This world is an uncertain realm, filled with danger. Honor underminded by the pursuit of power, freedom sacrificed when the weak are oppressed by the strong. But there are those who oppose these powerful forces, who dedicate their lives to truth, honor, and freedom. These people are known as Democrats. Rise, and join them.
I found this interesting article which summarizes America's incarceration fixation:
Justice is harsher in America than in any other rich country. Between 2.3m and 2.4m Americans are behind bars, roughly one in every 100 adults. If those on parole or probation are included, one adult in 31 is under “correctional” supervision. As a proportion of its total population, America incarcerates five times more people than Britain, nine times more than Germany and 12 times more than Japan. Overcrowding is the norm. Federal prisons house 60% more inmates than they were designed for. State lock-ups are only slightly less stuffed.
The system has three big flaws, say criminologists. First, it puts too many people away for too long. Second, it criminalises acts that need not be criminalised. Third, it is unpredictable. Many laws, especially federal ones, are so vaguely written that people cannot easily tell whether they have broken them.
In 1970 the proportion of Americans behind bars was below one in 400, compared with today's one in 100. Since then, the voters, alarmed at a surge in violent crime, have demanded fiercer sentences. Politicians have obliged. New laws have removed from judges much of their discretion to set a sentence that takes full account of the circumstances of the offense. Since no politician wants to be tarred as soft on crime, such laws, mandating minimum sentences, are seldom softened. On the contrary, they tend to get harder.
Caldwell, ID – All are invited to attend the announcement of Travis Manning’s intentions to run for the Idaho Legislature for the 2014 election cycle. Staff from various statewide Democratic candidates will also be in attendance.
WHO: Travis Manning, previous candidate for the Idaho House in Legislative District 10 seat A, is eyeing one of two Idaho House seats.
WHAT: Press conference w/ Q & A afterward.
WHEN: Monday, February 17 (President’s Day) at 12 p.m.
WHERE: Caldwell High School, 3401 S. Indiana, Caldwell, Idaho.
Press packets will be available at the press event. We appreciate your interest and participation.
Travis Manning is currently an English teacher at Vallivue High School where he has taught for seven years. He is Executive Director of the Common Sense Democracy Foundation of Idaho, an Idaho grassroots think tank formed in June 2011 in response to radical education reform measures in Idaho. He is a member of the Idaho Council of Teachers of English and active participant with the Boise State Writing Project. Travis is active in his local teacher’s association where he has led and been engaged in numerous committees. He supports all of his fellow teachers and all of the hard work they do. In 2011 he spoke out at the Idaho House and Senate Education Committee hearings in support of Idaho public schools, and has since published a number of editorials across the great state of Idaho supporting the voices of all Idaho citizens in the legislative process. He supports the needs of all learners in public schools and works hard in his teaching to reach out to help struggling students. He is an advocate for parents and teachers, believing they are critical stakeholders in the success of Idaho’s children.
Most recently, Travis gave up coaching high school wrestling, one of his passions, in order to advocate for parents, teachers and students in Idaho governmental affairs. Travis, an Eagle Scout himself, has recently been a Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop in Caldwell, Idaho, and has been involved in Scouting in some capacity or other his entire life. From being a Den Chief and Patrol Leader in his younger years, to being a merit badge counselor, district commissioner, Scout camp counselor or Scoutmaster, among many other duties, in later years. One of the highlights of his Scouting experiences was working on the media staff at the 2001 National Scout Jamboree in Fort AP Hill, Virginia, with his younger brother. Travis believes passionately that youth must understand their local environment — neighborhoods, city, people, culture and natural world — so they might become young ambassadors for the communities in which they live.
Man of Faith
Travis has been involved in numerous school, community and church sports leagues over the years. He takes the lessons he learned in sports and Scouting to heart and has been active in numerous political campaigns and community advocacy activities. He is a freelance writer, active in his church congregation, and has served in a variety of church leadership roles throughout his life. In college, he worked for his university newspaper as a beat reporter. His most recent athletic accomplishment was completing the Boise Half Ironman Triathlon in 2010. He served a two-year mission to Philadelphia in the early 90′s and enjoys traveling, camping, bicycling, reading, and spending time with his wife and three children, Eliza having been adopted from China in June 2012.
Travis is married to Ann Ellison, who stepped down as a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey when the family came along. They are avid supporters of the Caldwell YMCA and believe this partnership between an organization and its citizens greatly benefits the community in which they live. Ann currently serves on the Caldwell Bikeways and Pathways Committee which works to protect pedestrians, bicyclists, joggers, children attending school, and to encourage a healthy lifestyle filled with exercise.
Hmm. One of these things is not like the other -- today's (2/8/2014) Post-Register's Dilbert:
But today's Dilbert.com was (Crime to be Gay)
The Post-Register has quietly self-censored, and a quick search reveals they reprinted the January 30, 1995 Dilbert: A Lighter Laptop
Yesterday's Dilbert.com (2/7/2014), (Nuke the Taj Mahal) also talks about anti-gay laws. Post-Register readers ironically got Hosed:
A search shows that was the Jan 28, 1995 comic: (I have an Idea)
In 2013, Scott Adams commented that the public opinion blowback sometimes causes him to self-censor. He'd concluded that what he felt was some of his best work just isn't worth days of responding to blowback.
Like Scott Adams, the Post-Register has decided to slink back into comfortable convenience rather than (snort!) publish a syndicated cartoon that mocks India, but coincidentally mocks Idaho's legislature, too. It's a strange row publisher Roger Plothow chooses to hoe: The Post-Register has printed hard-nosed pro-equality editorials from Corey Taule. And they're sticking to their editorial guns over the innocuous 'controversy' of changing which comics to publish: We've endured weeks of letters to the editor as readers protest dropping stale old cartoons for newer ones. Throughout, the Post-Register remains resolute about ditching BC, Kathy, Blondie and Shoe for new comic strips like Wumo, Soup to Nutz, etc. But the Post Register silently preemptorily caved without even mentioning their self-censorship when Dilbert mocks anti-gay laws. During a week when anti-gay laws are prominent Idaho News.
Last week, the Statesman's Dan Popkey was similarly inept: Popkey wrote a piece on Teabagger Vito Barbieri's Tourettes-like grandstanding. Barbieri has repeatedly been blurting out incorrect / inflated numbers of how much of 'our money' the Idaho Legislature was spending. Rather than mocking Barbieri's lack of decorum, Popkey quoted numerous people and wrote an article so inconclusively noncritical that it's likely inflated Barbieri's warped ego until now he'll probably NEVER SHUT UP.
Yet the day before, Popkey pulled slight of hand to dismiss the Idaho 44 protest for 'Add the 4 words'. Popkey wrote that Nichole LeFavour's remaining in protest until she was also arrested was 'Look At Me' grandstanding, and headlined his editorial by paraphrasing Bart Davis's view that LeFavour harmed the protest. Now, if LeFavour simply left without being arrested like the other 43 protesters, Popkey and conservatives could have pounced on her for being a fair-weather protester unwilling to face arrest. So, rather than examining Idaho's grotesque lie ("worsens their chance at a hearing"), Popkey found a way to redirect attention and demean the protesters. Frankly, I haven't been this disgusted by a political writer since DFO at the Spokesman babbled that his (ahem) softballing questions to Bill Sali was an essential quid pro quo to being granted an interview in the first place.
Newspapers silencing themselves is tragic, since if not the press, then who? Molly Ivins (or Finley Dunne) said it best: a newspaper's job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Tolerating a bigoted effort to undermine a basic tenet of civil society maliciously wrapping itself in a mantle of 'freedom' isn't acceptable, either. Society is intrinsically about constraint of **BEHAVIOR**, regardless of ideas. And in a free society, ideas or beliefs can be spoken freely, but we restrict **practices** deemed corrosive to civil society. Milquetoast editorials stating false equivalencies at a time like this aren't ok. When misguided people seek to undermine fundamental civil institutions, there can be no equivocating.
Hopefully, both papers will reconsider. I won't hold my breath. read more »
This tweet just cam in from Idaho Statesman editor Vickie Gowler:
Surprising decision: State School Supt. Tom Luna will not run for re-election. Look for more details at http://t.co/3M7szDw22c later today.
— Vicki Gowler (@vgowler) January 27, 2014
This opens the door even wider for a certain, exceptional Democratic candidate.
— KTVB.COM (@KTVB) January 27, 2014
Luna made the surprise announcement Monday at the Statehouse.
"You will not see my name on any ballot in Idaho this year," Luna told reporters.
The top schools chief said things became too political and it was best to step aside. He still has 11 months left on the job.
REPORT from Boise State Public Radio:
Luna says he's talked with former Republican state Sen. Melinda Smyser, wife of a prominent Capitol lobbyist, about running if he doesn't.
But he said he's not yet ready to endorse anybody.
Republicans already in the race are Grangeville teacher John Eynon and American Falls principal Randy Jensen.
The lone Democratic candidate so far is Jana Jones, beaten by Luna in 2006.
And for a good laugh, check out this early a.m. tweet from conservative "Watchdog"Dustin Hurst:
— KBSX 91.5 (@KBSX915) January 27, 2014
Tom Luna: w/o campaigning, I'll have more time to solidify support for gov. Task force for education recommendations
— Christina E. Lords (@IFPost_Lords) January 27, 2014
10:57 AM PT: "State schools chief Luna won't run for re-election" from the Idaho Statesman -
Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/...
The First Democrat Ever: A letter from Jana Jones - Candidiate for Idaho Superintendent of Public InstructionSubmitted by MeAndG on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 9:22am.
|Dear 43sb Reader,
Two weeks ago I announced my candidacy for Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. I have been humbled by the outpouring of support I have received and energized by the enthusiasm Idahoans are expressing for restoring hope and optimism in their public schools and trust back in the Office of State Superintendent.
And I know Idaho voters are energized too.Give this clip a listen—it’s from a conservative talk radio show in Idaho Falls.
The host, Neal Larson, starts a poll at the 1:17:00 mark pitting me against Tom Luna. I won that poll. In fact, I’m the first Democrat to ever do so in this history of the show.
But that energy alone won’t be enough to put me over the top. I know this is going to be a hard race and I’ll need your help along the way.
Will you help bycontributing to the campaign online? Your contribution of $25, $50, $250, or whatever you can afford will allow
me to deliver my positive vision for Idaho’s public schools and show Tom Luna that it’s time to end Idaho’s free fall to the bottom, put our education system back on track, and get it moving forward again.
My favorite quote from the radio poll was from a Republican who said, “Jones. And I’ll even campaign for her.”
I think there are a lot more folks like that out there, but I’ll need your help to reach them. Please take a minute tovisit my website and help me send Tom Luna packing.
WHO IS JANA JONES?
Jana Jones has spent her entire career as an educational leader Idahoans can trust to stand up for children and their families.
A fourth generation Idahoan and the first of Wayne and Janice Hammond’s 5 children, Jana was a born into the values that make Idaho great: honesty, hard work, and independence. She grew up in Bonneville County and attended Idaho Falls School District 91, where she would eventually teach after graduating from Skyline High School and earning her bachelor’s degree in Special Education at Utah State University. read more »
Submitted by MeAndG on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 2:05pm.
Nels Mitchell came out strong in his campaign to become Idaho’s next United States Senator. At least, two important factors favor Mr. Mitchell: 1) James Risch has done virtually nothing in the past five years to help Idaho and 2) Mitchell is a tremendously well-qualified, hard-working, articulate person who will put Idaho families and businesses first.
Mitchell (Check out his Nels Mitchell for United States Senate website and like him on Facebook) made his announcement Monday before a crowd of supporters gathered at the Boise Train Depot. Since then, he has traveled to Twin Falls and sent out two press releases blasting Risch for his very bad case of Potomac Fever.
Here’s some coverage of Mitchell’s announcement in the Idaho Statesman:
Posted on January 14, 2014 by Dan Popkey
And Randy Stapilus recently wrote:
Nels Mitchell is a Westerner through and through. He was born in Seattle and raised in Idaho. His parents moved to Boise in 1968. Nels and his two brothers attended read more »
Submitted by MeAndG on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 1:48pm.
There is even free parking!
To begin, “The Abolitionists.” will show at 6:30 p.m. on Jan 22 in Boise State University's Student Union Bishop Barnwell Room. The “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” Film Series presents the story of abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké. The film will be followed by a facilitated discussion. FREE. Part of the MLK Living Legacy Celebration.
“Slavery by Another Name” will be in the same room, same time on January 23. The PBS documentary film is based on the book by Douglas Blackmon.
And on January 29, “Freedom Riders” will show.
All movies will be shown at 6:30 PM in the Barnwell Room, SUB. FREE. Parking is also FREE. In the Boise State University garage, use Coupon Code: 20149778
Each screening will feature a facilitated discussion at the conclusion of the screening being led by a faculty and/or community member familiar with the content of the film.
The series is shared on behalf of the “Bridging Cultures” initiative of the National Endowments of Humanities via the Gilder-Lehman Institute.
Submitted by MeAndG on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 7:35pm.
The Idaho Democratic Party is honored to welcome United States Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) as the Keynote Speaker of their flagship event, the Frank & Bethine Church Gala.
Tom Udall is the current senior Senator of New Mexico. Tom began serving as United States Senator in 2009, after two decades of public service as U.S. Representative and New Mexico’s State Attorney General.
Throughout his career, Tom has been a strong advocate for the hardworking families, for a clean energy economy and the environment, for affordable and accessible health care, and for our nation’s veterans. He has also been a leader in the fight for campaign finance reform and for making government more accountable to the American people, not the special interests.
Tom earned his undergraduate degree at Prescott College and obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Cambridge University in 1975. He graduated from the University of New Mexico Law School in 1977. Tom then served as a Law Clerk to Chief Justice Oliver Seth of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and became a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s criminal division. As Chief Counsel to the New Mexico Department of Health and Environment, he also fought for stronger environmental and health protections.
Idaho Democratic Party's Frank & Bethine Church Gala~ 20th Anniversary!
Friday, March 14, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM (PDT) CLICK HERE TO ORDER TICKETS
These experiences helped Tom realize he could personally make a difference through elected office. In 1990, Tom was elected New Mexico Attorney General. He made fighting DWI and domestic violence a priority. Working with the Legislature on both sides of the aisle, he pushed for tougher laws against offenders. Tom also fought to protect consumers, especially senior citizens, from rampant telemarketing and other forms of fraud. Additionally, he made ethics a trademark issue, increasing transparency in government and prosecuting corrupt politicians, even members of his own party. In 1994, Tom was elected to a second term as Attorney General.
In 1998, Tom was elected to represent the 3rd Congressional District of New Mexico in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the House, he wrote and passed legislation to establish a national renewable electricity standard, which would spur the creation of good jobs, reinvigorate our economy, and reduce global warming emissions.
As a new member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, Tom has a voice in federal funding for departments, agencies and other programs. Like Idaho, New Mexico has a large federal presence with its labs, military bases, agriculture and public lands, and he understand the importance of the programs that support those industries. Tom is committed to working for a balanced fiscal policy that will address our nation’s debt and invest in long-term economic growth.
In his role on EPW, Tom continues his important work on energy and environmental issues. On the Indian Affairs Committee, he carries on his longtime mission of helping shape the unique matters concerning Native Americans, including economic development, trust responsibilities, land management, Indian education and health programs. Through the Rules Committee, Tom has consistently pushed for filibuster and campaign finance reform.
Born to Stewart and Lee Udall in Tucson, Arizona, on May 18, 1948, Tom comes from a family known for its commitment to public service and fighting for western values. Tom has many family members that have served as in Congress, as judges, in legislatures and mayors all over the West. His father served in Congress and as the Secretary of the Interior and his cousin, Mark Udall is currently the U.S. Senator for Colorado. His father and his uncle, Mo Udall, both served in Congress with Senator Frank Church.
Tom is married to Jill Cooper and they have one grown daughter. In his spare time he enjoys tennis, fly-fishing, mountain climbing and staying involved in his community.
The 2014 Frank & Bethine Church Gala marks the 20th Anniversary of the event. The Gala kicks off the election season and a weekend full of workshops, other events and camaraderie of Idaho Democrats.
Reposted by permission of the Idaho Democratic Party
Submitted by MeAndG on Thu, 01/09/2014 - 10:51am.
UNFORTUNATE ONE LINERS:
"Read my lips: no new taxes." - George H.W. Bush (1988)
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman." - Bill Clinton (1998)
"My fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. - George W. Bush (05/01/2003)"
"I am not a bully." - Chris Christie (2014)
Here is a selection of fun thoughts on New Jersey's Republican Governor, drawn from the Twitterverse:
Submitted by MeAndG on Thu, 01/09/2014 - 10:14am.
Idaho Democratic lawmakers made a powerful argument for Idaho families in their annual Address to Idaho. They also noted that Gov. Otter was long on talk and short on action that helps Idaho families.
The governor failed to acknowledge that our status as 50th in wages for household incomes and average income hurts Idaho families. Rather the governor continued his legacy of giving handouts to wealth, well-connected organizations and donors at the expense of the rest of us.
Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett and House Minority Leader John Rusche called to end to 20 years of GOP policies that have devastated Idaho families:
“Hard working Idaho families are struggling with an unfairly high cost of living. In many cases, the jobs available are part-time, low wage jobs without benefits. We are dismayed that Idaho is now 50th in the nation for wages. Our public schools, which open the doors of success to so many young people, are suffering from years of legislative neglect resulting in rising local property taxes that hurt working families, businesses and the elderly.”
“Idaho’s public schools have seen deep cuts. The Majority claims that these cuts were unfortunate results
of a national recession. We strongly disagree. These cuts were choices. Intentional and deliberate.”
The entire Address to Idaho that Idaho Democratic Leaders gave Tuesday is printed below:
Address to Idaho from Idaho Democratic Leaders
Welcome and thank you for coming.
We are honored to once again be here in the Idaho Capitol doing the work of “We the People.”
We would like to take a moment and thank our veterans and active military members for their service to our country. We would also like to take a moment and remember Bowe Bergdahl who remains a prisoner of war. We offer our prayers for his health and his return home to his family.
We also want to note that we believe that Idaho could do better in recognizing the debt that we owe our veterans for serving their country. Our veterans struggle to find employment, adequate health care and the mental health services they need. Idaho Democratic lawmakers pledge to support veterans and their families through our work in the Legislature and in our communities.
As we begin this session, we want to take a moment to remind you of the work we are building on from last year. For the first time in a long time, we found Republican colleagues who were willing to put partisan politics aside and cooperate to find the best solutions for Idaho families. It is our hope that we can have the same spirit of cooperation this year.
Given that some in the Majority party will have opposition in the Primary election, some predict a “legislature lite”, where many of the major issues and decisions will either be deferred or even buried in the rush to get out of town.
We believe it is our responsibility to put the people’s priorities first. We believe that decades of one-party rule have resulted in a system that is rigged against regular Idaho families.
Hard working Idaho families are struggling with an unfairly high cost of living. In many cases, the jobs available are part-time, low wage jobs without benefits. We are dismayed that Idaho is now 50th in the nation for wages. Our public schools, which open the doors of success to so many young people, are suffering from years of legislative neglect resulting in rising local property taxes that hurt working families, businesses and the elderly.
Every decision Idaho Democrats make this session will be guided by whether we believe that Idaho’s families and small businesses will benefit. We will work hard to ensure that our freedoms are protected, that opportunities are created and that we are passing a strong legacy onto our children. We want Idaho to be a place where our children can choose to live and work and raise a family. read more »
Submitted by MeAndG on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 4:18pm.
Courtesy, Idaho Democratic Party
Last year was a great year for Idaho Democrats. We know that 2014 will be even better.
As a party, we spent the past year working hard and training activists for the 2014 elections. Our new Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Kenck lived up to his promise to be an active chairman traveling thousands of miles to meet with county activists. We offered a number of trainings and were gratified to see the energy.
The past year kicked off with a powerful legislative session where Idaho Democrats played pivotal roles in saving counties from losing crucial funding for their roads, safety services and schools to another reckless proposed tax giveaway from Gov. Otter to his corporate benefactors. Otter’s priority remained to continue decades of GOP economic policies that harm Idaho’s families and communities.
Indeed, Idaho Democrats did as much as possible, working to block the most disastrous results of an imbalanced political system after two decades of ironclad GOP control. Still, Idaho’s GOP majority was unfazed by our new status as the state with with highest percentage of minimum wage jobs–Otter was using that status to lure more low-paying companies to the state!
The IDP let Idaho know that we are vibrant with a statewide summer tour of our new caucuses and by hosting statewide education rallies in the fall. We had an incredible turnout for a campaign worker training in November, which showed that our pool of talent in this state is deep. Those were just a few of the activities sponsored and promoted by the IDP.
We may have been running full speed in 2013, but we’re just going to grab another gear and go faster in 2014.
Idaho Democrats have incredible candidates, with more planning to announce their runs in within the next month or so.
A governor’s candidate, A.J. Balukoff, had Gov. Otter playing defense when Balukoff’s candidacy was still a rumor. Anyone else notice how Otter suddenly switched his seven year priority of tax cuts for his corporate cronies to an election-year conversion professing love for edcuation? We have other great candidates
Stay tuned to this website and the IDP Facebook page for updates on our Idaho Democratic candidates and the work of Idaho Democratic legislators.
The issues are on our side. The momentum is with us. Every Idaho Democrat can be part of the 2014 victories by reminding people that it was 20 years of GOP rule that gave us an economy where families struggle, where public education is slashed. Our priorities are Idaho priorities.
Happy New Year, Idaho! Together, we will make Idaho’s future brighter for our communities, our businesses, our families, and our children. read more »
Submitted by MeAndG on Sat, 12/28/2013 - 2:42pm.
"Can't District 10 find someone better ...?" - College of Idaho Political Science Professor Jasper LiCalzi.
On Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012: "Caldwell Republican nominee for District 10 state representative Brandon Hixon said the five misdemeanors he received by age 21 were youthful indiscretions that don’t represent who he is today," the Idaho Press Tribune reported. "Hixon, who turns 31 Oct. 26, also has 15 infractions, mostly for traffic violations, between 1998 and 2009, according to court records."
However, arch-conservative Kent Marmon reported from his Facebook page today:
"This REALLY comes as no surprise to me... I've said, for a long time, that Brandon Hixon was an extremely bad choice made by Idaho District 10 voters."
He went on to say that "the Boise Guardian just provides proof and confirms my thoughts."
The Idaho Legislature will be in town shortly with elected representatives deciding how and where to spend all the tax money and other revenue collected by the state. One of those 'spenders' will be Brandon Hixon, State Representative for Caldwell’s District 10. Based on public records, Rep. Hixon has an apparent history of stiffing creditors. Seems the good voters of Canyon County are plagued with deadbeat politicos eager to spend their public money while unable to manage their personal finances.
Caldwell GUARDIAN editor Paul Alldredge broke the story and noted, “A quick check of today’s Press Tribune Legal Notices on the right hand side of the page gave the details of this latest financial difficulty of Rep. Hixon who is now more than $10,000 behind in his mortgage and late fees to Wells Fargo Bank.”
"Ironically, a guy with bad debt is seldom hired in law ENFORCEMENT because the theory is he would be susceptible to accepting cash from strangers," Marmon continued. "We all know that would never happen with a law MAKER."
The Idaho Press Tribune had it right in its endorsement of Hixon's Democratic opponent, Travis Manning:
Submitted by MeAndG on Thu, 12/26/2013 - 1:19pm.