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FRIDAY, JAN. 12, 2018

Delayed consequences

Behavioral psychologists like me look at the problem of self-control as a result of the human trait of being more strongly influenced by immediate, small rewards and less strongly influenced by delayed, larger punishments. Think immediate pleasure from smoking, eating too much unhealthy food, engaging in unprotected sex and driving gas guzzlers vs. delayed heart and lung disease, obesity, unwanted pregnancies and global warming.

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"Fetus" banned

A recent Spokesman-Review article informs us that bureaucrats in Washington have ruled out the use of seven words or phrases in Health and Human Services documents. One of those words is "fetus." that word is now politically incorrect.

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State taxing loop holes

Can Washington please stop coming up with more ways to raise our taxes? Latest vehicle registration: still $30 for registration but now another $50 for a "weight fee," plus other fees. Kinda blew that initiative out of the water, eh? Then, if they can't get what they want in property taxes due to a different initiative, they simply reassess your property value. Taxes raised $29/month just the other day. They say they're now taxing manufactured homes like they do regular stick-builds. My property assessment went up about $31K overnight! Can these people guarantee that I can sell for what I'm being assessed at? I'm gonna die here.

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THURSDAY, JAN. 11, 2018

Destruction of public faith

If Trump is innocent, why does he act so guilty? If Republicans want justice, then why are they attacking the very foundations of justice? Case in point, Republican Rep. Francis Rooney calling for a purge in the FBI, falsely claiming political bias.

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Flying cars

In stoking the fears and anger of the U.S. manufacturing workers, Donald Trump promised to bring jobs back to America.

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Name change

In light of the president's bellicose ramblings and his alienating most of the nations on this planet

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The public is being duped

When I think of how the new tax bill is being sold to the public, it reminds me of my years in Liberia, under President William Tubman. Tubman was dearly loved by the poorest in the country, which actually didn't make any sense at all. But, needy citizens would come to his office for financial help – for a funeral, a wedding, or just hard times. He would gladly oblige with a gift of up to $500. In fact, he had envelopes marked with various amounts of money already prepared to distribute.

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 10, 2018

Difference makers

A big thank you is deserved by The Spokesman-Review for its Difference Makers series. In this time when national politics are broken and implementing positive change on a national level seems like a hopeless endeavor, it is critical we point out those in our community making real change for the better of all.

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Ferguson defending our internet freedoms

I differ from Mr. Miller's opinion ("Ferguson being childish," Dec. 25), suggesting our attorney general Bob Ferguson is just being a nuisance to Trump over internet neutrality, when actually Mr. Ferguson is defending our First Amendment freedoms online. The internet has become the most important human communications tool in history, surpassing traditional media for its versatility and the freedom of how it can be accessed and used. It is that freedom the opponents of internet neutrality, the traditional media conglomerates, do not like so much.

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Robert J. Samuelson: Will the economy save Trump?

For President Trump, a lot is riding on the economy in 2018. If it continues to do well, it should bolster his popularity and his claim that he understands it better than his critics. But if it slows or drops into a recession, it would weaken that claim -- perhaps his strongest selling point.

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Rob McKenna: Personal views and political frustration don’t excuse the criminal blockade of a train

One of the fundamental principles of civil disobedience, from Thoreau to Gandhi to Dr. Martin Luther King, is: do the crime, be prepared to do the time. It’s a time-honored tradition seen by protesters as the cost of bringing broader attention to their cause. But some activists are asking courts in Spokane and elsewhere to ignore this principle. If they succeed, they not only will undermine the rule of law, they will cause grave risk by encouraging others to commit illegal acts that put themselves and others in danger. Environmental activists who have been charged for disruptive and potentially life-threatening protests have convinced some judges, in our state and in Minnesota, to allow them to present the so-called “necessity defense.” This rarely available criminal defense excuses law breaking when necessary to avoid an obvious and imminent greater harm. For instance, trespassing on private property to escape a vicious dog could be deemed “necessary.”

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The week that was…

On tonight’s “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television, host Melissa Davlin interviews House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, D-Boise; and reports on how Idaho counties are grappling with problems bringing their ...

Celebrating the 100th day

Got a note and a photo from my friend Tiffiny Santos, who teaches at Spokane's Westview Elementary. "Hi, Paul. Today is the 100th day of school, so naturally we dressed ...

Where’s Santa? NORAD is tracking him here

For decades the folks at the North American Aerospace Defense Command have kept track of Santa Claus as part of their duties of watching anything that comes over the North ...