Opinion » Mail

April 12-18

"What is a Nampa?"

I was ashamed to be a "motorist" while real people were taking over the streets [during the immigration march on Sunday]. I didn't mind the wait, but I have a feeling that not everyone honking was doing it to show support. Then, some meathead in the SUV next to me looked like he had something to say, so my partner rolled down the window, and this guy said, "did Nampa close?"

I immediately said, "What is a Nampa?" because I did not know how to react that fast. I'm not from here, and I'm not used to random comments like that. Just because I have the same (lack of) skin color, am I assumed to be the same? WTF!? I just wish I would have politely said, "Oh, we're not rascist."

--Brad Smith,


Cope Chi Minh

I am sorry, but Bill Cope is in la-la lalnd. His purported facts about why we lost in Vietnam don't hold up to the facts. Cope's really in denial when he fails to remember that a top Vietnam official, interviewed after the war, said "we knew we merely had to wait for the dissenters to kill the will of the American people." Yes, the Vietnamese enemy were "encouraged, emboldened, and abetted" by you liberal nut cases. I agree, the obvious truth escapes the knee-jerk right wing. The truth as to why we lost was the weak-kneed generals who let the politicians throw out the book on how to win a war. Everything they were taught on how to win was overruled by the politicians. For example: not bombing French ships in Haiphong Harbor that were unloading munitions or interdicting the enemy supply lines. After Korea and Vietnam, we should learn from our mistakes and keep the politicians from running the war. I agree, we shouldn't be there. But we are, and American boys are dying. Let's support them and quit encouraging the enemy (that wants to kill us!).

--Ken Trefaller,



What a wonderful article about IDAHO-UK! (BW, News Shorts, "The UK Gets an Idaho of Its Very Own," April 5). Last year, when IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia) started, I wrote to one of your gay organizations and suggested they put on an event under the banner "IDAHO supports IDAHO." Perhaps not surprisingly, they didn't reply. But IDAHO is not an organization, so much as a network, and anyone can organize an IDAHO event in any country. So, at tomorrow's meeting, I will ask them to suggest an event that you could arrange. I have to tell you, though, I have researched the attitude of many in your city to gay rights, and I am forced to conclude that the boys from Boise don't have much fun!

--Derek Lennard.Coordinator, IDAHO-UK.

Dirks' Warnings

Considering the silence from prospective Interior Sec Kempthorne on the issue of public land sales that have been proposed for both BLM and the Forest Service in the FY2007 budget, I have come across a couple of examples from his Senate years that would provide some indication of how he would approach the issue.

1996: Voted for the motion to kill the bumpers amendment that would have reinstated the budget rule that prohibited land sales from being used to reduce the deficit.

1998: Offered an amendment to keep public land sales as a funding source to generate budget revenues.

Also of note was a commitment that Kempthorne reportedly made to Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) that he would seek alternatives to selling off Montana BLM lands for deficit reduction, as proposed in the president's budget. Idahoans have been vocal on the issue of BLM and Forest Service land sales, our congressional delegation has been outspoken in opposition, and the Idaho House and Senate have both passed (nearly unanimously) a memorial to the U.S. Congress expressing opposition to, "significant sales of federal land located in the state of Idaho." Yet, nominee Kempthorne has failed to make the same commitments to the citizens of Idaho, who he was voted to represent, and who continue to pay his salary.

--Jonathan Oppenheimer, Boise