Letters to the editor Jan. 27

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Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump vs. Pelosi II, President Donald J. Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Government Shutdown, unpaid government workers

Have a nice day

I had a lot of errands to run yesterday so I was in and out of a lot of businesses. I decided, at the beginning of the day, to keep count how often someone told me to “have a nice day”. Thirty-six times during the day I was told to “have a nice day.” Checkout people the most, friends I ran into, various business people, and even the computer at the library when I checked out my book. Even the computer told me to “have a nice day.” The computer obviously didn’t really mean it and has no emotions or wishes about what kind of day I have. All the other 35 times of “have a nice day” were from humans and most of those had a somewhat robotic feeling to them. We all continue to just say this farewell and for the most part it doesn’t feel genuine.

Why not? Because I know that we mentally break into groups of disliking those who are not in our group. We are unusually intent on identifying those who don’t think like us. Politics or football teams or abortion rights or religion, on and on and on, and then we don’t like those other groups. And at the same time, it’s “have a nice day”?

We have chosen to adopt this well-wishing phrase for almost every parting situation, while simultaneously staying focused on what divides us. I don’t think we can have it both ways. These thoughts are mutually exclusive.

My wish certainly would be that we all got along better, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. The other choice is to quit being plastic and robot-like in a false greeting to each other. It makes us sound like the computer at the library.

“Have a nice day” is a plague on our society. Many of you do it at work because your boss makes you. And makes you smile and makes you have eye contact. I understand what the boss is wanting but couldn’t you just say, “Thank you for shopping with us.”

My attempt here is to get some humans to think about what they really say and mean and why. If you move forward in a quest to be truthful and genuine, “May the force be with you.”

If you’re gonna say it, please mean it, and then live by it. Otherwise, please stop being a robot.

—Bill Goodman, Kalispell

Thoughts on the border wall

We need a wall. After all, China has one, why shouldn’t we? Plus it would be the greatest make-work project since the pyramids. I’m surprised Trump doesn’t want one of those, as well, but maybe I shouldn’t be giving him ideas.

Anyway, it should be a beautiful wall. I really don’t care what it looks like – the graffiti artists likely will decorate it for us. In fact, we should probably just hire them up front for the paint job.

But the wall should be functional. To insure this, I suggest that we build several prototypes, then hold a contest called the National Over, Under, or Through the Wall event. Maybe we could set it up like a reality show, complete with sponsorships and prizes for the fastest times. Now that would be television worth watching!

I suspect the results might be surprising. Logic indicates that a 30-foot wall should be relatively easy to overcome with a 31-foot ladder and length of rope, but I can hardly wait to see what American and Mexican ingenuity can come up with.

We’ll probably need something else. Given that we’re already dedicated to solving 21st Century problems with ancient technology, I suggest archers. We could hire a couple hundred thousand archers and deploy them along the border wall! Maybe we could complete the scenario with a few thousand catapults. We could use flaming arrows and fireballs to celebrate the Fourth of July instead of imported Chinese fireworks!

I’m so excited. I can hardly wait. I mean, when was the last time anyone found work as an archer! Now that would be border security we could all be proud of!

—John Larson, Kalispell

Seeking balance in our forests

Regarding the article, “Pollutants decline in county and beyond” (Jan. 13), the decline presented is negligible, and liberals on college faculties are going to spout climate change until the cows come home. But those who pay attention and aren’t encumbered by ideological dogma know there is a whole other side to the issue involving environmental activists tying forest management issues up in litigation. I commend the reporter for addressing the issue, but it would have been good if the article could have presented both sides.

Congressman Greg Gianforte secured forest management reforms in the Fiscal Year 2018 legislative omnibus package to restrict litigation by environmental activists, after sponsoring the Federal Forests Act which addressed the issue of severe wildfires that result in large part from inadequate forest management. Wildfires are harmful to wildlife, as well as to humans, killing them directly and destroying habitat. Nothing was said in the article about the cancer connection that we assume exists with the known carcinogens in wildfire smoke, such as benzene and formaldehyde (National Geographic, 10-29-15).

The effects of climate change can be mitigated when wise forest management is implemented. Activists may oppose thinning trees, limited commercial harvesting of timber, and controlled burns, but those measures could have reduced the number, intensity, and duration of the conflagrations we have seen in Montana in recent years, facilitating better human and wildlife health and quality of life and proactively reducing the possibility that iconic structures such as Sperry Chalet could be destroyed.

Once a balance between environmental protection interests and good forest management practices is achieved, we, elk, bears, deer, and birds will all breathe easier, stay healthier and enjoy summer more. Keep pressure on your legislators to support legislation that restricts environmental litigation so forest managers can do their job.

—Jenny La Sorte, Kalispell

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