Letters to the editor: 11-13-2013

November 13, 2013 

Bad behavior

The Great American Experiment has proved power corrupts and leads to lying, deception and falsehoods. “If you have your own health insurance, you can keep it. If you have your own doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.”

When we don’t fully understand the importance of public virtue, dastardly things can happen.

We must guard against the erosion of character and champion public virtue because a good society can quickly turn into a bad society. “Woe, unto those who call good evil and evil good.” (Isa. 5:20)

Our executive government is losing its credibility, transparency and trustworthiness.

When our president/chief executive tells half-truths, uses deniability, practices stonewalling and resorts to coverups, something serious is wrong. And when the public gives him a pass by saying, “Everybody does it,” we set the stage for loss of public sovereignty and the abdication of human rights.

Mr. Bill O’Reilly often says, “We must not justify bad behavior by citing other bad behavior.”

MORRIS BASTIAN, Boise

Shutdown

The government shutdown cost the U.S. taxpayer — you and me — an additional $24 billion.

How many jobs did it cost? Holding off on the national debt limit cost us more of our integrity with the rest of the world.

Ultra-conservative tea party says yes. Fiscal responsibility? None!

The U.S. is not about this party or that party, it is about our nation, not your petty individual ideas of what you think is right.

Compromise is the cornerstone of this nation. Why then do some refuse to compromise and refuse to work together for one nation, not in any one specific eye of its beholder, but for all of us?

They are vain, uneducated in national monetary workings, totally self-centered, and not only that, they cannot see the big picture because they are stuck in the bubble or reality of their own making. Or even worse, they are bought and paid for by some multinational concern, which makes them no more than well-paid economic terrorists.

Any representative that voted to shut down the government needs to be replaced. It is that simple. We the people need to send a very clear message.

PAUL SCHERER, Boise

National debt

On Nov. 1, I attended a public forum featuring Congressman Raul Labrador. To my shock and horror I learned that the best plan the Republican Party had now was an anemic goal to attempt to merely balance the federal budget (i.e. eliminate our annual budget shortfalls called the “deficits”) within 10 years. This totally weak approach is grossly inadequate and fails to even begin to attack that wicked ever-strengthening monster threatening future American generations: the $17 trillion debt, which grows at $1 trillion each and every year.

We, the people, must act now together to jettison this deadly cancer from our beloved nation and take drastic steps to attack and annihilate it before it inevitably does the same to our cherished little grandchildren. Our efforts are far too weak and must be ramped up by quantum leaps at once before it’s too late. Wake up, America! If I sound like a paranoid alarmist, so be it.

I further realized that of the several dozen attendees, no one under 40 years old was present. This realization scares the hell out of me, and I’m fearless.

HARLEY D. BROWN, Nampa

California

Once again we have writers who aren’t well informed enough on matters spouting half-truths to support their beliefs that the evil liberals are the cause of all problems.

Miguel Yorba is a prime example of this mindset. He fails to understand that California’s problems are due to many factors, including the release of mental patients under Reagan and the enactment of Prop 13. He fails to understand that while California has a large liberal population, it also has a large conservative population that elects governors and legislators. California has had more Republican leadership in the last 50-odd years than Democratic.

It’s easy to look at the current mess and blame the leadership, while failing to look into the past at laws enacted and decisions made.

It takes courage to objectively analyze the reasons and place blame where it truly lies. “Learn from the mistakes of others and don’t repeat them,” is a hard-learned lesson.

Failure to fund one’s obligations and provide for the future are the lessons that should be learned from California and the mess that it has become. Cost-cutting for the sake of cutting is not only shortsighted, but criminal in nature.

BRAD COZZENS, Eagle

Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, today there are an estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including as many as 26,000 right here in Idaho.

With more than 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s is growing exponentially. Alzheimer’s is not a Republican or Democratic issue — it affects all of us. This is why I was more encouraged than ever when Congress passed, on a unanimous bipartisan basis, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) which spurred the creation of the first National Alzheimer’s plan for the United States.

This past April, Idaho’s legislature passed its own state plan to address Alzheimer’s and related dementias. My father-in-law died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and that is why I am asking you to please contact Sen. Mike Crapo today to ask him to vote for the funding necessary to support the National Alzheimer’s Plan through Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach and support activities.

You can learn about our statewide efforts by visiting Idahoalzhelp.org or learn about the national fight against Alzheimer’s by visiting alz.org/napa.

MIKE BERLIN, Boise

Rice

Re: Idaho Statesman’s top-shelf headline of Oct. 30 ("Treasure Valley traffic stop leads to federal suit"):

Mr. Rice, according to the story, had already been convicted of two counts of “federal” drug convictions and was on supervised release. So let me get this straight: Where was his supervisor? Or was he not required to report his activities? Second, it sounds as if he didn’t have a license to drive, or it was outdated. Third, when you are ordered by law enforcement to commit to a reasonable request, you obey. No ifs, ands or buts. Case closed.

MICHAEL DUNCAN, Nampa

Idaho Power

We’re not sure what Idaho Power’s motivation is to build substantial new coal capacity. However, in our view it hardly makes sense to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into coal when the rest of this country is shifting away from coal.

It is in the best interest of Idahoans, including the stockholders of Idaho Power, to insist that the company look to the future with an open mind and a vision of the competitive environment in the energy industry.

The costs of generating electricity from coal are the highest of all alternatives. Idaho could go from one of the lowest-cost electricity states to one of the highest unless our electric company begins to understand the “currents” in the energy industry. Studies have shown that Idaho has good wind- and sun-generating capacity. Investment in these technologies is our future and ultimately will result in substantial saving to Idaho Power customers.

We deserve an electric company with vision and one that puts the citizens of this state first. Idaho Power is a monopoly and has little incentive to control its costs. If its costs rise, we pay more. It is as simple as that.

BONNIE AND FRANK GALLANT, Boise

Laws of nature

Let us be clear about gravity, the shape of the earth and evolution. They are all experimentally observable entities and not “theories.”

Galileo, for example, made extensive measurements on moving bodies, showing by his telescopic measurements that the earth and its sister planets moved around the sun.

Further measurements by Tycho Brahe led Copernicus to predict that the period of a planet was related to its distance from the sun and thus led to Newton’s revolutionary ideas about gravity. The shape of the earth was measured to be a sphere by Eratosthenes of Cyrene in third century B.C., refined by French scientists in the 17th century, and continues to be important to this day.

Evolution is also experimentally observable and is not static. We are immersed in an era of changing climate that produces changes in the organisms that inhabit our world. Bacteria have evolved to be resistant to bactericides. The continents we live on are evolving as they move and produce earthquakes and tsunamis. These are all measurable phenomena.

Intelligent design, on the other hand, is not a science, subject to measurement based on theoretical inference; it is an act of faith.

DAVID EDERER, Meridian

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