Sunday, February 25, 2024

Letters to the editor Feb. 5

| February 5, 2024 12:00 AM

Treat obligations

As a member of Flathead Electric Cooperative, I was disappointed to read of leadership’s resistance to the removal of the dams on the Snake River due to their possible impact on electricity prices. 

The removal of these dams is the culmination of years of negotiations following decades — at least — of theft of water, land, fisheries and other resources from people who were here long before the co-op existed, and whose rights precede the co-op’s by millennia. 

Is Flathead Electric — along with Sen. Jon Tester and Reps. Ryan Zinke and Matt Rosendale — seriously saying that stealing from others is ethical as long as it results in lower prices? Because theft is exactly what we’re talking about here. 

It’s long past time that we all started working with treaty obligations and the realities of generations of theft, rather than pretending they don’t exist simply because acting on ignorance has financial benefit. 

There are plenty of us who rely on Flathead Electric who will happily work on solutions for electricity generation that don’t come at the expense of delayed and denied justice and rights.

— Antonia Malchik, Whitefish

The real cost

When, oh when, will the slick marketing campaigns for taxpayer levy requests stop using trickery to minimize the impacts to our impending tax bills? 

Whether for school funding in addition to annual budgets or the passing of expanded services in fire, ambulance and police protection, the technique most dishonest is always the opening line: will raise your taxes just $82.22 per $100,000 of assessed home value. Have you seen any homes for sale valued at $100,000? Sure, we can do the math but that’s not the point. Even at median values the formula requires multiplication by factor 6, so why not own up to the real numbers up front?

— Arne Boveng, Kalispell

Abortion and politics

The Democrats are hoping to get a rapidly declining President Joe Biden across the finish line to re-election in November by campaigning heavily on abortion. When not identifying former President Donald Trump as a Hitlerian dictator, they are shouting that Republicans want to take away women’s rights by banning abortion.  

I am conservative, but Republicans are misplaying this issue. If you are a staunch religious-right, anti-abortion believer that is your right, in your family or any sector of your life which you can convince that a ban is reasonable.  However, I believe a ban on abortion is not reasonable medically or ethically.  

Abortion should always be an option when the life of the mother is at risk or in cases of rape or incest. I believe that a majority of conservatives believe so. The issue is when none of those factors are in play. At what point in a pregnancy should abortion not be allowed?  Should it be based on a heart beat (five to six weeks) or the ability to feel pain (third trimester) in the fetus?  Should it be when the fetus is viable (22-23 weeks)? Or should it be when the baby is likely to survive (28 weeks)?

If I were advising a Republican running for election in 2024, I would suggest the following position (which happens to be my belief and, I believe, a majority of rational people): Rape, incest and health of the mother should always be a reason to allow abortions. Abortion should never be allowed after 28 weeks, and between 22 and 28 weeks probably not allowed.

By framing the argument that a fetus between 22 and 28 weeks is a human capable of independent survival, the Democrat position that abortion is a right at any stage becomes unethical, unreasonable and a political loser. 

— David Myerowitz, Columbia Falls

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