needs of the Blackfeet Nation than the entire Indian Health Service staff in the Washington D. C. and Montana Offices combined.

— Rep. Marvin Weatherwax, D-Browning

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