Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Letters: January 9, 2020


January 9, 2020


The House Executive Rules Committee (HERC), in accordance with the HR 4642 decree to continue the work of the House of Representatives while the House is adjourned or out of session, has purchased an investigation and report from the private investigation firm of Rampart Group LLC to determine whether Representative Matt Shea has engaged in, planned, or promoted political violence; identify the extent of his involvement with individuals or groups who participate in political violence; and assess the level of threat of political violence posed by those individuals and groups. The report was delivered to HERC on Dec. 4, 2019, in an incomplete form, missing the contents of appendices that are indicated to contain witness statements and electronic documents that would be assumed to be referenced within the report. The report is replete with undocumented hearsay, speculation and innuendo.

The report accuses Shea of participating in an act of domestic terrorism and claims to have evidence that Shea planned, engaged in and promoted three occurrences of political violence. The details of threport reveal that Shea utilized methods of organization, communication, coordination, negotiation, leadership and prayer in efforts to obtain peaceful, non-violent resolutions to very tense situations. Regarding the three main events outlined in the report, there is no mention that Shea ever called for violence. The report indicates that Shea’s posture was always defensive in those three cases. Based on the report, HERC has removed Shea from House positions.

The actions of HERC are moving Washington state away from a republican form of government. Unless the course changes soon, elected representatives in the House will not only serve at the pleasure of their constituents, but may serve more so at the pleasure of HERC. If that happens, the House will transform into a ceremonial body.

Kevin Akesson,


Thin soup

Mr. Mark Bordsen’s letter to the editor maligning Representative Cathy McMorris-Rogers for not joining Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in her angry partisan effort to remove the President seems misplaced to me.

My sense of Rep. McMorris-Rogers is that she would have been among the first, if not the first, to “cross the aisle” and join in with Ms. Pelosi if there was a scintilla of hard evidence against the President. Instead, it was a few Democrat Representatives that crossed over and voted with Cathy against impeachment or merely voted “present.”

Makes me think of this impeachment fiasco as a “soup”. A “soup” so thin its makers must “spice” it with a lot of HATE to disguise the fact there is no substance.

Travis Brock,


All in this together

Gordon Forgey’s New Year’s editorial last week reflected some remarkable insights into the challenges of climate change. As a systems ecologist, I assessed interacting environmental impacts long before climate change was on most peoples’ horizons. From the 1970s into the 1990s, we evaluated impacts that were relatively simple compared to climate change.

But Earth was warming, a driving force few anticipated and even fewer understood. Despite all the computer models of climate change (and they’ve proven accurate over half a century), we’re still only beginning to understand the expanding ramifications of our changing climate.

Forgey observes, “awareness of the process the earth is going through…is more firmly established and accepted,” then asks, “what now?” Good question. What can any of us do about it?

Forgey mentions the “small window of time” we have, observing that the next “10 to 20 years will be of utmost importance in combating climate change,” by “reducing mankind’s contribution to the process.”

He then launches into one of the best “mental models” I’ve seen as he describes “rising sea levels, loss of natural habitat that help to regulate the weather, demise of species and diminishing supply of food.”

Because of interconnections in any ecosystem, we can never do just one thing. The best intentions have unforeseen consequences. As our environment deteriorates because of global warming, we hear predictions of “whole populations becoming climate refugees” along with “submergence of much of the world’s coast cities,” Forgey writes.

One example: Six years ago the Department of Defense released a Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap stating climate change poses “immediate risks to US national security.”

Unfortunately climate change has become so politicized that it’s hard to know whom to believe, much less agree on what to do. Deniers still command a hearing among those who choose to ignore reality.

Forgey’s proposed solutions include “governments and corporations…technological innovations, rebuilding of infrastructure, reforestation and carbon taxes.”

An example of the last, the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), would introduce a graduated fee on carbon to reduce emissions. It’s supported locally by the Palouse Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, an international organization. For a more comprehensive overview of collaborative solutions, search on “Project Drawdown.”

Solutions are complicated. They require visionary thinking and cooperative efforts across traditional boundaries and cultures to solve problems that are bigger than all of us.

Pete Haug,



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