Letters to the editor - 08-15-13

August 15, 2013 

Obamacare & Congress

The Obamacare law states that “the only health plans that the government may make available” to members of Congress are ones that are offered on the insurance exchanges. However, this has caused members of Congress to approach President Obama and ask for dispensation, because this means they will lose their federal health care subsidies, and those members and their staff above the income limits certainly won’t be eligible for Obamacare subsidies.

This dispensation has been given, at the president’s urging/direction, using an interpretation of law that is not in keeping with past precedent. Note this affects both Democrats and Republicans.

This is another example of congressional members and their staff getting special treatment, as is done with Congress exempting itself from so many laws. If Obamacare’s provisions are “good enough” for us, why aren’t they “good enough” for Congress? The special treatment in this case affects both Democrats and Republicans, including members of our Idaho delegation and their staffs.

If there is a change to be made, change the law itself and do it openly, don’t sneak it in by administrative fiat.

DAVE CHURCHILL, Boise

Fourth Amendment

Whenever anyone complains about our government’s latest violation of the Fourth Amendment in our Bill of Rights, which protects us against unreasonable, warrantless searches or seizures — in other words, our personal privacy — there’s always the naysayer who clamors, “Where’s the harm? If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.”

But our Founding Fathers insisted upon the protections of a Fourth Amendment. And they had a reason.

Just ask the Jews who suffered under the depravity of Hitler. Ask the victims of the East German Stasi. Ask those who languished in political prisons and labor camps under Stalin. If nothing else, ask the Japanese Americans who were interned in our government’s relocation camps.

Our Founding Fathers had a reason for the Fourth Amendment. Let’s hope we never experience what they feared.

Edward Snowden deserves not a trial, but a ticker-tape parade.

MARK SHUSTER, Homedale

Power supply

We have been told that clean coal and natural gas is what we need to get us through the energy crisis. Wrong! There is no such thing as clean coal, and natural gas releases more greenhouse-type gases into the atmosphere than clean coal.

All the hype is about money. If you buy what they tell you on TV, then you make some people very wealthy at the expense of the rest of us and generations to follow. Businesses are for what is good for them, not you. It is time you learned what is good for you and start to stand up for your own best interests. No, your elected representatives are not the ones to listen to as they have been co-opted by big business lobbies. So stop listening to them on this issue at least.

The good thing is that we now know what will work for our energy needs and it will not destroy the climate. And it is not the hot air from gas companies or talking heads but rather just the wind.

That’s right, the latest studies have revealed that the U.S. could fully meet its needs with wind power.

PAUL SCHERER, Boise

Food stamps

This is in response to the letter submitted by Michael Duncan regarding the customers who paid for groceries with food stamps. Surely you have heard that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Who are you to judge anyone’s needs by the phone they carry, the shoes they wear or the tattoos they have? Would they have been more worthy had they been in tattered clothes and only had one child? If you are so concerned about giving assistance only to people you feel are worthy by they way they look rather than their real needs, then might I suggest you get a job at Health and Welfare?

MEGHAN ANDERSON, Kuna

Catholics

I would like to address Mr. William Place, letter to the editor, Aug. 7, with some advice to relieve the confusion that he is apparently experiencing:

First, take everything the secular media says about religious matters with an enormous grain of salt.

Cross-verify with religious news sites, e.g. OneNewsNow, CNS, CatholicVote.org. Then you would have realized that the secular coverage of Pope Francis’ comments about homosexuality had enough spin to make the Tasmanian Devil dizzy.

Second, before you dive headlong into sola Scriptura (i.e. Scripture alone), consider 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; and 2 Timothy 2:2.

TRAVIS BREWER, Boise

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