Thursday, July 18, 2024

Letters to the editor July 9

| July 9, 2024 12:00 AM

Gish gallop

We were all disappointed by the “debate,” but don’t despair. It is simply another disingenuous instance in a long line of Republican dirty tricks. 

A debate with no fact checking against an opponent with no regard for the truth is not a debate — it’s a verbal slug fest where the person who lies the loudest, the fastest and the most appears to win. Trump didn’t need to prepare for the affair because that’s his regular mode of operation; he’s been repeating those fictions for the last 10 years! Trump’s strategy, called the Gish gallop, is a rhetorical technique where a debater overwhelms the opponent with a stunning array of rapid-fire inaccurate arguments. The purpose is to daze and confuse, and that worked initially. Trump’s MAGA White House advisors used the same ploy only they had a coarser name for it: “Flood the zone with s**t.” 

Donald Trump’s exaggerations, disinformation and lies are nothing new, in fact, Shakespeare anticipated him in Macbeth: “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

— Terry Meyers, Kalispell

Respect the land

As you head to the hills for summer fun, remember to treat the land, both public and private, with respect. 

Flathead Wildlife works with private landowners in picking up litter, filling the back of a pickup at some sites year after year. Forests are not shooting ranges, glass, appliances and old TVs are not suitable targets. We pick up bags of empty brass and shotgun shells, paper, glass, cans, bottles and litter. Wood pallets are not suitable firewood, we have filled 5 gallon buckets with nails out of fire rings. 

Likewise, it is not permissible anywhere to cut new mountain bike or ATV trails. Some private landowners and corporate timberlands have been very good neighbors in allowing public use but that has limits and we could all lose thousands of acres of access if abuse continues.

Respect the land, don’t litter, pick up litter when you see it, be careful with fires, don’t drive off road and we can all continue to enjoy the great outdoors.

— Jim Vashro, Kalispell

O’Brien for state superintendent

I support Dr. Shannon O’Brien as Montana’s next superintendent of schools. Shannon’s exceptional leadership, unwavering dedication to education, ability to listen and her deep understanding of the needs of our children make her the ideal candidate.

In a time where the future of our education system is at a critical juncture, it is imperative that we have a leader who prioritizes the well-being and success of our students above all else. Shannon embodies this commitment, consistently putting the best interests of our children and grandchildren ahead of politics.

As the mother of a high-schooler, Shannon understands firsthand the importance of safe and secure schools equipped with high-quality teachers in every classroom. Throughout her career, she has tirelessly fought to ensure that every student, regardless of background, has access to a quality education and a fair shot at success.

She brings a wealth of experience to the table, with a diverse background in public education ranging from K-12 to college to state-level policy making. Her roles as a classroom teacher, school administrator, education policy advisor to Gov. Steve Bullock, dean of Missoula College and state legislative leader in education committees have equipped her with the knowledge, expertise and perspective necessary to lead our education system effectively.

As state superintendent, Shannon will be a strong and vocal advocate for parents, teachers and students alike. Her leadership will ensure that our education system continues to evolve and improve, providing our future generations with the tools they need to succeed in an ever-changing world.

— Doug James, Billings