Mares eat oats and goats eat oats ...
Special thanks to the city of Boise for making the funds available for goats to be used to eradicate noxious weeds and reduce the fire danger around our homes in the Foothills. Watching the goats, Ive noticed similarities to some of our political leaders.
Weve seen Obama goats and Romney goats trying to lead the other goats with limited success. Many of the goats just wander closely in a herd, following the party line, without much independent action. Weve tagged these the Risch, Crapo and Simpson goats. Often a Labrador goat runs by, showing its independence from the herd, then quickly moves back into step with its party of goats. Weve even seen a Hart-like goat, probably from northern Idaho. It takes on the dogs sent to move the herd along.
A Denney goat came by. You know, the goat that beats up the other goats of its own herd. In the end, the goats seem like many of the elected officials eating at the publics expense and showering the ground with fertilizer for the rest of us to step through. Goats and politicos isnt it great?
TOM PETERSON, Boise
Financial doom looms for future generations
Theres no need to move to a financially troubled country. You live in one. According to a report released June 5 by the CBO, by the end of this year public debt will be 73 percent of GDP the highest since just after World War II.
If the tax increases and budget cuts under current law take effect next year, the national debt is projected to decrease to 53 percent of GDP by 2037. If, on the other hand, those revenue increases and cuts to expenditures are rolled back, as has been the recipe for garnering favor with the electorate, the national debt is projected to skyrocket to 199 percent of GDP in 2037.
People who suffer the results of poor financial decisions often look back and wish they could have a do-over. What individual or business can survive by borrowing 41 cents for every dollar spent and adding to long-term debt year after year? If we do not soon make painful changes to align how much we spend with what we collect in taxes, we will have set the stage for the financial ruin of our kids and grandkids.
Read the CBO report and summary for yourself at www.cbo.gov/publication/43288, and demand sensible, long-term fiscal decisions from your elected officials.
TOM DONOVAN, Boise
CHURCH AND STATE
Religions discard reality
Analysts should not have been surprised that the Russian Orthodox Church has aligned itself with President Vladimir Putin (May 14). This alignment is consistent with the behavior of churches throughout western history. In exchange for supporting the rulers, the churches get hefty government donations and tax immunity. Remember Bushs faith-based initiatives?
Until the nonsectarian American revolution, the corrupt entanglement of rulers and clergy was pretty much the case throughout the Western world.
If Stalin had implemented Putins approach to the clergy, communism would probably still be in control of Russia. Religions are good at getting people to think about otherworldly fantasies instead of dealing with the reality of this world.
The great American philosopher-novelist, Ayn Rand, repeatedly warned us of this unholy alliance between rulers and clergy, terming these twin pillars of control Attila The Hun and the Witchdoctor.
Complementing political-religious control is the rise of so-called charter schools where youngsters are trotted out like members of the young communist league to sing patriotic songs and pledge their loyalty to the state (June 2).
Thomas Jefferson wrote, In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to liberty. Now you know why successful rulers support them.
GARY L. BENNETT, Emmett
Killing trapped animal shows cold indifference
Re: Picture of leg-trapped coyote being attacked by trappers dogs. To the trapper: What does it take in a human heart to leg trap a coyote, set your dogs on the helpless animal to literally tear it limb from limb, while you take pictures and are not haunted by that creatures screams? It requires a cold, callous, depraved indifference to suffering that is more reptilian than human, that is closer to the conscience of your dogs than it is to that of a normal person.
ROBERT ENGLE, Ph.D., psychologist, Boise