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Commentaries and editorials

Dams Gave No Prosperity

by Richard Scully
Lewiston Tribune, February 28, 2021

Congressman Mike Simpson has been talking to people throughout the northwest and in Washington, D.C. about the salmon crisis, and he says he's determined to do what he can to solve it. Aaron Ehlinger (skip the fraudulent "von") called Rep. Mike Simpson a "traitor" for his salmon recovery proposal.

Is Ehlinger a traitor for his oath-breaking "stop-the-steal" cheerleading on Jan. 6?

Simpson has "shown his true colors" -- they are red, white and blue. By patriotically sidestepping partisanship to draft a salmon-saving plan, he becomes the spokesman for an iconic species that can't speak -- but represent our own fragile existence in a damaged environment.

Ehlinger claims Simpson's plan "will destroy Idaho as we know it," which typifies a truth: Ehlinger doesn't know Idaho. ...

Ehlinger is too-much enamored of his small political squeaks and "freedom" to spread misinformation. He is part of a dwindling, twiddling group unwilling to give up special-interest territorialism while continuing to play the nimble numbers game and hump the same old arguments of cheap power, irrigation, transportation and tourism, which have been definitively undercut by science, research and observation.

The four lower Snake River dams are aging, costly behemoths. ...

Other impoundment sites below Hells Canyon Dam were studied in 1975. Imagine the lack of river access if those plans weren't scrapped. Simpson's plan deserves our open-minded support. He has identified problems, defined the stakeholders, acknowledged the conflicts, structured a realistic timeline and budget.

If we are truthful about the challenge, we can work on each part to achieve this monumental goal. We need to be unified in helping him refine the action and smooth the edges. ...

Something finally has to give -- and the something is the dams. ...

GOP is fractured

Now that former President Donald Trump's hourly and daily rants have subsided and he's planted himself in his private resort in Florida to feast and play golf, one would think some so-called Republicans in office would focus their common-sense effort to constituents' health and well being while a national pandemic continues.

But ... common sense takes a back seat to their top priority of currying Trump's blessing towards their hopeful reelection and occupying a seat in a committee.

So far, Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz as well as Congressmen Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise have trotted down to Mar-a-Lago to kneel and obtain forgiveness in expressing their doubts regarding the so-called stolen election. ...

Sen. Mitch McConnell has made it clear that the election was done fairly and complete, with Republican oversight on state election boards that counted ballots.

And even in losing the Senate majority, he is focused on healing the Republican Party in hopes to regain its stature and avoid a party split in two. As it currently stands, the Republican Party resembles historical situations such as the party fractures during the ... William Howard Taft and Barry Goldwater campaigns.

Whether Trump realized or not during his term taking over the Republican Party, neither he nor the current Republican leadership have the ability to stabilize and effectively return the Republican Party to prominence in the short term.

Most likely from an historical standpoint, that will take a few years or more likely several years, all thanks to Trumpism.

Mike Petrusky, Clarkston

Thanks, SEL

I would like to thank Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and all the folks working in the vaccine clinic here at Lewiston. Our recent experience there was so pleasant. Every aspect from start to finish ran like a well-oiled machine. Every person involved was pleasant and knowledgeable. After seeing some of the national stories about other states' chaotic clinics, we weren't sure what to expect.

The people responsible for setting up and running this clinic should be commended.

Kay Vawter, Lewiston

Dangerous books

We want our children to be readers. Only two are left at home, but they do not have smart phones, TVs, game boxes or any other devices to entertain them.

They read. They play board games. They play outside. They eat well. We do what we can to help them grow and develop as healthily as they can. But because our books are limited, we let them go to the library. Most weeks they bring home the allowed number of five books to read. I like that.

But wait. Most weeks, when I go through to see what they are reading, I have to reject some. Who writes these books anyway?

Many of the good, strong, exciting adventures of our childhood have been banned or discarded. There are some good new books but many are not all that good. Many are downright dangerous.

They cover everything and try to make it appealing: drug and alcohol abuse, profanity, obscenity, suicide, sex in all manner of forms, physical abuse, pregnant teens by stepdads, etc. This is not the kind of village I want helping to raise my children.

Several days after writing this, and before submitting it, the children went to the library. One checked out six books because she strongly suspected one was not OK. She was correct. Glad she is learning. I showed her my letter and she requested I submit it.

Ginny Fischer, Nezperce

This book is a lifesaver

"Deep Survival -- Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why" by Laurence Gonzales is worth reading by those who venture into the great outdoors, be it on land or water. What you learn from this book might save your life.

Nature is beautiful, which is why many of us live in Idaho so we can go out into it.

It's also deadly.

We read every year in the news about people killed while out in nature. It can happen because they underestimated the danger into which they placed themselves. They overestimated their ability to deal with potential danger. Or they underestimated their ability to survive despite an unexpected adverse event. The wild, natural situation that unexpectedly tries to kill you can also offer the very things you need to survive.

Warning: This book is a page-turner with a wide variety of researched, real life-and-death events. Your desire to read it from cover-to-cover once you start might compromise others things you intended to do.

Steve Koehler, Grangeville

Democrats did not help

One year ago, the coronavirus showed up. President Donald Trump jumped in and closed the borders. What were the Democrats doing? Trying to impeach Trump.

In three months using executive orders, Trump arranged medical ventilators for all hospitals. What were the Democrats doing? Trying to impeach him.

Using executive orders, public and private facilities developed a vaccine in less than eight months. What were the Democrats doing? Trying to impeach Trump.

The Lewiston Tribune reminds me every day that there are something like 26.8 million cases. Most of these people should be working now.

What were the executive orders from Mindless Joe Biden?

On his first day, he shut down the Keystone Pipeline, affecting 6,000 workers plus more than 1 million nationwide. ...

Biden's executive orders mean 11 million illegal aliens will be legal in four years.

Trump tried to close down what the Democrats have called concentration camps.

On average, 3,000 a day will become citizens. For them, welfare, health care and education are all free, thanks to executive orders.

You can't call coronavirus a virus.

At White House news briefings, you must submit questions such as "What is his favorite ice cream?"

White House press secretary Jen Psaki will get back to you.

Howard Miller, Clarkston

Prager propagandizes

Dennis Prager's opinion in the Feb. 7 Lewiston Tribune is propaganda, not history. He expects us to take his opinion as sound understanding instead of thin air.

He dislikes that communist lies kill; fair enough. Communism is often a murderous lie. But expecting us to swallow the falsehood that capitalism isn't equally murderous is a lie of omission big enough to neuter history -- the typical act of the willfully ignorant who'd have us condemn one murderous system and cheer an equally murderous other.

"Hypocrisy, anyone?" he should have asked, presenting communism as Satan and capitalism as spotless, while he knows that capitalism enacts genocidal brutality effective enough to be emulated by Adolf Hitler.

All powerful empires lie, cheat, steal and kill as a rule instead of an exception. If Prager cared about 2 million lost Vietnamese lives -- or any American lives lost in Vietnam -- he would admit that American military leaders should have ignored the lie of the Gulf of Tonkin. This deliberate American lie, born from the womb of oligarchic corporate capitalism, certainly cost millions of lives.

Real compassion would want America to have stayed out of Vietnamese affairs altogether or, at least, it would have wanted America to come to those affairs in actual peace instead of carpet bombs and the CIA's aim to turn Vietnamese civilian centers into terror-saturated crucibles of anti-democratic anti-civilization, as with the Phoenix Project.

Pushing truth out the window -- an arrogant rush to gain converts, Prager proves that radio talk should stick to radio and out of print.

Ben Evans, Lapwai

Who is Kolstad to judge?

Brian Kolstad asks the question: "Why" does the Lewiston Tribune put the "uninformed science" of Dick Eggleston on full display?

Also, in his expert opinion, "Why" do the Alfords "pay for this nonsense?"

Against my better judgment, I feel a need to answer Kolstad's "why" question.

First: The Tribune Opinion page is not a scientific journal. At the top of the page, it is clearly titled "Opinion." Everyone is entitled to his own opinion and he is not required to prove it scientifically. If that were the case, Kolstad would have to prove Eggleston's opinion was wrong. Difficult to do in 250 words or less.

Secondly: Who is Kolstad to decide who the privately owned Tribune should pay or not pay for their opinion? Who made him the opinion czar of the Tribune?

The Tribune pays a lot of people for their opinions. No one is required to agree with them or even read them.

Kolstad is trying to say anyone who does not agree with his opinion should be canceled. I do not agree with Kolstad's opinion and therefore humbly request that he be canceled from the Tribune.

Dick Sherwin, Lewiston

Fact-check Eggleston

After reading Richard Eggleston's commentary on Feb. 21, it is my opinion that his column should be fact-checked by someone before going to print.

Oh wait. There wouldn't be anything to print.

Pam Hall, Lewiston

It was satire, right?

I want to thank Mike Cloke for his excellent satirical letter about Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.

It is rare to find good satire in the letters section.

In his piece, Cloke thanks McMorris Rodgers for "staying after the executive branch and finally getting a federal emergency disaster declaration for the Malden-Pine City area."

That is hilarious. It is laughing out loud, funny.

McMorris Rodgers was extremely incompetent for more than six months while a president of her own party ignored her. This was a president she campaigned for, voted for and defended.

Federal help for Malden and Pine City became a reality when Democrat Joe Biden made this a priority during his first days in office.

Please keep writing satire, Mike. The world and our small corner of it needs more laughter.

Mike Clovis, Grangeville

Gone too far

The Idaho Freedom Foundation has gone a bridge too far in its McCarthyite robo-call attacks on Idaho educators, claiming college students are being "trained to attack law enforcement and the Second Amendment" and to "hate America and American values."

Same as most older Idahoans, I know many hundreds of recent alumni from our public colleges and universities, and have seen precious little indication of ideological brainwashing. Instead, I've consistently seen independent, self-confident young people working as business owners, professionals in virtually all fields and as tribal leaders.

The huge irony in IFF's smear campaign is that they are funded by outside "dark money," representing interests willing to sacrifice our state and its economic future and prosperity by turning us into a poster-child and magnet for intolerance, bigotry and ideological extremism.

To someone who grew up in Ku Klux Klan country prior to the 1964 and 1965 civil rights acts, IFF's smears smack of white supremacist innuendo, and its disinformation and lies about Idaho educators stink the same as the lies we've been fed about fraudulent elections, climate change and COVID-19.

Shame. We need to keep our talented young people, not drive them away. IFF's current fear and hate-mongering is not helping.

Chris Norden, Moscow

Richard Scully, Lewiston
Dams Gave No Prosperity
Lewiston Tribune, February 28, 2021

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