Bearing false witness

I suppose that having columns written by raving lunatics must have a certain appeal to an editor, since you have done this for years, and it definitely provokes responses.

Dale Courtney is the latest example, wailing his jeremiad in the Oct. 28 issue for the “destruction of free speech in America.” He repeats the tired canard of the oppression of right-wing Christians at the hand of violent liberals who attack everything he stands for. His shining example, typical of his hypocrisy, is to bring up the Christ Church “hymn sing” (aka, “super-spreader event”), where his crowd violated local efforts to combat COVID-19 by spewing their viral load to the public in the guise of free speech.

Of course, the actual violence there came from their protest, but the resistance of one intrepid DJ with a little Cardi B is what struck Dale as being violent.

Typical bullies, they provoke and provoke until there is a complaint, and then they yell about how terrible antifa and BLM activists crush their right to free speech. As Goebbels famously advised, “Accuse your enemies of that which you are guilty.”

My response to Mr. Courtney comes from the Bible. “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Even if the Daily News allows you to do it.

Paul Smith


Public deserves the facts

I appreciated Anthony Kuiper’s front page story today (Oct. 29), and Troy Henderson’s candid acknowledgement of the seriousness of COVID-19 here in our community. In the past few days I have started to hear rumors about the strain on Pullman Regional Hospital, which were confirmed by Jeanne Eylar’s comments.

County residents deserve factual, timely information on COVID cases from the health department, local hospitals, WSU, Schweitzer and senior care providers. Clearly, withholding such information to avoid “panic” is not a good strategy. The more we know about the impact of COVID on our friends and neighbors, the more likely we are to wear masks, avoid crowds, and protect each other. It’s not politics, it’s public health science.

Beth DeWeese


Change, outside voting booth

You hate the two-party system. You want to vote third-party for president this year. I hate the two-party system, too, and I voted for Biden. Here’s why.

The two-party system is a result of the system we use to count votes (called first-past-the-post), not a grand conspiracy between the parties and the media. Something called the spoiler effect is what virtually ensures that, for instance, a strong Green Party will always result in Republican wins. I have determined that the best way to get a viable multiparty system is to contribute to a group like Fair Vote, which advocates for alternative voting methods in the U.S.

Of course the only thing worse than a two-party system is a one-party system, and the president and his party are threatening not to honor election results.

Scholars of authoritarianism suggest that only if Joe Biden wins the Electoral College and wins the popular vote by a large margin is a peaceful transition of power likely. It is my duty to be a part of the repudiation of authoritarianism in whatever way possible, so I am voting for Biden to add my voice to that aim.

Of course, voting is only the beginning of civic engagement. I encourage everyone to become involved in a civic action organization that furthers causes you believe in, e.g. racial justice or dealing with climate change.

Politicians will do what is right if we band together and make them do so. I also encourage everyone to become more involved with local politics. A lot of pressing issues are administered at the local level, and it’s much easier to get meaningful results locally than in the national arena.

So do vote, but know that most real change is affected outside of the voting booth.

Benjamin Sloniker


A reflection of values

I was asked by a friend how I decided for whom I was going to vote. My answer was really simple. I chose the candidate who best reflects my own personal values. For instance, I am a person of faith so I would expect a president who can admit their mistakes, ask forgiveness and try to correct the error. My president will be able to lead us through crises not give in to them and will tell us the truth about them.

I am an avid reader so I want a president who actually reads the president’s daily briefing, not someone who just wants bullet points thus spreading falsehoods that could impact not just the general citizens, but could have horrific implications to our service members not only here on home soil but those who are serving in places all across the globe along with our diplomatic corps.

I looked for a president who will make us proud of our standing among others around the globe. I want my president to work with trading partners around the globe to reopen markets for our products made and grown in the USA. I do not want my president to cavort with the world’s worst dictators. Above all else, I want my president to support and uphold the Constitution of the United States.

What do you want your president to be like?

Doris Lohrey-Birch


An act of cowardice

I am deeply upset by the loss of lives in France following the publication of distasteful caricatures of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him). The acts of murdering Mr. Paty and three churchgoers are ones of cowardice. As an Ahmadi Muslim, I strongly condemn these attacks. I also offer my sincere sympathies and prayers to the families of the innocent and blameless victims.

The so-called Islamists took these disgraceful actions in the name of defending the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Any act of violence and extremism is against Islam’s teachings, especially against innocent people and especially worshippers.

In the time of the prophet, a man named Abdullah would throw his hatred and insults towards Muhammad (pbuh). Abdullah’s son, a devout Muslim, was upset at his father’s disrespectful behavior against the prophet and wanted to act violently. However, the prophet stopped Abdullah’s son and forbade violence saying, “I will treat your father with compassion and consideration.”

The character of Muhammad (pbuh) from his life clearly shows how a Muslim must react to hurtful representations of the Prophet of Islam. It also shows that taking the law into your hand and picking up arms to avenge the Prophet of Islam is the exact opposite of what he would have done.

As we remember his birthday this year, we must reflect on his life and learn the lessons of compassion he had taught during his time among us.

Hidayatullah Ahsan


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