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Letter to the Editor

Letter To The Editor: Read Reality Truthfully

in Letter to the Editor
21635

Dear editor:

“Read reality truthfully” was a topic discussed in my Leadership Wyoming class.

This concept resonated with me. Reading reality truthfully does not mean that you like the reality or that it is your preferred choice for reality.

Giuliani had theories, but no evidence. He was not reading reality truthfully. Evidence is crucial. What you want to believe should not dictate what you do believe. Under oath, Trump’s supporters indicated there was no evidence of extensive fraud. 

Trump convinced his followers, the insurrectionist, to fight to stop the peaceful transfer of power. Once you read reality truthfully you can respond responsibly.

Liz Cheney is doing that. She knows there was not any fraud. She knows Trump lost the election. She knows that if the actions on Jan 6 are treated as a bunch of tourists that got a little wild and not called out for what it was, an attempted coup, we will not have fair elections. 

She is responding responsibly to ensure this type of action cannot taint future elections. 

The oath of office taken by US House representatives indicates they will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Liz is upholding her oath of office and the constitution. She has my vote. I urge you to vote for upholding the constitution and vote Liz Cheney for US House on or before Aug. 16.

Sincerely,

Dr. Keren Meister-Emerich

Letter To The Editor: Circuses Hurt Animals

in Letter to the Editor
21582

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Dear Editor:

I was disappointed that the C&M circus will be in my neighboring town Green River on July 1 and traveling through other Wyoming towns.

Culpepper and Merriweather Circus, operated by Eugene “Trey” Key III and Key Equipment Inc, was cited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failure to provide shelter to animals from the elements, proper veterinary care, nutrition, and handling.

In addition, USDA had confiscated an underweight tiger cub from the circus. And its license was suspended for six months by an administrative law judge. The link to all the violations is listed at the bottom of the column.

Despite its past federal Animal Welfare Act violations, the circus still uses tigers and lions for the shows. Please do not fund this animal abusing business when it arrives in your town in Wyoming.

According to the C&M website, the circus performs two 90 mins shows seven days a week across 17 states a season.

Wild animals in these types of traveling circuses are often cramped in tiny cages where they are forced to stand and lie in their waste while traveling long distances over thousands of miles across the country.

These animals only get out for the performances and are locked back in their cages for constant traveling.

In the wild, tigers do not jump through hoops, elephants do not walk on two legs, or bears do not ride bicycles.

Unlike human performers, who choose to participate in the circus, these animals are forced to perform unnatural, frightening, and often painful tricks. Trainers often claim that only “positive reinforcement” is used in training these wild animals.

This type of “positive” interaction with the animals is often purposely displayed during the performance in the ring or on carefully supervised public tours. In reality, physical and psychological violence and withholding food and water are standard industry methods to force these animals to comply.

Bullhooks, whips, electrical shock prods, or other painful devices are often used during training sessions. Unfortunately, these training sessions are not in public view and are not monitored by the authorities.

The animals are forced to perform in fear of pain, injury, and punishment. These circuses teach children that it’s acceptable to exploit and abuse animals for amusement.

Big crowds, bright flashing lights, and loud noises are unnatural to these animals. In addition, stress from extreme confinement and constant fear of punishment often cause some animals to lash out.

In the past, animals have escaped from the circus premises, running into buildings throughout the town, attacking people, and injuring and killing trainers.

Bringing these dangerous and frustrated wild animals into close proximity to people poses a serious public safety threat. The risks are amplified because children are the target audience in these events.

On June 5, 2008, 2 elephants preparing to perform in the C&M (Culpepper and Merriweather) circus in Wakeeney, Kansas, got spooked by sounds of strong wind and tornado sirens, escaped, and ran through the town for 3 hours before being recaptured and loaded into trucks.

A white Bengal tiger named Jupiter, owned by Ron and Joy Holiday’s Cat Dancers, killed his trainer and, five weeks later, killed the owner by biting her in the neck while she hand-fed him. (November 13, 1998, Gainesville, Florida)

 400-lb tiger with Frazen Bros Circus killed his trainer by pouncing on him and dragging him around the ring by his neck in front of 200 kids. (May 7, 1997, Carrollton, PA)

Growing awareness about animal abuse and public safety concerns has made more than 150 municipalities, and six states across the United States prohibit or restrict wild animals’ use in traveling circuses.

Please do not attend C&M (Culpepper and Merriweather) circus when it comes to your town; instead, speak up against this animal-exploiting business. Contact the circus at 580-326-8833 and politely ask them to stop using wild animals in their shows and send all the wild animals to wildlife rescue sanctuaries.

For more information on circus animal cruelty, please contact wyomingwildlifeprotectiongoup@gmail.com

Link to the list of Culpepper And Merriweather Circus citations related to animal welfare:

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/35la22iazzdiug9tvu3gt/h?dl=0&rlkey=i6u293bkip3wwr7cjnsza4d9l

References:

https://www.bornfreeusa.org/campaigns/animals-in-captivity/circuses/

Sincerely, Madhu Anderson
Rock Springs, Wyoming

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Letter To The Editor: Liz Has Been A Powerhouse For Wyoming

in Letter to the Editor
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
21584

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Dear Editor:

I first met Congresswoman Liz Cheney over a cup of coffee to talk about our public lands. She was a freshman Congresswoman and I was a mechanized and motorized trail user concerned voices like mine would be drowned out by powerful out-of-state interests.

I remember that first meeting well and thinking, “Here I am just a random guy. How cool is this? She met with some of the most powerful people in the ag industry in the morning and now here she is having coffee with me in the afternoon.”

That’s the benefit of a state like Wyoming and a Congresswoman like Liz: you can actually sit down with your Congresswoman while she’s in town.

When we talked, she heard and understood motorized users like me just wanted balance—and she supported that principle of balance. She knows 82% of the land in Teton County are already designated or de facto Wilderness and areas for multi-use trails are increasingly rare.

After our meeting, she introduced HB4697—a bill that would protect existing uses in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area until Congress can make a further determination. She has been essential for preserving balance on our public lands and ensuring recreational access for all types of users.

Congresswoman Cheney believes that public lands are for the public.

Recreational access to public lands is not something I take for granted. When that access was threatened, I reached out to Liz. She met with me, listened to me, heard my concerns and acted.

I’m voting for Liz Cheney, not just because she listened to me, but also because I’ve watched her accomplishments since our first meeting, and she has been a powerhouse for Wyoming for 6 years. We need her back in Congress, so please join me in voting for her August 16th.

Sincerely,

Jesse Combs
Wilson, WY

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Letter To Editor: We May Be On Wrong Track, But I’m Hopeful We Will Find Our Way

in Letter to the Editor
21370

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By Ray Peterson

Dear Editor: Like many, I’m concerned as I read about the referee and umpire shortages for our children’s recreational activities as fewer folks are unwilling to put themselves at risk of losing business, jobs, friends, and reputation. 

I’m amazed at the infighting of political parties; finger pointing and blame that seems at an all-time high. 

I’m sickened by the news of another school shooting, and the short-sighted reactions and the political jockeying in trying to find solutions but only punishing those that were trying to respond. 

It seems that society has some how forgotten some guiding principals that have always served me well in my life. 

In reviewing the short book of Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior by George Washington, I read some great reminders for each of us.

Rule #1, Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.  Rule #39, In writing or speaking, give every person his due title according to his degree & the custom of the place.  Rule #40, Strive not with your superiors in argument but always submit your judgement to others with modesty.  Rule #45, Being to advise or reprehend anyone, consider whether it ought to be in public or private, presently or at some other time, in what terms to do it; and in reproving show no sign of cholar, but do it with all sweetness and mildness.”

For me, when I read the Declaration of Independence and it states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”  It reminds me that all of us are indeed equal.  Therefore, I respect another’s opinion and will listen with respect. 

I may disagree and share my thoughts but at the end of the discussion, my hope is that we remain friends and equals. 

As Americans and fellow citizens, we all need to be better at civil behavior.   We need to be reminded and put into practice civility in our treatment of all others. 

That it is okay to disagree and remain friends, teammates, co-workers, and fellow public servants.  What good does it do to berate a fellow worker, friend or even an enemy? 

We all need to be continually reminded that our perspective of what matters and what does not, needs to be clear in our minds. 

If I let my emotions get the best of me to the point of being ejected from a ball game because I yelled profanities at the referee or opposing fans or players, what does that say about my character?  Am I that shallow? 

To me, it means that a very basic concept has been lost in a person and is put on display by their poor behavior.  Respect for others is lost.  With that, comes the loss of love and concern for others as well as politeness to others.

We become hardened, negative, easily agitated and ready to fight, ugly people that no one really likes to be around.   

Some of us discover our lost ways and strive to improve while others become worse in their behavior until they resort to broken laws or hurting others to the point of incarceration.  Selfishness is what it seems to boil down to.  Pride, and arrogance are attributes of a selfish individual who has lost the common decency to, at the very least respect another.

I mention my concerns as I grow tired of the insults being thrown at each other or at the other party or opposing team.  We all need to be better by remembering what is important and what is not.  It is important to be respectful of others.  I still try to live to the ideals of a good Boy Scout.

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

It seems that we’ve lost our way, but I remain hopeful that we will find our way again and will change our course as a society, by being better parents, teachers, and leaders as we train up our young people by using these lessons of civility. 

Family, home, school, church, and workplace are all places where we learn and practice these qualities and behaviors.  We all need to strengthen these efforts and use these places for correct learning.  I still have hope that we will reverse the current trend and that we will find our way.

I could sit back and enjoy life as I approach my later years, but I hope to assist this change in the direction I’ve mentioned. 

By example, leadership abilities, love, and kindness and with the respect for others that I have, I hope to be a part of this effort as we reverse our present course and remember what makes this state the best place to live and raise a family.

Ray Peterson, Former State Senator
Candidate for Wyoming Senate Dist. 19

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Letter To The Editor: Cheney Is A Statesman, Not A Politician

in Letter to the Editor
20906

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Dear Editor:

I support Liz Cheney for the House:

Sometimes we have to stop, look, and listen to recognize the special abilities in people. When I stop, pay attention and review the list of Liz’s accomplishments over the past 6 years, it reinforces the fact Liz is a statesman, not a politician. Liz is a natural leader.  Liz is right for Wyoming.

Liz believes in the democratic process. She has the vision, creativity, and the determination needed to take on the challenges our lone representative faces. Now more than ever, our democracy is at risk. We need a representative who has the ability to lead, to work across the aisle, and to negotiate issues in the best interest of Wyoming.

Liz’s experience as a successful representative will prove invaluable to our political issues moving forward. She is undaunted by challenge. We are facing huge gas and oil issues nationwide…Liz is pushing back against burdensome regulations that derail production.

Liz demonstrates determination, grace under pressure, a sense of humor, and most of all, loyalty to her values.

Liz believes in and defends the Constitution. She is relentless even in the face of adversity. Liz has vision and courage and owns her decisions. We must hold our Republic together and not lose her.  

Stop. Look. Listen.

Yours in freedom,

Dee Bott
Torrington, Wyoming

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Letter to the Editor: Liz Cheney And The Trumpists

in Letter to the Editor
20822

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Dear Editor:

It is a curious obsession that keeps me tied to Wyoming, where I lived and worked for thirty-five years, and where my children and grandchildren still live. 

There are many wonderful things about Wyoming: the trout-fishing on mountain streams, the clear night skies in the mountains when there are too many stars to count and the kindness and warmth of old friends.

There are also, however some things to not like about Wyoming these days.  Chief amongst those unfortunate aspects of life in Wyoming is the fact that the loudest voices on Wyoming social media (including Facebook) are persons with extremist views and a low level of historical and political literacy.

These people have now taken over the Wyoming Republican Party and claim to represent the average Republican voter, when in fact they just represent angry anarchistic activism.

This kind of so-called Republican would make Eisenhower and Nixon ashamed.

They would make Eisenhower ashamed because he always put the nation’s welfare first and did not see government as the enemy, but rather as a vehicle for accomplishing worthwhile social goals like building the interstate highway system and integrating the military and schools.

Eisenhower had seen what really bad governments looked like in Europe, and he understood that an imperfect but essentially benign government like that of the United States was a force for good in the world.

He did not want to tear down the government. Likewise Nixon, despite his many personal failings, understood that the United States government had the power to do good in the world: to bring about peace between warring factions, to use government power to control inflation and to improve the lives of Americans.

The current crop of Wyoming culture warriors who emphasize guns, abortion, gender and race in their campaigns while name-calling “RINO” seem to be completely ignorant of real Republican presidents like these and like Reagan and even George W. Bush.

Instead, they idolize the habitually lying, boasting, bullying, preening narcissist and degenerate who preceded the current guy, and they thoughtlessly smirk, sneer and jeer at those who oppose them, often those who oppose them by speaking the truth.

To the current Wyoming Republican leadership truth is anathema. No reasonable adult, for instance, doubts that Trump and his allies deliberately tried to subvert the results of the last presidential election by a combination of fraud, trickery, subterfuge, force and violence.

That is why there was a riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and that is why all the stupid and unsuccessful lawsuits against the election results have failed.

The enemy of these people, the one who has drawn their vitriolic ire the most, is Liz Cheney, Wyoming’s lone representative to Congress.

She is routinely called a “RINO” on social media in Wyoming, when she is, in fact, an ideologically committed Republican and except for the fact that she is not slavishly obeisant to Trump, a loyal party functionary. 

Many of her Wyoming critics do not understand that kissing Trump’s feet (or other parts) is not the equivalent of being a good Republican.  Most of her Wyoming critics really don’t have any ideology, they are just angry.  Additionally, for many of them “RINO” is the only epithet they can spell that won’t get them thrown off Facebook.

There are lots of things to not like about Liz Cheney, including her record of voting the party line so closely for most of her career. 

But there is this to admire about her: when most Republican politicians either adopted the big lie that Trump had won the election, or slunk off and said nothing about that lie, Liz spoke up and called it what it was. 

When Trump organized and deployed a seditious criminal riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Liz called it what it was and placed the blame where it belonged by voting for impeachment.

To judge from posts on Wyoming news pages on Facebook, truth-telling and historical and political literacy are in short supply among the loudest of Wyoming Republicans.

Liz should take some solace in the fact that although the loudest and emptiest of the Wyoming Republicans are often on Facebook, they are probably not the majority.

She should be proud also that truth telling is its own reward-it brings the reward of being able to hold one’s head up despite maintaining an unpopular position.

When the next volume of Profiles in Courage is published Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger will probably figure prominently in it. The current Wyoming Republican leadership and its degraded cheering section on social media, however, will recede into the obscurity they deserve.

Michael Krampner

Michael Krampner lived in Wyoming for 35 years and practiced law there during that time.  Besides a law degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law he also earned a Ph.D. in history from The University of Maryland.  He currently lives in Jerusalem, Israel.

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Letter to the Editor: Liz Cheney Places Country Over Party

in Letter to the Editor
20786

Dear Editor:

D-Day took place 78 years ago June 6th.  Like us, many baby boomers’ parents fought on that day or during the course of WWII.  We feel unnerved when wondering how our parents would react to what is happening to our country and the democratic principles they fought to secure.  What would they say about trucks displaying American flags featuring the profile of a man superimposed upon our stars and stripes?

We are disturbed by unconstitutional principles listed in the Wyoming Republican party platform and the bullying our hard-working legislators endure by those who call them RINOs (when in reality, Republican legislators are merely using their intellect and integrity in decision-making, contrary to a pre-determined recipe).

Yesterday, we felt hopeful after listening to Wyoming U.S. Representative Liz Cheney on The Sunday Morning TV show.  Her interview about the January 6th assault on The U.S. Capitol was sincere and sobering. 

Although Rep. Cheney is more conservative in many policies than are we, she has unquestionable integrity.  She has immense courage to stand up for our democracy and place country over party.  We are fortunate Rep. Cheney even wants to run for reelection after enduring the bullying and pressure to walk the “party line.”

We recently read, and highly recommend, Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution.  Richard Beeman, the author, describes in detail the hearts and minds of The Founders while they forged The Constitution through conflict and compromise. 

George Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention.  Until he agreed to do so, many delegates refused to attend.  He was revered by all and largely abstained from commenting on The Constitutional provisions, arguments and positions because he abhorred too much power in one person.

Consider investing in our country by reading this book.  We were deeply moved by the warnings in President George Washington’s September 17, 1796 Farewell Address delivered at the time he left the office of President of the United States:

“… (The) Constitution…is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.  All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations…with the real design to direct, control, counteract…the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction; to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community… However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Rep. Cheney embodies President Washington’s genius and foresight.  She courageously decries the current abuse of political party power that could destroy our democracy.

Jim and Sally Belcher
Casper, WY

Letter to the Editor: We Must Return To A Time Of Respect And Civility

in Letter to the Editor
20494

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Dear Editor:

Some of you may have watched the Memorial Day concert on PBS Sunday night. I thought it was incredible. Wonderful music,  emotional stories about individuals,  an excellent tribute to Colin Powell and beautiful tributes to the military. 

But at the end I was left with a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.  I couldn’t help but compare the actions of the military personnel who had died on behalf of our country with the current state of our country.

My comments aren’t directed at any one person or group of people, any particular political party or any specific issue.  I believe none of our veterans who have been lost in the past nearly 250 years in defense of our country died believing they were fighting for a particular issue, agenda or political party. They died believing they were fighting for our country and democracy. 

Today it is difficult, if not impossible, to find a political leader at any level who is working for the betterment of our cities, towns, counties, state or country. All seem focused on opposing the other side, working to defeat legislation or proposals from the other side and working on behalf of their own issues with no consideration of compromise.  No matter their party, today’s politicians are dedicating their efforts to reelection.  Whether collecting massive amounts of money, proposing legislation for a limited group or appealing to the darker side of their constituents they are only looking as far in the future as the next election.

Somehow we must return to the time when we all worked for the benefit of our country and our democracy.  It’s OK to disagree how we reach that goal, but we must understand we need to work together as Americans. 

I learned long ago neither political party has a monopoly on ignorance or intelligence. We all have something to contribute.  We all must be willing to look at and understand what others are saying and we need to realize by working together we can always do more than by working alone.

Nearly one million veterans have died in defense of our country. I believe the divisions found in our country today are the greatest existential threats to our country since the Civil War. If we are unable to return to a time of respect and civility between all of us and work for the benefit of our country, these people will have died in vain.

Tom Jones, Cheyenne
Jones is a former legislator serving Park County

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Letter to the Editor: While You Practice Your 2nd Amendment Rights, Don’t Forget The 1st Amendment

in Letter to the Editor
20485

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By Kennedy Corr, Cody Wyoming

Dear Editor:

“We are the United States of America. We believe in freedom and God and anyone who tells us otherwise can fight my second amendment.” 

Well, actually… 

One of the most common themes I have seen since the tragedy in Uvalde, TX – and let’s be honest, even way before then – is the idea that Christianity and brute force are the solution to the problems we are currently facing in this country. 

While you’re practicing your second amendment rights, may I remind you of our first amendment rights? Specifically, Freedom of Religion. Just because you were raised Christian, everyone in this country does not have to live to those standards. You are not allowed to persecute someone else because they do not believe the same things as you – so who do you think you are to create legislation around it?

“We are America. We were born on freedom ideologies – no other country can tell us what to do, we govern ourselves.” Great, dandy. 

But with that freedom came the idea of respite for the rest of the world – people came to America seeking those values which then led to what was at one point an epithet of this place we call home. The Great American Melting Pot! 

We are a blend of culture, religions, races, and ideologies. This is evident from the Mayflower, to Ellis Island, all the way up to and including the immigrants entering our country today. The idea was that everyone could come to America to practice their own beliefs safely… but instead, in this day and age, we are just as hostile – no, we have become more hostile – than some of the countries people have come here to escape from. 

We are a country at war with itself, and anyone who says differently is choosing to keep their eyes closed. 

And it pains me because I can’t do a damn thing about it. People scream, but are never heard. We plead to officials, but they have their own agenda, and it seems nothing will make them listen. 

I’m told, and I understand, that as a middle class white person I have a level of privilege. But while it’s the type of privilege that keeps me safe from systemic oppression, it’s not the kind of privilege that will get anything done. So I have to watch it all happen while chained to the ground. It’s a sick form of torture. 

However, what may be even worse is the fact that we won’t even listen to one another… We try to have a conversation with a neighbor, and immediately defenses are put up and we shut out even the slightest idea that our thoughts might not be right. Harsh truth: none of us are right. Literally, none of us! 

Our country is built on checks and balances – we have a two party system, bicameral legislation, and three branches of the federal government, so that all members of this country can be represented. This melting pot of cultures led to cities with different needs than rural areas. Capitalism led to differing classes that have different needs from one another. And we have become so focused on what we need and want for ourselves, we have forgotten to think about our neighbor. 

So no, neither of us are right – it’s about balance; and until we begin to listen again, we are just tragically spinning our wheels. Until then, we will be a country at war with itself.

We have dug our heels so far in the ground, we can’t help one another out of the hole to see the big picture clearly.

I grew up and am a practicing Christian. I am surrounded by and support our hunters and shooting enthusiasts, and I have family in Law Enforcement. I only call attention to these facts because I need it to be known that I understand what all of these things mean and why many are fighting so hard to keep these practices alive. 

But I also know that for someone who grew up knowing police brutality, a greater police force means nothing to them.  

The kids who survived that school shooting, they don’t care that skeet shooting is a sport. They see a gun and it scares them now, so why would more guns be the solution for them? 

Someone who has lived through Christian persecution doesn’t want to go near it with a ten foot pole – how on earth do you think you’re going to get them into a church? 

The solution to our problem doesn’t lie within party lines – no amount of Republican or Democratic force can change what we have going here. The balance that is needed is buried under years and years and years of legislation and enforcement that has been marred by money, power, and greed… on both sides. 

So, I ask you to listen to your neighbor. I ask you to just consider that what we are struggling with here in Wyoming is very, very different from what those in urban areas are struggling with. The person who walks their commute doesn’t get why diesel prices have affected us so much.

We have small town values in our local law enforcement departments, so we may not understand what it means to be scared of a rigged system. We are living in a time with more access to information than ever could have been imagined, but it is riddled with dramatics and falsehoods that make it hard to keep truth from deceit. 

So don’t condemn your neighbor. Not when you don’t know their truth, just like they don’t know yours. Listen to one another, help each other out of the mud, and be the balance this country was built on. Allow them the same freedoms you want for yourself. 

Be the United States of America. 

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Letter To The Editor: 10th Amendment Will Save The U.S., Wyoming Will Be The Tip Of The Spear

in Letter to the Editor
20132

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By Rex Rammell, GOP gubernatorial candidate

Dear Editor:

The Tenth Amendment states that all powers not explicitly delegated to the federal government belong to the states.  In other words, if a power is not defined within the body of the Constitution that power belongs to the states.

Having grown up near Yellowstone Park, I always wondered how the federal government claimed authority over not just Yellowstone, but the millions and millions of acres controlled by the BLM and Forest Service when there is no authority that can be found in the Constitution.  

Article 1, Section 8 (Powers of Congress), Clause 17 (Federal Property) defines what land the federal government can own. 

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

It should be clear that Clause 17 limits the kind of property the federal government can own.  “Ten Miles square”, which we know as Washington D.C., “Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yarks”, which we know as military bases scattered throughout America and “other needful Buildings,” we know as post offices, federal court building, and other needful federal buildings to administer their defined powers. 

No where in Clause 17 does it state the federal government can control, let alone own, 28% of the United States we know as BLM, Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Park Service, and other lands.  It just isn’t there!!!

Furthermore, to emphasize the federal governments defined and limited powers the Founders added the Bill of Rights in which we find the 10th Amendment. 

We must conclude the federal government unconstitutionally controls the public lands, which means all of the policies enacted and enforced by the federal government are unlawful. 

I also wondered if they held the public lands unconstitutionally, how many other powers, i.e., education, health care, etc. were powers that rightly belonged to the states.  There are no powers defined for them either.

I concluded that according to the10th Amendment the solution to many of America’s problems was for the states to take the powers back.  Simple right?

Not so simple as the federal government, currently controlled by the Democrats, does not recognize or care about this usurpation of power.  So how would the states take back power from an unwilling federal government?

I think there is only one way.  A governor with the vision and the courage to deny the federal government powers that rightfully belong to the states, could start a states rights revolution that would sweep through the nation and force the federal government back into its “limited” constitutional role.

Wyoming is in a unique position to be that state.  It is very clear that there is a war against fossil fuels in the name of climate change, even though the science does not support it. 

It is also very clear, whatever their true motive is, they mean to see it through.  A moratorium on new fossil fuel leases on public lands was executed immediately after Joe Biden was inaugurated.

Most of the fossil fuels in Wyoming come off public lands.  Upwards of 70% of Wyoming’s tax base comes directly or indirectly from fossil fuels.  Without fossil fuels Wyoming will either have to become a high tax state or cut government services to the bare minimum or both. 

Most Wyomingites have an aversion to high taxes.  Wyomingites also seem to like a lot of government services.  This is a major problem that I believe presents an unprecedented opportunity in the history of the United States;  a state with its back against the wall that will not accept high taxes or a decrease in government services.  I believe Wyoming is ready to fight.

Wyoming is known for its so-called “rugged individualism” despite its addiction to government money.  The trillion dollar question is will they elect a governor who will make a states right stand that will result in 30 million acres of public lands being taken over by the state and giving the fossil fuel industry the green light to produce. 

If elected governor, I will sign an executive order on Day 1 ordering the state police to walk all federal land managers out of their offices.  The BLM, The Forest Service, The Park Service, U.S Fish and Wildlife, and others….GONE!

Wyoming will finally become a sovereign state on equal footing with the original thirteen states as guaranteed by the Northwest Ordinance.  Wyoming will then be in control of all the natural resources and the billions and billions of dollars, maybe trillions, that go with them.

But what about Wyoming’s enabling act?  Didn’t Wyoming give up all claim to the title of the unappropriated land (30 million acres)? Yes; we did, but the Act also requires the Federal government to dispose (sell) of the land, which they never did.  So in my mind the question isn’t who owns it, but rather who should control it.   I think the 10th Amendment clearly gives the power to Wyoming and that it should stay “no man’s land” only to  be used for the benefit of the people who choose to live in Wyoming.

This brings me to my final point.  Does the governor have authority to nullify an unconstitutional act and how would he do that?  The Wyoming Constitution states the governor, “…shall take care that all laws be faithfully executed.” Is there any greater responsibility than making sure the Constitution be faithfully executed? 

If I get elected and I do sign an executive order on Day 1 ordering the state police to seize all unappropriated lands, what happens on Day 2 besides a huge celebration in Wyoming?

Day 2 or shortly after we take control of the 30 million acres I would expect to receive a summons to go to federal court in the case of The United States v. The State of Wyoming.   Some people think that all matters in the United States if pursued far enough end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.   This thinking, however, is wrong.

The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. The Constitution only applies in matters where the federal government has defined powers.  In other words, if no power is found in The U.S. Constitution then the federal courts do not have jurisdiction over it.

When they summon us to court, we simply do not go.  The second we recognize their jurisdiction in the courts we recognize it over the land and we’re back to square one. 

Lastly, I believe when Wyoming makes this move the other western states will join and a states rights revolution will begin that the federal government will not be able to stop.  America will return to a limited centralized government as the Founders originally intended and put in the Constitution.

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Letter to the Editor: Civility Matters

in Letter to the Editor
20037

Dear Editor:

Civility matters. The internal and external voices of Wyoming’s  Republican Central Committee test what it means to be civil.

If you were a business leader thinking about expansion to Wyoming would you be having second thoughts given the front page ruckus? If you are a graduating student, whether high school or college, would your interests in politics, or Wyoming’s future, be waning? If you are a Democrat, Independent, or Republican are you tiring of the on-going unease?

Students of history know that America harbors tensions of opposites. Today’s world of the internet and social media lessens opportunities for sitting across a table to thrash things out and leave with a handshake. 

A Governors’s Business Forum in November, 2013 featured David McCullough, arguably one of America’s preeminent historians. He spoke of civility as the pathway to compromise and progress. 

The next Governor’s Business Forum will likely be in November, after the elections. Perhaps presentations, round table discussions, and inclusive representation of conservatives, moderates, and liberals could be the focus.

Bill Schilling
Former President/Founder, Wyoming Business Alliance

Letter to the Editor: Wyo GOP Leadership Is Very Strong

in Letter to the Editor
20008

Dear Editor:

I just read Dr. McGinley’s letter about terrible GOP leadership in Wyoming.  While most of his letter was filled with emotion, it was devoid of facts.  I was a delegate from Sublette County to the State Convention, and after reading his letter I am wondering if I was at the same Convention as Dr. McGinley claims to have been.

He said that at the convention, “…countless hours were spent excluding the most populous county (Laramie) from participating after excluding most of Natrona County.”  What are the facts?  Natrona County had not paid their dues to the State Party, hence they only had their three automatic delegates. 

Laramie County did not certify the election of their delegates, and they admitted that they had not even followed their own bylaws in selecting their delegates.  And the reason it took so long…the so-called “countless hours”…was because the State GOP leadership allowed the debate to go on for a very long time. 

Dani Olsen went to the microphone many times and defended her indefensible position.  But Laramie County was allowed to keep their three automatic delegates in place.  The only thing that any county has to do is follow the rules.  That seems like a good Republican value to follow.

Dr. McGinley said that, “…the current leadership in no way represents Republican values or principles…We believe in inclusion, open debate,…” etc.  Following rules (unlike Laramie County and Democrats) represents my Republican Values and the values of the VAST MAJORITY of the delegates at the Convention who voted to remove Laramie County except for the three automatic delegates.

He went on to say, “The Wyoming Republican Party has been hijacked by a small group of extremists.  These individuals only care about themselves and their petty agendas.”  That is an extremely emotional argument for which Dr. McGinley presents no facts about the “hijacking” of the party.  He shows nothing about their so-called petty agendas. 

Did the leaders have 2000 mules dropping off ballots for the election of these “extremists”?  What makes up the “petty agendas”?  Dr. McGinley saying these things does not make them true.  Democrats use this tactic all the time…just because they say something, then it must be true even though they do not present facts to back it up.

The vast majority of the votes of all delegates were in agreement with one another on the vast majority of the votes…to include removal of Laramie County delegates.  Very few were contrary to the will of the majority.  

I agree with Dr. McGinley on one point…”Now is the time to act.”  But I see that we need to continue to act by pressing forward to regain our State and our Nation from those who are rolling over to the terrible agendas from those who seek to give everything to non-US parties and their interests…the UN is driving the 30-30 rule; China has committed an horrific act of biological warfare on this nation, yet many people (including Liz Cheney’s husband) continue to do their best to keep the doors open to China’s imperialism; our own US government has opened up our southern border to criminals, terrorists, drugs, and human trafficking while being so concerned about Ukraine’s sovereign border; and our energy development has been shoved down a dry hole by the Feds. 

These are the things that we need to act on.  And if Dr. McGinley were to tell the WHOLE story then he would also admit that the overwhelming majority of the Convention supported numerous resolutions to ACT on these very points.  And those actions show our Party’s great respect, transparency, and civility to help our State and our Nation.

There was no uncivilized debate on the issues at the Convention.  But Dr. McGinley’s letter truly is not civil as he has cast innuendoes and untruths about the conduct of the Convention and our Wyoming GOP leadership.

Most sincerely,

Steven Kahne, Pinedale

Letter To Editor: Current GOP Leadership Does Not Represent Republican Values or Principles

in Letter to the Editor
19933

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By Dr. Joe McGinley, Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor: Time for Action!

Most Wyoming residents align their political viewpoints with the Republican Party.  However, for those who followed the actions of the Wyoming Republican Party for the past two years, you may be having second thoughts. 

The repeated headlines of fights, name calling, censures, personal attacks on women, referencing seceding from the union, multiple lawsuits, past and current individual criminal cases, membership in the Oath Keepers and exclusion of thought would cause any reasonable person to question their association. 

You are not alone, as past chairman of the Natrona County Republican Party and current Natrona County State Committeeman, I am utterly embarrassed by the behavior of our Wyoming Republican Party leadership and most of the county party leadership across the state. 

I want to stress the current leadership in no way represents Republican values or principles.  We are the party of Lincoln and Reagan.  We believe in inclusion, open debate, community support, freedom of speech, protection of life, and the defense of liberty.  

The current Wyoming Republican Party leadership has thoroughly embarrassed anyone who considers themselves a Republican.  They take pride in demeaning others even to the extent of harassment and intimidation. 

The Wyoming Republican Party has been hijacked by a small group of extremists.  These individuals only care about themselves and their petty agendas.  Earlier this month at the WRP state convention, countless hours were spent excluding the most populous county (Laramie) from participating after already excluding most of Natrona County. 

At the last convention 2 years ago, Natrona County was the target of similar petty attacks, all to silence to voice of fellow Republicans.  The goal of the current leadership is to consolidate power among a few individuals, silence any and all dissenting voices, and use propaganda to claim superiority. 

Fortunately, there are still many true Republicans in Wyoming willing to speak up and fight for our values.  These individuals do not have personal agendas, they are not looking for revenge, they are not trying to silence dissenting options.  These true Republicans are fighting to protect our principles, and party reputation. 

Now is the time to act.  We need your help to bring respect, transparency, and civility back to the Wyoming Republican Party.  Only with diverse viewpoints and community focused goals will our party grow and prosper. 

We should welcome all perspectives and debate differences in a civil and meaningful manner.  Only through unimpeded speech will new ideas be cultivated.  The future of our towns, cities and state depends on it.  Let’s set WY apart as a state leading the way in true political discourse and productive problem-solving agendas.

You are the solution to this problem!   I ask each of you to consider running for a local precinct position in your community.  The time commitment is minimal, typically one meeting per quarter.  You are the grassroots which will define the leadership and voice of our party. 

The application (https://sos.wyo.gov/Forms/Elections/Apps/Precinct_Person_Application_by_Party_Primary.pdf) needs to be filed at your county clerk’s office by May 27th.  The deadline is approaching quickly.  Please also reach out and share your contact information.

We are organizing community members to take action and change the direction of OUR Wyoming Republican Party.  If you would like updates, please send your contact information to rightwayGOP@gmail.com.

Join us and be part of the solution.  Your voice matters, your opinion matters, your involvement matters. Now is the time to stand up and say enough is enough.  Defend our great Republican Party and demonstrate true conservative principles though action.  Let’s bring pride and respect back to our party!

Joseph C. McGinley, MD, PhD

Concerned Wyoming Republican

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Letter to the Editor: Current GOP Is Being Led Down A Path Of Destruction

in Letter to the Editor
19818

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Dear Editor,

The campaign season is upon us. The filing period has begun. The Republican party needs solid leadership to guide your towns, cities, counties, and the State of Wyoming into the next chapters of our future. The grassroots of the party is the Precinct men and women.

I encourage every registered Republican to first Vote, second do not bypass the bottom of the ballot where the precinct positions are listed. Third get to know the people that have filed.  Fourth choose your party leadership wisely. Do they want to grow the party? Do they believe that every registered Republican has the right to voice their views without fear of reprisal?

Do they want to ensure that every County is represented at our State Convention. Do they believe every Republican voter should be represented equally in the State Central Committee. Are the County dues weighted by its representation at the State Central Committee. The way to get this party back to being a strong voice for all Republicans starts at this local level.

Qualified leadership is essential. I will use an analogy that helps me determine if someone is able to do the job we elect them to do.

My wife and I own and operate a ranch, a trucking business, and a gravel pit. We employ people with specific skill sets to make sure these businesses operate at the safest, most efficient, and profitable manner possible.

If we need a mechanic to say, rebuild an engine on a truck. We search out someone or a business that first specializes in that field.  Second has a proven successful track record doing that job. We don’t allow anyone to touch those valuable pieces of equipment that just think they can.

Just because they think they can or their friends think they can and have talked them into trying, don’t get to touch our equipment. This same analogy goes for your business or job. People in positions that hire or promote employees use this same method to make decisions. Are they qualified or up to the task?

This Party is in need of Qualified people to be assigned to leadership roles. This party is being led down a path of destruction by individuals that are intolerant of any views other than theirs.

The actions of the SCC at the State Convention proves that the majority does not care about the US or State Constitution or the party bylaws and platform.

They are operating as a totalitarian republic which the end result will be death to the Wyoming GOP and ultimately Wyoming as we know it. Wyoming has always been a wonderful place to live, work and do business. Can we still call ourselves the Equality State? We can no longer say our party is the Equality Party.

We need to change the direction the party is going. That can only be done by electing qualified individuals to all elected offices, starting at the precinct level.

The party has two jobs. Raising money for all Republicans and growing the registered Republican numbers. Encourage every friend or neighbor to vote. If not a registered Republican then promote why it’s the best party and operated correctly provides the best leadership.

Stay Wyoming Strong

Doug Camblin.

Letter to the Editor: The Need For Respect And Civility

in Letter to the Editor
19721

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By Linda Heath, Laramie County Commissioner

Recently while sorting “stuff” I have collected, I came across several articles related to the topic of civility. Why is so much attention being directed towards this topic? I would appear I am not the only one who has noticed a lack of civility in the world today. Before delving into the articles, I looked up the definition of “civility”; “formal politeness and courtesy in behavior and speech.”

There are three elements of civility – respect, relations with strangers and self-regulation. Civility is behavior in public which demonstrates respect for other and which entails curtailing one’s own immediate self-interests when appropriate.

What is the difference between respect and civility? Researcher, Lars Andersson defines civility as behaviors that help to preserve the norms for mutual respect in the workplace (our daily lives); civility reflects the concerns for others.

He continues “respect is defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone, or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements; or due regard for feeling, wishes, rights or traditions of others. You show respect by being polite and kind.

It is said there are three topics one should never discuss in polite conversation, politics, religion, and sex. Why would that be? Because each one is more emotionally based than fact-based topics.

In a respectful relationship one must recognize that people hold beliefs they have a strong emotional attachment to and that you are highly unlikely to sway their opinion by using facts. Have you ever heard or even used the phrase” we will just have to agree to disagree?”

We must all become more self-aware of why we hold the opinions we do. Being aware of our own biases is okay. In respectful conversation honesty and humility go a long way to encourage others to lower their protective walls. Tensions are thus defeated. Instead of a heated confrontation, genuine discussions can take place.

How many times have you known someone to strike out at others, or perhaps you have done this yourself? It happens because of internal emotional pain.

We respond in this manner because we are looking for an outlet for our pain. When we hurt, we often respond by yelling, which isn’t the mark of someone leading their best life. What does this all amount to?

Emotional based beliefs and intense pain are quite often typed out in the privacy of our homes in anonymous responses. Would we make the same comments to the same individual or group in a face-to-face conversation?

Civility and respect mean prioritizing relationships over politics. Use your conversation to find common ground, not to highlight your differences. We may all find we have more in common with each other than we have differences.

That common ground will bring us closer to others, increase respect, thus establishing a genuine connection instead of creating even further division.

If I toss a starfish back into the ocean, I made a difference to that single starfish. Now think if we all threw a starfish back into the ocean.

We have made a big difference to several starfish. Political flames burn within all of us. How we handle those flames, our intense emotional beliefs, is entirely up to us. We are responsible for how we talk and react to each other. We must find a way to be humble and genuinely empathetic towards each other.

To heal the blindness of our nation, we must take a hard look in our mirror, examining the log in our own eyes. Are we practicing civility and respectfulness as defined by Lars Andersson?

We must practice effective methods of persuasion. Benjamin Franklin said,” I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power of doing good by a positive assuming manner, if we are to win others over to our way of thinking.

Over-confidence reduces our scope of influence, which defeats every purpose we have for which the ability to speak has been given us, whether for the giving or receiving of information, pleasure, or wit.”

Consider the news media. Do we trust them? Multiple poll results suggest the media and Congress are both suffering from very low approval ratings. If all we are interested in running our mouths to show off our own importance, not in persuading others through civility and respect, we are no different than the media or many in public office.

If your goal is to only prove your own self- importance and knowledge, then you must enter every discussion with an argumentative mindset and pound your views into the heads of others, consider how you will be received.

If your mission is to persuade and present the truth in hopes your audience will take heed, then speak with civility, humility, and respect.

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Letter to the Editor: The Future of the Wyoming Republican Party

in Letter to the Editor
19671

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By Sam Clikeman, Vice-Chairman
Campbell County Republican Party

Today marks another episode in the saga that is plaguing the Grand Old Party of Wyoming. The once powerful and successful political organization that we were proud to call our own has steadily declined to a state of disfunction and dereliction.

For several years now the party has struggled with an incredible amount of in-fighting, self-degeneration, and vociferous interactions that have created a party devoid of the ability to function at a basic level. With two of our most populous counties unable to participate in our State Convention, it can be portended that our future is becoming yet more grim.

The trajectory that our party is on will inevitably be the fall of the Republican Party in Wyoming if we do not work to change ourselves and become what Wyoming is truly capable of doing. The time has come to address and fix our failings and to engage our future to stop this downward spiral that we are on.

As the age of the party increases, there is a great need to work on a new generation of Republicans that will bring the party into the future. The problem continues though in that younger generations have no desire to associate with the Party.

Younger people that bring energy, new ideas, and a different view on life work to enhance and promote the work, experiences, and knowledge of our more “distinguished” generations. Yet as a party we continue to extirpate any possibility of them joining the organization.

We take up arbitrary causes that have nothing to do with life in Wyoming and that local Republicans do not even have the most infinitesimal possibility of changing. Continuing to spend time debating the merits of the United Nations at a county level illuminates an incredible aura of self-importance and dislocation from reality.

Our younger generations do not want to waste their time arguing with people for the sake of arguing on items that will have zero impact on anyone’s life in that room. Listening to vitriolic defense of resolutions that will never be more than a footnote on a meeting minute and give the speakers their moment to act as though they are changing the world from their micro-pulpit; does nothing to support the purpose of our party and works to keep out those whom we need to become better.

Yet there are incredibly important issues that local and state Republicans have the Duty to debate and resolve. Our state faces difficult times in the present and future that require the people of Wyoming to work together to solve. Issues that can be put into action through meritous resolutions, legislative and executive appeal, and candidate development.

We have people in our communities that have a strong desire to help this state that they love so much and the capabilities and profundity to truly give us a hand up. The caveat is they want to help though, not to spend their time on pedantic and mobocratic debates that will never result in change.

As we enter into an economic situation that is unparalleled in our living memories, we have also chosen to ostracize those willing to help in the name of idealistic purity. Ideals based on national issues that often have little to no relevance in the State of Wyoming; or in ways that only amendments in the United States Constitution have the possibility of resolving.

We can all agree that the 2nd Amendment is a vital liberty to the people of Wyoming, there’s no need for us to debate this at the county and state level when everyone in the room already agrees. Instead we should be enacting serious dialog, idea generation, and solution development on how we are going to fiscally sustain ourselves in the coming decades for instance.

If we as a party look to pull ourselves out of this degenerative hole of the extreme national politik, we can bring those into our party that we desperately need to solve real issues facing us and our progeny.

The younger generations that will carry this party forward want to be Republicans and they have all the ideals that have made this party great in the past. Despite what many believe in our interactions with the youth of this state, they are the future and it is our Obligation to help them become the leaders we need them to be.

We must work to educate and train them, learn from them, and empower them. Yet we are trying to force them to listen to us squabble and eat one-another alive, why would they waste their time with us? We show them that if they don’t believe in every single thing that a select few have decided is gospel, they cannot be Republicans.

We would never expect our spouse to believe in what we do 100%, but we expect it out of strangers that we have never met; the concept is asinine. So instead of bringing more people under out tent and harnessing the great minds we have in this state, we choose to take away the seat at the table of those that do not fall in line with the self-appointed plenipotentiaries of the party.

It is no wonder that our youth are choosing to join other parties or just stay out of the political environment all together; this has been done on our own volition. The model is unsustainable and will result in the complete spoliation of our party. 

We often lie to ourselves that the apathy of youth to our party is the result of a weak or spoiled generation, but throughout the history of humankind we have heard this from the older generations. And even if that is true, why would we let them falter? Should we not work to educate them and help them become better, or should we continue to be stuck in our ways and avoid the Responsibility all together?

Our party is at a cross-roads and currently we are in a state that does not bode well for our future. Will we continue to paint ourselves as pariahs and strive to contract our party as much as possible? Or will we work to progress the important ideals of Republicanism that derive from the initial foundings of our Great Nation by reaching out to the future?

Will we spend our time arguing over issues that will never come to fruition? Or will we work towards the plenitude of our people and solve real issues that face our Great State? The people of Wyoming have the ability and desire to do grand things. But if we continue to treat our party as such, immurement will surely be our future. Our future is still bright, but we must reach out and hold strong to our virtues. It will have to start at the local level as we elect our precinct people, but we can still save our Great Party.

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Letter To The Editor: Liz Cheney And Frank Eathorne

in Letter to the Editor
19643

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Dear Editor,
Twice you have published the statement by Liz Cheney that she would not attend the Wyo GOP Convention because Frank Eathorne is a member of Oath Keepers, a “far-right, anti-government militia.”
Let us set the record straight on three points:

  1. Cheney did not want to come to the Convention because the State Party and many County Parties censured her.  She did not want to go to hear all the boos.
  2. Oath Keepers is not anti-Government, nor is it a militia.  As for being far right, so what?  Cheney has gone to the far left with her good friends being Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff and so many others on the far left.
  3. Lastly, it is a 100% lie…yes, lie…that Frank Eathorne is a member of Oath Keepers.  CSD needs to verify these things before printing them.

As for Laramie County delegates being unseated (except for the three that are automatic in accord with the State Party By-Laws), the County leadership admitted that they had not followed the by-laws in electing their delegates.  So this was a no-brainer to not seat them.

Sincerely, Steve Kahne

Pinedale, Wyoming

**Editor’s Note: We stand by our coverage.

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Letter to the Editor: Please Ask the House to Vote No on SF0036

in Letter to the Editor
17533

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By Diane Gore, President, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming

One of the many battles being fought in the legislature during this Budget Session doesn’t have to do with the budget, federal programs, or redistricting. It has to do with the cost of health insurance.

SF0036 – Pharmacy Benefit Managers Act Enhancements allows Wyoming state government to interfere with how insurers and businesses design their health plans and will substantially raise prescription costs and health insurance premiums. This bill will make prescription drugs and health insurance more expensive, placing the health of Wyoming citizens at risk.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming (BCBSWY) estimates this bill will cost its members at least $48 million dollars per year. That equates to at least $400 per member or $1,600 for a family of

four annually. The increased health care costs this bill creates will be passed to BCBSWY members and businesses through higher drug costs and increased premiums. Yes, higher drug costs and premiums than we are already paying in a state with some of the highest health care costs in the United States. Almost 73% of these increases will go to support the drug manufacturers, over 18% will go to national chains and less than 9% will go to Wyoming’s independent pharmacies.

BCBSWY is driven to get the right medication, for the right person, at the right time, and at a cost that is as affordable as possible to help ensure sustainability and optimal health outcomes. However, SF0036 unnecessarily gives away millions of dollars to large pharmaceutical manufacturers for no good reason. Additionally, SF0036 dramatically raises health care costs by allowing pharmacies to charge additional fees for “pharmacist services” which are not defined, meaning the “sky is the limit” for how much they can charge to dispense every prescription and insurers will have no way to protect their members from these increased fees.

The language in the bill prevents insurers from applying cost saving measures that include negotiations with drug manufacturers to reduce the cost of prescriptions. For example, a prescription at full price with a cost of $10,000 might be discounted to $6,000, saving the insurance plan $4,000. The savings ($4,000 in this example) are currently passed through 100% to self-insured plans and applied to reduce premiums for fully insured plans. This bill eliminates the savings, which will increase the premiums—not only for BCBSWY members, but also for everyone with health insurance in Wyoming.

Why is this happening?

Proponents of this bill are independent pharmacists asking to be paid more. BCBSWY believes local, independent pharmacies are vital in Wyoming, and that these pharmacies should be paid appropriately for the drugs and services they provide. However, this bill fails to accomplish this. Instead, through substantial government overreach, SF0036 gives away the hard-earned money of Wyomingites to wealthy pharmaceutical companies, while barely helping independent pharmacies.

This bill provides a blank check for large pharmacy chains to charge an unlimited amount for their services and prevents insurers from applying cost saving measures necessary for families to afford health insurance and prescriptions needed to protect their health. While hard-working Wyoming citizens are paying the price for SF0036, the beneficiaries of the increases are drug manufacturers, large corporate chains, and Wall Street investors, with only a small percentage going to independent Wyoming pharmacies. There is no other legislation across the entire country that contains the same sweeping provisions as this bill.

This bill is now under consideration in the House of Representatives. BCBSWY and our business partners listed below ask you to please contact your Representative and ask them not to interfere with your health and not to spend your money for the “blank check pharmacy” bill. Ask them to vote “NO” on SF0036 – Pharmacy Benefit Managers Bill Act Enhancements.

Diane Gore, President & CEO BCBSWY

Marsha Allen, Executive Vice President, Wyoming Auto Dealers Association Cindy Baker, Administrative Service Manager, City of Cody

Preston Bostrom, President, Rocky Mountain Administrators & Rocky Mountain Review Brad Brooks, Board of Public Utilities, City of Cheyenne

Devon Brubaker, Airport Director, Rock Springs Airport Earla Checchi, Finance Manager/HR Manager, WAM-JPIC

Tony Cross, Airport Manager/HR Manager, Jackson Hole Airport Julie Cross, Admin Asst. Big Horn Regional JPB

Bob Dill, General Manager, Automation & Electronics, Inc, Casper Dave Fraser, Executive Director, WAM-JPIC

Nakisha Garner, Treasurer, Town of Lingle Tracy Glanz, Clerk/Treasurer, City of Worland

Cheryl Hageman, Consultant, Wyoming Educators’ Benefit Trust Renee Hahn, Manager, Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board Darrin Hass, HR Director, City of Cheyenne

Jeff Hockin, CEO Crum Electric Supply, Co, Casper Lori Hughes, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Ten Sleep Angie Johnson, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Meeteetse Timothy A. Kaumo, Mayor, City of Rock Springs Kathy Lenz, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Sundance Kelly Lewis, Treasurer, Town of Glenrock

Robin Lockman, City Treasurer, City of Cheyenne Bob McLaurin, Legislative Manager, WAM-JPIC Kelley Millar, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Upton

Noamie Niemitalo, President CCCBT Trust, Campbell County Richard Reyes, Clerk, Town of Lingle

Michele Richlin, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Deaver

Penny Robbins, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Mountain View Justin Schilling, Member Service Manager, WAM-JPIC Lisa Scott, Admin Office Manager, Yellowstone Airport George Siglin, Mayor, Town of Lingle

Tammy Taylor, Clerk, Town of Glenrock Matt Thomas

Mike Todd, Executive Director, Local Government Liability Pool Anita Vaugh, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Superior

Katie West, Office Manager, Cheyenne Regional Airport Joe Wiesen

Agile Benefits Consulting, Cheyenne Amangani Resort, Jackson

Campbell County Coordinated Benefit Trust Casper Surgical Center

City of Gillette Cyclone Drilling, Inc

Fremont County Commissioners High Country Behavioral Health L&H Industrial

Neiman Enterprises Inc.

Northern Wyoming Mental Health Center Novo Benefits, Cheyenne

Oftedal Construction, Inc.

Pathfinder Inspections and Field Services LLC Sheridan County Government

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Letter To The Editor: I Am A Republican And I’m Voting For Liz Cheney

in Letter to the Editor
17467

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By Sandy Pedersen, Cheyenne

I am a Republican. 

I’ve been involved in Republican Politics most of my life.  My first venture was when I had my picture in the Billings Gazette baking a cake for “IKE’s” birthday fundraiser.  I registered to vote on my 18th birthday and have voted for every Republican Presidential candidate since then.  I even voted for Trump, twice. But I won’t again.

In college, I was active in the Young Republicans on campus. I’ve volunteered for many state and federal candidates over the years, such as Hathaway, Wallop, Simpson, Dick Cheney, Mead, Gordon, Craig Thomas, and Enzi and many others.  I ran the headquarters in Cheyenne for two different elections.  I was an advisor for the Young Republicans at East High School. 

Despite all of that, I am considered a “RINO” by the far-right wing of the party.  That’s right, they don’t consider me a Republican!  But I am in good company. They claim that Congresswoman Liz Cheney isn’t one either. 

Anyone can be a Republican if they want to be.  All you have to do is register as one.  Actually, anyone can be one by just saying they are. There is no law that someone can kick you out of the party just because they don’t like what you are thinking. 

Apparently the far-right doesn’t believe that it is your right as an American citizen to join any party.  Probably even the Oath Keepers let anyone who believes in them join.

Many of us are a part of the Silent Majority who are unhappy with the state party as it is today. We’ve worked for so many years for Republican principles that we feel betrayed by our state party leaders.

But the one thing we can do is VOTE!  That’s right, vote for Liz Cheney and tell all your friends to vote for her.  Shout it from the rooftops, send post cards or text messages to your friends, and post FB messages to vote for Liz Cheney.  Let the far right call you a RINO! 

We are Republicans above all else.

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Letter To The Editor: Barr Cites Sniffin Column; Everything Is Complicated

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By Jim Barr, Cheyenne

I would like to respond to Bill Sniffin’s column, “2021 Was a Big Loser,” which has appeared in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and the Cowboy State Daily, online. 

Bill is a longtime journalist, I am not. I am retired military, Republican, a retired Community College instructor, and have quit three jobs in order to stay in Wyoming, since 1974.

I totally agree with Bills opinion that the current Administration has tried to go so far to the left, that he describes their efforts as the “Silly Season”. However, I would like to offer a different perspective on some points in that column.

Most important, is what is not in that column. 

Bill makes no mention of January 6th, as if it never occurred. How can you talk about the high and low points of a 2021, and totally ignore January 6th? 

Journalists normally lead with the most important information in a story. Bill has left it out. I don’t think by accident. He does mention the feud between representative Cheney, and former President Trump. He describes it as personal. I describe it as the efforts of Cheney, to defend our Constitution and democracy from a defeated former president who is willing to attack and discard our electoral process, in a desperate attempt to maintain power. It is a crucial, and complicated issue.

Bill is glad that the price of oil is way up. I am too. This is capitalism at work. Supply and demand. However, Bill complains about the price of gas at the pump being higher. You can’t have high oil prices, and also expect cheap gas prices. The countries that have that, are socialist countries, where the government artificially keeps the price of gas low. I think that the higher oil prices are better for the state of Wyoming overall, then if we were able to buy cheap gas, at the expense of our state revenues. I think it is a very complicated issue.

Bills column is supportive of fossil fuels. It is also supportive of nuclear energy, although other alternative forms of energy are ignored. If the future nuclear power plant in Kemmerer is very successful, does that spell the end of fossil fuels in Wyoming? Can we have both? I think it is a very complex issue.

The column also addresses”billions”of Biden administration “silly money” coming to the state to help address problems created by the pandemic. Does the column imply, that that money should not be spent? Should the very independent state of Wyoming return that money? I think it is a very complicated issue

Other high and low points mentioned in the column, include the anti-vax / mask controversy, and the tourism industry. 

Wyoming was a spectacular success, as it kept students in school last year, based on wearing masks to prevent the spread of covid. Yet, this year, school boards and school administrations are under attack for trying to use the very method that was proven successful last year. 

Tourism visits were way up, but tourism Revenue was not. Why? Perhaps tourists were reluctant to expose themselves to covid, not going inside normal tourist locations and spending money, in a highly unvaccinated state. 

Were Wyoming workers reluctant to return to work, having to work inside, exposed to covid? These are very complicated relationships and issues.

How about the columns biggest good news story, the increase in value of housing? It was good news if you owned a home. What about the many working-class people in Wyoming who cannot afford to buy a home? Affordable housing is a huge problem throughout the state. Perhaps some of that Biden “silly money” will be used to address that issue. It is a very complicated issue.

Bill did not like the Biden Administrations ” inept abandonment of Afghanistan.” Biden carried through with the Trump negotiated settlement with the Taliban, to leave Afghanistan and end that terrible War. Tragically, 13 service members died, while evacuating 123,000 westerners and afghans. What a monumental success that was, other than the terrible loss of 13 lives. 64 American Service members were killed during the Trump era. Tragically, 13 died during the Biden era. No more military members will die during the rest of the Biden time. The war is over, we are out.  Heroically, 13 service members sacrificed themselves to save tens of thousands. Would it be better to still be there, losing more American lives, the longer we stay? Once again, a complicated issue.

Okay, okay, perhaps this is just a humorous column, published in the opinion section of the paper and in the Cowboy State Daily. Maybe I took the casual opinions of a geezer (I am one) coffee group too seriously. 

Sorry. Everything is just so complicated.

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Letter to the Editor: Earlier Vaccine Letter Was Full Of Disinformation

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By Larry Wright, Letter to the Editor

Dear Cowboy State Daily:

I do appreciate the effort you people put into this online journal.  I enjoy reading about the good people of Wyoming and our wonderful state.  I understand that your news slant  flows mostly in sync with  the Fox news crowd.  

However, please do not  ignore what make us good people and what makes us proud citizens of the Cowboy State.  Wyoming people want to be healthy and we want our families and neighbors to be healthy. 

I cannot understand or forgive how you put Dan Brody’s  Covid-19 misinformation and anti-vaccine editorial onto the front (your only) page.  Dan Brody’s editorial promotes the disease.  

Our attention should be directed to the 800,000 person virus death toll in the US, 1472 deaths in Wyoming and how we can get this under control.  As a country and a state we have done worse with this virus than nearly every other place on earth. 

I am pretty sure that nearly everyone in the state has now lost a family member or a friend to the disease.

The following information is in response to Dan Brody’s vaccine misinformation.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports  471 million Covid-19 vaccines delivered in the US through December 6.   

The CDC aggressively collects all information it can about suspected impacts from the vaccine.  Several deaths and some adverse effects have been definitively attributed to the vaccine.    

Some other deaths and adverse effects may be attributed to the vaccine.  Dan Brody’s statistic that the CDC VAERS database  reported 19,886 documented vaccine deaths is based on CDC’s collection of death certificates of everyone who was vaccinated and later died from any cause.  

The conclusions of the CDC are COVID vaccines are safe and effective.  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

Every day the New York Times prints the latest CDC information about COVID.  There are some very simple statistics. 

As of December 13, 2021, if you are unvaccinated, you are 5 times more likely to catch Covid and 13 times more likely to die from it.   

These statistics include the adverse impact to the vaccinated  by the Delta-Variant.  

Forget Dan Brody’s unproven and frequently disproven gibberish about horse de-wormers, anti-malarial drugs, vitamins and whatever.   Get vaccinated. 

If Trump were president, I suspect that most Republicans would  gladly take the vaccine that he wanted (and deserves some) credit for.  Getting sick with Covid-19,  spreading it around, and dying from it to “own the libs” is just stupid.  

Covid-19  is a public health issue and an issue of life and death.  

Get vaccinated.

Get a booster if you are due one. 

Wear a mask in public places.

A mask mostly protects others from your disease. 

A mask slightly protects you from other people’s diseases.  

We all hate masks, now get over it. 

Temporarily abandon  some of your “ freedom” and “personal choice” issues and fully support the health of your community. 

Larry Wright, PE

Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Letter to the Editor: Dave Simpson’s Column Should Have Been Titled “My Infection, Now Your Disease”

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By Donal O’Toole, Letter to the Editor

This news site recently carried an opinion piece about Covid-19 vaccination by Dave Simpson, an experienced writer and journalist. The content of his article is conveyed in the title: My body, my choice.

He cited a study from Israel which concluded that natural infection with SARS CoV-2 conferred stronger immunity than vaccination. As a journalist he will be familiar with using more than one source to fact-check newsworthy information. He did not do that here. 

There are now at least four studies comparable to the Israeli one that address immunity following natural infection relative to vaccination. The conclusion is that it is a wash.  Acquired immunity following infection is comparable to that of mRNA vaccination.

There is a difference though, although unstated in the piece. Covid vaccines have minor side effects and are not fatal. By contrast, natural infection can be.  

Had they lived, some 1,500 of our fellow Wyomingites might attest to that. Plus another 20,959 residents, who might speak to the joys of surviving with slow Covid as a consequence of natural infection.c

Mr. Simpson wrote another piece recently about his acreage in the Snowies. The property had many beetle-killed trees.  A local official suggested he consider removing dead ones to reduce the local fire risk. He did so, with understandable sadness.  

By doing so he protected his cabin from fire, as well as the property of his neighbors. I wonder how phlegmatic he would be if neighbors left dead trees standing, with the argument: My Land, My Choice. 

As with dead trees, so with pandemics.

Mr. Simpson’s logic might be expressed in another slogan: My Infection, Now Your Disease.   

And that is not OK.

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Letter to the Editor: Dan Brophy — Vaccine Mandates – The Appalling Evidence Of Deaths And Injuries

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Dan Brophy: Vaccine mandates – the appalling evidence of deaths and injuries

By Dan Brophy, Letter to the Editor

Governor Gordon and the Wyoming legislature had the opportunity last month in special session to ensure personal medical liberty. Today, Wyoming should have in place strong  legislation protecting our citizens from the harm and abuses of vaccine mandates. Many other states have taken this step. Our state could not.

The Governor did not lead. Good bills sponsored by faithful conservative legislators were amended into poisonous text which nullified their original intent. A small group of influential Republican legislators, assisted by Democrats, made sure we are not protected from vaccine tyranny. The bill that passed is limited in scope and weak.

Wyomingites now must live with the consequences. What are they? Look at the link to the VAERS (CDC reporting) website as of December 3: https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/cdc-vaers-3rd-shot-teens-deaths-injuries-covid-vaccines/. 946,000 adverse events, 151,000 serious injuries reported. 19,886 documented deaths. Tens of thousands of serious, life-threatening injuries including paralysis, heart attacks, pericarditis, myocarditis. In current news, vaccinated children falling dangerously ill; dozens of vaccinated professional athletes throughout the world collapsing with heart problems as they exert themselves in their sport 

Why is this appalling evidence suppressed by the US medical establishment and a complicit media? Why was it ignored in Cheyenne? Ordinary people like us, without the background to know where to look, must search hard to find it. The statistics are almost certainly worse – VAERS reports are backlogged, and reporting is NOT mandatory in the first place. This certainly means many more deaths and injuries than reported today have taken place.

Prior to now, no drug in US history would remain in use for even a few weeks with this record of harm to its recipients. Over the years, new drugs have been withdrawn after just a few deaths or adverse reactions. Today, federal authorities who say nothing about the dismal history of deaths and injuries, propose to force vaccination on us. They do not tell us that the vaccines were designed for a virus that has mutated to the point it no longer exists. They use their executive and regulatory power to maneuver us into an impossible position with no practical choice. Comply at risk of your health, or lose your job and suffer various other forms of discrimination and ostracism.

It could not be more clear: the Biden administration, the FDA, CDC, NIH and other bureaucracies, are determined to force these vaccines irreversibly into our bodies, even as they deliberately ignore ominous problems. What happened to the “informed” part of “informed consent”? Thousands of doctors and medical experts, obligated by training and their Hippocratic oath, have abandoned us. Medical boards threaten license revocations against doctors who step outside rigid CDC treatment protocols. Political bureaucrats like Fauci justify their tyranny as protecting a higher interest, collective community health. Individually, we are of no concern to them. The terrifying history of these vaccines means nothing to them.

We are supposed to accept without question or protest the claim that the vaccines “protect us”. Yet the medical community knows the vaccines do not protect any of us from infection, nor from transmitting Covid to others. Thousands of vaccinated people are becoming reinfected and dying. Why don’t public health officials broadcast this essential information? Could it be today’s vaccines are designed for the original virus that has mutated so much it no longer exists? As one clever physician stated, “if the vaccines work, why aren’t they working?”

Factually, the Covid vaccines are not vaccines in any traditional sense. They are gene therapies, designed to attenuate the illness – unlike other vaccines (polio, smallpox, diphtheria, etc. which actually prevent the associated diseases. They are literally experimental medical technology with no history, now being tested real time on hundreds of millions of Americans and billions worldwide. 

Mandates make us lab rats for vaccine makers and their government sponsors, granting us the same liberty of choice afforded to lab rats – none. Mandates put us at risk for our jobs, for access to routine activities of daily life, and based on the statistics, randomly at risk for our lives. Get vaccinated, or else your family doesn’t eat.

Early on in this pandemic (April, 2020), my family decided we wanted outpatient therapies to try to avoid hospitalization.  We did extensive research and realized one therapy already had a promising history – the hydroxychloroquine regimen or “cocktail” (HCQ, Azithromycin, zinc) developed by a French doctor and quickly deployed with astonishing success by a handful of American physicians. In a conversation with a family physician, an internist with an internationally prominent hospital system, I asked if he would be willing to prescribe the cocktail. I sent him news articles and research papers. There were no vaccines available, nor were there established treatment protocols in US hospitals – including his own with its distinguished reputation. Why not evaluate the one existing therapy?

Initially, he agreed to prescribe the HCQ  cocktail if any of us got sick. A month later, he informed us that he could not. At the time, there were still no other alternative therapies (e.g. ivermectin, monoclonal antibodies which have since been proven successful). I challenged him, saying “then what will you be able to do for us if one of us gets sick?”  He’s a fine doctor, an ethical and caring physician. He struggled to reply but had no choice: “we will bring you into the hospital”. I said “what then?” He said “if you get worse, we will admit you into the ICU; then if you deteriorate, put you on a ventilator.” He and I both knew he had described what amounts to non-treatment – drastic reactive intervention amounting to a possible death sentence. The conversation progressed and he admitted that if he prescribed the HCQ cocktail, he “could be demoted, fired, removed from his position.” He had no choice.  His bosses forbade any therapy prior to hospitalization. The management of the hospital system never looked into the success of the doctors treating patients with the cocktail.

I discovered subsequently that federal law prohibit use of any experimental vaccine if effective therapies exist (minute 37),  It’s obvious that FDA banning HCQ, ivermectin and other therapies (and discouraging all experimentation) provides the justification for mass vaccinations “because there is no other choice” – even though there are many choices. Follow the money to the corporate headquarters of Big Pharma. Draw your own conclusions – now you know mine.

You are probably like us – we have many friends who have requested but been refused prophylactic prescriptions for HCQ and ivermectin. Some got sick and have been hospitalized, some of those died in hospital. Every single person we know who died was isolated from all outside contact by brutal hospital policies, and untreated with any therapies other than the drastic Fauci-prescribed protocols (generally, remdesivir and intubation on a ventilator). More recently, many hospitals now infuse corticosteroids and monoclonal antibodies which are, for the most part, effective. But these must be administered earlier in the disease progression, not later.

You will not find any public health official recommending prophylactics to keep you out of hospital, or early treatment (outpatient) therapeutics. If you don’t know otherwise, you would assume there are none. Public health authorities will not acknowledge the success many doctors have had with early outpatient therapies.

They never mention even the simplest precautionary therapies at home, like taking ionophores (Quercitin), zinc, Vitamins D and C. The incredible documented declines in Covid deaths from widespread use of ivermectin in India and Japan are of no concern to arrogant American medical bureaucrats, who have spurned their sacred Hippocratic oath to “do no harm”. To them, HCQ and ivermectin are “voodoo medicine”. These savage people feign concern about our welfare, but they use their power with no compunction to assure that American must struggle to the drugs through restricted, limited medical back channels.

Don’t think we don’t take Covid seriously. I had it and was briefly hospitalized. I now have natural immunity (which the CDC does not even study!). I have a rare auto-immune disease which greatly amplified the effects of Covid. It’s years too early for medicine to know the reaction my body might have to a Covid vaccine. I fear death if I am forced into vaccination, and nobody can prove my fear wrong. I will never get the vaccine.

We have many friends who have willingly been vaccinated. Some of those friends know vaccinated people who have been reinfected and died. Recently, other friends have noted the horrifying evidence of injuries and now will refuse any booster shots. Others are happy to take boosters. These are their choices. We believe they have this right, just as we have the right to refuse vaccination.

Why did Governor Gordon and Wyoming lawmakers put us at the mercy of medical tyrants? Why did they not protect our essential liberties? Good questions. ASK THEM.

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Letter To The Editor: Love it! The DC-3 Airplane – Truck – Mobile Home. Thank You!

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Editor’s note: This email is in response to the story “Weird Frankenstein-Looking Truck/Airplane Combo Spotted on Interstate 80” published on September 29, 2021 regarding a vehicle that was created out of a 1943 Douglas DC-3 aircraft and an International truck frame. It was spotted on Interstate 80 near Rawlins on Thursday.


By Karl Brauneis: Lander Wyoming

Love it! The DC-3 Airplane – Truck – Mobile Home. Thank You!

I made most of my jumps out of the radial engine DC-3’s as a smokejumper. (actually the military version C-47 that has a larger door that can be taken off for large cargo loading. This door was always intact as we used the smaller passenger door to jump and load and kick cargo). Only a trained eye could distinguish the difference.



We jumped both Forest Service  “Doug’s” and also contract “Doug’s”. In 1977 Chrysler out of Thermopolis, Wyoming had the Forest Service contract for I believe two Doug’s we had at Missoula, Montana. See above picture of my graduating class of 77.. They were painted in a blue color scheme. The Forest Service Doug’s were in the official aircraft orange color scheme.



After my rookie year I got the barracks room on the corner of the ramp where the Doug’s sat. In the morning the pilot’s would crank the engines to warm them up and make sure all was working a-ok. I had the window open to hear them crank and breath in that beautiful radial engine smoke. As a young man I was living in paradise. It might have been the 70’s in Missoula, Montana but to view the planes on the ramp ( also B-17 Retardant bomber’s) you would have thought it was England in 1943.



Third Picture – That’s Miss Montana in Miss Montana. She was the Doug that dropped the Man Gulch jumpers in 1949. The film Red Skies of Montana is based on that fire. Also in the Disney film about the smokejumpers ( A Fire Called Jerimiah) the Miss Montana of the time played the part of the Lookout in the film. In another Disney film the Wyoming actor Larry Wilcox (Of CHIPS fame) from I believe Rock Springs, WY played the part of the Lookout – Smokechaser in that film. Cool Stuff.



Last picture – jumping the Doug and a smokejumper salute. That is not me in the picture. When you get experienced we would give many different sign’s to the spotter and pilot before our chute opened (static line). I would simply wave if I was the last one out of the stick and watch the spotter pull in the static lines and he would wave back. (we jumped in 1, 2 or 3 man sticks depending on how big the jump spot was).

Anyhow, I thought you would get a kick out of the last one. As a rookie, your first couple of jumps your eye’s are closed and you scream out the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and check your canopy as you are trained. It get’s more fun the more experience and the what scares a veteran is the last 100 feet to landing in either in the trees or on the ground. . I got my 50 jump wings before I converted to a forester. What a life 🙂

I always thought that a DC-3 Fuselage would make a great addition to a Dinner or Bar. 

Thanks’ for the memories,

Karl Brauneis

Lander, WY

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Steve Duerr: Attention Legislators: It Is Time To Favor The Convention Of States Initiative

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Letter to the editor. By Steve Duerr

Dear fellow Wyoming Patriot & Member of the Legislature: Subject: Wyoming Legislature – 2021 – Convention of States Initiative

I hope to see you in Cheyenne during the 2021 legislative session in March. I will be calling you to discuss this email and to seek your support.

You may know that I have been a volunteer for the Convention of States initiative in Wyoming since 2014.

I’ve been a lawyer since 1980 working in NW Wyoming for about 36 years. I have traveled to Cheyenne to advocate for COS, in what will be my 4th legislative session: 2015, 17, 19 and now 2021.

I will not give up because I’m a grandpa and father of seven and I fear for my family.

I strongly believe that the remedy for Federal abuse our Founders created in Article V of the US Constitution, is the only remedy big enough to fix our current Constitutional Crisis.

The Presidential election, the Georgia Senate elections, the tragedy at the US Capitol, make it clear to me that We The People must use Article V to convene a convention of the states, for the purpose of considering amendments to the Constitution, that will increase self-governance and reclaim our Constitutional Republic. I summarize the current state of affairs for the national COS movement:

Presently, 15 of the required 34 states have, by a Resolution of the legislature, approved the uniform petition to Congress to call for a Convention of the States. COS Action was formed in 2014, based in Texas, Mark Meckler is the President (he was a founder of the Tea Party movement).

The COS uniform petition language for states to support by a Joint Resolution includes 3 issues:

1. Fiscal spending restraint

2. Reduce the size, power & jurisdiction of the federal government

3. Term limits for some federal officials

The COS petition and related state Resolution are perceived as conservative public policy. In that context, in 2017, the Wyoming Legislature did approve support for the balanced budget amendment initiative (BBA); conservative public policy.

Some WY legislators perceive that the COS petition issue 1, fiscal restraints, was accomplished by support for the BBA. But, the BBA does not go far enough to constrain the Federal Government.

In the Wyoming Legislature, in my opinion, the primary reason the petition has not succeeded is the fear of a so-called “runaway convention.”

There is no historic or legal precedent for a runaway convention. Each state shall have one vote at the COS, regardless of the population of the state. Attempts to discuss any matters outside the three described issues, shall be ruled inadmissible.

The most important safeguard is the extremely high bar for acceptance of any proposed amendments, in that ¾ or 38 states must ratify proposed amendments.

Therefore, it is virtually politically impossible for any amendments to be adopted that do not have overwhelming support of the American people.

As a practical matter, especially given that the vast majority of State power is in the Heartland Red States or the “fly-over states,” there are far more checks on a possible runaway convention, then presently in place, on our runaway Congress.

NOW, in these perilous political times, We the People have the power to take back our government and return power to the States.

It is critical to know that the Article V remedy was created by the Founders for precisely this time in our Nation’s history, when the Federal Government is the oppressor of the people. It’s time for action!

Full text of Article V of the US Constitution: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter,            

Note: Steve Duerr, a COS Action volunteer since 2014, Attorney at Law, 307.699.4920 Cellemail:steveduerr08@gmail.com, PO Box 11210   Jackson Hole, WY 83002 www.steveduerr.com                 

For more info: https://conventionofstates.com/states-that-have-passed-the-convention-of-states-article-v-application

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Letter to The Editor: A Voice For Wyoming Wildlife

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By J. M. Hauptman. Laramie, Wyoming

Some favorite places around Laramie to access public lands have become, for a few, places of trauma and danger.  Since mid-November six dogs became entangled in neck snares or held in terror by foot-hold traps.  That is, six cases in an eight-week period.  If we broaden the time frame to include February of 2020, less than 12 months ago, we can add another. 

Except for one, all were on public land and at least half set illegally.  The one case on private land occurred early December 2020 and involved a foot-hold trap that lacked an identification tag, a trapping violation.  Immediately adjacent to the boundary of Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge a dog slipped under the fence onto private land where she was held by a foot-hold trap, howling in agony, while her owner ran for help.

In late December, a woman and her dog, accompanied by friends, went to ski the popular Chimney Park area on the Medicine Bow-Routt NF just west of Woods Landing.  Moments after arriving, her dog was in a foot-hold trap just steps from the trailhead.  Again, the panic and helplessness for dog and owner alike.

Closer to Laramie four equally unnerving cases, two off Vedauwoo Road along Middle Crow Creek, one on the popular state land bordering the National Forest accessed by North Buford Rd and the fourth just off Forest Service Rd 701.  These four cases occurred between the weeks of November 15 and January 18, 2021.

Broadening the time frame to February 2020, we tell of a man and his dog on BLM land in Rodger Canyon about 8 miles north of Laramie.  There a 10” Quick-Kill Conibear trap was baited with a feathered chicken.  The dog went for it, but the trap did not live up to its name, as often happens, and the 70-pound Old English Sheepdog escaped serious injury after the herculean and innovative action of his owner.

Why tell these stories and what does it all mean?  Education, advocacy, and reform.  Many people who use our public lands are unaware about trapping and its prevalence on public lands, even less know about the lax regulations. 

Yes, traps and snares can be set without limits adjacent to trails, year-round and without warning.  Yes, animals linger for days.  Yes, quick-kill traps fail at the job. Yes, game animals are trapped and ensnared, yet no poaching charges issued.  The violations go on.  The stories shared here involve beloved family pets whose owners speak out, but what about the wildlife?

A growing number of people around our state, some motivated by the death of a beloved pet, are advocating (adding a voice, adding a call) for wildlife and pets. 

Concerned citizens ask for mandatory trapper education, trap set-backs from trails, reporting and accounting for non-target species, trapper harvest reports, 24-hour check requirement, closure of high-use public lands to trapping of fur bearers and predators.  The list is long because the regulations are short.

Trapping is often promoted as a wildlife management tool, yet the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) does not conduct surveys to determine abundance of furbearers, let alone animals designated as “predatory” animals (coyote, jackrabbit, porcupine, raccoon, red fox, skunk, and stray cat).  How can the tool be used if unaware of which way is up?  Trapping and hunting of “predatory” animals continues without restriction to number, method, season and without requiring a permit. 

All resource agencies, like WGFD, are founded on the public trust doctrine.  The citizens have entrusted the care of all Wyoming wildlife, all 800 species, to the WGFD.  All citizens, all 800 species.  The exception, those whose legal status is “predator”. 

Calling for trapping rules and regulations is no more an infringement on the rights of an individual than is the prohibition of shooting from the road, using artificial light or leaving to rot in a field the edible portions of a big game animal.

Those who support trapping reform are characterized as “sentimentalist”.  Well, guilty as charged, I have feelings.  I believe if someone is going to kill an animal then it should be done quickly and effectively.  I believe that the pursuit of an animal with the intention of killing that animal ought to proceed in a manner whereby the animal is in full capacity to use her alertness, fitness, and specialized senses to detect danger and have ample room and opportunity to escape.

There are two non-profits in Wyoming working hard to share safety and awareness information.  If you want to find information on pet release workshops, recommended tools to carry while out, or if you want to learn about trapping incidents of dogs and wildlife throughout the state, then visit the websites of Wyoming Untrapped and WY Trap Free-mont County.

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Letter to the Editor: Is It Time for Barrasso & Cheney to Leave Congress?

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By Steven D. Kahne, Colonel, USAF, Retired, Pinedale

Let me begin by stating that I am a life-long conservative and Republican.  Unfortunately, the two don’t go together all the time today.

Over the past few months, I have written to both Senator Barrasso and Representative Cheney on email and/or snail mail.  I received an email response from the Senator’s office, and it was clearly written by a staffer.  As for the Representative, I have not received a single response from my letter and several emails even though I requested her to respond.

In my email to Senator Barrasso, I begged him to support the stand against the Electoral College vote as it favored Vice President Biden, but not because of that. 

The Electoral College vote was based on enormous amounts of fraud that cannot be denied by anyone unless they are deaf and blind.  I certainly am not disparaging anyone who is deaf or blind, but the fact remains that thousands of affidavits, scientists, statisticians, poll watchers, poll workers, and videos (such as that from Georgia) could not all be wrong. 

The Senator’s staffer’s response told me that the Electoral College had given Biden 306 votes, which put him well past the needed 270. 

The staffer went on to say that “I” (i.e., the Senator) believe every American’s vote is sacred.  I guess the additional 800,000 mail-in ballots that were counted in Pennsylvania that went beyond the 1.7 million they mailed out were also sacred. 

And the 200,000 votes that exceeded the number of registered voters in Pennsylvania were also sacred.  Even the Georgia ballots in the suitcases that were run through the Dominion voting machines three times each were all sacred.

A friend who has been part of the workings of the GOP in Wyoming for many years asked Senator Barrasso why he had voted for a particular bill that was damaging to the people of Wyoming. 

His response was stunning.  He said that he never has enough time to read all of the content of all the bills that come to the floor for a vote.  Therefore, he voted for the bill based on what he thought it was.  Really?  If you don’t know what the bill is about would it not be better to vote against it?  It can always be defeated and brought back later in another form.

Representative Cheney has taken every step to defame the President.  She stated publicly that the President just needed to show the evidence of election fraud or quit talking about it and concede. 

Maybe she was deaf and blind during all those weeks that evidence, or indicators of fraud that should have been investigated, were presented over and over in the news.  Or maybe she was only watching CNN, NBC, and the other media outlets that refuse to tell the truth.

Then the Representative stated that the President’s speech caused all the turmoil leading to the riot at the Capitol on January 6th.  Again, she opened her mouth before she knew the facts, showing that her only goal is to defame the President.  

If she had done just a few minutes of investigation, she would have known that the President’s remarks could not have been heard by the rioters of the Antifa and BLM thug variety since they were already at the Capitol starting their unrest, which lead to the hideous break in of the building and deaths. 

If she had waited for the facts, she would know that the people who started the riots were Antifa and BLM thugs who infiltrated the peaceful protest.  If she had waited, she would have seen photos of those who are known Antifa and BLM thugs who were in the crowd and the building. 

If she had waited, she would have seen videos of Trump supporters pulling Antifa and BLM thugs away from the windows and doors at the Capitol as the latter tried to vandalize the building to break in. 

If she had waited, she would have learned from law enforcement investigators that those who actually breached the building and caused the vandalism were Antifa and BLM thugs. 

But her hatred of the President drove her to speak out loudly and early…even though she was 100 percent wrong.

Then today [Wednesday], she followed through on her promise to vote for impeachment of the President.  Was her vote based on fact?  No.  It was all an emotional response because she has such incredible disdain for the President.

Both Senator Barrasso and Representative Cheney need to make a decision:  either step down so they can be replaced by someone who represents the values of Wyomingites or walk across the aisle to the Democrats where their decisions will make sense.

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Letter to the Editor: Rod Miller Defends Ogden Driskill From Attacks By WYGO

in Letter to the Editor
5365

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To The editor:

An apparent big rift in Wyoming Republican politics just got wider this past weekend with dueling messages on Facebook.

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) and his l’il club WYGO (Wyoming Gun Owners) have taken a cheap shot at State Sen. Ogden Driskill (R-Devils Tower) and accused him of being soft on guns.  Furthermore, they have impugned the political integrity of one of Wyoming’s most stalwart Senators.  This behavior is unbelievable!!

First off, my old friend Ogden is a crusty, old-school senator from the upper east side of Wyoming – an area not at all known as a hotbed of Bolshevism.  His conservative Wyoming credentials are beyond reproach.  For a carpetbaggin’ bunch of opportunists like WYGO to call them into question is laughable.  

Beyond that, I have known Ogden most of my life.  We were brought up the same way.  Ogden and I can grump and growl at each other when we politically disagree, but then have a beer together and swap stories about snotty broncs.  That’s how we disagree in Wyoming.  Face-to-face.  And always with a fundamental respect for each other as Wyomingites.

WYGO loudly proclaims their “Wyoming Republican values”, but that’s just hot air my friends.  They behave like spoiled kids at the dinner table.  Make no mistake, the godfathers of the Wyoming Republican Party, the Hansens, the Hathaways, and the Simpsons would haul these brats by the ear out to the political woodshed. 

There, upstarts like Anthony Bouchard and WYGO’s Aaron Dorr would learn important lessons about not acting up that the table and not throwing food.

It’s a disturbing thought, but WYGO might just be a microcosm of what is happening within the Wyoming Republican Party. 

It’s certainly no secret that there is intra-party turmoil and a schism within the Wyoming GOP.  There is a tug-of-war between the hard, right wing zealots of the party and . . . well, everyone else.  

They call everyone else RINOs, or “Republican in Name Only,” and they have the temerity to try to apply that term to Ogden Driskill, and to a good share of our Wyoming Legislature. 

That WYGO is likely acting as attack dog for the lunatic fringe of the party goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.  WYGO is acting as attack dog for the lunatic fringe of the Wyoming Republican Party.

And they have every right to act up and throw food at the political table.  As long as their paperwork with the IRS and the Secretary of State is in order (and I’m not saying it is, I’m not saying it ain’t).

Outside agitators like WYGO are free to cross our borders.  They are free to try to drive wedges between us, free to politic on a platform of fear, free to hawk their snake oil.  They are free to badmouth anyone they want.  

But they need to realize that this is Wyoming.  We’ve seen this crap before and we’ve dealt with it. 

Folks with that buckin’ horse on their license plate are notoriously immune to outsiders coming into Wyoming and trying to tell us what to do.  When they attack our friends and neighbors, regardless of the donnybrooks we may have had with that neighbor, we have our neighbor’s back.

If WYGO, that gun-totin’, whiny little bunch of newcomers who come in here trying to get us to fight each other, doesn’t realize that, they need to spend a little time contemplating the statue on the courthouse lawn in Buffalo.

Ogden Driskill not a conservative?  Don’t make me laugh!

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Letter to the Editor: Interstate 80 Should Have Been Closed

in Letter to the Editor
3267

Dear Mr. Sniffin;

First off I’d like to thank for your coverage of the tragic accident that took place on I-80, March 1, 2020. 

My name is John Conti. I’m originally from Western NY, but now live in Reno NV. I was one of the many people in the middle of that twisted metal. Thank goodness I did not hit anyone or anything. 

I have great concern of matters that lead up to that tragic day. I am still thinking about what happened, almost obsessed, and that’s why I’m reaching out to you. I have never seen such display of selfish, self centered people all in one place in my life. 

I am an experienced driver on snow covered roads. But what I witnessed was nothing short of stupidity on whomever  had the responsibility of shutting down the Interstate. 

I don’t care if it was the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department or Wyoming State Police. That stretch of highway should have been shut down. I was watching idiot truck drivers and other stupid people driving like the weather was a perfect sunshiny day. 

All I wanted to do was get off the next exit and wait for the weather to improve. I was driving at 40 mph and watching trucks and more trucks and cars and SUV’s pass me like I was standing still. 

I was telling my partner who was sitting next to me, that these people are nuts! To come up to this seen has made me literally sick. I was trying to send an email to either the Sheriff himself or the Captain of Wyoming Highway Patrol, but cannot find an email. 

This is a poor excuse of these law enforcement agencies. They have no business being in command! 

How dare they allow this display of their authority to go to the wayside is beyond my anatomy. These agencies are around when they’re not needed but when they are needed to do their job they’re are no where to be found. This is disgusting!

In NY where weather changes quickly, the NY State Police will and have shut down the highways. And why would they shut down the interstate you may ask? For public safety!

As far as I am concerned charges should be brought to whoever was in charge to shut the roads down. Someone needs to be held accountable.  There should have been police presence in that area at the very least. 

I don’t care to hear excuses or that there were police in that area. I was there myself, and I can certainly testify that; “there was no police around”! 

I hope these “men” ask God to forgive them for the deaths of these people. And that God will show mercy to them, because they certainly did not show any compassion for the deaths of these people, or the people that got hurt. 

These people were someone’s mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, grandparent…….someone’s friend. I know I for one, as well as my employees will no longer drive thru this stretch of highway in the state of Wyoming. 

Thank you Sir and I do hope you in the very least will read my email. Hopefully I can get past this so I can have some peace in my mind and heart.

                                Sincerely

                                John Conti

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