Still a young country

Having taught middle school for 30 years, I feel somewhat qualified in asking readers to consider what has been keeping me awake at night for some time and that is this: What can we learn from history about how to respond to a given set of circumstances and where does the United States fit into the history of civilization?

The U.S. is only about 400 years old.

In terms of a civilization the U.S. reminds me of my middle school kids. Some students were so shy they were terrified at having to interact with classmates from another school, state or country. Others were bright, and some faced challenges in learning. Some bullied their way through and, sometimes, the bully got elected president of the student council. Amazingly some of those bright, shy, challenged students became “wannabees” and followed the bully even though the bully cared nothing for them.

The good news is that middle school only lasts a couple of years, maturation begins to assert itself. The bullies and wannabees fall by the wayside and those other bright, shy, challenged students find their voices. Together they choose different leaders for student council in high school.

I’ve thought a lot about the current unrest in our country. Not to be too simplistic, but I think we’re going to grow out of it.

Will there still be bullies? Yes. But we know from history that with maturity there can come education, understanding, compromise, strength and the way forward can become clearer.

Liz Chavez


Mitigating wildfires

In 2015, a local fire burned 31,000 acres of mostly timber. But areas that were pastured survived intact with little tree loss.

Now look at the current fire destruction this summer and still it is shown that where cows are given access there is little damage to stands of timber. And modern logging techniques also are producing the same results.

So eliminate the U.S. Forest Service and let ranchers/loggers manage our great resources, along with tribes who used fire every year to clean up the forests instead of letting 80 years of combustibles build up like a powder keg.

And as far as the Idaho Fish and Game Department goes, 50 years ago their rules and regulations manual was only five pages long. And five officers were manning this whole region.

Now that manual looks like the IRS tax code with a local office bigger than Boise had at that time. Fewer government jobs and less bureaucracy are always better.

And finally, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning, in the 1980s and ’90s helped edit a radical environmental newsletter, “Wild Rockies Review,” advocating violent actions by Earth Firsters, which committed acts of terrorism, including tree spiking against loggers and sitting in the tops of trees.

Once again, liberalism is a total and complete mental disorder.

John Webb


Good for voters

To support our military veterans currently working for the U.S. Postal Service would be to implement a nationwide vote-by-mail system. A vote-by-mail system nationwide would also provide some badly needed revenue for the USPS since there is a congressional mandate burden to prefund future retirees health benefits 75 years into the future at $5.5 billion each year.

HR 3076 and S 1720 are bills currently being considered by Congress to ease the $5.5 billion burden on the USPS.

Voting by mail has many advantages over traditional polling. It is cost-effective. It has increased in participation of voters. It is easier for election officials to conduct. It allows for a more accurate picture of eligible voters by keeping voting lists up-to-date. And it gives voters a longer opportunity to study ballots to find answers to questions.

It also makes voting more accessible for working, disabled Americans and senior citizens. A recent study by Stanford University proved that a vote-by-mail system does not favor one party over another.

Let’s make voting more convenient with a financially stable U.S. Postal Service.

John Paige

National Association of Letter Carriers

Chubbuck, Idaho