STATESMAN LETTER POLICY
Give writers more than 200 words to make points
People reading the letters to the editor in the Idaho Statesman must sometimes ask themselves why the letters often seem so simple and undeveloped.
Well, I have a perfectly good explanation: There is a limit of 200 words ... or as the Idaho Statesman newspaper website explains, limited to 1,082 characters.
Someone within the newspapers managerial hierarchy (Kevin Richert is the editorial department functionary), has unilaterally and arbitrarily decided that readers comments must not and cannot exceed this particular number. (More room for more advertising?)
That is why most, if not all, of the comments seem so shallow and insipid. Thoughts and opinions often require a little background, color, nuance, relevance and mood in order to convey an opinion. The last time I complained about this, the Idaho Statesman newspaper increased the word limit from 150 words to 200 words!
Given the dearth of timely or meaningful information in the Idaho Statesman newspaper, one would think that it could at least try to expand this section to allow its readers a more meaningful and intellectually stimulating forum for self-expression.
It really could be something we could all be proud of.
JIM SPICKA, Boise
Environmental disaster looms with this project
Ada County residents should inform themselves on the proposed Dynamis gasification (incineration) proposal.
This project is flawed starting with the Ada County Commissions approval of the plan with no public input and use of taxpayer money to make a $2 million loan to a private company.
The supposed benefits behind this technology, which has attempted to cloak itself in an environmentally green way, is controversial and scientifically flawed. Just transporting up to 10,000 tires the plant is proposing to burn is an environmental disaster, followed by the release of toxins, including dioxins, into our air and watershed.
Dynamis has no track record in a facility of this size and no objective peer-reviewed science behind its claims. The energy produced by this project will cost more than market rates per kilowatt hour. We are not facing a landfill crisis. We do not need the higher priced energy, or the heavy truck traffic required to bring in thousands of tires. Most of all, we dont need the potential negative impacts of numerous toxins released into our air, water and soil along with their serious negative environmental and health impacts.
TODD DAVIS, Boise
Enough with the research; project should be pulled
The Dynamis incineration project is not what it states it is. The time is now for the Ada County commissioners to do the right thing and put an end to this project.
A decade ago, we were heavily involved in successfully fighting the construction of the Garnet Energy Power Plant.
From the research we've seen, the air-quality repercussions of this plant would be even worse. This project appears fueled by greed and poor information. The time is now to reverse course, cut losses, and stop the project. The children of the Treasure Valley deserve more.
JONNA WEBER, Citizens of Responsible Land Use, Boise
Taxpayers shouldnt pay for protesters damage
I would like to make a comment on the Occupy Boise encampment at the old Ada County Courthouse. I believe people have the right to protest issues in our country. Thats what makes our country so great.
However, I dont believe we as taxpayers should pay for damages these protesters are creating by setting up their tents and killing the grass around the old courthouse.
The state should go after these people for any and all damages they have created. Heck, the American Civil Liberties Union could even help them with a payment plan to pay back the city for these damages.
HARVEY DIXON, Boise
RELIGION AND POLITICS
Theres no reason why church should favor GOP
Led by Cardinal Dolan, the Catholic Church has lost all impartiality in politics, and in the minds of many acts as a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP, championed by Rupert (Fox News) Murdoch, himself a Papal Knight.
At Vatican II, Paul VI called a commission to study contraception. When informants relayed that contraception was being approved, Paul closed the commission and decided the question himself condemning contraception low marks for intellectual honesty.
Today, surveys show 75 percent plus of Catholics support contraception. The bishops just dont realize their position makes them look ridiculous and irrelevant.
Democrats recognize we are a free nation of diverse views: pro-choice. Meanwhile, Republicans claim to be pro-life but allow abortion in cases of rape, incest and the mothers health. While the church calls all abortion immoral, it does not criticize the GOP. Where has honesty gone?
People of the same gender have been in loving relationships since the earliest times. Most ordained people in the church have no experience of deep human love. How can those ignorant of human love condemn those who find love where God has sown it? Its an old story. Theyre different, they must be evil. What are the bishops up to?
HAL NEWMAN, Boise
Conflicts of interest appear to be common
With regard to your article Tax-exempt groups shield corporate political donors on July 8.
Not unlike the financial conflict of interest that can result when a drug company offers gifts to a physician; so too, an even greater financial conflict of interest can occur when a medical investigator has proprietary interest or owns equity in the pharmaceutical company.
The evidence is compelling that physicians receiving financial compensation from companies whose products they are studying are much more likely to publish studies favorable to those products. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and academic medical institutions have strict compliance regulations, disclosure requirements and review boards to prevent scientific misconduct resulting in poor science or human harm.
Somewhat paradoxically, the Supreme Court allows unlimited donations to super PACs to elect a president without disclosure rules to prevent donor anonymity. How can such a disparity exist between the rigid rules to prevent the financial conflict of interest in medical research and the arguably premeditated inducement to create misbehavior or dishonesty in our president? Shouldnt that rigorous scrutiny that prevents misconduct in medicine be essential to prevent presidential indebtedness to an individual, a corporation or a church?
TONY KEYS, Boise