Opinion » Mail

Mail April 7, 2004

ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE

I believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. The families that are built from these unions are the foundation of our great nation. I believe that changing the definition of marriage to include same sex couples is a grave error, one that would have a profound and negative impact on individuals, families, and consequently our nation.

I am asking you to do everything in your power to support and strengthen the natural family. Do not support any legislation that would change the definition of marriage, such as the draft on legalizing same sex marriage currently before the Supreme Court. Furthermore, I urge you to defend marriage by supporting a Constitutional amendment to limit marriage to the union of a man and a woman.

I believe that enshrining the natural definition of marriage in our constitution will strengthen individuals, families, and consequently our nation.

As a voter in this country, I will be aggressively encouraging everyone I'm in contact with to vote for those politicians that will protect the natural definition of marriage.

This will be an election issue.

—Carol Newhall, Boise

PRO-GAY MARRIAGE

I am writing to express my support for the definition of marriage as the union of "one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others."

I believe that all Americans, not judges, should decide on this issue.

It is appalling to me that our democracy has digressed to the point where the U.S. Government is apparently taking its lead from a handful of unelected judges. Just who is running this country? Why are we electing people to Government that hand over the reigns of this country to unelected judges?

I believe that it is the will of the people, and the best interests of society that should be guiding our government.

I hope that our elected officials have more important priorities for America than proceeding with legislation that is against the will of the people and that is not for the betterment of our nation as a whole.

—Veronica Sawyer, Boise

THE NOH WAY

With the recent adjournment of the Idaho Legislature, we have truly witnessed the end of an era. Three of the few remaining Republican moderates in the Senate—Cecil Ingram, Shelia Sorensen, and Laird Noh—made their farewell speeches and cast their final votes. While they all deserve Idaho's thanks for their many years of service to this state, it is Noh whom I wish to highlight.

I worked for the Kimberly Republican as an intern my senior year of college while completing my political science degree. Already being familiar with Noh—I was born and raised in the Twin Falls county district he represented in the state Senate for 24 years—I knew he was of the utmost character in capacity to serve. But not until I actually worked for him did I fully understand the magnitude of his temperament, integrity, and amiability with which he conducted the business of the state.

As the long-time chair of the Senate Resources and Environment committee, Noh was known for his keen interest in and knowledge of water law; indeed, many of the water laws on our books are the work of his pen. Few other people in the statehouse are as well versed in the vicissitudes of this complex, contemporary policy sphere as he. It was rather fitting then that the last bill considered this session before adjournment was the compromise Magic Valley water deal which he helped forge.

Noh also had particular expertise with fish and wildlife policy, and he was never afraid to use the chairman's prerogative to kill a bill he felt was unwise or ill conceived. When the House this year rejected rules promulgated—at the request of sportsmen—by the Idaho Fish and Game to restrict ATV and OHV use in popular hunting areas, he quietly kept the bill of rejection locked up in his desk drawer, denying it a hearing, thus allowing the rules to take effect, fait accompli.

Senator Noh never abused this power nor did he use it (as do some chairs) to silence opposition. Quite the contrary; Noh was well known for his open door policy: he would talk to anyone, about anything, any time.

A true moderate to the end of his political career, his votes were often cast opposite his party leaders'. He was a consistent voice for a woman's right to choose, a staunch supporter of public education, opposing tax cuts he felt would adversely impact education in Idaho. This year he opposed the constitutional ban on gay marriage, in addition to charter school "reform" that was hastily thrown together in the end-of-session rush to adjourn. While his views may not always have paralleled those in his district, he was a veritable trustee of the public; his constituents saw fit to return him to office 11 times.

His ambitions were static. He could have been Pro Tempore or Majority Leader long ago had he desired. Yet he was contempt to chair the Resources committee for 21 years, where he felt he could be most efficacious. Noh was a citizen legislator, in the truest sense of the word. A sheep producer by profession, he drove home on weekends during legislative sessions for lambing. Moreover, he neither raised nor spent a dime on reelection in over ten years.

The longest serving legislator in the statehouse, and its most respected no doubt, Laird Noh set the modern day standard for integrity, fairness, constituent service, and institutional loyalty. Idaho owes this public servant a debt of gratitude. I would vote for Laird Noh any day of the week. And I am a Democrat.

—Erik Heidemann, Boise

NEED RIGHT TO WORK LAW

Repealing Idaho's Right to Work law would be a mistake for teachers. According to the American Federation of Teachers, Idaho public school teachers make basically the same cost-of-living adjusted earnings as Washington teachers (who must pay compulsory union dues to teach) without being forced to pay excessive union dues.

Frankly, monopoly unions (NEA and AFT) have not done a stellar job of improving teacher pay. Alveda King, former public school teacher and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., writes that "From 1970 to 1995, when adjusted for inflation ... teacher pay indexed to per-pupil expenditures in the public schools declined by nearly 50 percent ... Had the NEA and AFT simply kept our share of the education pie where it was in 1970 (before unions infiltrated teaching), then today, the average teacher salary would exceed $65,000!"

Idaho educators need the options that the right-to-work law ensures—not mandatory union dues. Northwest Professional Educators (NWPE), a nonprofit professional educators organization serving Washington and Idaho, provides an option. NWPE believes that education will be improved if 1) we focus on students as our highest priority, and, 2) educators are free from compulsory unionism.

Clearly, all teachers want the security of knowing that they will have assistance if they become vulnerable to school/union politics, abusive administrators, or out-of-the-blue accusations by students or parents. In that regard, NWPE provides Idaho educators with excellent legal services, liability insurance, professional development, and more while simultaneously respecting their values and freedoms.

—Ed Dawson, President, Northwest Professional Educators, Spokane, WA

Unborn Victims Act Signed by Bushypoo

Lefties don't care about the ub-born, It is okay to murder them. They are not life. Yet... a person killing a knocked up tramp or her illegit un-born kid should be thrown to the lions. Go figure.

—Billy The Kid, April 6, 5:21 a.m.

BUSH's Job

Creation

Bush touted the job increases recently as signs that his tax cuts were helping the economy.

I heard the questions asked, "What jobs? What do they pay? Living wage? Minimum wage? Working wage?"

Can anyone here answer those questions? I know it would be a waste of time to ask Bush.

—BilgeRat

April 5, 7:09 p.m.

HOW DOES THE U.S. COUNT THEIR MILITARY DEAD IN THE WAR WITH IRAQ?

I had a discussion over lunch this weekend with a "dear" friend, and she mentioned to me that The Bush Corporation does not count a military person who happens to get shot or bombed in Iraq, but then gets evacuated out of Iraq, but then proceeds to die of his injuries incurred in Iraq, as a "casualty" of the Iraq War! This cannot be true. Now while I trust my friend immensely, I just cannot believe that these young men and women, who die of their injuries in outside of Iraq, DON'T GET COUNTED AS CASUALTIES OF THE IRAQ WAR?

If that is the case, then I want to know HOW MANY OF THEM ARE THERE? Can anyone point me to a "legitimate" Web site that first of all "proves" this to be a true statement, and second of all, can give me a count as to how many such casualties exist?

—McGyverThe1st

April 4, 4:49 p.m.

The Dam Project

I thought it was a damn joke. Pun intended. But after reading the article I was so looking forward to living in Kempthorneville. Or, should that read Kempthorne-vile?

—MntnBikr

April 4, 3:53 p.m.

impotence

and golf

There's a strong connection between those boner pills and golf. I picked up a golf magazine in the doctor's office and it's full of the ads, the ads on TV tell viewers to look for ads in golf magazines. I remember reading a story a few years back about how Viagra was the talk of the golf links and courses were good places to "score" blue pills, because like half the men there were taking it.

Intuitively, it seems like there's a strong connection between golf and impotence, but I can't really explain it. Any suggestions?

(I played golf once about 10 years ago and it was mind-blowingly boring.)

—Thinker

April 4, 9:45 p.m.

Donald Trump needs a hair transplant

I can't believe it—Idaho Troy lost his position.

Trump couldn't risk it because he has no balls, only a balding head.

Troy was the ultimate insult. Troy's education cost him one book and a TV show. The rest of the cast are in educational debt and with no instinct!

Trump needs the show to sell his penthouse suites. He just isn't allowed to call the shots anymore. That old fart needs a laxative. He has a constipated brain.

Two minutes to showtime and nobody knows how it was sold—by the other team? Huh? It was rigged and biased. Obviously!

At least he has his own money—he doesn't need Trumps!

Great job!

—stebbijo

April 1, 8:18 p.m.

more apprentice

Just my observation: Troy lost out to Kwami for the following reason:

Kwami has an MBA from Harvard and works for Goldman Sachs investment house. No doubt Trump does many deals with Goldman, Credit Suisse and others. A clear confict of interest by Trump in currying favor with one of his investment bankers ...but, but ... it's just good business, eh?

—naggingfishwife

April 2, 7:14 p.m.

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