Letters, published May 14, 2017

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OK, let’s have a debate about abortion

This is a reply to Bill Hensleigh’s guest opinion “Can we now have a national debate about abortion?”

Women do not have abortions on a whim. It’s a personal, heart-wrenching decision, one that we do not take lightly. It is a private choice.

It takes semen and an egg to create pregnancy. As a man you must take full responsibility for your actions if you are going to commit the act of sexual intercourse. How many times have men entered into this act without fully understanding the consequences? What is their punishment?

I find it ironic that many anti-abortion advocates are gun owners and adamantly believe in the right to bear arms. You are willing to kill a human being without hesitation but you vehemently oppose abortion. You will kill a person who does not share your views. How moral is that?

You stated, “Is this a stance of a moral woman?” (referring to Hillary Clinton).

My response: Is it not moral to care about the living? Pro-choice advocates believe all children should be wanted, loved, cared for and cherished in a safe happy home. To be forced to have an unwanted child, what is moral about that?

You stated: “Hence did President Trump’s firm stance of “That’s not OK” about abortion become a key factor in his election.”

My response: On Oct. 24, 1999, on “Meet the Press with Tim Russert,” Donald Trump stated: “I hate the concept of abortion, I hate it. I hate everything it stands for, but I just believe in choice.” Asked if he would ban partial-birth abortions? “No.” Trump said.

Your main point: “... what we have been doing ... for 44 years to our American integrity, dignity and decency. How can we excoriate Hitler and the Nazis who killed 6 million “undesirables” and 6 million Jews when we are so egregiously complicit in a slaughter in the womb many times worse?”

My response: I believe Jews would find your comments highly offensive as so do the majority. You are equating the Holocaust, where millions of Jews perished, with abortion. Wow!

How many unwanted children have you adopted? How many unwanted children have you helped by volunteering your time, donating your money to charitable causes that help these unwanted children grow up in a safe and happy environment?

Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine Catholic Nun, summed it up perfectly:

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.” —Maria J.K. Hars, Whitefish

Democrats stand in way of rational agenda

Refusing to recognize and accept that Hillary Clinton was a corrupt, dishonest, flawed candidate with no message for improving the United States, the socialist Democratic Party, mainstream media, Hollywood elite and other radical left-wing groups are promoting the myth that Russia influenced the election and are hysterically conducting a vicious, distorted assault on President Trump and his agenda.

Socialist Democratic congressional leaders, including our own Jon Tester, are using the most vile, disrespectful, derogatory hate speech against the president, and obstructing him at every step to disrupt and delay his effective governing.

Apparently motivated primarily by fear and panic at the loss of political power, the leftists oppose the president’s agenda, which includes:

1) Creation of more jobs, higher wages and keeping jobs in the U.S.

2) Deporting criminal illegal aliens to protect American citizens from violent crimes.

3) Tax reform with lower taxes.

4) Enforcing immigration laws and controlling our borders.

5) Assuring that refugees from countries identified as exporting terrorism are properly vetted before entering the United States.

6) Elimination of regulations that unnecesarily stifle the American economy.

7) Repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace it with a market-driven model.

8) Balancing the federal budget.

9) Investing in infrastructure.

This agenda makes sense to most rational Americans, who also believe that the president should be given a chance to achieve these goals. It is the kind of change we deserve. —Philip L. Barney, Polson

Reader questions editor’s take on Antiquities Act

Frank Miele’s “2 cents” column, “Trump hands monumental task to Zinke,” demonstrates a lack of understanding about the Trump administration, the Antiquities Act and American history in general.

Miele repeats a tired and false petard: that national monuments must be small postage stamps on our public lands, protecting “objects” or small “landmarks.” Break open a history book. You will learn that President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act in to law in 1906. In 1908 he used it to protect the Grand Canyon: 800,000 acres of it.

Montana’s White Cliffs of the Missouri are the focus of the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument. It’s a wonderful place, and a good deal smaller than the area of the Grand Canyon protected by TR.

Also, it’s not a “national park or wilderness area,” as Miele proclaims. It’s classic multiple-use public land: plenty of cattle grazing (just try to pitch a tent and keep it clean of manure.) You are free to hunt and fish here. There is a management plan that protects the features like the White Cliffs and Hole in the Wall and other features. That plan calls for a variety of balanced uses, suited for this special piece of America’s public estate. Any controversy about it died a natural death long ago.

The galling thing about Trump’s order to Zinke is that it forces America to look backwards, rehashing old debates that have since been settled. (In the case of Missouri Breaks, 15 years ago.) Why? If Congress wanted to amend the Antiquities Act to put an acreage cap on it, it’s free to do that. Meanwhile, Zinke’s Department of Interior is facing a $1 billion budget shortfall. And this review is his highest priority? Poppycock.

Rehashing these boundaries of national monuments will not rescue the price of cattle. It will not make the bison people abandon Phillips County. It will not get more coal from the ground or rush the delisting of the grizzly bear. It will just waste time. —Ben Long, Kalispell

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Antiquities Act specifically requires that “the smallest area” possible should be set aside to protect national monuments. Secretary Zinke is looking at whether that mandate has been met.)

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