Letters to the editor: 09-06-2013

September 6, 2013 

Lincoln debate

I am looking forward to the debate on Abraham Lincoln’s legacy and attempt to answer the question: Was Lincoln a friend or foe of liberty? This debate will feature Idaho’s own Lincoln expert, David Leroy, and noted author and Lincoln scholar Thomas DiLorenzo.

Mr. Leroy recently gave an excellent talk on Lincoln at the Owyhee Historical Museum in Murphy. Mr. DiLorenzo’s books posit a radically different view of Lincoln than that of Mr. Leroy, which should provide a great show.

DiLorenzo’s books note that every other western nation was able to abolish slavery without war. Lincoln’s imposition of punishing trade restrictions (the tariff) and invasion of the southern states resulted in over 600,000 American deaths. It also gave birth to the modern, omnipotent federal government.

President Lincoln clearly demonstrated his view that the individual states were not sovereign, but rather were administrative provinces of an all-powerful central government. Those states that disagreed with his view were invaded and conquered.

The debate will take place Sept. 10, at the Morrison Center in Boise at 8 p.m. It is sponsored by the private nonprofit Smeed Memorial Foundation and admission is free.

DAN SYMMS, Caldwell

Cats

Why do so many people think it is the cats’ choice to be “turned out” or abandoned to fend for themselves? We have several cats, all indoor, and of course spayed/neutered and they are not possessions, they are part of the family. Every one was left by its owner, or abused and then abandoned; the list is endless. None of them asked for this.

There are many groups that offer low cost spay/neuter or charge a minimal fee if someone wants to rent a trap.

I know the over population of cats is overwhelming and something needs to be done, but why do people blame the cats? Yes, I know they eat their share of birds, etc., but lots of them are just plain hungry.

Dog owners are not necessarily better, they simply chain up their dogs in the back yard, so they cannot run at large. Many dog owners will not neuter their males because they think it takes away from their “manliness.”

Please spay/neuter your pet and if possible keep your cats indoors. Too many people see cats as something that can just be tossed out. Cats are wonderful companions and smarter than a lot of people.

MARY NAGLE, Boise

Insulted cat owner

My wife and I have had two cats in the last 20 years. The first one loved to go out. He went out on a harness and leash. Our current one stops at the door and has never roamed the streets.

I cannot walk in a park or on the street because of all the loose and non-controlled dogs running free. Some of these dogs who are allowed to run live in a home with “beware of dog” signs. I would not object to a license for cats.

CLIFF & PAM WHEATON, Garden City

Bicycle lanes

Going to the Ada Lake Hazel Library on Lake Hazel Road on a bicycle is dangerous, and it is difficult to get to the library easily. The road itself is only two lanes with rough gravel on the sides, making it difficult for vehicles to pass bikes on the road. If cyclists wish to avoid the cars, they must ride on rough gravel terrain, as there is no sidewalk.

Many people ride bikes to the library. The library promotes cycling by offering bike locks for free checkout. I am a youth volunteer at the library. I ride my bike weekly as a form of transportation to and from the library. I have received many flat tires and other bike problems from riding to and from the library on gravel. Speaking from personal experience, it would be much easier and more efficient to have a bike lane to ride on.

I sent a letter to ACHD proposing bike lanes a mile out to and from the library in every direction, providing a safer and more convenient way for bicyclists to travel to and from the library and other stores.

CORINNE WOLFE, Boise

Online comments

I enjoy the comments section of articles on the Idaho Statesman website. Often I find comments useful to understanding other viewpoints, in a more immediate way than “Letters.” However, with greater frequency, comments posted are abusive, or nearly racist, or blatantly racist. People of differing viewpoints are attacked as un-American, or idiots.

I think it is past time to end anonymous posts. Trolls are ruining entire online communities. If you are really OK with your Internet post, don’t hide behind a handle, put your name on it.

GEOFFREY B. CLARK, Boise

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