On insurrection trial of Trump

Lots of my Republican friends believe that Donald Trump should not be held accountable for what some of his followers did; and accordingly, he should not be held accountable for the recent assault on our national capitol by some of his followers. I disagree.

If I ask someone to follow you with only an intention of intimidating you — and instead that fellow that I ask to stalk you to only scare you kills you for whatever reason — I should be held accountable for your murder – even though I did not intend it.

And that, my Republican friends, is how I view the current impeachment trial of our former President, Donald Trump. Allowing a benefit of the doubt argument that Mr. Trump did not intend for some his followers to kill anybody by marching onto capitol grounds, that, in fact, occurred. In my opinion, because Mr. Trump incited his followers to act on behalf of some common belief, he should be held accountable for what some followers did. The Senate should decide what that accountability should be.

That is how I see the current impeachment trial in the Senate of Donald J. Trump. Thanks!

Frances W. Bessler


This is not the Wyoming I grew up in

I came to Wyoming when I was nine years old, first to Wheatland, then to Cheyenne. I remained there until five years ago, when my husband and I moved to Laramie. The Wyoming I grew up in was neighborly, known for its friendliness and willingness to help others in need. I attended public schools and received a first-rate education and graduated from the University of Wyoming. Eventually I had two children and five grandchildren.

My husband served 10 years in the State Legislature. Politics in those days had plenty of rousing discussions, but always with civility and good will. Republicans and Democrats worked together for the betterment of the State. We had congressmenlike Teno Roncalio, Gale McGee, Cliff Hansen, and AlanSimpson, representing both parties, achieving national prominence. They were not political ‘hacks’ who followed the party line. They were independent thinkers who sought the counsel of their consciences when casting their votes. Wyoming in those days was a good place to live and to raise a family.

What happened?

The Wyoming of today bears no resemblance to the Wyoming I remember. Our leaders are either timid or mean-spirited, “handmaidens” to the far right. Fearful of speaking truth for fear of being defeated by their own party in the next election. That is not public service. Differences of opinions are not tolerated. Voices of moderation have been silenced. One-party with a single mindset dominates every aspect of political and governmental life. It is well understood that a person who wants to serve in office must be the ‘right kind’ of Republican. There is a dangerous lack of diversity and imagination.

We have three grandchildren in Wyoming. Before they reach high school graduation, we will encourage them to attend college and find a future elsewhere. Wyoming is a shadow of its former self. The state I grew up in is no more, replaced by a stagnant and unimaginative environment, incapable of nurturing a young person’s future. For those who will inevitably say: “Love it or Leave it:”, I reply: “If you Love it, Save it”.

Patricia McDaniel


Defend the Second Amendment

Regardless of your feelings about Biden or Trump, we need to pay attention to Congress.

I have grave concerns over HR 127, the “Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act.”

This act will require every gun owner to apply for a license to own firearms and possess ammunition. This license must be renewed every five years. The bill also requires owners to register every firearm they already possess within three months of this bill becoming law. Additional licenses are required for specific firearm classes.

To acquire licenses firearm owners will be run through a gauntlet of training, background checks, psychological screening, insurance ($800), and interviewing family, friends, neighbors, and even ex-spouses. The bill also bans ammo 50 caliber (and larger) as well as magazines over 10 rounds.

The catch here is that ammo for “antique firearms” is not specifically excluded from the ban as well as fixed tubular magazines, which are common in lever action rifles. If you think this sounds paranoid, consider that the bill specifically requires all who wish to display an “antique firearm” to acquire a license that also informs authorities where in your home this single shot musket is displayed and how it can be displayed. The truly disturbing point is this bill also requires that all this data be available to everyone including the public.

No hiding here, their intentions are laid bare for all to see. All firearms will be affected and if an owner has a license revoked for any reason, they will be forced to turn in all their arms and the list of fines and jail time is extensive.

We have a manufacturer here in Wyoming who produces lever action rifles in the new 50 caliber magnum, I guess they will just have to shut down that production line.

Then we have HR 1. This bill gives federal control over elections and calls for all the new voting practices that made our last election a long and drawn out confusing mess that is still being fought in the courts. Do we really need this and why haven’t we heard about this?

Derek Mancinho


Profiles in (non) Courage

To Senators Barrasso and Lummis and their supporters: Forty-four GOP Trumpian minds were already made up, no matter how lousy the defense of Trump on the first day of the impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, including yours.

But after the second day of evidence and argument ,followed by a defense by Trump’s lawyers, honestly, objectively ask yourself: What if Donald Trump had not predicted a rigged election to his base of followers, had not declared the Big Lie — do you or did you believe it? — repeatedly denied losing the election to Joe Biden in November (which developed into the “Stop the Steal” campaign during his rallies); had not suggested to Mike Pence overturning the count in Congress on Jan. 6 and then blamed his own vice president of disloyalty; had not called for the rally and addressed his mob with inflammatory rhetoric and then watched the breach of the Capitol building — assaulting police to get inside — take place on TV without doing anything to stop it; would the riot of seditionists have taken place?

Isn’t the answer obvious? Therefore, isn’t Trump guilty of inspiring, inciting insurrection? What are you afraid of? The votes of Trump’s base who approve of the attack on our Capitol? What about being afraid of being on the wrong side or history and morality?

Do you lack the conscience and courage of Liz Cheney and six other GOP senators, such as Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy? Bravery means taking the initiative, rising above the ordinary citizenry, who retreat into apathy and cowardice. Bravery means standing up for your country and the Constitution, regardless of the political consequences, when the majority of your party and constituents are wrong. Can you answer this letter without equivocation?

Patrick Ivers


A win, one way or the other 

The impeachment trial is a win-win for America. Guilty a win! Not Guilty a win!

We either convict a “dictator wannabe” or we confirm the Republican Party is nothing more than the new “American Nazi Party.”

Forget tying speeches by this President to the Capitol attack. He partied and watched his TV as his goons attacked the Capitol, yelling “Hang Mike Pence,” “Kill Nancy."

He watched while they killed and injured the police standing up for the democracy he wanted destroyed. Only after hours of watching the carnage did this President tell his goons to “Go home. We love you.”

Who is the mob? These guys send a girl through the window first to take a bullet. Not exactly macho. Not surprising when your leader says “I will lead you,” only to watch the action on TV from home. Kind of fits.

The oath he took to “protect and defend our country from enemies foreign and domestic” makes it clear a President must act at such a time to do just that, not watch it on TV. He did not.

Now most Senate Republicans will also fail to honor their oath by continuing to follow their “fearless leader,” Donald Trump. Wyoming may not be willing to stand up for America, but there are patriots who will and they will hold this “wannabe dictator” and this “new American Nazi Party” accountable.

Keep digging that hole, Republicans. You will never find your way out. Good. That will “Make America Great Again” again.

Roy Bane


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