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Missoulian

Sofa article trivializes war, terrorism

If only our lives were simple enough that a sectional could solve our anxieties regarding the world's current state of affairs. If only we were shallow enough that sinking deep into a sofa and sitting back for a conversation could ease our distress in these confused times.

We are referring to the quote, "Since 9/11, sectionals have changed the way people live," from the article "Subdued comfort on home front" in the At Home section of the Missoulian on April 13. We feel this article, written by Diane Goldsmith in North Carolina and subsequently reprinted here, was not only ludicrous but in bad taste.

It is one thing to draw a direct line from the current global state of affairs to one's national economy, and quite another to relate them to such trivial luxury issues. Further, a new sofa-buying demographic is defined as from "the late '20s to the early '40s;" that is quite a span, saying so much it means almost nothing. We feel this article was a waste of space that could have been better used to provide a list of things to send the soldiers stationed in the Middle East to make them more comfortable. This article assumes its audience is more concerned over how the current state of affairs affects their consumerism rather than trying to ensure the comfort and safety of those who will come home (perhaps to buy sofas) once the global situation stabilizes. We do not mean to belittle the inevitable day-to-day routine that occurs in any country, even one caught up in a largely political war; however we feel that equating the tragedy that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, in this country, as well the war that is currently raging in Iraq, causing more tragedy and loss, is not only superficial but unnecessary.

Annemarie Frohnhoefer, PMB 1806 91 Campus Drive, Missoula

Amy Vanderhoof,

323 Eddy Ave., Missoula

Homeownership

Missoulians struggle as renters, owners

In the April 13 Missoulian, a CBS MarketWatch writer considered the notion that owning a home isn't always the right solution for every household. That applies to most of us at certain points in our lives.

When you're on a marginal budget and start making those house payments, life's other obligations and risks become even bigger burdens: job loss, income reduction, medical bills, disability, illness, car repairs, family crisis, credit card debt, separation, divorce.

He reminded readers that "there are people who are financially able but choose not to own a house."

Here in Missoula - where wages and salaries lag behind - his final note makes a lot of sense: "We just shouldn't have everybody rushing in to be homeowners."

But that advice presumes that our renters are able to choose from a reasonable inventory of well-designed, well-maintained, well-managed, safety-inspected rental homes and apartments in livable neighborhoods - something the city of Missoula is working on.

For the University of Montana's some 7,000 students who must rent off-campus housing, and all other households on marginal budgets, it can't happen soon enough.

Judy Spannagel, director, ASUM Off-Campus Renter Center, University of Montana, Missoula

George McGovern

Peace speeches show reason for loss

I wasn't going to say anything, but after the speech given by George McGovern at the peace rally in Missoula and the article titled "The Reason Why," which appeared recently in The Nation, I just have to say that I can understand "the reason why" McGovern lost his bid for president so handily in 1972.

Vickie Walsh, 4786 Hereford Lane, Stevensville

West Nile virus

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Diseased birds cause other problems, too

I would like to call attention to an article concerning action taken by the Back Country Horsemen and the Missoula Horse Council to vaccinate and protect horses, mules and donkeys in the Big Sky country against the West Nile virus (Missoulian, March 27).

It is important to note that birds are significant carriers of the virus, and crows/raven are estimated to comprise 50 percent of the carrier birds. They are also one of the worse enemies of most of the other birds in our area. They strip the nests of eggs before they hatch, and also kill and eat the newly hatched. The robins, for example, are being decimated in areas where crows/ravens are in heavy concentration. If anyone believes that they are not that predominate, they should take a trip to the landfill and see for themselves.

I would hope that the many horse lovers in the western states would take note of this problem and encourage the imposition of a bounty, or any other satisfactory means, hopefully with the aid of bird lovers and/or Audubon Society, to rid us of this problems. It has been successfully accomplished in other areas of the United States and the entire country of Japan. It would be nice if it were done before it is too late. I read recently that the average cost of treatment of a horse that is infected with West Nile Virus is $1,700.

Birds, especially crows, are the normal hosts and mosquitoes the vectors.

Jess Johnson, 1516 W. Lakeshore Drive, Whitefish

Diversity

Groups push tolerance of perverse ideas

The word "diversity" seems to be undergoing a transformation these days. True diversity should include a fair representation from a moral position similar to the ideals and values our founding fathers embodied. However, the new concept of diversity seems to be one that carries with it an inherent sense of anti-Christian bigotry, in spite of the original demeanor of diversity, being one of inclusiveness.

Although the purveyors of the "diversity movement" attempt to characterize their attitude as one of tolerance, the reality is otherwise. While professing tolerance, they are quite intolerant of those whose opinions differ from theirs. What I call the "diversity movement" seems to have as a goal to normalize and embrace attributes that have always been considered as perverse by the majority (both religious and nonreligious) in our country, while simultaneously castigating the values most of us hold dear. Defining normal downward to the point at which diversity becomes indistinguishable from perversity is what results.

I hope that we parents make time from our work-laden schedules and attune ourselves to what is being foisted upon our children in the schools that our tax dollars fund (i.e., Big Sky High School). Indoctrination is a poor substitute for education. Less than 2 percent of our population shouldn't be allowed to re-define the language and morality in our country, but if everyone else fails to give voice, their tenacity may come to fruition.

Mike Ramsey, 5292 White Cloud Drive, Florence

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