Letters to the editor - 12-22-2013

December 22, 2013 

Flag etiquette

Idaho state sites that display U.S. banners lowered their flags for the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. I thank them for doing so to honor my father’s service.

A day prior, 12/6/13, the president of the United States issued a proclamation that sites under his authority lower their flags to honor a foreign dignitary.

(A rare honor. The only two times in my in my life-time that I know for sure such banners were lowered was Winston Churchill, 1965, and Pope John Paul II).

Part of my employment responsibilities at a corporate site is to display the U.S. and state banners, as U.S. president proclaims. Pearl Harbor Day was a reason to honor my father, drawn into a global conflict.

Shame on Idaho for not respecting Mr. Mandela, or the U.S. president. It appears Idaho had to pay overtime to disrespect the president and his proclamation regarding banner display. Even Texas’ governor honored a simple presidential proclamation to honor a global leader who understood a need for reconciliation/understanding.


What does it mean to have the United States flag at half-mast? It is rendering an honor to fallen Americans. An example would be Sept. 11, 2001, when over 3,000 Americans lost their lives in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

As I did my daily walk through Mountain Home on Dec. 6, I had to chuckle at the half-mast confusion brought on by political correctness. Many flags were at full mast but several were half-masted. Just for kicks I inquired why? They said it was on behalf of Nelson Mandela. When they were reminded that this man was not an Americian and whose past is linked to communism, there was a lot of sputtering and excuse making.

As a retired Marine I was personally offended by the idea of rendering honors to a man who was not an American, did absolutely nothing for this country and represented a philosophy that resulted in the murder of untold millions during the 20th century. I’m trusting that the citizens of Mountain Home can do better when Fidel Castro goes to his reward.

DOUGLAS STREETER, Lt. Col., USMC (ret.), Mountain Home


Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador says he’s OK with ending the federal budget sequester, in favor of more selective “enacted cuts.” So far, so good.

In principle, there’s possible merit in being a budget hawk, making sure American taxpayers get full value for every dollar they pay in federal and state taxes, particularly when this accounting enhances the public good, as versus simply siphoning money uphill, into the pockets of the already rich and powerful.

As usual, the devil will be in the details. Will Labrador favor cuts to public education, or instead to military pork, those billion-dollar weapon “systems” that the Pentagon doesn’t even want, but which enrich defense contractor corporations?

Will Labrador favor cuts to Social Security and health care (Medicare and Medicaid), or will he instead seek to end tax breaks and sweetheart tax loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations?

Will he favor cuts to veterans’ services and benefits, or will he seek to end tax-exempt status for bundlers of political bribes masquerading as “social welfare” or educational groups?

Government is not the enemy. Bought and paid-for politicians who neglect poor and working American families in favor of the rich, that’s the enemy.


Foster care

I think Health and Welfare needs to take another look at their policy of child placement in the foster care system. When is it in the “best” interest of a child to take a 9-month-old baby who has special needs from the foster parents whom he was placed with at 2 days old, who wanted to adopt him and place him with a family who has several children of their own but who happens to have his two half-siblings, also special needs children. How does a baby adapt to a new family when he has only known the family he was placed with, who loved him and nurtured him, since birth? How does he get the attention he will need when he gets overwhelmed when there is too much activity going on in the house? Why didn’t the judge overrule H&W, which would have been in the best interest of this particular child? Am I the only one who thinks this absolutely makes no sense? Please, take another look at your policies. It can’t be a “one policy fits all” situation — that is not in the best interest of any child.


Durbin amendment

Shoppers, are you getting your savings from big-box retailers and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin? They promised savings to you, the consumer, after they forced through the Dodd-Frank-Durbin Amendment. Durbin and these retailers decided merchant rates covering credit/debit card security, fraud prevention and paying for charges on stolen cards wasn’t worth the merchant fee. They gutted debit cards. Your bank fees skyrocketed. Free enterprise was destroyed. Big Government price-fixing reigned. And attack on credit cards is next.

America wasn’t founded to be dominated by Big Government.

A recent study, led by University of Chicago’s David Evans, shows the Durbin Amendment fallout is hurting consumers, costing more money out of your pocket.

Sen. Mike Crapo and Sen. Jim Risch, thank you for voiting against this anti-consumer Durbin Amendment. Let’s never let Durbin do this to us again. It’s America’s free market economy that truly protects America’s consumers.



I recently read about a new abortion clinic that had a grand opening in Fort Worth, Texas. It was described as a “state of the art” facility that cost $6.5 million.

It was described as a gala affair with the president of Planned Parenthood attending. The account noted that this abortion clinic was built next to the Gladney Center for Adoption.

If you were a fetus and had the freedom of choice, which of these addresses would you choose?

BILL WARD, Meridian

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