The avalanche awaits
We were over the “fiscal cliff” with the first program or agency Congress created knowing it would have to borrow to pay for it. Congress has been authorizing one after another for decades with no regard for the mountain of debt in which they are burying us all. Money to pay for this will certainly be vacuumed right out of paychecks of our children and who knows how many generations of great, great, great grandchildren! These kids have hopes of growing up, getting a job and taking home their pay to buy the things they want. Instead, we are condemning them to pay bills we are running up.
Rarely do members of Congress specify what agencies or programs should be cut from the budget, because each of them has beneficiaries who would scream, “Don’t cut that! That’s essential!” Paul Ryan listed numerous things, including millions for “UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” International Fund for Ireland, national endowments (various kinds), Amtrak, public broadcasting. We’ve got to “man up” and accept that none of these are as essential as getting our debt off our children’s backs, or they will be facing the “fiscal avalanche” descending upon them at the bottom of the cliff.
SHEILA FORD, Caldwell
Racing to the bottom
Congratulations, Idahoans! Your troglodyte Legislature and governor embarrassment have succeeded in allowing those great engines of economic growth and personal wealth (Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, et. al.) to pass you in average family income. What’s next? Haiti? Must be that right-to-work law that's causing all of those high-paid jobs to come to Idaho. Or maybe it’s the highly paid union teacher thugs. It’s a shame that such a beautiful state must be governed by incompetents at most levels. Idaho receives more money from the feds than it pays to Washington. All you have to do is put an “R” behind a candidate’s name, and any clown can be elected, e.g., Tom Luna and Raul Labrador. But wait, there is one group that has more than three times the personal income of the 47 percent: the farmers, thanks to $40 billion in federal subsidies. Sounds like libertarian, small government to me.
Let’s cut some more taxes on the wealthy and business so we can cut education spending below its already disgraceful levels.
Automatic weapons mandatory for all starting in first grade.
MONROE BRADLEY, Boise
The grass elsewhere is not really greener
Idahoans are the lowest paid, teachers are the lowest paid, families have to move to North Dakota, and it’s all the fault of the people who vote with “R.” Really.
Let me tell you what’s right about Idaho. Even with low wages we buy homes, kids go to college after high school, children play outdoors, neighbors care about each other.
A little insight from California. Taxes on the home we sold were $300 a month, kids are afraid to play outside, most first-year college students must take remedial classes, children get sex education starting in kindergarten, parents have little to no say, drugs and guns fill the schools, San Francisco citizens are upset because they have to bring a towel with them to set their naked butt on, bankruptcy looms, and still they vote for higher taxes.
The grass might seem greener on the other side but the green on the West Coast and the East Coast is AstroTurf. Idaho is an amazing place to live.
DEE KEY, Mountain Home
A chronic bias against Native Americans
In 1870, Idaho was a land of many Native American tongues.
A Jan. 6 article on Idaho history describes the state as having a “rich ethnic and cultural diversity.” However, it left out the people who were here to begin with — the Nez Perce, the Northern Paiute, the Bannock, and the Western, Northern and Lemhi Shoshone, as well as the Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai, among others.
Such benign neglect represents a chronic bias we all, including the editors of the Statesman, must strive to overcome. History is still, by and large, written and reported from the perspective of colonial Eurocentrism. The original people of this place are still thriving, culturally and linguistically, and carry perspectives of their own regarding the past. We would all benefit by trying harder to understand and include them.
TIM THORNES, Boise
Just say ‘yes’ to liberty
The morning after the election in Seattle, there was something different in the air. The windows that were usually shuttered in the houses she walked by on her Queen Anne Street were wide open. The waft of cannabis smoke rose gently in the air. A man in a suit came out of another home and said to her, “Do you feel that? The oppression has been lifted.”
U.S. citizens have been oppressed since marijuana has been made such a mythological evil substance, when once on the outskirts is now pervasive. We citizens now realize the difference. Yes, marijuana is a gateway, a gateway for the feds and state governments to abuse our civil rights.
What other law has caused our prisons to overflow, opened the door to drug dogs, car searches, property seizures, allows for drug testing, tens of millions to living under fear, harmless folks labeled felons, unworthy of civil rights, respect and compassion? Why? For profit and control. Tyranny occurs in the U.S. when the stability of the Constitution is not upheld first and foremost, before secondary laws, by every citizen, whether in uniform or with the title of prosecutor and judge.
Just say “yes” to liberty now.
JEANNA GOLLIHUR, Nezperce
ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
Turn focus to justice
This time of year, “tax and spend” comprises most of the issues of today’s government, but the rightful purpose of government is to establish justice, which is to protect the innocent and be a terror to evil. Good government should provide for courts where justice is the order of the day, not a place where procedure is more important than what is right and the pockets of the lawyers and judges are padded with money. Those guilty of capital crimes — such as murderers, child molesters and kidnappers — should be timely executed, lesser crimes are to be repaid to those they stole from, not to be housed in perpetual prisons. The proper role of government is not to be our caregiver, nursemaid, employer, teacher, mother or big brother. Those so-called programs that operate outside the scope of justice fail to honor God while empowering state and federal governments to legalize theft and institutionalize crime. We must change our focus from tax and spend to justice, or we will end up like all the other nations of history — just history.
STEVE TANNER, Bonners Ferry
Use your turn signals
I wish to address drivers out there who seem to have forgotten how to use their turn signals. It’s that lever on the left side of the steering column. If you move it up or down it will turn on a signal on the outside of your vehicle that alerts other drivers around you of your intentions. A lot of you don’t seem to care whether others know what you are going to do or not. Some of you use them after you are halfway into your lane change or at a corner making a turn. Some use it at one turn but not the next. You may be busy on the phone. Is risking an accident more important than putting the phone down or letting the caller leave a message and calling them back later? If it is important, pull over to take care of business. Be respectful of those around you. Wouldn’t you expect the same of us?
I use my turn signal whether anyone is around me or not. It’s a habit that hopefully will prevent me from forgetting to use it. It might prevent an accident. That would be a good thing.
JERRY HOWARD, Boise
No to anonymity
Why do you allow people to use anonymous names like BIRDDOG2 or TRUCKER55 when submitting comments to your Online Today and Comments From Readers sections? If people writing Letters to the Editor must use their correct names, I think the same rule should apply to online contributors.
PAM LAWELLIN, Boise
I invite everyone to “The Total Luna Eclipse Party” on Nov. 5 when we celebrate the successful recall of Mr. Tom Luna, Idaho’s superintendent of education. The voters spoke clearly and loudly on Nov. 6 with a landslide of “no" votes to reject the three Luna laws.
Mr. Luna seems to be deaf to the voice of the people. While the “no” votes towered nearly as high as Mount Everest in a conservative state like Idaho, Luna dismissed the vote as “a bump in the road.” Butch has flip-flopped more than Mitt Romney about the direction of Idaho education after the drubbing that he and Luna suffered on Nov. 6.
Even if not one of the three Luna laws should ever rear its ugly head again, Mr. Luna should be recalled for three reasons:
1. He is incompetent.
2. Since he pushed through his three “reforms,” teachers have left the state and the profession in droves.
3. The morale of Idaho teachers is lower than a snake’s belly.
If you like, please join me on Nov. 5, and we will party like it’s 1999. I guarantee it.
PETE PETERSON, Boise