Opinion » Mail

Mail and Commentary (Online Edition) Aug. 25, 2010

Avoid Salmonella

Several hundred people have come down with Salmonella enteritidis poisoning, leading to the recall of 380 million eggs from 17 states by the Wright County Egg Company of Galt, Iowa. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 100,000 Americans suffer from egg-borne Salmonella infections each year. Common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Salmonella infection is only the most publicized health effect of egg consumption. An average egg contains loads of fat and 213mg of cholesterol, key factors in the incidence of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

Incidentally, those 380 million eggs were the product of nearly 1,500,000 birds suffering for a year in tiny wire-mesh cages that cut their feet and tore out their feathers. Their waste was dumped into a nearby stream, contributing to massive pollution of the Mississippi River, and eventually, to a "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico three times the size of the BP oil spill.

The good news is that our local supermarket offers a number of healthful, eco-friendly, delicious egg replacers. More details are available at www.chooseveg.com/vegan-substitutes.asp.

—Glenn Newkirk, Boise

Disappointing Dylan

Whatever Happened, Bob?

Last Sunday I had tickets to a Bob Dylan concert but I ended up at a satirical comedy. The opening act, The Dough Rollers, featured Harrison Ford's son "singing" in black voice, which wasn't as funny as it was embarrassing. Their big finale, "Hackin' a Loogie" (well, maybe that wasn't the title, it's just what it sounded like) had the crowd applauding their exit. The Dough Rollers were evidently booked in the hope that they would make Dylan sound like a legitimate performer. They were not successful.

As Dylan came on the crowd roared their appreciation for the poet laureate of the rock age. Never a polished voice, he no longer makes any pretense at singing and covers up his gravelly "talking" with loud electric guitars. I went to see the Troubador, the indignant voice of my generation calling the establishment to task. Instead I got a parody of American Bandstand. The beat was good, I'd give it a 78.

Well, we've come along way since 1965, haven't we, when a skinny kid from Hibbing, Minn., moved a generation with Like a Rolling Stone. We were going to change the world, and we did manage to end the Vietnam War. Then we elected Reagan and puffed up our chests when we invaded the tiny nation of Grenada. We didn't even notice when our boys massacred innocent Panamanians, and as for Iraq, well, they're just Muslims. Ditto Afghanistan.

So an old man who once was a rebel gets on stage hiding behind the noise of the band, and we whoop and holler (that's Bob Dylan after all!) feeling the spirit, but not a word comes from the poet, not a hint of indignation, not a moment of inspiration. You see, to sit with a guitar and a harmonica and some lyrics and a broken down voice and actually be the poet might offend someone. Hell, he's a Rock Icon now, a Brand (did you buy the poster?).

Then you set back and watch

When the death count gets higher

You hide in your mansion'

As young people's blood

Flows out of their bodies

And is buried in the mud.

Never mind all that, Dude, there's money to be made!

And as for us, well, just tell us what to buy and who to kill, no long explanations please (sound bites only) and we'll rock all night long, 'cause we're sheep rebels all.

In the last line sheep should have a double strike thru.

—Geoff Burns, Nampa

We All Need Good Sportsmanship

I just read an open letter to Boise State's Bob Kustra written by Bill Cope and am extremely offended by his commentary. I am embarrassed for the state of Idaho after reading this. I am an alumni from U of I, as is my oldest daughter who was also born in Moscow. My three daughters and I have degrees from the College of Southern Idaho, two of us continued on to U of I and completed bachelor degrees. Of the two youngest daughters, one has a bachelor and masters degree from BSU and the youngest is working on her bachelor's degree at BSU. Their spouses have attended the College of Southern Idaho and Boise Sate University and have earned and are in the process of earning degrees. We have received an excellent education from all of these institutions. It is a sad thing that taxpayers are having their hard earned dollars funding such barbarism!

We should be proud of an Idaho school that has brought much needed financial help to our colleges. Money earned from the Fiesta bowl didn't just stay with BSU, U of I also received money from BSU's wins. 

My daughter, her husband and I traveled to northern Idaho last September to visit family and visited Moscow. I wanted to show them where I had lived and the campus. While we were driving through the city, some students noticed the license plates, which were Boise Alumni plates, and they began yelling and cursing at us. I was so ashamed of their behavior. If this was only a .10 percent of what the BSU football team, students and alumni are treated like when they come to a game in Moscow, then why would President Kustra want to send them to U of I? Why would we want to go back and be treated like that? I teach in an elementary school and even those students know better than to treat someone like that—it's called good sportsmanship and it should have been learned in elementary school. 

Please begin modeling good sportsmanship to people who read your editorials and perhaps I'll feel safe enough to journey to Moscow again!

—Debra Collins

CuMo Only Exploratory at This Point

It's difficult to believe that George Prentice could write, and the Weekly publish, an article about our proposed exploration work in Boise County and apparently make no effort whatsoever to contact us.

Had George contacted us, we could have corrected a couple of things that ended up in print including the statement that "Forest Service would have you believe that they're not really considering a mine for the Grimes Pass area" northwest of Idaho City. Actually, you can believe what the Forest Service—and we—are saying. We are only proposing to do additional exploration work and the Environmental Assessment (EA) that the Forest Service has out for public comment is tightly focused on exploration only. If, after considerable further assessment, which is the reason for additional exploration, we decide we can develop an environmentally safe and sound mine, we will be required to go back to the Forest Service and begin an exhaustive environmental impact evaluation. Frankly, it is irresponsible to talk about a mine at this point because we have not done the detailed exploration necessary to determine how and under what circumstances a mine could be developed.

Finally, we could have told George that Mosquito Gold is a Canadian exploration company, public traded on the Toronto Exchange in which thousands of people in North America—including Idaho—are investors. Incidentally, two other fine Canadian mining companies currently operate in Idaho.

We fully expected to be asked questions about our exploration work, or any other issue related to our company or project, but we cannot answer questions unless we are asked. In the case of the recent Weekly article, regrettably, we were not afforded that opportunity.

To find out more about our exploration proposal you can visit: www.cumoproject.com.

—Shaun M. Dykes, CuMo Exploration Manager and Director, Garden Valley

Shame on Cope

Mr. Cope, please read this.

Your opinion reeks of emotional backwash, elitism and closed-mindedness. Normally I dig your column—tsk, tsk—so I'll assume you didn't mean to lobby for cutting educational opportunities in Boise, since that's nonsensical considering the state of the economy and lack of industrial employment in the Treasure Valley. I assume you understand the value of a working-class university to its community and its incentive for businesses to relocate to Boise. I assume you didn't mean to devalue the hard work put into education by nontraditional students (making up a large part of the BSU student body), who earn degrees by overcoming more obstacles than their traditional classmates. I assume you were simply caught up in a wave of devotion to your alma mater and your wallet's current contribution to your daughter's education in Moscow. But then, you know what they say about assuming ...

—Amy Knight, Nampa

Shame on the Cover

Why is it that you show a man douching on the front cover of the Boise Weekly in the Aug. 18 edition being in good taste? My grand children don't think that was a good idea.

—Chris Hinzo, Boise

Katrina Belongs to Bush

I recently watched a retrospective on Katrina and still can't believe you repeatedly call the Gulf oil spill "Obama's Katrina." ("Obama's Katrina," Opinion, Boise Weekly, June 2. 2010.) What garbage. Do you have any idea what happened to human beings during Katrina with NO help from the Bush administration for days? People died, were shot, were starving. There were children, elderly folks, those with health problems and pregnant women stuck in a sports dome with few provisions and little hope. Opinions like yours are nothing but sophomoric analogies that spew ignorance and stir up crap when what's really needed is support. You call for Obama to step down? Why don't you get out of the business!

—JS Brown,