Letters to the editor: 09-22-2013

September 22, 2013 

Panhandling law

No matter what council members TJ Thompson, Ben Quintana and Maryanne Jordan accomplish for the rest of their political lives, they will forever be judged by their cowardly votes against the homeless last week.

I was at the City Council meeting and when Thompson tried to justify his treason by extolling the virtues of the city’s homeless programs, it sounded like an explanation that it was OK to beat one child so long as you paid the other’s college tuition.

When Jordan said she wanted to protect “everyone,” all I could think of was a quote from “The Princess Bride”: “I don’t think that word means what you think it means,” as “everyone” clearly didn’t include the homeless in its definition. And when Quintana tried to explain his vote, I was more disgusted with myself for having voted for such a corporate lackey, a mistake I won’t repeat.

Mayor Dave Bieter was incorrect when he said the opposition didn’t understand the measure. Those not in the pocket of the DBA understand just fine: No matter how council tries to justify it, drawing a line down society for any reason and saying you get different rights on either side is unconstitutional, immoral and wholly vile.

JOSH GROSS, Boise

Liberal progressives

Question? When our government collapses under the weight of progressive liberalism (which it will, as eventually we will run out of other people’s money), who will take care of those who have made themselves dependent on government?

Not liberal progressives with money as they do everything with other people’s money ...s o who?

Do liberals donate their own wealth to the system? I don’t know of any, do you?

I, like many in our country, depend on government for a few things, but not everything. So many have put all of their eggs into one basket — the basket of socialism.

When the government control of our food supply enslaves them, who will they go to for the freedom to eat, breathe and live?

I will sustain my family not with handouts, but preparation. How does someone who lives in the city prepare a garden, hunt, fish or provide for their families when the trucks stop rolling? Who will take care of the elderly and disabled that have been placed into homes and institutions??

I feel sorry for those of you who think I am crazy. But I feel even more for the children brought into this world with no alternative plan for them other than the government.

CHARLES NIELSEN, Meridian

Prison for predators

So let me get this straight: a man holds a knife to a child’s throat one afternoon and goes to jail for 12 years .(Statesman, Sept. 5).

Another man rapes a child repeatedly over four years, serves a few months in jail; the judge retained jurisdiction and ordered him released pending evaluation.

Must be one heck of a treatment program, to cure a long-term predator in a few months. Gosh, maybe all criminals could go through a treatment program, and then we wouldn’t have to lock anybody up for more than a few months, because they’d be magically cured!

When are judges going to treat the sexual abuse of children as the heinous crime that it is, and lock up the offenders accordingly?

MARGARET GOODMAN, Meridian

Lottery

Regarding the increase in prices for lottery tickets, in an article in the Sept. 18 issue of the Statesman, Paula Otto, director of the Virginia Lottery and the main director for Mega Millions was quoted as saying “It’s doing what it’s supposed to do, which is helping Powerball have bigger jackpots on a pretty consistent basis.”

I thought the reason for having the lottery was to raise money to help support public schools.

With all the money collected in ticket sales, our schools should be completely self-funded. Instead, they are struggling. They have to beg homeowners to pass levies to help them stay afloat while the lottery is giving out multi-million dollar payouts.

Who really needs $400 million? A $20 million jackpot would still make the average person extremely wealthy.

One solution would be to give the schools a bigger percentage of ticket sales. Then increase the odds of winning so there would be more multiple winners. Homeowners would get some relief on their property taxes and our schools would get the money they so desperately need.

With a few small changes the lottery would continue to make millionaires and still generously fund public education.

CAROLE WARD, Boise

Internet sales tax

A 12-year-old entrepreneur in Pocatello has been busted by the Idaho Tax Commission for not collecting 6 percent of sales to submit as sales tax. Bless that young lad for having the gumption for picking the berries in the first place. Obviously he was doing something productive rather than schlumping away the summer.

He should have sold the raspberries via the internet. Purchases made by Idaho residents and businesses make purchases from out-of-state sources and avoid sales taxes. except for a few businesses, like eBay.

Bill Killen, former representative of District 17, tried to get legislators in the House to consider a bill to collect sales tax collected by out-of-state vendors, but was blocked from a hearing by the Republicans in power. Each new session he was thwarted, even though he had gathered some bipartisan support.

The Republicans in power in the House ignored the loss of thousands of dollars. One has to wonder if the Republicans didn’t want to upset the corporations and stateside big out-of-state shoppers.

JEFF FORD, Boise

WMDs

For those folks who believe people were involved with using chemical weapons on human beings:

Do you believe this enough to investigate our leaders who made it possible for Hussein to obtain and use these agents in the 1980s? Or is this endeavor of yours just political and has nothing to do with integrity or right and wrong?

BILL MCGUIRE, Weiser

Endangered fish

Bonneville Power, the Corps of Engineers and NOAA Fisheries are at it again. Their just released draft bi-op is again nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

These folks must be blithering idiots to think the public isn’t on to their shenanigans. Or they’re utterly arrogant in thinking they can blithely circumvent past judicial edicts and directives (consequences of their previous bi-op failures). Maybe it’s both. In any event, it’s apparent they are suffering from a disease commonly known as “cranial rectosis.”

While many other interested and vested parties — the state of Oregon, the Nez Perce tribe, numerous fishing and conservation organizations, affected businesses and communities, and countless individuals — have stepped forth to offer their time and energies to seek a collaborative resolution, these three powers that be have largely ignored such overtures. They seem totally intent on shoving their ill-conceived and flawed solutions down our throats, and steelhead and salmon be damned.

After years of platitudes, promises, the previous bi-op failures, and all the hype about the money they’ve thrown at the problem, they have no truly significant results to point to — our fish are still endangered and there’s still no light at the end of the tunnel.

JAMES D. MILLER, Boise

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