Henry David Thoreau said: “For every thousand people hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one chopping at the roots.” So is it the electric chair or the high chair that is going to save us from ourselves?
We spend a ton of money and time dealing with the leaves of evil; and seem afraid/helpless to get to the root(s) of most of our social problems. We tend to put ambulances at the bottom of our social hills rather than guard rails at critical junctures of our lives.
We aren’t going to solve our high crime rates and domestic abuse issues by simply building bigger and more sophisticated prisons. We must start chopping at the root of our social problems: broken homes and absentee fathers.
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It has been said that maybe you can’t save America’s homes, but you can save your own. One person said it this way: “Many a man who pays rent all his life owns his own home; and many a family has successfully saved for a home only to find itself at last with nothing but a house.”
The home is the cradle of civilization.
Morris Bastian, Boise
I am writing today to express my hopes that the Idaho Legislature pass Marsy’s Law for Idaho in 2019. The last two years, I have kept an eye on the stories of victims and law enforcement fighting to give victims a voice in the criminal justice process without luck. These victims were not asking for money, or special treatment, but just to be treated with dignity in the courtroom.
It seems like the justice system cares so much about the criminals these days and the victims often get forgotten or swept aside. Marsy’s Law for Idaho would make sure that if a victim wants to tell the judge how the defendant impacted them, they can. I don’t understand how our lawmakers can argue that it is not a worthwhile change to our current system.
Personally, I will be watching Marsy’s Law closely in anticipation that it will pass, and give Idaho citizens a chance to vote on it in 2020.
Holly Hopkins, Caldwell
Surveys indicate that significant numbers of Americans don’t know that our government was created with three branches: Executive, Judicial and Legislative. This scheme was designed to provide “checks and balances” and to ensure that no one branch becomes too powerful. Things worked pretty much this way until Donald Trump was elected and decided that he should be able to do whatever he wants to. The Republican Congress evidently agrees with him.
The courts, however, have occasionally stymied Trump’s agenda. But not for much longer. Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, having ascertained that Kavanaugh supports his notion of unchecked presidential power. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, the tripartite system of U.S. government will no longer function as intended.
Since past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior, Senators Crapo and Risch will likely vote to confirm Kavanaugh. I have given up hope that either Crapo or Risch might actually defy Trump and resist his actions that are harmful to America. With Trump Republicans in control of Congress, and defenders of unchecked presidential power on the Supreme Court, Trump will have carte blanche to do his worst.
Lynne Mattison, Boise
Let press do job
“Fake news. Totally fake news. Don’t believe them, they are fake news.” This is what Trump keeps saying so that his followers will ignore the facts and he can keep getting away with things. The news is there as a watchdog, not as a cheerleader. It’s not for entertainment, either; it should be to keep an informed electorate for a healthy democracy. We have an entertainer in chief but we don’t need to make America, especially Idaho, his reality show. We need to let the press do its job to protect our democracy.
Aaron Day, Boise