Letters to the editor: Health measures, Biden visit, vaccine order, vaccine rewards

·5 min read
Letters To Editor

Forest health

The irony! Western lawmakers push unproven, expensive and destructive cures for forest health while refusing to endorse effective and cheap measures to protect the public from the COVID-19 virus.

In Idaho, the health care system is breaking down from the overwhelming number of COVID-19 delta variant cases. They are turning people away from hospitals. This is very preventable if people would wear masks and get vaccinated. Far too many people refuse to take these cheap and easy steps.

Meanwhile, as fires rage across the West, spreading smoke and gloom and burning towns, Idaho and Montana Govs. Brad Little and Greg Gianforte tout logging as the “cure” for forest health while denying any role for climate change in causing megafires. Logging is expensive, wasteful and hard on wildlife and rarely helps quell fires, especially in the current extreme heat and drought.

Is the forest really unhealthy? Will logging cure it? Doubtful. Is COVID-19 a real crisis? Can we slow the spread with masks and vaccines? Absolutely.

If Republican concerns about forest “health” are sincere, rather than an obvious giveaway to the timber industry, then they are clearly more worried about the forest than the health of people.

Phil Knight, Bozeman, Montana

President’s greeting

I was embarrassed to be an Idahoan after reading of the greeting our president received Monday at the Boise Airport from a group of angry protesters. There are more effective and intelligent ways of making one’s point than the repeated use of one ugly word, unkind behavior and intimidation of anyone who does not agree with you. Our Constitution was built on the principle of respect for all people. Resorting to crass and rude language and behavior doesn’t change opinions; reason and respectful persuasion can. The challenge is finding the truth, and often that is not done until we try to look at issues through another person’s eyes. I long for the day when our politicians, along with the media, can work together rather than against one another. We as a people cannot solve our many problems until we become more concerned with each other’s wellbeing. Can’t we try to be more civil and more united citizens of our United States of America?

Robert Peck, Boise

Biden visit

How very sad that when the duly elected president of our nation visits our state he is greeted by a mob of foul-mouthed hooligans. Yes, we have the right to protest, to assemble and have free speech within certain guidelines. But it is very disappointing to think that this airport display is the impression of Idaho we want to make on the nation. Because it most certainly is the impression we made. Loud, disruptive, gutter language. What a fine example we have set for our children.

Lois Ortmann, Meridian

Vaccine order

President Biden’s executive order requiring large private businesses to ensure employees are either vaccinated for COVID-19 OR regularly test negative for the virus will surely be tested in the courts. My conservative nature tells me the government should let private businesses figure this out on their own way. That being said, the order does offer a choice to be compliant. And it’s that choice to vaccinate or test that may make this legal, and I will eagerly await the court’s decision. The Idaho Legislature will be champing at the bit to sue. And they may be right to do so. I pause, however, because of how reckless our Legislature has been in court the past several years; spending millions of tax dollars on private counsel defending unconstitutional limits on the people’s rights. As we watch the courts decide the Biden order, let’s also watch how much our Legislature is willing to pay to litigate. Will it be the Idaho Attorney General’s Office? Remember they’d have a lot more to fight with if they’d chosen their battles.

Robbie Burnett, Meridian

Terrible Ten

Idahoans have been saddled with The Terrible Ten: Lt. Gov. McGeachin, Representatives Giddings, Christensen, Nichols, Nate, Hanks, Scott, Moon, Wisniewski and Senator Zito. A group spearheaded by the Idaho Freedom Foundation. These rogue individuals distort our nation’s founding documents and our state constitution for their benefit.

They vehemently embrace the constitution, except when disregarding anything they find disagreeable. Thankfully, cherry-picking individual preferences will not be tolerated. McGeachin and crew tout inalienable rights and Christian values while hawking biased principles and cursing masks, physical distancing, vaccines, or COVID testing as unconstitutional. This shows blatant disregard for others’ rights and the Greatest Commandment, “To love thy Lord and thy neighbor as thyself.” The Terrible Ten feign to abhor sectarianism then spread their own brand through aggressive actions, increasing the political and cultural conflicts brewing between their ultra-conservative minority faction and Idaho’s majority.

Refuse to succumb to mob-rule being instigated by the hypocrisy of The Terrible Ten, faux conservatives who espouse undying love for the constitution yet fail to abide by it, with all their grandstanding. Come election time, send a clear message — you are fed up. Defend our Republic and safeguard our state by voting The Terrible Ten out of office.

Jolene Heinze, McCall

Vaccine rewards

Boise State University reports they will be providing gifts to football fans for complying with masking requirements. I get it. I was an elementary principal for a number of years and on occasion all the children were required to stay in the gymnasium during recess time due to inclement weather. To keep the kids in order, I would walk around the gym and catch kids “doing the right thing” by randomly awarding pieces of candy. This reinforcement strategy worked extremely well. The kids wanted the award, and the challenging situation of hundreds of students cooped-up indoors was tolerable for both the kids and adult supervisors. My point is this: Isn’t it disappointing that adults must be motivated by extrinsic rewards in order to comply with reasonable expectations? It’s a shame that adults must be treated like their children in order to “do the right thing.”

Timothy Rosandick, Caldwell

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