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Monday, February 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion >  Editorial

Looking Back: Past opinions provide perspective

Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.

Space flight, Sept. 16, 1966

An S-R editorial lauded the Gemini 11 mission.

“The successful return to earth of the Gemini 11 astronauts brings feelings both of pride and relief to their earth-bound well-wishers.

“Their three-day adventure in space has added significantly to the body of knowledge we have accumulated concerning space travel. The less-than-satisfactory walk in space of astronaut Charles (Pete) Conrad Jr. may have yielded more valuable information than some of the other portions of the programmed maneuvers that went off without a hitch. The area of the unknown has been reduced considerably.

“In retrospect, it is somewhat astonishing that our entire series of space explorations has gone off without a major mishap. The worst accident to befall any astronaut was the injury suffered by John M. Glenn when he slipped in the bathtub at home some months after the successful conclusion of this journey beyond the world.”

Ross Perot, Sept. 13, 1996

An S-R editorial pushed for the inclusion of Ross Perot in the presidential debates.

“Let the squeaky Texan with an ego to match his billions cut in on Bill and Bob’s well-planned two-step this fall. Ross Perot might be the only one at the podium with the guts to ask questions Americans care about.

“Remember the North American Free Trade Agreement? Much of the country – particularly the labor unions – believes George Bush, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole sold out the American worker by pushing the international pact. Perot does, too. He’s the only one available to press Bill and Bob about the issue they’d like to go away.

“For all his idiosyncracies and paranoia, Perot has earned a right to join in the presidential debates again. In 1992, he captured 19 percent of the vote. … And he’s on the ballot in all 50 states. Besides, he’d spice things up.”

Court shirks duty, Sept. 13, 2006

The editorial board panned the Idaho Supreme Court’s decision to drop its battle for adequate school buildings.

“The state Supreme Court has failed Idaho’s children by washing its hands of a long-running lawsuit to fix school buildings. After 16 years of briefs, counterbriefs and foot-dragging by the state of Idaho, the Supreme Court has closed the case and decided to rely on legislators to rectify the problem of unsafe or inadequate school buildings.

“Apparently, the justices haven’t paid attention to the legal maneuvering by lawmakers to ignore or sidestep every adverse court decision they’ve faced in this 1990 case. This includes the decision last December in which the Supreme Court declared the school funding system unconstitutional.”

The editorial continued: “One thing is clear: The justices have jettisoned common sense if they believe Republican Idaho legislators will act properly to fix deteriorating school buildings without a legal sword hanging over their heads.”

It concluded: “Apparently, the Supreme Court has shirked its duty to Idaho’s schoolchildren as much as the Legislature has.”

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