About Trump, the trial

If my letter is published, let me first apologize for my comments. I read letters and sometimes I am not sure which planet the people who wrote it are from. President Trump will go down in history as probably the greatest president that America has ever had. I could take it paragraph by paragraph, but space does not allow that. You say that President Trump lost the election? Sorry, not so. For me to explain would be a waste of time, because if you cannot listen to news, well ... I don’t fall for any BS, I am too old.

The hatred that has fallen on President Trump has been built and formulated by Marxist communist Democrats for international elitist globalists. Now, you say that you voted for Democrats, so you must then believe in first murdering babies in the womb. Second, you must be over the moon when you heard that 20,000 people on the Keystone Pipeline were laid off.

Third, you must believe in the green plan and other crazy ideas. It took 70 years for us to be free from importing oil. But now we must buy oil from others. I question why we would give money away to others.

Fourth, you talk about the riots of Jan. 6. Did you listen to the impeachment kangaroo court? First the Democrats were going to call witnesses, but they didn’t. You may ask why. Because the Republicans were going to call 300 witnesses, so no witnesses. The so-called trial was a disgrace to all Americans. Reading your remarks, of course, tells me you did not (watch it). If you would have done so, you would have heard more lies from Democrats and evidence of how they were doctoring evidence repeatedly.

The riots themselves were arranged by, let’s say, others. President Trump explicitly asked his supporters Jan. 6 to go and peacefully show their support for him.

Mike Beirens


Writing on the wall

In response to Scotty Anderson’s Feb. 20 column: Yes, I also have a delightful 6,000-pound, V8-powered SUV in my garage, which has been taking me everywhere and which I value highly.

It just now took me from here to the edge of the North Cascades where we enjoyed several days of cross-country skiing, after which it brought us safely back. I’m old enough to remember a time when the best vehicles available, along with the road maintenance of the time, would have made that trip foolhardy, if not impossible in midwinter. I have no plan to give that machine up, unless and until somebody can offer me a better one. I do think petroleum technology has enabled us to develop and enjoy an incredible transportation system which should only be replaced, if ever, by a better one.

I do wonder about the suggestion that the manufacturers’ interest in converting to electrical vehicles was triggered by some whimsical government official(s). It feels to me more like the officials and the manufacturers might have thought they were seeing the handwriting on the wall. There’s a long list of events that could lead them to that opinion, which I won’t even try to enumerate.

One of my favorites was shortly after the pandemic began. It was reported that cities all over the Orient were experiencing clear skies, sort of like Beijing when they shut down commerce so they could hold the Olympics. I personally delighted in the example of Kathmandu, where they were actually able to see that mountain for the first time in several years.

Dean Ritchie


Climate change

Last week, the multinational business magazine Fortune published “Blueprint for a Climate Breakthrough,” 15 articles “guest-edited” by Bill Gates. Topics included the next generation of climate activists, the biggest trends in clean tech in 2021, how “green premiums’’ can help solve climate change, why rejoining the Paris accord matters and the ambitious venture Bill Gates created to beat climate change. The series followed publication of Gates’s book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.”

Three days later, a letter in these pages began, “The faith of many, including President Biden, in the global warming/climate change hypothesis totally apart from the science amazes me.” The writer cited “a number of places around the globe” that experienced “record or near-record cold and snowfall” as reasons why the “hypothesis” is false. Besides revealing a lack of understanding about differences between climate change and weather, the letter claims that such “propaganda” is an attempt to create a “global government.”

Yet thousands of international scientists, statesmen and businessmen are collaborating on workable solutions for the problem. They’ve predicted dire consequences if the oil tanker known as “The good ship Climate Change” stays the course. Fortunately, their global initiatives are coming together.

Two years ago, the Climate Leadership Council published “Economists’ Statement on Carbon Dividends,” a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal. More than 3,600 economists actually agreed: “A carbon tax offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary.”

To do that, bipartisan legislation (the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R. 763), passed the House of Representatives. Our Palouse Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby has particulars. Come help us mitigate climate change.

Pete Haug


Individuals and the herd

“Herd immunity” describes the status of a population’s ability to resist an infectious disease so that the disease cannot spread. This requires a high proportion of immune individuals ranging from 83 to 94 percent. We can’t yet calculate this for this coronavirus. Herd immunity depends on the behavior and status of every individual. When enough individuals are immune — naturally, through infection, via vaccination — the herd is immune.

Dr. Marty Makary, a surgeon, states (correctly) case numbers are declining. Also correctly, there hasn’t been enough testing to see the true picture.

Anything can derail infection prevention measures. Weather is currently slowing vaccination progress. We have had supply chain ruptures. Crowds rather than distancing. The cold chain has broken and vaccines needed to be destroyed. Many jurisdictions haven’t been able to achieve last mile delivery. Thousands of people are refusing the vaccine (which is their right). Supply pipelines are empty in many jurisdictions. People continue to travel across both state and international borders.

Individuals are responsible to the herd — in this case the entire U.S. population. State borders are too porous to say that one state has achieved herd immunity and neighboring states haven’t (look at Moscow-Pullman for example, and Spokane-Coeur d’Alene). Half a population doesn’t achieve this — by definition either the entire population (herd) is immune or it isn’t. Since we don’t know the end point — if there is one — we cannot stop a single prevention measure until we are there.

Makary predicts that the coronavirus will be “mostly gone by April.” As I write this, it is 39 days until April 1. And guess what that day is? April Fools.

Suzanne C. Thomas


Initiative bill too restrictive

The League of Women Voters of Idaho strongly opposes Senate Bill 1110 as too restrictive and an infringement on the people’s right to place items on the ballot.

Idaho has some of the most restrictive rules regarding ballot initiatives and referendums. This bill would make the requirements stricter and nearly impossible for any grassroots campaign to qualify for the ballot.

This bill would require an initiative to have signatures of at least 6 percent of qualified electors in all 35 legislative districts.

The bill would enable a single district veto power. If there were a concerted effort, possibly from outside the state, to prevent one district from getting enough signatures, an initiative would not qualify for the ballot.

The argument that rural districts are left out of the processes is moot because they are already well represented legislatively. Rural voters have an equal voice when they weigh in on the issue with a “yes’’ or “no” vote on initiatives or referendums on the ballot, whether they signed a petition or not.

The initiative process is a way for voters to have a voice when our elected officials seem to lose theirs. In 2018, an initiative was placed on the ballot to extend Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands more. Sixty-two percent of the voters thought it a good idea and passed the initiative into law — something the Legislature had failed to do the previous eight years.

Idaho lawmakers are citizen-legislators, meeting for three months per year. They should understand the efforts of grassroots organizations as many of them probably belong to such organizations. So, it is a bit confusing why they feel it necessary to further hobble one of the most fundamental grassroots actions available to citizens who care enough about an issue to want to see it enshrined as law.

Susan Ripley

President, League ofWomen Voters of Idaho


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