Some open, some shut down

I am retired and so far I have not lost any of my income, but I can’t help myself from thinking what if my income was drastically or completely cut off when we were raising five children. I weep over what Gov. Inslee is doing to our state by shutting so many businesses down. Why are most all Republican run states open and thriving?

We gave more than 80 percent of our first stimulus checks away to help others out in a tiny way. I feel like it was a drop in the ocean. Two weeks ago, I called the governor’s office and requested that he show the citizens that have their businesses closed that he cares what they are going through and refuse to take his salary. I never heard back.

There is no reason that he allows many businesses to thrive and others he shuts down. On another front, I go to Safeway, Rite Aid, Dairy Queen, Walmart, the doctor’s office and other places and see those wonderful workers doing what “some” teachers are refusing to do, even though they are getting paid, not wanting to go back to work.

James Fry

Pullman

She needs to be clear

Amazingly, the 2020 presidential election remains in dispute two months after the mainstream media called a Biden victory and after audits, recounts and court cases confirmed that victory.

In his Jan. 6 speech, Trump again claimed there was “widespread fraud” and that he “won it by a landslide.” Polls from Nov. through Jan. consistently show that a third of Americans and a majority of Republicans agree.

These beliefs are dangerous to the country.

First, the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol shows the potential for violence. Second, and more important, if a third of Americans believe that our elections are so full of fraud and error that a presidential election can be stolen, then our whole democratic system is at risk.

What can we do about this? The poll numbers show that the people who believe Trump will not believe the mainstream media or the courts. They might believe clear statements from trusted Republican sources.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a very senior Republican leader in the House. Her voice would be believed by many people who distrust the media and the courts, but her public statements from Nov. 11 to Jan. 7 have carefully avoided addressing Trump’s claim that fraud and error turned a Trump landslide into a narrow Biden victory.

If she honestly believes that Trump won and Biden stole the election, she should show her constituents the evidence that leads her to that conclusion.

If she believes that the evidence shows that Biden truly won, then she has a responsibility to say so unambiguously: “There was no significant fraud or error. Biden actually got a majority of the votes in the crucial states, and we must therefore accept him as a legitimate president.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers needs to speak out clearly, and encourage other Republican leaders to do the same.

Guy Carden

Pullman

Draconian nonsense in Boise

Thirty Idaho lawmakers (two senators; 28 representatives) recently signed on to a list of priorities known as the 2021 Idaho Conservative Agenda. Their top concern in this ambiguously worded document seems to be ensuring that the government does as little as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by ending quarantines for healthy individuals (who could be asymptomatic carriers), “ensuring vaccination freedom,” and limiting the emergency powers of the governor and local and regional governments (though notably not themselves – this agenda actually includes several items aimed to increase the power of the legislature under the heading of “Less Government”).

This isn’t mere talk; the Legislature has already put forward some dozen pieces of legislation aimed to curb the governor’s authority; one would end the COVID-19 emergency declaration, thus cutting off Idaho from $20 million of federal aid. These pro-COVID-19 conservative priorities are ironically juxtaposed with a commitment to “pro-life protections.” Apparently, only fetal lives matter.

These priorities also include increased voter restrictions and limitations to ballot initiatives (lest everyday Idahoans start thinking that democracy means they get a say in government). The list also includes items aimed at cutting educational standards, cutting education funding (even though we’re dead last for education funding in the nation), and supporting private schools with public funds.

In short, the Conservative Agenda for Idaho is anti-health, anti-democracy, and anti-education — which is to say pro-sickness, pro-authoritarianism, and pro-ignorance. In these chaotic times, it’s comforting to see that Idaho Republicans lawmakers still stand for the same draconian nonsense they always have.

Ryan Urie

Moscow

Gratitude for the good doctor

We join with others in expressing our gratitude for Dr. Francis Spain’s service to our family and community. He was skilled and faithful to his oath and practice. With his wife, Michelle, he encouraged the next generation of medical practitioners.

And, some years ago, at the call of Judge Hamlett, Dr. Spain even served as Latah County Sheriff for one day. Then, having brought justice and order to the county, he put down his badge and returned to doctoring. A citizen for all seasons!

Frederic Banks and family

Moscow

Keep wearing the mask

Just this morning, my spouse and I went grocery shopping at 6 a.m. to one of our local grocery stores in order to avoid a larger crowd of shoppers later in the day. In the store, we came upon an elderly woman without a mask. I politely informed her that the store provided free masks for those who didn’t have one. She shot back with, “I already had the virus, so I don’t need one. I’m a survivor!” After hearing this, I wondered how many people believe that.

One fact that health care professionals still warn the public about is that there have been documented cases of people being infected with COVID-19 a second time. When that happens, people could be reinfected with it and not even know it, and if they’re not wearing a mask, they still run the risk of spreading the virus to others.

Therefore, with concerns about reinfection, people who’ve had the illness should still be wearing masks, social distancing and following other safety guidelines like frequent hand-washing and avoiding touching their face. This is not only to protect themselves from reinfection, but also to protect others.

John Morse

Moscow

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