Letters to the editor: 04-29-2013

April 29, 2013 

U OF I PRESIDENT

Find the best woman for the job

The media is sorting over phrases like "leaning in" and "leaning out" to explain the absence of women in leadership across the country. Locally, how is the University of Idaho helping young women to stand tall?

April 9 marked how far into 2013 women must work to earn the same amount men did in 2012. Half a century after the Equal Pay Act, a woman in Idaho will earn $10,000 less than she should - every year - because our time is still 25 percent less valuable.

Women outpace men in the number of college degrees earned nationally. Students who earn a degree invest sizable amounts of time and money into a school, and women make up nearly 50 percent of this commitment in Moscow. When will U of I reflect its own demographics?

Of the 17 presidents who have led the University of Idaho since 1892, exactly one woman has served.

This is unacceptable. Now that M. Duane Nellis is vacating the presidency, we have an opportunity to find the best woman for the job. As a dedicated Vandal, I hope that when I graduate, I can shake the hand of a president who helps us all stand taller.

BRITT KIDDER, Moscow

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

First offenders deserve a break

Online looking at child pornography is a felony. Pornography gives rewards in the brain that gambling and drugs do. These type of crimes are addictive and people sometimes have a problem stopping. Some people have problems stopping the use of drugs or alcohol.

If a person is caught with some illegal pornography for the first time, should we not give this person the same chance that we give an alcoholic or drug addict for a first-time offense? If the person has been a good citizen and stayed out of trouble, but somehow falls for this temptation, I believe he or she should not be given ridiculously long jail terms.

Why not ask these people to refrain from computer use and stay away from any type of these activities? Treat them as we do with the Drug Court model if they have harmed no one. Give them a chance to prove that they are not a detriment to society. I ask Idaho to examine their policy in this area.

CHERYLL SALZBERG, Boise

DANO SAVINO

Writer misses facts

What possessed Dano Savino to call names and bully others in the name of God? The first thing I learned in church was, "God is love."

To quote his letter of April 10, "Can the liberals ... Leave our babies' lives, our money and our weapons alone?" Has he forgotten that weapons recently took 20 precious babies' lives? And while railing against abortion, does he remember that MEN plant the seeds? Does he believe women are responsible for rape, male cruelty or control? Why not educate men about the true causes of abortion?

And what about the moneychangers that his God so abhorred? OK, so I'm a liberal who believes that money shared is the real changer. I believe that weapons should be restricted to those who use them to kill for food or for protection. Even folks who do should be tested for mental health - especially those who spout hatred in newspaper letters.

Surely a loving Omnipresence wants us to love and care for each other and to live together in harmony.

MARYLIN BLINN, Payette

Consider move to Iran

The purpose of this letter is not to engage in a battle of words that might appear to dignify the absurd April 10 editorial comments of Dano Savino. How can any reasonable person argue or reason with someone who wants to remove a democratically elected president from office and "put God in charge"?

Our Founding Fathers wisely created a Constitution that requires separation of church and state. Iran is a perfect example of what happens when religious leaders take charge of a government. Mr. Savino can easily obtain a passport if he believes Iran's system is more compatible with his beliefs than American democracy.

It is fortunate that most of the religious zealots in this country aren't quite as fanatical as their Muslim counterparts. Rather than become offended by these off-the-wall minority views of local extremists, we need to celebrate the fact they are taking advantage of their First Amendment right to speak freely. As Democratic voters continue to repudiate their vision of America, we certainly don't want them to conclude that strapping on an explosive-loaded vest is their only way to win.

ALSTON JONES, Garden City

CATHOLICS

A secular religion

Harry A. Dennis' letter suggests that he is impressed by Catholics' ability to fit themselves into our secular society and acquire esteemed government and business positions.

He is unable to recognize that the Catholic Church itself is a secular organization. Its successful existence and prominence is obtained by its early indoctrination of children into its entrenched authoritarianism. Children are not taught to think for themselves by studying the Bible and becoming responsible citizens. The church is big on promoting capitalism.

The proof of their secularism is clearly established by their legalism called "Holy Orders," an invention that likely served people well in the distant past. This law is not in the Bible.

This ignorance by those unmarried male authoritarians continues to be perpetuated. They have a hierarchical existence involving a pope, cardinals, bishops, archbishops, monsignors, priests and laity considered to be unchaste. Practicing humility is not their forte but they impose this on other people. They make no public declarations about belief in a Creator or in his son, the person of Jesus Christ. They appear to be totally publicly involved in their own and other people's sexuality.

CECILIA B. LANGLAND, Boise

FAITH COLUMN

Find the bridge

To ask that one accepts God's word in regard to Jesus' resurrection three days later as payment for each of our sins, if we believe, is not a perspective. It is the crux of the Easter story. Yes, God loved us before Jesus died, and love died for the unlovable. God wants us to believe, though. Jesus said in John 14:6 that "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

To believe the entire gospel is some ad hominem attack against culture or a mean-spirited perspective. It is the way. When I was a young girl, I remember seeing a beautiful drawing of a bridge to God. The bridge was Jesus. One cannot climb up another way. It won't work. Find this bridge in God's word.

Barbara Nixon's commentary of March 30 had many beautiful paragraphs in it except for the third paragraph. Love is stronger than death, but Jesus had to die for our sin. This reality cannot be edited out when telling the Gospel story of Jesus. He paid all our debts and we get the beauty of grace, freedom and hope if we trust and obey.

JONI GRANRUD, Boise

RUDE LETTER

Mean comments are not welcome

I do not understand why the Statesman continues to print rude, insulting, mean-spirited letters like the one from Lynn McDonald on April 21. However, since you did decide to print this trash, I feel the need to respond.

I was born and raised in Boise, left for 15 years to "experience the big world out there" and could not wait to get back to a safe place where the people are mostly kind, friendly and family-oriented. There is nothing "small-minded" about the people of Idaho. I politely suggest the blatantly rude and hateful Lynn McDonald find a new place to live.

DAVE CLEMENTS, Eagle

WILLFUL IGNORANCE

Students are missing education opportunities

Public schools are subject to the most insidious kind of criticism - willful ignorance - and I see too much of it in letters to the editor as well as in statements by public officials.

These critics focus on the very problem that they themselves exhibit: the lack of willingness to explore for information about a problem. Instead they just shoot off their mouths with their preconceived misinformation.

The public schools have many students who achieve at high levels in various subjects. What the schools don't have is the publicity given to sports that emulate students who are culled from the whole student body.

The classroom is the opposite of that. It provides an opportunity for every student. The problem is that too many students find the social media, video games and other sorts of diversions more interesting than sitting and developing their brain to think through problems. These diversions reflect the vicarious nature of our sports-engulfed society. Self discipline and delayed gratification needed for learning anything are not valued by many parents and students.

The schools are open to everyone, but many students don't take advantage of the opportunity. It's called willful ignorance.

MICHAEL CIVIELLO, Boise

CDC-GUNS

Agency resorts to lies

Twice in the past month you have run a letter or story trying to perpetuate the fiction that the Centers of Disease Control was stopped from "researching" the uses of firearms by the NRA. That is untrue. Lots of people complained.

The CDC resorted to lies to create stats that made a picture they wanted. For example, in order to arrive at the "X children killed by gunfire," they redefine the term "child." While most would consider a child as someone up to the age of 14, the CDC defines "child" as ages 0-19. When a 19-year-old drug dealer shot an 18-year-old drug dealer, that was a "child killed by gunfire," according to CDC researchers.

The final straw came when the person in charge of the CDC, Donna Shalala, could not explain to Congress why the CDC refused to release their data and methodology for peer review. The answer was simple - both reeked of their anti-gun agenda.

TERRY FITZGERALD, Boise

APPEARANCES

Job market is limited

The year I graduated high school, the want ads were separated into Male and Female Help Wanted. Under Female Help Wanted, 50 percent or more stated, or implied, only the good-looking need apply. Weight and height or bust measurements were standard questions on forms.

Today I go for dental implants and there are brochures advertising botox and better eyelashes. The chiropractor offers laser body sculpting. Once again I feel only the good-looking wanted here. And it leaves me wondering, where do I go?

DALLAS BAIRD, Boise

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