Letters to the editor Dec. 23

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Holding our health care hostage

Just a note about Dr. Boharski’s letter Dec. 9, having used that facility for myself, my wife, my parents and brothers for over 40 years I feel qualified to comment.

The doctor was spot on in all he wrote. It would take more than a full page in the paper to relate our bad experiences and at times been paid off with gas vouchers to just go away, I will say there are some very good doctors here, but so many have sold out to the hospital and where did all that money come from? Should not be hard to figure that one out. In my opinion the best two things about the hospital are the food and the nurses. What great people and now the hospital is really trying to mess with them. I have always considered them to be angels in scrubs and I am behind them 100 percent. The hospital is holding our health care hostage and it’s a sad affair except for the fat cats at the top.

—Glen Hook

Out with the old, in with the new

The original and extremely divisive CSKT water compact, S. 262 and Senator Tester’s inflated S.B. 3013 were all contingent upon illegally appropriating our private and state waters rights and transferring said rights to the federal government on behalf of the tribe. This would clearly violate established law and the Montana Constitution, no matter how you look at it.

By signing S. 262 Gov. Bullock violated the Fifth Amendment – takings without compensation - by taking water rights attached to property deeds as well as transferring off-reservation Montana waters to federal “trust” for an Indian tribe.

The 1908 Winters Doctrine excludes off-reservation waters from tribal authority, and the 1981 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Montana v. U.S. provides that tribal governments have no authority over non-tribal persons or properties without consent. The 2013 ruling in Tarrant v. Herrmann unanimously found that “States have the absolute authority over all navigable waters within lands ceded to a state upon statehood.”

The newly proposed Peoples Compact/Mending Fences Act, a First Amendment petition for redress, on the other hand, is clearly intended to benefit ALL the peoples of Montana, tribal and non-tribal, and stays within the confines of federally reserved water right laws and the constitution.

The People’s Compact finally and fairly quantifies the amount of water for the tribe based upon the primary purposes of the Reservation, which brings the reserved water rights in line with other compacts across Montana and throughout the United States.

—Lauralee O’Neil, Kalispell

Simple physics

In the Dec. 17 edition of letters to the editor, there were two letters which referred to global warming as a “hoax” and a “lie” without providing any supportive evidence to back up their claims. The latter letter, “A ploy to control the world” by Clarice Ryan of Bigfork, went so far as to say that “[t]here is no sound science to prove that CO2 produces global warming”.

An oversimplified claim is made by Ryan: “Smoke in the air is simply unburned carbon produced along with CO2 (a gas) and H2O (steam-water). Forest fires release a lot of smoke (carbon) but controlled burning in power generation plants… does not”. This explanation is made with a FUNDAMENTAL MISUNDERSTANDING OF PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY.

“Smoke” is a collection of airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases emitted when a material undergoes combustion. If we consider coal-burning power-generating plants, no level-headed scientist would ever claim that the “smoke” produced does not contain CO2, because it, in fact, DOES (so, too, does the exhaust from fossil fuels — like gasoline).

A greenhouse gas, like CO2, is one which absorbs and emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range. These gases act as a mirror for infrared radiation (or heat); as more CO2 is added into the atmosphere, more of the heat radiated from the earth is reflected back (just like a sweater on skin). This insulating effect causes the planet, as a whole, to warm, which causes a plethora of adverse effects to our ecosystems.

I encourage all readers to study, in great detail, the basics of physics, chemistry, ecology, climatology, and astronomy before making dubious claims which only act to misinform readers on a topic which requires us to be well-informed and proactive.

—David T.W. Buckingham, Kalispell

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