Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

To the Editor
Delectable Scraps Have a Bad Aftertaste
I’ve learned that a piece of my personal freedom and self-respect is removed the moment I adopt any degree of mental entitlement.  It weakens my resolve and my independence.  Further, it renders me as incapable and robs the noble breath of life that gives me the energy to utter “I can”.   I don’t like the resulting feeling from giving up on myself, betraying myself, or worse, to utter the foulest word ever thought of or spoken:  “I can’t”.  I know reality and the ideal differ.  But, maybe others are like me, during hardship, are enticed to participate in the delectable scraps of the ‘virtuous’ public treasury.  I’ve decided that, unless impossible, it’s not worth the loss of self-worth, self-respect, independence, and the loss of ingenuity and resourcefulness that is borne during hardship.    The following story told several years ago scarred me I think.  “At our seaside village seagulls are starving amidst plenty.  The shrimping fleet “shrimped” the waters by our village for many years.  The seagulls ate the easy shrimp and fish caught in the net.  Now the shrimping fleet has moved to other waters, and the native seagulls can’t fend for themselves.  They are dying because they lost the skill to work.  Even their fledglings are dying because their parents never taught them how to work for fish.”  I wonder if this affects people too who continuously dine on the delectable scraps on the fishing nets of the public treasury or others.  Are they teaching their children the same?  If so, what will they do when the public treasury dries up, or friends or family move?  
Scott Perrin

To the Editor
I've been reading about Moscow's "mastery-based education " The current grade-inflated system  with a third of the class getting 4.0's, where what used to be C's and D's are now B's and almost no one getting an F is apparently too unfair. Now they are proposing a system where students can redo assignments and retake tests and do either on their own schedule. How nice. Little to no personal responsibility. Perhaps we should do away with grading altogether and just give them all a blue ribbon and a diploma for participating. After all we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or damage their little psyche. After they get their blue ribbon then we can send them off to "free college for everyone". Great ideas! Liberal minds continue to amaze me. Thanks
Lucky Brandt
Kooskia, ID

Redneck Review!
No. 240 - Review #83 reprinted and edited
With an eye fixed back on last Thursday, 11/28, and the truly American celebration we call Thanksgiving, let's pause again, catch our political breath, and ponder the things we have in this country for which we should be truly thankful!  And along with the thoughts which go through our minds, and hearts, let's add a prayer or two, or three..., or more!
Once again, what do we owe those early pioneers who risked life and limb to leave their old homes, cross a perilous ocean, and struggle to set up a new life in a country unknown to them other than stories heard from different sources?  How many hundreds of deaths are hidden in the unreported pages of history, of those who never made it, who perished on a stormy sea, or died along with hundreds of others during periods like the "starving time" which struck early families in Jamestown?  We rarely think of this, but cannot help but be reminded when we see stories like those in our local news lately.  The Lewiston Tribune reported Nov.18 that "Four Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks in the last 2.5 days have caused about 340 migrants to die or go missing, making 2016 the deadliest year on record...bringing to over 4500 the number  of migrants who have died or are missing" attempting to cross from Africa to southern Europe. (Taken from 2016 Tribune) 
And how thankful should we be that some 600,000 fathers, brothers, cousins, and friends gave their lives in the brutal battle it took to give freedom to the slave culture in our so easily forgotten Civil War?  True, we have endured almost constant warfare during our last several decades, but no where near the personal body count history records then.  We must admit it seems, that our present generations have lived during unusual periods of peace that have been rare in the annals of history.  Seems our most dangerous moments nowadays are the riots of the unhappy because a certain presidential candidate failed to get elected!  Or else the deadly outbreak of some unhappy individual who takes out a vicious vengeance on other innocent people because of some perceived wrong that has been done.
In what other country, past or present, can the poorest of the population receive all kinds of benefits from a paternal government:  free food, free education, free medical care, low cost entertainment from TV that can be found in nearly every home, and still be the envy of many less fortunate outside of our borders?  How many families do we  read about who are today desperately migrating to other areas?  And oh yes,  how many very unfortunate families and individuals do we see struggling to enter our land, a recent wave that threatens to engulf us and overwhelm the free society they find here?  (Printed in 2016 - still true today?)
Yes, America!  Now is the time and Thursday was the day to give a big thank you for the unique blessings we have been given.  It is time we widen our understanding, and then very humbly admit we are the most fortunate people in all of recorded history! Perhaps a careful reading of times past or of conditions elsewhere would help give us a new perspective, and would make us more thankful for what we have!  Maybe each of us did take  time to put together an impressive food or gift package that then appeared  suddenly and without any identification on the doorstep of some less fortunate family!  Maybe we did  pick out some reliable charity or food bank which would deliver the gift for us! Maybe it would still be very worthwhile for each of us to say a special prayer of thanks for what we have and been given!
O Lord and heavenly Father, we thank you for life in America and the good things we should be thankful for: families, freedom, food, and relative tranquility! We pray and beg You to bring peace and happiness to our country and to the many people who live in our troubled world!
Jake Wren

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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