Letters published Dec. 1, 2017

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Protect Social Security funds

Seniors, do you know that since 1980, Congress has raided over $2.6 trillion (yes, that’s TRILLION) from our Social Security Trust Fund?

Cutting Social Security remains a top priority for some lawmakers as a means of reducing the debt by doing it on the backs of retirees. (Information received and verified by Council for Retirement Security and socialsecurityworks.org.)

If you or I took money from a trust, we would more than likely be liable and have to put it back. My dad taught me not to borrow from Peter to pay Paul. —Michael Reiner, Kalispell

Respect youth asking questions

In October, I attended a lecture with a few family members given by Trevor Loudon. I have to say I am very happy that I attended and if you are ever given the opportunity to attend one in the future, please go. He is very informative about what goes on behind our backs with our government officials.

We need to know and do everything we can to understand and to change our future for our children and grandchildren. Teach them values and family unity. Mr. Loudon continuously expressed for us to share and teach the information he was sharing with us in order to spread the word and help this country to improve and become strong again.

The point of this letter, however, is to express my feelings about what happened at the end of the lecture. The meeting was mostly attended by people above the age of 45. (Personally I feel it should also be held and presented at our colleges for students there.) A young man age of 16 got up to ask questions and give a different point of view on a few things. He like other students is being taught about communism in high school, and about the positive aspects of it. The young man was only expressing views that he understood and wanted to learn the differences and how what Trevor Loudon was telling us was more positive. He wants to learn.

Well, there was some stirring of the crowd and few grumbles. But isn’t asking questions how we learn? There was a gentleman standing at the doorway of the room, and he made a loud comment about getting the “Kool-Aid kid” out of the room. Did he or others remember that we are to teach and help spread the information Mr. Loudon was sharing with us? How are the youth of today supposed to learn if they are pushed out and shut out? Does he realize that the young man, asking questions and wanting to learn, will be voting in 2018, and 2020, along with his friends?

We took that young man with us to the lecture, so he could hear and learn from it, right along with us. We are proud that he had the guts to get up in front of all older people to ask questions and express what he knows, even though it ruffled some feathers. We want our grandson to know what goes on behind and drives our government officials and who is really running a lot of our government. There should have been a lot more youth there as “they are our future.” —Judith Mergenthaler Kalispell

Politics getting you down? Do something

Many liberals live awash in our politically red state of Montana, berated, pushed around, and even called mentally ill by Republicans. Until recently liberals were quiet, but dramatic changes against democratic values instituted in our state, and Washington, D.C., by the current administration, have stimulated activism on the left.

The threatened repeal of the Affordable Care Act mandate and proposed onerous tax bills, one passed by the House, the other pending in the Senate, have brought many independents, liberals and Democrats into action for the first time in their lives.

This week the Trump Tuesday Tax Protest drew a crowd of over 50 people for an hour-long protest in downtown Kalispell near Sen. Daines’ office. People from around the valley gathered with members of the Big Sky Rising-Indivisible Flathead activist group to raise their voices against a tax bill that benefits the rich and harms those less fortunate, which is much of the state of Montana. They delivered a petition to Sen. Daines’ field representative asking Sen. Daines to vote “no” on the tax bill.

While participants gathered on corners with signs asking for defeat of the tax bill in Congress, many passing vehicles honked their horns in support. Cheering through open windows of the vehicles could be heard and thumbs up gestures were commonplace as protesters waved in encouragement. Many pedestrians asked to join the group and were handed extra signs. Most signs promoted no tax breaks for the top 1 percent and support for vital programs for ordinary citizens that will be cut in order to pay for tax breaks for the rich.

Every Tuesday, members of the two organizations and others gather with signs at Second Street and Main voicing their opinions and concerns. Big Sky Rising works across the state to empower citizens and connect communities by promoting equality and diversity, while protecting human rights, civil liberties and the environment through respectful dialogue, education and advocacy. Under Indivisible guidelines, the group opposes the Trump agenda through persistent lobbying of Montana’s members of Congress and non-violent protests.

If you aren’t happy with current events, do something. Voice your concerns. Write letters to your members of Congress. Become an activist. Join us each Tuesday. —Betty Kuffel, Whitefish

Roundabout on U.S. 2 ridiculous

Can hardly wait to see a tandem logging truck or some gigantic oversized load navigate a roundabout on U.S. 2 West at the intersection with Dern and Springcreek Road. Whose disturbed mind came up with that idea? The same one that called it a “traffic calming device”?

I became hysterical just reading the article (Oct. 5) and doubt — if the current number of road rage incidents are any indication — that it will calm anyone down.

I especially loved the comment by Laili Komenda when she stated her impression that the roundabout is “90 percent a ‘done deal.’” Who among us has not attended a public comment or information meeting only to be greeted by a table of stone-faced executives pretending to listen while fully knowing a decision has already been made.

I have seldom seen more than two cars waiting to enter or cross from Dern or Springcreek, so it seems absurd to alter the flow of U.S. 2 traffic with a roundabout to accommodate two secondary roads. —Diane Myslicki, Kila

Letter writer went too far

I would like to respond to the Nov. 12 letter by Bill Baum of Martin City. The letter had the headline of “Wake up, you Trumpsters — you elected a madman.”

First of all, I have no interest in debating politics with Mr. Baum. He has clearly surpassed all normal and civil disagreements. He calls the majority of Montanans who helped elect President Trump ... “undereducated and uninformed.” He goes on to suggest that voting be a “privilege based on an IQ score” and that otherwise “the 20 percent of us who are smart will be under the thumb of the 80 percent majority who are not.” Did I read that correctly? He calls 80 percent of Montanans dumb because we watch and read news that he doesn’t agree with? What utopia did he grow up in?

He raves on and on about every problem the world has and blames them on President Trump! The jury is still out on what the legacy of Mr. Trump’s presidency will be, but the other choice would have just been another career crooked politician and we have had plenty of those in recent years. Maybe it is time for the Inter Lake to pull the plug on Mr. Baum until he can write a respectful political opinion. —Marty Boehm, Creston

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Inter Lake publishes letters from all points of view. They often reflect the deep divisions that exist in our society.)

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