A great article by Dan Frosch (BW, Dec. 22, Soldier's Heart). Bush and Congress have no problem sending others, loved ones, to fight their unjust wars but don't adequately fund the Veterans Administration. Shame on them!!! I do not support their wars. I support the troops by meditating and praying for their safe return and peace.
As Thich Nhat Hanh says in his book Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World, we say "God bless America" but we must add "God bless everyone," because everyone is a child of God. Do not believe that by eliminating the other you can find peace. Helping them is the only way.
Peace to all beings.
--Vietnam purple heart veteran Ken McGuire, Emmett
Thank you for such a great article, Soldier's Heart. The artwork was very good! I am a Vietnam vet's wife. As told in the article, it is all that and more. It can be a wide-awake nightmare for anyone connected to the vet. Thanks again for offering the info to your readers.
Thanks for the Chasing the Dragons and Soldier's Heart articles. Perhaps enough kids have died in this town over this year that attention will finally be focused on the drug problem. Numbers, however, are needed. I was part of a team (one member was the risk manager from the City of Boise) that went to Portland about seven years ago to look at their system. They have a system that works and you might do a story on that. The biggest issue is that you do not make money on drug treatment, which scares away the private sector. Unless a study is done on the real cost to us (jails, indigent medical, prisons, crime, damaged children) it will be easy to continue to blame "them," who, of course, are really "us." Keep up the pressure on this issue!
Second, the Veterans Administration here in Boise has real expertise on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment. Dr. Larry Dewey has even written a book about it. He's retired but still lives in the area. With the Idaho Guard now facing this problem more articles would be really helpful. Too many issues and too little time.
Editor's note: As mentioned at the end of Chasing the Dragons, we are working on additional articles regarding the heroin problem in Boise. Look for them soon.
Churches and the poor
I attend the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Garden City, one of the churches who sponsored the parking ticket event in downtown Boise. I would like to respond to the person who left you an anonymous message about our paying parking tickets for people last December and how they thought it was terrible that we were not taking care of the poor with that money. (Hmmm, didn't Judas say the same thing to Jesus?)
A few facts my help you understand a little more why we did it.
First of all it was a lesson in Grace--a gift you cannot earn. None of us deserve it but we all can have it.
Number two: the money was not taken from any church coffer. It was donated specifically for this event by local businesses.
Number three: we do take care of the poor, and quite well I might add. Our church alone has a food pantry of over 12,000 square feet that fed over 10,000 families (not individuals) last year alone. Every Wednesday and Saturday our food pantry services over 26 other food pantries in the area. We have a team of people who have fed 200 to 400 homeless in Julia Davis Park every Sunday for the last 10 years. We also run a medical clinic at the same facility, free, to those with no insurance. Our pantry is also a designated Red Cross shelter, with trained volunteers to man it in case of a disaster in Boise. Needless to say this takes over 300 volunteers to run this entire operation, and all because the volunteers love what they do.
There is so much more that the Vineyard gives to the community, you just never hear about it because we don't want to seem to be boastful, but I just had to respond because so many people see Christians as bad because of some of the things in the media. We just want to share God's love in a practical way and be authentic Christians.
May I dare to ask what you are doing for the poor? And when would you like to come and volunteer with us?
--Debbie Gallagher, Boise
Regarding your superb article (BW, Dec. 22, Chasing the Dragons), I hope people in Boise--as well as the often terminally naive ones here in the Wood River Valley--read Michelle Malkin's book Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals and other Foreign Menaces to our Shores because one of the many things that become vividly, angrily clear is that a huge percentage of illegals arrested in the U.S. are involved with narcotics trafficking. We've had a slew of drug-related arrests here in the past eight years--many involving heroin, including two at Hailey's Wood River Middle School this year--almost all of them involving illegals from the south.
If PCers want to cling to the extremely antiquated and idiotic notion that illegal immigrants, by their very nature, aren't people who brazenly break the law, then so be it! But I'm certain there's a very strong correlation between the number of illegals being arrested throughout Idaho and the frightening increase in drugs in general--and heroin in particular--ending up here (to say nothing of the infuriating increase in gang-related violence).
--John Pluntze, Ketchum
Up into uglier ... revisited
Just a quick note to Bill Cope (BW, Dec. 8, Up Into Uglier), perhaps if more people in Meridian sided their homes with license plates back in the late 80s and early 90s, Meridian would be the pleasant little community it was ... back in the late 80s and early 90s. The rest of us here in our part of the world are not present to make your brother-in-law envious of where you live, my friend. Also, I don't believe that Idaho City was ever Idaho's capital, much less its original, as you stated in your closing paragraph. I know that it was considered for the territorial capital but Boise City won out and that is where the capital was moved from Lewiston in 1864.
--C. Albright, Boise County
Love the Weekly--hate the web site. Is it my computer (and I'll admit to not being very savvy at all this computer stuff), or did you purposely make it hard to read? The format is not reader friendly. I'm thinkin' there must be a reason for this ... it's just escaping me.
Still love the Weekly.
Editor's note: It's not you. It's us. Our Web site, while functional to most, is not 100 percent readable to all browser types. It has also been designed an managed for the last year by us, and we finally admit, we may be lacking in some web-savvy programming skills. But don't give up on it yet. We have engaged a company who specializes in alternative weekly newspaper websites and over the next few months you will notice profound changes and improvements to our site. It will still be at www.boiseweekly.com.
Guess which country
Two million tons of ordinance were dropped on this enemy in one of the most efficient bombing campaigns of the last century. The first countries to come to mind might be Germany, Japan or Vietnam, but you would be wrong.
The country was Laos. You don't know this fact because it was a secret war and the memory of America is now two weeks maximum for what's right in front of us, let alone a 35-year-old secret conflict.
But it may be good to remember Laos in these days of preemptive war.
According to our military every smart bomb we drop is killing bunches of terrorists, but do we know where all the bombing is taking place? Do you believe it when the military claims 1,000 insurgents are dead? Do you believe they are all insurgents?
Our memories may be short when it comes to past bombing campaigns, but the rest of the world remembers, particularly the recipients of U.S. bombing policy.
Even today children in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos are losing their limbs and lives to good old U.S. ordinance.
It's the Shampoo Rationale: They hate us because we are free. Repeat.
--Chris Morris, Caldwell
While we are distracted with the holidays, one could hardly recognize the simple-sounding "space battery" plans as a plutonium production refinery. The Department of Energy had chosen Oak Ridge, Tennessee for the project, but admits in the small print that "after 9/11" security threats made them choose to cluster their terrorist target in Idaho. The DOE was forced to admit that "space exploration was not the reason for the plutonium facility."
DOE spokesman Tim Frazier claimed the new plutonium production facility would have "zero emissions." That is a lie I have not heard since I began investigating the DOE in 1988, but here we go again. I asked for proof of Frazier's claim, but none has come. So I researched the Los Alamos DOE facility where this space plutonium-238 work was done before. The government reports say that plutonium showed up in the autopsy exams for local citizens, above background levels. As the DOE says, "Ooops." God did not intend for your body to be burdened by plutonium, but the DOE likes to play God, and they say plutonium in your lungs, brain and nearly every organ in your body is of no consequence, so enjoy the boost to the economy.
As we have seen with the atomic fallout aimed at Idaho, it is hard to get the government to pay a puny $50,000 for the life altering cancers they have already caused. Our delegation recently voted, again, to fund "fast tracking" preparation of Nevada Test Site for more atomic testing to be aimed at Idaho. Merry Christmas!
You can check the plutonium autopsy data (page 3) at www.ustur.wsu.edu/publications/NHRTRREV03.pdf.
You can check the Los Alamos citizen plutonium autopsy statements (page 1) at www.nuclearactive.org/docs/RTKExecSumm.pdf.
Next year will be better if you make your politicians work for you.
--Dr. Peter Rickards DPM, Twin Falls
The past year has witnessed major national wins and losses. The Republicans won by retaining political power in the November elections. The Democrats won because they are not stuck with the losing battle for a democratic Iraq.
On the domestic front, we've been losing the battle for our health, with obesity assuming epidemic proportions. We've been losing the battle for our environment, with more animal wastes dumped in our water supplies. And we've been losing the battle for our soul, with more and more animals subjected to factory farm and slaughterhouse atrocities.
Amazingly, each of us can do a great deal to turn this around with one simple New Year's resolution. A resolution to replace meat and dairy products in our diet with wholesome, delicious vegetables, fresh fruits, beans and whole grains. With every supermarket featuring a large variety of soy-based veggie burgers and dogs, deli slices, ready-to-eat frozen dinners, ice cream and soy milk, it's got to be the easiest resolution we will ever keep.