AS A PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL, I found Sven Berg's article in the Sunday, Sept. 29 edition on government public information officers to be disappointing on multiple levels. Most distressing was his continuous use of the word "flack" as a label for public relations professionals.
Would the editors allow the use of "beancounter" in place of accountant? How about "shyster" in place of lawyer? Or "muckraker" in place of journalist? Maybe if the reporter showed more respect for the public information officers he describes in his article he'd have better access to the sources he claims they protect.
MATT KUCHARSKI, Minneapolis
YOUR SUNDAY, SEPT. 29, ARTICLE regarding the proliferation of government spokespersons got me to thinking about the fact that many of these persons are former local television news reporters and/or anchors; Lynn Hightower (now Boise PD) and Jon Hanian (Governor's office) come to mind. Another is Andrea Dearden, who represents Ada County sheriff's office.
The point is, that if, as a journalist, your career goal is a cushy, well-paid government job, you probably won't get such a job if you uncover and report on instances (of which we have seen many) of government malfeasance. I, and doubtless many other of your readers, would be interested to see a follow-up article specifically identifying the many other formerly local "journalists" who are now indulging at the public trough, and interviews in which they would have the opportunity to explain why they chose the path they did.
WALTER VARNES, Nampa
PRETTY BAD WHEN even the liberal rag Newsweek isn't buying it anymore. A little late though, since Obama's been given a second term to complete the damage he started five years ago. Yes, I realize how wonderful he is, how we're all just against him because he's black, and that every woe we have or will ever have is eternally Bush's fault, or whoever else they can find to blame to cover the ineptness of the sorriest administration in American history.
No spending cuts, just give his majesty more money to try to buy friends with, more free cellphones for the street people and by all means let's amnesty all of the illegals, who will vote Democrat later out of gratitude for being allowed the cheat the system.
In 2016, the media will simply flip the card from racist to sexist and we'll all be chauvinists for not supporting Hillary, the Belle of Benghazi.
This country is finished. The GOP should take their fingerprints off of everything and just let the whole heap collapse under its own weight. Then take the country back, just as our founders did.
By the way, whatever happened to that "flexibility with Vladimir?" Anybody know?
MIKE BRADBURY, Mountain Home
IN RESPONSE TO RABBI FINK'S Sept. 28 column: The guiding idea behind political paternalism is that the individual cannot be trusted to be a free and responsible human being. Those who wish to socially engineer our lives consider us too ignorant, too irresponsible, and too narrow in our own personal planning horizons to intelligently and reasonably take care of our own health care, our own retirement, our own family's education, or our own spending and consumption choices.
These political paternalists, Rabbi Fink, who are proposing to enlarge the agenda of the welfare state implicitly consider themselves superior to the rest of us. With arrogance and immeasurable hubris, they presume to know what is good for us, better than we know ourselves. They are nothing less than would-be-tyrants and despots determined to make the world over in their own ideological image - and of course, all for our own good, whether we want it or not.
In addition, they are willing to use force against their fellow human beings to attain paternalistic ends. That is they believe that it is morally right for the state to use its coercive powers to take the income and wealth of some people to give to others.
JOSEPH MOFFA, Caldwell
WHEN YOUR CAR gets hot in warm weather, that is because of the greenhouse effect. Sunlight passes through your car's windows at a higher rate than it passes out, because of how the light is refracted through the glass and reflected or absorbed by your car's interior. The same process is warming our planet because of so called greenhouse emissions from millions of cars and factories and power plants around the world.
This is a known fact, and has been for 40 years. As the climate changes in Idaho and around the world it is following patterns that have been long predicted by science. This is why the poles are melting; why glaciers are dissolving; why sea levels are rising; why many storms are becoming more severe; why ski seasons are shorter; why August is smokey; why summers are hotter and falls are less comfortable in our valley; and why droughts are becoming more chronic and severe nation wide.
There are a lot of ways we could be leading the world in battling climate change that would be good for our economy. We could be a leader in the carbon exchange industry, in alternative fuels and in clean energy.
MATT LAURANCE, Boise