China has obligationas a superpower
Like many Americans, I have watched recent developments out of North Korea with great anxiety. A young dictator is making extraordinarily dangerous statements and taking related actions as a means to shore up his power at home.
What I keep looking for in the articles is some statement of intent out of China. It is my hope that China is taking action to help defuse this potentially catastrophic situation but it has not reduced the idiotic actions from the boy tyrant in Pyongyang so far.
China is clearly a global economic superpower. However, to step into the role of political superpower, actions are needed. The USA still occupies that role as the globe's only political superpower because we are willing to take these difficult actions. It is my hope that the State Department is emphatically asking China to try and control and mentor the chubby nitwit Kim Jong Un.
If you agree that this would be a prudent course of action at this point, I encourage everyone to contact their congressman and senators and ask these elected officials to apply some pressure on the State Department from Capitol Hill and get China to step up and do what's needed here.
JOHN LODAL, Boise
Scrap state program
If HHS has seen fit to delay implementing the federally run exchanges, why do Idaho taxpayers have to start being victimized by Gov. Butch Otter's state-run exchange right now? This last legislative session was a boondoggle from the get-go regarding our rights and freedoms as citizens of Idaho and the United States. We need to recall Butch, and we need to overthrow that horrific bill. To Butch and those dimbulbs who passed this garbage: It's not your money!
WENDIE LOSHBAUGH, Meridian
Idaho not well served
Apparently, in Idaho's Legislature, personal agendas trump rules and laws.
Unwilling to carpool, Sen. Chuck Winder wants a parking garage built on the Capitol Mall. Planned construction didn't meet Boise P&Z Commission rules, and approval was denied. So Winder, a former P&Z Commission member, introduced legislation exempting state government from P&Z rules.
Last year, Winder introduced legislation attempting to control pregnant women's personal decisions.
Some Idaho Republican legislators refuse to accept Supreme Court approved Obamacare. Come on girls, quit whining.
The House passed a bill prohibiting Idaho lawmen from helping enforce imaginary federal gun laws. What?
One lead-footed legislator got a speeding ticket, so they passed a law prohibiting Idaho town from determining their own speed limits.
In the future, opponents of a lame bill will find it more difficult to get their opposition on a ballot and be heard, compliments of legislators who didn't like voters rejecting the Luna laws.
Some keep reintroducing dead bills, like regulation tanning booths.
They don't like to lose. They get even. They manipulate or change laws. Then we re-elect them. What's wrong with us?
Republicans claim that government is too invasive. Hello! Anybody home?
KEN WHITE, Twin Falls
GOP ignores the facts,embraces fiction
There are two ways to be fooled: one is to believe what is not true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. Idaho's mostly Republican electorate effectively accomplishes both ways. They ignore facts and celebrate fiction.
When the electorate prudently rejected the infamous Luna Laws, they simultaneously re-elected the same party representatives responsible for jamming the laws through the Legislature in the first place. Perhaps not the most thoughtful move.
Ah yes, and then there is the far more critical Second Amendment concerns captivating voter attention. Ostensibly there is far more concern for firearms than for either the environment or education. AR-15s always trump education. Obviously, a cold steel gun on a hot summer day would be most comforting to an uneducated redneck!
Ultimately, Idaho voters, like King Solomon, must decide what is true. For King Solomon it was determining the true mother; for Idaho voters it will be determining the true representatives. One supposed mother was willing to divide the baby, while one ideological party is willing to divide the nation. Will the Legislature again cram through perhaps slightly modified Luna Laws? Will facts or fiction triumph in Idaho? We shall see.
JIM FRANKLIN, Meridian
Budget cuts couldapply to death benefits
If you own a life insurance policy, cash value that may build up in that product is tax-deferred. The death benefit is not taxed. Yet, as Congress tries to reduce the federal deficit, this could be in jeopardy.
Insurance and financial advisers like me help our clients achieve their goals and overcome financial setbacks. I'll be working on behalf of my clients in a different way. I'll join 1,000 of my colleagues from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors in Washington, D. C., to visit every congressional office and tell our clients' stories.
We will explain how life insurance lets parents sleep at night, confident that their children will be taken care of - even if they are no longer around.
I will tell Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador that in Idaho, more than 500,000 people rely on individual life insurance policies for financial security. Congress and the president should quickly realize that the overwhelming good life insurance does for consumers and society far out weights any short-term gain from taxing these products.
HYATT ERSTAD, Boise
COST OF WAR
Military can affordbudget reductions
As the military/industrial juggernaut continues to roll over us with a horrendous cost in blood and money, Ike's warning in 1956 becomes abundantly clear.
The generals and their counterparts in the weapons and munitions business are charting our course in foreign relations and military involvement. Add to this the shrill cries of congressmen who warn that an 18 percent cut in the military budget will weaken our nation and cause local areas of depression. The amount of that cut could probably be recovered in waste involving civilian contractors.
How important is "war" to our total economy? And, what kind of "war" are we talking about? It will certainly bear no resemblance to World War II and the use of formal military units.
Should we consider letting those nations with ongoing battles between various cults and religions settle their own problems without Uncle Sam's unwelcome intervention? The British tried to inflict their culture and lifestyle on the rest of the world, and it nearly bankrupted that nation.
Maybe we should take our money and our troops and go home to work on our own staggering financial and cultural problems.
CHET BOWERS, ex-World War II combatant, Boise
As a representative of the male gender, and if you have not already received a communication from a certain member of the Idaho Legislature, please allow me to note that the adjective "demure," which recently appeared in your publication under the byline of a (female) wire service writer, is almost always used when the person referred to is of the feminine gender.
You may verify my assertion with the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. I hope the poor choice of the word was due to inadvertence or lack of proper command of English by the writer, rather than a veiled insult to the legislator. Etymologically yours,
WALTER VARNES, Nampa