Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

Redneck Review
No. 53 4/25/2016
Last week, comparing the unbelievable increase in college costs, about $1000/year at Carroll College in Montana where I graduated in 1959, to the current price tag one finds there and other similar schools over $30,000, the question was asked "Just how did we get to this point?"
Personally, I place much of the blame on the Federal Aid to Education act passed in the early 1960's, a federal effort to help college and universities provide for the numerous "baby boomers" hitting college after WWII. A look at Carroll itself gives a clue. From a modest campus with a few basic buildings only, the campus has grown with federal help to several times the original size, with new athletic centers, housing dorms, education centers, all nice, but very costly, thus helping trigger the 30 times cost increase required today, an increase far exceeding the modest attendance increases during this period!
But that aid package from the federal government was just the tip of an iceberg! Since that date, a careful study of the record will show that it also marks a huge increase from a rare involvment prior to 1960 in education at all levels to the involved level one finds today. A clear example of "subsidy seduction." First the money, then the rules and regulations!
So over the past 60 years, federal programs with names like DISCOVERY MATH, SPURT (Speed, power, understanding reading techniques), Education For the 90's, GOALS 2000, No Child Left BEHIND, COMMON CORE, etc, have come down from the federal level, stayed for a time, cost alot of money, then slowly faded away as schools and districts go back to the systems they have found to work best in their immediate area.
But the source of the problems faced today goes even deeper than the increased federal interference with our lives. Historians will note that a subtle shift has been going on for many centuries now. Dating back to the 1500's even, and certainly by the Industrial Revolution, a few centuries later, one can see an increased confidence in MAN, the human factor, to take control of everything. Starting from a world view that a supreme being, a GOD of one kind or the other, was in total charge, and had to be relied on for nearly everything in daily life, we today have concluded that MAN is supreme, and can take care of all problems and build a heaven on earth!
Check history, and one finds that every early civilization believed in gods of some kind. Many of course had several gods, the Egyptians with their gods of sun, and moon, etc., or the Greeks and Romans with their Zeus and Jupiter and an alphabet of human-like gods, to India with their hundreds of gods, on up to the rare one-God beliefs of the Hebrew's Yahweh, and Islam's Allah, and our native Indian Great Spirit. The point is that belief in gods or a God, has marked the history of the entire human past.
But more recently one finds the emergence of several philosophies negating the historical reality. Atheism, the total denial of God, Secularism, the rejection of any impact a god might have, and the New Age movement, which "puts a strong emphasis on the spiritual authority of the self," (Wikipedia), all work to place humans in charge with no need to rely on a traditional god. Thus has arisen socialism in politics, Keynesism in economics, and individualism in religion, all which place trust in mankind while placing the notion of a traditional supreme being on a back burner. The near desperate condition of the world economic condition today does send a clear message - It ain't working! Maybe it is time to turn back to traditional prayer!
Jake Wren

Dear Editor:
The best predictor of future success is past performance.  
Citizens of Legislative District 7, state senator Sheryl Nuxoll's "A-" rating by the Idaho Freedom Foundation demonstrates her faithful commitment to follow the U.S. Constitution, Idaho Constitution, and Idaho Republican Party Platform.   Senator Nuxoll was one of only eight legislators to earn a 90% or above rating during the 2016 legislative session.  
In addition to her outstanding commitment to limited government, low taxes, and free enterprise, Senator Nuxoll has worked diligently with Idaho citizens to introduce and pass legislation on our behalf.   
Senator Nuxoll's work on the bill she and I co-authored (S. 1342) included two years of dialog with citizens about how to enact legislation to clarify the Idaho Constitution, Article IX, Section 6.   Senator Nuxoll patiently coached us on the legislative process, met with legislators to get our bill introduced into House and Senate committees, secured testimony presentations for committee hearings, and convinced 81% of her colleagues to vote for the bill.  Although the bill was vetoed by the Governor, Senator Nuxoll did everything possible to represent the wishes of Idaho Republicans.
It is not an easy process to get a bill introduced and passed through committee to a floor vote, and I greatly appreciate a senator who will work this hard to advance citizen-sponsored legislation.  Senator Nuxoll is truly a representative of "We the People."
 I urge you to retain Senator Nuxoll in the Idaho legislature by voting for her in the May primary and November general election.
Evalyn Bennet
Salmon, Idaho

Dear Editor,
In less than 3 weeks, those that live in Idaho County have a chance to make a real difference by electing a State Senator for District 7 who has integrity, foresight, experience and common sense Ė Carl Crabtree. 
I have worked with Carl since 1985 at the local, county, state and national level. Those efforts focused on natural resource issues, ranching, invasives, associations and other commerce related activities. Throughout all of these experiences, Carl listened to people and then moved forward to deliver common sense outcomes that benefited the majority. This is responsible behavior.  
Carl has demonstrated time and time again his ability to bring people together on the private, local and federal level. He has worked to get the right people aligned to deliver results.
We do not need legislators who are focused on managing our personal interests or morality. We need a legislator that can represent us by working on legislation that is good for the whole and isnít focused on special interests. We need a legislator than can use exceptional people skills to gain solid footing, support commerce and be ethical upon approach that provides us a community to work and reside within.
We need someone to address the key issues affecting district 7 such as increasing our access to public lands, managing our resources, growing jobs, and improving education in our rural communities.
Vote for Carl Crabtree!
John Cantlon
Secesh Meadows, Idaho

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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