Letters to the editor for Sept. 23, 2018

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Thanks for accentuating the positive!

Thank you for the format on your front page.

The first thing we see is a “positive” — a picture celebrating the beauty of the state of Montana or of the productive people who live here.

It‘s a refreshing way to learn more about the place I call “Home.” —Linda Walthers, Bigfork

Will good prevail?

While watching the current news as it has related to the Supreme Court nominee, I was reminded of some other recent incidents that have taken place of a like nature. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the first definition of “evil” is “something that is morally bad or wrong, wicked,” while the send definition is “causing ruin, injury or pain, harmful.”

In 2012, the then Democratic senator from Nevada made a false statement on the Senate floor that Mr. M. Romney, Republican candidate for president, had not been paying his income taxes. After the election, a news-person asked the senator if he felt bad about making this false claim. The senator’s response was “Well, he didn’t get elected, did he?” Evil won and good lost.

In 2017, the Democratic senator from Montana made false statements about admiral and doctor Ronnie Jackson, a candidate to take the position of head of the Veterans Administration. The admiral withdrew from consideration for the position, rather that subjecting himself and his family to the pain and injury that would occur to them while he was defending himself from these lies. Again evil won and good lost.

Now it is 2018, and we have a Democratic senator from California putting forth allegations against Judge Kavanagh, a nominee for the Supreme Court. The senator put forth this allegation without determining if the source was credible. The senator further stated that the accuser wanted to remain anonymous, but she then identified the women by name.

Not only is Judge Kavanagh and his family subject to injury and pain, but the source is now also subjected to the harmful pain that she had wanted to avoid. This seems to me to be “something that is morally bad or wrong, wicked.”

What has happened to our Western senators that makes them turn to evil, rather than good? Evil is not a trait that is admired in our Western heritage. Honesty and respect for others is sought and admired by the people of the West.

While it is too early the know the outcome of the Judge Kavanagh situation, I can only hope the in this case “Good will overcome evil.” —Dale B. Heldstab, Columbia Falls

1 sexual assault is one too many

As you may know, allegations of sexual assault have surfaced against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. There are many reasons why I find Christine Blasey Ford credible, but the bottom line is that unless you’ve been where Dr. Ford has been, then please do not judge her or her reasons for coming forward when she did.

I’ve been where Dr. Ford was. I was molested as a young child by a male teenaged babysitter. It took me seven years before I told my parents, and another 15 before I happened upon my abuser in the community and decided to go to his place of employment to share my story, with another woman, who had also been abused by him. Unfortunately no action was taken; as we saw then and continue to see today, sometimes people are insulated by the system and not held accountable for their actions. (Our abuser had gone on to teach at a prestigious private school, and still teaches there to this day.)

With sexual abuse/assault, you feel embarassed and angry and are scared to speak up, sometimes for many years. You remember some details with vividness while others escape you. I speak about this candidly not because I want sympathy or attention, but because 35 years have passed since my own experience and I want to draw attention to the reality of what people go through.

It does not matter how many women have spoken out saying what a great guy Brett Kavanaugh is. ONE woman is one too many to have assaulted, and that should be an immediate disqualifier for a lifelong appointment to the Supreme Court.

Yesterday I called both of my senators urging them to vote NO on this nomination, and I hope you will too. —Emily Casey

Thanks, Frank

I thank you, Frank Miele, for the faithful years of editing and writing in this paper with such honesty, fairness, and clarity.

I feel a deep sadness that your column will not be published anymore, for you carefully reflected very reasonable and sane perspectives, with gracious civility, to complicated and truly important issues.

I was amazed at your wide research and awareness of the moral, civil, religious and political landscape. And that you could then answer with both force and reason. I was always impressed with your perspectives. And I deeply appreciated your religious and spiritual insights, and your including material of that nature.

May God bless your new directions. —Miles Finch, Lakeside

Support LWCF

I worked for Fish, Wildlife and Parks for 39 years, 31 years as regional fisheries manager in Northwest Montana. I was frequently caught between groups fighting over fishery management, but one thing they all agreed on was needing access. That’s where the Land and Water Conservation Fund comes in.

LWCF uses revenues from offshore energy development to fund the acquisition of public sites across Montana and the nation. LWCF has helped fund over 2/3 of FWP’s fishing access sites, benefiting anglers, floaters and other water users. Fishing licenses alone can’t do that. LWCF has also been used for projects like swimming pools and soccer fields, as well as recent conservation easements in the Swan and around Whitefish, assuring those areas would continue to produce wildlife, clean water and commercial logs, not cabins and condos. Montana has benefited from over 1,000 projects over the years.

LWCF is supposed to receive $900 million a year. But Congress keeps using the money for other projects and the latest budget only proposes a few million dollars. LWCF will also expire at the end of September unless Congress acts. Sens. Tester and Daines and Rep. Gianforte have all voiced support for re-authorization of LWCF and higher funding. I urge them to push their colleagues to permanently re-authorize and fully fund LWCF. —Jim Vashro, Kalispell

Global warming theory is not a sure thing

Mr. Bob Muth Sr. says Mr. Zinke is ignoring science. I have always been taught that science is based on FACTS. Global warming, or climate change as it is now called, can not be based on science as there are no facts about the Earth’s temperature prior to the 1900s. The thermometer wasn’t invented until 1714 by a German scientist, and worldwide distribution didn’t happen until sometime the later 1900s.

Also we have no written record of weather conditions before the 1900s other than it was a hot year or cold and wet or dry, a lot of snow or rain and floods in different places at different years.

We do have a record of weather conditions (that has been ignored) by reading tree rings of the 2,000 year old giant sequoia stumps in California (or even some of our 200-year-old tree stumps here in Montana) showing hot, cold, wet or dry years, proving climate change is at least 2,000 years old.

As far as forest fires we have no records in long past years. We do know that Native Americans would burn the underbrush regularly to protect the trees. But the environmentalists have prevented that as well as the thinning and clearing of brush by cutting timber. —Dexter Hamilton, Kalispell

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