In local businessman and anti-Bill Sali Republican Jim Nelson's guest opinion last week (BW, "Grant's The Man," August 23), we incorrectly called him Don Nelson. Honestly, we have no idea how KIVI Channel 6 news anchor Don Nelson feels about Bill Sali--except that if he's like us, he thinks it's fun to say the name "Sali."
The Circle of Death
Are you concerned about the effect of mosquito spraying on the mosquito's natural predators? Will the bat population, for example, be decimated without its normal food source? Without its natural predators, the mosquito population could soar next year.
Can Canned Hunting
In the August 15 Idaho Statesman, an article hidden away on page 4 informed me of the existence of a "canned hunting" facility in Blackfoot and that the owner was seeking to lease state lands to expand the area where captive animals could be killed.
Barbaric. Acquired from private breeders, dealers, or even zoos, these animals are frequently hand-raised and bottle-fed and have lost their fear of people. These animals are conditioned to feed at feeders at specific times. Shooting animals at their feeders allows canned hunt operators to offer "100 Percent Guarantees" on kills. Lax oversight and legal loopholes in laws protecting animals even allow endangered species to be killed at some facilities.
Hunting groups, including Boone and Crockett, Pope and Young and theIzaak Walton League, are becoming increasingly vocal in their opposition to canned hunting. Moreover, there's a fundamental concern that canned hunting facilities serve as breeding grounds for diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease, which can spread to wild animal populations and destroy them.
Neighboring states strictly regulate or have outlawed game farms. Itis my profound hope that someday, Idaho outlaws them. Please visit the Humane Society's Web site at www.hsus.org/wildlife/stop_canned_hunts/ for more information.
How You Say... "Le gros chats"
There is a big difference between the two major political parties in America. Although both are influenced by special interests to increase profits of a few, the Republican Party leadership can be defined by one word: GREED.
Oil companies have the biggest profits of any company in history and they are running the White House. Have Idaho voters forgotten that Bush and Cheney are oilmen? Do you like paying high gas prices so that the owners of big oil can live the high life while the rest of us pay for their vacation homes, yachts and corrupt politics?
Idaho Republicans consistently vote to increase the wealth of multimillion dollar businesses and refuse to support real property tax relief or raising the minimum wage. Bill Sali's campaign is funded by multimillionaires called "The Club for Growth."
Governor Risch's plan will give Micron over $2 million and benefits the wealthy that have multiple homes. He pays for his plan by adding to the sales tax (which is the most regressive of all taxes). Take from the poor and give to the rich! That's the Republican philosophy.
Washington, D.C., Republicans recently tried to lower pay for workers who receive tips. They have blocked a federal minimum wage increase once again while continuing to push for repeal on the estate tax, which would only benefit millionaires. Republican leadership consistently redistribute social wealth from the middle class to the super-rich by means of lowering taxes on the rich and allotting major corporations new privileges, while simultaneously destroying programs and services that help promote the general welfare. Help America--vote Democratic in Idaho.
Katrina's Still Around
On the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I am personally reminded of the work I did as an AmeriCorps NCCC member, a service organization for 18 to 24-year-olds. During my 10 months of service with NCCC, I spent four weeks taking part in hurricane recovery efforts in Mississippi. The work was hard--not only caring for a 200-person shelter, but caring for an entire Gulf Coast county, comforting displaced individuals and families, not to mention gutting houses while wearing heavy hazardous materials suits that made the heat of the Gulf Coast seem a whole lot worse.
Despite the hardships, I was privileged to be among the hundreds of thousands of Americans who traveled to hurricane-ravaged areas as part of the recovery effort. I met people who had lost everything, yet still were able to offer a warm welcome to those who had come to help. There is much work left to be done. The work is not easy, and at times, it's heartbreaking, but I wouldn't trade my time in the Gulf for anything in the world. For information on AmeriCorps NCCC go to www.americorps.gov/nccc. If you're interested in volunteer opportunities in the Gulf, go to www.volunteer.gov, which has a section dedicated solely to the Gulf Coast.
Mars Is A Red Planet
With the American electorate so totally disgusted with George W. Bush's incompetent leadership on matters both at home and abroad, Carl Rove's new propaganda tactic seems to be: Hey, this administration and Republican Congress have screwed things up so badly, you don't dare turn the mess over to anyone else.
By the way, is the Bush manned mission to Mars back yet? And will the Martians also benefit from Bush's Social Security reform, his reconstructive improvements in New Orleans and Bahgdad, the "mission accomplished," and ... huh?
Hey, so the guy has had a bit of bad luck. But as President Harry Truman once asked the American people: "How many times do you have to get hit on the head with a hammer before you ask who is hitting you?" It's time to give Bush and the boys in the backroom the answer.
West Branch, Iowa