| November 30, 2016
g u e st o p i n i o n
l e tt e r s p o l i c y We welcome letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 300 words. Letters should be typed and submitted to The Miner office no later than 5 p.m. Friday for publication the following Wednesday. No letter will be published unless it is signed by at least one individual, even if the letter represents the view of a group. The letter must include a telephone number and address for authentication. The Miner reserves the right to edit letters. Political letters will not be published the last issue before an election. Letters will be printed as space allows.
When darkness meets light
By Dena Eakles
Editor’s note: Several Kalispel Tribal members have journeyed to North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.
I am not sure anyone who was not here at Standing Rock could fully grasp the magnitude of inhumanity perpetrated here a short time ago, much less comprehend the fortitude and bravery of those who endured the transgression. I was here and I have a hard time wrapping my head around it all. Walking through the camp now all is in place. The fire is going with people praying, songs of gratitude are being sung, announcements are made, children are laughing and elders sit quietly absorbing it all. The constant buzzing and hammering of winter preparations and the constant hum of low flying planes as they circle overhead are part of the camp now. Woven into a tapestry of creative beauty, friendship and reconciliation, this place is home. Regardless of stories being told by police, media and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) about how and who and when, there are these undeniable facts: At best count 400 people endured some form of torture in the form of water cannon spray, pepper and other unknown chemical sprays, far too many were targeted and hit with rubber bullets and the gruesome pictures surfacing on social media tell the truth of just how innocent these guns are. While that should be enough to drop the jaw of every breathing American, the part that is most painful is the reality that this was done by human beings, ordered, yes, but ordered and executed by people with no regard for human life. Our home last night became a war zone. And I wonder how the perpetrators cope with the knowledge of what they have done and of the lies they tell and read and willingly uphold about what occurred here. Here is what I witnessed: while uniformed and masked men and women used guns, water cannons, chemical sprays and concussion grenades – all the while knowing the people were unarmed and meant them no ill will – there were human beings singing praises to God, brave medics working feverishly through the long night, driving injured and freezing people off the line and back to safety and for some, medical care at the hospital near-by. And there were security that maintained calm and order as they cleared the roads for ambulances and those being driven off the line to safety – this, is bravery. Oh and about that bridge the water protectors attempted to clear – that clearing would have allowed ambulances to arrive and go in 30 minutes less time in each direction. It is the police’s cement barricade that now prevents easy access to town. But they don’t tell you that. They said they wanted to clear the camps before winter for fear of hyperthermia setting in on the campers (how kind) – yet they are the ones who intentionally dowsed the people in 20 something degrees for over seven hours. They don’t tell you they were not putting out fires, but in fact setting them with canisters of gas. They don’t tell you the trucks that were burned were burned weeks ago – they allow the media to mislead you again. You see, they need a riot; they need a riot to sell you their abhorrent behavior. Only problem, there isn’t one here. I wonder what they thought as the same human faces and bodies dried off and returned to be hit again. Did it anger them? They must have thought the torture could not be endured for long, but they were wrong again. It lasted more than seven hours, because they could not and would not stop. One woman told me she returned three times before medics told her not to return fearing her body could not take the shock. Think the water protectors foolish? Then you have never loved land or water or life enough to stand for it. Let’s not forget the camp media, trying desperately to reach you with the truth while signals are jammed and slowed and links miraculously disappear. But we succeeded and many of you jumped up to help spread the word and it was See standing rock, 5A
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yo u r o p i n i o n Check if news is real before passing it on To the editor, Well, well, well, entrepreneurship is alive and well in America, Macedonia, Ukraine and most anywhere. Make good money at home, all you need is a computer, an internet connection and a little imagination. Fake News, the growth industry of the election season. Make a realistic looking news website, link it to your Facebook page, sprinkle as many ads as you like, then post something interesting. People click, share your page and you make money off the ads. It’s only a few cents per view, so you need something exciting. “Hillary endorsed by American Communist Party” Wowee, right wing sites eat this up. Share your page, 100,000 people click, now you are making some money. But wait, there’s more. Trump surrogate repeats your news flash, now a million
or more people click and share. Cool way to make $10 grand in a couple days, never getting out of your pajamas. But, is that moral? Taking advantage of people, turning them into suckers who make bad decisions based on false information. If people knew that you were just fooling, making money from fiction and satire, that would be one thing. But they don’t, they are suckered into believing whatever they see that fits their view. Facts become irrelevant, and truly epic mistakes are made. May I make a suggestion? When you hear that the Pope endorses Donald, that Hillary has killed another FBI agent, that this election is rigged (oops, that one might be true), take a step back, pause, then do a little research. Use “real,” verifiable, accurate, respected information sources, even a fact checking site or two. Then you won’t get suckered.
Speaking of getting suckered, how’s that Build that Wall, Lock Her Up, Drain The Swamp thing workin’ out for ya? -Joe Sherman Cusick
Electoral College should be changed To the editor, The debate has started again as to whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended in order to change the presidential election process. Some promote eliminating the Electoral College in favor of a direct popular vote for president while others believe the Electoral College should remain unchanged. Just as compromise solved the initial problems of the framers so it is that compromise can solve this problem. The solution is to change the electoral votes to electoral points and reward each candidate a percentage of points based on the percentage of popular votes received in each state. This would eliminate
the “winner take all” system thus allowing for all the votes to count. A voter is more apt to believe their vote counted when a percentage of popular votes are taken into account rather than the “all or nothing” system currently in existence. Further, this new system would integrate the desire for a popular vote for president with the need for the individual states to determine who actually gets elected. As for political primaries the number of delegates awarded in each state should be determined by the percentage of votes won by each candidate. For 2016 multiplying the percentage of votes each candidate received in each state times the number of electoral votes in each state results in the following: Clinton 256.985 and Trump 253.482. -Joe Bialek Cleveland, Ohio See Letters, 5A
Our dams support us; it’s time to support them By Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers R-Wash.
Following Judge Michael Simon’s recent decision to require a full review of the Columbia and Snake River systems, there has been a movement to reevaluate what our dams mean to Eastern Washington. Here in our region, the four lower Snake River dams provide renewable, reliable, affordable energy and act as a superhighway for barges to transport goods. As a community, we need to let our federal partners know that we want to continue to invest in and improve our dams. Currently, the Army Corps of Engineers is undertak-
ing a public “scoping” period through Jan. 17, 2017, providing an opportunity for Eastern Washington residents to voice their support for dams and the benefits they offer to the region. g u e st I have long o p i n i o n been a champion of our dams Rep. Cathy and the power McMorris they produce. I Rodgers am the co-chair of the Northwest R-Wash. Energy Caucus and the founder of the Hydro-
r e ad e r ’ s p o l l Visit The Miner Online to answer our readers’ poll question through Monday afternoon. Find it on the right-hand side of the page at www.PendOreilleRiverValley.com. The results will be printed next week on this page. You need not be a subscriber to participate. If you have any ideas for future readers’ poll questions, submit them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It turns out the presidential election is far from over. Green Party candidate Jill Stein raised enough money to conduct a recount in Wisconsin. Presidentelect Donald Trump followed that up by claiming there were millions of fraudulent ballots cast and otherwise he would have won the popular vote as well as the Electoral College. What do you think of the presidential election results? The election was so close it justifies a recount.
See mcmorris rodgers, 5A
r e ad e r ’ s p o l l r e s u lts What shopping day do you plan to utilize? Black Friday – I like the deals Small Business I’m not looking Saturday forward to any of – I like to the festivities. I support our still have election local stores hangover.
None. I’m just looking forward to Thanksgiving.
I agree with Trump that millions of fraudulent votes were cast. There is no fraud or miscounting. Election results should be left alone.
power Caucus, which provide a platform for me to educate my colleagues in the House and Senate about the importance of dams and advocate for them. This year, I authored bipartisan legislation to streamline the dam relicensing process, which, if enacted, would lower electricity costs in Washington state. Currently, the four lower Snake River dams generate enough energy to power 1.87 million homes with clean, renewable hydropower. Nearly 70 percent of Washington’s energy comes from hydropower, and dams are the reason our energy bills are so low.
Total Votes: 25
Cyber Monday – I like shopping online