Letters to the editor: 10-21-13

October 21, 2013 

Immigration reform

If Americans are disturbed by Obamacare’s impact on employment, wait until they understand what House Republicans have waiting in their legislative wings. A paradigm shift has happened within the GOP with many becoming "corporatists" who place corporate interests ahead of citizens.

The House corporatists are attempting through immigration reform to permanently lower wages by flooding labor markets with foreign job seekers: guest workers, increases in immigration and amnesty. Corporations, laying off thousands of employees, demand cheap foreign labor. The GOP corporatists are obeying.

In the Judiciary Committee, Labrador voted for the SKILLS Act, which massively increases hi-tech visas. One out of two U.S. graduates in the high-skilled areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics cannot find jobs.

Labrador is working on legislation to quadruple low-skilled visas that will further lower the wages of the working poor.

Labrador’s promise to secure the border and enforce immigration law changed to legalizing, giving work permits and citizenship to many illegal immigrants. He obfuscates, saying he is not for a "new" path to citizenship.

Labrador cites a CBO report, which said such legislation will grow the GDP without concern for the resulting wage devastation and job losses. Where do you think his allegiance lies?

CAROLYN COOKE, Coeur d’Alene

Early childhood education

Regarding Reader’s View: "Idaho education reforms — let's get it right the first time" (Oct. 7):

From Mr. Moody and Mr. Wiskerchen’s commentary praising early childhood education you might wonder how we have achieved anything without such a program during the past 100 years. The claims that it will establish “a sturdy foundation for all future learning and social interaction,” increase high-school graduation rates, “lower teen pregnancy [and] drug usage,” increase earnings potential and productivity, increase “life-long skills such as perseverance and self-control,” reduced need for remedial education, interaction with law enforcement, improve their health are fanciful, if not simply false.

The current education establishment has failed to provide basic education at the K-12 level which could provide all the above described benefits and, as the certain administrators of early childhood education, will fail to achieve these objectives, even if they were based in reality, which they are not. We’ve been spending an enormous amount of money on education during the past 50 years with nothing to show for it by comparison to cultures with successful educational systems. There is no possible justification for giving the same failed establishment more resources to spend.

WILLIAM HALLER, Boise

Stay-at-home moms

Fifty years ago Betty Friedan’s book “The Feminine Mystique” helped spark the feminist movement. Did it help us or did it just outsource the job of being a housewife?

Day care centers now raise our kids and house them until we get off work. Reports of criminal and sexual abuse allegations are no longer sensational but accepted as par for the course.

We don’t cook at home like we used to and make homemade meals, instead we rely on fast food and store bought garbage. Our kids are so obese we have a national campaign against obesity.

We pay people to clean our house, mow our lawn, etc. What happened to kids doing chores and learning the value of hard work and the lessons of tithing?

If women returned home, kids would eat real food and wouldn’t be obese, the house would be spotless, inside and out, and dad would make more money with less competition in the marketplace and the family would spend the day together on Saturdays, attend church on Sundays, and go on vacations and would have money left over to send the kids to college.

Housewife — a job we can’t afford to outsource!

CHRIS STONE, Eagle

Common Core

Would you do business with an outfit whose public license reads:

“Under no circumstances shall NGA Center or CCSSO, individually or jointly, be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, consequential, or punitive damages however caused and on any legal theory of liability, whether for contract, tort, strict liability or a combination thereof (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of the Common Core State Standards, even if advised of the possibility of such risk ....”

Their disclaimer further reads: “The Common Core State Standards are provided as is and with all faults, and NGA Center/CCSSO make no representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, statutory or otherwise, including, without limitation, warranties of the merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, noninfringement, accuracy or the presence or absence of errors, whether or not discoverable.”

So Luna’s Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) wrote the Common Core Standards, will force them on every American child, and yet believe so little in their product that they have a disclaimer like this.

Does this sound like they have the best interests of our children at heart?

GAIL BARTLETT, Eagle

Lochsa Land Exchange

Sen. Risch intends on forming a collaborative group to jam the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange down the public’s throat. And who better to facilitate that, than the Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited. Interestingly enough, both groups have recently spent thousands of dollars on timber industry lobbyist Mark Rey. Yes, that is the same Mark Rey who is employed as a lobbyist for Western Pacific Timber (WPT), which owns the hacked-over 39,000 acres of lands that are driving this corrupt exchange proposal.

With the land exchange appraisal due soon, it’s convenient to steer the ship in a different direction and draw attention away from the fact that the WPT lands aren’t worth squat, meaning a value for value exchange isn’t going to get them much. By squashing the administrative process however, it opens the door for WPT to get what they want — tens of thousands of acres of public lands with lots of timber and real estate potential.

Two environmental impact statements and years of public meetings and public input are going out the window. Ditto for your tax dollars that paid for it all. Just take your Vitamin C and everything will be OK. Collaboration cures all ailments.

BRETT HAVERSTICK, Moscow

A Oct. 3 article in the Lewiston Morning Tribune discusses how our so-called representatives plan to legislate the Lochsa Land Exchange. The bill will most likely be hidden as a rider to a must-pass bill to assure the land exchange will not be debated.

When the exchange is finalized, 30 square miles of the Nez Perce National Forest will become private property. Western Pacific Timber LLC (WPT) will be the new owners. WPT is owned by the infamous billionaire Tim Blixeth.

WPT is a real estate company that will develop the public land they acquire for summer homes and ranchettes for the wealthy 1 percent in America. How tidy.

Want to go hiking, fishing, picnicking, hunting, camping or driving in the woods for pleasure? Forget it. You will be turned away by “No Trespassing” signs.

Don’t trust what WPT says. They say there will be easements and deed restrictions to prevent development. Prevent development? Why else do they want the land?

Most honest politicians strive to serve their constituents. Not Labrador, Crapo and Risch. They are obsessed by the need to serve their corporate masters at any cost.

DICK ARTLEY, Grangeville

Term limits

Regarding rationale for immediate Congressional reform of term limits!

Unless one is a historian of American history, it is highly unlikely that they would know that the Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators to serve their term(s) (12-year terms) then go home and back to work. They stated that serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.

Today their approval rating is around 8 percent, surely indicative of “brain drain.” What a shame! This Washington D.C., establishment needs terminal cleaning; it is long overdue.

Without actual statistics, it is apparent that there are a great number of the 535 members that should be living in Wrinkle City; to name a few prominent recognized folks — Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and John McCain. There is no shortage of brilliant young professionals with tremendous attributes to save our country from slipping into one giant cesspool.

Where there is a will there is a way. One cannot count the support of many of them because of their sense of entitlement, arrogance and moral turpitude. Citizens, especially the younger set unite. God bless America!

MARY LIBRANDE-MALLOY, Boise

Debt ceiling

White House occupant says, “... without raising the debt ceiling, Social Security checks won’t be on time.” Only if he orders it! According to The Associated Press, Social Security’s Treasury note fund has a $2.7 trillion surplus and will collect, by means of combined 12.4 percent payroll tax workers and employers pay, $38.8 billion more than it pays out this year. All money Treasury collects for Social Security is spent on other government operations! Treasury deposits an equal amount of Treasury notes into Social Security’s “Trust Fund.”

Notes are redeemed in the amount of the checks sent out. This method is dishonest, but so is raising the “debt ceiling” every year. They only pretend to have money, making it up as they go along, increasing the amount of money in circulation with each imaginary dollar; creating inflation, raising prices.

The $848 billion Social Security payments could partially be made from money saved, eliminating unnecessary programs and agencies: Department of Energy, which hasn’t fulfilled its mission to reduce dependence on foreign oil, Department of Education, threatening to usurp local control of schools through Common Core, foreign aid, national endowments ....

The spoiled brat White House occupant creates hardship, hoping people will beg Congress to give in to him.

SHEILA FORD, Caldwell

Default

The U.S. government takes in $250 billion a month. The interest on the debt is $30 billion. The U.S. government will never default on the debt. The president has the power to allocate the $30 billion to pay the debt interest if no budget is reach out of the $250 billion it takes in every month. These are just scare tactics to sway public opinion. I hate to say it, but the Democrats and the Republicans are just not telling you the truth about any of this.

The Congress and the Senate must not be exempt themselves from any laws they pass. That’s just insane for us to allow that. We need to replace all of them come the 2014 and 2016 elections.

JOHN VRBANAC, Meridian

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