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Letters for March 9, 2023

CMR fearmongering again

I just read Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ weekly email. I was not surprised by the fearmongering. For those who received it, the truth is:

1. “Fentanyl is primarily trafficked by U.S. citizens” at the border, according to the Cato Institute. “Fentanyl is primarily smuggled through legal ports of entry, not illegal entry routes … fentanyl is smuggled through official crossing points specifically because it is easier to conceal it on a legal traveler or in legal goods than it is to conceal a person crossing the border illegally.”

2. According to the Congressional Research Service, allowing financial fiduciaries to select ESG stocks when prudently concluding “that competing investments or investment courses of action equally serve the financial interests of the plan over the appropriate time horizon” is not a political football but a clarification of fiduciary rules not to prohibit them from considering ESG in such situations. Why would you not want them to consider all risk factors? Lawmakers need to learn more about risk factor investing. Dividends of 5% from two different companies require much more than just dollars to evaluate them for potential, future growth, etc.

Nan Weaver


Equal sharing of misery

I had to reply to Candy Frankel’s inquiry (“Socialized medicine,” Feb. 23) as to why we don’t embrace socialized medicine.

Obviously, history has taught her nothing. “Free” health care and education don’t exist anywhere. Who do you think covers the cost of this? Citizens do, by paying astronomical taxes. People decide to move to countries for “free” health care then realize they aren’t able to get an appointment, so end up coming over here so they can be seen.

When will this sink in to those who are uninformed? Just another way for the government to be in control and the results are always a train wreck. Just take a look at Venezuela, among others.

In closing, Winston Churchill said it best … “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy, it’s inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Annette Mason

Pinehurst, Idaho

We need workers, not gatekeepers

Construction has a labor shortage in Washington, as with everywhere else. And men who have been dropping out of college at higher rates are looking for work that doesn’t require higher education.

So why is Washington mandating apprenticeships for upcoming journeymen this year?

As a fourth-year electrical apprentice myself, the programs are gatekeepers to the industry and rent-seekers from both employers and apprentices. They provide little to no useful information that isn’t learned on the job, but impose a tedious layer of bureaucracy that inhibits labor supply and costs everyone, including customers and homeowners, more money.

They prevent construction workers within their program from being able to choose their own employers and impose a shallow and condescending bureaucratic culture on the construction world in general. One that prioritized the dangers of bullying and racism in a context where men are far more concerned about constructing safe buildings and not getting electrocuted or falling off ladders.

While programs like CITC and other trade schools certainly benefit the administrative staff and the politicians they apparently “work with” (by campaign donations, perhaps?) in order to legally mandate their own programs, it doesn’t appear to benefit anybody else. Instead, it puts Washington on the economic trajectory of California, which is hemorrhaging workers no matter how highly they pay them.

Voters should consider the consequences of these kinds of trade schools to our state’s fragile infrastructure and perhaps vote accordingly. We need workers to maintain our roads and cities, not gatekeepers.

Chris Robertson


Pope warns of destroying nature

In his recent encyclical “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis says the idea that “the great progress of man” has greatly enriched our lives is a “lie as big as the house.”

He says this “so-called progress” we’re following now, the supremacy of the economy, turns people into slaves. Francis criticizes consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming and calls on all people of the world to “take swift and unified global action to save the planet.”

We have a science crisis and a biodiversity crisis, the Pope says, and we’re building “a tower of human arrogance,” where we think it’s unimportant whether nature survives or fails.

Pope Francis says we use people, nature and everything and destroy them. “Humanity is fighting for life against a system of death. Nature is screaming, ‘STOP!’ The cries of the earth and the cries of the poor cannot go on,” Francis said. “They are all screaming ‘STOP!’ ”

Does anyone hear? Is anyone listening?

Certainly not the Republican Death Cult, the rich or the fossil fuel industry, who are all scheming to amass more wealth while trying to thread their camels through the eye of the needle.

Mike Epstein


Circus comes to town again

The political players are gathering to perform under the Big Top. This circus will host the audition of many actors who will dazzle your senses. … We’ve paid our admission, so enjoy the show.

Larry Lanning


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