Mail March 29, 2017 

A Way Forward

Hey Republicans! We will give you total freedom from any and all mandates in exchange for a voluntary public option. Also, private insurers could compete across state lines to have the same shot at customers that the public option would have.

—Sherrie Goff, Pocatallo

'Continuous Prayer Recital'

A man was walking along the greenbelt when he suddenly collapsed after clutching his chest in pain. A jogger saw what happened and knelt by the man who was now unconscious. After noting that the man was not breathing and had no pulse, the jogger called out to a group of people nearby, "Help, I think he's had a heart attack. Do you know CPR"? "Yes, we do," replied one of the group and they quickly came to help. They circled the man and held hands as they said in unison, "Oh Father, heal this man. In your name we pray." They calmly repeated this over and over. "Wait," the jogger yelled, "This man needs CPR! I thought you said you knew how to do it!" "Oh we do," said the member of a cult that has a cemetery full of dead children from a lack of medical care, "We are preforming CPR, 'Continuous Prayer Recital.'" Of course the man died, but the good news is that he's in a better place and the cult let him be buried in their beautiful cemetery.

—Calvin Vincent Weaver, Boise

Guns and Butter

Are Americans so satisfied with our present quality of life that we can embrace the 2017 military budget of $733.5 billion proposed by the current administration? To harken back to an early time, should we have "more guns or butter"?

To help answer that question, it is instructive to consider the following information addressing quality of life. (1) According to a 2015 study of safety, health care, consumer price indices and currency purchasing power conducted by the United Nations Development Program, the United States ranked seventh out of 188 nations behind Austria, Germany, Denmark, New Zealand,

Spain and Finland. (2) According to the 2011 information compiled by the Organization for Economic Development, which conducts comparative studies in housing, income, education, civic involvement, health, life satisfaction and work-pleasure balance in 38 nations, the United States ranked ninth behind Norway, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand and Finland. (3) The results of a parallel study completed by in 2011 were used to create a Quality of Life Index through the use of comparative data from the same 188 nations in the categories of health, education, wealth, degree of democracy, peace and environment. The United States emerged as 31st on the cumulative index with the following rank in each specific category: health (34th) education (22nd), wealth (20th), democracy (15th), peace (81st),and the environment (52nd).

Are the majority of the people in the U.S. deriving sufficient life satisfaction with affordable educational opportunities, economic security and affordable health care to justify giving the military $733.5 billion? This merits serious thought, for we are not engaged in a war on the scale of WW II, Korea, Vietnam or even the Cold War. Our enemy? Groups of unaffiliated terrorists that have no regular army, navy, air force or generous military budget. The U.S. military supremacy is universally unchallenged as it receives the equivalent of 40 percent of the total money spent on military preparedness by all counties in the world. From another perspective, the U.S. military budget is larger than the next seven military powers (including Russia and China) combined.

History confirms that to be a "great nation" militarily—but not in terms of the quality of life afforded its citizens—is unsustainable. To "Make America Great Again" will require fewer guns and more butter.

—Gordon Brown, Driggs

Fake Times

On March 17, 2017 fake Electoral College President Trump and fake German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a fake joint press conference in the fake White House talking to fake reporters before fake television cameras disseminating fake information to a fake nation. Fake President Trump then took fake questions from fake reporters and gave fake answers emphasizing fake important points with fake exaggerated hand gestures. Fake President Trump and fake Chancellor Merkel then walked away from fake podium and off fake stage through fake door. Fake news commentators gave fake analysis and solicited fake opinions from fake talking heads, followed by fake cat food commercials. SAD!

—Tom Yount, Boise

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