Opinion » Mail

April 4 - April 11, 2007

No Foolin'

All of us here at the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office enjoyed Roberta Axidea's April 1st proof of the Basque colonization of Idaho during the Middle Pleistocene 60,000 years ago (BW, Were Basques the first?, March 28). I will certainly add this scholarly contribution to the bulging file beside me labeled Annals of Idaho's Alternative Archaeology. There, the Neanderthal Basques will join several privately published monographs on the hominoid beachcombers who roamed the shores of Lake Idaho during the early Pliocene, thumping fish on the head with Acheulean handaxes; a not-yet-yellowed newspaper clipping with photographs of Easter Island statues carved into remote Owyhee basalts in the 1820s by Ogden's lost Hawaiian fur trappers; and the final (suppressed) forensic report on who Blue Suitcase Man really was.  

Those Boise Weekly readers who have heard of the actual Siberian/Iberian controversy—whether Clovis hunters trooped across the Bering Land Bridge from Asia or paddled across the north Atlantic from Spain—might want to attend Dr. Dennis Stanford's public presentation on the subject on May 17 in Twin Falls.  Dr. Stanford, the Paleoindian specialist at the Smithsonian Institution, is one of the most committed advocates for the Iberian connection. His talk, entitled "New Perspectives on New World Origins," is sponsored by the Snake River Chapter of the Idaho Archaeological Society and the Herrett Center for Arts and Sciences as part of Idaho Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month, and is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. in the Rick Allen Room at the Herrett.

—Dr. Ken Reid, State Archaeologist, Idaho State Historic Preservation Office

Late last night while relaxing with the latest issue, I became immersed in the article about the ancient Basque relics found in the Owyhees. Just lately, fossils and relics which don't conform to the usual paradigms have been the subject of some conversation between myself and friends. Archaeologists and anthropologists often like to pretend they've cornered the market on the truth regarding the past. And I was itching to relate my newfound knowledge to my friends ... However, the more I pondered the article, the more preposterous it seemed. The pics of the statues were the giveaway to what I realized could only be an April Fools' hoax. So do I win $25 or a pair of tickets to The Flicks?

—Steve Vetter,


Republicans are people, too

I read with some dismay the article Bill Cope wrote demeaning Republicans in the name of belittling bigotry (BW, Brown Man's Burden, April 4). On the latter point, I entirely agree there's no room in a country as large and as good as ours for bigotry, which, at its heart, is simply hatred. And I think there's no room for hatred, which should be opposed in any and all guises in which it may appear—which is why I am dismayed by the article. It purports to oppose bigotry, but the vast majority of the article is pickled through with hatred of Republicans, while giving scant evidence to support his points. The Boise State incident he quotes I am unfamiliar with and certainly sounds tasteless as described. But he mentions Colin Powell as evidence of the progress America has made—a man who, last I checked, was appointed by a Republican. But as he says, "racism has more to do with ingrained scorn—the perpetually demeaning attitude, the self-congratulatory posture of cultural superiority." If so, is it wrong to oppose treating other people with such scorn—even if those people are, oh my, Republicans? I submit that it is always proper to oppose demeaning other people regardless of their race, their religion, or, yes, even their political affiliation. Our country is too good for that.

—Mickey Myhre, MD,


how Sali votes

U.S. Rep. Bill Sali (R-1st) voted against a bill to crack down on the barbaric and inhumane practices of illegal dogfighting and cockfighting. The House approved the measure, advocated by The Humane Society of the United States, by a commanding vote of 368–39. The National Sheriff's Association backed the bill because animal fights spawn narcotics traffic, public corruption, human violence and illegal gambling. The poultry industry also endorsed the legislation to prevent the spread of avian diseases, including bird flu. We are disappointed that Rep. Sali voted against humane organizations and law enforcement agencies on this issue. We hope he exhibits greater sensitivity to animal welfare when other anti-cruelty matters come before the House.

—Wayne Pacelle, president & CEO, The Humane Society of the United States Washington, D.C. 

isp witch hunt

This is regarding the recent issues with the Big Easy concert house and the witch-hunt tactics of the Idaho State Police on that establishment. While I'm not a frequent patron of the Big Easy, my wife and I do occasionally go there just as we do the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Center, the fair and other cultural activities. The Big Easy brings a wealth of culture to the city and state. I am very disappointed that time and energy was spent by my police force in investigating these morality crimes. I would very much like them to spend more time investigating cases of vandalism, Greenbelt patrols, and serious crime investigations like meth labs. I personally feel safe at the Big Easy. I cannot say I feel safe in areas of Canyon County or on the Greenbelt. I have a hard time justifying and voting for increases in funding for ISP knowing well that the ISP are spending time/money in such minor investigations as male dance revues.

—Perry Lea,