Opinion » Mail

May 25, 2005

Intelligentsia•Castle-ing•Gno show•Save the Fillibuster•Is Jerel Thomas serious?


No one over the age of 40 with knees or a lower back believes in "intelligent design."

-Robert Carr,



Am I alone in noting that since well before the review of the [Boise Art Museum] Triennial, Mr. Schnoor's commentaries have become not so much informative as invective? A critic can never be objective, of course (one person, one opinion), but I read reviews to expand upon a remembered experience or to deepen appreciation. Carping and unbearable pretension from a critic are a lot like a fly droning between a hungry man and his soup.

Recently, for example, I, too, saw the Castle exchibit at Boise State (BW, Native Son, May 11, 2005). Among the other fascinating items of historical interest, I found Castle biographer and scholar Professor Thomas Trusky made a persuasive case that BAM and others have the wrong birth date for what is arguably Idaho's most important artist; that Castle was autistic; and that certain works can be dated and interpreted. And surely anyone familiar with art exhibitions knows that lenders and donors routinely are offered anonymity. Insinuations? Misrepresentations? Buzz off, will you?

In the end, I'm suddenly reminded of Dr. Johnson's response: "A fly, sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince, but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still."

-John Randles,


Gno show

You can tell that editor of yours, or that guy, Bingo-who says he's startin' a Home For Wayward Gnomes (BW, Lingo Yarns, May 11, 2005)-I waited from Friday gnite till Sunday afternoon at the bottom of his steps. He never showed once and Luther wouldn't let me in the yard.

Somethins' really eatin' him [Luther]. Anyway, I suspect that his invite was for real, bein' that it was in his paper, and I'd appreciate him postin' a time he'll be home so he can deal with Luther.

-Wide Ranger,

The Wayward Gnome

Editor's Gnote: I am sorry I wasn't there. I was at the Boise Weekly staff retreat this weekend. (See this week's Lingo Yarns.) I plan on being there this next weekend, toiling away in the garden cultivating the mushrooms and speaking with worms. Stop on by and I'll give you a tour.

Save the Fillibuster

The attack on the filibuster by radical Republicans is wrong. The Senate has confirmed 208 of Bush's judicial nominations. Instead of being satisfied with a 95 percent confirmation rate, radicals want to eliminate the filibuster.

Radicals want to turn the Senate into a rubberstamp, just because they are not getting their way. A move to eliminate the filibuster would wreck our system of checks and balances. Americans should not let radical Republicans change the rules just because it suits them.

-Richard Mussler-Wright, Boise

Is Jerel Thomas serious?

When I first read his letter (BW, Mail, May 11, 2005), I thought it had to be a joke. Perhaps a desperate ploy on the part of Boise Weekly to get letters? Invade Mexico in order to stop illegal immigration to the States. Fabulous idea. Until you stop to think for even a nanosecond. Thomas is obviously a victim of the media's latest scare tactic: Let's divert national attention from what is really going on by creating yet another threat to our national wellbeing.

How about we take a look at the facts on illegal immigration in Boise: According to the 2000 Census, population in Boise increased by a hefty 46.1 percent over the last 10 years. If this rate of growth were to continue, Boise would have, in 2025, a population of 1,116,000 people. How much of this growth was due to illegal immigration? A scanty 11.7 percent. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (who are supposedly measuring the threat to Idaho from illegal immigration), there are some serious issues Boise will have to face due to this unprecedented growth. One of the biggest is water. Unless we miraculously discover a new water source, United Water predicts it will have trouble providing water to Southeast Boise within two years. Other problems that FAIR has noted are traffic increase, disappearing open space (a problem we have all noted in the Treasure Valley), affordable housing, sprawl, increased energy use, air pollution, poverty and overcrowded schools. Let me get this straight: We are blaming the growing pains that Idaho is facing on the 11.7 percent of the 46.1 percent increase in population over the last 10 years? It seems to me that not many illegal immigrants could afford to build in, say, those mammoth development projects in Eagle. All this illegal immigration is barely enough to cover all the janitorial and dishwashing jobs generated by all the lovely sprawl we are seeing in the Boise area. What is really the threat here?

My main question to Thomas is this: How would you put bread on the tables of all the people in the United States who depend on the food grown by an industry that depends on immigrant labor? Don't kid yourself. These people are not a drain on society. They support it. The price you pay for dinner is subsidized by the sweat of foreign labor. According to the Idaho Farm Bureau, illegal immigrants perform jobs many Americans will not. "Our concern is ag jobs," said the Farm Bureau's Judy Bartlett. "And keeping some workers there for our agriculture. It's very very necessary because we can't find those workers otherwise."

The recent raids on Wal-Mart's hiring of undocumented workers shows just how conglomerates like Wal-Mart can keep prices low for American consumers. According to one cleaning subcontractor, Stanislaw Kostek, who admitted that he had hired illegal immigrants to work at about a dozen Wal-Marts: ''It's a degrading job; very few people want to do it even though the salary is at least two dollars above the minimum wage ... But there are (immigrant) workers who want to do the job."

Thomas is advocating we invade Mexico in order to make this problem of immigration magically go away. Brilliant idea! Let's take more money from our schools so that we can cripple yet another country's economy! Let's think about a country like El Salvador: population five million, one million (that is one-fifth!) of which is illegally working in the States. And why are they here? Largely due to an economy devastated by 10 years of civil war. Oh, incidentally, that war was funded by $60 billion in U.S. tax dollars. Imagine what good that money could have done. It could have been put into schools in order to teach people to think. People like Thomas are the losers on that one.

Speaking to one Mexican woman I know, who happens to be my mother, about the problem of all the Mexican immigrants in California, she said "Ah, yes, we are just taking back what was once stolen from us." Maybe, according to the logic of Thomas' thinking, we should just give the West back to Mexico!

-Samantha Reinhart, Boise