Letters to the editor - 09-15-2013

September 15, 2013 

Senior citizens

We've grown old and tired. We had our years of being the working class, of being the backbone of the nation, of carrying the load. Many can no longer hop, skip or jump. Most can no longer do cartwheels or somersaults. We’ve become a bit brittle and fragile.

We are America’s senior citizens. I believe we paid our own way. But some politicians seem to think we have become a burden.

So, lets get the facts straight — because we number in the millions, we are a gold mine for the pharmaceutical companies, for doctors, nurses, surgeons, hospitals, and ambulance drivers, for all those who work in any capacity in the health care business. When we are no longer part of the equation, we are still of great value to funeral homes, crematoriums, and flower shops. We keep millions employed and that includes politicians, which I believe to be one group of people that has created far more burdens for the American people than any of us who have grown old and tired.

ROY LUNSFORD, Kuna

Critical thinking

This is my 10th year teaching. In the days leading up to the students’ first day, we had meetings explaining the changes in the direction of the Meridian School District. We are now focusing on growth and not grades.

This sounds fantastic and the right direction for students. However, with me being the only history teacher at our school, I feel it important to discuss the world with my students.

To follow the discussion, I have them write a critical reaction to events. I was told this year to not discuss any current events with the students, as it is not in the curriculum. How can we raise critical thinkers, when our only focus is testing. That same day, a student asked me about Syria.

Rather than taking a “teachable moment,” I was told to talk to that individual student at lunch.

As teachers, we teach manners, ethics, and how to be a good citizen — all of which is not in the curriculum. This is the next generation to vote, and yet we are restricted from encouraging them to invest into our world.

It is a sad day to be a teacher.

KIM MICHELLE, Meridian

Teacher motivation

Incredulous barely begins to describe my reaction to the quote from House Minority Leader John Rusche that many legislators think teachers are “in it for the money.” Really?

The fact is that the many of the so-called “in it for the money” teachers are compensated at levels not much above the national poverty level — and in many cases they are buying classroom supplies out of their own pockets because Idaho’s elected officials disregard their responsibility to fund education for our children.

The vast majority of teachers entered the profession to help make our state, and our world, a better place, and it is time to stop criticizing them because they want to provide for their own families as well.

While educating and nurturing our children would seem to be among the most important professions, teachers are often disparaged by short-sighted legislators.

If we don’t start investing in public education, Idaho will be left in the dust by other states that place a higher value on a well-trained and well-prepared workforce. Gov. Otter and others say that education is important in Idaho, now the future prosperity of our state depends on them following through on funding public education at reasonable levels.

ERIC THIES, Boise

Syria

This a day after others have voiced the same thoughts, why should we send our troops to be killed in another battle that we cannot win?

We have been in the Middle East for 10 years or more and have accomplished nothing.

To claim he is all for peace, yet a week before was willing to attack, who does that president think he is? I also find the phrase “boots on the ground” demeaning.

Does President Obama not know that those boots are filled with U.S. troops who will have to go in. Whenever you attack with anything, the ground troops will have to go in. Read history.

As an Air Force veteran, I think our troops have had enough. Let the Middle East fight as they have been doing ever since they became the Middle East. Again, read your history.

JACOB FRANZEN, Meridian

Drug enforcement

No doubt drugs are a problem. Use, crime and incarceration go hand-in- hand.

Since the so called war on drugs started, it has just gotten worse. Simple fix, cocaine farmers sell leaves to make 1 kilo for $1,000. Cocaine is sold for $40,000 to $60,000 a kilo. Government buys the leaves for a little more than drug lords. Savings: DEA, prison inmates, drug czars, money to Colombia, etc.

In 50 years of trying to eradicate the drug problem, it has only gotten worse. Time for new strategy, just create a drug purchasing department and outbid the criminals for the ingredients and destroy them.

As a former health teacher, we were told to educate the children about drugs. A lot of good it did, with parents hooked on prescription drugs, and easy access for illegal drugs. We have educated the masses with movies and television.

Just buy the raw materials and burn them. With all the money spent to prevent, incarcerate and rehabilitate, it would save the United States 90 percent of what we spend.

DAVE SILVA, Boise

Voting conditions

“With elections coming on, both sides are going to put their best side forward but not knowing which side that is ... they have had the taste of being in Congress and they are seldom any good anymore for anything else and that is not much.” — Will Rogers.

Before I vote for any of these professional politicians, I would ask the following:

1) Did you vote to be exempt from Obama’s health care slop that Congress dished out from their slop shop so we are forced to eat their slop?

2) Did you vote against being subsidized by the taxpayers on your health insurance?

3) Will you vote to support the current legislation on the immigration bill that includes millions of dollars of pork spending with no secure borders?

4) Will you vote to support the bombing of Syria to save Mr. Obama?

5) Will you vote for a special prosecutor to investigate Benghazi?

6) Will you vote for a special prosecutor to investigate Fast & Furious? Will you vote for a special prosecutor to investigate NSA/government on their spying?

7) Will you vote for a special prosecutor to investigate IRS and the DOJ in their targeting conservatives and religious organizations?

GALEN KIDD, Boise

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