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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for Jan. 11, 2022

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 12, 2022

Differences in integrity

About Jan. 6, 2021, Sue Lani Madsen wonders “What’s in a name?”

Plenty! Sadly, many of us are reluctant to call it anything. Liz Cheney, perhaps the bravest politician since Lincoln, has a pretty good idea what to call it when she asks, “Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress’ official proceeding to count electoral votes?”

To describe Jan. 6, 2021, as a peaceful protest that magically became an out-of-control mob defies logic. To equate the events of that day to other violent protests that occurred during 2021 is like saying the Titanic was not so bad, lots of ships sink. It is a weak attempt at rationalizing events that are truly despicable. We know what we heard and what we saw on that day. This was an attempt by Trump to use violence to stop the duly elected president from assuming power.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a stern caveat in February 2021 after voting to acquit Donald Trump at the conclusion of his second impeachment trial: The former president, McConnell said then, was “still liable for everything he did while he was in office as an ordinary citizen. … He didn’t get away with anything, yet.”

The real question is will we be brave enough to recognize Jan. 6 as an attempted coup d’etat and hold ALL responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Jim Baumker

Liberty Lake

Nothing here to see

Sue Lani Madsen’s family earns much of its income from renting their herd of goats to rid properties of noxious and unsightly weeds. The goats eat the weeds – chomp, chomp, chomp – and turn them into goat poop. It is a great fertilizer: dry, doesn’t smell, and rich in nutrients. However, goat poop contains the plants’ seeds which can help propagate weeds in the future. At the end of a few days of browsing the property owner can tell the Weed Board, “Nothing here to see.”

Like her goats, Ms. Madsen’s Thursday offering in The Spokesman-Review aims to clear Republican netherlands from a multiyear accumulation of rank and noxious growths, leaving readers with “nothing here to see.”

Was the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol a day of infamy? Well, no – chomp, chomp, chomp – it was just one riot among many in 2020 and 2021. Is Trump responsible? Well, no – chomp, chomp, chomp – Trump merely missed an “opportunity to be presidential.” Was the mob an armed group? Well, yes, but – chomp, chomp, chomp – the only gun fired was by the police. Are Trump and his minions responsible? Well, no – chomp, chomp, chomp – it was just the 1% of the crowd who were lawbreakers: “nothing here to see.”

The ugly, dangerous and politically untidy facts concerning Jan. 6, 2021, are nothing more than fodder for Madsen’s journalistic maw – chomp, chomp, chomp – which she has digested and spread over the pages of your newspaper.

Bill Fassett


High Drive still has problems

A traffic study of High Drive showed most drivers ignored the lower speed limit and drove an average above 30 mph. Huh. No wonder, I never saw a traffic cop when I traveled the road, which was roughly four times a week. I was tailgated always, but never flipped off or honked at (thanks y’all) as I drove the speed limit.

Proposal: Get state legislators to legalize mobile photo speed traps in the state. Then purchase traps and begin filling government coffers with speeders’ hard earned money throughout the state. It’s been written about numerous times in this section how dangerous speeding has become a rampant problem. Of course, the collective citizenship has champagne tastes and a beer budget, so there are not enough patrols to ticket scofflaws.

This solution addresses both issues by costing only startup dollars, maintenance and hiring trap relocators, plus it immediately starts generating income, as there is no shortage of speeding drivers. I witnessed mobile photo speed traps in Germany in 1973, so it can be done here today.

Driving is a privilege, not a right, so please, no constitutional objections.

Steve LaCombe

Spokane Valley

New song for a new year

Friends and neighbors everywhere:

Wanted to take a moment to change the popular tune of polarization among Americans, to a heartfelt song of cooperation among neighbors. I live in a red part of Washington state. I live in a purple neighborhood in Liberty Lake, a stone’s throw from Idaho.

My neighbors and I have a range of opinions on local issues, how governments should spend tax dollars and what our kids should be learning in school. My neighbors and I also care about each other. The issue of whether to vaccinate or mask up is settled. It’s a nonissue because we care about each other. We are vaxxed and boosted to protect each other, our kids and our elders. We mask up when it’s posted to do so. We enjoy hanging out with each other discussing the neighborhood, our kids or grandkids, what the best snow blower is or how to deal with pesky rabbits in our raised veggie beds. We don’t need to debate the science of the vaccine, we are grateful for it. We don’t need to talk about government’s over-reach in asking us to mask and stay safe, we are happy to do that. We want to keep each other safe. That’s what living in community is all about.

Let’s change our tune! Let’s belt out a joyful song in praise of loving neighbors looking out for each other!

Janet Farness

Liberty Lake


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