Tera Servatius's article, "Big Brother is Watching You," (BW, Feature, September 13) is one of the best I have seen on the Bush/Cheney crusade to reinvent Orwell's Big Brother. I have researched the novel 1984 for my own writing, and the extent of her coverage of corresponding current events is awesome. As a former broker of mailing lists and database consultant turned privacy activist, I now believe that federal legislation should be passed that gives consumers control over their names and personal data. They should also be paid when it is sold.
--Jack E. Dunning
Cave Creek, Az
CIEDRA Snuck Through
Mike Simpson's Web site says the full House passed the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act by "unanimous consent." Not true.
With no advance public notification, as I personally requested of Simpson via email, Simpson rammed CIEDRA through the Resources Committee by tying CIEDRA to a Democrat's bill and agreeing to break the committee's 48-hour rule, requiring at least 48 hours between a bill's being scheduled for a vote and the vote itself.
Two days later, Friday, July 21, Simpson got CIEDRA on the House Suspension Calendar, scheduled for a vote on Monday, July 24, zero business days later. This calendar is designed to accomodate non-controversial bills only. CIEDRA is very controversial. Butch Otter opposes it. But the result is that the full House never had the opportunity to consider CIEDRA!
Moreover, the vote was not unanimous. Only 15 to 20 people--not the full 435 representatives as Simpson would have you believe--were in attendance. I watched on TV. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office estimates CIEDRA will cost $173 million in three years.
Simpson is not telling you the whole truth. Contact Sen. Craig's office. Urge him to give CIEDRA a thorough Senate examination, something Simpson cleverly avoided by his deceptive, disgraceful backroom deals in the House.
The Torture Shirkers
Bush apologists have wheeled out a straw man: a detainee possessing knowledge which if forced from his evil lips will save millions of lives.
However, in recognition of the president's infallible wisdom as great decider, Congress should enact legislation authorizing him to sanction the use of torture to secure information that will save these lives. To guarantee that torture is only used for such a purpose, the law should also provide that following the use of sanctioned torture the president will provide "slam-dunk" proof that millions of lives have been saved. If the president were unable beyond all doubt to provide such proof, he would immediately be subjected to the same methods of torture that he has authorized.
By establishing accountability right at the top, underlings would be protected from prosecution for their dastardly deeds. This is what Bush is most concerned about, isn't it?
This new torture law might also provide that on a voluntary basis, Bush supporters would be permitted to demonstrate their undying faith in the president's judgment by willingly sharing in the excruciating discomfort that ensues from an errant use of torture--but this is only offered as a comforting thought.
West Branch, IA
In a news story last week (BW, "Idaho's Economic Answer: Blowing in the Wind," September 13), we incorrectly stated that the proposed Sempra Energy coal-fired energy plant would have provided one-third the amount of power as a proposed wind farm in the Cotterel Mountains near Albion, Idaho. In actuality, it would have provided three times the amount of power.
In last week's Roadshow preview, we incorrectly listed the date of the Vibrators' show at Grove Street as September 15. It should have read September 17. It was listed correctly on September 17 in the Music Guide, but that's no excuse and we're sorry for any confusion this may have caused. Since most of you were at the Dragonforce show on Friday anyway though, you still had the chance to get over to see the Vibrators. Lucky you!