That's My 'Hood
I read your article in this week's Boise Weekly (Citizen, "Andrew Mentzer," June 23, 2010) about the new youth hostel. My wife and I are some of the residents in the Idaho Building that Mr. Mentzer overlooked in his planning. I found his response to your question "What about the actual residents?" appalling. Downtown dwellers are often the forgotten factor in planning decisions. If Boise hopes to encourage the further expansion of its downtown residential core, it needs to be more inclusive, and certainly more forthcoming, to its existing downtown residents.
Birds of a Feather
I wonder how many of the dedicated volunteers who helped save a pelican from the deadly Gulf oil have other birds for dinner.
They are not alone. Most people are appalled by the devastation of animal life by the Gulf oil spill, yet subsidize the systematic killing of other animals for their dinner table. They know meat and dairy harm the environment and their family's health but compartmentalize this knowledge when shopping for food. It goes beyond dietary flaws. We tolerate the killing of innocent people when our government and media label them terrorists. We ignore the suffering and starvation of a billion people, except when an earthquake or tsunami has struck. Our society would benefit greatly from more original thinkers, and our personal diet is a great place to start.
Et Tu, America?
In his letter (BW, Mail, June 23, 2010), David Theiler made the point that our people in Congress were merely interested in maintaining the status quo. I agree and would like to give my own meaning to that term. Our status quo as a nation is to continue working to build our global empire, nation by nation. We are trying so hard to copy the ultimate idiocy of the Roman Empire. We members of the American Empire have established over 500 military bases around the world. I taught for three years under a contract with Boston University on Air Force bases in Europe. Why are we there over a half century since WWII? We simply cannot afford to stop building warplanes, aircraft carriers, tanks and guns. We would face a financial disaster--a real depression--if we simply decided to say, "Enough is enough. Start coming home, folks." And all those countries around the world would cry out, "Don't leave. We need your business." The status quo is probably leading us to the same end as the Roman Empire: Collapse from our inability to maintain the status quo. President Obama doesn't wear a toga, but he may be in office watching us on the decline.