Opinion » Mail

April 11-18, 2007

Sali Responds

Dogfighting and cockfighting are appalling and barbaric. That is why all but one state in the nation have banned cockfighting, and that last state, Louisiana, thankfully, appears to be acting to stop this bloody phenomenon. The question that was presented to us recently in Congress is whether the federal government should pass stiffer penalties for cockfighting and dogfighting.

My answer was this: Do my constituents really want Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi telling them what to do, telling them what the penalties should be for crimes committed in our state? Or is this something the people of Idaho, through their elected representatives, can address? Should our limited federal resources be used to go after dog- and cockfighters? I'd rather direct those resources toward drug cartel operatives and terrorists.

While it would be easy for me to vote for anything that outlaws bad behavior, the bill before us (BW, Letters, April 11) would have poked the federal government's head into places where the states should reasonably be expected to act. It's hard to vote "no," believe me. I could have easily joined the majority and said "yes" to the passage of the bill. I'd rather do what's right because it's right and not because it's easy.

--U.S. Rep. Bill Sali, R-Idaho

One Big Vibrator

Your "True Crime" section is my favorite article that I strive to absorb every week. This is because when I read these stories, I am surprised, humored, and a bit awed at times from what is written. But when I read the "Pierce Is Vibrating With Rage" story within your recent issue (BW, True Crime, April 4), and as an official member of the Show-Me State of Missouri, I simply could not believe what I had just absorbed.

This case of "True Crime" just had to be an issue of "quality vs. quantity!" After all, a pair of new A-sized batteries should only cost around four to six dollars. The remaining components of a standard vibrator probably consist of no more than the housing or shell; a couple of wires or three if you include a ground wire, a cheap mechanical switch to activate the contact leads, and the aluminum contacts themselves that likely are no larger than an eighth of an inch in size if that. So how much cost is there really within all the "raw" material used to manufacture a device such as this? And with a retail markup as well! I just can't imagine a standard vibrator unit having a retail value of more than $50? And that's maximum. Or, could it? If this unit is worth the amount that was paid to buy it, then every economist in the world that studies the market demand for vibration elation would have nothing of equal or greater value to offer as comparable market substitute.

But the vibrator Ms. Shedd bought was purchased with a $3,970 check to the retailer "Natural Contours!" It simply can't be an economic attribution relevant to a quantity factor. But if it is, and if I was a gambler, my bet is that this company most likely resides in Texas. Because everyone knows, everything is big in Texas!

--Paul E. Hopkins, Nampa

Cope, Say You're Sorry

In a week when Don Imus is fired for his description of the Rutgers University women's basketball team, I wonder why no one on the editorial staff called Bill Cope to task for his tasteless remark about the "slow cousin" whom one avoids at a family reunion (BW, Brown Man's Burden, April 4). His characterization, set in parallel with a "lemon" of a car and unappetizing crackers, is certainly in the Imus mold.

It is an insult to those members of our community who are mentally less competent than Mr. Cope obviously thinks himself to be, and he owes them--and those who care for and about them--an apology. So does Boise Weekly, for publishing that particular column as written.

I'm all for free speech, but the logical assumption about a publication like BW is that its columnists reflect its general point of view.

--Judith Austin,


You Don't Get It, Cope

Bill Cope just doesn't get it. He and plenty of other people continue to confuse the true issue regarding illegal immigration (BW, Brown Man's Burden, April 4). The Boise State College Republican club was only attempting to draw attention toward a growing problem.

Running a red light is illegal. Shoplifting is illegal. And undocumented immigrants are also illegal. Each of these is hazardous. But I'm guessing Cope is one of those who runs red lights. Figures.

--Stephan McMains, Boise

Don't Forget To Vote

If you support the creation of a community college system in the Treasure Valley, then please make sure to actually show up to the polls on May 22nd and vote YES. It is not enough to simply say or think that you support it. And it's not enough to donate your time or money to the cause, although it's greatly appreciated. More than anything, your actual vote is needed to ensure the measure passes.

Due to state law, the community college must be approved by 67 percent of the voters to win on Election Day. That means they need two "yes" votes for every one "no" vote. Most elections simply need more "yes" votes than "no" votes. It would be a real shame if over 67 percent of the population supports it, but they lose the vote because not enough of the supporters actually voted. So it is vital that if you support the measure that you actually show up to the polls and vote YES.

--Brett Adler,