Opinion » Mail

Mail Aug. 8-14, 2007

Noise Grinch

I agree with Jim Spicka regarding the huge, noisy, stinking trucks so many insecure Idaho males, and now females, feel the need to drive to fulfill their disregard for all things efficient and "environmental." Are they doing it out of spite? Is this a way to strike out at "librools"? Could no one haul a camper or horse trailer before these monsters became common?

The noise issue, however, goes beyond the incredibly stupid diesel monster trucks. Boom boxes, ghetto blasters—whatever you want to call them—are proliferating at an alarming pace. Where are the city leaders and police on this issue? "It's just too hard!" they protest. Well, the police have no problem handing out speeding tickets. Why not a decibel meter in every unit? I will vote for that. Hey officer friendly: Be an actual peace (and quiet) officer for a change!

The problem spreads. As I was sitting on my front porch, reading the paper the other afternoon, my ears detected a loud ping/bang/boom. A tricked-out 1984 4-cylinder Honda Civic? Nope. It was a small remote-controlled toy operated by our neighbors' little brat. Some Americans are now DNA-ing the noise gene into their offspring!

Americans often wonder why the rest of the world hates us. Here's a news flash, Americans: Other Americans hate you, too.

Get on to eBay and buy a good neighbor clue. Perhaps a lesson or two in common courtesy wouldn't hurt either. You know, leave the guns at home when you go to Wal-Mart.

—Chris Morris, Caldwell

Inflation=hidden tax

Inflation tax (excessive money printing) is where the U.S. Congress gets a large percentage of its funding, as it is often unpopular to levy new taxes or raise existing taxes.

Inflation tax is never an accident. It is always the result of dishonest government spending. Dishonest, because we never hear the Federal Reserve chairman or Congress say, "Citizens, we're going to effectively take away half of all your money by printing twice the currency in circulation and spending it, thereby diluting the value of your money to 50 percent of its original value."

Recently, the gap between wealth and poverty has been growing at the expense of the middle class and the ever-increasing poor. Why? Inflation is a most regressive tax; it cripples the monetary value of the entire economy and impacts those on low incomes most.

The Federal Reserve dollar now in use in the United States has been devalued by approximately 96 cents on the dollar since the Federal Reserve System was instituted in 1913. Today, a Federal Reserve Note promising a dollar's value is worth only 4 cents of the true U.S. dollar; defined as 371.25 grains of silver by the 1792 U.S. Coinage Act.

—Matthew Gustin, Boise

That's My Boy

In your article regarding the mayor's trip on the USS Boise (BW, News, "Mayor Goes Under (Water)" August 1, 2007), you failed to give the captain's name. His name is CDR Rodney Mills, my son. Other than that, it was a nice article. Your support of the USS Boise is wonderful and greatly appreciated by the men and those who love them.

Thank you.

—Ellie Mills

How Many R's?

Many thanks to the Attorney General's Office for its motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Secretary of State Ben Ysursa in an effort to close state Republican primaries to registered Republicans only. The so-called "Boy Scout" (a derisive pet name imposed by members of his own party), Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and his staff have again risen above party politics and served the people well.

The Attorney General's Office asserts that the plaintiffs lack the standing as representatives of the Republican party needed to file the suit. I had wondered how the 71 Republicans who filed the suit were going to say how they represent the hundreds, maybe thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of Republicans in Idaho. So how many registered Republicans are there in the state of Idaho? Not as many as you might think. According to the official State Web site, idahovotes.gov/vinfo.htm, "Idaho does not register voters by party affiliation." I went to the official Web site of the GOP and found out you can't register with them either, although you can become a volunteer there.

So how does one become a registered Republican? It appears that under current law, the only way to become one is to file as a candidate with the Idaho Secretary of State and declare yourself as a Republican. It's as simple as that, no party documents or proof of party support required. All you have to do is declare yourself as a Republican candidate for the office of your choice. As Sharon Ullman would say, "That was easy."

I've long been aware of the efforts to get the extremist elements of the Republican Party elected and have protested it before. I hope that even if the gang of 71 gets its way in court, the GOP in Idaho will continue its very slow return to a more moderate, but still conservative, position that is occurring now.

—Eric Nielsen, Boise

That Ain't Pre-K

Idaho is hurting its economic future by disallowing state funding of programs for children under the age of 5 (BW, News, "Early Ed, Late Money," August 1, 2007). The recent severe downsizing of the nationally recognized Parents as Teachers program eliminates a vital support for parents in the most important job they have—raising healthy children.

To suggest that Parents As Teachers will lead to or is equivalent to pre-kindergarten is absurd. While at some point in the future, Idaho policy makers will hopefully come to recognize—as have the majority of governors and state legislatures across the country—that high-quality pre-k, like Parents As Teachers, helps parents prepare children for a lifetime of learning and success, they should not further punish the state's children and parents by politicizing Parents as Teachers. Maybe they would be less shortsighted about Idaho's future if they were reminded that the parents who stand to benefit from Parents As Teachers are voters rearing children who will become Idaho's future workforce.

—Libby Doggett, Ph.D., executive director, Pre-K Now, Washington, D.C.