Give people a helping hand, not more cuts
So what's one of the first bad things that has happened since the sequester went into effect? People had to wait for airplanes to take off due to the furloughs for traffic controllers. This happens to affect our politicians and their wealthiest constituents. The Senate and House passed a law to give the FAA up to $253 million to make sure they don't have to wait for their planes to land or takeoff.
The well-off and powerful aren't able to deal with any inconvenience but we expect poor people to go without food pantries, vouchers for housing, health clinics and Head Start programs that are closing down due to the sequester. Most of the poor in this country are the working poor that work full time with wages that are unsustainable.
My faith tells me I should help my neighbor and I think most people in this country feel the same way. We need to end the sequester for the programs that affect the poor and give people a helping hand instead of cutting the deficit on the backs of those people who are powerless to change the system.
CAROL STIRLING, Boise
Don't want registration
As a WWII veteran and life member of the NRA, I feel that background checks are needed to prevent wrong people from buying guns. However, I am very fearful of registration of guns. Historically, every time firearms have been registered anywhere in the world, they have subsequently been confiscated. Most recent examples are Australia and Great Britain. Current U.S. law requires background checks to be destroyed within 24 hours.
The Second Amendment was to establish a "well-regulated militia necessary to the security of a free state." It does not mention crime or sporting purposes. It protects all other rights. It is the greatest impediment to government tyranny.
Most gun owners feel that government leaders want to take our guns away so they can control us. All the talk about crime is to persuade people to support gun control, which has never controlled crime. The War for Independence was started in 1775 when the British tried to confiscate the community powder magazines making muskets ineffective.
JACK H. STUART, Meridian
NRA is like the mafia
When all the people were shot in Newtown, every single channel zeroed in on it, going on and on for over a week, like they have been with the bombing in Boston.
Amazing, there wasn't the NRA throwing money and threats around to silence people over bombs like they do with guns. No one spreading lies about bombs like they do about gun laws. Do you ever get the feeling that it's all about money? It should be about death, people's lives and the American way.
The cowards doing the voting in your name in Washington couldn't get that. People running for office should have to stand on their own two feet and not take money from any organization that will expect them to be more for their cause than the Americans that voted for them.
The mafia tried to take over this country once. If you think the NRA isn't in that same category, you better think again.
DAN DAY, Boise
NRA trumps safety
It's a sad day when our children's safety in their classrooms infringes on the constitutional rights of NRA gun nuts carrying assault weapons.
Recently there have been plenty of good intelligent editorials putting our nay-saying, do-nothing congressmen in their place. In spite of these foot-dragging, do-nothing congressmen, President Obama has produced a booming economy and stock market.
These congressmen were against everything including the bailouts which were necessary to bring us out of our recession. There isn't one nit-wit amongst them that could have captured Bin Laden.
As for the recent election, according to Rush Limbaugh, Romney spent over $1 billion trying to erase his own crooked image.
He then tried to bribe Las Vegas billionaires with tax breaks. We could now be stuck with the most corrupt government on Earth with the rest of the world looking on in amusement.
ROBERT G. SCHULTZE, Riggins
New laws should protect integrity of families
When you're raising a family in a rural community, access to fresh produce is essential.
Some take this for granted, but if the immigrant workers who harvest our food were gone tomorrow, everyone would notice the empty shelves in the grocery store, or the huge hike in the price of our foods. We need these workers in to feed our families and they deserve an immigration policy that welcomes them and protects them from labor abuses.
We also need an immigration policy that protects family integrity. When I hear about ICE raids that take parents away from their children I think about my own children. What would they do if I were taken away? Separating children from their parents is a moral injustice and does not reflect American values.
We work hard to be able to raise our children, live happily and retire at a reasonable age. The immigrant workers in our communities want the same things. We need to be grateful for all that they do to support our families, and in turn support them by pushing our legislators to pass an immigration reform that keeps families together and provides a path to citizenship.
TERRI STERLING, Culdesac
Whistle-blowing important for safety
"Despicable, unconstitutional, ridiculous, immature, idiotic and mendacious." And that's just how Tennessee newspapers characterized the state's "ag-gag" bill now awaiting governor's signature.
Ag-gag bills criminalize whistle-blowing that exposes animal abuses, unsafe working conditions and environmental problems on factory farms. Instead of encouraging whistle-blowing and preventing these violations, ag-gag laws ensure that consumers and regulatory authorities are kept in the dark.
Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and Utah have enacted ag-gag laws, but such bills were defeated in eight other states, thanks to a strong outcry from the public and newspaper editors. In 2013, new ag-gag bills were introduced in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming. The language has been invariably drafted by the infamous anticonsumer American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Thirty newspapers and 60 national animal protection, workers' rights, civil liberties, public health, food safety and environmental conservation organizations have recently gone on record as strongly opposing ag-gag bills.
Each of us who feels that our government must never restrict our right and obligation to know where our food comes from should urge our state legislators and governor to oppose the ag-gag bill.
IKE SCHNEIDER, Boise
Church is not secular
In response to Cecilia Langland's letter: All the Catholics I know believe and trust in God the Father and his only Son Jesus.
The Catholic Church is not a secular organization. The Catholic Church was established by Christ. He established Apostolic succession with Peter as the first Pope (Matt. 16:16-19) and "sent forth the Apostles He chose to establish His Church (The Catholic Church) to proclaim the trust of the Gospel message to all nations. Jesus gave his Apostles the authority to make disciples of all nations. (Matt. 28:18-20)
The problem has become the fact that some have "humanized" Jesus to the point that everything that the Father has divinely revealed through His Son has been reduced to a matter of opinion; and to the point that it has become nothing more than "secular thinking."
JEANETTE BAUER, Boise
I would like to reiterate Lori Thom's comments in her letter of May 2. "Shame On You, Idaho Statesman!"
I looked for information in the paper regarding the walk for Multiple Sclerosis to be held on April 20 at Julia Davis Park.
There was nothing about the MS Walk, but there was lots of news about the Race to Robie Creek which was held the same day.
Approximately 1,800 people participated in the MS walk and raised over $130,000. MS is a disease of the central nervous system. This disease strikes men and woman from 20-50 years old. They don't know the cause and to date there is no cure.
I'm sure the Robie Creek Race was interesting for your readers; however, many people in the Treasure Valley suffer from MS. Don't you think the MS Walk For a Cure to raise money for this debilitating, incurable disease is also newsworthy?
PATSY CHAMBERS, Eagle