Letters to the editor June 24

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Bear news

Does it bother anyone about the direction of our society when every bear death in the sate of Montana becomes a front-page newspaper article and the lead story in local television news, while there is no commentary whatsoever regarding the daily average of four human fetal abortions performed in Montana over the last few years?

Perhaps if more bears died that would become accepted too!

—Neil Lovering, Whitefish

Library storytime

In our country, every individual has the God-given right to be who and what they want to be. And I am not opposed to people being who they want to be, as long as they do not harm other people.

Here is my problem with the subject of reading and schooling small or grown children with a book, like was done in the Kalispell library recently. The first form of socialization for a child outside of the immediate control of the family is from schools and teachers. These first impressions and what is taught by teachers are proven to have a lasting affect on children, as stated by all education philosophers.

The county or city library is a publicly, tax-base funded entity that should represent the majority of the citizens of this county. It is not right to use the county library, public schools and government-paid teachers as a platform to socialize children or teach homosexual ideals either directly or indirectly. And it is certainly not right to hide the homosexual platform in some children’s book, read by a teacher or librarian that the children are taught to respect and admire as though she is representing the book and its message to be normal.

Public schools using taxpayer money should be educating children about math, science, history, writing and reading, and not social ideas or beliefs.

If the school is going to educate children about homosexual behavior, they certainly should educate them about HIV and AIDS and all the other sexually transmitted diseases that mostly affect gay and bisexual men in the U.S.

—Jack Jones, Kalispell

Family-farm crisis

When I was young, the major source of our valley’s income was agriculture and lumbering. Today, the two of them provide maybe 5 percent. Now the largest contributor to our income is people who have moved here but get their income from outside and share it with us. Probably the next largest contribution is from the tourists. Was that a healthy change?

Let’s look at the farm side of this. The difference doesn’t come just from the increase in immigrants and tourists; it is also from the loss of farm income which is now a crisis across the country. In 2018 the medium family farm income across the country was minus $1,553. We in our valley are not exempt from this family farm crisis.

What’s up? Are our farmers inept losers? No. They are some of the most skilled and hard-working people around. How can they still be on the farm? The most common reason is “secondary jobs” for both mom and dad or it is farming that is the secondary job (the farmer’s market, one way of fighting back.) The prices farmers get for their produce? That is set by a group of corporate monopolies and middlemen. For instance, take a bucket of fried chicken. The customer pays about $29. The corporation that contracts with farmers to raise the chickens takes about $5. The corporate processor and the retailer take about $23. The farmer who took all the risk of raising the chickens gets about 58 cents. Over all, less than 15 percent of our food dollar goes to the farmer.

Competitive capitalism has died. It was precious, but the corporate chiefs found it too much like government for the people, by the people which can be tough on profits. They much prefer plutocracy and a government whose purpose is to favor them over farmers and consumers. They’ve got it.

Can we restore the independent family farm? Where can we start? The president offered a handout to farmers for the damage done by his personal see-my-power trade wars. He doesn’t understand that the last thing a farmer, or any of us wants, is a handout.

—Robert O’Neil, Kalispell

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