Mail and Commentary Feb. 13, 2013 

"Isn't this how the fall of the Roman Empire started?"

--Layla Morgan Wilde, Online (BW, Screen, "What the Hell is a Honey Boo Boo?," Jan. 30, 2012)

Remember the 19th

On Feb. 4, the U.S. Senate voted 85 to 8 to take up a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. Idaho's Sen. Jim Risch was one of the eight U.S. senators who voted no.

Wanting to protect your daughters and wives from physical abuse is not a partisan political issue. Politicians who are re-elected vote the way their constituents want them to vote. Who was Risch trying to please with his no vote?

Isn't it time to tell Sen. Risch that his vote is unacceptable and we will remember it in the voting booth in November 2014?

Clearly, Risch has forgotten that women vote.

--Dick Artley


Support Education, Change Your Vote

Politicians (who have never been in a classroom) pass laws that are undermining our education system and it is failing. They have been so abusive that teachers are leaving the profession in droves. Our students are opting out of this political system in record numbers by dropping out and not attending college. The politicians then blame the teachers for this mess and set up "pay for performance" standards that they themselves could never meet and pat themselves on the back for "no child left behind."

Attending the education hearing at the Statehouse on Feb. 8, I understood a couple of things. Republican politicians have forced teachers to participate in a mindless system of teaching standardized tests. These tests are sold to us by companies that make big donations to Republican campaigns and reap big profits from selling the tests. Students and teachers spend lots of time dealing with these mindless exercises to the detriment of both. Republicans have created an education system that is as dysfunctional as our political system.

By a wide majority, Idaho voted down the Luna Laws. What are the Republican politicians doing? Bringing up the same laws and giving the electorate the finger. They know better than the voters.

We passed term limits and they overturned it. There was no political consequence. As long as we keep electing the same idiots, the cycle starts over again. The answer to our education mess is to elect different politicians.

--Andy Hedden-Nicely



This Wednesday, Feb. 13, marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, when Christians would abstain from meat and dairy products in remembrance of Jesus' 40 days of fasting before launching his ministry.

Devout Christians who observe meatless Lent help reduce their risk of chronic disease, as well as environmental degradation and animal abuse. Dozens of medical reports link consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. A 2007 U.N. report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Investigations have documented farm animals being beaten, caged, crowded, deprived, mutilated and shocked.

Lent offers a superb opportunity to honor Jesus' powerful message of compassion and love by adopting a meat-free diet for Lent and beyond. It's the diet mandated in Genesis 1:29 and observed in the Garden of Eden.

Every supermarket offers a rich array of meat and dairy alternatives, as well as the more traditional vegetables, fruits and grains. Entering "vegetarian" in your favorite search engine provides lots of meat replacement products, recipes, and transition tips.

--Ike Schneider

: Boise

Blowing Smoke

: Here's a sampling of the responses to a Citydesk post on new anti-marijuana legislation in the Statehouse.

: Score another brilliant idea from "ultra-sound Charlie." Sen. Winder is jousting at windmills.


: What a waste of tax dollars, resources and energy in general. Legalize it and move on.


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