Opinion » Mail

October 27 2004


My income is the only income in our household right now. My spouse has been unemployed for several months, and it is very difficult to make ends meet. We are already having difficulty paying the bills every month, and winter is coming. Last winter we struggled with the bills when we were both employed. We received a couple shutoff notices during the cold months, and called Project Share to find out if we could get assistance for that month. We were told we qualified, but that there weren't any more funds available for the month and to try back next month.

Idaho has the shortest winter moratorium (a period in which power to qualified customers cannot be shut off for nonpayment) compared to other surrounding states. Idaho's winter moratorium lasts from December through February, though temperatures are freezing from November well into March. Without assistance, I am very concerned that our power may be shut off this winter.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission can help us keep the heat on and extend Idaho's winter moratorium.

--Michael Trotter



This year, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, conservatives and others are coming together not just to vote but to volunteer for John Kerry and local Democrats. Here's why.

If you know someone who doesn't go to the doctor because he or she can't afford it; if you've lost your job and are wondering why we're paying Halliburton to build schools in Iraq, while our neighborhood schools are cutting programs, days, or closing altogether; if you care about stopping domestic violence, protecting our homeland, or making sure America's police, firefighters and veterans are getting everything they need, then you should be voting for John Kerry and a change of leadership in Idaho's legislature.

The deficit alone should convince you to vote for Senator Kerry, a longtime proponent of pay-as-you-go. This president has placed us so deeply in debt to foreign powers like China, Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia that financial experts are beginning to speak of America as the next Argentina.

How will Senator Kerry pay for health care and education and reduce the deficit? If you're making under $200,000 a year, Senator Kerry will not raise your taxes. But my taxes will go up to where they were before George W. Bush took office. As they should.

I know John Kerry personally. He has the strength, courage, intelligence, integrity and experience to lead America. If the current situation isn't working for you, please vote for Senator Kerry. Women: You don't have to vote the way your father or husband does. It's a secret ballot.

--Carole King



I propose a new way to evaluate U.S. Presidents--call it the "Suffering Scale." We would measure the amount of human suffering caused by a President while in office.

In Iraq, President Bush's decision to go to war has caused, according to Charles J. Hanley of the Associated Press, 13,000 to 30,000 civilian casualties, 1,086 U.S. military casualties and 7,100 U.S. military wounded. Additionally, bombs have destroyed bridges, power plants, hospitals, homes, etc. ruining many Iraqis' ability to carry on a normal life.

A rating of the "Suffering Scale" might help us evaluate President Bush's worthiness for another four-year term.

--Reed Burkholder



I recently mailed the following letter to the National Rifle Association (NRA):

Dear Mr. LaPierre,

I recently read a Washington Post article in which an NRA representative was quoted as saying that no NRA members had expressed concern (to the NRA) about the current administration's environmental policies. Well, here is my expression of concern. I am more worried than ever that our country will soon be like many others in which environmental degradation is severe enough to adversely affect public health and economic growth. On a personal note, I also very much enjoy hunting in roadless areas, an activity which this administration and the NRA apparently do not think is worthy of protection. But that is not why I am writing.

I joined the NRA many years ago because I was very much concerned about freedoms protected by the Constitution but not always respected by the government. However, I cannot silently sit by and watch an organization of which I am a member unconditionally support an administration that is openly hostile to the freedoms of its citizens. Given this administration's disregard for the first, fourth, fifth and sixth amendments to the Constitution, I have to conclude that support for the second amendment is given only to secure votes and not out of any genuine concern for the freedom. Although I do not agree with the Democratic position on gun control, I would much rather run the risk of restrictive gun laws than to watch my countrymen jailed without trial, fired from their jobs for speaking the truth, or have my library activity monitored by the government.

It is with great regret that I decline to renew my NRA membership. As a longtime NRA member, I often participated in, and very much enjoyed, Action Pistol and High Power Rifle competitions. I find it very sad that I have to give up these activities because the organization that was chartered by government for the purpose of promoting marksmanship has become so narrow-minded as to think that erosion of freedom is acceptable as long as we have our guns (pre-war Iraq and Saudi Arabia are proof that guns in the hands of the people does not always equate freedom). I hope the NRA will someday put more emphasis (and money) into the promotion of marksmanship and firearm safety, and thus help to ensure the long-term security of our right to keep and bear arms, rather than trying to curry short-term political favor from politicians who have little respect for the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

--James V. Morrow, Jr.