Brainwashing with Bibles? -- After reading "Onward Christian Soldiers" (5/22/03), I was struck once again with what one might call our manipulative society. I was told a while ago to never mix politics and religion in polite conversation. What we have done as "emissaries" to a foreign land to obtain "democracy and freedom" -- oh, and oil interests -- is nothing short of brutal. What concerns me most is what little control we common people may have. Has it been totally relinquished?
Evangelical Openness -- Whoa, I could really smell the sulfur emanating from the recent articles in The Inlander's "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "Branches of the Same Tree" (5/22/03).
All the world religions are ganging up on the evangelicals, right out of the Left Behind series. But then, oddly enough, Islam, Roman Catholicism and modern Judaism have more in common with one other than they have with the evangelical faith. There are really only two concepts of religion in the world: humanity can save itself by its own efforts, or it can't. There are only two concepts of God in the world: God can bless man's imperfect efforts or God (because a perfect Savior is required). The evangelical belief -- that an absolute and perfect God can only bless the perfection of His Son, and that humanity only receives blessing by trusting in the perfect works of the Son -- is really the odd man out.
The evangelical faith is also a real threat to world religions because a person saved by faith alone -- and who cannot lose that salvation, once gained, by anything he does -- is a person free from the power and control of those religions. Spiritual freedom is as much a threat to those who desire to enslave the mind, as national freedom is anathema to political dictators.
As far as Iraq is concerned, they have a brief moment of freedom in which to learn the concepts of freedom quickly and to open their minds to new ideas. If they do not take this sacred moment, they will certainly lose it. It is wonderful that new ideas are entering that land; it is their only hope!
President Bush would be in violation of separation of church and state and the free expression of religion that we hold dear if he were to single out any group and say that they cannot express their viewpoint as they bring charity to Iraq.
Radio No Longer Rocks -- I read your article "Buzzards in Business" (The Inlander, 5/15/03) with great enjoyment. As for what's going on with radio right now, it stinks. Even worse, it "sucks."
When I moved here in 1980, I was looking on the dial of my radio to find a station that played good old-fashioned R-n-R and I found it in KREM-FM. Remember that station? They played Deep Purple, Kentucky Woman and Buffalo Springfield, just to name a few.
Then the station changed formats and its name to KZZU. DJ Jim Arnold said, "We have a new name and better music." I listened to the new sound, and when I heard it I turned off the radio and have never listened to that station since.
A couple of years later KEZE changed from easy listening to hard rock and I found good music again, but alas, they were sold, a new music format came on, and I turned off my radio again.
With KKZX, I once again found great music. Over the years, KKZX was bought and sold, bought and sold until the music wasn't the same. They claim they have the biggest library of music and that they don't play the same song twice in one day, but they play the same song the very next day.
I wish Clear Channel and Citadel would have their DJs play music like it's supposed to be played. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who's tired of hearing commercials on all the channels at the same time on the radio dial. Let's try to hear more than three songs before the five or six commercials come on. How about it, Spokane?
Freedom from Fire? -- In response to "Log Jam" (5/15/03), regarding "The Healthy Forests Restoration Act," citizens need to wake up to the reality of what the Bush, Inc. "Healthy" Forest Initiative is all about: fast-tracking timber sales.
Take the claim by Nethercutt's aide that "it is designed to reduce hazardous fuels," to minimize the threat of catastrophic fires. To begin with, the forest ecosystem requires fire -- what is deemed catastrophic may in fact be beneficial -- and decades of fire suppression have created unhealthy, overstocked forests. However, in their ostensible effort to "reduce hazard fuels," timber companies exacerbate the threat of wildfire by removing the lucrative large trees, which just happen to be fire-resistant, leaving the harvested area more prone to fire.
In fact, evidence indicates that logged areas have vastly contributed to the spread of fire. Nethercutt's aide also states that "it isn't enough for individual property owners to fireproof their own property," as fuels in the neighboring lands "must be reduced to allow homeowner efforts to succeed." Nonsense. According to research, wildlands fuel reduction for reducing home losses is inefficient and ineffective. Indeed, simply reducing the vegetation 100 to 300 feet or more around homes is more effective.
As for home protection, defensible space planning is effective in reducing home loss, and is available free of charge through the Lands Council's Wildfire Education Program.
To reduce the threat of residential wildfire losses, efforts must focus on homes and immediate surroundings, not in the hinterlands of our forests.