Dear Neighbor…

Dear neighbor Dan Rose,

Imagine my surprise when after taking you on two weeklong river trips and having you over to share a meal at my home you choose to slander me in a public forum over comments that were not addressed to you.

In all the time I’ve known you since you moved here two to three years ago we have never discussed politics or religion. I base my willingness for friendship on mutual respect and character. I didn’t know if you were a Redoubter, (fact is I didn’t know what that was until recently) or a Republican or a socialist. I would not have cared. It is a free country, and we all have a constitutional right to our unfettered beliefs, no matter how ignorant they may seem to others.

In debating philosophy your comments are called an ad hominem attack — that is, “attack the person and skirt the issue.” The fact that you chose to do this publicly and not to my face is not just juvenile, but cowardly. Climate change is not, or should not be, a political partisan issue. It is a science issue that I believe, along with the majority of scientists that STUDY it, is a matter of likely disastrous consequences by the year 2050. Now, if you needed to cross a bridge and the MAJORITY of engineers told you it would not support your weight, would you cross it?

After Vietnam and finishing college, my young wife and I took time to travel this great country and look for a place we wanted to raise a family. Having an old high school friend living in Kooskia we drove up to visit. I fell in love with the land from Boise to Bonners Ferry, and admired the people we met along the way: strongly individualistic, independent and self reliant. Characteristics I hoped to emulate. We bought some acreage with the “necessary elements” and settled in to build our home, raise a large garden and raise our children in a healthy environment.

Struggles, yes. Regrets, none. What we didn’t do, neighbor, is plant cameras in the trees, keep two assault rifles by the front door, and fly flags apparently representing a society that prophecies and prepares for a time when our government will come after us and chaos ensues. I’ve seen that movie, and read those comic books, and I’m sure that in time this movement will be relegated to the dust bin of American history. But that is just me expressing my unvetted opinion guaranteed to me by the freedom of expression in our Constitution.

And for the record, though I greatly appreciated you plowing my driveway, I never once asked you to do so, and after living here for near 40 years I’m sure I will survive.

I have to note that neither of your flags is the American flag.


Ray Libby

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