GOP lawmakers work against the people
In the gray of winter it is easy to shield oneself from the elements and hibernate. Wake up!
Republicans in the state Capitol are doing their best to stick it to "we the people." Some of their ideas include:
1. Making it more difficult to collect signatures for a ballot initiative: Participation in the electoral process should be easier not harder.
2. Taking over federal lands: The state can't afford to manage state lands. They are running parks with volunteers and increasing the price of admission. How would they pay for the massive wildfires? I know, reduce education funding.
4. Feeding the hysteria of an imagined abridgement of the Second Amendment: We live in a violent country. More guns are not the answer. Visit Guatemala, everyone has guns and it is the most dangerous country in the world. We need sensible control legislation.
Open the window. Read the paper and engage! Better yet, start an initiative to reduce the legislative session to one week. They can meet, greet and get the heck out of town.
JACKIE J. AYMON, McCall
BARRETT'S READER'S VIEW
Opinion void of logic
If you want to know why our government is so often dysfunctional, the Reader's View by Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, tells the tale.
I could not find one logical argument made in her diatribe, "Idaho health exchange needs to fade away."
Apparently, Lenore believes appealing to logic and facts are less effective than good old fashioned demagoguery. This, unfortunately, too often passes for thoughtful debate?
Her hyperbole regarding a state-run health exchange contends, "... God is being mocked and sacred honor goes to the highest bidder"; "... this is a sovereignty issue"; "... the crown moves amongst us"; "So much for state sovereignty"; "... Federal albatross around our neck."
Wow, this all sounds pretty serious. But she saved the best for last: "...the feds can't succeed with this unconstitutional activity unless the Idaho Legislature acquiesces." Lenore must have missed the Supreme Court ruling that declared the Affordable Care Act constitutional.
If any of these statements were founded in reality I would agree with Lenore wholeheartedly. But none of it is. If a state-run health exchange bill is passed, the state of Idaho will not be taken over by the federal government and God will probably not be all that offended.
RICHARD RINGELSTETTER, Boise
Incident an example of overreaction
Schools in Meridian went into full "prison mode" after a student who brought a folding shovel to Heritage Middle School in Meridian prompted the school's "resource officer" to call for a full lockdown.
As such examples of reflexive overkill multiply, we will have frequent opportunities to recall the admonition given to the School Resource Officer Corps by soi-disant "tactical and counter-terrorism expert" John Giduck at a 2007 professional retreat at Orlando's Disney World:
"You've got to be a one-man fighting force.... You've got to have enough guns, and ammunition and body armor to stay alive.... You should be walking around in schools every day in complete tactical equipment, with semi-automatic weapons.... You can no longer afford to think of yourselves as peace officers.... You must think of yourself [sic] as soldiers in a war because we're going to ask you to act like soldiers."
Given the mindset propagated by Giduck and his ilk, it's possible that next time a junior high school student brings a shovel to school he could find himself injured or killed by the "resource officers" deployed on campus for the supposed purpose of protecting him.
CURT LILLIE, Nampa
Smart life choices can reduce risks
Did you know that routinely having one or two drinks per day could raise your cancer risk? Drinking alcohol is linked to a higher risk of mouth and throat cancers, liver cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends limiting alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women and two for men.
In one study, researchers tracked cancer incidence and alcohol use in nearly 1.3 million women. The researchers estimated that alcohol accounts annually for about 11 percent of all breast cancers, 22 percent of liver cancers, 9 percent of rectal cancers and 25 percent of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus and larynx. Recent research has also found that men who drink alcohol heavily and on a regular basis may be putting themselves at increased risk for prostate cancer.
If you drink at all, moderation is wise. Overdoing it can lead to serious health problems including liver damage, an inflamed pancreas, high blood pressure, psychological disorders and alcohol dependence.
Talk to your doctor about other lifestyle choices that can reduce your risk of cancer
Don't forget Relay for Life is on July 12. Go to www.relayforlife.org for more information, to donate or to join a team.
SHAUNA SWENSON, Meridian
Parents should take responsibility for kids
I believe everyone should accept responsibility for their actions, and as a pilot and grandpa, I offer my views.
First, the child was crying due to ear pain. As every parent knows, little ears frequently give pain, especially if the young one has a cold. Do you remember the lecture about sudden cabin pressure loss? Were this to happen, the child could easily and permanently lose hearing. Twenty-year-old cars and aircraft have parts that break - that's why the lecture.
Making a child who is not well fly and as a result causing pain, is child abuse. Two guilty parties here - the mother, and the airline that won't allow a reschedule due to health.
Second, the child on mommy's lap. Turbulence happens. Some strong enough to bounce you a dozen feet. It's clear, so a pilot can't avoid it. So, wear a seat belt at all times. Unrestrained kid - flying hazard to other passengers and to child. You wouldn't think to have your kid walking around the minivan at 65 on the freeway, yet at 550 miles per hour you think it's safe? Where was the child safety chair? This mom is responsible to protect - Fail.
RICHARD SEEGMILLER, Meridian
Prayer breakfast speech hits the right target
Dr. Benjamin Carson started a national debate with President Obama on Feb. 7.
The country is still buzzing from his national prayer breakfast speech never invoking President Obama's name after the introductions. It becomes a tale of two moms, two views on the nation and how we see God as part of the national solution.
Dr. Carson fired his one shot musket through the microphone at the heart of our national confusion of what's happening in our country. Not since the Revolutionary War have we had revolutionary speak, common sense or the wise simplicity of a Benjamin, this time named Carson.
I admit, I have watched Dr. Carson's YouTube speech four times and will probably watch it again. It is a pinnacle moment in our nation's history to hear such statements on a national science. Now I know what our forefathers listened to back then in person.
Dr. Carson is a living historical figure with new ideas based on sound principles. Watch living history here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFb6NU1giRA. Idaho needs to hear this speech and form its opinion. It is a once in a lifetime experience.
ANDREW BOYDSTON, Boise
Developers not giving straight answers
This is in regard to the Mace Ranch Development at the corner of Mace and Eagle.
Gardner Corporation is developing a housing tract that will include 225 homes, a park, a parking lot at the corner of Mace and Eagle for recreational use, closing Mace to the Two Rivers Subdivision.
I have listened to the Corporation's spokesman contradict himself in several meetings. He has not specifically stated exactly how many homes will be built, lot size, price. He first indicated Mace will be open for construction and now has stated that it will not be.
The acreage has a high water table of 1-2 feet and a Chevron pipe line running through it. Eagle Avenue is severely congested now as is the intersection of Eagle and State. Adding more than 400 vehicles (225 homes times 2 cars) is going to have significant impact. Commuters from North Eagle, Garden City and West Boise utilizing Eagle are going to have to deal with more congestion. Since Idaho has the lowest average wages in the country, who is going to purchase these homes or is this going to be another deserted project similar to Avimor and others in the greater Boise area?
CAROL PELAZINI, Eagle