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Mail and Commentary Jan. 20

Wash Your Mouth Out, BW

I follow BW's official Twitter feed, and I was dismayed to find that someone had referred to the Tea Party activists by saying, "Tea Baggers usurp Idaho Capitol steps on MLK day."

Please guys, whether or not you agree with their policies, don't call them Tea Baggers. It's an offensive slang term (look it up on urbandictionary.com) and shouldn't be used by BW to describe anybody. It would be similar to seeing a BW tweet that said "Fags usurp Idaho Capitol steps on MLK day." You or I would never say the latter; please don't say the former.

Aside from that, keep up the good work, and yes, I am the Twitter police.

--Dan Wiedeback,


*So what's the Tweet? "Tea Baggers usurp Idaho Capitol steps on MLK day: http://bit.ly/6kLurv #ihaveadream.

Lessons Learned

Mr. Temple (BW, Mail, "Trial By TV," Jan. 13, 2010) wonders why the detainees from the 9/11 disaster should be tried in a civil court, not a military one. I, like him, am a veteran, but I am also an old codger who received an all-expense-paid trip the Pacific during WWII. During that time, thousands of American citizens whose ancestors came from Japan were sent to detention centers inland. No trial, no proof. And oddly, many of the young men joined the American army, and served in a unit with more medals, more honors than any other combat group. My point? If we leave anything behind when our empire collapses, other than McDonald's and blue jeans, it will be our belief that all people regardless of age, gender, national origin or sexual preference should be treated fairly. I hate to say this, but the bombers who actually perpetrated the disaster were gone in the explosions. They were truly guilty! Now we suspect that others had been involved.

But it is a fundamental of our justice system that people are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I lived through the years of the Holocaust, a time when people were rounded up and detained simply because they were: 1) Jewish, 2) homosexuals, 3) mentally delayed. If there is any possible value to getting older, it is that we can see from a different perspective. All people, in my view, should be treated equally in court, at work, or in the world. This may sound a little silly to some, but this may be a big step toward justice for Guatanamo detainees. Gee whiz, maybe they aren't really guilty of any crimes at all. Let us find out before we keep the imprisoned for another 10 years or more.

--Tom Edgar,