Letters to the editor: Science, gender surgery, GOP power, border wall

Science debate

Anyone who says “the debate is over” when it comes to science reveals their ignorance with regards to scientific process.

Science is not a “debate.” It’s a deliberate, painstaking process of exploration that’s never “over.” New discoveries are constantly being made that can change previous beliefs, and true science always welcomes challenge and skepticism, because it’s only goal is discovering truth, not winning arguments.

Furthermore “scientific consensus” is an oxymoron. In science, consensus is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is cold, hard facts, not the majority of “expert” opinion. It is what one person can prove, with all other possible variables accounted for, not what most people believe. History is replete with examples where “scientific consensus” has been debunked.

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What passes for scientific discussion today sounds more like politics and religion than science.

Furthermore, anyone who suggests that a biological boy can be a biological girl simply by believing that he is, is in no position to lecture anyone on science.

Phil Bridges, Nampa

Gender surgery

I read in the paper about the Idaho transgender inmate who Judge B. Lynn Winmill granted gender confirmation surgery. This surgery cost runs $15,000 to $25,000 or possibly more. Who is going to pay for that? Judge Winmill, are you paying for that? (I think not.) I think the taxpayers are going to pay for that and I am not sure taxpayers should be paying for such surgeries. There are many transgender people who cannot afford the surgery and yet Idaho taxpayers are going to pay for someone to have the surgery and they have committed a crime and are in jail. That does not seem right.

For transgenders who are out there contributing to society and go through the process of the surgery, I understand. It is the fact that someone in jail is getting the surgery and it is the taxpayers who will pay. That is not what we pay taxes for.

Cheryl Lomax, Boise

Government power

In Wisconsin’s 2018 gubernatorial race, Democrat Tony Evers beat incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker by over 29,000 votes. Since the election, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature voted in favor of sweeping measures that strip the incoming governor and attorney general (also a Democrat) of their powers. The move was a blatant partisan effort to block the changes people voted for and thwart the will of the voters. Republican leaders openly admitted they passed the lame-duck plan to limit the power of Democratic officials. The peaceful transition of power from one party to another is a cornerstone of functional democracy. Similar actions have taken place in Michigan since the 2018 midterms. North Carolina Republicans did the same thing in 2016 to an incoming Democrat governor. With the health care of an estimated 62,000 people at stake, the “conservative” Idaho Freedom Foundation is trying to block Medicaid expansion even though over 60 percent of Idaho voters approved it. These actions are the precursors of tyranny. The question now is will the Republican-controlled Idaho Legislature approve the state’s share of the funding for Medicaid expansion in Idaho. Thwarting the will of the people is an authoritarian tactic. The Republicans are becoming an authoritarian party.

Tom Lorentz, Boise

Trump’s wall

Donald Trump said he was going to build a wall thousands of times during the presidential campaign. But he never once told taxpayers he was going to ask them to pay for it. In fact, his laugh line was “and Mexico is going to pay for it.”

It is not funny that he is now asking taxpayers to shell out $5 billion for his wall. And this is a mere down payment for the total cost of the wall he envisions. What a total waste of taxpayer dollars. I hope that Republicans and Democrats from both the Senate and the House stand up to this careless and wasteful plan.

William Rice, Boise