Opinion » Mail

June 16-22, 2004


In the 26 years I've lived in Idaho, people have always talked about wilderness. This year, proposals are being discussed for the Owyhee Canyonlands and the Boulder-White Clouds. When Idahoans think of wilderness, we think of beautiful mountains, clear streams and abundant wildlife. We have the finest hunting and fishing anywhere. HR 1105, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) will protect those things and ensure Idaho's economic future.

Conceived 14 years ago, NREPA includes protection for all eligible lands in the Boulder-White Clouds. NREPA is supported by a bipartisan coalition of 184 U.S. House Representatives. NREPA will create 2,300 jobs, save taxpayers $245 million over the next decade, and ensure a sustainable livelihood for all the Idaho communities that proudly call themselves "The Gateway to Wilderness."

Because NREPA is already known and respected nationally as a comprehensive, scientifically sound, fiscally responsible solution to wilderness protection, any new proposals for protecting Idaho's wildlands should be considered alongside NREPA. Idahoans deserve a thoughtful, open public debate about this important issue.

Our quality of life and proximity to wilderness have already attracted investors and new businesses. We can encourage more of the same and still keep Idaho Idaho. Let's dare to dream. Let's engage our collective imagination and envision new ways to create a stronger, more sustainable economy for Idaho's communities, while protecting one of Idaho's most valuable resources: wilderness. For more information about NREPA, log on to http://www.nrepanetwork.org.

--Carole King,



I loved Badger Bob this week (Bill Cope, June 9). It reminded me of something I used to wonder back when we had poor people. What is the difference between a bomb manufacturer and a welfare mother? Both make something we swear we don't want; both get paid for doing it (one more, the other less), and both use their paychecks to buy groceries, pay bills, etc. Neither one is forced into the job.

There are only two differences that I can see. The first is that one makes bad things happen when the manufacturer does things right, and the other makes bad things happen when the manufacturer does things wrong.

The second is that, while neither one is forced into the job, only one is considered respectable enough to be paid for doing it.

Remember the world is crazy. It helps.

--Sharon Barker,



I am responding to the issue of June 2-8 advocating homosexuality.

Homosexuality is not genetic. Homosexual couples do not propagate. Until recently they could have children only by adoption. Now there is artificial insemination or surrogate mothers. How many homosexuals have natural homosexual parents?

Neither is it chosen. Most, if not all, homosexuals object to it when they first realize they are "different." They develop Same Sex Attraction Disorder and/or Opposite Sex Attraction Disorder (as one reparative therapist puts it) from their experiences.

This is why homosexuals think they "fall in love" with someone of the same sex. Actually many heterosexuals (including me) have close relationships with others of the same sex; although we don't usually use the term, it is love without the sexual aspects.

"Committed" homosexuals are in the minority, and even those often allow outside encounters. The average homosexual (perhaps not in conservative Idaho) experiences more than 100 partners, many of whom are virtually anonymous. Check the ads in homosexual periodicals including this one. (The ads in this paper are mild.)

The ploy of marriage is only a stepping stone to total sexual "freedom." One example is "Stop the Wedding! Why Gay Marriage Isn't Radical Enough" by Judith Levine in the July 23-29, 2003, issue of the Village Voice.

If homosexuality were genetic, there would not be thousands of recovered former homosexuals now happily married heterosexuals. Gay activists resist this being known. Like addicts, a person can't change unless he wants to, but if he does, help is available especially if Jesus Christ is accepted. Jesus changes lives.

The only people who persecute homosexuals are the same type of people who persecute other groups: racial, ethnic, social, linguistic, economic, etc.

We "straights" just don't want your morality forced on us.

--Allen Marsh,



The fat police with shameless promotion from ABC and Time Magazine are out to solve America's obesity problem. The two organizations recently collaborated on a report titled "Critical Condition: America's Obesity Crisis."

In spite of copious amounts of sensationalizing most of the 32 pages Time dedicated to the report are solid reading. However, they did leave a few elephants in the parlor that are just too much to stomach. Chief among them is the premise that U.S. farm policy is at the core of this problem.

The fact that 65 percent of Americans are overweight is a serious issue. But linking that trend to the fact that the United States has the most healthy, affordable food supply available anywhere is irresponsible. Food activists quoted in the report say socioeconomic conditions contribute to obesity and taxes should be levied on soda pop, potato chips and other snack foods. In their view, if you want people to use less of something put a tax on it, like cigarettes. The claims that American farmers produce lots of corn that is used to fatten livestock which leads to obesity, or that more taxes and government regulations will make Americans skinnier, or that lower income people are heavier because they don't have as much access to healthy food are all about a sandwich short of a picnic.

Later on the report quotes a poll that found lack of exercise is the number one health concern among Americans, that most Americans won't walk anyplace that's more than a quarter mile away and 44 percent of Americans say its hard to walk anywhere from their home. These findings seem to fly in the face of the previous claims that outside influences are the primary causes of obesity in America and support the concept that whether people choose to exercise and what they choose to eat are matters of personal choice.

Another part of this problem that Time and ABC chose to leave out is the fact that 40 million Americans, about 13 million of whom are children, regularly go hungry. While obesity is a serious concern for all Americans, critics often fail to realize that obesity and hunger coexist.

While it's a tremendous stretch to blame farm programs for obesity, it's also outrageous that U.S. farmers are being made one of the scapegoats for obesity.

--Frank Priestley,


Idaho Farm Bureau


As a younger man, I viewed politics as a corrupt enterprise by which some men attempted to control the population. As I've grown older I realized that politics, and particularly, political people are a community where decision making and compromise are determined by character or lack thereof, not unlike what you and I deal with in common life.

Our current president has helped shape my views on integrity in politics. I appreciate the sincere manner in which President Bush approaches his charge and the desire he has for America to achieve the greatness she is capable of.

While I've seen so much negative about our president in the media, still one thing continues to speak to my heart about this man: his character. I believe our president's desire is for each one of us to succeed in fulfilling our "American Dream."

I'm excited about the future and what it holds under the leadership of this great man.

--Erin O'Connor,

Ontario, OR


Outsourcing not only takes jobs away from Americans but also compounds the cost of rebuilding Iraq which unsuspecting American taxpayers who still have jobs must absorb. Taxes are evaded by un-American companies who contribute to campaigns in return for tax cuts, jobs lost to outsourcing, jobs lost to illegal immigration promoted by our mis-representatives, and now U.S. civilians are working in Iraq for $500 a day or more tax free. Iraqi people are without jobs and money to support their economy just as Americans here who are unemployed through outsourcing.

Saddam built lavish palaces, which indicates Iraq has people capable of doing work American civilians are doing which at $500 a day verses $50 a day paid to Iraqis, which drives up the cost to establish democracy in Iraq. When will the American people realize we are being sold a bill of goods?

Bush and company blew Iraq back to the stone age with our weapons of minor destruction to stop the development of WMD? Is it any wonder the rest of the world including North Korea feel threatened and the need for nuclear weapons?

Un-American companies contribute to republicans. The cost of gas stifles the economy. Terrorists know that our economy is our weakest link, 9/11 proved that. Mis-representatives accepting money from corporate un-America works in favor of terrorism.

Put the government. back to work for We The People! www.nextrevolution.net

--Scott D. Tisthammer,



You say you've tried to go camping or fishing and all the old places are filled? Idaho Power connected 11,656 more customers just last year and now has to buy 15 percent of its power from outside sources. There are new subdivisions and schools everywhere you look.

According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. population is growing about four million per year, that's 11,000 per day (8,000 births plus 3,000 legal immigration). Average life spans have increased by 29 years since 1900. Any couple having more than one child is adding to our population.

It's our population growth, stupid.

--Bob Walker,