Rick Rogers vs Nathan Alford

I was reading and keeping up with current events a while back. I began to see letters to the editor in the morning tribune. They seemed to be attacking an editorial written by Rick Rogers. I didn’t think much of it at the time because sooner or later the writer would be attacked by the usual pundits who like to write letters to keep their names in the public eye. This criticism of Rogers went for a week with the usual group of people writing the usual biased and sometimes untrue letters. Then on Sunday I Read a column by Nathan Alford that was really critical of the editorial written the Sunday before. That got my attention.
My first duty was to ask Rick if he had a copy of the original editorial. When I got a copy of the editorial written on the 24th of February I took a look at it. I did not find anything wrong with it. There was a couple of places that could have been stated with a little more finesse. Overall the column was sound and its conclusions accurate and to the point. It seems that the only sin committed by Rick was that he was critical of the Nez Perce Tribe and its handling of the traffic problem at the casino located just east of Lewiston on Route 12. There have been a number of injuries and deaths at that intersection. It was Rick’s position that the Nez Perce tribe should be involved in fixing the problem since it is their business that is causing the problem.
Rick felt that money being used to buy the Lewiston golf course could better be spent on fixing the traffic problem.
Rick stated that the federal government gave the tribe, as well as other tribes, millions of dollars annually. This money could be used to fix the traffic problem. Instead the Tribe lets the State Department of Transportation assume the responsibility. Besides the current issue, that tribe needs to be standing on its own two feet and not depending on tax money each year to “subsidize” the reservation. Rogers is right on that point as well.
Next I took a look at Nathan Alford’s complaint. Mr. Alford tried to appease both sides in the argument. On the one hand he threw Rick Rogers under the proverbial bus. On the other hand he half- heartedly tried to defend his newspaper.
Mr. Alford started out by claiming his paper did not have advanced notice of the content of Roger’s column. Once it was printed the paper had an obligation to issue a denial of the contents of the column. It went on to apologize to the Nez Perce tribe as a whole.
It became abundantly clear that Mr. Alford was scared of the Nez Perce tribe. Whether he was just being politically correct or he was genuinely afraid of the consequences of opposing the tribe remains to be seen. Mr. Alford seems to fear the consequences of not being politically correct.
Any attempt to oppose the politically correct crowd is met with outright hostility and vengeance. This politically Correct crowd needs to learn that when you publically have an idea you enter the arena of ideas. You cannot expect character assignation to win the argument. You must state your facts and support them with a valid argument; If you do not you will lose.
The Nez Perce tribe is not sacrosanct, it too must present its facts and supporting argument or it loses its argument. You cannot bully your way through an argument and expect to prevail. As Harry Truman once said, “when you get too big for your britches someone will cut you down to size.” In this case the Indian owned casino has created a traffic problem. If the tribe has the money to buy a golf course then it has the money to contribute to fixing the casino traffic problem. To not help with the traffic problem is indefensible. Too many people have lost their lives.
If Mr. Alford does not have anything positive to say then he needs to step aside and allow the people who have the expertise to solve the problem. Political correctness is not going to be helpful. … David Estes – Editor

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The Ten Cannots

1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
3. You cannot help small men up by tearing big men down.
4. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
5. You cannot lift the wage-earner up by pulling the wage-payer down.
6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
8. You cannot establish sound social security on borrowed money.
9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.
10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
Written by: The Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian clergyman and pamphlet writer in 1916.

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