Ron Was Wronged
Regarding Ron Paul's "many off-beat policy positions (BW, Features, "Ron Paul's Revolutionaries" November Nov. 14, 2007)," I find it interesting that the first one you chose to list is this: "End the war in Iraq."
Maybe I misunderstood the reason that the Democrats recently managed to regain control of Congress—something about the public's dissatisfaction with the continuing war in Iraq, wasn't it? Do you really think that ending the war is an off-beat policy position? Of course, given that the Democrats don't appear to be in any hurry to end the war, maybe you're right, after all.
Oh, and one more thing: This article appears in your "Features" department. Since your writer chose to write about "Paul's quirky, longshot candidacy," I'd suggest that maybe a better place would have been the opinion section. Considering the amount of voluntary individual support Dr. Paul is getting from everyday people (as opposed to the paid corporate and union organizational support for just about all of the other candidates, Republican or Democrat), calling his candidacy "quirky" almost sounds like your writer is attempting to dissuade readers from considering Dr. Paul as a credible candidate. Fair enough in an opinion piece, I suppose, but as a news feature? Give me a break—how stupid do you think people are?
—Scott Drummond, Nampa
Sali's Split Votes
In October and November, Rep. Sali voted against two bills that were clearly intended to benefit the average working American: 1) the improved Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act and 2) the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. Both bills passed the U.S. House by a wide margin. Rep. Simpson from Idaho's District 2 (a good conservative Republican) voted with the majority in favor of both bills. Why does Sali split the Idaho vote in Congress so often?
Of course, this is a rhetorical question. Thinking Idahoans of all political parties have easily determined that Sali is bought and paid for by corporate America.
Sali voted against No. 1 and No. 2 above because they will cost health insurance corporations and banks money.
Let's all show Sali how we feel about him giving us the back of his hand in Congress. We have the chance with our votes in the upcoming primaries and general election to make a positive difference for Idaho. A leadership position is the last place this man belongs.
—Dick Artley, Grangeville
Broncos For Obama
The state of this country makes me fear for my future—all of our futures. Change must be swift if we are to protect ourselves from a federal government that is not by and for the people but by and for corporate interests.
Barack Obama is the only presidential candidate with promise for changing the current trend of secretive, invasive government by and for corporations. He has built up a support base through grass-roots activism, engaging the average citizen to take a more active involvement in government. If we are to change and influence the future that we hold in our hands as young Americans, we must start to take a more active involvement in politics. Our ignorance of global and domestic issues has allowed the Bush administration and corporate interests to hijack this political process we call democracy.
Please, I implore all my fellow young adults to research Obama and his issues. And when you have, join the group Idahoans for Obama (found on Obama's official Web page), or if you are a Boise State student send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to join our campus chapter and get involved. Obama is committed to improving American relations with the rest of the world, creating a health-care system that actually works, ending the war in Iraq, fighting poverty and protecting the environment. He advocates getting rid of the FAFSA entirely, simplifying the process for getting federal aid all together by referencing tax information. He understands that the FAFSA process keeps many talented students from financing their educations because of its cumbersome and confusing paperwork process. He will fight to increase the maximum amount of Pell Grants and help more students both go to and finish college.
I urge everyone to research Obama and his policies, with confidence that in doing so, you will see the light he holds out for our future as Americans.
—Alison Kavanagh, Students for Obama Boise State chapter
Some Idaho newspapers, even though they are still profitable enough so that they would be considered successful by most other business model measurements, have acquired unhealthy habits of insensitively cutting corners in the same areas where they would likely do better to invest.
Mainly, they shortchange longtime dedicated employees their earned due, saddling them with double and triple workloads, along with less pay—basically nickel and dime-ing their best resources—those with irreplaceable institutional memories—to choiceless early retirements or abrupt career changes.
Another shortsighted aspect that hurts some newspapers is that publishers have become skittish about saying anything too controversial, which might offend paying advertisers.
Some subjects become potatoes too hot to handle for many tiny Idaho insulated communities. Moreover, advertisers have become adroit to this fact and make publishers easily squirm by threatening to slide over to the ever ready competition. With the ceaseless pressure of deadlines and a multitude of other glitches inherent to the print newspaper publishing business, true innovativeness and cutting-edge writing is being only half-embraced at best.
The few exceptional newspaper editors and publishers who continue to follow through on the aspirations of yesteryears trendsetting investigative journalists should be heralded as courageous heroes.
—Jim Banholzer, online