Letters to the editor: 08-07-2013

August 7, 2013 

AMASH VOTE

When the Amash amendment was rejected, the House voted 217 (no) to 205 (yes) not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. The bill would have protected millions of innocent Americans not part of an investigation. Boehner, Bachmann, Pelosi and Obama agree, NSA domestic spying is OK! Even Rep. Mike Simpson has a long, drawn-out message on his website explaining his vote against the Constitution. When you look at the numbers they tell the real division in the House that isn’t along party lines. The representatives that voted against the Amash amendment received about twice as much campaign funding from the defense and intelligence industry than "yes" voters. It appears Simpson, Pelosi and Boehner vote the way money wants them to.

In Idaho, Simpson received $34,000, while Labrador (who voted for Amash) received $5,000.

Isn’t it nice to know that bribery is practically legal in Congress? How about the part of the taxes you pay that go to influence Congress to support big government? Tell me again how money in politics is a good thing?

Like NSA domestic spying? Remember, you might get a visit from the terrorist task force for what you search online. Just ask the Massachusetts resident about that.

BYRON RICHMOND, Boise

LUNA WI-FI

I was insulted and shocked by the Statesman’s Aug. 2 Our View regarding Tom Luna’s recent Wi-Fi controversy. Did you really say he needs to take a lesson on consensus building? Are you kidding? A reasonable person would think that he should have learned a “lesson” from the Luna Laws debacle. Only a stupid or arrogant man would not have learned from that mess. Most likely he did learn from it and simply does not care what the constituents think.

One is left to believe he is corrupt and looking to line the pockets of his donors, supporters and friends. It appears the new Statesman opinion editor is in his pocket, too. How else could you explain the suggestion that Luna’s “critics back off”? Really? History lesson for you: this is not the first time he’s done something like this. You then insult the intelligence of all your readers by quoting someone that could benefit from Luna’s technology plan. Yes, Mr. Jewell, if you take Tom Luna out of the scenario, none of this would be happening. The stink of impropriety would not exist if he wasn’t involved. Idahoans are not stupid and know this reeks of putting donors before the taxpayers.

SUSAN CREED, Boise

GOVERNMENT

It’s discouraging to read day after day about failures in our national government. The Veterans Administration is way behind on processing submitted claims, the IRS has misused funds for extravagant parties and has unjustly targeted innocent taxpayers; the Justice Department can’t or won’t explain its involvement in criminal behavior, such as Fast and Furious. Are our elected officials and government workers so incompetent that they are powerless to prevent or fix such problems?

Maybe elected officials feel the urgency to spend most of their time and energy on campaign issues that they don’t qualify themselves for the serious problems facing our government agencies. Maybe Cabinet members are long on desire and short of ability. Maybe mediocrity and an attitude of complacency and entitlement plagues our governmental officials and leaders.

Integrity is almost nonexistent when government officials plead the Fifth; and investigations drag on, unsolved, for months, years (Benghazi). Efforts to solve problems are politicized and demonized. Scandals are called phony; and confessions aren’t made until years later.

It has been said, “We don’t have lots of problems. We have just one problem — lack of leadership. When we have great leadership, we seldom have a problem.”

MORRIS BASTIAN, Boise

CATHOLICS

It behooves a Christian to not only “keep in the Word” but also to consider the Bible as how we listen to God as we read it. It is after all one way in which He imparts His teachings, wisdom, and commandments. It further behooves to hold the Bible as paramount per the ancient motto: “Sola Scriptura.”

On a recent CBS “60 Minutes” segment, representatives of a number of U.S. Catholic nuns expressed support for homosexuals, same-sex marriage and abortion, which is contrary to the dictates of the Vatican. Now, Pope Francis seems to have no problem with homosexuals who aspire to be priests but maintains no women should be allowed as priests. The nuns may find this all to be confusing.

The main reason for Sola Scriptura is shown by what happens when tradition and utterings of early church fathers, and contemporary leaders are held on equal par with the Bible.

If the Pope’s position on homosexuals is considered “ex Cathedra” but if such contradicts what is taught and commanded by the Bible, which would then prevail? Per Sola Scriptura: the Bible. Please do read Romans, 1: 21-32, and Ephesians 4: 11-24.

WILLIAM R. PLACE, Meridian

OUTDOOR PHOTOS

The Idaho Outdoor photo contest’s first-place winner is a great photo for the family album, but the person in the air takes away from the beauty of the mountain landscape. It is a very pretty scene.

The one I do not understand is the grand prize winner. Really, a picture of a tent? That is all that catches your eye.

What in the world are they judging on? It is an insult to the other contestants.

MAX BADESHEIM, Kuna

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