Good day to celebrate
When I've asked Idaho farmers and ranchers about Earth Day, the humble and honest reply I usually get is: "Every day is Earth Day." Where asphalt and pavement turns to gravel and dirt, you will find rural men and women rising early, greeting the day and working the earth.
Their office space is outdoors in the sun, wind, rain and snow. They are doing hard work that needs to be done to feed a hungry world. To eat and live it means that someone tills the soil, plants the fields, fertilizes, feeds, prunes, irrigates, picks, packs and ships.
Still, there is further to go. The soil and our fresh-water supply need our attention. The world's population continues to grow so there is constant pressure to produce higher yields and better nutritional value in what we grow. Adequate food and fiber supplies in the future will happen only when we have a healthy earth to supply them.
So, Earth Day is a good day to celebrate. It's a good day to value our contributions as farmers and ranchers; a good day to be thankful. It's a great state with great people and a great place to be involved in agriculture.
DICK RUSH, state executive director, Idaho Farm Service Agency, Boise
Change voting habits
Is anyone else as tired as I am of hearing the blame placed on our government? Seems some people cannot, or will not, accept the fact that politicians run our government. If one doesn't like what our "government" is doing, then one best change their voting habits. They can start by voting in their favorite primary. Just stop voting for those front-runners. They seem to be "puppets" for their money donors who are really running our government.
KEITH NIELSON, Shelley
Liberal actors are rewriting history
It is interesting that this generation of the left is concentrating on presenting its version of history as well as of famous conservatives. The latest attempt is the movie "The Butler" coming out this fall. In it, Jane Fonda plays Nancy Reagan, Alan Rickman is President Reagan, Robin Williams is Eisenhower and John Cusack plays Richard Nixon.
Oliver Stone has done hit pieces on Reagan, Nixon and George Bush, with Josh Brolin playing Bush and Richard Dreyfuss playing Dick Cheney.
Then we had flaming lefty Meryl Streep playing arch-conservative Margaret Thatcher.
We can't forget the hit piece on Sarah Palin: "Game Change," portrayed by lefty Julianne Moore who called Palin "terrifying."
I'm sure these leftist writers and actors will do their best to portray conservatives accurately Not!
I blame conservatives for not fighting back - like making a movie of the Obama administration. A good writer would be Glenn Beck. We should have Herman Cain play Obama, Michelle Malkin play Michelle Obama, Rush Limbaugh play Joe Biden, Ann Coulter play Hillary and Sean Hannity as the press secretary. What would be more fun than watching the movie would be the reaction to it from the "tolerant" left.
JOSEPH J. DEWEY, Boise
Letters miss the mark
Robert Blevins' letter regarding states deciding about gay marriage makes sense but is moot. DOMA, which allows states to not recognize such marriages, will be voided. It violates the Constitution's Full Faith and Credit provision requiring states to recognize each other's "Acts, Records and Proceedings." Even if states outlaw gay marriage, gays married elsewhere must still be recognized as married.
Terry Dale's letter stating that since gays can't reproduce, they don't deserve marriage. I know couples who were forced to adopt because of severe infertility. I know couples who married beyond childbearing age. Neither couple can reproduce. If being able to reproduce is a prerequisite, should infertile people and women over 50 be denied marriage? Apply the same standards to everyone.
Terry suggested that gays be given domestic partnerships with the same legal rights. That's progress, but still unfair. Blacks and whites had separate drinking fountains. Blacks got that same water that whites got since both drinking fountains were right next to each other. Were blacks justified in complaining even if they got the exact same "governmental benefits" that whites got? "Separate but equal" isn't equal.
Denying gay marriage simply hurts gay couples and their kids. Why be so anti-family and anti-child?
CHRISTOPHER BOLTON, Meridian
GOP filibuster plays to NRA's interests
Recently, Sen. Jim Risch took the opportunity of a national television interview to state he would filibuster efforts to debate existing gun laws. The reason cited was he didn't want act "just to make people feel happy."
Shame on Sen. Risch! Who is going to "feel happy" with the filibuster? Could it be gun companies, the NRA, and some deluded people who mistakenly believe the proposed changes could actually affect their rights? Sen. Risch's attitude is a slap in the face for the people of Newtown, but on the other hand, he doesn't want them to "feel happy."
What a remark from someone who should be sensitive to those who have lost so much. Sen. Risch took the occasion to spit on people who are hurting just to snag a vote in his "good ol' home state." Maybe if the Sandy Hook tragedy had taken place a little closer to home, Sen. Risch might understand what needs to be done to address the insanity in our country which is costing so many lives. Oh, I forgot. Sen. Risch does understand. It just won't buy votes.
ROBERT DODSON, New Plymouth
New laws don't help
Re: No to assault weapons, by Michael F. Howard, April 8. Fact - The AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is not an assault weapon. It shoots one .223 bullet per trigger pull.
The M16 military assault rifle shoots fully automatic and three-round bursts of 5.56 bullets. They may look similar, but that is the extent of it. Looks do not an assault weapon make!
Mr. Howard states "The American voter has a better chance of preventing the next Sandy Hook grade-school slaughter than armed guards everywhere you look. When good people do nothing, evil prevails." In other words, let's write more laws to protect ourselves from criminals.
Criminals don't obey the law! Therefore more restrictive laws only hinder law-abiding, good people. So by creating more laws that only the law abiding are going to follow, aren't good people doing nothing? Evil prevails! The reality is, you cannot remove the guns from the world. They are a fact of life. We know how to make them.
MARK FLOYD SR., Garden City
Examine gun laws
Is anyone else surprised that the gun control advocates do not hold up the communities with the strictest gun control regulations as examples of the success they are hoping to spread across the nation?
Not surprising is the fact that the areas with the most regulations (Chicago, Washington, D.C.) have some of the worst gun violence in the country. Figure that out.
Before you so willingly accept the proposition of eliminating the "horrible" assault weapon, please tell me where this will end. Perhaps "high capacity" semi-automatic pistols will be next. Then "high capacity" revolvers and hunting rifles. And does anyone really need a shotgun that can fire two rounds without reloading? I like the bumper sticker that says "The Second Amendment is not about hunting, it's about tyranny." Once the amendments start to fall, the United States as we know it will not be far behind.
LYLE ZUFELT, Middleton
George Olsey in his letter "Welcome to the gun state," April 12, says, in effect, that Idaho is his, and some others' like him, personal property, and if the rest of us don't like it, we can "get the heck out." I own a gun, but like owners of other dangerous things, such as C4 explosives or cobra snakes, they should be cared for responsibly, so, among others, there needs to be rules that we protect our weapons from getting into the hands of those that shouldn't have them, such as the Idaho man that recently shot another man in the head because he was angry over a parking problem.
As for Mr. Olsey's ownership of the state, some of the rest of us respectively request that he go back to his cave.
GEORGE PARKER, Melba
Complainers belong, too
Regarding letter to the editor dated April 12, "Welcome to the gun state," from George Olsey.
The issue isn't gun rights. No one really cares what, how many or how big your guns are. The hijacked, misquoted Second Amendment gives us all, liberals included, the right to own and bear arms.
The real issue is that we all wish the troglodyte wing of the guns union would shut up about your so-called gun rights so the rest of us can hunt in peace. Seriously, you're just not that important. As to complainers returning to California - both my and my lovely wife Kathy's people settled in the Idaho Territory in the late 1870s. We're from original pioneer stock and actually consider everyone else to be carpetbaggers. So, be careful what you wish for. You could be on the next wagon train back to Mississippi.
ROBERT DZUCK, Boise
Regulate gun shows
As we enter into a dialogue about the place of firearms in our society, we might take a lesson from the recent accidental shooting at the gun show.
Amidst participants who should have known better, a loaded firearm injured a participant. Now tell me where guns fit into the school environment?
A career Army officer, accidental discharges were part of the reality of live firearms training.
As an elementary school teacher, the last thing I want to see are guns on campus. My spin on the debate on gun control might rest in making guns less, not more, available to those who might not have the capacity to safely and responsibly use them.
Maybe we need to regulate gun shows with more scrutiny.
JOHN PATTIS, Boise
Letters are wrong
After reading the pro-abortion letters April 15, I have a few questions.
Lynn, why should the unborn child suffer the death penalty for the crime of its father? Doug, you are aware that Thomas Malthus' theory (more people equals more empty plates) was disproven over 100 years ago?
TRAVIS BREWER, Boise