I would like other Idaho “never Trumpers” to join me in encouraging opposition to President Trump’s re-election in 2020. A primary challenge by a good man like John Kasich, former congressman and governor of Ohio, might weaken Trump’s chances. Then a third party ticket - call it Lincoln’s GOP - of John Kasich and the fine senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska could join forces in the general election to give Trump a run for his money in the heartland. If successful this would end the reign of the current abomination.
Frederic N. Banks, Moscow
I’ve always been an advocate for learning as much as you can, as soon as you can. This approach motivates me to get ahead of the curve and gain the expertise I need to be successful. By taking career readiness classes at my online school, Idaho Technical Career Academy, I know that I’m getting the hands-on experience that’s necessary to thrive in the workforce. Even though I’m still in high school, I’m learning skills that help me to stand out from a crowded pool of applicants. Most students don’t learn these crucial skills until college. For example, my Microsoft Word class is helping me earn my certification in the software program. My career readiness classes also encourage me to pursue my passion for programming, a valuable talent to have in our technology-dependent world.
I cannot wait to continue these classes when the school year starts again. The experience I’ve gained assures me that I’ve chosen the right path towards my future. And this would not have been possible without having career readiness education offered in my online classroom.
Jacob Jewett, Boise
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29. When my doctor found out I was on a health share, which doesn’t pay anything to cancer, she cheered because that meant she could order whatever I needed with the hope I would get on Medicaid later. Even then, we still had to delay actual treatment until it was certain I had Medicaid. Meanwhile, I racked up a $10,000 bill. That’s what American waiting lines look like for those who can’t afford VIP care.
Let’s put the money into perspective. In 2016 the average annual cost for health care per person was $10,345. In America, 58.3 percent of all wage and salary workers are paid minimum wage, resulting in a gross salary of $15,080. It seems pretty clear to me that our current system is a far bigger drain on our economy than what Medicare for all could be. Higher taxes may seem like a burden in the short run, but it is an investment because we will all eventually need access to health care. Then our government can negotiate better prices from the companies that make healthcare such an economical nightmare in the first place.
Christina Leavitt, Boise
Native American: Misappropriation or Suppression? Ban all Indian mascots for misappropriation? Will Ireland protest the Fighting Irish or Celtics? Will the armed forces protest the Patriots or Volunteers? Will the Vatican protest the Cardinals or Padres? Will the Greeks protest the Spartans or Titans? Will PETA protest the Broncos, Cougars or Bears?
It is true that, in the past, Native Americans suffered at the hand of others. But so has every other group named above. However that’s not the focus when used as mascots. Students and alumni are proud to be Braves, Vandals or Lions.
Years ago at work we were required to attend a three-day multicultural awareness workshop. The presenters discussed several cultures but it was focused on how the white man had beat down and oppressed these other cultures. The positive aspects of those cultures were suppressed. I have lived in Latin America for four years. The workshop didn’t accurately portray their culture. I’m afraid that removing all Native American icons, logos and names will suppress that part of our American heritage; suppress the good of Native Americans. But, what do I know? According to that workshop, my opinion doesn’t matter, I’m just an angry white male.
Gary Stringham, Boise
Trump was right. The system is “rigged” … in his favor … and in favor of the wealthy, big business and the Republican Party. Connect the dots. A consortium of billionaires spends millions in “dark money” on a vast network of think tanks, foundations and institutions like the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute and the Idaho Freedom Foundation that turns the billionaires’ demands into strategies and model legislation to control America’s money, resources and government. Republican politicians, richly rewarded for their efforts, enact the billionaire-friendly legislation. Fox, Sinclair and hundreds of conservative radio talk shows and blogs lie, misinform, spin and concoct conspiracy theories to push the GOP messages of fear, hate and division, aka propaganda. Their mission is to convince you the GOP “represents” you when, in fact, they represent only their billionaire bosses and themselves. Add their history of gerrymandering, voter suppression, Supreme Court packing and an electoral college favoring rural Republican districts, and you have a system stacked in favor of wealthy, white Republicans. Yes indeed, the system is “rigged” … against the rest of us, whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, and against our most vital interests: income, health, education, retirement and environment. Get the picture?
Tex Beauchamp, Meridian
I want to protect my grandchildren from Big Tobacco. Youth use of tobacco products is a public health epidemic. In the last year alone, youth tobacco use across the country has seen a dramatic 36% spike. Tobacco 21 laws have gained traction as lawmakers work to address this major issue, but this promising policy is being manipulated by big tobacco to advance its dangerous agenda.
Several states and local ordinances have increased the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 just this year. As lawmakers are considering local ordinances, my own grandchildren and family friends come to mind. These policies, when designed correctly, have potential to reduce youth use of tobacco products, but Big Tobacco has begun using Tobacco 21 legislation to implement weak, industry-favored policies that protect their profits, not our children.
There’s no time to waste when it comes to addressing the epidemic of youth tobacco use. Idaho lawmakers must pursue policies that are proven to effectively help reduce tobacco initiation and use, not weak laws designed by the tobacco industry. We can’t let our kids fall victim to Big Tobacco’s dangerous tricks.
Charley Rains, Boise
Do our senators Crapo and Risch remember the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook nearly seven years ago? We all know it should have been a tipping point on gun control in America. And, since, there have been approximately 2185 mass shootings ... or do you remember? And now Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton – will you forget them, too? The House has finally passed the start for gun control legislation and, still, here are our senators, along with our Republican cohorts, doing nothing. Is it your memory causing your inaction or the checks you get from the NRA? Please advise.
Janet Beauchamp, Meridian
Gun violence upon innocents must be stopped. I am a veteran, a gun owner, a hunter and a recreational shooter. An AK-47 and its spinoffs and an M-16 in its endless variations are weapons of war. These weapons of war are not modern sporting arms. Guns should be at least as difficult to own and operate as a vehicle. Congress should prepare and pass common-sense gun regulations, including requiring a background check for all weapon purchases and transfers, and a waiting period while background checks can be actually made. The background check FFL forms now required are self reported, almost instantaneous and superficial. Congress should develop a bipartisan approach to phasing out of civilian-owned weapons of war, perhaps through “buybacks.” Bolt action rifles, revolvers and limited-magazine semi-automatic pistols are sufficient in the hands of real sportsmen. Weapons of war, on the other hand, are made to provide for a high rate of fire. Good hunters should not need more than one or a few rounds to harvest game. Can we not come together to join most of the civilized world in curbing the number of weapons of war in the hands of unqualified persons?
Alec V. Andrus, Boise