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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for Feb. 21, 2023

Feb. 20, 2023 Updated Tue., Feb. 21, 2023 at 8:38 a.m.

Rebuilding infrastructure is a waste

In the State of the Union address, President Biden discussed rebuilding our nations infrastructure for our overweight and overpowered vehicles that waste the majority of fuel with a single person on board. We travel at our pleasure on huge ships and large jet airplanes that drink fuel like drunken sailors at a cheap bar.

In the 1980s, it was estimated that the world’s proven reserves would last for 53 years, at a consumption rate of 88 million barrels per day. Forty years have passed and 10 years remain, but the consumption rate has increased to more than 99 million barrels per day. The Bakken Formation in North Dakota with a potential of 167 billion barrels could provide another three to four years. Russian production and distribution is not reliable. Saudi Aramco has fallen short on OPEC quotas, a red flag that major oil fields have already dried up. Electric vehicle production will have limitations because the worldwide supply of lithium and cobalt is limited.

Rebuilding infrastructure is a waste.

We need reinvention, redesign and re-engineering of transportation methods and energy production and distribution systems. We are five decades behind and the clock and the energy are running out.

Rich Magney


Peace in the Middle East response

Declaring that it’s almost impossible to keep up with news from the Middle East, Nancy Street (“Peace and justice in Middle East,” Feb. 15) demonstrates that she indeed finds it difficult to keep up. Street refers to the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, yet not very long ago the usual reference was to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

What changed? For one thing, how about the process of normalization of relationships between Israel and several of the Arab/Muslim states of the region? This process, often referred to as the Abraham Accords, indicates the Palestinians are not strongly supported by their Arab brethren. Constructive formal and informal interactions between Israel and its neighbors are increasing.

What regional changes have led to normalization? Perhaps it’s a realization of the need to be pragmatic. The region faces various threats and opportunities that require abandoning strongly ideological positions in favor of arrangements that work to mutual advantage. Israel has demonstrated a willingness to do this. Can Street propose any halfway practical proposals to resolve the conflict between Palestinians and Israel? Or can she offer only the same old finger pointing that blames everything on Israel and the United States?

Howard Glass


An abridged history of gun control

In 1791, in the era of single-shot muskets, the Second Amendment which states “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” became the law of the land. In 1881, the law in Tombstone, Arizona (and other “Wild West” towns), required visitors upon entering town to disarm, either at a hotel or a lawman’s office. The Clantons took exception and were killed by Wyatt Earp at the OK corral. In 1934, in response to gangster violence epitomized by Al Capone and the Valentine Day Massacre, Congress passed the National Firearms Act which banned machine guns. In 1994, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban prohibited assault weapons and high capacity magazines (the Federal AWB expired in 2004). In 2023, courts adhering to “Originalism” are striking down gun control laws and some states allow virtually anyone to carry concealed weapons without any training or restrictions. Coincidentally, we have an epidemic of gun violence.

Ironically, laws strictly adhering to “originalism” could solve the problem by defining “arms” as single shot weapons that are controlled by a well-regulated militia, such as the National Guard. Alternatively, we could require all “frontiersmen” paying a visit to town to disarm or face a fate similar to the Clantons. Politicians exclaiming laws can’t stop this epidemic are either ignorant or paid off by the NRA, or both! Please consider the “Forward” political party.

Jim Baumker

Liberty Lake

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