During nuclear talks in Geneva this month, Pastor Saeed Abedinis dire circumstances were briefly mentioned, but his case was completely ignored by the Iranians. Apparently, President Obama was reluctant to offend them, so he politely dropped the subject. Meanwhile, Saeed (an American citizen) has been abandoned by his country, and he continues to languish in one of Irans notoriously cruel prisons.
The U.S. State Department ranks Iran as a country of particular concern for its blatant and unrelenting disregard for freedom of religion. We coexist. They do not. Now what?
DR. JOHN GREENLEE, Boise
I have heartfelt sympathy for Pastor Saeed Abedini and his family, as he was in Iran for noble reasons.
With all this press focused on Pastor Abedini, I think that everyone also needs to be reminded of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey.
U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was sent to Afghanistan by our government with hopes of making a difference and is now a POW! Our government needs to bring him home, too!
GENNY HIBBS, Boise
Were it not for Ada County commissioners obstructionism, Gateway Park would have opened Nov. 23 and thousands of kids and families would be tubing, skiing and snowboarding over the weeklong Thanksgiving break from school. Weather conditions have been perfect for snowmaking, so the snow park would have had jumps, rails, a mini half-pipe and tubing hill ready for family fun.
County commissioners Dave Case, Rick Yzaguirre and Jim Tibbs continue to block the park, saying they dont want a business that charges money on county land. But, hey, good luck with the 200 gambling machines they approved for the Ada County Fairgrounds (before any opportunity for public comment and against the wishes of the Garden City mayor and city council).
Maybe the ski kids should have spent their allowance on campaign contributions. All three commissioners accepted money from pro-gambling entities in their last campaigns.
SAM SANDMIRE, Boise
In light of how many problems the government is having getting the Affordable Care Act to functioning properly, its obvious that Congress has no technical brains. Of course there is a reason for that, that not very many people nowadays are aware of.
There used to be the OTA (the Office of Technology Assessment). It was created during the Nixon administration to provide members of Congress with unbiased analysis of scientific and technical issues. In its 24 years of existence it did hundreds of studies on issues ranging from health care to climate change and was recognized as a global leader in encouraging cost-effective innovation in government services and programs.
Guess what? The Republicans got control of the House in 1995. Newt Gingrich got to be speaker of the House, and he and his Republican buddies decided the OTA was an example of government waste and defunded it.
The sad thing about it is, our corporate media is more apt to hide information of this type than to enlighten the public of its existence. Apparently its more profitable for them to hype tea party rhetoric.
RON ALLEN, Caldwell
I received a letter from the Republican National Committee concerning Obamas legacy.
The letter speaks volumes about what is wrong with the country. Why doesnt the Republican leadership conduct a survey asking what the Republican Party can do to bring the country together? Apparently, Republicans are more worried about Obamas legacy than the problems facing the country. The Democrats have the same mindset, making them no better.
Sadly, Obama is not a strong leader. He lacks the fiber to be the strong leader the country needs today. The American people have elected individuals who support their party first, not what is good for the country.
Sadly the peoples philosophy is: not what I can do for my country but what my country can do for me. Unfortunately, our problems will not be solved with the attitudes of both the people and our representatives.
Our problems may never be solved until someone, either a Republican or Democrat, steps forward, saying, Enough is enough, lets come together and bring back the wonderful United States of America we grew up in. That individual needs the commitment to turn this country around.
EARL F. BENEDICT, Boise
I think I have seen everything possible in attacks on President Obama.
Sally Bakers letter slams him by referring to President Harry S. Trumans sign on his desk The Buck Stops Here.
A voter from Idaho refers to a Democratic president to chastise another Democratic president. It could be the first time she ever complimented a Democratic president, living or dead.
Then, Sean Borzea thinks Sheriff Raney should be replaced because he will not support nullification of the U.S. Constitution, as in the case of House Bill 219 by Rep. Mark Patterson, which did not pass.
Nullification was settled by the end of the Civil War, when Grant took Lees surrender near Richmond, Va.
And, the precept about federal actions was done by President George Washington in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. Has revision become a thrust of the tea party?
It should be enough to cure voters from voting for such principles or candidates that support such.
GARRY O. AULT, Boise
Recent news that the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are close to repaying taxpayers from the housing crisis loan in 2008 has brought GSE reform to the forefront of conversations in D.C.
Although I believe GSE reform is the right thing to do to protect us from another housing bubble in the future, the current proposals in Congress fall short of fully protecting us as U.S. citizens now.
The GSE reforms that Sen. Crapo and other legislators are considering put private investors and taxpayers at risk. Like many baby boomers coming into retirement, I have carefully managed my pension, and the potential of not receiving these funds due to the current proposed GSE reform puts unnecessary fiscal uncertainty and risk on myself and many other Idahoans.
I appreciate Sen. Crapos leadership in representing his constituents, and I hope he continues to be the voice for Idaho by standing up for GSE reform that protects all Idahoans by respecting our pensions, tax dollars and investor rights.
MARILYN BROWN, Meridian
I can tell you that the sun glare is not the only thing to blame for the recent Idaho 55 crash involving local teens. Any accident can be traced to a root cause. That is how we establish blame. Responsibility, however, is very misunderstood in our society.
You can have every good intention for actions and still be responsible. If you did something, you did it. Own up to it, and put your best foot forward from that point. The police and the insurance companies will investigate, search for evidence, highlight extenuating circumstances, determine cause, and assign at fault responsibility. The sun is not responsible its an extenuating circumstance. You can blame the sun, but its still your responsibility.
The article should have been about how grateful we are that the kids are OK. Maybe show some concern for the victims of the second accident that resulted. I hope they are OK. Instead, the parents of these kids are pleading their kids innocence through the article. Its helicopter parenting gone nuts.
RON DAVIS, Eagle
History of wars
One of the premier assets of the Treasure Valley is the Warhawk Air Museum at the Nampa airport. John and Sue Paul and staff have made this one of the finest military museums in the Northwest.
The museum enjoys national recognition in its documentation of World War II vets experiences in the Library of Congress.
A few of us remaining old World War II types have the honor and the privilege to present our personal stories of the Great Depression and World War II to thousands of middle, junior and high school students in a program called Bridging the Generations. Classes range in size from 25 foreign exchange students to 400 or more from major high schools at a single session.
This experience gives us remaining old World War II warriors a sense of purpose, and we sincerely hope that it gives the students a glimpse of history that may not appear in the history books.
Notably absent from these history field trips are some valley high schools. Agreeably, wars are a horrible part of our past, but we cant ignore their part in the development of this country and the rest of the world.
CHET BOWERS, Boise
Deer and elk herds
An issue that concerns me is the article about the deer and elk in the winter. I hope they can get through the winter. This concerns me because my dad and I want to go hunting next year after moving to Idaho last year.
JACE ANDERSON, age 10, Star