Letters to the editor: Organ harvesting, GOP, stabbing, Idaho delegation, press

Organ harvesting

State-sanctioned organ harvesting remains a problem in China. In 2016, 15,000 Idahoans penned their names, calling on Idaho representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 343, which urges the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to halt organ harvesting from nonconsenting prisoners of conscience. Their main source of organs is from practitioners of Falun Gong, a peaceful spiritual practice. With those 15,000 signatures, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson co-sponsored the legislation.

The CCP’s organ harvesting persists, but Idaho can once more stand by justice if Sen. Jim Risch, the No. 2 Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, makes the choice of conscience and cosponsors S.R. 220, calling again on the CCP to end organ harvesting and cease its severe persecution of faith.

And considering that the U.S. has departed the UN Human Rights Council, it’s now more imperative we use our independent global authority to affect critical human rights progress.

As Idaho’s citizens, we are interconnected not by our ethnicity, customs or status. We are inalienably bound by common principles. To be an Idahoan is to treasure liberty and the profound ethics of divinity, simple goodness and compassion. So I encourage Sen. Risch to co-sponsor S.R. 220 and see that our state stands by the moral codes we all cherish.

Michael Fitzgerald, Boise

Republican convention

I concur very much with the reporting by Kimberlee Kruesi regarding the Idaho Republican State Convention which appeared in this paper recently. There was one important detail missed, however, which I believe will provide some context to the remarks of mine which were quoted as: “If you want to make a resolution that kids should be better workers, we can do that.”

If one watches the footage from the convention provided by the Ada County Republican Central Committee on their YouTube channel, you will see this was in response to Senator Siddoway’s assertion that illegal labor practices are necessary – and Idahoans unemployable – because Idahoan “kids are sitting at home playing the Nintendo or watching TV, and they have all their family ties and obligations, that are going to go on vacation two weeks after they start their job, and they’ll be gone two weeks.”

This was a common refrain from the pro-illegal immigrant labor faction. I think this context is important for understanding why these Idahoan political leaders want to replace us, the existing pool of working-class labor, with another pool of workers from outside the country.

Bjorn Handeen, Coeur d’Alene


The world is an evil, lonely and heartless place. It broke my heart to hear of the 3-year-old girl from Boise who recently died because she was viciously was stabbed by a sick, sadistic man at her birthday party. Other victims of the stabbings are still recovering. What should have been a day of celebration will now always be remembered by her family and loved ones as a day of mourning and pain.

The world is an inherently good, joyful and loving place. I have to believe this to comprehend the sorrow of this event and so many others that happen around the world every day. Most people are kind and giving, and offer strength and comfort when tragedies like this seem too much to bear. Praying for her family left behind that must now carry a hole in their hearts, most likely for the rest of their lives. We mourn with you, Boise.

Michelle Sampson, Riverton, Utah

Idaho delegation

Idaho congressional delegation: I know that you know Donald Trump is the most unqualified, policy-ignorant, morally deficient president in the history of the nation. I know that you know his trade war is already beginning to impact Idaho farmers and businesses and will only get worse until it costs millions of dollars and thousands of jobs just in Idaho. I know that you know his foreign policy of praising murderous dictators and insulting longtime U.S. allies is reducing our standing in the world and will cause those allies to not stand with us when we need them. I know that you know every other word out of his mouth is a lie. Finally, I know that you know that all of this along with his despicable, failed immigration policy of using children as hostages will further, maybe irreparably damage the Republican Party. The questions is, when will you begin to carry out your oath of office as a member of a co-equal branch of government responsible under the Constitution to check a president that is damaging the country? You don’t work for the White House. You work for Idaho and your country. Do your job.

Steve Wilson, Nampa

Free press

I could really relate to Phil Bridges’ observation that our news reporters often label a person as “conservative” or “ far right.” I had noticed it too. On the other hand it seems you will go a long time between hearing anyone being labeled as “ liberal” or “ far left” by any media person.

And I do not think generally it is deliberate by the media. They are in a super-echo chamber because they only talk to each other who are either moderately liberal or extreme left and it’s so unusual to hear a conservative opinion that it’s noteworthy to them. And so they feel complied to point out that the “conservative” person is thinking outside the norms of society.

We need a respected, strong, unbiased and free press to act as watch dogs to protect the rest of us from those in power who would abuse that power.

William Beck, Boise