Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

Redneck Review!!
Back in Review #8, the impact a single individual might have on events around him was discussed. The example given was the stalemated "tug-of-war" which occurred during an '80's "Powder Puff Night" at Prairie High School. In that event, the tardy appearance of a senior was all that it took to end the stalemate, giving the victory to the seniors and frosh on one end of the rope! This was cited as a good example of the impact a single individual can have on a contested situation.
For a more significant historical example of what one individual can accomplish, we take a look back in history to the time of Davey Crockett, whose fame was forever immortalized in the ballad containing the line "killed himself a bear, when he was only three!"
In addition to his fame as a frontier's man, Crockett also served in the U.S. House of Representatives. As reported in a historical account entitled "Not Yours to Give" the following incident occurred while Crockett was in the legislature.
Seems that Congressman Crockett, in a burst of compassion, had joined a majority of other representatives in appropriating $20,000 for the relief of some burned out families in the Georgetown area. A fire had occurred in the winter and had left many families totally homeless and without even food and clothing.
Campaigning for reelection later on in his own district, Crockett ran into a polite but irate constituent by the name of Horatio Bunce. In the lecture which followed, Crockett was bluntly told that the money given "Was not yours to give."
A brief summary of this historical lecture follows: "It is not the amount, Colonel Crockett, that I object to. It is the principle." Bunce goes on to say that government should never have in the first place, excess money to give. Only that which is budgeted for specific purposes. But more important, "the power of collecting and disbursing money at one's pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man..."
Taxes "...reach every man in the country no matter how poor he may be. So you see, while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing from others who are possibly worse off than he."
"If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all...and thus are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe...is a charity, and any amount you may think is proper"
"You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other."
Bunce continued, "No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose." (Concluded next week.")
Jake Wren

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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