Editorials

August 10, 2005

FINALLY--A PLAN THAT WORKS

FINALLYâ??A PLAN THAT WORKSGuest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoLast fall, I wrote that the United States needed to find cost-effective ways to access and exploit diverse energy sources while promoting energy conservation by individuals and industry. At that time we were facing exorbitant gasoline prices and climbing natural gas prices. In nine months, the situation has only worsened. And as I noted then, this crisis reveals a growing divide between supply and demand that threatens… Continue Reading


August 03, 2005

FOOD, FUN AND GOOD HEALTH AT THE FAIR

FOOD, FUN AND GOOD HEALTH AT THE FAIRGuest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoAugust and early September means many things across Idaho: harvest, outdoor recreation, fall and school year preparations, summer projects, and in many communities across Idaho, a local, county or regional fair. The fair is a time of family, friends, friendly competition, smells (good and bad!), rides, games and celebration. What better time to think about the importance of good health? With that in mind, I i… Continue Reading


July 27, 2005

FOR THE SAKE OF OUR CHILDREN

Horrific crimes shrivel our souls and evoke a range of emotionsâ??shock, anguish, despair, frustration, anger. The closer it hits to home, the harsher these feelings become and no matter how hard I try, I cannot fathom the utter evil that these crimes bespeak. This summer Idaho felt this to its very foundation, most particularly Coeur dâ??Alene. Children, once secure in the safety of their homes and neighborhoods now ask parents if doors and windows are locked. Adults share grief and fear in pub… Continue Reading


July 14, 2005

AMATEUR RADIO: A VOICE IN THE STORM

Communication has taken many forms: beacon fires alerting assassins to Agamemnonâ??s return to Mycenae; a lone Athenian runner covering 150 miles in two days to request help from Sparta; Genghis Khanâ??s invention of the â??Pony Express;â?? Morse Code, the telegraph, telephone, radio, television; and now the Internet and increasing types of wireless communications. Perhaps most striking are the massive and complex changes that communication has undergone in the past century. It boggles the mind … Continue Reading


July 13, 2005

FIRE PREVENTION SEASON

FIRE PREVENTION SEASONGuest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoYou might be surprised to learn that 348 wildland fires have already been contained nationwide in the 2005 fire season. Over half a million acres are burning. For the Northwest, additional vegetation from our wet spring is becoming potential fire fuel through persistent drought conditions. The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise predicts a higher than normal fire risk into late July and August. This is the perfect opp… Continue Reading


June 29, 2005

A DECLARATION AND A NEW COUNTRY

A DECLARATION AND A NEW COUNTRY Guest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoJust after World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill remarked in a speech in Fulton Missouri, that â??America sits at the pinnacle of the world.â?? And he later added, that he could think of no better country to occupy that position. It was a glowing and warm compliment. Today, many years after Churchill offered those words, Americaâ??s position as a world leader has only solidified. Itâ??s a remarkab… Continue Reading


June 22, 2005

A TALE OF TWO ECONOMIES

â??A TALE OF TWO ECONOMIESâ?? Guest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoIn many years of commuting between Washington, D.C. and Idaho, Iâ??ve never tired of the view as Snake River Plain drops away below the airplane, giving way to the Tetons and the Sawtooth National Forest. From the perspective of 20,000 feet, the sharp contrast of high plateau and densely-forested mountains brings to mind another contrast increasingly endemic to Idahoâ??the widening economic gap between urban and rur… Continue Reading


June 15, 2005

NOT SO DIFFERENT

NOT SO DIFFERENT Guest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoFrequently we define ourselves in terms of what makes us unique as individuals or a group: men/ women, liberal/conservative, rural/urban, Idahoan, American. In a world of dichotomies, itâ??s easy to lose sight of what unifies us. The terror attacks on New York and Washington and subsequent events call to mind what unites us as a human raceâ??the natural inclination of the human spirit to reach for freedom.Since September 11, dis… Continue Reading


June 08, 2005

ACT NOW FOR FUTURE SAVINGS

ACT NOW FOR FUTURE SAVINGS Guest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoAs tedious or complicated as tax law may seem, our country must confront far-reaching decisions regarding the federal income tax. A lesser-known aspect of the tax code that needs repeal is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT is additional tax assessed when the government determines, through a complicated formula, that you havenâ??t paid enough federal income tax. The AMT was formulated in 1969 to target 155 (yes… Continue Reading


June 01, 2005

EMBLEM OF FREEDOM

EMBLEM OF FREEDOM Guest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoThe American Bald Eagle is a fitting symbol of American pride and patriotism. Many will remember the eagles that were superimposed over photos and drawings of the New York City skyline and the Pentagon after September 11. The freedom, nobility and grandeur of a soaring eagle evoke powerful images. For me, the bald eagle is both a remarkable creation of Godâ??s and a symbol of what America means: freedom, strength and peace.Over… Continue Reading


May 25, 2005

RULES FOR THE SANDBOX

About 20 years ago, â??All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergartenâ?? hit the bestseller list. Robert Fulghum compiled observations about life, demonstrating that values we learned as children in the â??sandboxâ?? were principles upon which to build harmonious and successful adult relationships. Around the same time, another book, â??Getting to Yes,â?? gained an extensive following. It discusses â??principled negotiationâ?? which includes reaching agreement by focusing on interests rathe… Continue Reading


May 18, 2005

NOTES OF REMEMBRANCE

Sixty seconds; 24 haunting notes; shorter than most pieces of music, but more powerful in its simplicity and clarity than possibly any other musical composition in America, and more familiar. Taps stops people, literally or figuratively, in their tracks, calling up memories of those who fought for our country and have since passed on. Two years ago, on a chilly April day, these notes drifted across Arlington National Cemetery as an Idaho family and friends bid farewell to a father lost in the fi… Continue Reading


May 11, 2005

IN VALOR THERE IS HOPE

In Washington, D.C., among the granite monoliths, bronze statues and marble columns commemorating people and events throughout our nationâ??s 230-year history, some of the most compelling commemorations can be found off the beaten track. At the Judiciary Square Metro stop, you will find the National Law Enforcement Memorial, a beautiful and solemn courtyard amidst the tangle of office buildings, people and traffic that constitute the capital of the worldâ??s most powerful nation. The memorial is… Continue Reading


May 11, 2005

IN VALOR THERE IS HOPE

In Washington, D.C., among the granite monoliths, bronze statues and marble columns commemorating people and events throughout our nationâ??s 230-year history, some of the most compelling commemorations can be found off the beaten track. At the Judiciary Square Metro stop, you will find the National Law Enforcement Memorial, a beautiful and solemn courtyard amidst the tangle of office buildings, people and traffic that constitute the capital of the worldâ??s most powerful nation. The memorial is… Continue Reading


April 20, 2005

TAX REFORM PART ONE: A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM

In 1914, the first year income tax was collected, Americans paid an average per capita tax of 41 cents--and of the 99 million people in the United States, only one percent of the population was obligated to pay taxes at all. Fast forward 90 years: In 2004, 62 percent of our 292 million citizens filed as individual taxpayers. In almost a century, weâ??ve had close to a 300 percent increase in population and a far greater increase in the number of individual income taxpayers.Setting aside the subj… Continue Reading


April 13, 2005

WE CAN ALL SPEAK OUT

Many adults carry the emotional scars of a terrible crime hidden from family and friends for decades. It may have started when they were very young and touched inappropriately. They may have been date-raped as a teenager. They may have been sexually assaulted by a trusted authority figure.Chances are you know someone who has been affected by this crime. Whether it was the trauma of personal experience or the aftermath of it happening to a family member or a friend, this exists in every community… Continue Reading


April 06, 2005

THAT TIME OF YEAR

In â??Life of Augustus,â?? Suetonius Tranquillis wrote that the Roman poet Virgil once held a funeral for a dead fly, complete with pall bearers and eulogies. In ancient Rome, cemetery land was not taxable. By interring a fly on the land surrounding his private villa, the shrewd poet turned his home into a burial ground, thus making it tax-exempt.Some things havenâ??t changed since the days of the Roman Empire. Tax time still inspires â??creativityâ?? on the part of some taxpayers, but more ofte… Continue Reading


March 30, 2005

APRIL IN PARIS

Russian composer Vernon Duke penned the words to the well-known song, â??April in Paris,â?? in 1932. A story is told of a friend of Dukeâ??s who liked the song so much he decided to spend April in--you guessed it--Paris. Many times, art is a reflection of what we would like life to be, not what it actually is, and so it was for Dukeâ??s friend. He returned to report terrible weather. "Whatever made you go to Paris in April?" Duke asked. "Everybody knows the weather is bad then.&qu… Continue Reading


March 23, 2005

SPRING CLEANING

In the Northern Hemisphere, religious and community festivals throughout March and April celebrate new life, renewal and fresh starts. In the early Roman calendar before 150 B.C., March or â??Martiusâ?? was the first month of the year. This is the time when people get into closets, attics and basements to get rid of dust, dirt and things no longer needed. In many places, it is even warm enough to clear the garage, barn or shed of winterâ??s clutter. Spring cleaning is an annual household ritual … Continue Reading


March 18, 2005

A BUDGET BLUEPRINT

Budget season is challenging, especially in lean years. Yet, these challenges inspire us to craft a comprehensive, responsible blueprint to allocate federal tax dollarsâ??one that meets our needs and reduces future indebtedness. The Fiscal Year 2006 Senate Budget Resolution provides for our nationâ??s defense, young people, seniors, vital infrastructure, energy security and agriculture. These initial steps have laid groundwork for important discussions in upcoming weeks. We have a responsibility… Continue Reading

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