Letters to the editor-07-04-2013

July 4, 2013 

GOOD 4TH FOOD

Stay away from meat; try a veggie burger

What ever happened to the good old days when the worst things we had to fear on the Fourth of July were traffic jams and wayward fireworks?

According to the Department of Agriculture's Meat & Poultry Hotline, this year's top threat is food poisoning by nasty E. coli and Salmonella bugs lurking in hamburgers and hot dogs at millions of backyard barbecues.

The hotline's advice is to grill them longer and hotter. Of course, they don't bother to mention that the high-temperature grilling that kills the bugs also forms lots of cancer-causing compounds.

Luckily, a bunch of enterprising U.S. food manufacturers and processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a great variety of healthful, delicious, and convenient, veggie burgers and soy dogs.

These delicious plant-based foods don't harbor nasty pathogens or cancer-causing compounds. They don't even carry cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs or pesticides. And, they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our supermarket.

This Fourth of July offers a great opportunity to declare our independence from the meat industry and to share wholesome veggie burgers and soy dogs with our family and friends.

IKE SCHNEIDER, Boise

FIREWORKS SALES

Fourth of July presents danger to our safety

The Heck family story regarding their fireworks and animal trophy business left out important points. Specifically that they are profiting from a business that taxes public safety services and endangers people's lives and property.

Regardless of "legality" of the sale of unsafe fireworks, no one can deny that calls for fire, EMS and police services peak during the days preceding and following the Fourth of July. Anyone who has had a loved family member who serves the public in any of these services dreads this holiday.

Idaho's laws surrounding the use of unsafe fireworks in our communities punctuate the lack of courage of our legislative representatives. I'm guessing that the families of two Boise firefighters who burned to death in the 1980s could care less if businesses like the Heck's believe that stricter laws would hinder their ability to make a living. Furthermore, the taxpayers would not have the burden of paying for the resources their sales create.

PAMELA BABBITT, Nampa

SIDE BY SIDE

GOP acts like Taliban

There is an interesting juxtaposition of two article continuations on page 11, June 19. I read the shocking news that the Republican Central Committee wants to repeal local ordinances, which protect the basic rights of citizens from discrimination. The news printed in the adjacent column was about the Taliban.

Sent shivers down my spine!

CHARLENE CURRY, Boise

4TH AMENDMENT

Throw them all in jail, including the president

Seeing the news makes me think I live in a world that is a cross between "Alice in Wonderland" and "Brave New World."

I see reports that our government is spying on us in a multitude of ways and that they are chasing the guy who spilled the beans. Irony of ironies, they are calling him a traitor and a spy.

I would start with the Senate and congressional committees on intelligence, ought to be unintelligence, and throw them all in jail for aiding and abetting.

Then we should work our way up the chain by jailing the heads of the CIA, the FBI, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the director of intelligence, the vice president and the president.

They are showing absolute disregard for the Fourth Amendment, which they have all sworn to uphold and protect. No law, presidential authorization, legal opinion or secret court can override the Constitution. Only an amendment to the Constitution, duly ratified by the individual states can change the Constitution. Whose great idea was it to set up a secret court to approve the spying? In a democracy?

FRANK LONYAY, Boise

VOTING RIGHTS

Congress should review actions, laws of all states

I've just finished reading the opinions in Shelby County v. Holder, handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I think that Justice Ginsberg has the better argument than Justice Roberts' opinion striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional. Indeed, although many things have changed in the country, racial and ethnic discrimination still persists.

The immediate actions by states such as Texas and Alabama to limit voter registration, close many minority polling places, and require voter picture identification affects minorities disproportionately. It may not be so blatant as saying "no blacks or Latinos need apply," but second and third generation attempts to limit minority influence is just more sophisticated.

The realities are still the same: racist views persist, including slurs associated with particular minorities, whether they have any basis of validity. Congress must address this decision by prompt action to review the actions of any state, not just the 10 or so historical states covered by the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

WILLIAM J. BONNER, Meridian

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