Those who advocate against removing the four lower Snake River dams contend that removing the dams doesn’t guarantee the survival of salmon and steelhead.
Yes, there are challenges to salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Ocean and at the mouth of the Columbia, let alone dams along the Columbia River. Further, they consider the role that the dams play in barging of grain and wood products plus generating hydroelectric power important.
But have you seen what has happened this year to the Colorado River and the Mississippi River? Who would have thought that the levels in the Colorado would be so low that it can no longer provide enough water to the hydroelectric dams there? Who would have imagined that the Mississippi would be so low that barges could no longer haul their normal loads down it?
Do we know that similar scenario won’t affect our Columbia River and its tributaries?
Idaho’s new-but-antiquated abortion law is the worst kind of sexual assault, abuse and gender bias. It forces unwanted intentions on women without consent and penetrates the protective bubble of very private body decisions with righteous babble and Gestapo-like tactics.
Abortion has never been an ideal or a goal but it absolutely needs to be a choice. Pregnancy is serious business with a lifetime commitment beyond nine months. If a pregnancy is without joy, what’s the point?
Besides the varied circumstances of pregnancy and the well-being of the woman and fetus, there are other important factors that should determine the desirability (or not) of a full-term pregnancy, including mental health, emotional stability, resource availability, financial and environmental concerns.
What are the chances of an unwanted fetus becoming an unwanted child in a loveless, careless situation with the associative dangers borne of frustration and anger?
What inventive morality or constitutional provisions give the Idaho Legislature any leeway or justification to govern an individual’s intimate issues and decisions?
One member of Idaho’s righteous clique admitted that the restrictive abortion law wasn’t so much about “protecting life” as it was about protecting and mainlining ideology — an addictive tendency among highfalutin Republican extremists.
Life should be about quality — not quantity. Abortion is an exclusive right and decision for a woman — not a boardroom edict.
Idaho’s barbaric notions and political potions will be challenged.
Put the surplus to use
Idaho has been sitting on a huge slush fund for decades. Now it is up to the Legislature to do what is right by all Idahoans.
We cannot retain many of the good teachers we need. The Legislature must double teacher salary scales, to start. Then they must provide for each school district to hire at least one teacher’s aide for every elementary classroom. Kids who have fallen behind due to school closures need help catching up.
Idahoans are and have been overtaxed. With billions in surplus, we do not need the sales tax on food, fuel or pharmaceuticals.
Our poorer neighbors also need bigger standard deductions, so let’s eliminate all of the income tax for earners making less than $32,000 annually (a full work schedule at $15 per hour). How many legislators could live on $32,000 annually?
The state should pay off all outstanding school bonds and rebuild or build new schools where needed. With billions in surplus, local bond debt to repair or build schools is just unwarranted. Local taxpayers should not have to borrow when we will still have billions in surplus and our over-taxation is still adding almost $50 million a month to reserves available.
The state constitution requires public schools be funded by the state. State colleges and universities in Idaho are public schools. The Legislature must use the balance of the billions in surplus to endow them all so that no tuition or textbooks need be bought by Idaho students ever again.
Thank you, Thomas Hennigan, for your effort to see more civil discourse on the Opinion page.
Hennigan challenged regular letter writers to take the Political Compass Quiz and post their scores, as he did, on the Opinion page.
Here are my Political Compass scores:
l Economic — -0.38
l Social — -2.05
Economically, my score puts me just to the left of center.
The social score shows I lean toward libertarian rather than authoritarian.
Just as Hennigan surmised, my scores put me “within the 30 yard lines.”
This is a great idea. Hopefully others are willing to do the same.