I wouldn’t treat anybody in my family that way

Regarding the University of Idaho’s multi-million dollar budget crisis, Nate Spain, in his Letter to the Editor of March 2, wrote that the “UI administration likes to remind us that we are all part of the Vandal family and in this together.”

This budget mess has been several years in the making, (starting) well before Scott Green’s arrival as president of the university. I don’t envy his position, the difficult task before him and the difficult decisions he must make. I am reservedly relieved that somebody is at least making them.

But …

What really ticks me off is the rather peremptory way these decisions are being carried out on the president’s behalf. Here’s an example: Teaching assistants in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences were informed by letter on Feb. 24 (a Monday) that henceforth their teaching loads would increase from three to four classes a year. (Faculty, FYI, were made aware of the decision on the preceding Friday afternoon.) I won’t go into the invaluable cheap labor that TAs traditionally have afforded to universities. The maximal work for minimal pay that they provide as they pursue a college education.

And I won’t go into the potentially debilitating hit our programs in the college will take because of this directive as we compete with other universities for graduate students. What I will say is that the apparent disrespect (“apparent” — I am offering the benefit of a doubt) epitomized by this permanent work increase so bluntly imposed upon our students, without their consultation, and without consolation or warning … well, I wouldn’t treat anybody in my family that way.

Daniel Orozco

Moscow

Moral America needed to break away from drugs

Mammon seems to have won. The problem is, we are letting our government be used three ways to push drugs. Prohibition is just one of the ways.

Another way that the government is being used to push drugs is allowing the pharmaceutical industry to overly promote its products. Old man Sackler (his children have Purdue Pharma) created a marketing program that made Valium the first $100 million dollar drug, then the first billion dollar drug. That marketing system is still in place. And look at all the advertising!

A third way that the government is being used to push drugs, is with alcohol, tobacco and vaping. They let these drugs be sold all over the place and be advertised. They belong in a government dispensary, along with other “recreational” drugs, sold by government employees who get paid whether they sell anything or not. No advertising.

Trouble is, if we were to reduce the government-sanctioned drug pushing, we would deflate the share values of pharma, alcohol, tobacco and other drug cartels. And you know that the shareholders won’t stand still for that. Current policy is for Mammon, not for health. And Mammon seems to have that locked in. Only a moral America could break Mammon’s control.

Wiley Hollingsworth

Pullman

Are we really ready for coronavirus?

I read that the University of Idaho and Washington State University are ready for the coronavirus should it appear here. I find that highly suspect since the health professionals at the hospital and Moscow Family Medicine don’t even have testing kits. Do the universities? And just what is the plan if maybe a 100 students develop symptoms? Gritman and Pullman Hospitals don’t have space or medical staff to accommodate large numbers of patients.

The Trump administration has mishandled this medical crisis from the beginning. Trump has said everyone who wants to be tested can be. That’s wrong. He has called Washington Gov. Inslee a “snake” and advised inept Pence not to trust him. Many public events are being canceled. Will he call off his rallies? I’m sure he won’t since he lives for public adulation.

Kathy Graham

Moscow

A cool solution from the Citizens’ Climate Lobby

I agree with Dean Edwards (Daily News letter, March 4) that family planning and birth control could mitigate suffering related to overpopulation and climate change. High-quality, free or low-cost education also is needed.

The good news is that several bills to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change have been introduced in the US House of Representatives. Of these, H.R.763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is clearly the best piece of legislation. H.R.763 will impose a fee on carbon dioxide generating fuels (coal, oil, gas). The fee will be low at first and increase over time. This gradual change will give energy companies and consumers the time and stimulus to move toward clean energy options.

This very thoughtful bill is not a tax, because the government does not keep the carbon fee. Instead, after program costs are paid, the monies will be paid out equally to consumers, including children, as a dividend to offset the resulting fuel price increases. H.R.763 has bipartisan support because it will not cost jobs or penalize US manufacturers. Imported goods will be assessed a carbon adjustment upon entry into the US and exported goods will receive a refund under this act. The idea for H.R.763 came from the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a volunteer group started by Marshall Saunders, a Texas real estate agent and Rotarian who spent decades fighting for legislation to reduce poverty and hunger. Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a wonderful volunteer group dedicated to climate change issues. Members do not discuss politics or political leaders. They focus on listening, developing relationships and finding solutions. If you are concerned about climate change and want hope, I encourage you to join your local Citizens’ Climate Lobby group.

Trish Hartzell

Moscow

Left waiting for the running mate announcement

Elizabeth Warren’s withdrawal from the presidential race signaled the end, for many of us, of the last ray of hope for true reform at the highest levels of government.

The most qualified and diverse field of candidates has only brought Democrats to a choice among more old white men. And why not? Just look at how well this is working for us! And once again, I feel grateful for the checks and balances on presidential power. This is what I tell myself when I’m dismayed at the choices before us.

Warren has displayed intelligence, compassion, phenomenal energy, hopefulness, integrity and a level of competence far beyond that of the two remaining Democratic candidates. How is it possible that we, as a country, cannot yet abide the prospect of a woman in the White House? In this regard, we are far behind nearly all other democracies around the globe, including many Third World countries.

Bernie Sanders can make a very compelling case for his positions but a contest between two irascible screaming old white guys will be a waking nightmare for most of us. Joe Biden provides a welcome relief from the hateful rhetoric of the current administration. Unfortunately, I fear that he might be just as senile as Trump — only smarter.

That leaves us with what might be THE deciding factor between Biden and Sanders and, possibly, the most critical choice they will ever have to make: The choice of a running mate. Shame on us.

Meg Kelley

Pullman

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