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Letters of Thanks

Times-News carriers care

I would like to acknowledge all the paper carriers who have worked so faithfully and diligently to get newspapers to homeowners and businesses. The weather has definitely been a hardship. I live in Burley and my paper carrier, Klaine, has had some real challenges with the ice and snow. She has delivered my paper for five years and never missed a day even under these conditions. On one occasion she had to wait until the street was plowed so that she could drive down it. And she did just that once it was plowed. She stayed up to make the deliveries that were on the blocked streets even after spending the night trying to get the papers delivered. I know that she has had many obstacles to overcome this winter to get it to my doorstep. I commend her for her loyalty and reliability to her customers and I would like to make sure that her supervisors know how well she takes care of the Times-News customers in Burley. To all of the paper carriers at the Times-News, thank you very much for your service, especially under the conditions you’ve had to endure it this winter.

Leslie Stoddard

Burley

Excellent column

Thank you Bob Sojka for your excellent column in today’s (Jan. 26) paper. Your analysis of women’s history and inequality was excellent. Women who recognize this equality appreciate your support.

Linda Dennis

Twin Falls

Thanks for the generous donation

The Disabled American Veterans wish to thank Ernie O’Gorman and Dee Packer for donating an electric wheelchair with new batteries in the memory of Tracie O’Gorman. This wheelchair will go to a veteran or a spouse.

Robert Wagner

Senior vice commander

Stradley, Chapter 5

Twin Falls

Thanks, paper carriers

I appreciate all the work our city workers have done to make these snowy days better, but I think there’s one group of people we haven’t said thank you to and that’s our Times-News paper carriers. I enjoy the paper in the morning. Kind of starts my day. There was one day morning it wasn’t in the paper box. That morning was so bad I didn’t want to go out to get it. But it was there the next day along with that day’s paper. Gave me an excuse to sit a little longer and have another cup of coffee. I just want to thank you people. Hang in there, its going to get better — I hope.

Peggy Williams

Twin Falls

The Letters of Thanks column will publish letters of up to 200 words from:

Organizations thanking contributors or supporters.

Individuals thanking public agencies and businesses for extraordinaryservice.

Send letters to letters@magicvalley.com. If you would like to purchase a classified ad to express gratitude of a personal rather than public nature, call The Times-News Customer Service department.


Columns
OTHER VIEW
Other View: Thatcher, not Reagan, is the right model for Trump

As British Prime Minister Theresa May becomes the first foreign leader to visit President Donald Trump, it is a good time to consider that Margaret Thatcher, much more than Ronald Reagan, is the real model for the Trump presidency.

Trump’s inaugural address last Friday had the directness and confrontational tone of a Thatcher speech. The president was clear that he stood for dramatic, bold change and that he regarded his election as a victory of the American people.

Trump’s speech was not designed to reconcile with the Washington power structure. In fact, it was a declaration of loyalty to the American people against that very power structure.

Furthermore, the address represented a direct threat to the value system of the left. In this head-on challenge to power and ideology, Trump resembles Thatcher far more than Reagan.

Reagan was focused on breaking the power of the Soviet Union, not breaking the power of political correctness and the elite media that has increasingly dominated the United States. They were frightened of Reagan, but they weren’t enraged by him.

Trump is a direct, mortal threat to both the power structure and the ideology of the left. The left knows it and is responding just as the British left wing responded to Thatcher.

The young liberal fascists breaking windows and intimidating Trump supporters on Inauguration Day displayed the kind of hostility that Thatcher evoked on the left.

The congressional Democrats’ decision to adopt pure negativity and opposition tactics is much more like the Labour Party’s reaction to Thatcher than then-House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s much more nuanced approach to Reagan. One-third of the House Democrats voted for the Reagan economic program in the summer of 1981. It is hard to imagine that happening in the House today.

The left in Britain became so unhinged with its bitter hostility that it kept drifting further and further out of the mainstream. The term “loony left” became a common description of the Labour Party in the 1987 election.

Today, the hysteria of the American left as the Elizabeth Warren-George Soros wing talks only to its own partisans is becoming increasingly bizarre. Think about the optics of last weekend’s anti-Trump marchers, with their vulgarity and dreams of blowing up the White House. This sort of rhetoric repels most Americans.

In Thatcher’s analysis, if socialism prevailed and the coal miners union could dictate its own terms, then Britain as a country would be transformed into a very different place. Thus, she saw her fight as Churchillian in the depth and intensity of the fight and the scale of the stakes.

Trump’s decision to put a bust of Winston Churchill back in the Oval Office is a clear signal of that same resolve.

Like Thatcher, Trump is similarly focused on destroying the moral legitimacy of the left and breaking the power of the lobbyist and bureaucratic establishment in Washington. His actions thus far in office, including steps to restore the rule of law in immigration and move forward with vital energy infrastructure projects, have been consistent with these goals.

It is no accident that May will be the first foreign leader to meet with Trump. The president instinctively wants a much closer alliance with Britain. Where President Barack Obama warned that voting for Brexit would put Britain at the back of the line, Trump believes the vote for Brexit puts Britain at the front of the line. Britain may have had more riding on the outcome of the U.S. election than any other foreign country.

Those who fear Trump’s protectionism might note that one of his first goals is to begin working on a bilateral agreement with Britain (which may become a trilateral agreement if the Canadians are invited in). This is a much more sophisticated president than his critics believe.

This week’s visit may revitalize the special relationship that the United States and Britain have had ever since 1941. Prime Minister Thatcher would have approved.


Editorial
Our View: Cheers and Jeers

Cheer

As we reported Friday, more Twin Falls students are entering the armed services. Pinning down exact numbers is tough — enlistments are tracked by ZIP codes, not by high schools — but data show a steady increase over the past three years.

Fifty-seven area students enrolled in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines in 2016, up from 43 in 2014.

Take that as proof against the argument young people are losing their patriotism.

Despite the stereotypes, the military isn’t the option of last resort for students who can’t get into college or need to enter the services to get out of trouble. In fact, a Twin Falls High School valedictorian plans to go enter the Navy, and the service is granting her a scholarship to also pay for her college education.

We believe it’s time the state began crediting students who enter the armed forces as “going on.” Currently, when the state calculates the numbers of students who pursue education after high school, it isn’t counting the armed services.

But many of those students will receive training in the military on par with a college or technical school education. They deserve credit, too.

Jeer

Another legislative session, another round of paranoia in the Statehouse when it comes to the federal government. Yes, states have rights. Yes, there are certain tasks the state can probably do better than the feds.

But any sixth-grade civics student knows that federal law trumps state laws. We fought the Civil War over that principle. The Supreme Court has upheld it repeatedly, such as the most recent example when in 1958 the court ruled against Southern states trying to block the Brown v. Board of Education ruling to end school segregation.

Still, the Idaho Legislature doesn’t get it. This week, a House committee voted to print a bill declaring the Legislature as the “final arbiter” over whether something is constitutional. The bill would also direct state agencies to not enforce any federal laws, regulations or court rulings the Legislature doesn’t deem fit.

Let us make this clear for our representatives in Boise, or for anyone who flunked grade school civics: The state does not have that power. The Supreme Court of the United States determines what is and isn’t constitutional. And wasting time and energy (and perhaps money on lawsuits) is not in the best interests of Idahoans.

It’s worth noting that Rep. Steve Hartgen of Twin Falls did some windmill charging of his own this week over a similar states’ rights issue. He voted against a routine procedural bill in his taxation committee to sync state and IRS tax codes over his opposition to (get ready for this) gay marriage. He called it a protest vote.

Whatever your personal beliefs about the issue, the Supreme Court has ruled, and it’s time for Idaho to move on.

Of course the irony is — and we point this out often — that the Legislature doesn’t respect the power of the federal government but is more than happy continuing to disrespect cities and counties in the state. Idaho state lawmakers believe they can govern Idaho better than the feds, but continue to believe they can govern cities from Boise better than city leaders can in Twin Falls.

It is high time state lawmakers realize there are limits to their power.

Cheer

The Twin Falls Police Department is in crisis through no fault of its own. Since 2011, the department’s turnover rate is a staggering 65 percent.

What’s going on?

The department is hiring young officers and paying for their training only to have them poached by agencies in the Treasure Valley. The TFPD simply isn’t offering salaries that are competitive with other Idaho markets, and in the long run, that’s costing the city.

On Monday, City Manager Travis Rothweiler will ask the City Council for what amounts to a hefty pay increase for street cops and firefighters.

Rothweiler’s plan to pay for the increases is a tad complicated, but essentially he’s counting on the city to keep growing. As it grows, the tax base expands, and the city takes in more money. He wants to use a big chunk of that to invest in public safety.

He believes, and we do, too, that the investment will result in a better police force. A better force leads to lower crime. And lower crime leads to better economic development.

We hope the Council sees the same logic and approves the investment in Twin Falls police.