The way to truth includes reasoning, study, discussion and listening. Over time, rule of law will come into konvergence with the values of the majority, writes Steve Piet. Are we a nation of rules or values, or both? That’s the underlying issue in many recent columns, letters to the editor and controversies. It’s also part of a decision science research project I led at Idaho National Lab; we called it “konvergence.” We spelled convergence with a “k” to denote knowledge. The v and r in konvergence denote values and resources. Decisions can be made, and kept over long time periods, only if the decision is consistent with knowledge, values and resources. A project manager would instead say that a decision must fit with knowledge, rules and resources. “Rules” means Constitution, laws, regulations, etc. Both perspectives require a set of knowledge and an understanding of what resources (facilities, materials, trained personnel) are required … [Read more...] about Local column: Nation of values or rules?
The success of nonpartisan city leadership has the state Republican party ready to declare open war on city elections, writes Jim Delmore. The recent Idaho Republican convention has come out strongly in favor of making Idaho’s city elections political as opposed to the present non-partisan elections. They were not shy about stating the reasons why they are in favor of this significant change. They have the goal of having hard right Republican control of all aspects of Idaho’s government; city, county, state and the congressional seats. Not just Republican control, but hard right republican control. Consider two relatively progressive cities, Idaho Falls and Boise, both of which are an irritant to the Republican hierarchy. In the 52 years I have been a resident of the Idaho Falls region, there has never been an Idaho Falls mayor who could be considered a Democrat. They have all had the appearance of being either Independents or moderate Republicans. The current mayor is a … [Read more...] about Local column: Idaho’s ever-expanding political machinery
The Trump Administration appears to be making its own problems to solve. But how does that help Americans — or anyone else? writes Louise Wagenknecht. I never had children, but I am a great-aunt several times over, so the destiny of my collateral bloodline concerns me. According to many climate scientists, the future of their Midwest home includes extreme heat, drought, severe weather events, exotic tropical diseases, and the cornbelt moving inexorably toward the Arctic Circle. If they survive into middle age, they may be desperate to move themselves and their children to Canada. Will they be welcomed, or refused? By 2050 or so, our polity may well have conquered Canada so that Texans can camp out beside the iceless Arctic Ocean. We will no longer care about the southern border by then, but people from Mexico and Central America will find little enough comfort on the deserted plains of New Mexico and Colorado. But that’s only one possibility for our future. In this reality, … [Read more...] about Local column: To offend the little ones
When candidates begin accusing each other of not being a conservative, do we know what they mean? writes Joseph Sacco. Republicans have been the party of conservatism for many decades. Throughout many primaries, we hear the word “conservative” used as both a slur and as a battering ram (e.g., that person is not a “real” conservative). What exactly does it mean to be a conservative? Can we truly identify “conservative” candidates for public office? Unfortunately, there isn’t one solid definition of conservatism. While there seems to be a general grouping of most Republicans into this political category, there are several different sub-types. Some of the most prominent divisions include social conservatism (social values and norms), fiscal conservatism (concerned with government spending), a blend of conservatism and libertarianism (conservative values with a strong individual liberty tilt), and liberal conservatism, a misnomer that really means … [Read more...] about Local column: Trying to define ‘conservatism’
There are big differences between a service animal trained to assist with a diagnosed disability and an emotional support animal which has no official training. So why are dogs in public spaces everywhere? writes Dawn Anderson. When I saw a leashed dog in the meat department of my neighborhood grocery store, I stopped and stared in surprise. That’s my typical reaction. I should be used to it by now—seeing live animals in places that have not allowed them historically. I don’t hate animals or wish to deprive someone of emotional support through a pet. But to what extent do we leverage someone’s need of an Emotional Support Animal, or ESA, against the public good? Maybe it’s because I have family members with severe animal allergies. I mentioned this in a social media platform where I was gathering opinions to write this piece. One participant responded that the allergy-sufferers in my family could just “take a pill.” This answer vastly … [Read more...] about Local column: Public spaces going to the dogs