Freedom is scary

Wheat farmers love wild rivers; that’s not their reasoning for the dams. Coal miners also love mountains, and loggers love trees.

There’s pride in having Idaho’s only seaport, an engineering feat that put us on the map. And there’s legitimate concern about electricity costs while experiencing surprisingly anomalous inflation. Three are plenty of reasons to think you’ve got to be kidding to breach the dams. Yet there’s something about the spirit that moves along a free-flowing stretch of river that I can’t get out of my mind.

The river was dammed several years before I was born, so I never knew what it was like prior to yoking it. If we free it, like anything wild, it won’t stay and create its own slack to work for us. It’s gone, which is both exciting and scary. And it can be hard to imagine the awesome feeling of living along a free-flowing stretch of two great rivers in this beautiful valley.

I remember a bumper sticker that I used to see running around: Wilderness = Land of No Use. I marveled at that absurdity, like a half-truth taken to its own end.

Because isn’t the value of creation inherent within creation, free from extracted utility?

Not that there’s not value in utility; that’s why work feels so good. But aren’t we made of that creative image, not of the flesh, but of its conscience?

And doesn’t that conscience extend beyond our own needs?

Whatever happens will not pass without detractors, and even the wrong decision will be understandable.

Christopher Rousseau


Kettenburg is misinformed

In his March 25 letter, Fritz Kettenburg doesn’t understand evolution and recites several common items of misinformation about it. The scientific evidence for evolution is massive, and includes genetic relationships between species in addition to the extensive fossil record.

In the anthropology course I took at UC Berkeley in about 1953, professor Robert Heizer pointed out that Piltdown man didn’t fit with the real evidence for human evolution, which occurred in southeastern Africa. It was clear at the time that Piltdown man was a bogus fraud; it just wasn’t known who made him up and why.

Neanderthal man was a distinct race of early humans, more different from us than any racial distinctions we have now. A few of them took shelter in caves, not necessarily all the time. They were hunter-gatherers, as people generally were before they knew how to grow enough food on farms.

Cellular replication is a chemical process. Chemical processes involve random molecular motions. And no chemical reaction produces the major product 100 percent of the time. Mutations are the random variations in genetic code duplication. And if the variation works, it persists. If it doesn’t duplicate efficiently, the cell dies and the mutation disappears.

Don Matteson


Questions for Rogers

Heather Rogers: ...

What would stop every elected strong mayor from firing every department head in the city and hiring her friends into those positions?

Should your petition pass, the same people who elect the city council would be electing the mayor. How would taking hiring decisions from a seven-person council and giving it to one person make our city better?

You do know the city council would still hold a strong mayor’s purse strings and set policy — right?

What is the city of Lewiston’s relationship with operating Lewiston Independent School District No. 1?

Currently the city council searches for and hires the most qualified person (qualifications, experience, temperament) to run the city.

What would assure us that the person who ran or was elected would have any qualifications to perform the duties and necessary aspects of the job?

If the strong mayor turned out to be a self-promoting Idaho Freedom Foundation flunky, someone who screams at city council meetings when asked to wear a mask and thinks rubbing shoulders with the Proud Boys, Boogalo Boys and Ammon Bundy makes them a leader, the voters would now have to go through the recall process to remove her, including a costly taxpayer-funded recall election. How is this an improvement?

In this week’s Lewiston Tribune online poll, 8 percent of the respondents say they are like you and “never wore a mask.”

These are basically your support group. Aside from magical thinking, what makes you think your SMART petition will pass next election?

Richard Kremer