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Letters, Dec. 31

Systemic solutions are needed

A concern: Whether considering Black Lives Matter, anthropocentric climate change, economic reform, defund the police, COVID-19 or other nameable issues relevant in the Bear Creek Valley, the signal-to-noise ratio is so very low. Meaning: While action, to be taken, needs to be informed by a clear understanding of goals and objectives, that clear understanding does not seem to be well established. The Dec. 29 Mail Tribune front page photo displays an aspect of this concern.

Robert I. Price


Mendte was right

Normally, I can’t finish a Larry Mendte column, but his Dec. 26 contribution was spot on.

Ours is not a united nation, certainly not since Reagan. The raw emotions dividing us and the lack of common trust or fellow feeling as revealed in Mendte’s data or personal experience can’t be ameliorated or managed by the outdated 18th-century founding contract hammered out to to pay off war debt, foster a unified economy, and provide for a common defense.

In reality, we are 50 struggling nation states — more fancifully, 50 experiments in democracy — that begrudge one another’s existence. We have a barely stable social contract based upon a belief in maximal individual freedoms pushing against a minimal sense of responsibility to a national commonwealth; a befuddled conception of our common values; a punch-drunk acceptance of the creative destruction wrought by our self-made marketplace; and a wobbling, Christian, triumphalist brio regarding our ascendance in the world. We expound this through a discredited national narrative about equality, freedom, a melting pot, and boot straps.

The union is currently being dissolved through anger and willful ignorance. Better to finish the job using the candid methods the founders attempted to use in its creation.

John Gaffey


Where’s COVID-19 vaccine plan?

How organized will Jackson County be in distributing/administering the COVID-19 vaccines to citizens? Nobody seems to know.

There’s no information on the Jackson County Public Health website. We haven’t heard anything from our community leaders. Local hospital systems have said nothing about immunizing in or out-patients. The only notification I have received is through Albertson’s/SAV On to say that they will be holding vaccine clinics and to register for texting updates. Nothing more.

Why are we not being informed of a plan? My thought is to utilize The Expo for drive-up vaccine clinics.

April Rosenthal


Trump’s accomplishments

As the year 2020 draws to a close, I think it’s time to reflect on the accomplishments of the (hopefully) outgoing president.

His biggest accomplishments have been to erode the foundations of a truly free nation. He has undermined faith in public agencies that contradict him in any way. He has undermined faith in appointees who won’t lie for him (can you say Bill Barr or Christopher Krebs?). He has undermined faith in medicine, faith in the validity of science, and the people who work in those professions. He has also undermined the credibility of a free press, without which you don’t have a truly free country, and last and perhaps most importantly, he has undermined faith in the entire electoral process.

My goodness, that’s quite a list. Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin couldn’t have done better even if they were still alive.

John M. Montgomery


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