Opinion » Mail

June 20-26, 2007

Sali's Votes

Sadly, Rep. Sali (R-Idaho) voted "NO" with the minority on each of the following bills in May.

On May 14, 2007, the U.S. House approved HRES 385, recognizing National AmeriCorps Week. The resolution honors the more than 70,000 Americans who, each year, provide voluntary service to meet America's needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. The vote was 346–21.

On May 9, 2007, the U.S. House approved HR 1684, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. HR 1684 will create new grant programs that will benefit state, local and tribal governments. The vote was 296–126.

On May 8, 2007, the U.S. House approved HR 1595, the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act. The bill recognizes the people of Guam for their suffering and loyalty to America during the Japanese occupation of Guam during World War II. The vote was 288–133.

On May 2, 2007, the U.S. House approved HR 1429, the Improving Head Start Act of 2007. The bill reauthorizes the Head Start Act, with improved program quality and expanded access for disadvantaged children. The vote was 365–48.

One wonders what Rep. Sali has against 1) American volunteers, 2) state, local and tribal governments, 3) people who helped our soldiers and 4) education.

—Dick Artley, Grangeville

More On Cope's Math

In the June 13 issue of Boise Weekly, Richard Jay takes Bill Cope to task over his use of the concept of "average" (Mail, "Cope's Math," June 13, 2007). I once taught sadistics (I mean statistics) to graduate students. I learned then the definition of "lecture." A lecture is a situation in which one person talks in another person's sleep. Knowing that, I will hurry through what I wish to say. Jay uses the case in which Cope has an income of $60,000, Mary an income of $30,000, and Henry earns $10,000. Henry is probably a college professor!

There are two common ways to compute an average, add up the incomes, and then divide by the number of people (this is the mean income) and in this case would be $100,000 divided by the number of persons or $33.333.33—sorry Richard. You had $30,000, and Bill Cope gets to laugh The median is calculated by counting to the middle person, and finding the income for that person. It is $30,000. Boy is it fun to be involved in such world- threatening issues! I could probably get a job in the Bush administration, I bet.

—Tom Edgar, Boise

Gore is Trying

Al and Tipper Gore have been criticized for living in a 20-room mansion that generates energy bills many times the national average. The Gores, however, try to live a green lifestyle, and through their work, they are helping other Americans to do the same.

The Gores' energy bills are high. That's true. The Gores live in the U.S. climate zone that uses the most energy; it is hot and humid in the summer and cold in the winter. The Gores, however, have chosen to purchase "green energy" from Green Power Switch, a provider utilizing solar and wind power. Green energy costs 50 percent more than energy from conventional sources. This accounts for the high energy bills that the Gores pay. How many of us would do that?

Not only do the Gores purchase green energy, they had tried for years to install solar panels on their home but were prohibited from doing so by local ordinances. Al Gore worked to get the ordinances changed, and solar panels have been installed.

The Gores lessen their dependence on vehicles by working at home. David Roberts of the Huffington Post writes: "The Gores are not an average family. He's an ex-VP with special security arrangements, and has live-in security staff. He and his wife both work on their many business and charitable undertakings out of their house, so they have space for offices and office staff. All that would be tough to cram in an average-size house."

Americans are dependent on oil. The Gores are no different than you or me in that respect. Heck, I drive to work once in awhile. My take-out Chinese comes in a styrofoam box. The Gores are working to reduce their carbon footprint and to bring that message to the American people. We can all try to decrease our carbon footprint, just like the Gores, by purchasing green energy, installing solar panels, using low-energy light bulbs, eating low on the food chain and not driving to work. Change takes time, but it's important that we do change our habits. If global warming turns out to be malarkey, do you really want to take the gamble to find that out?

Let's ask the next generation what they think.

—Jennifer Patrick, Boise

From BW Online Comments:

GOP Should Pay

If the Republican Party closes their primary, then they should run the election themselves and pay for it themselves. Asking the taxpayers to pay for a party they're not invited to is just wrong. Is the Democratic caucus taxpayer-supported? I don't think so.

—Eric Nielsen


We neglected to credit Darcy Padilla for the photograph of Diane and Jake Anderson-Minshall (BW, Arts, "We're Here, We're Queer ... Kind Of," June 6, 2007)